cloistered away | enjoying simplicity

Saturday

3

January 2015

0

COMMENTS

Happy New Year!

Written by , Posted in EAT + DRINK + GATHER

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For years, my sister and I have talked about having a fancy party with our kids on New Year’s Eve, but each year something happens–sickness, travel, or life–and the evening comes and goes just the same. This year, our three nieces came to stay with us the four days leading up to the New Year, making it the perfect finale to their visit and our crazy Christmas holiday. We all wore our best clothes, and I styled each of the girls’ hair as they wished with a dab of lip gloss and blush. We made the simplest finger foods and served them with bubbly drinks and party headbands and hats. Tim set up a photo booth and we danced our hearts out in the dining room until everyone was tired (about 30-40 minutes later–wink) and decided to sit near the fire instead. Good friends popped by with their toddler to join the fun and we dropped the ball and saluted the new year at 8:30 pm–with flutes and yelps and kisses. Welcome, 2015. xx

Thursday

1

January 2015

6

COMMENTS

52/52 :: end of year self-portraits

Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT

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“a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

When we set up a photo booth on New Year’s Eve (more on that later), I thought it a fitting finale that each of the kids take their own final portrait of the year, unrehearsed or coached. I love how each of their personalities shine through, and can you believe it’s been 52 weeks already? I hardly can. Although this project was difficult at times, I so value how it forced me to stop regularly to really see each of my children in a new way and independent of the others–a valuable gift considering we’re all together so often. I plan to create a book from the project soon and continue the project into 2015. I hope you’ll continue to follow along! Thank you, Jodi, for inspiring so many of us with this beautiful project.

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liam //  playful like a boy, conversing like a man

burke // anxious to grow facial hair–until then, a sharpie will do

blythe // I’m sure, in some respect, the balloon-man was not following the rules

olive // you rubbed your chin raw on the car seat fabric, just because you were curious

Monday

29

December 2014

4

COMMENTS

Merry Christmas

Written by , Posted in LATELY

I’ve been quiet here lately, trying to focus more on the people right around me, on our togetherness. Still, the concentrated family time manages to feel blurry with warmth and goodness: sweet visits with both sides of our families, tasty foods and drinks mixed with raucous laughter and conversation, late night movies, and of course, anticipation. Typically, I would wedge in a little time here to write our experiences out, but this year, I’ve instead focused on rest and being present. I’ve also been reflecting on the year, and naturally, making some plans for the new one. I’ll be back soon to share some more, but wanted to say in the mean time, Merry Christmas.

I hope your holiday has been blurry with warmth and light. Thank you for following our family story here. xo

Sunday

28

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

51/52

Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT

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“a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

liam // coloring with your cousins, slowly tracing and shading the details

burke // a rainy day game of Twister with your cousins

blythe // safely on base during a game of tag

olive // using my phone to capture your own special somethings

Monday

15

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

50/52

Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT

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” a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

liam // I often wonder if hand-washing dishes will become one of your own parenting stories and lessons of hard work.

burke // you designed a detailed hotel this week, complete with an over-sized chicken to carry travelers or their bags to their rooms.

blythe // your name means “cheerful or joyous.” The perfect choice, I think.

olive // you lost one of your front teeth this week, diligently wiggling it until it popped out.

Wednesday

10

December 2014

4

COMMENTS

O Christmas Tree

Written by , Posted in LATELY

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This time of year always feels concentrated and rich, like a dark chocolate truffle–something special meant to be taken in slowly. Like so many of you, we are busy, busy this month, and I’m trying my best to move through it intentionally. Some days that means creating a TO DO list, and other days that means chucking it just being present in the moment, glorious or not.

This weekend, we traveled to a nearby tree farm, where the kids picked out their favorite tree–a somewhat challenging undertaking with four differing opinions. At home, Mark started a fire and turned on Christmas music. We set up our manger scene, complete with a broken baby Jesus, headless Joseph, missing angel, and an armless shepherd. It might be time time for a new one. (Wink.) The kids drank hot cocoa and cider as we unraveled strands of lights and wrapped our tree. We only put a few ornaments on this year, including their past handmade ones. It’s feels simple, and more importantly, uniquely our own.

Sunday

7

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

48/52 + 49/52

Written by , Posted in THE 52 PROJECT

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 ”a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014″

liam // As you get older, your creations mature with you, becoming more about possibility and application than simply for pretend play. This week you asked me what I thought you might do when you grow up, and although I’m not sure, that something is sure to be good.

burke // Striking a pose, ”Hey mom! Fire-pow-uh! Boom.” You told me this week you want to learn the piano, a gift to me this particular week.

blythe // You literally collapse your body onto whatever furniture (or person) is near you when you’re tired. You (and your siblings) also colored your face for pretend play. The traces of “paint” remained long after the game ended.

olive // You like to surprise the camera, subtly jumping or changing expressions before you hear a snap. You treat life as a game, always interacting in playful, energetic ways.

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liam // saplings

burke // watching the men shake the loose needles from the tree, focused and soft

blythe // savoring your first caramel apple cider

olive // dressed in braids, a prairie dress, and afternoon winter light