If you have been reading around here for long, you were probably getting very worried that you would be spared the annual family photoshoot that I always drag you through in excruciating detail following Christmas (like these fine bits of memory lane from 2010, 2011, 2012, apparently 2013 disappeared somewhere, and 2014). But fear not– we dragged that tripod out into the woods as always and rocked our delay-timer photographed Christmas shoot.When preparing for photos, it is important to select a color palette that is easy to follow and instantly understood by everyone. This is why I declared “muted woodland” and inflicted it on everyone. Some members of our crowd seemed confused by what that meant, and I had to repeat the obvious answers -beige, cream (obviously different than beige), hunter, sage, gray, chambray, tan, maroon, leather, denim — multiple times. But eventually, we were appropriately frocked and ready to whip out our best poses… Like the one where we cluster in couples and pretend to be goofy, minus some members of the family who participate by not participating. …Or the one where we prance around like the cast of Friends, strolling through a path not quite wide enough for us to all saunter arm in arm. And Zach’s introduction of Liz into the family makes the sibling set complete! Oh what, these old things? We just happen to have matching blankets wrapped around our necks as we toss our coiffed hair in a woodland clearing- NBD. Ok fiiiiiinnnne- we can all admit that maybe Zach and Liz win for best interpretation of “muted woodland.” They are like a flipping Eddie Bauer add for love over here. But Lyman and Ruth win “best coordinating outfits,” and James and I get to have a baby, so I guess we are all winners of some sort. The boys… The girls… … and the in-laws who have learned to tolerate our crazy pack. Team #winlaw forever. No one I love better than this bunch in their muted woodland finery. Till next year, O Faithful Tripod!
- "Art rediscovers, generation by generation, what is necessary to humanness. " -John Gardner
Lately, on InstagramIt’s his birthday today, but we maybe told him it was tomorrow (which is actually Etta’s birthday 🤷♀️), because the past 48 hours have been a special brand of disaster that I hope never to repeat. Anyone who knows toddlers knows that they only function between a 4-7 on an emotional scale of 1-10, with all numbers above and below looking the same: tears. Being really ill yesterday? 2. The emotions of moving? 1 or 9 depending on the moment. Add a birthday to that and you have a tiny brain literally short circuiting from emotion. But all the same- Happy birthday Henry Wilberforce. Being your mother is the most intense joy and privilege. Or, as you would say in your own special way of referring to size: it’s a big chunk honor.I recently pried an entire scoop of mud and 2 rocks from Etta’s mouth but girlfriend will not tolerate a single bite of ANY fruit. She acts like strawberries are straight poison, but recently downed 3 tacos that the rest of us deemed too spicy. She loves broccoli, hates blueberries. One thing I have learned as a parent: you cannot make a child eat. So about a year ago, I stopped fighting meal battles. I choose what to offer and when, they choose what to eat and how much. That’s it. Don’t like dinner? Get comfy till breakfast. And you know what? When I stop fighting, they stop resisting, and we all eat better. Because here’s the thing: I would eat exclusively tacos if I could, and I also only like my drink in one specific cup. I get it, the pickiness. Learning to eat is part of learning to live, and when I recognized that my job is about forming and responding to habits and tastes, instead of forcing the right number of calories in- it is so freeing. I do not always have a healthy relationship with food, and I desperately want that for my kids. What are the parenting battles that you find it better (not to be confused with easier!), not to fight? [Best tacos in the city are these, from @tacobamba ]