1–10 of 243 entries in the category: Celebrate!

All the Goodness of This Year

December 22nd

Mexico City trip

This time of year, I like to look back and think about all of the wonderful days that we celebrated in some way. There was the trip to Mexico City, which remains one of my favorites of all time. Jason and I loved the culture, walking the city, the food, and definitely the art. Mexico City knows public art. It’s the first place I’ve visited that I loved so much, I’d prefer to go back in lieu of a new destination.

Mexico City trip

There is so much good food. And so much excellent public art.

After the earthquake, our friends from the DF rushed back to help friends and family. It was uncovered, unsurprisingly, that many of the buildings that fell around the city did so because the building codes had been ignored, inspectors paid off. It was also shown, equally unsurprisingly, that the Mexican people flooded the city with offers of assistance. They had to turn volunteers away, so many came to help their fellow countrymen in need.

Mexico City trip

Mexico City trip

Mexico City tripMexico City trip

Have I mentioned how much I love this country?

Yes, there was the slight blip of us wandering into a tequila bar near the Condessa neighborhood only to realize two steps inside that we were actually in a narcos bar and very, very much out of place. But hey, a quick shot of tequila before any other shots could be taken and we were back out on the streets with a great story in our pocket to elaborate and share with friends back home.

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

Also this year, my husband and I both changed jobs. I’m in the same field, and he’s returning to something he loves. We bought an all-electric car and expanded the garden to grow more of our own food. We hiked the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed our first full year of marriage, much of which we spent arm-in-arm happily arguing over who has the best burrito in town.

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

For media, a few things to share that I absolutely fell over myself loving:

  1. Novels by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. His stuff is so weirdly creative, it is a true pleasure to read.
  2. The Crown, season 2, and what it is teaching me about the royal family and 1900s history.
  3. Til the Well Runs Dry, a novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma. I’ve thought about this book several times this year. The characters and the plight of immigrants stick with you.
  4. Africa Solo, which is my favorite non-fiction of the year —namely because I always want to be on the road seeing new places and Africa has my heart. I enjoyed traveling alongside this author.

Let us also remember this year, 2017, as the one where Robert Mugabe was removed from power. I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the day. I hopeful the people of Zimbabwe will find true leadership and inspire the people of Cameroon to boot Paul Biya next.

Wishes for 2018 include more travel, democracy, compassion, and peace around the world.

xo,

K

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Blessings, Celebrate!, Family
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In the Spirit

December 5th

knitting

There is knitting…

canning

And canning…

Christmas mantle

And decorating happening at our house.

nativity

And of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without a dash of Africa. Love this nativity from Mozambique.

nativity 2

What I’m not showing you is the sad state of our stockings. Each year we pull out the decorations and I think, “HOW have I not done something about these pitiful things?” They are a mix up of Goodwill finds and personalized stockings, with letters that have fallen off resulting in nonsense. Next year I’m going to either quilt or knit something pretty for the holiday.

What decorations do you love?

~K

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Celebrate!
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My Favorite Week of the Year

November 20th

Thanksgiving with the W Family

Not only is my family set to arrive within 48 hours, but several of my closest friends are here for the week to be with their families. Everywhere I look, there is a warm meal, a glass of wine, and laughter filling the air!

{Reality: I’m in my second week of a new job, have no paid time off, and am trying to figure out how in the giblets I’m going to get everything done, see everyone, and fit in my clothing with all the stress eating.}

Maybe we could all set up the Christmas tree on Saturday?

{Reality: I’m going to crawl into yoga pants on Saturday after the family is gone and the leftovers are put away, and sit on the couch with my friends at the Hallmark Channel for a marathon of bad movies and good knitting. Do we really need a tree?}

I’m so glad our home is in order and I took the time to get the prep work done so this holiday was as stress-free as possible. It is important to be stress-free, otherwise you get those lines on your face and no one appreciates a frowny hostess!

{Reality: Botox is cheap. Chardonnay for breakfast is a thing on holidays. The cookies ended up flat, and I’m not baking them again. Flat cookies are where it is at this year. Martha said so.*}

Happy week, y’all!

(No, really. I mean that part.)

~K

*Martha very much did not say so.

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Celebrate!
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The Word is Bird

November 15th

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving prep is underway at our house. The tables soon will be full with family, extended family, and neighbors. For the first time, I’m cooking the bird.

I’m a wee bit anxious. (Okay, it is 5 am and I’m blogging after spending an hour reading recipe reviews and turkey-cooking hacks. Apparently mayonnaise seems to be the way to go.)

Also this week, I started a new job. After nearly five years in state government, I decided to take a position with a health plan. I’m thankfully still working in public health, but with a new ID badge and set of coworkers. This week’s big project includes promoting HIV and TB testing among a specific population. In other words: MY JAM. Walking in the door of the new building yesterday felt much like the first day of school—nervous excitement, and also after two weeks off,  a bit of, “Oh, man. This means no afternoon naps, right?”

There will be no afternoon naps until, perhaps, Thanksgiving. In putting together the menu, and asking everyone to pitch in this and that, I’m most excited to make Orangette’s cranberry compote. I’ve made this before and like she describes, it really is a show stopper. This recipe reminded me how much I enjoy her blog, too.

The other tradition we’ll honor is a large bowl of black olives in a nod to my Grandmother Maxine. She hated olives, but knew her grandchildren loved them, and therefore always had a ready supply. We stuck them on our fingers and waggled them like fools until we were all well into adulthood. Like so many things, Thanksgiving always makes me think of Grandma Max. I miss everything about that woman, down to the way her house smelled when we’d arrive for the holiday. As I remember it, it was a mixture of coffee, all spice, turkey, and Ivory soap.

If the timing goes right, and I drink enough coffee this weekend while prepping pies and setting up guest rooms, I hope to run in our community turkey trot Thursday morning. Put one turkey in the oven, take the other out for a spandex-clad shuffle around the neighborhood. What could be better?

Wishing you and yours an excellent holiday.

xo,

K

Posted in
Celebrate!, Family, Hostess
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Danna’s Wedding

September 11th

My friend Danna was recently married. She is Navajo and invited us to attend her traditional ceremony in a hogan on tribal lands. We drove an hour north of Gallup, New Mexico to join a group of folks for a day of celebrations.

It was beautiful, meaningful day.

September 2017

September 2017

September 2017

September 2017

September 2017

xo,

K

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Celebrate!
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Happy 4th!

July 4th

Happy Fourth of July from our zoo to yours!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

xxxo,

K

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Posted in
Celebrate!, Nelson
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A bit of time to relax

December 15th

Gigi

I am taking a few days off over the next three weeks. A couple days here. A couple days there. I plan on accomplishing the following:

 

  1. Driving to Winslow on a solo road trip to take photos and notes for the remaining chapters of Counting Coup. I need to do a bit of research too, including finding copies of Arizona Highways from the 1950s.
  2. Watching a lot of Gilmore Girls. I am new to this series. When it was on television, I remember thinking the dialog was too quick and seemed unnatural. Maybe I speak faster today, but I’m finding it very enjoyable. I do watch it (like all other TV) with the closed captioning on so I can be sure to pick up everything that is said. I’m in season 3, and at this point, I feel like I’m a little Paris, a little Emily, and a little Lane. I’d like to be more like Lorelai, or perhaps just have her ability to eat like a quarterback who magically stays a size 2.
  3. Oh, yes. And then there is my first Christmas as a married stepmama. Ha. I’m looking forward to this too. We’ll have lots of family around for pizza and board games and hands of Uno. With any luck, I’ll get my photo of us all in our Christmas jammies by the tree. Maybe I’ll even get a photo of Nelson with his antlers.

I hope you also get a chance to lounge around the house in comfy clothes, enjoy good company and great food and sleep without setting an alarm.

Wishing you the very best and brightest in 2017!

xo,

K

 

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!
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Book signing tomorrow!

December 8th

Southern Arizona Honeymoon

Hey local friends! Just a gentle reminder tomorrow I will be talking about Basket Baby and signing copies at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. 7 pm! I’ll be wearing new boots, and old turquoise and a nervous but happy smile. Let’s awkward hug and talk about dreams realized.

xo,

K

 

 

 

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!
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Happily Ever After

November 4th

Happily ever after

Oh, dear blog. You have not been forgotten, although you have certainly been neglected lately. I’d apologize, but I have good reason. I was planning a wedding and a honeymoon and over-thinking everything.

We had a handful of our favorite people in one place and I have never had a better day. There were so many loved ones and we had a chance to chat and dance and toast and inhale green chile and homemade tortillas and gingersnaps with all of them. It was an overplanned, anxiously executed dream come true.

There were lots of great handmade details that were important to our big day. I made 100 jars of marmalade as the favors, painted the cake toppers and stitched the ring pillow. The invitations were handmade and printed on vintage handkerchiefs. My mom sewed a bow tie for Nelson and made our chuppah — which was a wedding ring pattern I love. A girlfriend’s mom made my bouquet and the boutonnieres. We had friends recite poetry and help read a blessing. My grandmother’s begonia was tucked in my bouquet, and I wore her sparkly necklace that I’ve adored since I was a girl. Another girlfriend’s mom made our guest book. Others brought cookies for the dessert table. I baked a small cake.

I’ll post more photos as I can about our special day, but here are few for now:

Happily ever after


Happily ever after

Happily ever after

More to come. In the meantime, I’ll be writing thank you cards, which I hope to finish before Christmas. And moming, which makes my heart so happy and full, my cheeks hurt.

xo,

K

Posted in
Celebrate!, Family
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Viva la Frida!

September 14th

Girlfriends organized and threw a Frida Kahlo-themed wedding shower for me over the weekend. It was, not to be too dramatic, the best day of my life. I had a handful of close friends and family in one room, all enjoying great food and each other’s company.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

Frida bridal shower: September 2016 Mesa, AZ

Frida bridal shower: September 2016 Mesa, AZFrida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

Frida Bridal Shower

A flower bar. A Frida-themed photo backdrop. They made me a flower headband to wear that matched my crazy Frida-dress. And then they packed up all the left-over churros and Frida stuff and sent me home with three vases of flowers.

I feel incredibly loved! (And I’m so happy to let my freak flag fly. There is no hiding how much I love Frida, guacamole, or my friends. Now, Jason’s family is well aware.)

Frida Bridal Shower

Many thanks to Shan, Meg and Katie for making this day so thoughtful and generous. And to my mom for flying in for the fiesta!

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!
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