Tag Archives: new traditions

The Game Father

24 Sep

God Father and ToddlerWhen my 10-year-old nephew found out we were expecting Szaba, he was so excited. He wanted to be the godfather.

There was only one problem: We’re not religious. Wait! Don’t click away. I’m not trying to convert (or un-convert) anyone. I simply regard spirituality as a very personal undertaking. You do it your way, I do it mine, and we’re all happy. Good? Good. As I was saying …

I was raised in a Catholic household and thus understood the importance of such a request, especially in the eyes of a child. The godparent-godchild relationship is a special bond recognized by the whole family. Essentially, it’s a mentoring relationship, someone you can always count on beyond your immediate family.

It was something I wanted to support, for my nephew and my daughter, especially given my nephew’s proactive interest in Szaba’s life and his recent losses of both his doting Grandma Sue and sweet Great Grandma Shirley.

Ryan and I talked about it and conceptualized a solution: The Game Father.

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Kid Swap!

4 Sep

Today’s activity is just for you, parents.

Kid swap!

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Cookie Decorating

26 Jun

Somewhat by accident, I recently re-discovered the pleasures of cookie decorating.

Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I was going to visit my sister and her family and came up with the idea for a host gift. (Yes, I still do those. Here are some ideas.)

I thought this would be something my 7-year-old niece would enjoy, but I was surprised when even my husband and brother-in-law were right in the mix, hogging the colored icing.

The dads kicked the creativity up a notch. And the competition of said creativity.

Cookie decorating is cheap, fun, easy, and something everyone can enjoy together. Not much else meet all that criteria. (Sledding? Play dough? Squirt gun fights?) Plus, you’re left with yummy pieces of art when you’re done.

My niece makes a delicious SpongeBob.

Still not convinced? File these ideas away. You’ll thank me one day.

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Arroz Con Pollo

4 Jun
Jennifer Pasinosky, Angela Hylland, Angela Taylor, kayaking, Lummi island

Jen and I, before embarking on the uncharted waters of motherhood.

As most of you know, since my mother-in-law’s death I’ve been on a mission to find ways to keep the memory of Sue alive for my baby girl. That desire, in turn, sparked a passion to help other families in the same situation.

Unfortunately, I have many close friends mourning the loss of a parent, right at the time when we’re figuring out how to be parents ourselves. The idea that our little ones won’t know those special people—people who would’ve been such integral parts of their lives, our lives—is simply unfathomable.

That’s why I was intrigued when my friend Jen told me about her continued connection to her mother through food, particularly the native Colombian dish, arroz con pollo. I asked her to write about it, so I could share it with all of you. The result is this beautiful guest post.

Thank you, Jen, for your support, understanding, inspiration, and willingness to share. You, like your mother, make this world a better place. I’m so glad I know you, and through you, her.

Without further ado …

FROM JEN:

Nothing brings back memories of my mom better than food. It’s been nine years since she passed away, and I can still taste her arroz con pollo.

As early as I can remember, I loved spending time with my mom in the kitchen.

She taught me how to make patacones, papas choriadas, pan de yuca, arepas, ajiaco, and on one ambitious day, empanadas. We would sing along to Colombian music playing from the family room. Yo me llamo cumbia, yo soy la reina por donde voy… Or of course, to Julio Iglesias.

She would tell funny stories of learning to cook in the early days of her marriage to my dad, an American. Here’s one of my favorites:

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Recognize a Mentor

21 Dec

Hylland Holiday Photo 2011This year my husband and I are gearing up for our first Christmas in our own home in 18 years! Ever since we went to college, we’ve been going to other people’s homes and participating in other people’s traditions. Now all of the sudden we have to figure out what we want to do and what memories we want to create for our daughter.

That’s why I was so happy and touched to come across this article by my friend Kerry Colburn. She stresses the importance of actively choosing traditions that are meaningful for you and your family, rather than going through the motions of Christmases past.

As a result, we’re focusing on some best-of traditions from both sides of our family: Drury rosettes,  Taylor “hour gifts” (one gift per hour instead of a frantic hurricane), LaGow Tom and Jerrys, and our own new creation, a special Sue gift for Szaba. (This year we’ll give her a hardcover copy of Frog and Toad All Year in honor of our new holiday theater day tradition.)

Kerry’s article got me thinking … This wasn’t the first time I’d stumbled upon a Kerry endeavor that helped give me clarity and peace.

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When It Rains, It Pours

21 Oct

I remember hearing “the holidays are hard.” I had no idea how hard, especially when the holidays are a pivot point in losing someone.

The saying goes: When it rains, it pours. Well, with the drizzled onslaught of fall at my doorstep—and all the memories that come flooding back with it—I have a new appreciation for that phrase.

Last year at this time, Sue was here. Not just here on Earth, but physically HERE, in my house. Her fleece, book, robe, and slippers await where she left them in our guest room. Her e-mail about how excited she was to visit still sits expectantly in my inbox. Memories of my daughter’s first Halloween, jack-o-lantern, and costume all come along with Sue, smiling (and for the first time visibly ill) in their ranks.

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