Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Lovely Little Trip

Last week, Todd, the kids and I went to San Diego for a little vacation. It was fantastic. We spent 2 nights at Legoland, which for Finn, a lego fiend, was pretty awesome. Phoebe, who is fearless, loved it just as much. She was riding roller coasters and having the time of her life.
After Legoland, we spent a few days with one of my favorite people in the entire world. We went to the San Diego Zoo, relaxed in a hot tub, and ate on the beach. The weather was mostly 60's and sunny, which was a great reprieve from overcast Portland. It was amazing and I must say it was a little bit hard to leave.
We got home on the night of the 23rd, just in time for the excitement of Christmas to sink in. It feels good to be home, but I can't say I haven't been daydreaming about the beach a bit....
I only brought my phone for a camera, so the pictures are not fantastic, but I thought I would share a few anyways. Just to make you jealous. Yup.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Full Plate

I haven't found much time to blog recently. There has just been way too much going on. The holiday preparations and parties have been so much fun, but have thrown us off of our schedules a bit, and I think know that we have all eaten too many sweets! The excitement of Santa, and an upcoming vacation, have all of us buzzing with anticipation (and the adults busy with preparations!). So much fun!!
Phoebe is in the midst of some terrible twos. The best way to describe her these days is Dramatic (yes, with a capital D). And Finn has been having a really hard time with school lately. His anxiety is worse than ever, which makes getting to school quite a challenge, and creates lots of emotional outbursts during his time at home. I have been feeling very helpless, trying to pinpoint his anxiety triggers and trying to find a way to help his stress subside.
So, life has been hectic and emotional. I haven't had a chance to even come up with a good topic to blog about much less write it, and sadly, I have only taken a handful of pictures so far this month. And I think everyone in my family is in dire need of this break from work, school, and our normal routine.... (aren't we all?). Anyways, I am so grateful and excited for my family to have some time to spend together, away from the stresses of school and work. I think this is exactly what we all need.
So, I will hopefully be back in this space soon, with a fresh mind, and with some wonderful pictures (and words!)to share with you all.
Hoping your spirits are high and your holiday preparations are going well!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny of Small Things for this week's yarn along.

This week, I am knitting madly, trying to finish up a few gifts pronto so that I can mail off a couple of boxes. I think I can do it....

In spirit of the holiday, I decided take a quick break from the other books I am reading and read Bill McKibbon's Hundred Dollar Holiday. It's an older book, from 1998 if I remember correctly, but the message is still valid, actually, probably even more so. He talks about how this time of year should be less focused on consumerism and materialism, and more focused on family and togetherness. It's a message I already believe in, strongly, but a good reminder nonetheless.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

And the WInner Is...

#1- Carey! Congratulations!
And, thanks to all of you who participated. xo Pin It Now!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finding Time for Togetherness: Our December Tradition

The holiday season, fun as it is, is always super hectic. Between social gatherings, making and shopping for presents, and decorating the house, it seems like not much time is left for anything else.
So, when Finn was little, we started a tradition of having a family-time advent calender through the month of December. This is our way to make sure that we are finding time each day to be together as a family, doing something special. That's what the holidays are supposed to be about, right? Being with family and the ones you love? It just often gets overshadowed by presents and commercialism...
Anyways, these "owl" activities, as we call them (as our advent calender is made from felt owls), are a time for us to connect and to make memories and traditions for years to come. When I think back to Christmases of my youth, I do fondly remember certain gifts, and I sure did love opening presents. But, more than specific presents, I think of the activities we did: gatherings with family, Christmas caroling, decorating the tree, baking cookies, going to see The Nutcracker. trips into the city (of Chicago) to see the lights and store windows, hot cocoa in front of the tree, reading The Night Before Christmas, ice skating, and all of the other activities we did.
So, that is what I hope to share with my children as well. Some of our activities for this year are: writing letters to Santa, making a gingerbread house, donating toys to a local toy drive, making paper snowflakes, and seeing the light display at the Zoo. This year, we are a bit less organized than normal, and so Todd and I are deciding each day's activity the night before. It leaves us more flexibility, but it is also a bit more hectic.
How do you spend time as a family during the holidays?

Oh- and please pop over to this post for your chance to win a little giveaway!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

This Moment (and a giveaway!)

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

Happy weekend, and don't forget to hop over and enter my giveaway! Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Wee Giveaway

As I mentioned last week, I participated in a craft fair at my son's school that was pretty much a bust for me. Oh well. I had a feeling that might happen, and so most everything I made for the craft fair already had another home. I made holiday gifts for my nieces, pajama pants for Phoebe, and a bunch of knits that I can donate, and so the fact that I didn't sell much just meant that I was that much more prepared for the holidays.
But, not everything I made for the craft fair already had a home in mind, and so I thought I would give one of my orphaned crafts a new home by having a giveaway on my blog. I love giveaways, so I figured I would spread the love and have one of my own.
This giveaway is for one wee gnome in a pouch. The gnome's hat and pouch are upcycled from a sweater, and he would be perfect to wear around your neck or to hang on a tree. And, to sweeten the deal, I will throw in a tube of my homemade lip balm.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post. If you are a no-reply-blogger, make sure to tell me how I can get in touch with you if you win! The drawing will close at 5pm (PST) on Sunday the 8th and I will randomly select a winner soon after that.

P.S.- I will mail to anywhere!

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yarn Along and Some Early Holiday Gifts

Joining with Ginny of Small Things for this week's yarn along.

Over the past week I have knit up a bunch of hats for Christmas gifts. A huge one for my father, one for each of my kids,  and a teeny tiny one for Phoebe's doll. The extremes of hat knitting, I suppose. I have a couple more small things to finish knitting for presents, and then I may actually knit a thing or two up for me!

Since the weather here has been pretty cold (and has just turned FREEZING, literally, which is weird here for Portland), I decided to give my kids their hats as an early holiday present. These ones are warm and cozy and I figured they could use them. I think they came out well-- I included a few pictures below.

I am still (ah-hem) reading Sometimes A Great Notion (slowly, slowly chugging along) but decided to start reading One Summer by Bill Bryson. I think I need to mix it up a bit.

Are you knitting up (or crafting) some goodies for the holidays? Please join me in Handmade Holidays 2013! Click on the badge below to read more.

And, check back in the next day or two... I am planning on getting together a wee giveaway.

What have you been reading? What have you been knitting?

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Monday, December 2, 2013

On Being Thankful

Over the weekend I spent some time reflecting on my life and was reminded of something I have known about myself for a long time: I often mourn for the things I don't have while completely overlooking the many things I do have. I know many of us do it. I think it is part of human nature to want to strive for more, to reach perfection, to be everything you want to be.
But, really, how realistic is that? How feasible is it to have the perfect life with the perfect partner, perfect children, a perfect body, a perfectly clean home, and so on? Well, let me tell you- it's not realistic at all. Life isn't perfect. We make messes. We make mistakes. And really, all we can ask for in life is the courage to try again and the strength to do better.
Am I sounding corny yet?
Anyways, the point of my ramble is that I realize I need to spend more time being thankful for what I do have. Yes, maybe there are struggles (both with others and with myself), and my life is far from perfect, but I do have so much: a husband who adores our kids, 2 beautiful children, a cozy home full of animals, and so much more. But after a bad day (or week!), sometimes being thankful for what is in front of you seems near impossible. I guess I really need some practice.
How do you practice being thankful for what you have when life throws challenges at you?

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