Peace, Independence Day, and the Winsor Trail

This Independence Day, I have found myself reflecting on context of the Declaration of Independence, and how Americans still strive and fight for the same ideals today.  In 1776, the Declaration identified the values on which this new nation would be founded and the philosophy of this new government.  America was born as a country in which all people are created equal and have the same basic rights, and the purpose of government would be to secure these "God-given" human rights including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The colonists had seemingly unwavering hope and faith in the creation of this new nation, mutually pledging "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor" to these free and independent states.

Yet, despite this foundation composed of freedom and equality for all human beings, here we are, almost 250 years later, still fighting for equality and justice in our country.  We still live in a country where people are discriminated…

Books of 2017


And just like that, 2017 is half over (what?!).  In six months I have traveled to four states, celebrated my sister's wedding, hosted almost a dozen visitors, watched a newborn baby learn to crawl, sit, and eat solid food, started Half Marathon training, maximized my crock pot use, savored "me time" with a happy hours and a few pedicures, and read a lot of great books.  Here are a few of my favorites from the first half of the year, with my complete 6-month list below.  (Ady's favorite books, for the record, are ones about animals, especially if the pages contain fuzzy textures!)  Ahh, if only there were enough time to read everything.

Top 10 so far for 2017...
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
The Last Mile, by David Baldacci
North Haven, by Sarah Moriarty
State of Wonder, by …

Tuesday Tidbits: Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!  Summer is a time for energy, socialization, music, exercise, and celebrating life.  It's a time for watching the sunset, hiking in the mountains, watching the trees and flowers blossom, listening to kids laughing in the backyards, and enjoying cocktails on patios with friends.  There is so much to do in Santa Fe in the summer -- art festivals, live music, the Farmer's Market, free movies, restaurant events, beer and wine festivals, Folk Art Market, the opera, and the list goes on!  Ahh if only there was enough time for everything.  Here are a few tidbits about life lately...

1.  We enjoyed the first week of this year's Music on the Hill series last week!  This is a weekly, family-friendly event every summer at St. John's College, exhibiting a variety of musical performances throughout the season.  The first week featured a jazz flutist.  Although the air in Santa Fe has been hot and smoky lately, I'm glad we were able to spend some time outsi…

Ady's Baptism Weekend

Last weekend we celebrated little Baby Adyson's baptism.  It was a very special few days of family, nature, community, and love.  The journey that led us to this celebration actually began several months ago, before Ady was even born, and involved many discussions about our roots and values.

I grew up Catholic, sang in the church choir, served as a lector and Eucharistic minister, and got confirmed and married in the Catholic church.  While I have never agreed 100% with the teachings of Catholicism, I appreciated the community that the church offers and the traditions that connect people throughout time and around the world.  I am not a religious person, but I believe that going to church cultivates good habits; I thought I would always belong to a church to some extent, and that it would always be a Catholic church.  

Jaycob and I sustained many frustrations during our marriage preparation four years ago as we dutifully fulfilled the requirements of the church to plan our wedding,…

High Altitude Baking: Apple Muffins

Life with a 6-month-old is hectic.  Where does the time go?!  Between diaper changes, 3 a.m. feedings, laundry (and more laundry), tracking the milestones, daycare pickup and dropoff, doggie daycare pickup and dropoff, and two parents working full-time, it feels like an accomplishment just to make it through each week alive, but we're adapting to our new routine and celebrating Baby Ady's achievements!  Now that she is six months old we have started introducing solid food.  We're allowing her to take the lead by showing interest in food and bringing it to her mouth.  We tried some peas, a few cooked carrots, avocado, sweet potato, and a baked apple slice.  She held everything in her mouth but it all eventually ended up on her bib (and in her lap).  We'll keep trying!
This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week at our daycare center.  There was a theme each day and the director encouraged parents to bring little gifts throughout the week as a thank-you to our amazing te…

Yarn Projects

My commitment to knitting and crocheting waxes and wanes throughout the year, but I had some time during my maternity leave to work on a few projects.  I finally finished my temperature blanket that I've been creating for over a year!  The concept of the temperature blanket is to knit a row each day based on the high temperature for the day, and the result is a random rainbow of colors representing the weather and seasons throughout the year.  It was really special to me because I was pregnant for 9 months of the year in 2016, so it's also a testament to my pregnancy experience with little Ady.  I like to look at the colors and remember where I was and what I did during the months of the year.

I didn't exactly follow a pattern with the stitches, but I did a seed stitch pattern of alternating knits and purls, a simple pattern that lays flat when finished.  I then created a basic crocheted border with double crochets.

One of my recent students gave me a beautiful book of knitt…