Lately it’s been hard to see beyond the end of my nose, or maybe my children’s noses. Our Christmas was in turns weird and wonderful. We managed to keep a pretty good attitude as it unfolded, despite some family challenges. Ian and I hunkered down and focused on the parts that were important to us.

We are looking forward to a happy new year. The truth is 2009 was tough in many ways and for many people. I have witnessed some dear ones in unbearable pain; I have held them in my heart. I have also struggled with my own dragons repeatedly and regularly. But we also experienced a lot of joy.

January 2009: We rang in the New Year as a swindler and a showgirl. We took a family vacation to Maui with my parents, brother, and Jonathan’s girlfriend. There we went diving, hiking, ate amazing food prepared by my brother, and thoroughly enjoyed the beach and each other. The best part was that Dad was well on his way to recovering from the heart surgery he had in Oct ’08. At the end of the month, Asher had his second birthday!

February: Lucas began reading! My dad turned 65. Ian, Lucas, Asher, and I spent a week in Tahoe at the cabin, wearing pajamas, playing games, eating food Ian prepared from a really old recipe book we found there. We played in the snow and met up with friends. Lucas and Ian rode snowmobiles! I knitted, worked, and wrote a bit. I started sleeping through most of the night again—bliss! Ian took over a lot of nighttime parenting. We spent a fair part of February and March sharing germs and being sick; these viruses roll through our family slowly and methodically, it seems.

March: I did some fun needle-felting and Ian and I crafted a soft headboard and side-rail for Asher’s bed. Asher learned a bazillion new words (including “Grandma”) and I stopped trying to keep track of them because they flooded in so fast. We had fun at the school auction fundraiser. Leprechauns visited us one night. I worked on my first computer book and found myself drowning in freelance work for several months. I received my first royalty check, but even better than that was hearing my very first “I love you” from Asher.

April: Two weeks of spring vacation for the kids, with Easter fun and a visit from a magical Bunny at the end. Lucas enjoyed nature camp at Effie Yeaw Nature Center. We celebrated Delphinia in honor of the springtime with good friends at Point Reyes National Seashore, one of our favorite places in California. Lucas entered his “feeling years” with a bang and we had to find new ways of communicating and dealing with each other. Asher started singing. All our fish were eaten up by a murderous tank-mate. We planted a new tree.

May: Asher spent time perfecting his tantruming techniques. Ian and Lucas built an awesome robot sculpture! Lucas turned 7; we threw him an amazing Aliens and Robots birthday party and he got a pet mouse. Lucas also participated in a beautiful May Day celebration at his school. I turned “25.” Ian took me to see The Lion King show and planted a bunch of new plants for our yard. Asher weaned in May, after 51 poignant, glorious months of breastfeeding. Ian and I got our first overnight break from the boys in three long years.

June: Lucas finished first grade and summer vacation began. We gardened a bit. Ian and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. Lucas and I took a pottery class, which we loved. We made lots of cool art and useful objects from clay. Lucas explored both natural science and fine arts during day camps. I sewed pants and shorts for my boys with my mother. June weather was cool and comfortable. We went on a boating trip with friends and it was just what we needed. Poor Ian had his wisdom teeth removed, but he got to chill at home and recover.

July: Ian and I got to go whitewater rafting with friends. Lucas and Asher spent their summer days at the Bennett’s house playing and learning. I worked a lot on my textbook project, which heated up from here and has carried on under full steam through the end of the year. Ian got some bad news, but we weathered it. BBQs and beer and friends. Lucas enjoyed regular playgroup dates with his school friends. We visited wonderful friends in San Rafael and San Francisco and spent a couple of days exploring museums and the Oakland zoo. We discovered what a perfectionist Lucas can be and Asher finally let me sing to him.

August: We vacationed for a few days with Grandpa Glen and Mimi at Mimi’s cabin in Strawberry, splashing in creeks and lakes. I finished my biggest knitting project ever, a baby blanket I started in February. Lucas got to spend a week learning robotics and another learning kayaking, sailing, canoeing, wiggleboarding, and other boating skills at the Sac State Aquatics Center. We spent a fair amount of time in the pool. I moved my blog to my own website www.loveinthesuburbs.com—why? I’m still not exactly sure … Asher started puffing and playing trains.

September: We reached the end of 13 weeks of summer vacation and I celebrated! Lucas started second grade. We attended a spectacular wedding in San Francisco, and yes, it moved me to tears. Lucas participated in Michaelmas and showed great bravery and determination. He also started playing school. We celebrated the autumn equinox with homemade caramel apples—probably my most adventuresome culinary endeavor of the year. I started knitting a sweater for Asher, which is still a long way from being done. Ian and I had 49 hours without our kids in Santa Barbara and Solvang. Lucas lost his two front teeth!

October: Ian turned 38 and we went wine-tasting with a friend. We also played “Beatles Rock Band.” We created fun Halloween decorations from felt. We visited the pumpkin patch and I took a ton of photos, like usual. Lucas was Christopher Robin, Asher was a superhero and Ian and I were Peter Pan and Wendy. Asher started playing store and began a persistent habit of piling all his stuff in a huge jumble. Ian and I took on a big project and we worked all the time!

November: Lots of freelance work kept us hopping all month. We went on a wonderful vacation to Capitola over Thanksgiving. We visited the boardwalk at Santa Cruz, played games, dug in the sand, and chased waves. Lucas sewed a doll from scratch. Ian and the kids played with dry ice. We went on a Lantern Walk in the darkness.

December: December was so busy that it was hard to write. It snowed! We went to an Advent party with some friends, and went to an Advent ceremony at school. Lucas participated in a Santa Lucia celebration. Dad and I made plum jam again. Ian did more than his share of this Christmas shopping. I am reaching the end of an 18-month project and it has had me cranking (and a little cranky) all through Christmas. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas party here at our home—the 15th—with old friends and new. Santa Claus visited and our beloved family showered us with far too many presents. We are tremendously blessed!

Over this past year, Asher has learned to talk, to play pretend, and gradually, to throw tantrums. He and Lucas are becoming closer and closer, which comes with its own set of problems but many, many delights. Asher has been weaned both from mama milk and his pacifier, about which he’s is still kind of mad. Gradually he moved to sleeping in his own bed part of the night, then most of the night, and now only part of the night again. His year was pretty constant and rhythmic, just as I hoped it would be, thanks in no small part to Tina and Janise at Ring-A-Rosie’s preschool.

My work was amazingly steady in 2009, with periods of extreme busyness and intensity. I am grateful for all the opportunities and learning experiences and feel like I’m entering 2010 in decent shape.

I do not know what the future holds, but I know it will be filled with all the mucky beauty of family life.

Happy New Year!

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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