26 November 2009

on thanksgiving.

'we should certainly count our blessings,
but we should also make our blessings count.'

[neal maxwell]

to my american compatriots, happy thanksgiving. to my international friends, happy thursday in general. sow kindess today.

ps thank you to everyone who entered this little giveaway; i've updated the post below with the winner!

19 November 2009

a debut giveaway. (hurrah!)

as a means to generate a bit more income for adoption expenses, i am now offering my handstamped jewelry and fine art photographs in my shop.

both these stamped silver pieces and the photographs make excellent presents, and will arrive nicely packaged and ready for gifting.

to celebrate these new offerings, i'm giving away a custom stamped sterling disc necklace, adorned with a lucite flower or a pair of freshwater pearls, your choice. the silver disc may be stamped with up to five names or a short inspirational phrase, like so:



to enter, just tell me which item from my shop most strikes your fancy. tweet, facebook, or blog this giveaway and i'll throw your name in an extra three times (just be sure to stop back to let me know you've done this).

i'll close the entries at midnight EST on tuesday, november 24th.


happy weekend, friends.


updated nov 26th: we now have a winner! congratulations to JEM (jessica); i will contact you this weekend to discuss your custom necklace. thank you all so very much for the enthusiasm and kindness in your comments.

baring my soul. and stuff.

where to begin?

back in my sophomore year of college (can that really be fourteen years ago? yeesh) my roomie ann and i would stretch across our bunks and solve the world's problems. don't get me wrong, i was still largely self-absorbed, but i had brief bouts of clarity, where the vast needs of others felt compelling and urgent.

fast-forward to last november in nashville, where the hubby and i attended national youth workers convention. every speaker, every session, every seminar seemed geared toward the same end: to get us to wake up and see the suffering of others, and then do what's necessary to change it.

we've met needs on a small scale. we've foregone a bit of personal comfort. but i am certain we haven't even shown up in the ballpark of loving just one other family as much as we love ourselves.

the hubby and i have sorted through these concerns many times, but over the past year we've wrestled more intently than ever. we're making changes, some of them public, some personal. i, for one, hope this continues.

one of the ways we are aiming to love God and treasure other people is through adoption. i don't enjoy broaching depressing subjects, but sometimes reality is grim: across the world, millions of orphaned and abandoned children need families. (along a similar vein, millions of vulnerable families need stable scaffolding to help them sustain themselves, to remain intact, to flourish.)

i want to be mom to a child who needs a mother. i want to play backyard kickball with her, and embarrass him with enthusiastic picture-taking before the prom, and see her off to college with my heart all at once hopeful and breaking.

this is just the start of our adoption process, and much is still unknown, but everything inside me thrills at the thought of another child to love.

we are a lot excited and a lot intimidated, with hope laced through it all. truly, the best is yet to come.

15 November 2009

more of the lovely emily.

this girl is a winning combination of brains and beauty. she has a stunning smile and a quiet self-possession, and i was thrilled to find she loves the very same authors i do. i enjoyed every minute with her.

emily 3

emily 4

emily 1

emily 2

thanks for a great afternoon, emily. you are already such an exceptional person, and i can't wait to see all you'll accomplish with your talents and brilliance.

10 November 2009

general announcements.

1. this is me, according to elle. i'm a little concerned about my entirely grey hair, but i must say that purple eyelashes are quite fetching on me.


2. this here is luce, whose name is sure to change tomorrow. i stitched her up for elle's birthday last month and only now realized that i hadn't yet made introductions here.


(and now you need a lucy too, eh? softie dolls are contagious that way. here's a free tutorial.)

3. meet my backyard leaves. (this blog gets more rudderless by the minute, what can i say.)

four o clock

4. cool air scented with woodsmoke makes me heady. here i'm relegated to only a distant whiff of the fragrant stuff, but back in our michigander days, the fellow across the street heated his house with a wood burning stove. september through april was olfactive bliss.

stocked up

this here is our backyard woodpile which never gets used due to our chimney's shortness. apparently, chimneys must be a certain height to properly vacuum out the smoke, and as i don't favor Death by Smoke Inhalation, our fireplace sits dank and cobwebby. alas. but doesn't the potential of that woodstack just sing to you?

5. does anyone else miss spelling lavender "lavendar"? just me? alrighty then.

(5b. soon we shall be spelling "separate" with an e, and then the world shall end.)

6. a sneak peek for crystal and john. you all are beautiful people.

gorgeous folk.

7. i'm immensely grateful for imaginary friends* like jenn and love and morgan, who keep me inspired and encouraged and challenged and sane. (ahem, morgan? you need to resurrect that blog of yours so i can throw some linkage your way.)

*the "imaginary" bit i got from patty...it's how her husband refers to her online friends. funny stuff.

8. i believe we have sufficiently covered my Love for Trees in the previous eleven posts, so let's consider this photo an addendum.

autumn's alchemy

happy tuesday, friends.

05 November 2009

good people.

a sneak peek for the harber family:

good people.

these are fine fellows. they made certain i left their house feeling very affirmed.

ps please extend my apologies to your ducks for repeatedly referring to them as geese. i will be sitting in the front row of the remedial class on avian identification.

03 November 2009

happy things. a list.

1. these fine folks:

an unlikely trio.

if looks could kill (or maim, at least)

fierce and famous.

spidey skills.

2. stacks of clean laundry. (which have this amazing tendency to morph into heaps of sweaty laundry in a picosecond, but we shall not dwell on that as this is a list of happiness.)

3. the perfect pairing that is white chicken chili and cornbread.

4. friends who visit hawaii and bring me back my favorite brand of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. (you know who you are, and i adore you.)

5. bunches of photo sessions with crazy fun families in these stunning fallish milieux.

speaking of which, here's a sneak peek for brian and carrie. this shot still makes me laugh quietly to myself whenever i happen across it:

she gets it from her father.


6. crafting new goodies for the shoppe. (they'll be up in a week or two, promise.)

7. blankets and hoodies and knee socks to cure cold toes and noses.

8. God. (see also matthew 13.44)

9. how my kids will play hide-the-socks, a game they invented where one person stashes away their (hopefully not too crusty) socks whilst the others wait in a nearby room. the waiters then return to launch a full-scale search and the hider cackles with glee at his or her remarkable sock-stashing skills. (further proof that my children do not need much in the way of toys, they just mostly need each other.)

10. daylight saving, but only when we fall back. (the springing forward should be nixed entirely. i am not about the springing.)

11. people who read my blog even though the main ingredient is Categorical Inanity. you all deserve a pumpkin muffin.

12. ooh, pumpkin muffins. with chocolate chips.

i am done now, i promise. happy tuesday.