Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Wrapping {Up}

ahhh... the end of a very big year of change.

I look back on the year and I just feel like there was so much movement. It was so very nice to have the holidays to ground us with tradition and also time with each other as a family.

St. Nicholas
St Nicholas Day

We had our first Christmas at home with just the boys and Ivan and I and it was nice to start making our own traditions.

Christmas Jammies
The boys wearing their Christmas PJ's

There were joyful times with visits from extended family and day trips to celebrate with my parents.
Nico and Lola
Nico and his beloved Lola

I realized during this time how rich I am with so many amazing people in my life that bless me with their friendships. During the break from our normal routine, it was wonderful to share in the holiday spirit with them
Making cookies at my friend Jenny's beautiful, warm home

...with her adorable son close-by to assist :)

The Wee Ones
A wonderful morning of playdate mayhem at our house with almost a dozen kids running around, but SO worth it to have these yummy little ones to sit on my lap and their mamas to visit with!
Thank you Nicola, Liz and Robin!

Santa and the Birthday Fairy were quite generous this year and I received a pretty red ring... a Canon L series lens
Red Ring

Which I was able to take into San Francisco (all by myself!) for the day to practice new techniques I've been working on
panning the camera to keep an object in motion in focus

shooting in manual mode to learn how to create the silky waterfall effect

and time to play in Union Square

It was a lovely holiday season and a wonderful way to wrap up a busy year.
I'm wishing you, my friends, a magical year full of love and joy!

3 crazy boys

Friday, December 3, 2010

Merriment and Warmth


After a long hiatus, my beloved Inspiration Circle got together this past week for a few hours of crafting and fun. It was really wonderful to spend some time at my friend Andrea's gorgeous home which is full of creativity and handmade love. I thought I'd share a few images of the works of my talented friends and the lovely setting we gathered in...

Emanuela brought her charming knitted Christmas elves!

Najma showed off the gorgeous knits that she will be selling at a local crafts faire
najma's goodies

Andrea works on the socks her son requested for Christmas (isn't that sweet?!)

and I worked on a few tiny Waldorf dollheads to be made into finger puppets :)
little head

There is always so much inspiration to be found in Andrea's beautiful home. She made this fantastic Advent Calendar by hanging envelopes simply stamped...
Advent Calendar

...filled with holiday daily activities

I love the gorgeous knit tulips that she makes as gifts!

As our home doesn't have a fireplace or mantel, I really do take pleasure in hers so happily decorated for the holidays

As always, it was such a joy to take time out of our busy days to simply sit and bask in the warmth of friendship. Listening to Emanuela share a tomato sauce recipe in her lyrical Italian voice, watching knitting needles busily flying... it's nourishment to my soul.

Thank you my dear, crafty mama friends near and far for sharing your talents and inspiration. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful holiday season full of love and light!


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bean is 2 !

Bean is 2!

Happy Birthday, my little rock star!

Friday, November 19, 2010

{this moment}

.. and so they rest
After playing at the park on an unseasonably warm afternoon, they lay their heads down

... and so they rest...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Nico!


You have your own very special way of looking at the world, my crazy, wonderfully exuberant little boy! I so am blessed that you share that view with me!
Thank you for filling my heart with so much joy and love. Your smile brightens my world and your laughter is the music that fills my soul.

Happy 4th Birthday, my
beloved Nico Lico Lay Lo!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Autumn Corner

Nature Table 2010

I love Autumn, it's the season that just makes me so very happy. While many people view Spring as a time of renewal and growth, for me, Fall is the time of year that I feel moved to make changes in our environment, especially our home. Perhaps it's the feeling that we'll be spending much more of our time indoors in the upcoming months that moves me to bring fresh energy into our rooms. I envision our home to be warm and nourishing. I want it to be our haven of comfort in the cold of winter and the bustle of the holidays. So I've been spending some time the past few weeks moving things around, putting things aside and finding new homes for items whose time of usefulness has passed for us.

Our dining room is the heart of our home. As well as being the place where our family shares our meals, it is also the place where the boys play the most. It holds the cabinet for art supplies, shelves for toys and my favorite part of the room, the Autumn Corner. As Ivan still steadfastly refuses to let me lazure the walls my favorite Waldorf Kindergarten colors (harumph!), I've dyed playsilks to use as backdrops.
The Autumn Corner

I actually made this bookshelf myself and I love that it now holds my boys playthings :)
Nature Shelves

There is a story shelf with a few of our favorite wooden figures that the boys use to imagine tales of knights and wizards.
Story Shelf

The shelf below holds the household items, a machine and a basket of small playsilks to "sew" with and the knitted food for the play kitchen.
Sewing shelf

On the opposite wall is the boys kitchen with our favorite pressed leaves hanging as a garland
Harvest Kitchen

Another area of the dining room holds a small bookshelf to place toy baskets and a few art supplies

Art/Toy Storage Shelves

The boys have enjoyed the new energy in the room. Matteo loves to sit and draw, Nico makes his imaginary skyscrapers with his blocks and Luca is always busy in the little kitchen. I really love that the room is the gathering place for our small tribe :).


Happy Autumn to All!

Monday, November 1, 2010



I've been absent from this space this month. There hasn't been much time for sewing, crafting, photography and um, *ahem* blogging- all the things that feed my soul. I knew that life would change when Matteo started Kindergarten, but I didn't realize to what a great extent it would. These past few months I've been immersing myself in this new world that not just Matteo, but our entire family, had entered. A new school, a new community... it has been hard. It's no small irony that while Matteo waved good-bye to me happily as I dropped him off in his Kindergarten classroom, it was ME who burst into tears at the parent coffee and bagel reception afterward (I owe special thanks to the sweet PTA volunteer who I think was specifically designated at the front door to give hugs to new Kindergarten parents like myself). These past few months have been quite a journey for me as I've moved past my comfort zone to get involved in the big, exciting school that will be the place where my boys will spend most of their days in the years to come.

school craft
Helping the kids with the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) craft

I've started volunteering in Matteo's classroom and it's made a world of difference in making me feel at peace in our decision to send our children to public school. The first afternoon I walked in to help out, the lights were dimmed, sitar music was playing and Matteo's teacher had a room full of 5 year-old children in yoga warrior poses repeating the affirmation "I am strong, I am smart, I am at peace" :). I've gotten to know all of Matteo's classmates and many their parents and it's been exciting to meet people from so many different cultures and backgrounds. I feel like our world is expanding ever so much.

In the school garden on Pumpkin Patch Day

But most importantly, Matteo LOVES school. He's excited about what he's learning, he loves playing with letters and learning how to create words, he loves seeing numbers and knowing what they represent. My boy is growing and I am so proud.

His a-b-c 's

I realized that I am growing as well. It was really hard for me to let go of my ideal of sending the boys to a Waldorf school. I realized that I can love many of the principles of Waldorf education and do them at home but still be happy with my son at a public school. I've been spending a lot of time at his school, in the classroom, participating in fundraisers, going to school events and I've realized that this big new school doesn't need to be scary. After seeing Matteo embrace his new surroundings with such joy and excitement, I knew I wanted to support and be a part of this amazing environment.

So, many of my own personal pursuits have been put on the back burner as we've been settling into this new time in our lives. I had been beating myself up over not being able to craft or run or do anything remotely creative, but I realize that the time I've been putting into Matteo's school has been about putting time into my own growth as a mother and person. I've been missing this space and the creative part of me that it represents. I'm so very happy that I feel as if I'm in a place that I can finally exhale all the anxieties I've had these past months and return to those things and this wonderful community that give me joy.

dyeing playsilks for Autumn

With so much gratitude for your companionship on this journey of parenthood...

all my love,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



The autumn winds blow open the gate,
St. Michael for you we wait.
We follow you, show us the way,
With joy we greet this autumn day.
Good morning, good morning, good morning.
The silver rain, the shining sun,
the fields where scarlet poppies run,
the fallen leaves blow up and away,
with joy we greet this autumn day.
Good morning, good morning, good morning

Our Little Nature Nest

We had our first simple and joyful Michaelmas celebration at our home yesterday. I've struggled with how to celebrate this Fall festival as I don't feel as if the boys are entirely ready for the stories of slaying dragons and saints. So we altered the story of St Michael slaying the dragon to instead, Michael the Knight overcoming his fear of the dragon, making him his friend and asking the dragon to help others instead of scaring them. (A very Berkeley twist indeed). We also focused on the arrival of Autumn and the changing of the season.

We started with a nature walk to collect the Fall leaves for Autumn crowns


Michael the Knight making the dragon his friend
dragon and knight

and we made dragon bread for the first time... admittedly a very puffy dragon ;}

This was the first introduction to Michaelmas for the boys and as the years progress and as they are ready, we will let the story evolve into its truer meaning. For now though, as the winter months approach, I wish you all joy and peace as we strengthen our inner reserves and learn to overcome obstacles, whatever they may be, in the spirit of Michaelmas.

With love and light,

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Rhythm


Oh my. When did life just get so complicated?! With Ivan's new (longer) work schedule and the start of the school year, our days have just become so crazed. Now, please don't get me wrong. I've come to love Matteo's school and his lovely, caring Kindergarten teacher. Nico's preschool and the wonderful community of families there have been a warm stop in the madness of drop-offs and pick-ups (and I am SO talking to you Liz, Sam, Naomi and Polly!)... but it's those things like keeping several schedules, making spreadsheets to plan meals and the endless lists that are driving me absolutely INSANE! What is mind boggling to me is that we don't do extracurriculars like sports or music lessons.... this is all just getting everyone fed, dressed, bathed and delivered to their appropriate locations on time! I've been finding myself running like a madwoman from the time I wake up to the time I collapse into bed at night. This is not the life I envisioned for myself or our family.

So I am taking a deep breath. Trying to slow down... and simplify

I am rereading my favorite parenting book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. I am absolutely evangelistic about this book! It's been a lifesaver and it makes me feel so at peace with its simple suggestions on how to take out the distractions that make for a chaotic homelife. I'm starting right now with trying to find a new rhythm for lives. Though the boys have their schools in the mornings and there is little I can do to change those schedules, I can create an environment in our home that is relaxed, warm and simple. A place that nourishes ALL of our souls. I was very inspired by how my friend Nicole organized her week and I decided to take it to the basics by having just a single thing for the day to focus on. One activity to structure our afternoon around.

On baking day last week, the boys enjoyed peeling and coring apples to make apple pie
matteo peels apples

On gardening day, Nico sang to our freshly planted broccoli :)

and of course there is always time for a little mudplay

or time for the big Kindergarten boy to play with his beloved trains
matteo relaxes

For me, I've stopped running errands after school. I've just turned off the computer in the afternoons so I can focus on being fully present with the boys. I just be with them.... and it's nice. I'm also learning to find small moments in the day, where amidst the bustle of movement, I can stop and fully experience where I am... when I am reading to the boys at drop off and I can smell their little boy hair as they sit on my lap... or the commiserating smile or hug from a fellow mom in the trenches... it's these moments of grace that take me off of the everspinning hamster wheel... and I am so grateful for them.

As we settle into this new rhythm, I know that we will all feel calmer and more nourished. I would love to hear more from you on how you develop rhythm in your homes, especially with kids in school. (as an aside- can I tell you, my homeschooling friends, I've more than just a *few* times considered homeschooling for the simple reason that I want to be able to NOT rush around... but that's another post for another time ;} )

Sending you much love and light!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Postcard from Crystal Cove Beach

Crystal Cove
ahhh... summer vacation... a few stolen days on a beach named Crystal Cove

There's time to explore the tide pools

hang 10 on a driftwood seesaw

or stare at the sunset

Our cottage on the beach, called the Dive Shack
The Dive Shack

What a fun place to stay!

the view that Luca and I shared while napping on the couch
view from the couch

a dive helmet kept watch overhead
Dive Helmet

a sleeping loft for our little boys to play pirate

buoys hung from stairs

and some clever boys who had stayed there before us left a very fun scavenger hunt in the guest journal

I spent the quiet, early morning hours on the deck overlooking the ocean with my comfort quilt and a very treasured book
Gift From The Sea

While we were there, our big boy Matteo turned 5!

Happy Birthday, My Love!

It was such a lovely, magical way to spend these last days of summer...

Wishing you warmth, light and love