holidays and celebrations

Art, Vacations, Summer

2017-05-18T14:46:02+00:00 July 14th, 2014|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

We frontloaded summer vacation this year, a week of family camp that's a beloved tradition, then a week at the beach in Southern California, a chance to prove to the kids that you actually can swim in the ocean, and time to hang out with all the grandparents. It was sweet. It was a relaxing blast [...]

Christmas and My Hamid Karzai Hat

2017-05-18T14:46:36+00:00 December 13th, 2013|holidays and celebrations, parenting|

I was smug at Thanksgiving when I didn't get the bug going around. The kids puked onto me liberally, they spiked 103 fevers. I handled it calmly, even pleasantly, and I didn't get sick. We had a nice Thanksgivikkuh! But if you believe in retribution, karmic payback came today. I got it, possible punishment for arrogance. 101 [...]

More and More Married

2017-05-18T14:46:52+00:00 September 26th, 2013|adoption, gay dads, holidays and celebrations|

I've been shocked by how changed I feel. I'm living with the same guy and kids, in the same place, same work, same dog, same cat. But a wedding, two adoptions, and a bridezilla reception has really changed how I feel in my life. The power of ceremonies and traditions shouldn't surprise me; there's a [...]

Watching from the Billboards Above

2017-05-18T14:47:03+00:00 August 15th, 2013|holidays and celebrations|

As we drove to San Francisco city hall to get hitched yesterday, Jay was startled to see a billboard for the AVA apartments on 9th Street. And flabbergasted this morning to see an ad for Avah perfume in the Times. It's not a common name to see in print—at least we thought it wasn't—and we'd [...]

In Love with Chuck E Cheese

2017-05-18T14:47:17+00:00 May 29th, 2013|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

Why do I find Disneyland completely enchanting and mesmerizing, and even enjoy Bass Outdoor World, but get the creeps at Chuck E Cheese? I know I'm getting a dose of how people who hate Disneyland feel. They call it fake, cynical, expensive, and I can abundantly agree about this other large rodent and his very loud [...]

Head Cold Christmas

2017-05-18T14:47:54+00:00 December 26th, 2012|holidays and celebrations|

Christmas was not the disaster I'd prepared for, it was a different disaster altogether.  I was ready for emotional upset from the kids, remembering other homes and Christmases, big drama. They did fine. My disaster was more usual: petty, insignificant, embarrassingly mundane. The headcold from hell probably caused it. Not a serious, wow-this-might-be-bronchitis type cold. Just [...]

I’ve Got the Music in Me

2017-05-18T14:48:01+00:00 November 18th, 2012|adoption, holidays and celebrations|

I grew up in Austin, Texas, live music capital of the country, so it was humbling to realize a few years ago that by far I'd seen local toddler band The Sippy Cups live more times than any other band my whole life. In fact, I had to admit they were perhaps my all time [...]

Fast, Fastly Forward

2017-05-18T14:48:09+00:00 November 8th, 2012|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

Halloween came and went, in a pumpkin-pulpy, sugary blur. The kids seemed stunned that we'd just knock on neighbors' doors, asking for sweets. I guess it is strange. But so much of their new life mush seem strange to them! They adjusted, the two year old sometimes replying "tank you" to the offered sweets, but [...]

Unappetizing Choices

2017-05-18T14:48:14+00:00 October 13th, 2012|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

I knew there was no winning this one: flu shot was not going to be popular. The sooner I told her what we were doing Saturday morning, the more the anxiety and upset could build. But the longer I waited, the worse the surprise would be. I opted for 20 minutes in advance, so she couldn't feel [...]

The Camping Box

2017-05-18T14:49:32+00:00 March 29th, 2012|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

What a lovely bittersweet feeling to dig out the camping box before our recent, disastrous camping trip. The charred cookware, chipped plastic plates, and other musty survivors of outdoor adventures past are like a little hope chest. The wishes and dreams of the naturalist, the visions of perfect forest visits and lovely outdoor excitement, and rest. As wonderful as [...]

An Unearned Feeling of Hope

2017-05-18T14:50:03+00:00 January 7th, 2012|holidays and celebrations, waiting and wanting kids|

Is it just the slightly longer days, or has something shifted and lifted? I'd say things are looking up. A caveat: Jay will tell you "things are looking up" can be used in my family after the worst announcements. For us, he claims, news of an ill relative, setback, stress or disappointment is followed by "but things are [...]

Magic Works Its… Magic

2011-12-20T15:38:04+00:00 December 20th, 2011|holidays and celebrations, waiting and wanting kids|

How do the pre-solstice, deep-in-winter, wanna hibernate blues lift? It's magic. Yes, recently I've lost heart, not fully, but in little bursts that slowed me down and kept me sidelined. Little lingering cold. Too much to do. Kinda blah. Nothing seemed to help. Nothing! Even yoga, which usually does wonders. Even spending time with both [...]

The Joy of the Holiday Card

2017-05-18T14:50:13+00:00 December 12th, 2011|holidays and celebrations|

I just love Christmas cards, annual holiday letters, and family photos that come in the mail. It doesn't make sense. David Sedaris' classic parody in Holidays On Ice should have done in the holiday letter for good: Many of you, our friends and family, are probably taken aback by this, our annual holiday newsletter. You've [...]