Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You!

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Oh, HELLO!!! Hi! Happy New Year, dear friends! I am home alone in the house here for the first time in many weeks. I'm in my office and have my hot tea and my fake fireplace on. Clover Meadow is in her office basket here with me and Bridget is in Clover Meadow's living-room bed (a recent development that leaves Clover bewildered and the rest of us sheepishly on edge — but Bridget gets what Bridget wants. Apparently she's the alpha in the entire family). Outside the sky is flat and gray and chilly. Inside I've been tidying — oh the post-holiday endless tidying! I have a new box of thank-you notes that need to be written. I have a new stack of my own books I need to find a place for. I have a small mountain of tiny toys to put away. But the tree is down and the Christmas decorations have been put away (we left the general "winter" decorations out) and the piles are dispersed. Mimi is back to school and Andy is back to work and I should be getting back to work, and I will. But today I am missing them, as I always do after everyone's been home for a while. I think I would like some peace and quiet but as soon as I get it I'm at a loss, and missing the chaos of their warm, loud, messy, darling presences so fiercely it stuns me slow.

Christmas was really nice this year, just lazy and simple and filled with family and fun and lovely gifts and lots of hanging out here. Aunt Susie slept over on New Year's Eve. We blew up Amelia's air mattress and dressed it with flannel sheets and quilts and pillows and she made a nest for herself in the middle of the living room, and stayed up until 11 p.m. that night, long after Andy got home at 9 (and I went upstairs to bed). She spent the night in the living room with Aunt Susie on the sofa and in the morning Andy was back up at 5 a.m. for work and I luxuriated until late morning, listening to my sister and my daughter playing together downstairs. No one needed anything from me so I shuffled down for coffee and then shuffled back up to spend four hours shopping for mini-embroidery supplies on my iPad. Ahhhh, pure bliss of idleness! Much of vacation was like this, in fact. The house was fuzzy and soft, meals and mealtimes were fluid and ridiculous, made of cookies and salad rolls and delivered chicken makhani and delivered chicken makhani again. An endless loop of movies featuring impossibly quaint small-towns, vaguely dissatisfied orphaned corporate executives, and gingerbread-house-building competitions (or episodes of Nature Cat) played tirelessly in the background. A gazillion Perler beads turned into ornaments. Every game and puzzle in the game-and-puzzle cabinet got played or made or was given away. Every new colored pencil, crayon, and bottle of paint got used and spilled. It was glorious, lazy, lingering fun, and for the first time, on the Sunday before school was scheduled to start again, I was sad that it was over. Age seven is basically EXCELLENT.

Amelia got her wild hair cut just after new year, and this was a long time coming as it had really turned into a crazy, vaguely felted sort of cloud around her head. Two big snarls in the back that I would diligently try to untangle — literally pulling hair strand by strand out of the nest — just kept coming back. It was nuts, and a source of howls. She couldn't brush or comb it herself and she wouldn't let me brush or comb it for her. So she decided she was ready to have it cut above her shoulders, and so it is. A cute little bob and bangs. I'm not crazy about the bangs, myself, but she wanted them again and they do look cute on her. I do miss the wild-child tangle, as the haircut aged and matured her in an instant, and it's funny how haircuts do that, isn't it?

My goals for 2020 are to be more organized both for upcoming Posie projects and for meal planning. I basically do neither of these, ever, in any real or dedicated sort of way. I don't make lists and I don't write anything down and I have no calendar beyond the Portland Public School lunch menu, and this is not Grown Up. I would also like to be more organized about my personal knitting and crafting projects, as these are important to me and I have a lot of ideas for things that sort of get lost in the shuffle. Since my office is all nice and fancy now I would like to figure out how to do a little more forward thinking about my schedule, and my plan for the year, especially when it comes to timing Posie projects so that we are not is a mad scramble to get something seasonal out the door. That is one of my least favorite states of being, so I am going to work on that.

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It was my birthday yesterday! I'm really old now!!!

59 comments

Happy Birthday, mine is on the way and I’ll be five years older than you. But...here’s the thing, I love how being older has made me more confident, less influenced by outside people and sources, more content. So if it weren’t for the aches it would completely eclipse the wide-openness of youth. Plus, to just heap on the maturity greatness, my after college/grad school kids get along, have fantastic energy and dreams, and can play marathon extended Catan expansion adventures. Dang, it’s all good, especially the shorter hair (and in a complete rats nest catastrophe, I highly recommend slathering on coconut oil on the dry, ratty tangle, plus its good for the hair, comes in handy if you get stuck with the dreaded head lice little girl issue as well). Happy 2020, you really are the best!

Katie Laughlin says: January 09, 2020 at 06:48 AM

Happy birthday Alicia and all the best for the coming year. I've enjoyed your blog so much over the years. Speaking of years, the print on your blog is so tiny and pale, it is very hard to read. (I know part of that is my advancing age.) Any chance you could fix that? Cheers, thanks for all the great posts! Katie

Happy Birthday!!!! God bless you! what a lovely Christmas you had! it is good to have some quiet lazy days after so much business! I struggle with planning too (and being able to execute the plans!) ... a great thing to work on! many blessings!

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year Alicia! Your Christmas looks and sounds wonderful. I hope in your shop plans you are thinking of releasing your birth announcement cross stitch. After knitting quite a bit in the past year, I'm suddenly in the mood for some good cross stitching :)

Karen Durfee says: January 09, 2020 at 10:55 AM

Organization, such a beautiful state, my personality requires a couple of things to make me happy. My bed made, the kitchen clean so I can cook and seven meals on a list. You would think not to hard, but some days. Go for the menu planning, with small children, a blessing. Just list seven meals, main coarse and some sides. When you shop for the week pick up the supplies you need. Easy peasy. Start small and build your plan.

Happy Birthday to you!! (and many more)

Happy Birthday Alicia, wishing you all the joy in the world! Just wondering if you’ve watched Anne with an E on Netflix? Every time I see the characters in calico dresses I think of you 😍💐😀

Happy Birthday, dear Alicia!! All the best and many thanks for your gorgeous photos and wonderful, peaceful blog.

Nathalie Carles says: January 09, 2020 at 07:34 PM

I never post but I just want to say first Happy Birthday second I love your daughter's new hair cut, she is very very very pretty and yes, it does mature her in a way, at the same time, it makes her look younger too. Your blog is fabulous I have been following you for years, almost from the beginning, and it is always a delight and I have never missed a post. What you do is gorgeous, no you are not old.... you are just older....I wish you and you gorgeous family a very very happy new year and i love your resolutions, you are so down to earth, it is SO refreshing!

Welcome back, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday. So happy to see a post from you. Have been checking everyday. Wishing you the very best in striving towards your goals for this year. Muuuahhh and lots of love.<3

Nicki Machin says: January 10, 2020 at 03:22 AM

Happy Birthday, almost birthday twin ;o) Your Christmastime sounds excellent! We did not play one single board game and i am super sad about that. When kids turn into teenagers you are basically hanging around waiting to collect or drop them off someplace. Then when they are home they just spend all their time talking to their friends via their phones. I am trying to decide what projects to tackle first also but i am so drawn to your dolls. Love Amelia's new bob but i know what you mean about haircuts instantly maturing kids!

Happy Birthday! One of my goals this year is to say thank you to the people who make my life happier and this blog and your writing is one of those people. Thank you for beautiful pictures, happy stories, and for sharing your thoughts as your little girl grows up. I am also the mama of a singleton, a boy now 19, and your stories remind me of the very best parts of his childhood.

Happy New Year to you and your lovely family! Happy Belated Birthday too! Thank you for all that you share here. Your blog is truly a gift to all of us.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
Happy Birthday
Loved reading all your “bits and pieces!”
Liking the hair, bangs . . . and oh my . . .
How very grown up . . . new pages . . . again and again.
Keep HAPPY!

(to be sung in the Contra Dance birthday tune)
We wish you a happy birthday
A joyous and celebrated birthday
To our dear Alicia
We wish you a long long life!
Thank you for the glimpse into your holidays! What would Christmas be without a few scenes from the Paulson household? Everything looked magical....sometimes a difficult feat to pull off in the PNW.

My hair did the same thing in primary school. Mum would spend hours untangling the matt at the back only for it to reappear in the morning. She also threatened to cut it all off which I eventually allowed it happen due to the pain of brushing. A tip is to put a splash of conditioner in a spray bottle of water and use that to spray her hair before brushing, really helps with the tangles.
My goal this year is also to be more organised with meal planning, I actually just blogged about my plan and already have a few meal plans in the works.

I love Amelia's haircut - adorable! Happy belated birthday and you are young at heart. I'm older than you and and I have to admit it's a little scary, but I hope to be around for many years - enjoying my hobbies and my grandkids! Even at my age, it is bittersweet with memories and yes, when the house is crazy and you want quiet, but then you get quiet, and it is an odd feeling for sure! I recently retired and I love the extra time for my hobbies (many of them are yours), but I need to get used to that quiet in the house. I'll be starting one of your bunny dolls for one of my granddaughters - she's been waiting patiently for it since her older sister has one already. Looking forward to your posts and wonderful pictures - as always!

Susan I R. says: January 11, 2020 at 04:36 AM

P.S. I forgot to mention my granddaughters hair tangles too (in that same area) - I have a spray on de-tangler that works like magic! I'm sure there are many kinds out there and it's been soooo helpful, believe me!

Have you ever thought about bullet journaling for organization? I am addicted and I bet that yours would be so lovely.

Lovely hair cut! She will enjoy this new cut since it will be easier to take care of. May you have a wonderful year in 2020! Looking forward to see all your posts in 2020!! Happy birthday, XXX!

M. Michael Payne says: January 12, 2020 at 09:00 AM

you are not old yet, sweetpea. Give it 20 years or so. When your daughter it nearing 40. then you can say you're old. Not till then. LOL Our love and joy to you. It's pouring here. Wet on wet. Snow predicted by Wednesday. Well, technically snow mixed with rain which is not really snow but I have hope.

So very beautiful, everything in your life is beautiful. I love it and you all.

Happy birthday, Alicia! Best wishes for the new year for you and your family

Catherine W says: January 14, 2020 at 06:27 AM

Happy Birthday Alicia! Love your blog and your sweet family. Hope this New Year brings you and your family much joy and happiness!

OMG I received the Barbie "Dream Camper" back in the early 90s one Christmas! I loved it. I can't believe how old I am looking at your daughter with hers for Christmas ...

Love all your photos, as usual. Happy Birthday!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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 aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.