Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hygge: Celebrating Coziness

I must confess, when I first moved farther North about ten years ago , it was not the cold, but the length of winter that really got to me.  Okay, that's a lie, it was the cold and the length and sniffle season and the darkness that really got to me... oh yeah, and the snow half way up the first floor windows we had that first winter.  I found myself asking all too often, "When's it going to be Spring?" It's taking me years to not just accept winter, but to find ways to love it. Getting outdoors more and getting more sunlight have been important to my change of heart. Today Elsa said to me when we were playing in the snow, "Mama, do you miss your garden?" "Yes," I said, "But I love my winter snow garden too." But beyond embracing the outdoors, it's also been important for me to embrace the coziness of indoor winter life.... warm fire and food and drinks, snuggling under cozy blankets, crocheting and good books. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved coziness... the Wildwoods' have always been rather gnome-like in our approach to life.  It is definitely part of my everyday, but it's even better when you pause and recognize how cozy you are! I recently learned that in Denmark they actually have a word for this... "hygge". It is essentially creating an atmosphere of cozy well being. There's a nice "On Point" that explains it better. (Click here to listen to it!) Since I am reveling in my cozy today, I thought I'd share some things I am doing to keep that cozy feeling going these days.

The Cozy List
- Playing board games with my little ones. "Yoga Garden", "Out Foxed", and "Wildcraft" are our favorites right now and all cooperative board games, so there's no sore loser.
- Listening to the "While She Naps" podcast during my morning work hours
- Hand sewing some heart decorations onto new art aprons for the kids and giving Elsa her first sewing lesson.
- Making food at our new butcher block counter that allows us to sit at stools and enjoying cooking and eating snacks together. 
- Watching the kids paint more because of their new aprons.
- Baking chocolate chip cookies
- Drinking Kashmiri Chai
 - Popcorn with curry and other spices
- Snow Fun (sledding, snow angels, snow cats... hoping to go snow shoeing soon)
- Getting letters from friends
- Reading "When the Sea Turns to Silver" every night with the family
- Reading "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kid" to myself and wishing all babies came with this guide!
- Thinking about the next craft project
- Bonfires in the snow

I hope if you live in a place with cold winters that you are snuggling in deep and enjoying this time when we must create inner warmth and light. 

Joining in with KCCO over at Frontier Dreams .

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy New Year

Large patch made by "The Far Woods" with border and loops added by me!


I'm off to a slow start, I guess... welcome 2017! I'm still a little shell shocked from 2016... loss seemed to be a regular occurrence, both in my personal life and the wider world. In our own little family we had to say goodbye to our sweet cat Banjo far too soon and in a very heartbreaking way. But with pain comes awakening. Life is short, precious, risky, but amazing, even when it ends too soon. There are still gardens to grow, things to sew, little ones to laugh with, friends to call and letters to write.

There are so many things I'd like to promise myself to do this year, but  I'm going to take it one day at a time. I'm going to go slow. I'm shooting for slow parenting... slow making... slow cooking and slow, but mindful living. Mostly I want to try to stay connected to the people I love and the outside world. I'd like to turn off the news, but I think it's important to pay attention. I believe in protecting our planet and human rights, and I'm afraid of what I see and hear. Yet, when I look around, I know there are so many sweet, kindhearted people trying to live the best they can that I will try not to let the dark forces bring me down. I hope this is a year filled with creations, a year filled with growth, and a year filled with joy and connection. What are your hopes for the New Year?