Thursday, October 29, 2009

knit. knit. knit.

I taught myself how to knit, or rather the online videos and tutorials did.  This is the first thing I made.  It might contain many mistakes, but I kind of love it and it's pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be.
And now that I know how to cast-on, knit, purl, and cast-off, the sky's the limit...

they’re here!!!

I’m home, if only for a few moments.  I do have much to write, but right now, I’m 200% excited about the arrival of my very first Noted Cards order.   They’re fantastic and lovely and could soon be coming to a mailbox near you, for a very reasonable price. {details to follow.}
But for now, a sneak peak…
“Two Things” Postcard
{Actual size comparison}
I’m working out the details of price/shipping and such, but when we return from Kansas, I’ll announce their debut in the Etsy Shop.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To the greatest artist of all

Thank you for splattering bright and brilliant stars across the sky each night, for the sparkles and streaks that canvas the deep blue expanse. 

Thank you for showering us with your musical display of rhythm, light, and color as they dance across the sky, expressing your power and love.

I like to think that each night as darkness approaches you delight in wowing us time and time again with your most incredible, inspiring, and spectacular creativity.

I like to think that you paint the sky with swirling, bouncing, and dancing paint brushes bursting with mesmerizing light.

I like to think that you do this hoping that we might take a moment to delight in you, in your creation, and the wonder of your beauty. 

I like to think that each and every night we could find traces and evidence that you are near, if we weren’t so distracted and stuck in our tiny, small lives.

I like to think, that even when we don’t, you continue to paint the sky with shimmering stars and radiant colors because you delight in beauty, beauty that you created.

You are the greatest artist of all.

You are beautiful.


By day, the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me. Psalm 42:8

P.S.  Safely in Alaska.  Saw the Northern Lights.

(Also: Psalm 36:5, 34:5, 37:6,7, 46:10, 63:1-4, 65:5-8)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

leaving on a jet plane.

lovely image found here

Well, this is something new for us.  We're off to Alaska to visit family.  It's going to be an adventure and include lots of  fresh air, a wood stove, and we're probably going to eat moose, at least once.  So, I might be around to update every now and then, I think there's internet in Alaska, but then again, I might get lost in a snowbank?

P.S.  I wish my luggage looked that lovely.  I also wish I could bring that much stuff.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mary Poppins

A great weekend was had by all in our home.
Someone had a first birthday party.
We watched lots of football, including the massacre that was the Titans/Patriots game.  Oh, Titans, what happened to you?
And I received a lovely and most thoughtful gift.
I mean, she is my hero.  I adore Mary Poppins, I mean Julie Andrews.  She’s just everything that is lovely, graceful, and beautiful in the world.  So, I was thrilled to receive this gift.  I can’t wait to start reading it, but I have to finish the new Donald Miller first, because someone (the husband) is waiting patiently to read it and I’m taking too long.
Julie Andrews, you are lovely.   Thanks for being you.

birthday boy blue.

That’s right, it’s been a year, one glorious, crazy, fun, exhausting and life-changing year.  On Thursday, my baby is turning one.  ONE.  We had a little birthday party for him on Saturday.  We planned on having a fall breakfast in the park party, but the weather decided otherwise with temps in the low 40’s.  That’s no weather for a birthday party.  So, impromptu, we turned the house inside out for the celebration.
I love planning parties, I don’t do it often, but it was really fun.  Of course, we had to battle the “monster theme” that daddy wanted versus the cute party that mommy wanted, but there are plenty of years to come for monster and super hero parties.  I won.
Up early to get donuts with daddy. 
Sometimes his cuteness takes my breath away.
The H from his room came out for the party.
muffins, donuts, coffee, hot cocoa, fruit, and breakfast casserole.
immediately following the party.

We had the best time.  And this lucky baby gets to have another birthday party in a few weeks, when we visit family in Kansas, and another little birthday celebration when we go to Alaska in a few days.  He’s kind of a big deal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

random before the sunrise

The time is 6:03 am, foreign territory to this non-morning person.  But, the smallest member of our family decided he was ready to play at 5:45 am.  I decided to sacrifice my sleep so that the husband might, hopefully the extra sleep will help him get rid of this coughing business, once and for all.  (It's not that noble of me, since 9 times out of 10, he lets me sleep)

I'm surprisingly awake right now, not even sure why.

This morning's early bird is examining the DVD case to his favorite baby Einstein and apparently formulating thoughts on it to give a review later.  He seriously looks like he's reading it over and over saying, "Oh yes, I see," and "Well, isn't that interesting?"  He's also showing signs of remorse (rubbing his eyes and yawning) for his decision to rise before the sun and even before God, for that matter.  I'm a firm believer that when I stand before God one day, I'm going to discover that He is not a morning person either and then we'll drink coffee together and watch the sunset.

I must admit that there are moments when I think it sounds lovely to be one of those crazy's called morning people, if not for the idea of starting the day with a long run and the sunrise, reading the newspaper in the silence of the moment.  That does sound nice, but it rarely sounds nicer than staying nice and cozy under my covers.  Besides, the husband is a morning person and I know he treasures his few hours before the sun shows his face to the world. I couldn't take that away from him.

It's raining, I adore the rain.  I find it poetic, enchanting, and refreshing.  It always, always reminds me of a scene from my all-time favorite book, My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok.  Have you read it?  It's marvelous, artistic, emotional, thoughtful, and even a bit unruly (all my favorite things.)  In this scene, Asher watches the rain falling through his window and wonders why people don't want him to use his gift of art.
Look at the rain on the window.  The mashpia was saying something but I did not want to listen to him any more.  It's raining in sharp diagonals to the verticals and horizontals of the window.  Look at those slashing diagonals.  The mashpia was saying something about Vienna but I would not listen.  The darkness was gone from the street and I could see the trees beneath the lashing rain.  The rain moved in waterfalls across the asphalt.  The curbs were flooded with rushing streams of dark water.  Oh, if I could paint this, I thought, Ribbono Shel Olom (Master of the Universe), if I could paint this world, this clean world of rain and patterns on glass, and trees on my street, and people beneath the trees.  I would even paint and draw pain and suffering if I could paint and draw the others, too.  I would paint the rain as tears and I would paint the rain as waters of purification.  (page 134-135)

I just love it.  It makes me want to paint, especially the rain.  Maybe I'll paint today. Maybe I start reading it again, I can't quite remember how many times I have read it.  But, I'm pretty much reading way too many books to start another, or am I?  What are you reading?  Here's my list:

  1. The Gospel According to Starbucks, Leonard Sweet
  2. Wide Awake, Erwin McManus
  3. A Million Millions in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
  4. Marley & Me, John Grogan
  5. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yes, I'm seriously reading all those books and there are four immediate books that I want to be reading.
Do I have problems?  Am I the only one?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this large dose of random before the sunrise.  I'm impressed that I composed anything more than the words, I need coffee.

Oh, I need coffee.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

musical life.

It would be lots of fun.

People would smile more.

People should smile more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

4,148 miles.

is the approximate distance it would take to drive from here, Tennessee to a small town in Alaska where my dad and step-mom live.
Good thing we are not driving then.  I imagine though, that is how long it will feel to fly there, as well, especially with the squirmy little thing called the baby.
But… we are going, yes, we’re going to Alaska, next week.  Surprise!!  It’s new to us too, but we’re totally up for a little adventure right now,  we could certainly use a change of scenery for a few days and we’re really feeling the need for some good quality nature time, I heard there is real nature up there. No Starbucks, but nature.
I suppose they really miss their grandson (and maybe us too-but we all know it’s mostly him, there’s no denying it.)  and figured this was the best way to be a part of his first birthday, well that’s a pretty big gift, I’d say.   We’re excited.
But most importantly, I’m pretty sure that I have absolutely nothing to wear, to Alaska, in what will probably be the beginning of winter.  My dad said that it was actually an Indian Summer there, but I bet he was just trying to get me to say yes :) This is no TN winter, or even a Michigan winter, which I grew up knowing.  I think it’s gets down to –2200 degrees up there.  (slight exaggeration, maybe)
So, when I say that I have nothing to wear, it’s not like I don’t have something cute and trendy to wear or I just don’t like anything in my closet, but I think I own two pairs of socks and I’m doubting that my rainbow sandals will be of much use to me then.  I don’t even own boots.  So I’ll probably just wear all the sweaters I have every single day and we can all pray that I don’t turn into one giant-coffee-loving ice cube.
Well I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun stories and some amazing pictures and we’ve never been to Alaska or that close to the North Pole, for that matter.  It will be fun to get to see and for them to see the  baby as he’s pretty much all grown up now, he’s almost one, you know.
As soon as we get back, we’re going to Kansas to spend some quality time with the husband’s family and have another birthday celebration there.  Wow, this baby is a big deal around here.
But first, I’m getting ready for his birthday party here, we’re doing breakfast in the park, how much fun will that be?  And, yes, there will be coffee, because let’s be honest, no coffee, no party.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Remember asking that as a child, filled with anticipation and excitement every five minutes of the car ride to whatever gloriously fun destination your family was headed?
Each five minutes that passed seemed like an eternity and you felt it necessary to just check with your parents to make sure they weren’t missing something important, which of course, made the trip feel like eternity for them too.
Tonight, I’m sitting here realizing that maybe we really never stop asking that question.  Even as I find myself in my mid-twenties, blissfully wed to my love and best friend, joyfully raising my beautiful baby boy, doing the things I love the most, writing and being creative… I’m still asking, “Are we there yet?”
I’m comfortable with adulthood and its responsibilities, most of the time, while still embracing that inner child within, living to make each day meaningful and intentional, however…
A large part of me is still rather unsettled, anxiously awaiting whatever in the world is coming next.  This year has been one to remember, with many highs and some lows.  The husband and I both felt something stirring in us, some new purpose and a renewed calling for our lives.  We felt a change of location coming, and while we truly have enjoyed this place, our souls are hungry for a change, for that new place to be and to belong.
And then, his employer sunk like the sinking ship that it was and went of out business, leaving him jobless, like so many, in February.  
It’s October. These eight months have been filled with hours upon hours of job searching, praying, looking, knocking, seeking, dreaming, and waiting, waiting, waiting.  Did I mention waiting yet?  We pursued artistic opportunities, taking full advantage of the great amount of hours available, hoping to make the most of time.   We came across lots of closed doors and windows, for that matter. We saw a chance of an exciting door open and then close, which was frustrating, but we were not defeated, certain that God had a better plan, which He wasn’t telling us about yet.
Today, we’re still waiting (and all that other stuff: looking, hoping, praying, etc.)  and while we are just as certain of the timing and next step of that plan, it’s not feeling so easy at this point of the journey.  I think we keep asking each other everyday, “Are we there yet?” Except, we don’t even know where THERE is, so that’s kind of umm, whatever.  All we know is we’d really love to be THERE, doing whatever it is we are supposed to be doing THERE. 
I’m saying all this at the risk of being vulnerable and transparent, and at the greater risk of receiving one too many cliché statements, but I imagine I’m not the only one who has felt like the little kid sitting in the back seating practically bouncing up and down waiting to arrive.  The point of arrival is different for each of us, whether it’s waiting to finish school, to find/start a career, to pursue and obtain a dream, to meet the person of your dreams, to fall in love, to get married, to have a baby… to anything, whatever is next, for you.
I think it’s natural and necessary to keep looking forward, and being content is part of the deal too.  {I know.}  But, I think part of the asking and waiting means you have hope, hope for things unseen except in your dreams, and perhaps, if we stop asking this question, then maybe part of that hope is diminished.
That might be nonsense to you, to me, it’s comforting, because I’m hopeful.  Tired and anxious, but hopeful too.  I heard this song today, by Ingrid Michaelson, I’ve been a big fan since first hearing her music on Grey’s Anatomy, and I’m pretty sure I fell in love with it.  A good song is one you immediately find yourself in, and that is exactly what I did.  Maybe you will too.

Dear Anthropologie

What in the world are you trying to do to me?

Study-In-Contrasts Coat

All winter coats will pale in comparison to your beauty.

Newspaper Bucket Hat

And how can November come without this hat?

Cirrus Duvet

And will this only forever be a dream?

…. well, that’s all I had to say for now.

I love you Anthropologie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

burrito pizza?

Ok, let’s just get this out of the way.  I LOVED The Office Wedding.  It was crazy, absurd, slightly inappropriate, sweet, funny, and ever-so-romantic.  All reasons why the show is brilliant.

Jim and Pam are the cutest, just the cutest.


We made homemade pizza, we have it often, but this was no ordinary pizza, it was amazingly and surprisingly delicious.  I’m not sure exactly what to call it, but it had refried beans, corn, and salsa…  It tasted like burritos.  Ah ha, burrito pizza.


Here’s the scoop:

  1. Homemade pizza dough
  2. Salsa (spread over crust, replaced pizza sauce)
  3. Homemade refried beans spread over salsa
  4. Onions
  5. Fresh jalapeno slices
  6. Corn
  7. Salt, Pepper, Chili Pepper, Oregano
  8. All topped with taco shredded cheese.

We add a few dollops of sour cream to our plates and enjoyed every bite.  I must admit, I was nervous that it wouldn’t be that good, but we are still talking about it today and plan on making it again.

Next time we’re going to try chicken enchilada pizza. (enchilada sauce, chicken, onions, jalapenos, and cheese)  It’s going to be amazing.

What crazy concoctions have you made?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a Wednesday thought.

It’s a beautiful afternoon, the sunlight and the fall breeze are dancing through the open windows.

This is what my day has looked like:

Extra hour of sleep, thanks husband. Gingerbread creamer in the coffee, finally the fall/holiday creamers are in the store (pumpkin was sold out.  Way to be prepared worthless store that starts with a W. Regardless, delicious coffee, some Sesame Street, Clifford, Word World, you know, the usual.  A little Donald Miller reading. Some chasing a practically perfect almost one year old around the room as he squeals in delight.  his favorite game.

also, it included a little of this: paid some bills, laundry, dusting, a splash of Windex here and there, vacuum meets carpet, organizing, cleaning, sanitizing, folding, and sorting.

but, then I ate left-over sloppy joes for lunch, and of course, I  put lots of  yummy, crispy, potato chips inside.  (homemade turkey sloppy joes, not from a can.)

So all that to say growing up is inevitable but as long as we can eat sloppy joes filled with potato chips and enjoy every last bite you never really have to grow up all the way

and that is ok with me

Monday, October 5, 2009

life- a series of small seemingly ordinary marvels.

Is there anything better than getting a brand new book?  or perhaps a brand new old book?  The answer is obviously a resounding, no.  Well, my new book came today.  I already love it.  I teared up by page six.  I'm wondering when I became so easily moved by truth, beauty, and perfect sentiment that I can tear up by page six of anything.  I've found lately that I've become so passionate about living life, about finding meaning and purpose, and seeing the beauty in the world that God created that the tiniest thing that inspires me can cause my eyes to well up to the brim and at least a tear or two inevitably escapes down my cheek.

My new book.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller.

Hands down, he's one of my favorites, he makes you feel like you're sitting across the table from him drinking a coffee and your conversation is full of genuine, truth, sarcasm, and silliness. I like all those things.

Here's the thing, I have an insatiable desire to see people living their lives as if they were doing so intentionally.    It's kind of a big deal to me.  Sure, life is full of certain things that are boring like working, paying bills, and folding laundry, but what if you didn't have a job, so you couldn't pay the bills and then you didn't have any clothes to wear and fold...  I feel like we'd rather have option A.  I think the problem lies within us, and our expectations for life.  Like, all of a sudden we're supposed to have these amazing adventures, travel the world, and change the lives of everyone and everything that crosses our path.  That's when life begins. False. In order for life to ever reach that peak of excitement and wonder, today has to be an adventure, today has to be filled with small, seemingly ordinary marvels.  It has to start with you, right now, where you are sitting in this exact moment.

For example:  last week, my little family of three went to the park, bought a pumpkin spice latte, and brought our camera, park blanket, and our desire to just have as much fun as possible.  We attempted to play tether ball, took a bit of a walk and spend the majority of our time laying on the blanket under the trees, feeling the cool fall breeze and the warm sunshine.  It was perfection.  I loved our afternoon, I loved it so much.  Nothing could have been better than that moment, not even strolling through the streets of Paris or eating pasta in Italy.{I, obviously, wouldn't mind doing either of those things, forever.}

I read recently that we must live our lives to the fullest because that enables other people to do the same.  Have you ever considered that?  Perhaps we should.  No matter who you are or what you're good at, by fully living your life you are making the world better.  Now that is something that we can all do.

I want to give you a small taste of the book.  I hope it strikes you as it did me, in a simple but overwhelming way.  I hope it makes you think about your life, the only life you've been given.  It's yours to do as much or as little as you choose.

Author's Note from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller.
"If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn't cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers.  You wouldn't tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you'd seen.  The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you'd feel robbed and want your money back.  Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.  But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful.  The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either. "

fingers paint your way to dreams.

Last week, I indulged in a bit of sheer joy, finger painting.  I am convinced there is no remedy for a lack of inspiration like finger painting.  Your hands are covered with paints of all colors, and you just make something.  You’ve never sure exactly what it is until just the right moment, you observe and say, "that’s it.”  Even if you only see one big mess, I promise you’ll feel better.
I had an excerpt that I wanted to add from one of my favorite books, Wide Awake, that I needed to see everyday, over and over again.  An encouragement, a reminder of who I am, and a declaration of my intentions to the world.
Here’s the formula for this perfect brief moment of expression:  candle + coffee + music + sleeping baby + art supplies everywhere. 
      Here’s the quote:
Others need to see to believe.  You see because you believe.  If only the rest of the world could see what you see—it would change everything.  They would understand that you are not simply a hopeless romantic.  While some dream to escape life; you dream to live.  You see a life, a world, a future, so beautiful it takes your breath away.  You must pursue this dream.  It is what makes you feel alive.  If must become reality.  You’re not closing your eyes to the real world, you’re just dreaming with your eyes open.
-Wide Awake, Erwin McManus.
Ready.  Set. Finished.

Hello, daily inspiration. Now, go get messy and finger paint.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

because there is no such thing as forever 21.

I went shopping recently, not to buy, to look.

This shopping or rather looking trip brought me to one strong conclusion... At some point in my life, I have grown too old and terrified of the junior's section and yet I am nowhere near ready to even think about wearing anything coming out of the misses or women's section. I mean, I am a Mrs. but not ready for the "Misses."  So, what's a girl supposed to do? And secondly, I found myself completely bored by the lack of style and originality that I found in most of the major clothing stores. So, again, I ask, what's a girl to do?

  • I don't wear animal prints.
  • I do don't the eighties apparel so much.
  • I'm also not into the sparkling/leathery skin tight, LA glam thing.
  • I've been out of college for a while, so I don't really want to dress like a college student anymore.
  • I don't do neon.
  • I'm not a hippy.
  • I not really a jeans & tee-shirt girl.
and finally...
  • I must come to the realization that the whole idea of 21 forever is a myth.  (I'm just not feeling about 90% of it these days, is that because I'm 25?)
Alas, what is a girl to do?

If only my budget was better friends with the stores that ended in "pologie" and "rban outfitters."