So much Christmas

The month seems to be melting away as if it were made of ice cubes and snow instead of minutes and days.
So much Christmas, so little December...


lucky to live on this street

A thin film of dust on the china suggested the absence of regular use, but while I washed dishes I decided to look at it as the triumph of hope over experience.  We don't host many dinner parties, aren't skilled at timing the details, but were excited about the idea of trying.  Last year we were just in charge of drinks.  This year Andy woke up before the sun to smoke a brisket.
At least part of the reason we organized the progressive dinner again this winter is because it meant something to us, gathering neighborhood friends around kitchen counters, around dining tables, around fire places.  But isn't that how the best traditions are born?  You don't do them so that they'll become traditions, you do something because you love it and then you gradually realize that if you don't do it anymore, you'll miss it.
We're definitely doing it again next year.
1.  table set #inglisprogrodinner
2.  meat sword #andysmeat via jferris9674
3.  Mimi Rausch's whiskey sour punch #pinkiesout via jnferris
4.  cheers
5.  centerpiece via jnferris
6.  grateful for grandparents who babysit!


merry and bright

Tolliver has not had the merriest orientation this month.  In fact, Andy has taken to calling him a threenager.  He spends most of his time face down on the floor, pounding his fists in protest, and I find myself praying for more patience than I may have access to.

But he is capable of being such a sweet little angel.
He talks about things I don't even notice.  As I listen, parsing the most important parts, so many times it turns out that he is talking about something I was totally oblivious to: A rock that's shaped just like a boot! The moon there in the daytime sky! That spider web attached to the doorbell! Four trees that look just like a family, mother, father, two boys! So many things I didn't see until he told me to look.

Like as I was getting ready to have drinks with a friend last week, having not spent much time in front of the mirror but rather ready to run out the back door as Andy rushed in:  Mama, it looks like you still need to get your hair in shape. 
He explains how things work, solves problems in simple terms, wonders about the world.

At the dinner table, talking about beef: Cows make meat, but they make milk too. It comes from their pipes. I mean their pistons. You have to squeeze it out into a bucket. 

Having been told he was wearing his sister's old holiday jammies: I wish that someday we could get Celia back.  
Someday I might be able to explain to him that he brings her back, a little bit every day, in the most magical ways.

Settling on the couch for early morning cartoons, him on my lap:
What will I do when you get too big for me to hold, I asked: Then I will just hold you.

In the back seat of the car, conversing with his brother:
Hey Tollie, I want to be a scientist, what do you want to be when you get big?
A daddy! with zero hesitation.
No, I mean what job do you want to have?  What will you do to make money?
I don’t know. 
You could be a nurse. You could be a nurse and a daddy.
Yes! That's what I'll be, a nurse AND a daddy! as if a bright future suddenly revealed itself to him.

May he always, on the best days of his life and in the darkest hours of the night, have a mostly merry and a very my-future-is-bright inner meditation.  May we all...


photos from the past few weeks

lego control panel (and crazy hair)

overnight with cousin William

researching food chains and slingshot designs

books at breakfast

"mouse house" 

shooting hoops, and Daddy's new shoes

keeping an eye on the neighborhood

grill supervisors

packing his school bag

snacks and books


O Christmas Tree



We walked past a dead rabbit in the alley on the way to pick up Tuck from school.  Tollie tried to convince me that the rabbit was just sleeping.  I wondered aloud whether the road was a good place for a nap.  He argued it was a fine place for a tired rabbit to rest.
When we tell him we need to run to get coffee, he swears the coffee store is closed.  And the haircut store is never open.  And his pediatrician is too busy to check him over.
On school days he tries to convince us that Miss Rosa is sleeping.  And that all his friends are sick.
He insists that he does not speak English, that I am not female.  That he is not a nice brother, is not a great sharer, is no good at reading.
He is confident that Santa cannot see him and that THERE ARE NO ELVES WATCHING.

He is sure that he is six years old.  He is convinced that big boys can light candles.  He knows that he has a sister.

Where is truth, I wonder?  Where is what's real when the world around us feels way truer than the invisible thing that purportedly holds it all together.  Can belief and disbelief coexist?

Sometimes I think Tollie thinks he can believe something so hard he becomes right.

Sometimes I wish I could do the same.


from the phone

1.  vintage OSU #ohiostatement
2.  arms full
3.  brisket nachos
4.  brisket breakfast
5.  brown bear, brown bear
6.  "bus" stop
7.  fire chief
8.  birthday morning
9.  Grandview Cookie Jar
10.  Garden of Constants
11.  surprise doughnut delivery #goodieshop
12.  cousin sleepover via ccoyle9777
13.  model trains at COSI
14.  Wyman Woods with William
15.  WildLights at the Columbus Zoo
16.  advent wreaths at BSPC
17.  wine at Spagio
18.  Buckeye Bounce
19.  kiwi crate catapult construction #precoffee
20.  little elf