Monday, February 6, 2017

the weekend

Hey hey it's Monday! How was your weekend? We had a pretty low-key weekend which was completely perfect and exactly how I like my winter weekends to be. There was a pretty sunset, pizza and Bible Study and lots of laughs with our small group friends, a basketball game, two friends over to play, a trip to the grocery store (admittedly not low-key), a well-spent hour at church, breakfast at our favorite spot in the village, a walk through the neighborhood, some time with friends, a nap by the fire, time for reading, an as-yet unfinished Monopoly game, food, and of course, football. We fit a lot of good stuff in over the last couple days!

 I spy angel wings.

 So thankful for this view out our windows.

 I'm reading this fascinating true story about the joys and trials of a homesteading family. Check it out if you're looking for a good read and are into back-to-the-land stories. (Also, I had a small cyst removed from my wrist almost two weeks ago. I'm supposed to be wearing that brace 24/7, but true to my stubborn form, I kept it off almost all day yesterday. Ummm, oops?)

 When the whining reaches an all-time high, I know she needs a nap. Sunday rest by the fire - what could be better? While I sat with her and caught up on some reading, the boys played an hour and a half of Monopoly...and still haven't finished the game.

I love football but let's be honest...for a lot of people, the Superbowl is all about food and commercials. I cooked up an easy spread of baked potatoes, beef and vegetable chili, chips with queso and guacamole, and these amazing pumpkin and avocado brownies. Yes, pumpkin and avocado. Don't knock it til you try it. Annabel and I loved them, but my milk-chocolate loving boys weren't quite as thrilled. Made with cocoa powder and honey and dark chocolate chips, they're not as sweet as a regular milk chocolate brownie. The girls will enjoy finishing off that plate!

I hope your weekend was restful and fun and filled with all of your favorite things. Happy Monday - make it a great week!

Monday, January 30, 2017

in search of quality time

A little over a month ago, Will and I set out to improve our marriage. Now, we don't, by any means, have a bad marriage - although we disagree and argue and frustrate each other just as much as any couple, 95% of the time we're good. But since there's always room for improvement we decided to try and change things up a little bit. One thing we've noticed over the years, especially after having kids, is that we end up putting each other last. We're needed at work or by the kids or by whatever volunteer position we're involved in, and since we know that we can each handle ourselves by ourselves, we end up putting each other on the back burner. Not all the time - it definitely happens in phases and seasons - but still it happens. We sit together to watch a show or a game or read but we don't have a lot of interaction, each tired and processing the day separately although we are, technically, together in the same room.

Now I know there are some people who consider this "being in the same room together but not actually interacting" thing as quality time. 

I am not one of those people.

For me to classify an interaction as "quality time," we have to actually look each other in the eye and have a conversation, or we need to do something that requires us to interact in some way. So for me, something like seeing a movie does not automatically count as quality time. We actually need to discuss the movie afterwards to get the quality time piece in. Picky? Maybe. But this is how I feel, for better or worse, and fortunately for me, my patient husband has tried to keep this in mind over our almost-thirteen-year-marriage.

So just before Christmas, when both of us were busy with different things and starting to do the "we're in the same room but not paying attention to each other" thing more often than not, Will suggested we try something new. Our solution to the quality time issue in this fast-paced, technology-ridden world that we live in was to take just one night a week, and completely unplug. No phones, no tv, no computer, no movies. Just us. And whatever we could come up with to do. We've only been doing it for a few weeks but I already look forward to it as a time for us to really check in with each other and just have fun.

Both of us are pretty low-key homebodies, so we pull out games and puzzles and remember what it was like when it was just the two of us and we hung out together every night after work. (Sometimes I look back at our lives before kids and wonder what did we do with all that TIME?! Seriously, what did we do?!)


He sunk my battleship.

Knowing that we wanted to spend more quality time together, Will got me a couple's cooking class for Christmas. We went one Friday night in January and had so much fun! We made steak and broccolini and polenta and gelato and enjoyed a few hours of good quality time. And bonus, we now know how to cook a good steak!


We're looking forward to seeing what else we can come up with to make sure we continue to spend quality time together each week. If you have any favorite activities you do with your spouse, please send them our way!

Wishing you a great start to your week!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow

Last week our kids missed three days of school because we got about 5 inches of snow. I posted a couple pics on Instagram of our snow day activities and as the total climbed to three, there was one question that was asked by a few of my friends from PA and NY: "How much snow did you get?!" You see, in central Virginia, about 5 inches is the equivalent to about 2 feet in the north east as far as snow removal and school closings goes. Our neighborhood didn't even see a plow until Tuesday afternoon - a full four days after it started snowing. It's completely crazy and ridiculous, but it's also awesome! We had so much fun playing out in the cold as the giant flakes came down and the world was hushed with the quiet that only comes with a thick blanket of snow.






Walking out into a snowy morning always makes me think back to the days when Will and I were hiking the Appalachian Trail in early March through snow and ice and cold. The quiet peace of those days hits me for a moment as I step outside.....and then is quickly replaced with whoops and laughter as I get hit with snowballs from all sides. We love snow days!


Unfortunately, the snow didn't even last a week as it promptly warmed up to seventy-two degrees on Wednesday and Thursday. So crazy. Today it's cold and raining but we're warm by the fire on yet another day off. Wherever you are, I hope you're nice and warm and enjoying a good start to your week!

Image

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas Cheer

Hello from snowy central Virginia! We got about 5 inches of snow on Saturday morning and it's completely beautiful and fun and COLD. Naturally, the kids are out of school today because the plows haven't come through any of the neighborhoods yet, and I'd be surprised if they went tomorrow. We've had a great time playing outside taking snowy quiet walks, sledding down the hill behind our house, doing a little snow wrestling, throwing snowballs, attempting to build a snowman, and making snow angels. I love snow! I'll post some of our snow photos later in the week. Today, I wanted to share some of our holiday photos, if you'd like to see. I chose "Christmas Cheer" as my December theme so we tried to have an extra dose or two of cheer as often as possible.

Toasting Christmas cookies at GG's = Christmas Cheer

Cute boys (9yrs and 4mo) together = Christmas Cheer

Color coordinating cousins = Christmas Cheer

Picking out our biggest Christmas tree ever (it scraped the ceiling!) = Christmas Cheer

Seeing Santa with cute cousins = Christmas Cheer

Decorating gingerbread at Gatty's = Christmas Cheer

Watching Rudolph = Christmas Cheer

Reindeer games = Christmas Cheer

Matching PJ's on the last day of school for 2016 = Christmas Cheer

Sprinkles everywhere = Christmas Cheer

Christmas Day with these cuties = Christmas Cheer

Matching girls (a coincidence!) = Christmas Cheer

Cousin love = Christmas Cheer

Banjo/Ukulele entertainment = Christmas Cheer

Being part of the first all-female ping pong champ team  = Christmas Cheer
We had so much fun visiting with our families and spending time with relatives we don't get to see very often. Christmas Cheer indeed!

Hope you're having a good start to your week whether you're home enjoying a snow day or jumping back into the weekly routine. Happy Monday!


Friday, January 6, 2017

January is for Soup

Happy New Year, friends!  It feels good to be back here in this space and I am so looking forward to making more time to write this year.  

 Today in eastern PA it is about 23 degrees and we woke up to a little bit of fluffy, dusty snow this morning.  As I drove Sommer to school, the sun was shining through the cloudy sky and as we walked from the car into school, my observant girl joyously pointed out to me that, "the sun is out of the clouds and shining on the snow making it sparkle, Mama!!"

{right after this picture she actually started to lay down in the snow to make a snow angel}

I didn't make a list of New Year's Resolutions this year and I still don't have any lofty goals to accomplish over the next 365 days.  I realized this morning, though, that I do hope to see the world through the eyes of my two beautiful babies more often than not this year.  We're also ditching our cable in favor of joining our local YMCA.  It's actually amazing how the thought of going swimming at the Y on the dreary, cold days of winter has improved our moods over the last few days.  If you have a Y near you, I seriously encourage you to join...it is so much more than just a gym!!

Otherwise, my only plan is to make pots of homemade soup each week during the month of January.  I'm not sure what motivated this decision but when I think of the beginning of cold January, all I really want to do is cozy up with my people.  The thought of hot soup simmering on the stove (with plenty of leftovers to warm us up on cold days) paired with crusty bread pretty much sums up my idea of a perfect winter night. 

I started this week and so far it has worked out pretty well.  My first soup, Broccoli Bisque, from Tidewater on the Half Shell was a complete fail for my family but a complete win for me.  It is one of my favorites and reminds me of my childhood.  It is completely dairy free but so creamy and delicious (if you ask me).  I'm thinking I might make this one every week so I can eat it for lunch everyday.  

{I like my soup with a ton of pepper and a spinach salad on the side.}

Last night, I mixed up this minestrone soup for dinner which is also delicious.  It is simple and comes together so quickly.  It will be perfect for leftovers or lunch this weekend.
 
{I love how these soups are full of veggies!}

I'm searching for more soup recipes for the month, and as I found with my Christmas cookies this year; old, tried and true recipes are where it's at. I'd love for you to share your favorites with me!

Monday, January 2, 2017

planning projects

It's no secret that Will and I aren't big party people. Given the choice between being out with a big group of people or staying in with a few friends or by ourselves, we will almost always choose the latter. And so, after visiting with family and friends over Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Years, we always plan to be home for the new year and enjoy a quiet evening together. We watch football and eat snacks and talk about things we want to do in the year ahead and toast at midnight with sparkling cider. Over the past couple of years I've also spent some time on December 31st planning out my knitting projects for the coming year. This year was no different...


That right there is at least 11 knitting projects that I'm hoping to finish in 2017. Included are two sweaters, a few hats, two blankets, a shawl, some butterflies, a bag, and a pair or two of fingerless gloves. We'll see how much I can accomplish as the year progresses, but New Years Eve always makes me feel like anything is possible! 

I got started on two new projects yesterday - a baby blanket in the softest yarn, and the sweetest little hat with a tiny pom pom. They don't look like much yet but I'm excited to send them off to their recipients, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.



I also chose a word for 2017 - something I've never done before. I always have a December theme (this past year was "Christmas Cheer" which I'll share about soon) so I decided to try having a yearly theme. My word for 2017 is "HEALTH." I'm determined to complete my journey to good health this year (I'd say I'm about 80% there, after my Crohn's Disease diagnosis a couple years ago) as I've picked up a few more tools to help me along the way. I'd say my biggest issue now is mental - teaching myself not to worry about my health anymore, that I actually am in good health, instead of always worrying that something is wrong. I got so used to feeling sick and worrying about it that I now have to remember how not to worry. Sounds crazy, but it's true. So HEALTH includes physical, mental, within relationships, and within my schedule (which has also gotten way too crazy lately). I'm excited to have a new focus and a new year to make things happen. If you've been reading here for awhile you know my love of odd numbers -- so happy to be back to an odd year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends, good food and conversation, love and laughter. Wishing you a new year full of the same! Cheers to 2017!

"And now let us welcome the new year
Full of things that have never been."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year! WeThree sincerely hope that you've enjoyed this holiday season with friends and family near and far. We were able to spend four days together up in Pennsylvania just after Christmas and loved every minute of our time together with family. Here are just a few photos, if you'd like to see...





Every year for Christmas, WeThree get a gift (or two!) that is exactly the same for all three of us. We always open them at the same time and enjoy seeing what our parents (read: mom :) ) picked out for us. This year I noticed a theme with our gift:


I don't know if you can tell but the shirt says "we time" and the mug has a typewriter on it. Perhaps a not-so-subtle hint to get back to typing here at WeThree?! Hint taken! Looking forward to a new year and new things to share here in our little corner of the internets.

Cheers to you and yours this New Years! Wishing you health, happiness and many blessings in the year ahead. Let's do this, 2017!