5 people x January

Taking a cue from Tara, I'm going to try to do a monthly round-up of what's going around in our house, complete with a family photo (except January, when it appears I didn't get the camera out at all so I'm borrowing a photo of the MFA instead) 

[edited to add: January is a month to convince yourself into enjoying things, don't you think?  So if this recap seems on the rosy side to you, you're right.  Be assured that there are many dismal and frustrating things I'm leaving out in order to spruce up the month a bit (or read some of them in my comment below).]

One highlight this month was attending the John and Abigail Adams Benefit Ball at the Museum of Fine Arts with G this past weekend. It was refreshing to get all fancied up and enjoy the art + music + food + people watching. It felt very Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler-ish to be drifting around the galleries after hours by ourselves.  I should have taken pictures (and didn't) but I did find a dress I loved (hence the mall trip in Sam's postcard below) and G looked very dashing.  I'm even getting better at cocktail party small talk and being brave about introducing myself to complete strangers.

In other news, I handed in my first qualifying paper, hosted the Young Women's New Beginnings last night, and am deliberating about my hair (again) and exercise regime (still) and house projects.

Lauren just finished midyears, a week-long exam week in her high school where they hold 3-hour exams in place of classes for a week, college style. Makes me glad I did high school the easier way, not the quasi-college way.

Also, she's taking an SAT prep class on Saturdays and is still fencing her heart out.  We hardly ever see her, really.

Lauren and I played a flute duet for stake conference + it was a pleasure to play together like that (I was so proud of her).  She has a robust social life and, recently, there's a certain favorite boy (and that's where the blogging boundaries end, I believe). 

Maddy keeps growing taller and taller, which has made her legs and ankles ache regularly.  

In typical Maddy style, she dives into many after school activities with gusto--model UN, student leaders, yearbook, helping a friend with stage design for the musical. She's transitioned to staying behind her closed bedroom door more often, texting, and littering her floor with clothes--full blown teenager but without much attitude (knock on wood).

I love that she wears an Audrey Hepburn pendant every day.

Sam went on a klondike derby campout with G (6 measly degrees! Brrr) and they were both great sports.  

Sam goes through wide piano swings, on one end of the spectrum flopping around and avoiding practicing and on the other end practicing up a storm and composing like crazy.  Guess when he likes his lessons more??  Yeah, it's a tough lesson to learn...over and over.  

He also plays basketball and still says "I love you" out loud when I drop him off at school in the mornings. It makes my morning and I consider each one a gift since I don't know how much longer it will last.

G had a great birthday this month--it's so nice to have something to celebrate in January. We surprised him by planning and booking a boys' ski trip to Utah this weekend for him and 7 high school friends who will be flying in from all over the country.  

G's also been coaching Maddy's basketball team, getting involved in some non-profits in Boston,  and working hard at his day job.

Also memorable: Blueberry pie for G's birthday from PetsiPies. The smell of snow in the morning. The taste of sixth grade spaghetti and the smell of sixth graders dancing. A few good fires in the fireplace. Watching the stars with Sam for his science project. Snow tubing at Nashoba. Mike's Pastries + italian food with Christin in the North End.