What I’m in love with right now.

{May this find you warm and healthy and feeling well loved.}

  • Our advent activity calendar, which is full of kindness and snow-fun and good things to eat. And the hours my mom and I spent cutting out snowflakes to make it.


  • Our stockings, which are hung on our bookcase, as always.


  • Time spent cooking. Time in the kitchen is such a big pleasure for me: preparing rich, warm, nurturing foods for my family. I have dreams of a real cook’s kitchen, but my little saffron-colored one will do just fine for now.
  • How – though they are radically different beings – Bram and Lou have the same laugh. And it’s a good one.


  • The increasingly long list of restaurants and other locations I want to go to with my wife, if we ever get both the time and the money for shenanigans. And I really mean this: I love the list. I am okay that this isn’t the time. I’m glad just to want to go share these experiences with her.
  • The ceiling at the Episcopal church we’ve been attending, and the reverential way Louis looks at it. And the priest’s use of a Hebrew word I didn’t know as a way in to talking to his congregation about racism. And the possibility that maybe there’s a church home for me after all. Just the possibility for now. It’s nice.
  • Lou’s persistence. He is the most determined little fella about everything from milk to pulling up. This kid’s got no quit in him.


  • That when we did high/lows at the dinner table last Friday (as we do almost every night), Bram said that his high was: “I like school.” He hasn’t had what I would consider a particularly rocky start, but it has been hard to watch him get quiet and withdrawn in the van on the way to school, to hear him say he’d rather not go, to see him playing alone (or following his most adored teacher around) every time I go pick him up, and to hear him tell us “there are just so many people” over and over again. So to see his little introverted self getting excited – and feeling connected – already is just amazing.
  • Bram’s contagious love of Christmas music.
  • The community of women in my life: mothers and aunts and friends. Women. Women, y’all.
  • That a friend of mine posted this as a Facebook status the other day: “I grew up being told and believing on faith that racism is our country’s most vital and challenging issue. Our greatest disease TO BE cured. Knowing that, how could I ever do enough? Now the rumblings are getting louder, moving us closer to step one: an awareness slowly rising across the divides. Praying for us all, for the work ahead.” Is she right? Is there reason to hope? And if there is, how might we devote ourselves?
  • That I can already imagine how our hearts and lives will accommodate another child. Or two. Not- to be clear – that we’re ready, but that I already feel myself making space.
  • That our table centerpiece every December was one of the centerpieces at our December wedding five years ago: a simple glass bowl full of round ornaments. That its very being is a reminder of my commitment.
  • Our downtown public library. The brick walk that leads to the door. The smell of the place. The metal return drawers and the turtle in the children’s library and the kind librarians. The stacks. Everything about it. Just: that it is.
  • Our overcrowded bed.
  • That when my van door handle fell off, and we learned that it would cost $300 to replace it, the amazing guys at our mechanic shop fashioned one from a Mercedes dip stick. And painted it. And it mostly (so far) works.
  • That we’re getting B an easel for Christmas. And paints and other supplies. And that we’re getting Louis a doll. And that that’s it.
  • That Bram picks out his own clothes now. And that they look absurd and yet also exactly right.
  • That Lou is clingy. My back doesn’t like this, but my heart does.
  • Pecans. And cinnamon. And chocolate. And curry. And fennel seeds. And soups of all kind.
  • Winter. This chance to slow down and listen.



6 thoughts on “winter-love

  1. It sounds like things are going so well for you right now — I am so happy :) I love the snowflakes, and your stockings are beautiful. I think we got O art supplies for Christmas when he was just Bram’s age, and they are our saving grace every winter. Our favorite, no contest, is liquid watercolors — have you seen these? ( ) and you can get a set of six little pots to hold them ( and some big paint cups to hold the water ( and minimize the mess. The paint is vibrant and beautiful. We have done tons of painting, tie-dyed paper towels (which the kids found amazing), put it in spray bottles to paint the snow, and have used it to dye wood turnings (like the little people, blocks, etc.) to make waldorf-style wood toys (you can seal it with vinegar and a beeswax polish). They are expensive, but we are still on our first set, 4 years later — the regular colors are great, the glitter colors aren’t — the glitter all settles to the bottom and it doesn’t work as well to shake up the little pots.

    Of course, this sounds like an ad — I hate that it does, but we really do love them…

  2. My dad joined the Episcopal church after I left home, and it has completely changed his reactions to the world, for the better. It’s not my style (I like a lot less ceremony) but I love how it feels to go there on Christmas Eve, and the support of the little community there.

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