Showing posts from December, 2016

Books of 2016

Ahh, if only there were more time to read all the books I want to read!  2016 was another successful year of completing my "Reading Challenge."  This year I surpassed my goal and finished 54 print or electronic books (including 2 short stories) and 43 Audiobooks, allowing me to explore a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, classics, humor, mysteries, sci fi, autobiographies, as well as several maternity and motherhood books as we welcomed our baby girl!  I listened to a lot of audiobook memoirs by present-day comedians and entertainers (Amy Poehler, Sara Bareilles, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler, David Sedaris, etc.), explored some new authors and ones local to New Mexico, read a selection from Emma Watson's feminist book club, and also reaffirmed that historical fiction is my favorite genre (especially when there's a good plot).  I didn't like all of the books I read this year, which is okay too, but most of them were great.  My "Thursday Night Wine/Book Club&…

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Three creatures were stirring, and keeping out the mouse.
The stockings were hung and the tree was still intact;
If St. Nicholas comes hopefully the dog won't attack.

The cat was nestled snug in one of her many beds,
As visions of catnip danced in her small head.
With a dog on my legs and a baby in my lap,
I can say goodbye to any chance of a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a noise,
But the lazy dog didn't even bark, as she was playing with her new toys.
I took a quick glance out the back window,
As I wandered to the kitchen to open another bottle of Pinot.

The adobe rooftops were lined with luminarias and farolitos,
While children, warm inside, enjoyed hot chocolate and biscochitos.
The smell of PiƱon from the fireplaces filled the winter air,
While bellies were full of enchiladas and New Mexican fare. 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Awakened the coyotes in the arroyo.
They howled into …

Borrego Bear Wallows

"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory."  -Gary Zukav
Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter.  It's a day that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas and planning New Year's Eve celebrations, and it's easy to forget this day when it feels like winter started weeks ago.  But it's also a day that can hold deep meaning and significance.  The Winter Solstice is a time for renewal, contemplation, and nourishment.  It's a time to turn inward and to reflect.  It offers an opportunity for creativity and imagination.  It's a time to give thanks and celebrate friendships.  This year more …

Holiday Baking

'Tis the season for shopping, caroling, mittens and boots, curling up with warm drinks, winter walks in the fresh snow, and of course baking yummy dishes to share!  We had a heat wave in Santa Fe last week that made it really hard to get into the Christmas spirit, but this weekend we finally got a fresh dusting of snow and it's feeling more like winter.  (Thankfully the temperature is still in the teens and 20s, not 25 below zero like it is back home in Minnesota!  Yikes!)

I'm about halfway through my maternity leave with Baby Adyson, and while I am loving every minute of it sometimes it's impossible to find more than 30 minutes of waking time with two free hands in a day.  I'm so thankful for my crockpot, Keurig machine, and stand mixer, not to mention our generous friends who have brought us homemade meals twice a week since Ady was born.  I don't know what we would do without such amazing people in our lives!

Although I'm obsessed with holiday baking, I ha…