December 8, 2008

Tea and Tradition

This is our frozen pond, looking so pretty and so uninviting at the same time! We're expecting more snow tonight and tomorrow we have the promise of ground blizzard conditions. I love snowy days because they give me a huge burst of energy and projects get done in an inspired fashion, but for the last several days I've been mostly out of commission with a nasty cold and I'm surviving by drinking lots and lots of tea. Coffee doesn't taste good right now, which is a sure sign that I'm really under the weather! I just finished a bowl of homemade peanut noodle salad with extra garlic, grated ginger, green onions and hot pepper flakes - BE GONE COLD!

Being sidelined has given me the excuse to sit and plan the fast approaching holiday. The three of us have been discussing tradition a lot lately and during the tiny window of Thanksgiving break that we had with DD, we had her write down which Christmas family traditions she wanted to continue and which she had outgrown. Showing hospitality is a year-round tradition with us, but we will be slightly untraditional this Christmas since we are all in agreement that what we want most is to spend time alone, just the three of us. We have the usual slate of pre-Christmas activities on the calendar, and of course we'll go to Christmas Eve service, but we don't feel the need to fill up the house this year. Maybe there is the realization that DD won't be under this roof for too many more years. We crave time to talk, play games, watch movies, and sit in our P.J.'s if the mood strikes us!

My friend Chenni recently posted some childhood photos and she inspired me to dig out this photo. You can see on the edge of the photo that this is in 1963. The four of us are sitting on the porch of one of the homes my grandmother lived in down in southwest Iowa - the same town she's now lived in for 94 of her 98 years! I'm 4 1/2 in this photo and I'm holding my 5 month old sister. My brothers are in between the two of us in age and are only 11 months apart. It makes me tired just thinking about this many kids so close in age! When I was growing up, my family had loads of Christmas traditions and my parents outdid themselves making Christmas absolutely magical for us. Only a few years ago I learned from my mom that back in the time of this photo, my dad actually took on a second job in the evenings, after we were in bed, just so that they would have enough money for Christmas gifts for us - a very special tradition I'd say.

Well, this is all then.


  1. I have a big sucker for Christmas story like that. It always brings tears to my eyes when I hear some parents work extra hard to give their children a wonderful Christmas. Childhood photos are fun. I'm glad you posted this. Your sister only 5 months old? She looks bigger than that in this pic. Or maybe it's because you were little yourself too.

  2. I loved the story and the photo. I love the idea of spending time together playing games and talking...sounds a little like my family! I hope your cold gets better soon!

  3. Love the post Jill..hope you are feeling better by now! I can't get over how much Emily looks like you!!!