joyful girl

we owe each other the world. the world owes us nothing.

Christmas overview December 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 11:18 pm

it’s a sunny sunday afternoon, and even though it seems like the world is kind of done with christmas, i’m choosing to celebrate the actual twelve days of christmas – the days between christmas day and epiphany – so that i can keep relishing in the festive feeling. 🙂

on this fourth day of christmas (the feast of the holy innocents) i’m thankful that we’ve been having a week that really is relaxing and peaceful. i had a lot of fun with my parents, and watching them be grandparents. it was nice to have adult company during the day, and to have ever-willing hands to help love alex. we also saw a bit of the city, with a christmas eve visit to the art musuem and a spontaneous excursion to the conservatory, both of which i’ve never been to, in spite of them being within walking distance of our house. (i’ve been to franklin park many times, but never inside the conservatory.) i actually left the conservatory with a membership that allows me to bring a guest anytime, so if you want a picnic in the rain forest, let me know! i decided to wait on cosi or the zoo, since the conservatory is less than half the price of either, has sounds and sights and textures that keep alex’s attention, and is the perfect place to find air-conditioning when we walk to the park in the summer. (or the perfect place to hang out when it’s rainy and we want to get out of the house.)

my parents are also practitioners of the mennonite/german work ethic, so my dad raked our backyard (a big project) and hauled away large scrap wood and a broken dresser, while mom washed lots of dishes and changed many, many diapers, and both of them babysat to give us the glorious gift of a date night. thanks, mom and dad!

in addition to the holiday, alex turned six months old. in the past few days, she’s really started mimicking noises and actions, and it’s been a lot of fun. today she started sticking out her tongue on purpose. a few days ago, she made a lot of noise while filling her diaper – you know the sound i’m talking about. i looked at her, she looked at me, smiled, and then promptly imitated the noise her bottom just made by by blowing out her lips. it figures that our daughter’s first joke is about poop.

so, what are you looking forward to this week? i am looking forward to, in no particular order, the following:
lunch with nikki and her girls
having the monstrous mulberry tree in our backyard removed
cleaning out our “office” room, which has become quite a black hole


6 months on Christmas day! December 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:49 am

6 months on Christmas day

Originally uploaded by amy joy


Christmas Miracle

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:48 am

new wagon

Originally uploaded by amy joy

I have a box of ornaments that I’ve collected since childhood, which are great for my usual Christmas tree non-theme theme of a “family tree” – you know, the kind of tree with everyone’s ornaments, handmade and not, making a nice hodge-podge of things that have memories associated with them. Last year when I went to find my box, it was gone. I looked in the attic, the basement, and the two closets where it could be, to no avail. This year, I did the same, and still couldn’t find it. I assumed that one of us must have accidentally thrown it away during a decluttering session. This made me sad, but I resigned myself to the fact that we’ll just have to start building our collection again, including a good nativity set.
Last night I was clearing a spot for the new granite roaster that I got for Christmas (yay!) and decided to move our fondue pot to the top shelf of the pantry. I noticed that a part to the fondue pot was missing, and thought “Hmm. Maybe it’s in the fondue pot box, which has been sitting up there on the top pantry shelf for a long time.” I picked up the box, and noticed that it felt mysteriously heavy. Suddenly, I felt a glimmer of hope. Was it possible…..?

It was! A Christmas miracle was taking place in my kitchen as I opened the box and found my missing stash – including the ornament from my first Christmas as a baby, the clothespin reindeer I made in elementary school, and the uber-cool nativity from the Dominican that Erica gave to me.

I know that in the grand scheme of the world, these are only things, and losing them wasn’t really a crisis. But recovering them did feel miraculous, as did a truly peaceful and fun holiday with my husband, my child and my parents.

So, here’s wishing each of you your own little holiday miracle.


little elf December 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 8:24 pm


Originally uploaded by amy joy

this is alex’s best dazed and confused look. it usually happens when i use the flash, so i don’t do that very often.

so sorry for the lack of substance, but i have to do some vacuuming now. thanks for the thoughts on the zoo versus cosi. i do have a question of the day, however:

what do you think about having children believe in santa claus?

my parents always told us that he wasn’t real, but we still got to enjoy the fun – we went to see the mall santa on occasion, and we usually had a gift that was “from santa,” but we knew he was just a story. i like that approach, and plan to use it with alex. what about you?

merry christmas eve eve!



Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 3:19 am


Originally uploaded by amy joy

yes, sir, that’s my baby, chomping down on her newest gift from daddy – an all natural, handcrafted, ohio maple teething toy from here. i think she likes it. it’s a good thing, too, because growing those teeth is keeping her pretty busy these days.


December 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 2:34 pm

happy christmas week, dear ones!

i’ve been decking our halls and feeling like a little house elf scurrying around to prepare for visitors this week. it’s a happy scurrying, and i like it. it’s a lovely sunday, and i’m excited to go to church this morning. i have the newish david sedaris book waiting for me to read. all in all, it’s a good day! (on the topic of books – i’m somewhere around number 1406 on the waiting list at the library for “twilight,” and am wondering if it is worth it to buy a cheap paperback copy of it. any opinions?)

i can’t remember how i found this, but my favorite new cooking blog is a year of crockpotting. the “crockpot lady” made a resolution to use her crockpot every day in 2008, and posts her recipes, complete with little tips and a final review – including whether or not her kids liked the food of the day. most of the recipes are pretty simple, and fun – who knew you could make falafel in a slow-cooker?

what are your plans for the holiday? this afternoon, daniel’s dad and family are coming over for our gift exchange, and we will be celebrating with his mom and her family after christmas. in the meantime, my parents are coming to columbus on tuesday evening and leaving on saturday. we are planning to go here, and i’m more excited than one might expect – probably because i’ve been wanting to check it out for the past 4 1/2 years, but keep forgetting to go on sundays when admission is free. i used to frequent this place pretty regularly, and miss it.

the talk of museums brings me to a question for columbus locals. if you had to choose, would you find a family membership to the zoo or to COSI more beneficial? (keeping in mind that we live about ten minutes from COSI and considerably further from the zoo.)

that is all. happy sunday!


December 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 9:52 pm

I stumbled across this in my annual quest to find the perfect nativity set. I think it’s awesome, and I would love to make it. Unfortunately, I’m kind of opposed to buying crochet patterns when so many are free online. So maybe I’ll just play around with it and see if I can design my own. Or maybe someone will get me the pattern for Christmas. I have been practicing arigurumi (the Japanese art of making crocheted stuffed creatures) recently, however. I used this with a few minor modifications to make a mouse and rabbit for Alex’s cousin Sami for Christmas, and now I might be a little addicted, and am pretty sure I’ll be making a few more.

Alex met Sami and her other cousins, Zachary and Hannah, this past weekend when the Fox contingent from Sarasota came to town. The kids are actually her first cousins once-removed (I think), and are the children of Daniel’s uncle Larry and his wife Jennifer. It was so lovely to meet Sami (ten months old) and see everyone else again, and to introduce Alex to her great-grandparents. I haven’t had any living grandparents of my own for a number of years, and Grama and Grampa have embraced me so wonderfully into the family.

I’m curious about how the Christmas spirit affects each of you, if it does. My mom keeps asking about how I’m decorating our house, but to be honest, I really don’t get into decorating for the holidays much beyond the tree. Instead, I’m finding myself dreaming of what I’m going to cook and bake, and how I can make gifts that aren’t too cheesy. But I know a number of people who get so much joy out of decking their halls beautifully. What about you?


the next chapter December 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 12:51 am

well, the work day is over, and i’m now officially on-call 24 hours a day with my new and thrilling career as a home manager/mother/chef/wife – all things i could only barely keep my head above water trying to do with a full-time outside of the home job. (by the way, after these past few months, i have gained a much higher respect for working moms, and i had a pretty high respect for them before.) i’m so excited i’m almost giddy today, which i think is a pretty good sign.

i have to say, though, that the last 4 1/2 years of working at the Ranch has really been pretty great. i started working there one week after i moved to columbus, and being a part of such a good organization has really shaped my experience here. so, i’m expecting that i will spend some time grieving the loss of my place in the Ranch family. i’ve learned so much, and been really lucky to have incredible supervisors in all three of the positions i held there, and really great teammates the entire time, too. but, as i told my coworkers today, “i love you. i just love my baby more.”

with that, i should go check on dinner.


firsts December 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 12:59 am

today, i roasted a chicken with vegetables for the first time.  i’m sure that most of my home-grown mennonite friends and all others who embrace simple living have a difficult time grasping that i’ve been living on my own for more than ten years and have never roasted a chicken, but the frozen breasts always seemed so much easier!  in my ongoing quest to become proficient in all things domestic, though, i gave it a try, with pretty acceptable results.  and now we have leftovers and a carcass with which to make our own broth.

this evening, alex ate avocado for the first time.  she liked it! she’s tried a few things, but i haven’t been giving her solids on a daily basis yet, since  a lot of “experts” recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months (and also because it’s easier to put it off, especially when i’m working all day).  i’d be interested in knowing how long most of you loyal readers who also happen to be parents waited to introduce other foods.

two days ago, alex’s first tooth became visible!  she’s also becoming more independent, and decided to hold her bottle by herself at allison’s this week. (she doesn’t use a bottle when she’s with me, so i’m not sure if i’ll actually get to see that.)  i keep feeling like we’re in such a sweet, sweet stage with her.  she constantly interacts with us and expresses her opinion about things, and is usually so happy.  but she’s also not super-mobile yet, so life is still pretty easy.`

with that, we wish you all a good night.