30 December 2014


'tis december

Tonight, remnants of snow and ice still blanket the ground, and the weight of winter hangs in the air. Inside, a rolling fire glows in the hearth. The dishwasher gurgles; the dryer hums. From one loft, I hear the clank of clashing colored pencils, the stage whispers and scribbles of colors upon a page. And from the other loft, an epic battle ensues. The distant cry of a Lego® ship shot down cuts through the night. ‘Tis December. 

Cyber Monday morning, I opened my eyes to a dream: blues skies and SNOW!! Do you see what I see?? I smiled to myself. And minutes before my husband and children departed for school, I leapt from my slumber with bedhead, morning breath and lofty aspirations: “Let’s take our Christmas picture!!” 

“Ohhhhhhhh,” winced Cole (9), followed right on cue by an eye roll from Miss Maya (10). “Do we have to take another boring family picture?” In walks Paul (40!!), dressed and ready to go. As he caught wind of my brilliant idea, his nose wrinkled as if he’d smelled something afoul (morning breath, perhaps). “The picture’s not going to be perfect, Ab, and we don’t have much time,” Paul gingerly began. No, no it won’t. And no, no we don’t. So with lunches to pack, teeth to brush, icy roads with which to contend and less than five minutes until departure time, I (38) let the idea go. 

That was a week ago. 

Since then, we’ve been to work and to school and back. We’ve made travel plans and flight reservations. The kids sang in a school Christmas concert. I completed a Pilates training, cleaned bathrooms and met with clients. Paul went to CrossFit and bought a property. Maya marched in a holiday parade and played in her first piano recital. Cole changed his shirt, went hawking with friends, and the bruise on his chin (too much fun on an ATV) has gone from black and blue to blush. We brought home and decorated Biggie Smalls (our Christmas tree) and listened to Jingle Bell Rock on the radio for the fifteenth time this month. The kids smiled without showing their teeth (try it sometime; it’s fun) for their passport photos, then we made sure to bear ALL our teeth as we finally giggled through this year’s Christmas picture.

The snow and ice that blanketed our lives last week has melted into our memories, and heavy rains have returned. Through it all, I’ve taken note and written several frustrating drafts of this letter to no avail. Tonight, Paul nods in and out of sleep on a red couch across the room, the kids thunder up and down (and up and down) the stairs to get water… to go to the bathroom… to get fresh air… to say goodnight (again)… and I am back in my chair. 

The days are long, but the years are short, I heard someone once say. Gone are the days when I could sit down without interruption and write this letter in a day, recap a year in page, get all four members of my family to happily sit still for a Christmas photo and get my kids to go to sleep at bedtime. 

Tonight, as the fire crackles, the tree twinkles, rain pounds on the roof, the kids’ breathing slows and I struggle to find the right words, a small voice whispers to remind me once more: The days are long, but the years are short. Our story is a work in progress, and the first draft is only the beginning, it says. 

The kids have settled to sleep, Paul has retired for the night, and sweet dreams beckon. I’m off to bed.  

Wishing you the merriest of holidays,
Abi, Paul, Maya and Cole

10 December 2014

first recital

boys' weekend

...and the boys spent the weekend in Eastern Washington.