Top ‘o the world!

We rang in the New Year from on top of a mountain in North Carolina at our friend’s cabin.  Being someone that has grown up around her fair share of cabins, when I hear that word I think of chinking, outhouses and candle light (I’m serious) and boy was I thrilled to be way off the mark!  We were greeted with a beautiful stone fireplace, a well stocked kitchen, surround sound, and best of all, a view that stretched on and out for about 150 miles.  No joke.  North Caroline, please be mine.

In all there were three families, five children, and that one gorgeous view.  We were able to squeeze in some time outside before the rain came, getting in a quick hike with promises of seeing The Bear Den.

The rest of the weekend looked a lot like this:

And this:

With a side of this:

And a visit from this guy for good measure:

We spent our days playing games, stirring pots on the stove, toasting to good friends, good food, and good balance, watching the kids explore a new place, and it all felt like we were being true to our life right now.  On New Year’s Eve at midnight, we stood on the porch watching the the distant pops of fireworks reaching up into the sky from all over the state of North Carolina, and I was acutely aware of feeling like we’ve got a good one ahead of us.  It felt also really good to have our little ones in the mix.  Or rather, it felt really honest.  I say that because I sometimes feel caught between feeling like I’m denying my new-ish role as a mother when I go out, while also finding myself feeling like I’m denying some part of my ‘former’ self in my seemingly full time job of keeping our couch from flying away in the evenings (she’s quite the flight risk).  The weekend felt honest because it struck that perfect and sometimes illusive balance between family time and adult time, where we delighted in helping the kids work on sharing and keeping fingers out of each others noses, but then after they hit the sack we had nights of laughing hard and letting our hair down.  Perfection.

I’m kind of hoping that we’ve stumbled on a new tradition, because I thoroughly enjoyed sipping champagne in my slippers, snuggling with Asher next to the fire, and setting the tone for a fantastic year to come.  Eyes on the prize.  Thank you 2010 for all that you’ve been, we like you.

Oh!  And remember how I said that I was going to have to work on taking pictures of something other than Asher’s eyelashes in 2011?

Ah well, maybe next year.


Year in Review

Team.  I did what every other blogger on the planet is doing right now, and put a year’s worth of pictures of our family into a photo montage set to music to share with our extended family, and possibly a stranger or two somewhere in Des Moines.  Is the awkward photo montage the awkward Christmas letter of the Internet?  Anyway, in doing this I realized two things: 1. I can look at my kid’s face all day long, and 2. We only have pictures of my kid’s face.  Goal for 2011: Take a picture or two of something other than Asher’s eyelashes.

This montage is long, but you know, years are like that, and I’m making no promises on entertainment value, but if you like our mugs, and seeing an infant start to emerge as a little boy, you might get a kick out of this.  Also, a few notes on the music: The first song, Mykonos, by Fleet Foxes is not really family-montage-appropriate-music, but it is the song that Drew and I listened to as we drove the incredibly, amazingly, never endingly long 1.7 miles to the Birthing Center to bring Asher into the world, and it gave me peace like no other music has.  It is galvanized into my brain as our Family Song, despite it’s very heavy undertones.  The second song, Home, by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, has been played so many times that people will probably be thinking, oh no, not that again! but here’s the thing.  The week that we brought Asher home, my friend Katie came to meet him, handed us a CD and said, listen to song number 6,  which was “Home” and I don’t think I stopped listening to it for 6 months.  It sounds like early morning feedings, and dancing with a little lump of love in the afternoons, and like our big future, and lots of love, and in my mind it will always sound like this year.  So there it is, you get to hear it again.  And the final song, Got to Get You Into My Life, by the Beatles, was the song that I hummed to Asher over and over as I waited for him to arrive.  Because that was true.

So there you have it!  365 days, 9 minutes, 3 songs, a thousand laughs, an equal amount of tears, two holiday turkeys, many grains of sand between the toes, one dog costume, two elf costumes, 3 birthdays and a partridge in a pear tree.  The Waltons are prancing into 2011 with our heads held high and sending you lots of lovelovelove.

Happy New Year!

Photo Essay

I have been sparing you my usual long-winded ramblings because it seems that there haven’t been enough hours in the day.  Briefly, I will say that we’re doing great, ready to take on 2010 with vigor and zeal.  Here’s a quick glimpse of life since the great snow WOW of 2009:

Asher continues to work on sitting up

Drew dug us out...with a garden shovel and a leaf rake!

Grace smiled for Santa

Asher had a play date. (This is my friend Autum's son, Xavier. Autum and I have been friends since 3rd Asher and Xavier can say that they've been friends since birth.)

Drew picked up some fake mustaches for the whole family...

but we think that Asher's was the most convincing.

Asher was a very good sport about posing for some Christmas pictures.

but really, enough is enough already.

We put the babies to bed and rang in the New Year with other new parents, and had one of the more fun New Year's Eve nights that we've had in a couple of years.

And now we're looking into the coming year for such excitement as a first tooth, a first step, and maybe a word or two...and so very much more.

So that’s the quick run down…more to follow, I promise!