Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Feeling Thankful

I've been contemplating our autumn and how much there has been to be thankful for. Both sets of grandparents came to visit, it was a harvest season full of bounty and deliciousness, my astronomy writing job is going well, and we explored Utah outside of our own city more than we have before.

Hiking in the mountains

We left the girls overnight for the first time with our friend Haley and Rob, Lewis, and I went up to Park City for a little mountain getaway. We stayed at a really lovely hotel (fancy hotels are SO NICE; that is a very creative thought of mine, isn't it?) and rode up a ski lift to do a little hiking and had such a fun time. It blows my mind a little that it won't be that long before we could leave ALL THREE CHILDREN with friends and actually be away just the two of us.

Up another ski lift!

Riding a ski lift in summer or autumn is my new favorite thing. Grace and I did it again during our visit from Rob's parents when we took them up to one of the ski resorts. That was a LONG ride, over an hour roundtrip including the little bit of walking we did at the top, and it was amazing. It's crazy to realize that this is all covered in snow now; maybe this is the year I will give skiing or snowboarding another try. ALL FOR THE SKI LIFTS. Seriously, they are the best part.

Heading back town to the valley

Not that the scenery is too shabby in the city itself:


Seriously, you guys, Utah is amazing. That is just the view on one of my running routes from our house.

Pear + vanilla bean jam

This was my most productive year yet for preserving, and also the year that might convert me to finally labeling my jars with what they contain. I have enough jars this year that I'm not entirely sure which jam is which. I also might try to do some non-sweet foods next year; I've realized that I pretty much just did jams and fruit and apple butter and that kind of thing. Considering that I'm trying to shift away from eating sugar regularly, this might not be the best plan for me. Oh well, the girls like it and it all makes good Christmas gifts. And it is SO SO SO FUN.

Bird + fairy

We had a fun Halloween, with our sweet birdie and fairy. (Gotta love hand-me-downs, right?) I wasn't sure how that bird costume was going to turn out while it was still in process. When I was sitting there cutting out those feathers from my bins of fabric scraps, I was pretty sure she was going to look like she was wearing a quilt. By the time I'd gotten about halfway up sewing them on in layers, I felt more OK about it, and the overall effect with the mask is good. I did show it to a few friends without telling them what it was supposed to be to ascertain if it was obvious, or just crazy looking. And then I never know what to do with all the candy; maybe we'll become one of those buy-back-the-candy families.

Our autumn has been full of things to be thankful for, but it has been hard too. Life with Violet is hard right now. She is amazing and beautiful, creative and super smart, but she is so frustrated so much of the time, and coping with life does not come easily for her. We did decide to give her a break from preschool for a while and that has helped, and we also decided to get a professional perspective on what kinds of changes we should make. That's still a few weeks off but I have hopes that it will help. And then Lewis is, well, a toddler-- a normal piano-climbing, drawer-emptying, house-trashing toddler. It's a challenging convergence of intense needs that has me struggling, I admit. At the same time, I am fiercely thankful for this season of my life. It's flashing by like autumn rushing into winter.