Sometimes I need

only to stand

wherever I am

to be blessed.

-Mary Oliver


Being home, in your childhood room, with your husband, son and parents for an extended family visit is really hard. For example, the other day, fed up with the millionth friendly suggestion from my mother about the proper way to raise Oliver, I screamed (like really guys, I screamed) “You did not approach parenting in a conscious way! Why would I listen to you!?” This is a hilarious and obnoxious thing to scream when you think about it- and it did not go over well. Needless to say, there has been a lot of these moments over the past week.  

Ugh. But then I look at my dad reading to Oliver, and the way Oliver runs to my mom to pick him up, and the joy that radiates from all of these magical blessed moments.

So, it just is what it is. And in those intense moments of adolescent anger that come bursting out of me, I will try to remember the larger truth. And that Mary Oliver quote. Has anyone else noticed that she is always right?

Sending peaceful holiday vibes your way!  


Deck The Halls

 Chelsey's fist Christmas (at her grandparents house!)

Chelsey’s fist Christmas (at her grandparents house!)

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the day we pick up our Christmas tree in the Duckworth household. I spend Turkey Day with my dad every year and since waiting until the far more appropriate December 12th (across the pond, our tradition is to put up the tree 12 days before Christmas and to take it down 12 days after) means he has to lug our 7-8 ft Noble Fir onto his car and into his house by himself, we do it together, in November like the early birds that we are.

Once the tree is upright and the twinkle lights have been untangled (and the egg nog and Remy Martin has been poured) we begin decorating. And this is when the magic happens. Because my dad’s Christmas tree ornaments were lovingly handed down to him by his parents. This is to say that they are the exact glass stars and silver bells that he hung on his Christmas tree as a child. They are even stored in the same box, the words ‘Jack & Phoebe’ scribbled on the side in my grandmother’s handwriting. Together, my dad and I unwrap each glittering, glass ball to the sound of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and reminisce about Christmas’ past (both when he was a child and when I was one). When we’re done, and our tree is all dressed up, we sit down and breath a sigh of contentment. There’s a feeling that we’ve honored my grandparents and even found a way to spend a little time with them. And, that no matter how crazy the shopping and travel and parties get, the holidays are starting on the right note, with what’s most important. 

Happy Holidays guys!