Sunday, January 27, 2013


There's something so sweet about twins, isn't there? Didn't everyone, at some point in their childhood, want to be a twin? There seems to be a bond there, a built-in forever friend. I hope these guys are like that... that they will always love and respect each other and have each other's backs. True brothers.

Oh, these brothers are so sweet, I just want to gobble them up!

Friday, January 25, 2013

[this moment]

A Friday ritual (inspired by Soulemama). 
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

somewhere green

Usually around this time of year I start getting antsy for some greenery. Though it was neglected through the harsh DC summer and my difficult pregnancy, I miss my garden. I hope we can get reacquainted this spring. Until then, I'm taking pleasure in the little green corners of my home. It's not much, but I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

yarn along: hats for hope

Joining Ginny over at Small Things for the regular Wednesday Yarn Along!
Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? ~ Ginny Sheller from Small Things

Though it pains me to put aside the sweater I've been working on forever, I want to get involved in a new project close to my heart. My congregation has committed to making 500 hats for the oncology ward of Children's Hospital here in DC and our deadline is mid-March. They especially need hats for 8-13 year-old boys and girls, so I chose a fun slouchy hat pattern from Coco Knits. I've just cast on, but I think I can finish it in the next few days. Making 500 hats is a daunting task... perhaps you knitters/crocheters out there would like to help out? I've found that yarn lovers are a warm-hearted, giving bunch and I was hoping I could enlist you to contribute a few hats to our collection. There aren't many guidelines except that hats must be brand new, never worn, and preferably handmade. The hospital prefers handmade because these very sick kids enjoy seeing something made especially for them! Any type of yarn or pattern is okay (there are lots of free hat patterns on Ravelry). I can't really imagine what it must be like for these kids to have to face something as scary as cancer, but I hope that having a hat made with love just for them will help in some little way.

If you have the time and would like to contribute, please, please please do! Let me know if you're interested or have questions—I can pick up hats from locals and I can provide my mailing address for people far away. What a sweet way for our community to come together for a special cause!

Mayumi is really into chapter books now, so we've been reading the American Girl, Little House and Betsy-Tacy books - whatever we can get our hands on through the library or thrift store. It's been wonderful revisiting the Little House series. As for me, I've started reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  Her description of Chinese foot binding starting at six years old was heartbreaking. I understand there was an inspired-by-the-book movie made a few years ago and I just requested it from the library... we'll see how that is. I know I'm painfully slow at finishing anything nowadays, so it may be a while before I make it through this book. Making hats is my creative priority right now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

back on the mat

For Christmas PapaQ got me a ten pass to a local yoga studio. I've neglected my yoga practice for months now - I simple couldn't do it during the last half of my pregnancy and for the past three months I just haven't had the chance to get back into it. The truth is, I'd been avoiding it. I think I've been scared to step back on to the mat... scared of what my body would or wouldn't do, how it would feel, how I might "fail" to focus, hold a certain asana or open myself up in meditation.

But I went yesterday. I registered for a spot in a gentle yoga class. And yes, I was scared. But it also felt familiar and reassuringly comfortable to be in that sacred space. I liked the teacher; she expertly led us through the sequences and made adjustments to my body when it needed it. I was pleasantly surprised by how my body recognized the postures and flowed through them. I acknowledge that it will be a while before I have my strength and flexibility back, before my mind is able to be still in meditation, but it feels so good to return to this and to feel welcomed back; it's like coming home.

No doubt it will be challenging to fit in a regular yoga practice (or ANYTHING practice!) during this time and I think that is okay. I love this baby stage and I know it will go by quickly... too quickly. I'm determined to enjoy it and take my time with these little people. A regular yoga practice may be a while yet, but I'll take what I can get!

Monday, January 21, 2013

inaugural thoughts

Four years ago, despite the almost crippling cold, PapaQ and I bundled up our one year-old daughter and headed out to the national mall to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as president of the United States.
Inauguration Day 2009

This year we stayed in. We love the excitement of being there live, but we also love the ease and convenience of watching it on TV in a warm house.

Despite living in Washington DC, where it can sometimes seem that politics are a way of living, I'm sometimes embarrassed that I don't know much about policy, economics or other politically savvy subjects. Many of the people I know work for the government or for a particular senator or congressperson. PapaQ himself is a civil servant (and despite how easy it is to criticize the waste and redundancy in the government, the people I know who work for Uncle Sam are honest, hard-working, capable, if not brilliant, employees. PapaQ supervises a barebones staff and is still expected to move mountains... and by-and-large he does). Our friends (and family) span the political spectrum and I'm always learning new things from them. But despite differing beliefs I think we all just want what is best for our families and for our country and we're doing what we can to make that happen.

I think the president's inaugural speech touched on some of those things. Some of my favorite excerpts:
We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”...
We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own...
...we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

But let's be honest, my favorite part was my Obama Cake Redux. A sweet way to start the next four years!
Obams cake 2009

Obama Cake Redux 2013

This is a cake fantasize about. Our absolute favorite chocolate cake (from Barefoot Contessa Home cookbook). I had quite forgotten about Obama cake though until later in the day and I kind of threw this together. I didn't have enough cream cheese to frost the entire cake, so the filling is cream cheese frosting and the outside is simple whipped cream. But, ohhhh, we really like it. 
Happy Inauguration Day everyone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (inspired by Soulemama). 
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Can it be three months already? Three months since these wee ones came into this world?

Oh, the little fireworks that explode in my heart when they smile and gaze adoringly at their mama. Their coos and gurgles are endless entertainment. And how I love it when they're fingers curl around mine or they grasp onto my shirt while we nurse. Their subdued pleasure in the bath, the sound of their gulping when they drink... all these little moments that fill up my days.

Oh yes, there is also the fussing, the frequent feeding, the need to be held constantly, the difficulty in taking them both out to run errands. Two is definitely double trouble.

But I'll try to focus on the double pleasure for now. Oh little Benjamin and Corrigan, how I adore you.

Babies don't keep

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Song for a Fifth Child.
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping's not done
and there's nothing for stew

And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Monday, January 14, 2013

circle of friends

When we arrived at Eastern Market last Saturday to meet some friends for breakfast, I was struck by how incredibly lucky we are to have a community of people here whom we love and respect. Who we can laugh and cry with, who we trust with our kids, who we can ask for advice, and who inspire and awe us. And who are forgiving when we admit the shocking truth that this is the first time we've had the famous pancakes at Eastern Market (and yes, they were wonderful!). 
After catching up, stuffing our faces, and watching our kids roll around on the ground, we went our separate ways for the day, stopping to pick up a few things among the market stalls. A beautiful day on Capitol Hill. My cup runneth over...

Friday, January 11, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (inspired by Soulemama). 
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


 My mum has been here the past four weeks or so. More than just an extra pair of hands, she has been such a wonderful and appreciated addition to the family. We call her the baby whisperer because when Daddy's antics and Mama's milk don't do the trick, Baba can magically calm an unhappy baby and put him to sleep.
It's amazing.
The house is clean, the children happy, and everyone is well-fed. But besides that, there is just something about her presence that makes you want to be a better person, that makes you feel cared for, that is comforting and warm. And it has made it easier to enjoy the little moments with the little people.

She leaves tomorrow an oh! we will miss her so. Thank you Baba for making these weeks seem easy and sweet. Thank you for making my little people so happy!