24 February 2009

the 411

i was sick.

now i am well.

random photo:

kinda looks like they're smiling, eh?

18 February 2009

wherein i exchange my morals for a coat

i have officially lowered my standards.

i'd been donning the same brown coat for 12.5 years, and as much as i coveted a newish version, i couldn't bring myself to buy one. browny is torn at the cuffs, missing half the buttons from the button-out-lining, bald in spots that used to be faux-suede, splattered with white and green paint, and faded all over.

the problem is that the thing is dead useful: toasty warm and comfy as a hooded duvet. and, unfortunately, i have Issues tossing (and replacing) a perfectly useful coat, even if it is The Incarnation of Ugly.


american eagle (which is the store of choice for thirtyish people whose fashion sense hasn't matured beyond age nineteen) had a blimey of a sale wherein The Coat of My Deepest Longing in muted grey with the polka dotted lining and fabulously furry trim was on clearance, PLUS i was armed with an extra 20% off code (which they give you when you sign up for their online offers, meaning you fork over your email address and your soul). at this point they sensed i was doing some serious wavering, so they threw in free shipping and it was all over.

goodbye social conscience. hello new coat.

let me introduce you.

internet, meet The Amazing Monocolor Dreamcoat (modeled by elle, as her cuteness exceeds mine by exponential proportions)

{vintagey color wash, also used in the above images}

{edgy black and white version}

{another b&w, this one with the highlights blown for a touch of the dramatic}

disclosure: so pretty much i only told you the coat story because it proffered me a handy excuse to show off these shots of My Grossly-Overphotographed Youngest Child. she is cute, though, eh? (and the story is, sadly, all true. so much for saint nic.)

16 February 2009

wake me up when we're done

the sun is lying to me.

where i grew up, sunny=warm, notsunny=lesswarm. the midwestern sun, however, is a tricky little beast. take today for instance. bright, cloudless, and thirty-two degrees (which i suppose isn't actually all that cold for february, except for if you happen to be a warm-blooded mammal instead of, say, a mineral).

some days i push back the curtains and exclaim, "it's gorgeous! we should go for a walk!" and hubby says "it's three degrees" and i say "well, then. just kidding. we should bake some cookies."

so we've got oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars in the oven, which, despite all the butter and sugar, *do* contain whole wheat flour and oatmeal and wheat bran, so they're not a total loss.

i'm too sleepy to think of a transition.

the hubby was gone again last night, which meant i didn't sleep well, partly because i never sleep soundly when he's gone and partly because i let my four year old take his spot, and she tends to shift and pat my cheeks in her sleep and wake up at 45 minute intervals to tell me things as they occur to her. things like: "mom, it is so funny because i wear my red jammy pants but my jammy shirt is the blue one!" and i say, "mmhmmn" which is a rough translation for "please tell me about this at some hour that happens after sunrise."

i have spent much of today walking around with my eyes literally closed, resulting in a scuffed toe and a couple of close encounters with doorjambs.

insert clever transition here.

i'm teaching the pre-k class at church, and for the record: pre-k-ers are hilarious. yesterday i'm in the middle of the Jesus Loves The Children Story, right at the part where he's telling his disciples to let the little children come to him, and one of the smallish gals, who is solemn and taciturn as all get out, barks. loudly. it's just one solitary syllable of a bark at top volume, and when i glance up, her serious little face is blinking at me with all her usual calm. of course, this inspires a chorus of barking from the remainder of the class, which is All Sorts Of Fun, but i'm so thoroughly amused i don't even mind.

transitions are overrated.

this here is my littlest boy.

he lights up my february. i'm blessed.

14 February 2009

c'est l'amour

and that was my obligatory nod to valentine's day.

in other news, i pleaded, crooned, and cajoled my way to a shot of niño número dos. he's a beautiful one, that child, even when in dire need of a hair cut.

in living color:

and a black and white conversion:

happy weekend, folks. kiss somebody you love.

10 February 2009

this post brought to you by the color brown.

'tis the dead of winter, and we're currently at fifty-six degrees. the universe is brown.

i could not love it more.

ok, except for if it were seventy degrees and green, but you know. when it comes to miracles, i'm really not all that picky.

truth be told, even though it is tied for my favoritest color, i don't so much like for my entire life to be brown. the trees are brown the grass is brown the puddles are brown the mud is brown the sky is brown (ok, grey, but just as depressing) the fields are brown the dying foliage in my yard is brown the bushes are brown the road is...well, black, but you get my drift.

however: fifty-six degrees. brown is good.

so right now my (brown of course) minivan is sitting out in the driveway hoping for the forecasted scattered showers to mosey along and clean it. in spite of a strategic paint job in the exact color of dust, my odyssey is so caked with dirt that even though you can't see it, you can actually sense the filth. plus also i can no longer see out the rear window, which tends to be a sign that Perhaps It's Time To Wash The Van.

(nope, no photos of the odyssey. it was too embarrassed to be photographed. plus, my kids are cuter.)

ps Other Brown Things That Are Good include hot chocolate, cold chocolate, and room-temperature chocolate. and also reese's cups.

06 February 2009

a shot of random

1. so i just read that the jaguar, which has long been my favoritest car ever, is the least ticketed car in america. just one more reason why the XJR would be a great investment. and just think, i'm only $83,505 away from owning one.

2. what i like best about bagels: they have a hole in them.

3. i've been fiddling with textures again this week.

(despite all evidence to the contrary, i do actually recall that i have three other children. it's just that they do not so much like to be photographed, and mostly i end up with images like this:

...and there are only so many variations of the tippy tops of their heads.)

3b. elle, on the other hand, revels in the spotlight. she's in this phase where she spots the camera from afar and immediately plasters on either a silly face or a nettled one; she's good for very little in between.

fortunately, i adore moody photos.

4. i have to know what you all make of this here bath mat. part of me shudders at the thought that this exists even in its singular form, the remainder of me thinks it's the coolest thing since space invaders.

clear this up for me, please.

04 February 2009

self-portrait challenge: introductions.1

a couple months ago, selfportraitchallenge.net packed up and relocated to the happy land of flickr (now hosted by the indefatigable jeremy stockwell). as people have moved in and out of the group throughout the years, we find ourselves once again needing to reacquaint ourselves with our neighbors; hence this month's theme: introductions.

bonjour, mes amies. je m'appelle nicole. and that's about the extent of what has survived of my high school french*, so please do not leave your comments en français if you'd like me to actually comprehend them.

for week one of this theme, i thought i'd offer you a peek into my bedroom to give you the inside scoop on me.

let's start at the back of the room. the shelves of stacked fabric manifest a yen for crafting pretty little things.

i value both family and handmade articles...so i doubly treasure items handmade by family, such as the wedding ring coverlet quilted by my maternal grandmother.

those little heaps of clothes on the floor indicate that this was shot on laundry day, which is monday at chez owens. one of the perks of life as a work-at-home-mum is the responsibility for most of the household tidying. sometimes i find cleaning mind-numbing, but this week the quiet work has been steadying, almost restorative.

that bit of the treadmill beside me--yeah, i'm on that wretched thing daily every season but summer. i loathe the treadmill only marginally less than i abhor running in subzero temps, but give me a novel to absorb the miles indoors and i'm good.

i'm frequently clad in a tee, a hoodie, and jeans (okay, you technically can't see the jeans but i promise they're there).

my current hairstyle is down-in-my-face, but if i'm in the middle of something, i pull it back to a loose pony. i used to care too much about personal appearance; if i'm being honest, i still care, but i'm trying to outgrow this.

i love light.

i apparently also love to smirk at cameras and contort my limbs into odd angles so as not to impede the view of my bedroom.

so there's me. if you're a reader of this blog but not a part of self-portrait challenge, i invite you to join us...especially those of you who maintain a blog. i love to see glimpses of the person behind the posting every now and again.


*upon further review, i can actually say what time is it and that's bad in french, i can count from one to thirty-nine, and i know the word for after is après. so yeah, if you're ever in need of a tour guide in paris, you totally want to look me up.