31 December 2008

memeing out the year

i am likely the only person under the age of 83 who is spending new year's eve in the quiet boringness of my very own living room. my ego wants me to tell you all that i was, in fact, invited to a couple parties, but they were childless parties. and since i only associate with wildly cool people, i could not come up with a single acquaintance who might have an inkling of desire to spend new year's eve kidsitting.


the kiddos and i are all piled out in the living room (hubby's at a teen thing at church), doing an impromptu sleepover and watching veggie tales flicks. and when i look at these little people who can't even fill out half their sleeping bags, and smile as they squawk out an enthusiastic rendition of the vt theme song, i can't help but think that i couldn't ask for better company to usher in the new year.

i love these people. they are pretty much my favorite people on the planet. and luckily, fantastically, they love me back. i am totally their favorite mum, at least till they turn thirteen.

anyway, i honestly don't know how it's possible that 2009 is upon us. i'm somewhere back in 1998, wandering aimlessly in my cargo pants and humming My Heart Will Go On. i am told that this time lapse is a symptom of old age, but in my case i suspect it may be a colossal case of tardiness.

whatever the year, it was a good one. so good, in fact, that i'm going to meme it, 'cause there's nothing like a vapid meme to round out an otherwise decent year.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
embarrassed myself to the tune of aloha oe in front of a gymful of women
2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
good thing i keep this blog, because it is so much more reliable than my actual memory. now that i look over my resolutions, i'd have to answer with a definitive sort of.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
how close to me, exactly? no new family, though i'd like k&s to get cracking.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
my grandpa. i miss him.
5. What countries did you visit?
the united states. and also i lived there for like, oh, 365 days...wait, was this leap year? 366 then.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
a six pack. of abs, folks; do not mail me heineken.
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
um...apparently none, and because i am that magical composition of self-absorbed with a bad memory.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
keeping my little people watered and happy and healthy for twelve consecutive months.
9. What was your biggest failure?
i am certain i squandered many an opportunity to be Jesus to someone, most often my children or husband, but no particular instance jumps up and down yelling, pick me!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
i don't recall. perhaps it was head trauma. oh no wait, i did experience the mother of all sore throats, which sounds minor but believe me. unadulterated torture.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
well, i don't know about the best, but these coats and boots made me pretty happy.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
mccain and obama on election night. it's difficult to win or to lose with grace, but these two pulled it off.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
well, i could point to your typical nefarions (yes, i just nouned nefarious) like madoff, but the reality is that since i am ultimately responsible for only my own behavior, i will always be most appalled by myself.
14. Where did most of your money go?
to God. we just keep giving it back to each other; we're all: no really, i insist. no you take it, i want you to have it.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
um, hmmmn. maybe the sixth harry potter movie, and then somebody cruel and unusual at warner bros postponed the release till next july. actually, it wasn't that exciting, i just couldn't pass up another opportunity to complain about it.
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2008?
viva la vida, lucky (mraz/caillat), falling slowly (from the independent film ONCE, which i know came out in 2007 but i didn't discover it till 08)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? i don't actually recall this time last year, but let's go with happier.
b) thinner or fatter? who knows. maybe a bit thinner.
c) richer or poorer? um, dunno. i usually feel rich.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
affirming my children. making the people around me feel valued. push ups.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
whining and whinging, though i am awfully talented at it.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
i spent it:
a) at home with my hubby, kids, and some fresh banana-chocolate chip muffins
b) in the front region of the minivan
c) in michigan with the in laws, who (it must be said) are a pretty groovy bunch
21. Where did you begin the year; and where will you end it?
like i can remember that long ago; wedged between the kiddos on the living room floor.
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
well i remained in it, which sounds effortless, like we just sat about in this big ol' puddle of love. but we worked at it, and it's still there, and that's a mighty good thing.
23. How many one-night stands?
um, zero. please refer to the previous answer.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
i actually don't think i hate anyone, and besides, that's maybe the wrong question. i've come to agree with the adage that the opposite of love is indifference.
26. What was the best book you read?
i'm going to go with best books, plural, since if i could name just one i'd be someone who's not me.
something by anne lamott
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
scala&the kolacny brothers, keane, iron&wine
28. What did you want and get?
health. a hoodie. a few hazy, hot days at the beach. possibly other things that start with the letter h.
29. What did you want and not get?
the end of world hunger. a belated growth spurt, a summer house in milan, intergalactic peace. and also a pony.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
well, seeing as how i viewed exactly 3 films en theatre, i'm gonna have to go with kung fu panda.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
oh good, a question whose answer i can actually remember. ten days ago was a sunday, so i did the normal church schedule, which happily included the young adults (who are some of the dearest people in my life) hanging out at our place, plus i was on the receiving end of some excellent handmade truffles, plus my dad sang to me on the phone, plus my kids and the hubby made me cake. all in all, an excellent day, except for the part where todd attempted to rob me of one of my candles: i am thirty-two (and ten days), not a piddly thirty-one, thankyouverymuch.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
a heightened ability to see beyond myself.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
homebody-chic: jeans and a yard sale tee, throw in a hoodie and knee socks during the nine months of winter.
34. What kept you sane?
lisa harber. the bible. my kids. books. running.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
kina grannis is brilliant, plus also anyone with a british accent.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
unfortunately, i am too self-absorbed to be the subject of significant stirring, but probably the war in iraq.
37. Who did you miss?
my grandpa okasako.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
i really, really like paul and melissa, and luke and katie...if i met anyone else this year, i apologize for not mentioning you, i just have this horrid memory thing going on.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
gargling apple cider vinegar is even more disgusting than it sounds.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
lucky to have been where i have been, lucky to be coming home again.

and lucky that y'all are a part of my life. happy 2009, folks.

24 December 2008


from our house to yours...

happy christmas.

21 December 2008

happy birthday to me

so i'm 32 today (callooh! callay!) and in honor of this momentous, um...moment, i've patched together a list of sorts.

32 favorite things

1. zippy’s saimin with char siu
2. big hair bands
3. how eucalyptus smells like home
4. the idea of blackberry tarts (i don’t think i’ve actually ever had one)
5. cosy london theatres
6. david crowder’s hair
7. this quote from LORD OF THE RINGS:
(sam to frodo) “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you...”
8. polka dots, especially bedecking umbrellas or galoshes
8b. the word galoshes
9. scented crayons
10. when it’s grey and damp and blustery outside, and i’m clad in a raddled sweatshirt, blue jeans, and wooly socks
11. a man who can really sing and/or play the piano
12. smiles that cause one’s cheeks to ball up and eyes to disappear
13. puddles
14. fireflies
15. bertie bott’s every flavor beans (pure ingenuity)
16. popsicles that turn your tongue purple
17. witty, pithy banter
18. a long, hard run where you forget yourself for a blessed while
19. first stars
20. taylor swift
21. homemade tortillas and fresh pasta
22. the way the earth turns golden in late afternoon light
23. pajamas with feet and bum flaps
24. this bit from DEAD POETS SOCIETY

25. the littleness of my children, and how i will probably always think of them this way
26. a good book, in which you can both lose and find yourself
27. fat, fuzzy bumblebees that look like they can barely remain airborne
28. the brilliance that was FREAKS AND GEEKS (why do all the good shows die young?)
29. jon mclaughlin
30. golden anniversaries
31. playing ants in the pants with elle and em (i’ve got me some mad ant-volleying skillz)
32. drvtry ,rddshrd (secret messages)
og upi vsm trsf yjod yjrm upibr ypys;;u ,sfr ,u gsbptoyrd ;ody ypp

please do your best to enjoy the remaining six minutes of my birthday...even though actually, i was not born until tomorrow at like 2am or something...very confusing, i know. we can just celebrate twice, because seriously. i'm all about the chocolate cake.

20 December 2008

more with the belatedness

so about a month ago we had that shindig in nashville, right, and um, i finally got around to editing a few pics to share here. sadly fortunately, you all are quite accustomed to this, as lack of punctuality seems to be an overarching theme in my life, so i'm rather hoping no one will manage to muster up much in the way of disappointment.

we stayed at a hotel just a tad north of the city; two miles as the crow flies, or 2.88 miles as the people walk. being a feathered ave apparently has its advantages.

i had this brilliant (aren't they all?) idea that since we were going to be spending the better part of four days sitting about on our hind quarters in seminars and guttling calorie-laden restaurant fare, we ought to at least get a bit of exercise walking into the city each day.

the only thing is, nashville decided to host an inexplicable cold front that weekend, so on a couple days we got to stroll about in flurries and over iced sidewalks. fun times, indeed.

these are a few shots taken heading into the city on a brisk (but mercifully above freezing) morning, with the exception of the night shot at the bottom, which was taken, obviously, at night.

and now i am off to finish the last seven gifts on my ever-expanding list. expect photos of those, oh, mid-january. ;)

17 December 2008

memey goodness

my bff deann snagged me with this smile meme:

quick! off the top of your head, what are the last five things that made you smile?

1. skating across the lawn to the mailbox on a thin crust of ice. 'twas quite the adventure in balance, let me tell you.

2. elle's request for a "toothstick" to dislodge a bit of spiderman gummy treats from her teeth.

3. cobbler made with mcintosh apples (this cultivar is the perfect melding of tart and sweet--kudos to john mcintosh and God for that one).

4. watching bee's ongoing engrossment with the game rush hour.

5. hearing the boys bemoan the canceling of school and church. methinks their tune will change in another 3-5 years.

also, my sewing pal rebekah tagged me with a fun photo meme.

i was supposed to open the sixth photo folder on my computer and post the sixth pic in that folder along with the story behind it. the thing is, i have folders within folders, and i also have multiple folders with non-photographic files (stuff like poster images for church functions, banners for my online shops/sites, etc). my sixth and seventh folders are both devoted to such graphics, so i had to go with the eighth folder...and then the sixth folder within that folder, and the sixth picture there. capiche? me neither, but here we go:

this is my littlest on a coldish day mid-may 2008, mastering the fine art of frisbee-tossing. this photo is one frame of the frisbee series:

timing that release is a tricky thing, but she nailed it in the end.

fun times! feel like doing either meme? if so, you're it. if not, yell OLLYOLLYOXENFREE at the top of your lungs and we'll call it good.

15 December 2008

t minus ten days (and counting)

pure craziness going on over here, but i wanted to pop in and share a few photos of two people very dear to me: my mum and dad.

also, if you're in need of a few last minute gifts, kindly consider supporting independent artisans at etsy. a few of my favorite handmade finds are kris's personalized chenille bibs and thatiana's silk dupioni headpieces.

on another note, i've been learning a bit about enslaved people; the statistics on current slavery--27 million slaves, which is more than at any other point in history--are appalling. consider purchasing a handmade item from a survivor of sex trafficking, such as this silver dragonfly bracelet, or this rose quartz bracelet, or any of these intricate jewelry pieces.

learn more about modern day slavery at freetheslaves.net.

have a blessed week.

10 December 2008

birthday wishes

my firstborn is eleven this week.


who knew eleven would look this sweet, this zany, this clever?

who knew he'd crave books like air and not have grown too hip for the old mum and dad?

who knew eleven years could hold so much wonder, this day after day after day after day of easy togetherness and unscheduled joy?

happy birthday, bee. i can't imagine this life without you.

09 December 2008

diversionary tactics

so i really don't have time to be blogging today, and yet here we are anyhow.

just wanted to share a few snippets of handmade gifts...

i've been making bunches of these chenille-backed patchwork scarves:

this one's in a lovely brown/peach/cream colorway and has already been gifted to my most excellent mother in law. i have to say that old school amy butler fabric makes me want to flap around in a happy dance.

i actually made this here crayon roll for elle's birthday, but it would make a fantastic holiday gift for any little person with artistic inclinations. in my opinionated opinion, it's the bestest sort of gift because it's simple, utilitarian, and pretty.

alternately, you could make a colored-pencil roll for an older child. these rolls are ubiquitous, i know, and it's quite likely y'all have made them before, but here's a tutorial in case you'd like one.

next up: patchwork placemats. i made a quartet of these for my gorgeous friend and bride-to-be sara. again, a very simple project--here's a tute if you're interested.

and in the spirit of blogging when one should be cleaning one's house, here's a somewhat desultory list i came up with yesterday:

top ten best movie characters (off the top of my head and in no particular order)

raymond babbitt (dustin hoffman) in rain man
captain jack sparrow (johnny depp) in pirates of the caribbean (all 3)
lloyd dobler (john cusack) in say anything
forrest gump (tom hanks) in forrest gump
red (morgan freeman) in the shawshank redemption
marty (natalie portman) in beautiful girls
harry (billy crystal) in when harry met sally
john silver (voice of brian murray) in treasure planet
professor john keating (robin williams) in dead poets society
rockhound (steve buscemi) in armageddon

wanna play? i'd love to hear your top ten (only rule: it HAS to be off the top of your head...no scouring the internet for all-time-best-character lists). if you do this, leave me a comment or shoot me an email so i can view your picks.

happy tuesday!

05 December 2008

um, yes.

the bleakness of winter is officially making me crazy.

(to those of you sorely tempted to comment only six more months! or yeah but technically, winter hasn't even started yet; squelch the urge. recall that you are dealing with a mentally unstable person here.)

as proof of my winter insanity, i offer you exhibit a: the winter sale.

yes, folks, almost everything in the shoppe has been knocked off 40%, which means that in many cases i am barely breaking even...or perhaps even paying you to buy my stuff. the sane version of me may be a little peeved about this come april, but then, she's not here now. let the good times roll.

also, i made this kitschy bit of patchwork-scarf-goodness, which is the only thing in the shoppe not on sale as part of me hopes i get to keep it. so don't actually buy it, ok?

exhibit b:
well, this is not so much proof of winter crazies as it is just my normal weirdness. here's a list i've made of odds and ends of my life this week.

1. sometimes when i'm bored i do search-and-rescue missions for white hairs. usually i pluck them from my scalp, but then? i feel rather attached to them, and i'm seized with the urge to squirrel them away in an albino nest in the far corner of some drawer. the only reason i don't keep them is because i secretly fear that i'll die and someone will discover my white hair stash and i won't be around to explain why this actually isn't weird. yep, i did just put that out there in public.

2. when i log into mixpod.com (which hosts my playlist over to your right yonder), i always check the box that says "remember me." but then when i go back there again, i have to enter all my login info. again.

mixpod always forgets me. that kind of makes me sad.

3. one day when i apparently had thirty seconds of my afternoon to waste, i did this internet quiz that told me that of the four main female characters in TWILIGHT, i was alice. secretly, though, i rigged it to be alice because she is my favorite. if i took the quiz for real i'd probably be a combo of bella and esme, with only a small dash of alice (hold the rosalie).

just call me bellesme. (if you haven't read the series, this is an inside joke; i promise it's only 85% as lame as it sounds.)

if you are still willing to claim me as friend or kin after the above exhibits, thank you. you are either very brave, very charitable, or just as crazy as i am. in any case, happy friday.

03 December 2008

november photo session

time has been slippery indeed...are we truly several days into december? i've got some crafty stuff coming up, but in the meantime here are several shots from a sweet family photo session last month.

don't you just love november light?

this family had such a great time together...it's a treat to witness parents who so thoroughly enjoy their children. and they were so easy to photograph; they played, i shot.

fresh pink piggies

through a bicycle rack

thanks, guys, for such a lovely afternoon.