It’s been 3 weeks now since I completed my 365 project. I miss the challenge and I don’t. On one hand, it was nice to have that extra pressure to make sure we did something more than just lounge around in pajamas (I mean, we did that a ton even when I was doing the project, but still. I think I used to comb their hair more often.) but on the other hand, it’s also been sort of nice NOT to have that pressure. One of the objectives of last year’s project was to take in and notice the beauty in the everyday, the memorable moments in the ordinary. I think that perhaps sometimes the taking of the pictures actually took me OUT of the moment. So this year, my goal is to be more in the moment. Sometimes that means taking a picture, sometimes it just means making a memory.
I’ve noticed that since I’ve stopped forcing myself to take a “good camera” photo every day, I spend more time just watching. Not as much running for the camera is nice. I know our out-of-town relatives may miss the constant barrage of documentation, and by no means will I stop taking pictures (because yeah, like that’s gonna happen), but I am going to try to just get in there and live more.
To cover some of this month’s happenings-
On New Year’s Day, we had a wedding here. Fiona decided to marry her Daddy (a slightly controversial union, but we let it slide), and she asked me to be the wedding photographer. In an intimate ceremony in the living room, the bride and groom exchanged vows and then danced for quite some time. The wedding band was [a CD of] Rocknoceros. The bride wore a backwards mint green and brown plaid dress that she outgrew well over a year and a half ago, paired with a pair of hand-me-down suede boots with a killer heel. The groom wore his pajamas and a yellow hairbow that was repurposed into a bowtie. The guests were equally as informally dressed, wearing not much more than Spiderman panties and cat ears. It was truly lovely.
And since it is January in Canada, we’ve had snow. Snow, and snow, and snow. And snow. Last week it was finally snowy and also warm enough that I could bring my littlest little Canadian out to play in it. They had a blast.
Guess which baby is Canadian-born?
hint: It’s not the one whining her way through her third Edmonton winter.
Apart from playing in the snow (which is becoming a more popular activity now that I’ve started being able to convince Violet to actually leave her mittens on for more than 4 minutes at a time), we’ve been playing a lot of dress-up, enjoying trips to the science center, and hitting up IKEA quite frequently (It’s better than an indoor playground- fun toys to play with, delicious cheap food, it’s just a great day out). Fiona is taking gymnastics classes again, which she of course loves. Violet will be starting dance class later this week. I’m super excited for her. And since it’s a 2-yr-old class and requires parent participation, that means I will be attending dance class as well, so hurrah? And Bianca, as of last week, has fully mastered the army crawl and is into EV-RY-THING. Dog dishes, tv cables, vent covers, small hairbands, stray beads. It’s a full-time job keeping small things out of that baby’s hands and mouth. Which kind of works out to be a good thing, because my floors have never been cleaner.
In the kitchen this month-
Italian Christmas Cookies (Pastine Bianche)
We made the dough for these cookies on Christmas Eve day. Then we just had too many other cookies to bake, and presents to wrap, and too many stockings to stuff, and too many fireplaces to assemble. We stuck the dough in the fridge and left it sit. Days later, I decided that the dough had had quite enough time to mellow, and pulled it out and rolled and knotted and iced and sprinkled these little babies. They. Were. Delicious. And I ate way too many of them, because Nate is not partial to anise flavoring, and the girls only wanted to lick the frosting off of them. Meh. More for me!
Slow-cooker Spinach and Tortellini Soup with Artisan Bread
I’ve been trying out a couple new recipes for dinners, as well. When I saw my sister pin this soup recipe on Pinterest, I decided it looked amazing and needed to try it. It calls for a “white sauce” mix, which I couldn’t find, so I used an alfredo mix and it was yum. Nice and spicy, and even the girls liked it. Violet ate just the tortellini, and Fiona (surprisingly) loved the mushrooms and spinach. The bread I had made before, when I did my big freezer cook back in the spring. The name of the recipe (5 minute Artisan Bread) is a biiit misleading, as it takes significantly more than 5 minutes to make once you add in all the rising time. But it is super simple. And I like that the recipe makes enough dough for several loaves, and you can just tear off a bit each afternoon to make with several meals throughout the week. We had the first with this soup, and then I made up a couple more loaves that we used to make paninis a bunch of different times. Since we bought Nate a panini maker for his birthday, we’ve been rifling through lunchmeat a bit faster. (One night I did a ham and swiss panini, and then browned up and added in the rest of the mushroomsÂ and onions I had left over from making the soup…mmm so freaking good. If I had had some kind of brown gravy to dip it in it would have been even better.)
And that’s January so far. We’ve had some fun days, we’ve had some crummy lots-of-yelling days, we’ve had some lazy veg-in-front-of-the-tv days. But I’m in it. And it’s good.