Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Houses and Homes and Rebel Girls

I'm working this week. I can't complain- I spent pretty much all of today watching online CLE videos to earn enough legal education credits to stay licensed for the next year, but ugh, I've never worked between Christmas and New Year's and I DON'T LIKE IT. I feel like it put a really hard stop on Christmas and I prefer the let it peter out on its way to New Year's with lots of trips to local parks and the zoo to ease the way.

also Lego building... LOTTTS of Lego building

So let's go back to the cozy magic of Christmas Eve. I didn't have room in the last post to discuss the present I was MOST excited about.

I mentioned a while ago that my parents sold my childhood home (and now the lake house too) and purchased a new house on a lake near my childhood home, basically combining their two houses into one- near work, and on a lake. It's great for them- they're completely thrilled and the house looks beautiful, but it gutted me in an unexpected way to know the house that built me wasn't ours anymore.

As I've written before, not everyone gets to return to their childhood home whenever they want and not everyone has purely happy memories when they get there. I do and I did, and so I made a watercolor print from a picture I took of the house when I went to Kingwood this past February. A PTA Board member friend of mine does beautiful calligraphy work and I asked her to put our family anthem on the top and our address and years in the house at the bottom. I love it so much.

They did too. As I wrote on the back- I hope James and I build a home our children feel as warmly and strongly about as I feel about 4335 Hill Forest Drive. I made 5x7's for me and my two siblings as well. It's a special place. We'll make new memories wherever we are, but that house holds an awful lot of them. My copy sits on my dresser and makes me smile every time I pick out my jewelry in the morning.

Other gifts were also big successes. For the first time ever, Landon had actual, specific gift requests and he got both of them- his Ninjago Cave Chaos lego set and his deeply desired Cheetah Racer, and he declared it the "best Christmas EVER." A surprise hit was the $5 moose hat I threw in my Old Navy checkout after realizing the girls would both have fancy ear-wear and he wouldn't.

He LOVES it. It was 80 degrees outside today (wtf) and he still wore it outside. I love when things like that work out.

Cora adored everything she got - princess dresses, new baby doll, and pink princess boots(!!!!!). The boots are awful- bright pink pleather with plastic princess faces glued on the side- and when I saw them in Target I knew she had to have them. She's worn them every day (when not wearing her Rapunzel shoes) and she carefully places them next to her bed while she sleeps at night. She made sure to explain each princess's identity to Gigi multiple times. She knew her Gigi likes to talk shoes.

Claire has played a lot of pet vet. Landon's cheetah (the stuffed animal not the racer) had a broken leg and after they performed a very serious emergency surgery, Landon put a bandaid on his cheetah's fur and was then shocked - SHOCKED - when he couldn't just peel it off later. Oh Landon, so very smart and yet sometimes so... Landon. Claire also pulled out a loose tooth yesterday! The makes for lost tooth #3. The first two were lost in Wisconsin and Minnesota back in August and were swallowed both times, so she was VERY excited to have evidence of her big girl milestone.

And we started Little House in the Big Woods last night, after she got the box set for Christmas, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I LOVED those books and I'm so excited to read them again with her.

Almost as excited as I am about THIS BOOK which finally came in the mail yesterday:

It's SO. GOOD. You should buy it if there are any children in your life or immediate vicinity. I had planned to read a story a night for the next 100 days, but that was thwarted immediately by my inability to get through a single one without crying. So Landon took over the reading and quickly made his way through the first 10 for the girls.

The stories are so great. They're each just one page long, with a beautifully illustrated portrait on the other. The women are from all walks of life, all eras of time, and all different professions- a mathematician, an artist, an author, a moto cross racer, an astronomer, a model, and so much more. Little snippets of the work and accomplishments of extraordinary women. And the stories definitely aren't just for girls- Landon finished the whole book that night and loved it. It's one of the best things I've bought in a long time.

Along with the ear muffs, obviously.


  1. I'm curious to see how you like Little House as an adult. I LOVED it as a kid and reread it a few years ago. I really didn't like it through adult eyes, which was so sad.

    1. I'm intrigued too. If nothing else, we can have some good conversations about what we're reading...

  2. What a beautiful gift. I love the watercolor print and the calligraphy was an awesome touch.

  3. Ahhhh the Little House books. I have a special box with some very treasured books from my childhood I've saved in hopes of unearthing for my kids one day. Sharing books through generations is just SO special.

    1. It is! She already has the box set of Ann of Green Gables and the Betsy Tacy and Tib books too. I bought the Ann box set the week I found out I was having a girl. She was -4 months old :).

    2. Love Anne and the Betsy-Tacy books and sharing those books and others are maybe the thing I am most excited about in my 2-year-old daughter's future childhood!!

  4. Sooo.. what's the family anthem?

    1. "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert :).

      After it came out several years ago we all called each other saying, "have you heard this song?? it's our house!!"

  5. Where did you get the watercolor print?