Merry Christmas to me

My husband's grandfather was a great musician. Chris was given the violin about 20 years ago, but it was in pretty rough shape.  For Christmas, Chris and my dad decided to fix up the violin. It's so beautiful! Kamimoto Strings did a wonderful job fixing it up. They opened up the violin and learned that it was handmade in Czechoslovakia about 100 years ago. It sounds so beautiful, but I need to learn how to play it ;) Here are a few photos of it. The black and white photo has Chris's grandfather playing the violin in the late 1940s. It's so amazing. 

Next up: lessons. Probably in person, but maybe online? Any thoughts on learning how to play an instrument?

I think this is the best Christmas present ever. Thanks, Dad, Chris, and Grandpa Orin. What is the best gift you've received? 

Goals and Ideas for 2014

I do love writing down a few goals for the new year. I've done it in the past and feel pretty good about the results. You can read about 2013 here. 2013 was a total bust with regard to reading, but I had a baby in March and he was sleeping in our bed until last week. I'm definitely giving myself a pass on that one since I usually do all my reading at night before bed and didn't want to risk waking up the baby by turning on the light. 

1. Read grownup books. I love Roald Dahl and all the other kid books we read, but darnit, I want to read something for me. Even if it's just for a few minutes before bed. I have a slew of books (<photo at bottom of post) that I bought last Christmas break. 

2. Volunteer. This is a follow-up from last year's goal, but I have found the organization I'd like to work with: Nurse Family Partnership. It is "a maternal and early childhood health program, fosters long-term success for first-time moms, their babies, and society." New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says NFP may be the most important earliest intervention. More details to come on this partnership :)

3. Waste less food. I don't think we waste a lot, but I'm going to strive to do better. First test: the pineapple I bought today. I'm going to cut it and juice it because kale, celery, and pineapple juice is the best thing I've ever had and I don't want to pay Whole Foods $6 for another Kale Yeah. 

4. Take violin lessons. I got the raddest violin for Christmas (there will be a whole post on that!). And I want to take lessons this year. I'm ok knowing that I'll never be the next Andrew Bird (omg- his striped socks!) or Tin Cup Prophette (I held her baby boy during this show so she could perform. I love her).