Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Christmas Story

The last twelve days of our Christmas, via home videos.

May we look back and remember it as the year Rex feel hard for all things Batman, Arlo lit a spark at the skatepark, and Leon, our angel, shinned brighter than any tree we've ever known.

Good tidings and joy indeed.

Christmas 2013 from Mrs. Habit on Vimeo.

Last MInute Wrap Ups

Christmas Eve Day:

Mike took all the boys to the skatepark early so I could finish up the bulk of my Christmas wrapping.
However, misplaced holiday paper & scotch tape supply = last minute replacements (brown sandwhich bag solutions, leftover anthropologie tissue paper / WSJ news scraps, masking tape and the always trusty gold pipe cleaners to the rescue. The niece's presents ended up looked nothing like "christmas," but I thought they were pretty all the same.

And, for the record: wrapping for girls is more fun.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Party

Another year another Christmas party - In which I failed to snap many photos at all. Naturally, I was having too much fun. So no proof of a house full of old friends in pretty dresses, counter top toasts and surprise visitors, or the all night dancing, or candles or the playlist wars that ensue yearly, or the delicious tacos, or non stop laughter in between a few tears.

A few shots were all I managed. Some of the morning after. A handful of my favorite gals gathered around the table, in the ktichen. We were up all night. In the morning, after just a few hours sleep, it was breakfast, mimosas and gifts for the boys upon their return. Rexi in his new shinny bat boots, the others, equally delighted by their goods.

For some of us, it was a really tough year. Losing loved ones, ending marriages . . . Hardships we don't openly divulge in Christmas card sentiments or on Facebook updates, so this one night in December we celebrate it all, and the simple fact of sharing yet another year here together, in health and holiday. With hope for what a new year might offer, while we are still young enough to learn to embrace what we cannot control.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Eight years ago now, we brought home our first tiny baby boy. He was 6 pounds 5oz, born a month early during a bleak and exceptionally cold winter, one week before Christmas. It was not a pregnancy we had "planned" on. Unmarried, without any health insurance and the both of us only mildly focused on figuring out where our "careers" might be headed, a baby was the last thing on our mind. Though the fact of it was an idea we grew quickly attached to. I knew from the start it would be a boy, and I knew immediately, based on a dream I had months before, that his name would be Arlo.

Eight years later, he grown into an exceptionally bright, sweet & reasonable, easily adjusted kid with a great sense of humor and a sharp new skill we tested out for the first time yesterday afternoon while celebrating his special day at the Van's skatepark in Orange County (Per his request)

He was amazing to watch. Fearless and so incredibly focused. Evidence of his father's dedication when it comes to mastering something he loves.

He makes us proud. Every day.
Can't wait to see what year eight has in store for him.
And us ...

Happiest birthday, Arlo Reed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Little Things

"I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.” 

Charlie Brown

We've been watching lots of Charlie Brown around here lately, and this particular statement really struck a chord. Hey, I've been feeling the same way, charlie . . .

So far our month has been far more chaotic than I was prepared for. Our house, lost in a cloud of sawdust and wood piles, a makeshift teepee factory stationed in our drive way for the past two weeks. Our neighbors - God bless them - have all been very understanding. I can only imagine what it looks like on the other end. To help ease our neighborly guilt we offer up unlimited supply of firewood from the scraps that accumulate in heaps, and they stop by to fill up their bins, have coffee and hang around Mike while he builds. For that, we are most grateful for.

In addition to the shop demands, our December is racked with the regular obligations that bind the month. Lots of family birthdays, parties, get togethers, parties of friend's and of course the school events. We're trying our hardest to keep up with it all, but it really is feeling quite exhausting.

A few things keeping my spirits up:

+ Our annual Christmas party happening this weekend. A kidless night celebrating the season with all of our very favorite people. Dear friends, some of which we only see on this one night, a date we look forward to all year long.

+ Treasures pictured above // little things I realize now, could pass as stocking stuffers for, myself?
Ceramic birds for a craft I had in mind, the prettiest brass bells I purchased from ironaworks on etsy. Vintage candle holders, and one miniature sized photo book I ordered by mistake but cherish it because of it's odd, tiny appeal.

+ THIS commercial for coke showing the perils of early parenthood. Spot on, right?

+ Jim Gaffigan's take on "4 Kids" - HILARIOUS.

+ The promise of a restful Christmas Eve with pizza and presents in the evening at moms and then our first Christmas day where we wont' be stuck driving in God awful traffic to great grandma's house on time. Instead, a turkey dinner late afternoon at Mike's parent's home (which is local, and kid friendly)

+ 3 weeks off of school for the boys. Plenty of time for a few picnics and afternoon outings we've been wanting to take. A trip to the desert it we're lucky.

Hope everybody else is hanging in there too.
Nine days now.
Nine and counting. . .

A Tree of Their Own

 And just their size.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Girl Talk

Very thankful for getting to know Ashley a little better these past couple of months. She is an amazing photographer and keeps a beautiful space of her own documenting her daily life, her boys, and photo ventures over at  The Stork and the Beanstalk. 

Today she is sharing an interview with me that was more fun than any I've taken part in before.
Thanks for that, Ashley.

Link here if you'd like to learn a bit more about me, my short comings,  my past, and the reasons behind a life ban on any more future Dylan concerts.

Monday, December 9, 2013

At the Park

They watched Arlo skate around that big wide concrete bowl, carefully counted sour patch kids into evenly divided piles upon their lap, sat silently on a blanket in the sun feeding ducks with what crumbs they could gather while the younger ones played store with other children whose names they would never learn. Girls buried boys in the sand, neck deep and laughed heartily at their accomplishment. Climbed the fences and built cities in the dirt. Traded toys, for more candy while they lined dominos into tidy little wooden boxes. Dollar store treasures they have since lost.

They wore themselves out, entirely.
All limbs and brains exhausted by early evening, wind chapped faces sinking by the time the sun went down and the air took a chill.

We ended the day with frozen yogurt before heading home in a sea of traffic. The girls spent the night and woke easily to a big pink box of fresh doughnuts and the regular morning piano serenade from Natalia, the neighbor girl they can't seem to neither befriend nor completely avoid.

All and all, it was a good day to be a kid.