Tuesday, January 22, 2013

my kids: photo series 1 of 12

First month of the new year.

First "please smile and be nice" photo shoot in the front yard. It was warm, 75 degrees, after a long Southern California cold snap of 50 degree days. That's why there are short sleeves and bare feet.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

my favorite photo from 2012

I'm still doing year in review, still. 15 days into 2013 and I'm still reviewing.

This is my favorite photo from 2012. I forced myself to choose just one, ONE photo from the last year.

And this is it.

bath time

Alice was about 3 months old. I like the look on Rich's face. The soft light. We were doing the nightly bath time dance. The dance involves one of us sudsing, one of us drying, dressing, chasing. It's my favorite time of night. The post-dinner (and dinner time is my least favorite time of the night) and pre-bedtime stretch of time of just us. Four of us doing ritual things. Ritual things with bubbles and hooded towels.

This photo even trumps my favorite Instagram photo of 2012. That photo was specific to my iPhone, a snapshot taken quickly from here to there. My big girl camera means I took time to stand back and observe. It's different. And there are thousands of them in my Flickr stream so choosing just one is not easy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013: less is more

There is a movement going on right now to choose one word for the new year. (Just search #onelittleword on Instagram or Twitter.)

I chose my word for 2013: less.

one word: 2013

In a world full of more, I want less. Because sometimes, less can lead to more of the things I really need.

Less weight, less overeating. More good health.
Less anger, less depression. More choosing joy.
Less time spent watching TV. More reading, walking, playing with my kids.
Less spending, less debt. More savings, more security, more helping.
Less comparison. More reflection.

Every day, I'm going to remind myself of my word. And make sure my actions are lining up with less. So I can have more.

Happy New Year.

Charlie is 4

Marci iPhone import_120412_1648

It happened exactly one month ago today.

My baby boy hit the 4 year mark. We celebrated by jumping in the car and heading to Knott's Berry Farm about an hour before they closed. Not properly dressed. Alice's diaper bag without the proper essentials. No cash on my person. Because that's how we roll.

But he had fun. My Charlie. My talkative, quirky, empathetic Charlie. The boy who loves to lounge on the couch in his underwear and a t-shirt, watching Spiderman on his iPad. The boy who likes his baths extra hot and his hair extra messy.

At four years old, Chazzy asks me how my day at work was. "How was the office, Mommy?" He can get his own snacks out of the pantry and can mostly get dressed on his own. He still has trouble with zippers and snaps, mainly because I never make him do it himself. I'm an enabler of many bad habits. Bad habit #1: insisting on going to Starbucks whenever he sees the green lady wearing the crown on a building. Yup, he does that. Bad habit #2: brushing his teeth in the bath tub. Why not multi-task? Bad habit #3: smacking his lips and saying "aaaah" after every sip of his drink. I'm a role model for all these behaviors. And my boy can model.

He's about 42 pounds and 40 inches tall. He wears size 5T clothes and 9 shoes. Loves all things Superheroes, Transformers and firetrucks. He can also sing the lyrics to the following songs:
Whistle by Flo Rida
Gangman Style by Psy
Hello by Lionel Richie
(We have eclectic taste in music at the Phee household.)

Rich and I were just commenting how much more we are enjoying 4 over 3. I think it's because Charlie can communicate better and he is, year by year, growing more into himself.

Happy, happy 4th year, Chazzy love.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012

I took many photos at all 3 of our Christmas celebrations this year and my mini post earlier this week didn't do them justice.

So here we go . . .

Rich and I wear Christmas socks every year. This was our 10th year in that weird little tradition. And the Lionel Richie plate? Awww yeah. From our friend Lesley. It was my favorite Christmas gift of the year. Maybe the decade. We sang that song for 3 days straight. 

Christmas 2012

Cookies for Santa. Wooden toys for my girl. Old Christmas socks made into candle cozies. (Thank you, Pinterest.) And 4 stockings hung neatly in a row. Poor little second baby. She had to use the dog stocking this year while Aunt Dea makes her special stocking. She's just lucky she had one. Or Christmas gifts. Or a crib. 

Christmas 2012

Playing with old toys. And new toys. And spending the day in pajamas. 

Christmas 2012

Phee Christmas in Michigan. Matching shirts for the big boys. Waiting for the pizza man. Drinking some really old wine - my brother-in-law sniffing to ensure total rankness. My father-in-law showing me the fine, fine label. 

Christmas 2012 Christmas 2012

Phee Christmas isn't complete without the Jacksons. This is their 10 year old granddaughter. I still remember vividly when she was exactly the size of Alice. I'm getting so old. Robin and her Mama. I love this photo. Tom with his Ho Ho boxers. Also an annual tradition. Thank God he wears them over other pants. Bob Jackson joins in on the reindeer games. Did I mention there are mass quantities of wine consumed on this evening? 

Christmas 2012

Robin and my nephews. Her kids are almost the same age as my kids. It's crazy that she and Rich are 4 years apart but we have kids the same age. I'm grateful. 

Christmas 2012

Rich, Bob and Tom looking through photos from 1996 of the 3 of them building the house we were standing in at that very moment. So many memories. 
Christmas 2012

The big boys on Christmas morning when they discovered that Rudolph pooped on Ama & Papa's porch. (Rudolph poops M&Ms and glitter, in case you didn't know this fun fact.) 

Christmas 2012

Beaugrand Christmas with Elaine's family. Babies in a box, Aunt Becky meeting Alice for the first time, Robin and me, THE big family tree photo. 

Christmas 2012

This year Tom and Elaine's tree was short at 13 feet. And Robin made these stockings. 

Christmas 2012

Midway through the week, switch on over to the Cunninghams. Literally across the Mona Lake bridge. Napping was the game and these 3 were winners. 
Christmas 2012

It finally started snowing hard while we were at my brother Bryan's house. So while it snowed, Kayle and I played Wii and drank hot cocoa. 

Christmas 2012

Also while it snowed, we played with the remote for my camera and watched Charlie play out back. He is so cute in snow pants. You know what's not cute? Putting snow pants on then taking snow pants off then putting them back on . . . I love Southern California. 

Christmas 2012

Papa Dickie took us to the airport, Misty wrangled my kids and the Great Grandmas (Great Barb and Great Phyllis to my kids) visited.  

Christmas 2012

Alice seemed to get bigger and walk even faster while we were on this trip. And she gave up bottles for good. Finally. 

Christmas 2012

We managed the flight from Grand Rapids to Chicago to Orange County without much event. Alice squirmed and whined but not nearly as bad as our March '12 trip. Charlie was a big help and my friend Katie picked us up at the airport.  It was a busy and lovely way to cap off the year. 

Christmas 2012

looking back

I'm ready to move on from 2012. I'm grateful for every breath I took in the past year, every experience good and bad. But just so ready for a shiny new year. At least that's how I felt before I started making my annual slideshow.

It's funny how the days move slow and the years move fast. It's also funny how a year can feel like a year that you are so damn ready to move on from . . . then you compile a few photos from each month into a slideshow with a song that means so much to you and BAM! Your year didn't suck as much as you thought it did. And hey, life reminds you that it was good all along.

2012 for the Phee family. Enjoy. And happy shiny new year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

my favorite Instagram photo of 2012

I challenged myself to pick one. Just one of the hundreds of photos in my Instagram feed that was my favorite photo of the last year. This is it.

Brrrrrr. And purrrrrr.

It's my favorite because of the colors and the cool temp of the colors. It's my favorite because it is of my son and daughter. It's my favorite because of how he is holding her. It's my favorite because of the goofy hats they are both wearing. It's my favorite because it's slightly off center. It's my favorite because I keep going back to look at it. It makes me smile.

Happy New Year.