30 April 2008

the s'more, all grown up

McVitie's biscuits (or similar English cookie)
white chocolate chips or bar
blackberry jam

in oven, broil one biscuit topped with white chocolate until chocolate is shiny. keep an eye on the biscuit while broiling--you can go from perfect to scorched in a matter of seconds.

add marshmallow and broil until toasted. remove from oven, top with jam-covered biscuit. smoosh together as desired.

29 April 2008

self-portrait challenge: absurd.5

{the drowned rat look}

so mostly, this is how i show up everywhere (church, grocery store, library, soccer games), with my hair in some phase of the drying process, which often means dripping down my back.

and inevitably someone scrunches my wet locks and laughs at me, and i mumble something about how the fact that i am A)showered, and B)here, is about as much as one can hope for from me.

but the truth? is that it's entirely deliberate. i cannot comprehend how drying my hair would be better than a few extra minutes of sleep or jogging or breakfasting or reading to my kid. dry hair is so low on my priority list that most days it doesn't even bother to show up at all.

so they think i'm a moron and i think they're ridiculous and it's all a lovely party of projected absurdity.

click here to learn more about self portrait tuesday.

27 April 2008

first edition of bangs

Elle in all her bang-ish cuteness:

25 April 2008


Yesterday I was weeding the flower bed; Elle was picking up browned leaves and dropping them in a grocery sack. I jerked my head up at the sound of an earsplitting crack, swiveling in my daughter's direction just in time to see a heavy branch shattering on and around her.

She was balled up with her head tucked to her knees, crying. I was so thankful she was crying.

Elle's three. She's just shy of twenty-five pounds. I weighed that branch at thirty-five pounds, measured it at a sixteen inch circumference (19.5 inches in the thicker places). You can see the break near the top of one of our towering oaks in the front lawn; I'm estimating the branch fell a good forty-five to fifty feet.

She's fine.

Perhaps the branch was already in pieces, and only a smaller piece hit her. Perhaps the branch only grazed her. Or perhaps it fell at such an angle that the ground absorbed most of the impact before the branch made contact with her little body. In any case, she just had a small abrasion on her back (similar to skinning one's knee on asphalt), and a large red area spanning her entire back, which has now shrunk to small bruises. She was wearing a terry jacket over her shirt, and I'm guessing the double layers of clothing spared her skin a bit.

I think I spent most of yesterday operating in an emotionally distant mode. It helps me reason clearly in a potential crisis, I suppose. But at the end of the day, when I thought surely I was fine, I found Todd holding on to me while I cried.

I know what could have happened. And I know that it didn't. And for that I am very, very thankful.

23 April 2008

Today was beautiful.

We did some yard work for a friend, gathering up sticks and leaves and hickory nuts embedded in the soft earth. My skin wears this layer of dust that somehow feels good.

But also, someone dear to me lost her husband this morning. I've spent most of today aching, wondering about her, wondering how she picked the words to tell her children. And I'm trying to get my mind around how a day crowned with so bright a sky could also be rooted in such profound sorrow.

M, if you ever get to read this, know that you are so deeply loved.

22 April 2008

self-portrait challenge: absurd.4

thirty-one years.

and this is my very first dandelion chain.

{"absurd" may be understating the case.}

click here to learn more about self-portrait tuesday.

21 April 2008


an april walk means

three in a line, hands clasped
a digging squirrel
numbers on mailboxes
new leaves and "flower trees"
the sun pressing heat through our shirts
then a piggy-back race home
to pick all the dandelions in our front yard.

18 April 2008

Five (and a half) things

The ever humorous, insightful, and insanely prolific blogger, Rob, tagged me with this compelling meme:

Five things I'd like my children to know before they grow up

1. The character and person of God. Know what makes him smile, what angers him, how intensely and completely in love with you he is.

2. People are valuable. I hope you ache when you see others suffering, and I hope you transform that ache into action that mends, provides, restores.

3. What define a person are not the things she has little control over: a propensity toward acne, a killer jump shot, a duplex in a trashy neighborhood. What define a person are her choices, what she makes of what's been given to her. Pick your friends accordingly.

4. Money is a tool. The minute you begin to regard it as anything more than that is the minute you begin to ruin your life.

5. Live deliberately. It's easy to live in a reactionary sort of way, scurrying about from crisis to crisis, but I suspect that at the end of a lifetime of this, you'll find yourself carrying the regret of having accomplished very little of lasting value.

5b. (Otherwise known as 6, but related to 5 enough that I'm not entirely cheating...) Live in the present. Learn from the past, certainly, and plan for the future, but don't let reminiscing or dreaming rob the people in your life today of you.

PS Want to do this meme? Consider yourself tagged, and please do stop by and leave me some linkage so I can read your answers. :)

16 April 2008


A couple weeks ago I had a most auspicious day and won a drawing for a handmade tee over at Jenn's place. In case you don't know Jenn, she's the creative genius behind Take A Bow Creations (boutique clothing for girls), and her designs are impeccable.

Elle is in love with her little knit hoodie...she wants to wear it multiple times a week, and traipses about the house gathering treasures for her pocket.

Thank you, sweet Jenn! We are so grateful to be the happy recipients of your generosity.

15 April 2008

self-portrait challenge: absurd.3

The five-years-ago me kind of rather liked doing taxes. The current me? Finds this mildly disturbing.

Click here to learn more about Self Portrait Tuesday.

11 April 2008

better go dig out those earmuffs

Tomorrow we're due another rendition of the freezing-and-snowing scene, although I cannot for the life of me recall demanding an encore. If winter persists in hanging about much longer, I will be forced to gain forty pounds of insulation and grow a dense layer of fur.

Or maybe, you know, wear a coat. One or the other.

In the meantime, we will gaze longingly at photos from last weekend, when it used to be spring and crocuses sunned themselves and we lay on blankets in the backyard.

09 April 2008

there's always next year

so part of the ncaa bracketing fun is that we're supposed to ode the winner on our blogs. predictably, that did not end up being me.

a spontaneous ode to kindra
(this is going to be good, i can tell already)

o kindra, winner of the esteemed family bracket
you are valiant and wise and something that rhymes with bracket
you have schooled us all
with your knowledge of ball
may your victory be sweet
as we grovel at your feet
as we probably will again next year, when you pull a three-peat.

not bad, eh? okay, so it left quite a lot to be desired in terms of diction and meter and original thought, but it rhymed! points for rhyming, please.

my apologies for subjecting you all to that. please continue with your otherwise productive day.

08 April 2008

self-portrait challenge: absurd.2

I do not harbor any delusions about being easy to live with. I'm stubborn and persnickety. Moody and imperious.

And yet, oddly enough, my husband has cheerfully tolerated me for eleven years now.

Happy anniversary, babe.

PS Also absurd? Photographing myself in a wedding dress. Ridiculous, but in a fun way. I may have gotten a wee bit carried away.

Learn more about self portrait tuesday.

07 April 2008

i'm not quite sure she was listening to me

Elle is growing up so much faster than I'd like.

Me: Hey! What's going on? You've been doing that growing thing again, haven't you?

Her: (Giggles)

Me: Don't you remember that conversation where you agreed to be my baby forever?

Her: Mommy, I am not a baby because I am a girl.

Me: Exactly. You are veering from the plan, kiddo.

Her (with exaggerated patience): Mommy. I cannot be little because I am growing and I am bigger and bigger.

Me: Well. Okay, then. But you still can't date till you're married--

Her: I'm hungry.

Me:--or thirty-five, whichever comes later--

Her: I want my soccer-game candy. The sticky candy. It's red. Can I have my soccer-game candy?

Me:--just so we're clear.

06 April 2008

and then spring arrived and saved us all

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

~Anthony J. D'Angelo

04 April 2008

7 Things (Um, again.) (So sorry.)

I keep trying to dodge this tag, but you all are relentless. ;) So I am officially caving to peer pressure, mostly so I don't have to keep writing back in people's comments sections about how I've done the 7 Things Meme a jillion times before and am a genuinely uncompelling person who probably should never have been tagged with this in the first place, let alone a jillion times.

Ok, so...the disclaimer:
I have already posted every remotely interesting fact about me, my family members, and the guy down the street's cousin's dentist's wife's best friend from third grade. I am writing on fumes, here. So if you keel over from toxic levels of boredom, please blame Brooke, Wendy, and/or Lynn. :)

Here we go. Seven Things.

(At this very moment, truly, I have no idea what seven things I am about to tell you. I am just as curious as you are to find out what they might be.)

Number one. Hmmmn.
I secretly like airline food. Well, mostly just the Biscoff biscuit-style cookies served on Delta planes. My uncle mailed me several leftover Biscoffs from his recent flights, to indulge my weirdness.

Number two.
The sock episode is one of my favorite memories.

Number three.
Gloria Owens, who we do not know, who we are not related to, and who definitely does not reside at our house, gets more phone calls than all six people who do reside here put together. She owes somebody a LOT of money, apparently, and many an attorney is trying to locate her. Gloria, if you are reading this, you may want to assume an alias and move to Bhutan.

Number four. (This is going better than expected.) (As you can tell, I had very low expectations.)
I am morally opposed to manicures and pedicures. If ever I arrive home with freshly buffed nails, you will know it is time to call the nice people in white coats to come fetch me.

Number five.
I have run out of things to tell you.

Number six.
No really. Why are you still reading this?

Number seven.
Oh wait, I thought of something. Last year at this time I was in London, asking unsuspecting British people if they carry treacle tarts and butterbeer. It turns out not everything in Harry Potter is actually real. Who knew?

Hope your Friday gets exponentially more exciting from here on out. :)

02 April 2008

booklove cont'd

March booklist (YA, fiction, narrative nonfic):

TO OWN A DRAGON (Donald Miller)
FEVER 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson)
SPEAK (Laurie Halse Anderson)
THE ROPE TRICK (Lloyd Alexander)
THE CHOCOLATE WAR (Robert Corimer)
THE FIRST PART LAST (Angela Johnson)

Two faves this time around: HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE (zany plot, offbeat humor), and GIRLS, DRUMS, AND DANGEROUS PIE, which, as Frank McCourt says, is a "brave book...Sonnenblick carries it off with such charm and élan, you forget for a moment your heart is breaking."

Happy reading! :)

01 April 2008

self-portrait challenge: absurd.1

{the classic bruised-knee look}

From the time we pull our first lungful of atmosphere, society sets to work conditioning our wee brains to properly esteem physical beauty.

My skin is a decoupage of bruises, calluses, jagged scars. The antithesis of airbrushed American flawlessness.

But personally? I prefer my look over the plastic people in magazines. Every purpled contusion and blemish is proof that I've attempted greatness, that I have both failed and triumphed with gusto. That I've sought treasures worth the pain.

That I've lived, and am living still.

Click here for more self-portrait tuesdays.