Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A yogi's Christmas poem

The folks over at YogaDownload shared this with me, and I couldn't help but pass it along ..

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the home,
Not a yogi was stirring, not even an OM.

The yoga mats were rolled by the chimney with care,
In hopes there would be 20 minutes to spare.

The children were nagging, not going to bed,
While visions of Wanderlust danced in my head.

With mama in her yoga pants and I in mine too,
We were deeply in need of our inner guru. 

When up on the roof there arose such a blast,
You’d think Shiva Rea was giving a free class.

And what to my wondering third eye should I see,
But Santa himself, breathing in ujjayi.

His hands placed in mudra, he looked so serene,
Sitting in lotus, right under the tree.

“Santa!” I exclaimed, “how can this be?”
“I came to align your chakras,” said he.

He rose up to standing (and his pants were see-through,
He must have bought them last year at lulu).

We rolled out our Mandukas and lit our inner flame,
And he whistled and shouted each yoga pose name.

“Now up dog, now down dog, now to chaturanga!
On cobra, on cat/cow, on parsva bakasana!”

The prana was flowing, my worries were gone,
My mantra, “I am grateful,” carried me on.

Santa, it seemed, was a wonderful mentor,
The yoga was helping me come back to center.

“Your practice need never be out of your sight,
YogaDownload is with you, all day or all night.”

And I heard him exclaim as he drove off in his sleigh,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all Namaste!”

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday weekend: From the phone

This just in:

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Miles still will not happily sit on Santa's lap.

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But he will hold hands and smile with his friend, Leo.

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I got to cuddle a baby and hang out with Kim while riding the Santa Train.

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Christmas dinner prep has begun! Meatballs for meatball lasagna. Yum. My mother-in-law had her hip replaced, and cooking duties for the holiday have been passed on to me. Since I only get the holiday off, I'm doing as much advance work as possible.

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My neighbor is either very generous and thoughtful or trying to kill me. She delivered her annual plate of Christmas cookies last night. These cookies, which appear to be just traditional sugar, are the best things ever. 

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holly and jolly

The clock read 5:03 when I bounded out of bed Christmas morning. While my early-morning workouts were more than likely responsible for the inability to sleep, I would be lying to say I wasn't looking forward to Christmas a little more this year.

Miles is older and aware of who Santa, excitedly saying "Hanta" at the mere glimpse and occasionally following up with a "Ho, ho, hooo." I was sure he would be able to open presents and even more certain that he would like what was inside him. His visions of baby would no longer dance in a cellphone but realized once reunited with his cousin.

Though it became apparent that Santa's role escaped Miles and his favorite Christmas present was a MegaBlocks truck that my brother gave him ... last year ... I can say that this was my favorite holiday to date. Except for the year I got the pink corduroy overalls.

So indulge me as I share some of my favorite snapshots of the day. I hope your holidays were merry and bright.

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Naughty or nice

He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!

Dangit, Santa! Way to ruin all the fun. It's no fun to be only good, and I certainly don't want to be only bad.

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Of course, I don't think you have to be only nice or naughty. Sometimes you can be both. Sort of like the Brussels sprout dish that I brought to Christmas dinner.

My friend had waxed on poetically about a Brussels sprout gratin he had made for his Thanksgiving meal. It had a board of artisan cheeses, heavy cream and the delightful vegetable people love to hate. It seemed a bit odd that he was so enamored with the dish - Brussels sprouts and cheese. Really? And then I realized that I am guilty of eating Green Giants Brussels sprouts in a processed cheese sauce and loving it.

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I decided that I would make my own version, minus some of the fat and adding some of my mystery box goodies from The Laughing Cow. When I shared what seemed like a great idea with my mother-in-law, I was informed that she did not eat Brussels sprouts. Not even with cheese. But I could bring a dessert.

I whined for a bit and threatened to bring a box of Oreos until I realized it wouldn't be very nice. And I wanted to be good, good for goodness sake. So I'd make dessert ... and my Brussels sprouts gratin.

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Made with fresh Brussels sprouts, center cut bacon and a cheese sauce of milk, Laughing Cow French Onion and Swiss cheese, the gratin is a dish that is just as good as it looks. The smokiness of the bacon and the flavor of the French Onion wedges complement the fresh, bright flavor of the Brussels sprouts. It seems decadent and a bit naughty but with a punch of good stuff like minerals and fiber.

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Leaving room for something that's definitely naughty.

Lightened Up Brussels Sprouts Gratin


2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
Kosher salt
6 pieces center cut bacon
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk of choice (I used half almond, half 2%)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 wedges The Laughing Cow French Onion
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In boiling salted water, cook Brussels sprouts in 1-pound batches for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, cook bacon until just barely crisp. Remove from pan; drain. In the same skillet, add flour, whisking to combine with bacon grease. Allow to cook for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until combined. Continue to whisk occasionally as the mixture begins to thicken. Add in garlic powder, salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and add The Laughing Cow wedges and Swiss cheese, continuing to whisk until the cheese is melted and well combined.

In a 9-by-13 baking dish, toss together the Brussels sprouts, bacon and cheese sauce. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven or until the sauce is bubbly.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jolly old, St. ... err, Denali

Somebody sneaked into our house last night.

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No worries - he was welcome. It was St. Nicholas, after all.

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The Feast of St. Nicholas honors the life and deeds of Bishop Nicholas, who was revered as a gift-giver and protector of children. Growing up in a German-Catholic household in a German-Catholic area, the stories and celebration of St. Nicholas were commonplace. It was never anything extravagant - a few pieces of candy, an ornament and maybe a small gift - but it was something we looked forward to early in the Advent season.

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I know Miles has no idea what is going on but I wanted to begin the tradition now and allow it to grow in the coming years. In his stocking was a book and a pair of holiday jammies to wear on Christmas Eve. (A Facebook friend posted that her kids pick several toys on St. Nick "eve" to donate to charity, which I think is an awesome idea and very much in the spirit of the man.)

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Of course, I was not surprised to find that Miles gave no attention to his gifts. He was far more interested in Denali's KONG.

So much for my traditions.

What does surprise me is how much this child eats. At 17 months, I swear this kid puts away food like a high school football player.

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Take yesterday morning. I made him his standard scrambled egg with broccoli and cheese. He had two graham crackers while I was cooking the egg and a quarter of a banana. A half-hour, 45 minutes later, he was asking for another cracker. I compromised with a fruit and grain bar.

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We had some running around to do, and I am so grateful I had the foresight to stuff a string cheese in my purse. The stick was consumed as we weaved through the aisles at Walmart.

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And if that wasn't enough, he saw me eating an apple in the car and insisted on having it.

Lunches vary for Miles but daycare is very good about giving him well-rounded meals. This week, I know he had meatloaf and rutabaga - one of which ended up on the floor. Want to guess which? Snacks are often fruit and crackers. The fruit sometimes ends up on the floor, sometimes it doesn't. The crackers ... well, they are always eaten.

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Miles eats whatever we have for dinner. Last night, we went to my in-laws and my MIL made tuna casserole and broccoli. Both devoured by Miles.

Happily.

I am sharing Miles' eats as par of Brittany's Munchkin Meals and because I'll be accepting donations to feed my future Olympian. OK. Just kidding on the second part. Be sure to check out the other Munchkin Meals.