Saturday, December 31, 2011
right now, i'm listening to my beloved avett brothers, which jojo copied on disc for me.
and i'm drinking a watered-down mug full of wine, trying to ease my nerves,
quite very frayed by the last week or so.
ok, the last year or so.
today, here, it is cold-ish but the sun was out and is fading now. we most likely would have taken a long walk with all the girls, but i just didn't have it in me. not the walking, but the wrangling. the negotiating over who sits where in the car. who wants to go and who does not but must be strong-armed. the bringing of snacks and bribing of girls.
i'm just exhausted by it.
today, here, our basement is tricked out with little white lights and tablecloths concealing the shabbiness of every conceivable table and bench and chair. there are twenty plastic champagne glasses set up, next to bottles of seltzer and cider and salad bowls full of chips and pretzels. we grown-ups get to go across the park and stand next to a similar spread, but in a livingroom empty of children.
today, here, we have some teenage drama playing out in front of our house and being narrated by text messages and illustrated with polaroids of family portraits, thankfully without sound.
(although i've an idea tim was standing behind me with the flip camera, so...)
today, here, i am ready to bid this year good bye, good riddance. both scared of what's next and sad to leave what was, as difficult and just plain rotten as so much of it was.
i've taken a picture a day for the last year. (also the year before.)
today, here, i've sat and watched them scroll across my screen, like this.
and it makes me think. makes me feel a thing or two or three hundred.
the first thing that comes to mind is: damn, i miss that spectra image film!
the second is: i drink a lot of tea and even more wine.
the third is: i don't get out much.
in the end, i'm so sure that i will, tomorrow, here, wake up and start it all over again.
with all the changes that are going to take place in the next year-the ones i know about (a job! kids growing older!) and so many i can't know- waiting, ominously and promisingly, around the corners of our days...i need to keep going. keep noticing and recording. even if the majority of those things are of interest only to me. to us.
and, someday i think, to these girls.
in the end,
and last night, in the middle of a fitful sleep in a bed filled with me, my love, the cats, and two too many of the girls...
i realized that i am truly completely consumed by being a parent to these kids.
i don't know if that's good or bad; if it will come to be shown that i screwed it all up, and them, and myself in the process.
but there it is.
just small, obvious revelations.
and the hope for more and less of the same in the new year.
(and some spectra film.)
best wishes to you all. truly. truly.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 4:27 PM
Thursday, December 29, 2011
so, it was all going perfectly well until about mid-afternoon yesterday.
now, we've got six kids-four of them grounded and on house arrest-with not a lot to do and a whole lot of energy.
we have put them to work, we've made batch after batch of popcorn, played numerous sets of desk-top ping-pong, left the house in a huff to take phone calls in the privacy of the front steps, jumped at the chance to be the one who "gets" to run across to the neighbors to borrow an egg, etc...and watched freaky friday with anna more times than any of us thought tolerable. (one of us...ahem...still cries at the ending, though.)
a whole lot of togetherness has been enjoyed. (a nice side effect of the grounding.)
but now, things are just plain getting ugly around here.
so last night, at the unseemly hour of 10 pm, i called in help. we're off today, for the greener pastures (read: large house in the woods that has a wii) of uncle brian's.
we're taking this house of blues to connecticut.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 10:18 AM
Monday, December 26, 2011
last night; eighteen people, shoulder to shoulder, staircase to window sill. packed in, but merry.
today; five of us, two cats, and a dog on loan. nearly all a little tired and grouchy, despite a near-perfect day-before. as these things go.
near-perfect, i say, since one of us (tim) had to take a little detour to the e-room for stitches, the result of a christmas day gardening injury. (new felco clippers under the tree.)
tonight; three of us, two cats, and a(nother, different) dog on loan. and surely sundown will find us under quilts, with a movie on the laptop, and a bowl of popcorn on our laps.
this is one of my favorite weeks.
so much good behind us. and ahead of us, the long slow days and dark last nights of the year.
i've a lot to think about. a lot to sort out. time to find a way to keep what works, work on what doesn't, and settle in with the idea that the rest isn't much up to me, anyway.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 3:43 PM
Friday, December 23, 2011
and here we are.
today, on the way to her mom's house, to pick up presents from under the tree there, to put under our tree, emily said:
"even if christmas isn't perfect, it's still christmas."
and then we talked a few sentences more...how perfect isn't the goal, or even attainable. how perfect is just about us all being who we are, how we are this year, how we make it all work.
and then em said "yeah, if we're happy on christmas, then it's perfect."
i don't know. i can't say for sure how things are supposed to be, or even how i'm supposed to talk to all these girls about all of this-all of it all. everything.
but i know, in that minute. and in quite a few hundredthousandmillion minutes before or after this christmas...
it's pretty perfect. it's as perfectly us as anything ever could be.
and that's all.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 8:18 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
hi. these photos look so "seventies" to me. from a day last weekend when we dropped anna off in brooklyn with her grandma liz, and then tim and i spent a few hours in manhattan. our goal was to knock off our christmas shopping for the girls.
that didn't quite happen, but we did have a nice lunch.
and i showed tim the church my father was baptized in...back in...when, dad? maybe 1925? in a catholic church that is now right in the middle of chinatown.
oh, the level of energy here right now. can you imagine what our dinner table sounds like?
secret santa is coming to a close, tim and i are having a day together tomorrow...last one where all the girls are in school for a while.
and then tomorrow night, a big, fun night for me and a few of the girls (the middle three...very funny to think of it that way...hee.) off to the city for the nutcracker and dinner out with grandparents and cousins, etc...
things are both heating up and winding down. it's time to check expectations and plans at the door, and just enjoy.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 9:11 PM
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
and these are all from a good night, at the end of which i messed up one small interaction with a medium sized girl, and i will most likely remember that moment for way longer than she, or they, or anyone else ever will.
but it's all fine. we're good. we are very, very fine.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 8:59 PM
Monday, December 19, 2011
as promised, my new "tablecloth" from brooklyn general. i've found that 3/4 of a yard of fabric is the perfect size for our kitchen table. i can't sew, so i just use it unhemmed; i'll turn it and flip it as it gets spilled on, until i can't hide the stains under the fruit bowl anymore. then i'll wash it, and hang it, and maybe get some more life out of it somewhere else.
writing this, i'm thinking that if i could just learn how to sew a straight line on the machine, i could probably do all sorts of handy things. but that's most likely not going to happen anytime soon, so.
ok. best wishes.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 5:17 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2011
first of all, thank you. thanks for checking in, and wondering and asking.
but really. i swear on my honor, i'm not being coy.
it's just that. well. i've been feeling that since i can't really talk all that freely here anymore, that i really can't talk at all.
but here's what i can tell you:
we've been busy.
we've been going to parties, and (most likely, i) have been talking way too much.
we've been baking: gingerbread cookies, and jen's gingerbread, and those pretzel/kiss things i always make, and a dozen (!) batches of granola. (this last, to give away to friends and teachers.)
we've been to parties where we've been singing. (songs i haven't heard since being a kid at church.)
we've been to parties where i wore high heels and drank colorful drinks (and then alot of seltzer water.)
we've been to new york city to shop and eat and meet friends and walk.
we've been to new york city just us two, to walk around holding hands and sit at a bar (!) together (!).
we've dropped anna off in brooklyn with her grandma liz, and we're thinking this should be a more regular occurrence.
i got to go across the street to brooklyn general (!). cue many shots of the new fabric on my table.
the cats think the tree is just a big toy holder.
the cats sleep on our feet every night and act like they're doing us a favor. (they are.)
i moved an extra table in for tonight's sunday dinner.
and i'm going to leave it there all week;
i need to move a whole other table in as well, for next sunday's christmas dinner (19 people!)
i have music on while i work in the kitchen, and light a candle in the morning, and then three or four more by sundown, and try to stave off the panic that comes from worry by just being in the middle of cooking, of hugging somebody next to me, of feeding a crowd, of crossing things off the list.
it seems to be working.
more. maybe. soon. i promise, i'm not being coy. i'm just being me.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 9:07 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2011
and oh, what a sunday night.
this weekend we:
spent a friday night as grown ups, dressed up, and loving every minute of it. perhaps the best party of the year.
sent or left the girls out on their own...and hoped for the best...and in some cases it was ok and in others...well. see previous entry.
spent an entire saturday making up for friday, and clocked way too many hours driving around the county.
but at the end of the day, with girls and a nephew and some friends ending back in our house and settling in for the night...
well. perhaps the best night of the year.
spent sunday cleaning up from the previous two days...and got a walk in the woods in after all. just us two. what in the world is better than a walk in the woods, just us two? exactly.
and sunday night? another party! and so good. so, so good. ending up with singing, and then back at home, decorating the tree...(we had to strip the lights from outside to string them on the tree, but...mission accomplished...)
just a little in love with these days, right now. but boy, did i need to fall a little in love with now.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 9:48 PM
Thursday, December 8, 2011
the last of the photos from fall...on a walk, in the yard, around the house.
i'm ready to let go of it. this weekend the holiday parties begin...
i was this close to buying our tree today,
but i knew at least a few of the girls would be upset that i just went and got it.
there are still a few things sacred around here, it seems.
(quite a few things, it seems. and that's a very.very. good thing.)
Posted by Tara Thayer at 9:27 PM
Monday, December 5, 2011
i was going to write about this roll of film i shot, and took into the crappy one-hour in town. but it was boring, even to me.
so here are some shots of my kitchen, that i took and got developed on sunday.
more soon. hopefully (for both of us) something more interesting.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 4:29 PM
Sunday, December 4, 2011
so, the sad, happy truth is that we go to bed wicked early.
i've been thinking lately, obtusely,
that i'll "stay up all night" and "get some stuff done."
how it goes is, we make tea, we finish up on the computers,
we make sure the cats are in. (i can hear the boys laughing right now. CATSAREINTARA!)
(i love those boys more than they know...)
and then, we go upstairs, and we read and draw and get cozy and the girls come back and forth,
even making their way back downstairs to get a bowl of cereal, a slice of pie...
and then they come in and we find three or four of us in bed, and maybe a cat or two, and we finish up the day that way. just the way we most likely did when they were little. just us all.
it's not like that all day long, all the time, everyday.
but we seem to find our way to together when the week is done.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 8:41 PM
Friday, December 2, 2011
i cut this last one, leaning out of my office window this morning, and it's pretty darn pretty,
even if i do have a thing against red roses.
more soon. film is in at the shop!
and a nice quiet weekend.
enjoy, my friends.
Posted by Tara Thayer at 6:28 PM