Thursday, 14 February 2013


I must sound manic - going from a darker post yesterday to one about celebration today. But that's life, isn't it? Not manic - but a mixture of light and dark.

I was asking a wise friend how to raise resilient, kind, and caring children, and she gave me some interesting advice: Celebrate. Fill them with joy.

Hospitality is something I'm working on, and during Lent want to find ways to be more intentional about it. Since we moved to our new home this past summer, we have hosted at least one celebration per month. Some gatherings have been bigger than others: family Bollywood dancing, kid Bollywood dancing, steel drum band, a kids' outdoor fall festival, a meal with some of Derek's Master's students, and dessert with some undergrad students. It has been a lot of fun to have this variety of gatherings, and I'd like to keep that up if we can.

I even want to go so far as to have a guest book - not for people to sign, but to keep track of our hosting experiences. Crazy but true. I want to record these joy-filled celebrations so that they can fill me with even more joy as I look back on them.

And I want to find smaller ways to celebrate too, as a family. One idea that I got from Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home was to have simple but celebratory breakfasts. To decorate the table when the kids are in bed, then have a holiday themed breakfast. We had a lovely one on Christmas morning:

 and now I've got one ready for the feast of St. Valentine this morning: white table cloth, red plastic cutlery, heart-shaped tins with red heart gummy candies inside, a heart-shaped candle, and a special thrift-store valentine-themed-stuffed-animal on the kids' chairs. Total cost: $2.00.

Here's what holds me back from being hospitable and hosting celebrations:
1. untidy house
2. lack of cooking skills/confidence

And here's my plan for attacking those silly things:
1. clean, and enlist others to do so as well
2. get take out :), just have desserts and appetizers
3. stop worrying so much about what other people think.

A work in progress, as always.


  1. Amen to this! Such awesome ideas. I can identify with you on all counts! Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Valentine's Day! Lori

    1. Thanks, Lori. Happy Valentine's to you too!

  2. I love your idea of starting a guest book. I would like to do this too. Recently, my mom found a book that my grandmother kept of all the meals she cooked for an MCC board - for over 20 years! She wrote down all the dishes she served, the number of people, how much it cost, and even what time the meal started :) What a treasure.

    Also, I was inspired by your post the other day, when I mentioned I once burned a chicken. That was over a year ago and I have been afraid to try again ever since. But yesterday I cooked a chicken and it was delicious! But let's be honest, my husband made the gravy :)

    1. Hey - way to go! I've been finding my way with various roasts too, and they're not as bad as I thought they would be. Thank goodness for husbands who can make gravy. :)

      I love the sounds of your grandma's guest book - what a treasure! Can't believe she even wrote what time the meal started. Wow.