September 1, 2014

Life, In Pictures {Vacation in Vermont}

A friend asked me this morning how our vacation was. "Great!" I responded. It was reflex. "Oh wait, no. Let me answer that again."

We wrapped up the summer by spending almost two full weeks in Vermont. The truth is that the first few days were busy ones running between houses (which is what happens to grown children of divorced parents), followed by a couple of very stressful days during which I was ready to pack up and head home early (which is what happens when it is rainy and the kids are and you are parenting solo), but it all ended with three amazing days. Phew.

The key to those amazing days? Sunshine, getting outdoors, and spending time with my stepsister's family, which meant my boys had other kids to play with. It was the first time we met my stepsister's new husband's kids (did you follow that?) and the four kids had a blast together...outside...which meant I was able to relax and enjoy visiting with everyone.

The kid-crew spent a whole afternoon building a "house" in the woods. When they showed it to us, there was even a "Private Property" sign propped in front of it. Waaaaaaaaaaait. Um, where did you get that sign from? The neighbors? Uh oh.... "Mom, don't you know when we say we are building a house we are literally building a house?!" Apparently.

What else did we do on vacation, besides "borrow" the neighbor's property?  Let's see...

August 30, 2014

Is September Too Late for Sangria? {Hint: No}

I don't share recipes very often and maybe it is a wee bit of a stretch to suggest that sangria has anything to do with happy parenting. Then again, maybe not. I'm not going to suggest anyone drink their way to being a happy parent. No, no.

But maybe, in the spirit of family fun, you want to plan a get-together with some friends and maybe, just maybe, you need a little somethin' to serve the adults.

In fact, that is exactly how this recipe came to be. We were planning our first big shindig at our new house - a 4th of July party with 40+ friends invited - and I really wanted to try my hand at sangria. It seemed the perfect drink to serve a crowd on a hot summer day (which ended up being cold and windy, but whatever!). If you have ever searched for a sangria recipe, you already know that the options are limitless. Trying to figure out which one will be the best one is a little overwhelming.

I ended up drawing from several different recipes to create my own - one white and one red. Both were tasty, but the white was definitely the star.  I've been dying to make it again, so I'm whipping up a pitcher for Labor Day festivities.

August 28, 2014

Multiracial Round-up: Where Race & Family Meet {August 2014}

So much to read this month and so much to share! Grab your coffee and cozy up. Let's jump right in...

August 26, 2014

What I Couldn't Tell My Son About Ferguson

I didn't intend to tell my son anything at all about Ferguson. I considered it something to share with children only on a need-to-know basis, and - as far as I was concerned - there was no reason for my 7-year-old to know what was happening.

He saw the footage purely by accident. After a day spent at a museum on our last day of vacation in Vermont, he curled up on his grandmother's couch to watch a recorded episode of America's Got Talent. When the show ended, the channel defaulted to the local six o'clock news and images of the Ferguson riots were flashing on the screen. "What is happening?" he asked me, his eyes fixed on the television. "What is going on?"

August 24, 2014

On First Day of School Eve: A Lesson For My Boys

This morning was my turn for a "lazy morning." My husband got up with the boys, and I lay in bed reading. I opened the bedroom curtains to let the sunlight in and allow the view of the mountains in the distance, enjoying the quiet hour to myself. Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed the door slowly creeping open, and I looked up to see which of my two children was hoping to slip in for a hello. I held up the bedcovers to let Zip slide in beside me, overlooking his already-dirty feet.

He eagerly snuggled up next to me, and I caught myself wondering at how my baby had gotten so big. Tomorrow is the first day of school and milestones always seem to amplify the way time has changed things, like a before and after picture. In this case I caught a glimpse in the rearview mirror of the 8-pound, brown-eyed baby I had brought home; curled up beside me was curly-haired, dimple-faced, long-legged 7-year-old. He told me about the turtle pond he is dreaming of building in our backyard - how big it should be and the turtles that will make it home.

"Do you know what today is?" I asked him, when he finished. At least, I think he was finished. Turtle-ponds are a frequent topic of conversation lately.


"Yeeeeeeeees. And it is the last day of summer vacation. School starts tomorrow," I reminded him (for the 100th time, because I tend to get a bit overzealous when it comes to planning and change). This was the perfect time to have our yearly back-to-school chat, the one we initiated when he began kindergarten.