i have lamented here before about january being a rough month for me. quickly february is approaching, and sorry friends, but if there is anything i can't stand more than january, it is february...

but this is not a post in which i will rag on how frigid cold it has been, or what a ridiculous amount of snow we have received - that my child refuses to play in, or how it becomes dark shortly after lunch-time. 

no, this is a post of a different nature. because who wants to hear read me complain? rather than whine about january, which i sure if you are reasonable you have already been doing your fair share of, i am going to list the good and lovely things that have been getting me through this month. hopefully you can celebrate these things with me, or maybe take a few ideas from this list. and if you can think of anything to add - you are welcome to.

without further adieu...

lebo's list of stuff that january does right:

1 / indoor florals. somehow grocery store flowers just seem a thousand times more delightful than they would during those warm green months. i appreciate them so much more during these cold and grey days.

2 / two words: crock. pot. throw a roast in, chop up an onion, a couple potatoes, and as many carrots as you can fit. a package of french onion soup sprinkled on top, a few bay leaves, a bunch of water. then let it cook up all day, and eat it all weekend long. we love to pick at this throughout the day, like a perpetual cozy meal. 

3 / forts, tents, play-house, whatever you want to call them, they make everything better when you are cooped up. so grab some sheets, your dining room chairs, and a few clothes pins and assemble a cozy spot for your whole family. take the cushions off the sofa and pile up every blanket you can find. then leave it up for the rest of the winter. 

4 / girl scout cookies. enough said. heck with healthy new years resolutions!

5 / or, bake some cookies. for me the rewards of baking are two-fold: i get to enjoy whatever i have just baked, and i get to warm up the house by cranking up the oven. this week our sweet neighbors snow-blowed our driveway and walkway. they actually do this every snow-storm, and will never accept anything in return, other than baked goods. it was all the excuse i needed to be thrown into a baking frenzy. bread! carrot cake! cookies! and chlo loved helping me. 

so, do you have any other simple ways to stay warm and cheery during the winter? leave them in the comments - february is fast approaching and i am going to need them!



"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

while helping me make some cookies for our neighbors, she discovered the sugar bowl: "momma, it smells delicious!"

a few of my favorites from this past week:

one of my favorite parts of doing this project is discovering other parents who are snapping photos of their children each week, but full wolf moon does this daily - and all of the portraits of her two littles this week are amazing. / the stunning red hair and bright post-nap eyes of this little one are breath-taking. / a little one who got into momma's lipstick, and one up on tippy-toes ready to go - i love how these moments were captured.

joining in with jodi this week.


"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014"

it was one of those rare occasions where i took out my camera and she sat down right in front of it to have her portrait taken without any prompting.

a few of my favorites from this past week:

a sweet portrait taken while at a restaurant (can be a bit tough with a little one, but yes, so special too!) / portraits of these adorable travelers soaking up sunny warm days / a trio of stunning portraits - the happiness on their faces is what struck me.

joining in with sweet jodi.


so... christmas is over. 

i feel that is how every conversation i have starts anymore. christmas is over, and now it is january. there is not a whole lot that is fabulous about january. it is cold, the days are short - and dark, and all you have to look forward to is march. because who ever looks forward to february?

february is historically my worst month. i loathe february. it's not that i hate valentine's day, or that i  don't appreciate that it is the shortest month of the year... i just hate the waiting involved in it. after christmas is over i can enjoy the first week or so of january - it is the begining of a new year, and so therefore it deserves a little bit of observation and appreciation. i can give it that. for about a week, and then it is over for me. i am ready for spring.

which won't arrive for at least another six long weeks. sooo, the cabin fever sets in, and i start getting stir-crazy. i cut my own hairs every other day out of boredom, and neglect shaving my legs, my kiddo gets colds which keep us inside on even the warmer days, and we watch waaaay tooo muuuuuch sesame street. it's not the worst rut to be in, but it's a rut.... a funky one.

so what do i do? i scrub my floor. 

there is something about doing this that makes me feel oddly accomplished, in control even on the most confining of days, and perhaps even makes me feel a little bit happy to have been stuck inside. i turn on music, or an audiobook, and bask in the aroma of pine detergent while taking in the sounds of the lykke li pandora station (which has been amazing lately!). a gentle soreness settles into my upper arms as i scrub, and i like how it feels, and how it warms my body. sometimes thoughts come into my head, and then they quickly leave as i continue to scrub. i find myself without worries while performing my scrub, forgetting about all the things that i should be doing, forgetting about the places i would like to go, forgetting about the cold and dark, and just focusing all my energy and thought on getting my dirty floors and grout as pristine as possible with my own two noodle arms. once i am done i look at the clean cool floor and sit there for a while taking it in and enjoying the work of my arms that now feel like cold left-over spaghetti, in the best way possible.

it's like a free therapy session.. which ends with clean floors.


so, how do you deal with cabin fever?



"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."
on the counter top, eating apples... as usual.

a few of my favorites from this past week:

this sweet little one sleeping, full and happy  /  a stunning portrait of a girl with golden tangles  /  the biggest smile, the funnest mess.

joining in with jodi.


" a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

a runny nose. a couple new teeth erupting. her favorite blanket. no clothes. a little sesame street. a few stolen cuddles. sometimes mornings aren't easy.

joining in with jodi.


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
this is how we will finish 2013. with a portrait of chloe, on the counter again, as we made holiday cookies. this bit of the kitchen has become her perch. her place. this is where her and i connect - where we quite literally see eye-to-eye. this is where i sit her to help her zip her coat, and where i comb her hair before we leave the house. this is where we bake, make messes, and eat toast together. this was the year of the kitchen counter, and of so many other good memories in our home.

i have taken a bit of a break from this blog over the holidays, and it has been good. it feels good to not pick up my computer for full days at a time. i like to disconnect sometimes. and in the cold, dark, winter months - it is easy to. it has been good to reflect, to think about this new year, and to set some new goals for myself, and gain a bit of focus over the past couple weeks. but alas, i am back, and ready to share little bits of our days, some of the fun we have, pictures, books, crafts, recipes, and so on. i am thinking of taking a much simpler approach to my little blog this year... probably less marathon posts, and more frequent smaller bits. while i love to sit down and write my ever-loving mind out, more abbreviated, more edited, and more focused posts are what you are going to see around here.... at least most of the time.

yes, i will be doing the 52 project again. i loved doing it this year, and will soon have a new post up.

happy 2014 friends! i hope yours is off to a lovely start!


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

just now getting around to playing catch-up with the last of chlo's 2013 weekly portraits. this was our holiday card photo, and yes,  i shamelessly bribed her with that candy-cane you see in her little hand.

hope your holidays were warm and bright!

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