the lantern fest – with kids!

Untitled-2

band

Untitled-2

Untitled-1

 

We had a magical family experience recently at the Lantern Fest – I’m so excited to share it with you. I’ve been wanting to attend some type of lantern festival for most of my life. Floating lanterns have a history throughout Asia, as well as many other countries, and are used for purposes like religious worship, to make wishes, and of course, for fun. I can’t remember when my fascination with them began, but it was certainly pre-Tangled era. Speaking of Tangled, many children are familiar with this concept thanks to the film, and it happens to be a kid-friendly event. Children of all ages are welcome, but I was glad that Henry and Marie are at an age (almost five) where they could really participate. There were many fun activities for kids, to include: bouncy houses, face painting, live music and dancing, and of course ice cream and treats. We ALL had such an enjoyable and memorable time…click through for more, including the breathtaking finale!

Continue reading

hineni

waitsedit2

 

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from (my) social media lately, and it feels good right now. What began as an unintentional hiatus due to our move organically became an intentional, and dare I say – necessary one. We’re feeling happy in our new home (despite the chaos of moving), and I’m appreciating the little things. Our previous master bedroom didn’t have a window, and just having light in our bedroom for the past few days has been incredibly uplifting. I know that sounds silly, but deprivation equals appreciation. That philosophy applies to many areas of my life – I’ve been too busy for too long and I’m ready to make time for myself, and for my family as a whole. I took a break from the boxes for a moment this weekend to leisurely read the New York Times in bed, which as any parent knows, is such a luxury. This article was waiting for me inside the pages of T Magazine, which is just what I needed to read, and moved me deeply. I relate to it on so many levels – it goes far beyond the topic of music and artistic creation, and introduced me to the word and concept of, hineni.

The expression hineni means “here I am” in Hebrew, and is used in the Old Testament. Some interpretations associate the word with an even more powerful meaning, which is “here I stand”. Leonard Cohen used the term in his song “You Want It Darker”, and when asked by a reporter what inspired him to use it, his answer was the following: “I don’t really know the genesis, the origin…that ‘hineni,’ that declaration of readiness no matter what the outcome, that’s a part of everyone’s soul.” There are issues in my life that have been incubating for too long, and I’m finally ready to face them. I feel an urgency, a need – to fully embrace this transitional time in my (OUR) life and emerge from it healthier, and more whole. I’m publicly acknowledging my personal needs, in the event that you might also be at a critical crossroads in your life and be searching for inspiration, as I am. In the words of another artistic genius featured in the article, Tom Waits, “…when dealing with emergent behavior there is nothing to do but respond…it was not the fire I imagined or dreamed of, but it was the fire I got.” I fully believe that the only way out is through – and it doesn’t have to be dark.

valentine’s day nostalgia

Untitled-5

 

Today I’m feeling nostalgic and thankful for these treasured moments captured in Paris two years ago. I’m so terrible about printing images, but my sweet friend and photographer Ashley Ludaescher sent these to me. While I still have yet to frame them (soon), I stare at them often. My heart is overflowing with love for my children – so much so that it hurts at times. It’s incredibly cheesy but true. Their unconditional love for each other, and for us, is overwhelming. At times I don’t even feel worthy of it. I hope everyone experiences a love as pure and true as this in their lifetime.

happy valentine’s day | joyeuse saint-valentin 

our christmas

untitled-2-3

 

Well, we finally did it – matching family pajamas! I wish you could see mine a bit more, but this is what you get from a timed photo, ha. Next year we’ll invest in a family photo shoot, as it’s been too long since we had a professional capture us as a family. We had a lovely, lazy Christmas, which is honestly still happening because we all got sick with colds the next day. But back to the big day – it all started with discovering Santa had enjoyed the scotch + pfeffernüsse we had left for him (see this post for more about that family tradition). The first presents they found were in their stocking – adorable, handmade teddy bears that give back. Nothing sponsored – I’m sharing the link because I love gifts that give back.

 

sants

bears

untitled-3-5

kids

Continue reading

a christmas tradition

untitled-3

 

Cutting our own Christmas tree has become quite the tradition for our family. I grew up cutting fresh, and have such happy and hilarious memories of the event – it’s incredibly nostalgic for me. Even though we’ve been doing it since before we welcomed Marie + Henry into our lives, it became so much more special with them in tow. It’s hard to believe this is our fourth year doing it as a family! They are just so big now, I can’t get over it. I mean, we let them both carry the saw this year – that speaks volumes. Their bond is truly unbreakable, their friendship and love so very precious.

 

untitled-3

kidsside

untitled-4

Continue reading