Winter Ways

comments: 60


























December days. The weather is dim, wet, the sky very low and filled with purple. Afternoons out, nights in, mornings dark with candlelit showers. Early Sunday morning I found myself driving out to Powell Butte where I sat in the morning-bright, cold-blowing wind and looked at the mountain. The sun rose, glowing white behind the thin layer of clouds. I had hot coffee, and one of those jacket-hoods with fake fur, a zipper that went up to my nose, and drawstrings, which I tightened. It was glorious.

Deep breath, in and out. The tree is trimmed, the lights are up, the parties are scheduled, the gifts have been shipped. There are cards to write and cookies to bake, but those are the things I look forward to. I'm still knitting the pink sideways coat. That thing is taking forever, and honestly, I'm not trying too hard to finish it. Andy's crocheting a great big whale, which is super rad. For the past few months, we've been putting together things for a tiny play kitchen for Mimi for Christmas. I'm quite sure I've already spent many more hours with it and and enjoyed it as much as she ever will (so. much. fun.) but I can hardly wait to play with it with her. The flannel sheets are on the bed, and I fall asleep before I can even open my book. I got a few chores done, and I feel like things are trickling now, and that's how I like it. That's how I like winter here. Slow, dark, and simple, molasses in a chocolate-ginger cookie. Because our girl's on a tolting run, most of the time. A beautiful whirlwind I counter-balance with hot tea and lots of sitting with my feet up at the end of the day.

I'm in search of a candlelight Christmas concert. Would you know of any pretty ones?

***I just read this post of Heather's — it's so lovely. She has such an honest, beautiful way with words, and motherhood, and everything.


Beautiful photos! It really is the most wonderful time of year.

I love those little button Christmas trees!

Oh Alicia, thank you. I am in a yucky place - for lack of a better expression. I detest my job but yet it is taking up more of my life and mindshare than anything else these days. And that in turn has made everything else just feel out of whack and blah. Reading your blog always reminds me to try to take it slow, to appreciate and ENJOY the simple things (like a hot cup of coffee or a good cookie), and to really treasure this my time with my girls. I get lost in your pictures and always leave inspired and determined to do something cozy like build a fire and make hot chocolate. Hope you continue to enjoy this season with your family - I'm sure it will be magical with Mimi this year.

Your pictures are lovely! You might check your local schools for their schedule of concerts. I attended my niece's concert last evening and it was so lovely! For the final piece, the 100 member choir surrounded us and sang "Still, Still, Still" by candlelight. It sure made me feel the Christmas spirit!

lapdogknits says: December 10, 2014 at 06:18 AM

after renting a home and exploring Portland in October I now know these locations in your photos and can picture you and Mimi...super fun...loved my time there...always enjoy your writing...

I love your Santa Lucia crown. I have been looking for inspiration to make one for my daughter, yours is my favorite that I have seen! I better get on that sooner rather than later!

Oh gosh, the energy of two-year olds! Running is what my little girl, Isla, does from dawn to dusk.

We are giving my daughter a play kitchen for Christmas, too. I had hoped to make ours, but gave myself a break and took a trip to Ikea instead. I'm really excited to set it up and start playing, too. :)

A few small things left to purchase, and then only handmades and baking left. I love the quiet part of the season so much.

I love photos of a blurry kid on the move, because they just are - on the move! (like Aslan ;)

Mary K. in Rockport says: December 10, 2014 at 08:23 AM

It's nice to see a photo of YOU now and then on your blog. Like you, I was always behind the camera. I'm afraid that when I'm gone, my daughters will go through all our photos and say, "Do you remember what Mom looked like, exactly?"

Christmas is such a blessed time! Beautiful pictures! Your little one is growing up so beautifully! May you all be blessed this Christmas time!

Alicia, I look forward every day to checking in with Posie. I adore your voice, the luminescence of your photographs, the quiet "just rightness" of your words. I have followed you for years, and purchased your kits, but I have not yet commented. Now is the time to tell you that you are a gem in my world. Thank you for sharing so honestly and beautifully.

Thank you so much to share with us. I love so much your pictures! I have suscribed to your newsletters for some time now. I'm allways happy to see your new posts. I am on Facebook, with my email. You can find me on Instagram too, as catioliama. And on pinterest as CatiSP. I live in France with my husband and my Two daughters, Olivia 6 years old and Amandine 2 years old. I would be so happy if you visit me or suscribe! I love your posts a lot +++++

You really capture how FAST little ones are in those photos! I remember those days--zip, zip, zip!

ooh -- you said "chocolate-ginger cookie". do you have a recipe? i REALLY need to make some of those!

That balloon! You made me think of the time my eldest was that age. We would visit from a land very far away, in every way, and it seemed like sheer torture to enter a mega grocery store and have those things floating around -- besides all the other goodies stashed near the cashier. I would be on a very strict budget and my little one would cry and cry for those balloons, and I just could not figure out how people there could get through a grocery shopping trip without a meltdown (I'm not sure they do).

Your way with wintertime sounds just perfect, and your photos are as inspiring as ever--it's been good to see peeks of you in them lately, too. Happy holidays. :)

She is a girl on the move! As always I so appreciate your lovely photos! Merry Christmas!

Hood is so beautiful, it's hard to believe that it's always there. How can anything that beautiful be so permanent? Takes my breath away.... (okay, I'm a biased native Oregonian, but STILL!)

It's been rainy here this winter - no snow yet here in Connecticut, not our normal New England weather. I feel like this year it must be a Portland winter.
Can't wait to see what you and Andy make for your little!!!

You might try the Winter Solstice concert, downtown PDX, First Unitarian Church
I expect it to be lovely! Always enjoy your photos and poems of gratitude.

sonia gregory says: December 10, 2014 at 06:27 PM

Love seeing pics of adorable Amelia. You mentioned a good concert. We live in Texas and went to see the Trapp family in concert with the Fort Worth symphony orchestra. So enjoyable with beautiful Christmas music and classics from the movie The Sound of Music. You probably already know that they are residents of Portland. They talked about Portland being their choice to live because of the music opportunities. If you have not seen them you must try.
Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

I'm so happy for your family! I've read your blogs for several years and love it. It's fun to see the familiar Portland photos as my husband and I have a condo in NW District. It has to be the coziness neighborhood this time of year!
For a beautiful candlelit Christmas concert, you should check out Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in NW District, on NW 19th & Davis. Not only is the Gothic Tudor architecture beautiful but the really decorate nicely inside. Their music program is just incredible. Check their calendar of events on their website. I know their Christmas Eve services are amazing...and candlelit. Cheers

I see she's finally big enough for the little red dress! I loved it when you made it! so cute! Merry Christmas!

December is going too fast! I want to be able to enjoy it more as well as doing the things that need to be done.

A tolting run. Such a cute description, at least it means she's solid, won't fall, or drop anything! Blessings for a wonderful Christmas season to you and your beautiful little family.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at