Thursday, October 30, 2008

Visions of Sugar Plums

Actually, it's gingerbread houses, but I'm in serious sugar-laden holiday dreaming mode.  We're going to host a gingerbread house camp here in December.

Two years ago I picked up a gingerbread house how-to book at Whole Foods on a whim.  The book made it all sound so fun and easy that the kids and I actually decided to try it.  Making that house was hands down my favorite holiday activity ever.  I loved all the planning, the careful work and seeing the truly impressive house emerge.  More, though, I enjoyed the hours of sitting peacefully engaged in a compelling project with my kids, smelling lovely smells and hearing festive music .

Last year the frenzy of moving excluded the relaxing hours of food crafts, so I'm doubly looking forward to the project (though I think being housebound with Rosie's chicken pox may also have contributed to the relaxed pace of that particular holiday season).  Here is our beauty from 2 years ago.

Can't wait to see what 4 days of friend-inspired creativity will bring!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Chipper

One of the types of workouts I've been introduced to through the world of CrossFit is the "chipper".  This is some series of activities designed, essentially, to grind you up and spit you out in small, quivering pieces.  Something like this (from Eugene Crossfit):

50 Box jump
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings
50 Walking lunge steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

I like chippers because they are interesting and challenging.  They take what could otherwise be the same monotonous exercises and make it fun.

This past week was an emotional chipper for me.  Something like this:
  • Monday - Poor call-in connection disrupted and interfered with our teleconference history class, wasting the time and money of the teacher and a host of homeschool families.
  • Tuesday - Our awesome transracial adoption consultant challenged us on several of the many ways in which we place our white privilege priorities over our children's (especially Rosie's) needs for diversity.
  • Wednesday - A friend's teasing led me to an insight which helped me identify how often I operate out of the fear there is something truly wrong with who I am.
  • Thursday - More conversation with above friend that deepened my insight.
  • Friday - Rosie fell apart at choir, sending me into a frenzy of concern about her general emotional state these days and my lack of skills to help her present herself in socially appropriate ways.
Like the physical chipper workout, many of this week's activities were growth opportunities I sought out, even paid good money for.  And like the workout, I think the temporary havoc wreaked on my weak and trembling self creates great amounts of new strength and health.

Maybe someday I'll look back and think of it as fun, even.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2 Miles!

This morning the kids (and their parents) ran 2 miles!  

We're training for the Jingle Bell Run on December 14. It is one of our favorite winter activities.  The 5K through downtown sports people dressed as reindeer, elves and even presents.  True to it's name, everyone gets little bells to pin on their outfits.  The kids think it's a blast.

For extra fun, Bill and the kids are going to do the 2 mile Spooky Sprint at Magnuson Park at the end of October. November should find us mastering 3 miles (or 5K for you more modern types).  By the time we join the horde of Merry Runners in December we should all be finishing 3 miles with ease.

Wanna join us?