Monday, December 31, 2012

I Wish You A Very Merry Christmas Season and A Happy New Year!

I adore Christmas cards. The tradition of sending and receiving. Reading enclosed sentiments, personal notes and newsy letters. Looking at photographs and paying attention to all that has changed. Wondering how yet another year has passed so quickly. 

Sweet and sappy or simple and to the point. Handwritten, handmade and hand-signed or created, addressed and signed in printer's ink. Pictures of friends, families, pets and favorite adventures. They all carry more meaning than the card stock conveys. I have favorites I can remember from years ago. I love the way they help us all keep in touch; how taking the time to send a card reminds someone that they remain in your thoughts.....and vise-versa.

My friends, however, may not receive that message this it is well past Christmas and not-a-single hard-copy card, photo or piece of news has been stamped and mailed from this address. (I think for only the second year I can remember.) I'm still hoping to get something put together for New Year's.....but have a feeling that I won't. Just in case....see below.

I took particular joy in re-reading the cards and notes we received this year, then stringing their wishes together like a colorful paper chain for my own holiday message. I know it's almost too late, and that I've played around with tense and possibly taken a few other liberties with their text, but the wishes are heartfelt and come from a very sincere place. Cheers!


Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Winter Wishes. Seasons Greetings. 

Joyful Greetings!!

Here's hoping that the season came softly and gently......bringing you a feeling of wonder. That it brought a flurry of fun! That you were at the top of Santa's list!

I hope you found nice surprises waiting for you everywhere. That you Celebrated with the Merriest of Friends! That your days were Filled With Love and Happiness. Warmth and Joy. May they continue to be Merry and Bright (as bright as the star on the top of the tree)......and filled with Joy and Peace.

Cherish the Season.Wishing you laughter and memories that shine brightly all year.

From Our Home To Yours......Our Family To Yours: Wishing you Special Joys, Warmest Thoughts and the Very Best. May the New Year bring you continued Health and Joy! 

Best Wishes for 2013.



With Love. 


(PS. Let it Snow!)

Friday, December 21, 2012


A few (many) years ago....when I was twenty-five, I lived in an apartment in Seattle. It was a one bedroom, where, for the first time in my life, I lived by myself, with my cat, Eddie. At first that apartment felt strange and spacious and sort of decadent, since I had only lived with groups of others up until that point: a family of seven, a dorm, college and post college houses and apartments full of friends. I paid affordable rent for digs that had a view of Lake Union, the Space Needle and Queen Ann Hill. From my large window I watched morning light, sunsets, a famous lighting storm that I think the Seattle Times still sells photos from and lighted Christmas ships pass by throughout the holiday season. The building was in a neighborhood right in the city and had an actual asphalt parking lot where I could park my car. I started my job at the hospital at 7 and made it home by 4, which left plenty of time for an afternoon walk around Greenlake or to Pete's Market to see what sounded good for dinner.

At that point in my life, my sister and one or two other friends met up nearly every weekend for Breakfast at Julia's Fourteen Carrot Cafe which I could walk to. Their Tahitian Toast with a side of fresh fruit and yogurt was, and still is, one of my very favorite breakfast food memories of all times. For awhile, on Thursday evenings, my sister and one of these same friends took turns making dinner, after which we would tune in to the latest episodes of Family Ties, The Cosby Show and of the very best TV lineups of all times. 

At twenty-five I took the occasional weekend trip, understood I had never met someone like Marc before (we had been dating for about a year and a half at that point) and dreamt of going back to school. I enjoyed my friendships, loved to cook, walked for exercise, read and made things. I chopped enormous salads topped with cottage cheese, shredded cheddar, raisins and crushed saltines many nights for my dinner. I drove into downtown Seattle to shop and look and dream. I loved all kinds of music but had a special passion for classical. I knew I loved the out-of-doors, writing and taking pictures, and had a sense of adventure. I liked where my life was and where it was going. I didn't know exactly what the future held, but didn't really feel the need to either.

At twenty-five I didn't know that within the next five years I would be married, move all the way across the country and then back again, or have twin boys. I didn't know I'd have a husband who would give me flowers the day before our anniversary (which is, by the way today!) so that I could enjoy them the entire day of, or that another baby boy would come along. That I would explore my political views, quit a paying job to stay home and raise kids or exchange a vibrant city for the suburbs. 

About a week ago, my older boys turned twenty-five and I am (blank) years over twice their age. I think they live in a more complicated world than I did at that age.....but perhaps my parents felt the same way about me and their other children.  The one thing I do know is that certain themes have carried on throughout my life: my interests, what I value and the purposeful ways I spend my time. I can look back and see a similar pattern in my boys; activities each of them showed an interest in from an early age and the ways those have translated into how they currently choose to spend their time and energy. 

Have they noticed this pattern? I'm not sure and I don't really want to point it out....just to encourage them to pursue whatever it is that they're interested in. I want them to have the same sense of discovery about their own lives that I did and still do about mine.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Contact Sheet

Above is a contact sheet of images from a calendar I recently put together for 2013. A gift I enjoy making for friends and family. It is my way of keeping in touch, of remaining in contact (if you will), with them throughout the next twelve months. I try to use photos shot during the year in which I will give it......with the exception of those taken in December. I've made an executive decision that due to time constraints, December's can be drawn from the last month of the previous year.

I enjoy the hours of perusing computer files and blog posts. Of sifting through and remembering. Of eliminating, narrowing choices and then narrowing them some more. Of figuring out the one photo least to represents each month. I enlist Marc's help, see what he has to say about all of it (because he is totally willing and I respect his opinion), but make the final cut myself. 

As I do this I am looking for the best possible combination of subject, color, tone and feel. It's like putting a puzzle together. Each image is sized to 3 1/2 x 5" and printed on heavy 5 x 7" cardstock (the month underneath) so I want an image that can be viewed easily from across the room. I want the viewer to know what they're looking at from a few feet away, so the simpler the better. 

The whole process is fun and rewarding and something I love to do. It encourages me to slow down during a busy season. Allows me to take pause and feel thankful for some of the beauty I've come across during the year and for those I want to share it with. I know it might sound silly......but if I can actually match a photo to the month in which it was shot, I somehow feel as if I've scored a point in this game!

I have to say, putting 2013's calendar together has been a welcome distraction from the construction that is still (!) going on downstairs at my house. Call me naive, but I didn't think it would take as long, cost as much or be as noisy and dusty as it has been. No complaints here. I know that by changing these few elements, for the first time we are making our home into 'our home'. Can't wait.

Hope your Holiday season is going well! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.



(PS. This post wasn't meant to be a shameless attempt at self-promotion.......but yes.....I am willing to print a copy for you. $20 plus shipping. Look for a link to my Estsy shop within a couple of days or send me an email at

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