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One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about living in Northern Florida is the variety of green/historical places we get to enjoy. Recently, we’ve been going on hikes at the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Through some miracle we found a trail that was just right for all of us – Foos included. She likes to run ahead of all of us, and I like to worry about said running ahead, even though by now I’m sure she knows the trail by heart.  I like to linger behind my family, mostly staring down at the roots with the misfortune of being in the middle of the trail, looking up once in a while to make sure everyone is still accounted for.  The trail ends in a breezy lookout we usually monopolize, annoying the shit out of other hikers by taking up the benches, audibly snacking, and singing Moana songs into the marsh. I love my family.

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We participated in the Women’s March on Jacksonville yesterday. The march was moving, and diverse;  I was grateful to participate with my partner, daughter, and friends.  The organizers were expecting a few hundred people and 3,000 showed up! The minute we got out of the car Foos started her chants, even though we were waiting for friends and nowhere near the march route.  Her little chants of “women’s rights are super cool!” and “RBG! RBG!” while holding up her “Destroy the Patriarchy” sign had a lot of cars slowing down and many strangers smiling.  This was what I needed after the disappointment of the election, the feeling of having a common goal and the support of so many people.  All the photos were taken by Seth.

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(except for this one! this photo of Foos was taken on my iPhone, ha!)

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Some months ago I made these hand puppets for my daughter’s best friend, Evelyn, for her birthday.  The puppets represent her, her mother, her two fathers, and their dog, Nickel. Her grandfather made her a beautiful puppet theatre and I thought she would get a kick out of being puppet master of her family.  The puppets were a lot of fun and not too much work to make. They were made using fabric squares, felt, embroidery floss, and my cheap sewing machine. Honestly, you can probably use whatever you have around.  Youtube was my lord and savior when it came to figuring how to make a functional mouth. I found photos of them I wanted to use for reference and added little bits of “them” to each puppet (a Hillary pin, Waylon Jennings shirt, bald spot.)  They are not perfect and don’t have to be; their cartoonish nature is part of the funnies. When she opened up her puppets, the adults loved them probably more than she did, haha.

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This was our morning yesterday, the kids made out like bandits, and we lazed about all day.  Seth and I didn’t exchange gifts this year at my request. In the past he has always gifted me something super thoughtful/expensive, but given how perpetually sad my bank account is, I could never reciprocate.  So I thought it would be best to forgo the guilt that comes with getting and not giving.  The best gift he could ever give me is his love and presence, and I get that every single day.  We did, however, receive some very thoughtful gifts from friends and family, for which I am so grateful.  When I was in my 20s, I really disliked this holiday, and wished very much my family would forgo it entirely.  As I get older, and now that I have kids, I find that stance has softened considerably.  I am an atheist, so the religious aspect of it doesn’t get me, but I do look forward to all the stupid little things. Getting the tree, christmas baking, the pure joy and anticipation present in my daughter, even the fact that we have a “christmas box” delights me a little bit.  Whatever you did or didn’t do, I hope all of you had a great day yesterday.  Happy Festivus!

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We visited a Fort Clinch this weekend, where Seth snapped these dreamy photos of our spawn. Her, um, shall we say, leadership skills, were put to good use this trip as she told us which way to go, climb, and breathe.  She almost peed off the side of the fort, almost tripped over a cannon, and made me eat the visible mango bits in her ice cream because god forbid her mango flavored pop actually had mango bits in it.  Don’t let my kvetching deceive you, it was actually a really fun trip. Watching her delight in her father and really get into exploring the many tunnels and rooms was a real treat.

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We spent the Thanksgiving holiday visiting Seth’s family, making too much noise, eating too much food, and avoiding talking politics as if our lives depended on it. He Who Must Not Be Named was not named, our host was terrific, my thanksgiving hair do was on point, and the dog didn’t puke in the car.  Success!