26 December 12 • MAV

A few snapshots of the last few holiday days here. Some of our favorite traditions … a Christmas Eve beach walk, our Christmas Day open house with friends and family … and some new traditions … my nephews over at our house for pre-Christmas Eve sugar-cookie-making, a quiet Christmas Day evening by the candles with an old movie playing. We have had very beautiful holidays so far and hope you have as well.

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Before we sign off for the year (we are off from this space next week, returning on January 11th – meantime you can follow us on Instagram) I wanted to mention, as per SCB and my tradition here, a few of my new years resolutions:

* Giving – I want to give some of my time for something more meaningful. I will find a volunteer opportunity this year … I think with the elderly since I love older folks so much. I can’t wait!

* Resting – Work hard, play hard & rest hard, relax hard. I need more balance in 2013 and resting, sitting, relaxing, lazing … these are of utmost importance since I have the work hard and play hard thing down! Balance. A key word for me moving into the new year.

* Walking – I love to walk but admittedly ran out of time most days this year. In 2013 I am making a goal of 30-minutes of walking five times a week. I won’t be keeping track per se but I will be committing myself to do it. This commitment will be like a mantra in the back of my head and that tends to help me stay on track!

* Cooking – It’s time for me to get serious. It’s all fine and good that I can make a batch of cookies but what about a roast or leg of lamb?! I promise that I will challenge myself in the kitchen this year. I will try to be more organized and more thrifty and I will share my stories with you along the way.

I wish you all a very happy new year and can’t wait to see you here again in 2013. Cheers to you all! xo

26 December 12 • SCB

We had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, light and laughter (despite some super gloomy and wet weather). My baby niece is here from San Francisco, and I can’t think of a better Christmas present. I love this time of year when everything slows down, and we can devote hours to a board game or a slow meal. I hope everyone enjoyed some quiet and some jolly times too.

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I am excited to spend time with my close and extended family through the end of the year as well as play with new projects and recipes for 3191Q. We will be back in this space in 2013 with new inspiration and images to share.

I am excited for the new year and have been thinking of a few resolutions:

* Get outside. Once upon a time our family would go on a weekly hike no matter the weather. I would like to return to this tradition. My teen and pre-teen may initially protest, but we are always glad once we are out there.

* Take a class outside of my comfort zone. Painting? Dance? Woodworking? Not sure yet.

* Gratitude. I want to make sure I express my gratitude to the people in my life, and my family’s life, who enrich us, care for us, and inspire us.

* Plant a garden. In the past few years, I have only managed some herbs and tomatoes. This year, I’d like a proper vegetable garden.

Thank you for helping to make 2012 an amazing year here at 3191 Miles Apart. Happy New Year!

14 December 12 • MAV

I love these early holiday days. As I did last year I have now traveled to the Midwest to spend some time with my parents and that is where I am writing to you from today.

As usual I arrived to find my parents house all decked out and beautifully cozy, my mom’s Santa collection out on the mantle as well as the stockings hung with care. I am comforted by the fact that I always find these things here.

Another comforting tradition in their home is a fresh green Christmas tree filled with special ornaments. Some have been around for 35+ years!

I don’t have an ornament collection myself. I have a few vintage glass balls from my Grandma A. and a few little pieces given to me by my mom over the years but it’s nothing like what I find here at my parents house.

I pulled some of my favorites off the tree to show you today. These are the ones I remember from my childhood.

Each with its own personality, its own story. Some very delicate and others not as much as they bear the marks of the years.

I am so glad to be here. To have these days with my parents … these quiet holiday days. We turn the lamps out in the evening and chit-chat (otherwise known as gossip) and sit by the tree which is full of memories. Our memories. During this busy season it is these moments that I am grateful to have the time to notice and appreciate. And I am grateful to be able to share them with you.

14 December 12 • SCB

Feeling quiet this week after the tragedy in Connecticut and one close to home. Wishing everyone peace.

7 December 12 • MAV

Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe it’s just getting into my late thirties but either way there’s no denying that I’ve been feeling pretty contemplative of late. As we face the end of our year here at 3191 (our shop closes until 1/11/13 on Sunday) I feel the need to share with you some of my deeper thoughts on what we do here and why we do it.

What you may not know is that Stephanie and I ponder, quite often, our connection to each other and to the people who come to this site. We do feel it’s a special group. A small community of people who connect because of one major thing: the small moments. We are a group who appreciates every second of being alive (even if we are struggling or depressed and need to take days, weeks or months to stomp around or go to dark places); in the end, we don’t take life for granted.

These small moments that our community sees and feels, Stephanie and I believe, actually make up the framework of life. As humans we look for and wait on the BIG things. We look for love, we look for opportunity, we wait for stability, we wait for happiness. But how often do big things really happen? Once a year? Maybe.

On the other hand, how often do small moments happen? Well, they happen all of the time … right in front of our eyes … every single day. The beauty and simplicity of light or darkness, the calmness and comfort of home or of time spent having a glass of wine with an old friend, the warmth and magic of being around children whom we love and adore. These small moments are the ones Stephanie and I want to share with you because we know you too are touched by them.

We pack our cameras in our bags every day, we concept, write and design each issue of 3191 Quarterly just the two of us, we take notes throughout the week for our Friday posts here at 3191 Miles Apart, we show up here week after week even when we are struggling or have nothing to say of any consequence. Sharing small moments with you drives us to continue this project, it really does.

And we don’t know all of you but we know through your emails, through your dedication to our dear 3191 Quarterly … we know through your support of the new shop that we opened earlier this year … we know through the photographs we are starting to gather for our upcoming launch of the 3191 Album (keep your 3191-related photos coming to photos(at)3191milesapart(dot)com) … we know that we here at 3191 Miles Apart are all in this together and we will calmly and modestly proceed into another year together.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” is something Mother Teresa tells us and without any real planning for the last 6 years, that is just what we are doing with 3191. We are doing small things with great love. We have you to thank for that.

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Photographs here were some small moments from a year ago around this time that I did not get a chance to share with you. They are, from top to bottom:
Photos 1–4: My home, winter time
Photo 5: On my way to Stockholm, Sweden
Photo 6: Stockholm at night
Photo 7: London, Rochelle Canteen (a longtime favorite)