1. I took a breakfast breads class with a friend last week, and learned to make this beautiful fruit and nut braid. This loaf--which I made at home a few days later--was a tiny, tiny bit dry (you really have to be careful not to work in too much flour), but it was still incredible with a wedge of slightly salty cheese. (Another winner? These drop scones, which we made with frozen raspberries and chocolate chips for the class. So great to pull out of the freezer to bake on a busy morning. Or rather, to have ready for Sweet Husband to pull out of the freezer and bake, because he's the breakfast chef 'round these parts.)
2. Jumping right into the very serious now, a few articles I want to share re: gun control. I've been somewhere near here for years (summary: we're making this too much of a binary debate), but I'm heading rapidly towards here (summary: responsible gun owners have had their chance to help inform reasonable regulation and they've resisted even the smallest things, so eff them and their damn guns).
Also, as a liberal in a conservative state, this one really spoke to me (summary: I should have some freedom not to be around guns and particularly to choose not to send my kids to a school with guns). I'm not super afraid that it would happen where I live (because Kansas is conservative, but Lawrence is very liberal), but the second they let teachers have guns in the classroom is the second I will start selling my body on the street, if needs be, to send my kids to private school.
3. Little Miss got her first dramatic hair cut the other day. I was a bit sad about it. I love brushing and playing with her hair. But she did not love me brushing or playing with her hair, so my feelings had to yield to "her body, her rules". She went straight for the pixie cut, and has had no regrets. Although I do my best not to show it, I'll confess here, where she can't read it yet, that I'm still wistful for her longer locks. That being said, it is an awfully cute style, especially when it's a little mussed up in the mornings.
4. We watched a lot of Olympics this year, particularly ice skating. I got really into ice dancing (still following the ShibSibs everywhere and digging deep into the historical archives of Tessa and Scott), but I also spent a lot of time thinking about how often skaters fall during their routines. It began as annoyance at the scoring system, but ended up being a pep-talk-from-the-universe.
Consider: Ice skaters work for years for that two minutes on the ice, and then to fall? Can you imagine? But then they pop back up and smile and keep skating and even the worst one is still better at ice skating than, literally, all but 20 or 30 people in the whole world. And, yes, obviously it would be preferable to land the jumps, but the reason they fall is that they're trying to do something really hard. They could easily do routines where they would not fall, but then no one would care because lots of people can do the easy stuff.
I'm just saying that if you, personally, find yourself falling down a lot, maybe think about whether it's actually because you suck at life, or, rather, because you're trying to do the equivalent of landing a triple-triple combination in precarious shoes on ice at the Olympics. If it's closer to the latter, you should keep trying, of course, but also be kind to yourself when you get some of that telltale ice residue on your fancy costume.
5. As you may have supposed from the title of this post, our house is officially for sale this week. It's partly because we have the old girl all shined up, but I'm having tangled-up feelings about letting her go. If it were just Sweet Husband and I, I could let diaphanous things like "the late afternoon winter sun in the dining room" count for more, but the kiddos require us to consider more practical factors like bedrooms and bathrooms. As we were signing papers early this week, our Nice Realtor astutely observed that we are "taking good care of our flock" by moving. We are--and I wouldn't do otherwise--but that still doesn't mean I'm ecstatic.
I don't normally listen to TED talks, but I caught part of this one the other day about not being afraid of hard or complicated feelings, and it felt like another communique from a greater power trying to tell me something. My natural tendency is to stuff down my sadness--nobody likes a whiner--but I'm not sure that's always the best way. Particularly with this flavor of sadness--one that's mixed with nostalgia and gratitude and memories and "my baby was born right there"--it might not be a "bad" emotion that needs to be driven away as fast as possible, but, rather, one to sit down and have a cup of coffee with.
6. OK, but now for a really important question. We've started doing family movie night and I'm looking for good titles to add to the list. Here is what we have so far. What classics am I forgetting? Special emphasis on movies that are both kid-appropriate (although I'm somewhat lenient there) and will also further their pop-cultural education.
7. Also, another super important question (which I will leave you with, before this turns from "brain floaties" to "here is my whole brain, every single thought"): what do you think about 2-piece suits for little girls? Little Miss is required to have a tank suit for school, but I'm considering this 2-piece for home and swim lessons. The modesty part doesn't bother me. (She's 3; she could swim nekkid for all I care.) What I'm wondering is, will it make it easier for her to go to the bathroom independently? Discuss!