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Archive for the ‘Holiday and celebrations’ Category

Five

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This little lady – my baby girl – is turning five. I’m not sure if there is a mother out there who doesn’t slightly mourn the baby that their child once was. On her birthday (and other days, of course) I take time to remember how we used to sooth her to sleep by gently dancing with her in our arms. How she felt, snuggled up to my neck, or bobbing around on my hip when she was too tired to walk. Her baby giggle echoes in my ears, as does the sound of her calling herself “Ya Ya”, her sister “Tay Tay” and her favorite doll “Wawa”.

All of those precious memories are still raw and pure and make my heart overflow. I love them and I love thinking about them. Yet, I also delight in the little girl she is today.

Often the first one up in the morning, she goes to the kitchen and one-by-one, gathers things for a bowl of cereal. We hear the pitter patter of her lugging the big cereal box to the table, then the bowl, then her favorite spoon (the pink & green one) and finally the milk. She is self-sufficient when it comes to food – for most other things she gladly plays the “baby-card”, insisting she needs help getting dressed, brushing her teeth, picking up toys…

She is wiser and more mature than she realizes. She calls different countries “different worlds” – I suppose to the eyes of a child, they may as well be. She has been to 11 “different worlds” in her 5 years. Her best friends are from Portugal, Austria, Denmark and Azerbaijan. She is quick with numbers and quicker with wit. She disregards fashion, but will let you know if her socks are not straight.

Affectionately, she still climbs up in our laps, even as her now long, lanky limbs fold underneath her. She often exudes energy, bouncing up and down while she asks if she can help with dinner. With an unyielding admiration for her big sis, she listens patiently to early-reader books or on instructions of how to “properly” draw a princess. Always happy to have her sister’s undivided attention. She’s a dancer and a puppeteer, performing for us, making us laugh, reminding us that “silly” is the best kind of funny.

This girl. She is loved.

Happy 5th Birthday Dahlia June. The sky’s the limit for you. Dream big little girl.

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(This, and a few more words, saved just-for-her, will go in her Birthday Letter Satchel. A tradition we have of writing a letter to each child on their birthday, in an attempt to capture their present spirit.)

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Happy New Year! We haven’t been overly ambitious about filling this space lately, although thanks to Skype, I feel like we’ve been more in touch than ever.

For me, the past two weeks have been a break from school books and computer screens and any thing else that didn’t involve family, friends, tradition, relaxation and fun.  We started off with a weekend trip to Lübeck, Germany and ended with another loud and colorful Copenhagen New Years, surrounded by friends and food.

We have had our share of sweet treats…

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And other good eats…

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Ventured out by night…

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Took care of a fuzzy friend…

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Enjoyed new toys…

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Played a dozen games of UNO…

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Knitting and sewing were on the agenda…

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As were crafting and painting…

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We watched a few classics…

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And rung in a new year, full of hope and ambition…

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New Years Resolutions? Mine don’t vary much from year to year.  In 2013 I have a continued desire to balance the priorities in my life.  And perhaps to see my sister more often…

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So – apparently this year’s Black Friday didn’t disappoint.  People camped and crowded, elbowed and engulfed major stores across the country. 

They even left friends and family, opting out of post-feast, full-bellied conversations so they could take advantage of the deals that are now being offered ON Thanksgiving Day. {Or, as I think they should be advertised: Thankless-giving Day Sales.}  I won’t get “into” what I think of all this.  After all, I like to keep this space light and happy, productive and positive.

Let’s just say – our family did not partake.

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Instead, we spent one of the sweetest long-weekends on record – easing our way into lazy, blue-sky mornings, visiting parades and parks and libraries, making art & waffles & warm baguettes (Oh! BTW, I make baguettes now! Recipe to follow…).  Then popcorn was popped and we curled up to watch movies in the evening under blankets made by grandparents (and great-grandparents).

No deals. No discounts. No stuff.

Just one small family – practicing the very underappreciated art of being thankful.

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“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” -Laertius Diogenes

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So, between preparing for Halloween, an Election and a Hurricane it’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Apologies that I’ve shared so little… Here’s a glimpse of what’s been keeping us busy (and spinning and whirling and rushing and swirling)…

Still clearing up after the Hurricane.  We were so (so) lucky, compared to so (so) many.

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In the wake of “Sandy,” Halloween got a bit forgotten.  In fact, our township tried to cancel trick-or-treating (due to downed trees and whatnot).  Apparently this wasn’t an idea they cleared with the children in our neighborhood, who had been out of school for four straight days and missed all the usual Halloween festivities along the way.  Once the sun went down, they were off and thrilled be outside for the first time in days.  It was beautiful night – warm and calm – with no sign of the wild and endless wind that caused so much damage a day earlier.  In the end, we let our girls join in and they came home with an impressive collection of treats.  Once again, they enjoyed taking part in our family tradition of separating favorite versus our not-so-favorite sweets; leaving the latter for the “Candy Fairy” who accepted their offerings and left them each a surprise the next morning.

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And of course, the election – something our family/neighborhood and THIS side of the Atlantic has been very involved in.  We’ve been busy registering and reminding, canvassing and calling – with the hope that our efforts will teach our children what active-citizenship looks like…and encourage a lot of people to get to the polls tomorrow.

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Looking forward to a perfectly boring last two months of 2012!

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I just sent Rapunzel and Pippi Longstocking off to school.  Last year (due to a specific teacher’s rule) it was not permitted to dress up for Halloween and they waited until Fastelavn, in February, to show off their costumes.  Things are different this year, as both schools have allowed costumes.  We are also attending a ghoulish Halloween party tonight and Brett and I will be in costume too!  We haven’t done that in years!  Oh, how I love Halloween!

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Pippi’s hari was made by braiding her own hair, plus 3 pipe-cleaners and orange yarn into each braid. 

Rapunzel’s hair is an entire skein of yarn, wrapped multiple times around my cutting mat and cut to make one long strand (see below). Then braided, with small ribbon and flowers woven and sewn in and tied to her ponytail.

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A surefire way to get plenty of Halloween in Copenhagen, is to visit Tivoli.  Closed for most of the winter, Tivoli opens for a couple of weeks around Halloween and Christmas.  We missed going at this time last year because we were in Spain

This year we went on a very mild, autumn day and although we only planned to go for a short visit, the festive atmosphere, warm cider and sweet treats drew us in and we spent most of the day there.  Here are some images. (Keep an eye out for the albino peacock!)

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Happy Halloween!

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It’s been a more-chaotic-than-usual autumn for us (as everyone in the family has projects and causes keeping them busy) – so there hasn’t been too much time to ponder and plan Halloween costumes. So far we have a request for a Pirate Princess and Wonder Woman.

The Pirate Princess has me a bit baffled…and since this a request from a 3-year-old – I figure she’s counting on me to work out the details.  Maybe we’ll go with pantaloons and a homemade pirate map (a very simple project)?

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Wonder Woman just might require the super-human help of Amazon.com this year.  Sorry crafty counterparts of the world – I just don’t think a homemade costume is going to make my Top Ten List this month.  {I’m human, right?} 

But we did make a few Wonder Woman accessories. This bottlecap + resin project was pretty fun and something I’ve seen everywhere recently.  I’ll include a detailed how-to later…if that’s okay.

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We still haven’t gotten around to dragging out the decorations or carving proper pumpkins…but we did manage to paint a few acorns – so at least our birdhouse is looking ready for Halloween!

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Happy Half-Way to Halloween!  Any signs of this mostly-American holiday on your side of the ocean? 

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This blog is between sisters.  But today on October 9th, there are two boys who deserve a mention.  Our brothers are 9 & 10 years younger than us, so there is a generation of differences between us.  Yet the sibling connection can survive anything…especially a generation gap. 

A couple of months ago, I set to work knitting hats for these boys.  Just because they are twins does not mean they are not unique.  So two different hats for two different boys. 

For Stephen (thank you pint-size model):

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For Chris (thanks again mini-model):

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I was determined to get both hats finished before mom left in late-September.  I think the last stitch on the grey hat was knit 2 days before departure.  So I was happy to hear that they were well received. I even got this picture this morning: the bottom was a Pinterest “look” we was going for, the top is our bro looking very Euro GQ.

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So there you have it.  Even though we can’t be there to celebrate with them today, I will never forget the day they were born.  I was the hit of 3rd grade, with two of the cutest baby brothers imaginable. 

So although, there is a special bond that sisters share and we will never know the bond that twins share, I know that they are lucky to have each other and we are so lucky to have them too.  Happy Birthday boys! We love you!

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