All posts tagged: VA

Boycotting my to-do list

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath This time of year always sneaks up on me.  Although my family celebrates Christmas with gifts, I like to pretend that I maintain a bit of separation from some of the crazed consumerism that takes over around the holidays.  (I may also pretend it’s because I have lofty ideals about the real spirit of the holidays, but mostly I’d just rather be doing other things [like catching up on editing these photos from November] and I really don’t like to shop. 🙂 ) However, about three weeks before Christmas, something happens.  Whether it’s the holiday music playing when I write out our cards (I do send cards, at least), the festive commercials between segments of Love Actually (my favorite!), or even the glittering displays at Target (which I finally start to acknowledge after Thanksgiving), a mild panic starts creeping in. I realize that I can’t check out of Christmas altogether after all and that I do actually …

Celebrating imperfection

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali I sometimes live in two worlds.  The real one and the one in which I’m Martha Stewart.  When living in the real world I do things like go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving (like this year, woo-hoo!).  When living in I-am-Martha-Stewart world, I do things like invite people over for a holiday dinner, spend weeks obsessing about how to pull off a perfect meal complete with themed cocktails (the pomegranate mimosas were delicious, actually) and turn into a not-so-nice crazed woman (my poor husband) the day of. I love to cook.  And I love sharing that love and good food with my family and friends.  It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve come to realize that I’m not Martha Stewart.  (Wait, what?)  In dream world, I could pull off a magazine-worthy spread.  But in real life, I’m actually not so great under pressure (even if it is self-induced). Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to realize it’s much more enjoyable for me …

driftwood sculpture art

Life is too short not to stop the car

Dinosaur? Bird? Dinosaur bird?  My husband and I couldn’t decide.  I’ve been driving past this driftwood sculpture along the river for weeks, thinking what a nice photo op it would make.  Last week, we finally decided to stop the car and check it out. Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts about minimalism, busyness, and aligning priorities with values in my life.  It’s a continuing effort (and will remain one), but I had a nice chance to put my thoughts into action by deciding to stop the car for the dinosaur bird.  Even though on this particular day I would have rather continued on my way home, my husband and I took advantage of a little free time to go check it out. And I was glad we did.  It was a great photo op and the impromptu adventure brightened my mood and my day. This post was inspired by the “No Time to Waste” prompt this week.  I especially enjoyed these other takes on this prompt: a reminder that it’s okay to waste time too from LifeInFrame and a reminder to make time for …

First-time parent discoveries

“Life must be lived as play.” – Plato We discovered Jones Point Park in Alexandria a few weeks ago and entered the world of tot lots.  I’ve discovered all sorts of things I never knew existed before having a kid. Often, it’s mundane things like coping with the seeming barrage of sick days. People told me kids get sick a lot. They didn’t tell me that my husband and I would get sick a lot too. Hello, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Another eye-opener was finding a way to discreetly excuse myself to pump while travelling for work (and joining legions of nursing moms who’ve resorted to airport/conference hall/restaurant bathrooms).  I always wonder if anyone has had security called in for a suspicious “wheh, whon, wheh, whon” noise in the ladies restroom.  (Yay, California for progress in that area, at least in airports.) I discover lots of fun stuff too. Like tot lots.  Until my son became mobile, we didn’t have much need for kid-specific entertainment outside the home.  (Grocery shopping can be a surprisingly rich …