Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Fringe Hours (and what you should be watching right now)

Hello friends! I hope life (and this winter weather) have been treating you well! Here in the Starr Casa, we have been juggling the usual joys and challenges of work, kids, preparing for Shabbos, and trying to have some fun in between:)

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner to read, and it came at just the right time.

The book is about the need to create space for things that you love. It's interesting because this has always been really important to me, but sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. Take Fridays--I have the day off and my kids have daycare, so I generally take time for myself then. Each week, I stop at a local coffee shop and settle in with a latte and a book, if only for a few stolen minutes. I also love meeting up with friends for coffee and hanging out, but those quiet moments to read on a busy Friday are vital to me. Sometimes, I'll run into an acquaintance who is in awe of the fact that I'm sitting and relaxing--and it makes me wonder if I'm unusual for needing that mental space, or if we ALL need that sometimes but don't allow ourselves permission.

Reading this book totally reaffirmed my efforts in carving out space for the things that make me feel engaged, passionate, and deeply me.

(Note: While this is a Christian book and contains occasional religious language, it's really pretty neutral and can fit a variety of different situations.)

Speaking of other important things, my little sis helped create a short movie about the dangers of texting and driving: watch it below!  I'm so proud of her!

As part of a project, my sister and her friends have set up a pledge to avoid texting and driving--go and sign HERE!

Even though texting and driving is often presented as a "teen issue" I think it's SO important for all of us to keep in mind. In the age of the iPhone, when it takes enormous self control to avoid checking constant messages, we all have to remember the times to stop, put the phone away, and focus on something else more important.

Interestingly, both of these pieces come back to one thing: TIME, and how to use it. May we all use it safely and intentionally.

What is taking up YOUR time today?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Where You'll Find Me

I love this shot. It's kind of a hot mess--but it so encapsulates real life right now. The good parts and the hard parts.

Note the contents of my cupboards spilled out on the floor, the dropped bottle at the edge of the frame, the toddler perched on a chair in the middle of the mess.

But also note the handsome guy (with an apron!) whipping up pancakes on a Sunday morning, and the two beautiful babies pitching in. I'm a lucky woman.

And if you can't find me, I'll be trying to scrape the milk off the floor:)

What is going on in YOUR everyday life right now?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winding up 2014

The past few weeks have been FULL.

First, we had a beautiful Chanuka together as a family!

Then, Ellie had the cutest little Chanuka play at school!

We also celebrated Moshe turning ONE!

Someone experimented with her Minnie ears:)

And the babies had fun together:)

We also celebrated Anniversary # 6! (lots of celebrating this month)

So that's what I've been up to!   What has been the highlight of YOUR December?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Season for Miracles

Last night was the last night of Chanukah--and this year was a good one, with not one but two happy babies.

Last year, we had three menorahs for the three people in our family:

For her gift, Ellie got her beloved toddler CD player, which she plays and rocks to to this very day!

I was pregnant with Moshe, and received a cute little "Watch Me Grow" frame to fill up with his photos.

Besides for all of the fun and games (and food fried in oil.....mmmm) Chanukah is about celebrating the big miracles in our lives--the moments where the seeming randomness of the world falls away, and you can so clearly see G-d moving.

Last year, on this very day, I gave birth to a baby boy--who was so sick, we weren't sure for days if he would survive at all, and what kind of quality of life he would have.

This year, I have a beautiful and completely healthy baby boy:

And we now have FOUR menorahs lighting up our home, within and without:

Today, we will celebrate one year of the sweetest little boy. And we will also remember to take note of the miracles--the ones we see and the ones that hide in small moments and happy coincidences--that fill our lives, day after day.

Happy holiday season to everyone--from our house to yours!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On Gray Days

The past few days have been hard....a few major stresses, lots of little things going wrong, and then a steady stream of rain and snow that makes the days feels endless and my commute interminable. Most of the time I really enjoy everything I spend my time on, but every once in a while I just feel overwhelmed (anyone else??)

So after one too many gray days, here a few things that keep me happy:

This guy (and my new hair. See HERE for an explanation of said new hair)

And these crazy folks.

A finished project (doesn't that seem like a miracle!)

And running through the halls....

And also happy about these new boots that are awesome in the rain!

So that's what's keeping me cheerful on these gray days:)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Tiny Peek into Life Right Now

Things have been a little quiet here lately--my days are usually very full and while I like it that way, sometimes I need more rest in life and the past few weeks have been like that. I've been doing less, and reading and sleeping more:)

But I wanted to pop in and write about this photo because it's such a reflection of where our life is right now. Moshe is almost one years old (!!) and has the happiest, cutest disposition. (As a side note on mothering--I will admit here that I DO NOT LIKE THE NEWBORN STAGES. Too much poop, too little sleep. But this "older infant" phase? With smiles and giggles and shiny new teeth and first steps? THE. BEST.)

Also in that photo  you can see the giant red exercauser left over from the days when putting M in there was the only way I could make dinner, and the toy giraffe stuffed into said exercauser. Most days, my living room looks like a stuffed animal daycare, with toys in the exercauser, the swing, the doll stroller, etc.

A little slice of life that I don't want to forget.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Five Things I Love About FALL

So today I'm continuing the "five things" trend I love so much, but with a focus on my favorite season...fall. Now that it's starting to be winter in these parts, I figure I better get this fall post up now!

I finally got my kids to a pumpkin patch! It was late in the season and CHILLY but we had a good time anyway:) The farm we've been going to the past few years has a pumpkin slingshot, which is so much fun!

I love making soup in the fall/winter. It's quick, filling, healthy, and easy to make with frequent interruptions from small people--so win win!

THIS soup is the Go make it now!

I decided to embrace all things pumpkin this year and give THIS SOAP a try (gentle foaming only--the best!). It smells delicious and not overwhelmingly pumpkin-y!

I have been LOVING doing some fall photoshoots in this beautiful weather:)  My new favorites are these ones of some adorable kids! Check out more on the PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG.

I'm really enjoying the softer palette and warmer tones of fall--THIS tortoiseshell necklace is a new addition to my collection, and it pairs so well with dark colors, boots, and winter patterns.

So there are some of my loves for fall:)

What is YOUR favorite little thing that's been bringing you joy lately?