Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: in posts

I love the feelings of reflection and thought that the end of each year brings… looking back through my blog, I’ve gathered some of my favorite posts… words that moved me, things that made me smile, items that inspired… moments that have been my life this year.  Enjoy.  I tried to narrow it down to ten… but failed.
  1. a pretty picture
  2. this very exciting day
  3. a list for life
  4. making this little number
  5. making toys for the cutest little boy ever
  6. the first Inspire party
  7. reading this  bit of brilliance
  8. writing about this special person
  9. more sewing fun
  10. something I learned from a little boy
  11. this moment with my baby
  12. witnessing the Northern Lights
  13. visiting this place.
What were some of your favorite moments or memories that you’ve recorded?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Last week, some friends gathered for our second annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Extravaganza.
1. An event always sounds better if it’s annual.
2. An event always sounds better if it’s an extravaganza.

Katy Bell is old enough to help decorate now.  She’s also old enough to eat cookies.  She’s also old enough to try and consume an entire little jar of sprinkles before her mom notices, because if mommy doesn’t stop her then she is totally allowed.  This is one of the funniest little girls that I know.
 IMG_1764 IMG_1765
Do you see the super cute and somewhat Asian gingerbread man?  All credit goes to Melissa.
 IMG_1766 IMG_1767
Also, it appears that the Pillsbury Doughboy showed up on our cookies…
Here’s an example of cookie decorating gone too far… we all knew adding the purple icing to the orange/green glitter tree would be a mistake.
and… I made my little family in cookies. then we ate them.
Holy sugar land.  So much frosting licked off fingers. So many cookies consumed. So much fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

pretty things that I wouldn’t hate to own.

Have you ever seen such pretty books?  Even if I hated reading, which I don’t, I’d love to just have them on my mantle.

Ohh, they are lovely…

Cuisinox COF3206 Espresso Stovetop Coffeemaker

The more coffee I drink, the more espresso I want in my life.  These little stovetop espresso makers are so cute… and brew just the right amount.

pretty, perfect, yummy, delicious… all of it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thinking of...

Good News:  All the scarves are sold out of the shop for now.
{That is good news for me.  Bad news for you.}
Good News:  I'm working on more, stay tuned.
{This is good news for  you.}

I don't have much new to write right now, but I'm thinking a lot about this post today...

It was truly one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.  EVER.

Can you remember your most beautiful moments.  Where you found God even when you weren't looking?  When He showed up in the most glorious and unexpected way and you'll never forget it.

I saw Him that night watching the Northern Lights dance across the sky to the melody of WHO HE IS.
I see Him standing on the shore, listening to the crashing waves, rhythmically chanting His wonder
I see Him in moments of perfect peace as my little boy falls asleep in my arms, thinking, wow, he's really ours.

What are some of your moments....I'd love to hear them.

I have this great joy and excitement about Christmas.  I just feel so blessed.
Even if I didn't receive a single gift...  I HAVE SO MUCH.

There are people who have nothing, not even a coat to stay warm, how many do I have?

Now, I love all the festivities and merriment of the season, the parties, the family, the gifts, the traditions, the food, the fun.... I love love love it... but it seems like a great big cherry on top of the sundae...

because without it... everything would still be wonderful, just wonderful.

Sure the husband still doesn't have a job, it's been nine months... but we have paid all of our bills, never missed a meal, and even had a little fun here and there... isn't that in of itself a miracle?

I've been thinking that we have been waiting so long for something so great and miraculous to happen every day... that maybe, just maybe we forgot to notice the miracle that was already taking place... God was taking care of us the whole entire time.... and nothing beats that.

Hmm, maybe I did have something to say after all.

He loves us, oh how He loves us.... He sure does.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Thursday List

This is one of the first times in a while that I have actually felt busy, as in my life.  I know that may cause some of you to laugh, but I’m not one who likes to be overly scheduled or always doing something… much less, always doing more than one human can possibly do.  {ahem, my friends, you know who you are… And I love you for it!!}  But there are lots of fun things going on… 
So, I have about 10 minutes before we enjoy some divine grilled cheese sandwiches with havarti and tomato soup… made by the sandwich king, of course.  Man, he’s a good husband.  Here’s the thing about grilled cheese and tomato soup… you can never outgrow the goodness and warmth it brings to your soul. 
Anyways, I only have enough focus for a list post and that is fine with me because I’ve been known to enjoy a good list here and there.  Not so much the “to do” lists, but the fun ones, like:
ten things I love about today OR
reasons why I belong in Europe OR
reasons why I would be a good ruler of the world…. I would, by the way…
So, in honor of feeling busy…
The Thursday Special
  1. Yesterday, someone ordered 4 Olivia Moore Art + Design calendars from my RedBubble site…that was the first thing to make my day.
  2. I finished and posted Lady Cordelia to the shop and within hours, she sold…. that was the second thing that made my day.
  3. I won a giveaway, from Design Mom!!
    !  An awesome giveaway… We’re talking super cute photo Christmas cards from, which is a fantastic site by the way.  I so badly wanted to mail out pretty little cards this year and it didn’t look like that was going to happen… then voila… that was the third thing that made my day.
  4. Here’s something less worthy of day making, my poor little boy was injected with way too many shots today and while I am not at all interested in a great vaccine debate, I just feel like the whole reason behind giving so many shots at once is more of a convenience for the health care professionals, an attempt to vaccinate the population as fast as possible, not so much for the health of little ones.  I do feel like they are beneficial in this crazy world we live in and with the goals and dreams of travel we have for our family… they are important… but I think with the rest of the kids we have… we might opt for an alternative schedule.  Ok, to end that discussion as quickly as possible, this is my final thought… THERE MUST BE A MORE HUMANE WAY FOR THE SHOTS TO BE ADMINISTERED THAN FOR POOR, LOVING MOMMY TO HAVE TO HOLD HER SWEET, LITTLE BOY DOWN SO THAT SOME “MEAN” NURSE CAN POKE HIS NICE, SOFT SKIN WITH A NEEDLE…. more humane for baby and certainly less painful for mommy.  Ugh, it’s terrible.
  5. Moving on, it’s Thursday night and I can’t wait for The Office, it’s the most brilliant thing on television as far as I’m concerned.
  6. Finally, I have lots of cool scarves that I want to start, but I already have a few special orders, which is SO SO exciting… so you better believe that this weekend, when I’m not enjoying hot cocoa or attending the local tree lighting or chasing the little boy around the room or wearing fuchsia leggings… my little hands will be knitting, knitting, knitting…
and that’s what busy looks like to me. I have a good life, yes, I do.

Monday, November 30, 2009

delicious silence

Today has been one of those days where I desperately wish I could have called my mom and said, “come get your grandson or else I’m sending him to the zoo.”
… but we live far away from her.
Today has been one of those days that baby Did.NOT.take.a.SINGLE.nap.
…. that is never ever a good idea.
Today has been one of those days that was filled with lots and lots and lots and lots of whimpering and whining and more whining--- directly due to that whole nap refusal issue.
Now, delicious silence fills the room.  It  almost smells good, if you can smell silence.  It’s that kind of silence that you want to drink in and hug and say thank you, thank you thank you.
… baby boy is sleeping.
Thank you God that babies go to sleep.
Thank you God that babies go to sleep.
Thank you God that babies go to sleep.
Thank you for my baby.
…even when he’s crazy face all day.
he’s still the cutest ever.

Are We There Yet?

Just doing a little reading before bed, been feeling the length of this season of trusting and waiting lately.  God is good. 

He is so good. 

This excerpt is brilliant and my words couldn’t do any better than what Donald Miller writes here. 

Because our lives are all incredible stories and we are characters…

|from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years|


I think this is when most people give up on their stories.  They come out of college, wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies.  But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought.  They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward.  None of the trees are getting bigger.  They take it out on their spouses and they go look for an easier story.

Writing a story isn’t about making your peaceful fantasies come true.  The whole point of a story is the character arc.  You didn’t think joy could change a person, did you?  Joy is what you feel when the conflict is over.  But it’s the conflict that changes a person.

It’s like this with every crossing, and with nearly every story too.  You paddle until you no longer believe you can go any farther.  And then suddenly, well after you thought it would happen, the other shore starts to grow, and it grows fast.  The trees get taller and you can make out the crags in the cliffs, and then the shore reaches out to you, to welcome you home, almost pulling your boat onto the sand.

We’re looking forward to seeing that other shore starting to grow…

Really.  Any day now.

PS.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to go looking for an easier story, and I’m keeping my husband.  We’re in this together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday weekend a.k.a Project weekend…

If you are wanting some cute projects to work on this wonderful holiday weekend… here are a couple that I found.
Plush Alphabet from Chez Beeper Bebe
|Photo property of Chez Beeper Bebe|
What a great way to use fabric scraps or put those old clothes to good use.  I love this.  I feel like I have to make this, I have to.  The whole tutorial can be found here.
Skinny Jeans for Toddler or Baby from Freshly Picked
I know what you’re thinking, how awesome is that?  Go ahead, admit it.  I know a little boy who needs these in his closet, mine.
Ok, and finally, I just found this brilliant, lovely, and magical holiday tradition that you may want to start with your children.
Find it here.

have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving…

Saturday, November 21, 2009

hang a shining star…

I don’t know how the baby went a whole Christmas without having a stocking hanging above the fireplace in between mommy and daddy’s, but he did.  It’s sad, but he was two months old and he’ll never know what he missed.
But, do not fret, he will never have to go another Christmas season without his very own stocking.  I waged a mental battle between purchasing one and making my own.  Guess which idea won.
I had recently cut up a brown wool sweater that was getting a little small, which makes sense because I bought it like five years ago.  I kept the bodice of the sweater as a fun little vest, still looking for the perfect thing to wear it with… but the sleeves… well, they seemed to make the perfect stocking.
I cut the sleeves down one seam, shaped them like a stocking,  then hand stitched the two pieces together.
Cut two odd shaped circles and for the toe and heal and did a little hot glue gun magic, then applied brown yard for the trim.
My hot glue gun and I are good friends.
The H is from a pair of old argyle knee high stockings applied with the hot glue gun and trimmed with more yarn.  The buttons are two vintage buttons from my mother-in-law, from her mother.
I love it more than any stocking I could ever buy in a store.
Christmas is coming!!!
Cute stocking for my cute baby.
Cute. Cute. Cute.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday morning felicity

felicity is a lovely word.
Main Entry:
Part of Speech:


Yesterday, the husband told me as he was changing this guy’s diaper, “You know, it’s not fair, I had to work hard for you to fall in love with me, but Hudson didn’t have to do a thing.
**For the record, he didn’t have to work that hard…
Anyways, I’m blessed that I get to stay home and hang out with my smaller, best friend all day.  So many people dread that whole going back to work on Monday morning thing, but I don’t have to return to work, maybe because my job is full-time, plus nights and weekends… but there are perks.
…like little cute face sharing goldfish crackers with you, of course, after sharing most of them with the floor.
… and we determine the dress code.  If we think it’s cute Christmas PJ day, then it’s cute Christmas pj day.  No questions asked.
… and most days include a photo shoot.
… with lots of cute face’s smiles.
… And games like knock over the rain boots.
Sometimes, we have to put away the laundry that is taking over the bedroom floor and clean the kitchen, if there is still a kitchen in there, under the mountain of dishes, but we try not to do that too often, because we’d rather play with the soccer ball and carry around little tug boats all… day… long.
And all day long I teach him the importance of speaking proper English, which means I’m putting my degree to use.  For example, when I say, “No, you can’t climb over the back of the couch.”
So, that’s my job… I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

speaking of knitting

As you may remember, I decided to learn how to knit, you can read about it here.  Well, I’m sort of gone crazy, because I learn best by actually making things. I also have a great love of scarves. So that’s what I’ve been doing, knitting, thinking about possible Christmas gifts, and making scarves (that’s all I know how to do so far… I mean, the coffee cup cozy is basically a mini scarf.)
Take a look…
This is the first one that I made, it started with about 30 stitches and ended up being nearly 100 by the end.  Oops.  Now, I know why that happened, but I kind of like how it turned out.  I call it accidental success.
This one is loosely knit (with larger needles), so it’s soft and light, a classic accessory… for someone not looking to make a huge statement.
Speaking of making a statement, I love the buttons on this one, two elegant black buttons with one sweet little white rosette in the middle.  I love this wrap design, it’s a little something more than your average scarf and you never have to worry what to do with the loose ends.

This is my favorite.  I love it.  It’s over-sized compared to the pink wrap and in one of my favorite colors, plus I love that the buttons do not match but compliment each other in a non-matching way (just the way I like it.)  I originally made this as a gift, but pretty much feel in love and so she’s mine.  Sorry person who never even knew that you might be getting it.
So that’s what I’ve been doing… maybe you’ll be getting one of these, I can’t possibly keep them all… maybe in the near future you might find some in my etsy shop… just maybe.
I always thought that knitting would be too hard… but I’m so happy that I gave it a try… you should try something new and tell me about it.  I’d love to hear your stories.

Friday, November 13, 2009

everyone needs a little more cozy…

Even my favorite coffee mugs.  I can’t help but do that silly little giggle that I do when I find something irresistibly cute, you know, high pitched voice, scrunched shoulders and nose…

I’ve become crazy about knitting since I learned how and it may appear that I’m having way too much fun doing it.

Meet my coffee cup cozy, and some have some alliteration.


Cute, yes?  You know you want one.  And those are the Chocolate covered Espresso Shortbread Cookies that I wrote about hereIMG_1011

I added some of my new/old buttons for easy application and a bit of extra cuteness… IMG_1012 Never again will you be unable to hold your favorite mug full of warm drink goodness because the mug is too hot… never again. Thanks to the super cute coffee cup cozy you are safe!

P.S.  The husband thinks it’s silly, but I think his t-shirts are silly, so we’re even.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

my husband, the sandwich genius.


This is the husband.  He’s cute.  My favorite husband, I only have one and plan on keeping him, but still he’s my favorite.

In addition to being the kindest and most patient person I know, he makes the very best sandwiches.  He spent some quality time working at a deli in his younger years.  And, when I say younger, yes, he just turned thirty this month.

He knows all about the fine details of spreading the condiments and placing the meat, cheese, and toppings just so to create what he calls, “flavor pockets.”

I call it delicious.

Today, we had grilled turkey, bacon, onion, with pepper jack cheese sandwiches. 

It won’t be the last time, of that I’m certain.

He even makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches better than I do.  He has a  top secret scientific method of the right amount of peanut butter and jelly…  I think.

He’s a keeper.

Oh, and he lets me sleep an extra hour in the mornings while he gets up with the little boy…. and actually knows how to clean the bathroom, and humors me when I need someone to talk to about Grey’s Anatomy.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

so if I’m telling my story…

A story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling people what we think is important.
-Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Since it’s my story, I’m not going to be frustrated over the fact that our only car isn’t working, or about how long this season of waiting and looking feels today… nope… this is the story that I’m going to tell.
my story is about…
how much I love this little fall baby…
and how cool his new wagon is….
and how radiant the colors of fall seem to be…
and how great being a mommy is…

and about how maybe we didn’t really think the whole giving a red frosted cookie to a one year old, on a walk, with no wipes on hand…

and about how no matter how much they fight it, the nap will win…

that’s the story I’m going to tell today. What is yours?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


my encouragement for this moment…

The story made us different characters than if we’d showed up at the ending an easier way.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller, page 143.


yeah, I needed that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

morsels of thought, lost in

something stirring, a good feeling
There is something stirring within me.  Something new and inspiring.  A sense of expectancy, anticipation.  It feels like something is coming, something refreshing and good, but also very necessary.
anticipation, the monster of
I stopped anticipating a few months ago, because it was exhausting me, frustrating me, and irritating me.  I didn’t know what I was anticipating, but I couldn’t handle it, so I stopped.  But, I couldn’t do that forever, that’s boring and not me.  Maybe, I’m just feeling a renewed sense of anticipation or perhaps, it could be that we are actually getting closer to “what is next.”
what is next, stupid phrase
Ugh, what a phrase, “what is next.”  It’s gross, exciting, new, frustrating, and good all at the same time.  Mostly, it’s gross and frustrating because I’d like to know what it is and I don’t quite yet know.  It’s exciting, new, and good because I know it’s going to be good for us.  Again, it’s gross and frustrating because I don’t know when it’s going to happen.  So I remain in this state of attached detachment.  Because if I anticipate too much, it will drive me crazy and if I don’t anticipate enough, I will go crazy.
getting away, is nice, but home is better
Perhaps, it took two weeks of crazy traveling, two weeks spent in worlds that are not my own, to feel it again.  I’m happy to be home in my creative world, my simple life that is peaceful, functional, and requires both faith and dreams, which sometimes feels like the right balance of contentment and discontentment.
my point is, I only sort of know
While all these ideas are not completely unraveled and seem to be in a tangled mess, I’m ok with that.  I’m sharing these random thoughts as a declaration that good things are coming, that we are stronger for going through this year of complete dependence on God, and that I refuse to be discouraged by the present state of circumstances-- as they would appear to be.  Greater things are coming, they really are.
… welcome back anticipation, I missed you.
p.s. what is next?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

something old

While in Kansas, my mother in law decided to bless me with a gift, something that has been in her family for a very long time.
It also happens to be something that I love. love. love.
inside this very old tin are hundreds…
of buttons, fantastic buttons, lovely buttons.

Her mother collected these buttons for most of her life and passed them on to her and she wanted me to have them.  So they are old, which makes them authentically antique and incredibly beautiful.
She told me that many of them were collected during Great Depression.   People never threw away anything and if a garment of clothing was too worn to wear, they would remove and save the buttons for future use.
Just think, out of necessity these buttons were collected and saved for the sake of practicality and even pleasure…
and now they will be used for design,  inspiration, and creativity.
Oh, what fun this will be.
What are some of your favorite treasures that have been passed down to you?

Friday, November 6, 2009

in thanks #2

For this I am thankful:

  • clean drinking water
  • my baby boy who is unfortunately sick, but fast asleep on my chest, so I can kiss the top of his head approx. 1,002 times.
  • the brilliant fall colors outside my window
  • a re-arranged living room, I like change.
  • renewed creativity

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Operation: Thankful Living

Now that Halloween is over and the red cups are back at Starbucks, that means it's officially the most wonderful time of the year... and I adore these holidays and I am very serious about celebrating them.  I'm also very serious about celebrating life even when it's not Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Around blog world, I've seen lots of thankfulness project things, so I'm jumping on board, because it never ever hurts to be thankful. It's one trend that can never go out of style.  I mean, we have so much, so many blessings, so very much, even when we might not have everything.  So, for the month of November, I'm going to attempt to share a few things that I'm thankful for each day.  Afterwards, I'll collect them and then share on a regular basis.  I want to live a life of gratefulness.  How are you going live with more gratitude?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Today I'm thankful for...

  • Spending a calm day at home after two weeks of traveling, six flights, two ten hour drives, and four (1st) birthday parties.
  • Grilled sausage, eggplant, onion, pepper sandwiches.
  • Thursday is homemade pizza night, Hawaiian tonight's pizza of choice.
  •  An amazing husband who turned thirty today.
  • Playing a racing game on the Xbox, that I instead made into a game where you crash into anything and everything as fast as you can.  You have no idea how excited I get about that!!
  • Our apartment, that isn't exactly my dream house, but it's cozy, clean,  comfortable, and it's where I spend my life with my delightful little family.
  • Watching Hudson jump and climb all over his daddy as they play on the floor.
  • Cheesecake pie for the birthday dessert.
  • And of course, The Office.
Your turn.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the most wonderful time of the year

Yes, I’m alive and have many stories to share, many stories from the last two weeks of traveling to Alaska and back and Kansas and back (tomorrow).  But, I can’t wait another moment to express my delight in what happened today. 

Here’s a little, tiny list for you:

3. New hat from Urban Outfitters. $5.  seriously.

2. Where the Wild Things Are. brilliant. moving. incredible.

I’m not sure which of those things I’m most excited about, but maybe this one, maybe, probably, most likely…

1. It’s here. It’s here. I purchased my first bag of Christmas Blend 2009.  It’s my most favorite coffee in the whole entire world, ever, ever, ever.  Oh such loveliness, such goodness.  

Christmas Blend 09

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

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."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

dear santa…


Donald Miller’s new book came out today.  I want it.

and I wouldn’t mind reading it on my very own Kindle

while playing monopoly, the beatles edition.

while drinking a latte made by this pretty machine

and then I could take a break to beat my husband in some

Wii bowling.

thanks and stay warm up there!

XOXO, Olivia

Monday, September 28, 2009

More exciting news…

Not only did I have my first etsy sale…. I sold some more greeting cards from my Red Bubble site.  This is like icing on top of a cake, the cherry on the sundae, you get the picture...    Here are some images of the cards that were purchased.
 Understanding Red Bicycle Large Sweet Bird copy
Etched with Beginnings
To see more and place your own order, visit my my site here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

on a friday…

Getting ready for the weekend, the baby is laying on the floor eating vanilla wafers, he’s silly.  I’m supposed to be having a yard sale tomorrow with some friends and the chances of rain are high.  So we’ll see.  I’m drinking a new coffee that I found in the grocery store, of all places, who knew you could buy good coffee there?  It’s made by New England Coffee, Blueberry Cobbler. It’s really delicious, I mean it.  Try it sometime.

Here’s a thought, I could make a career out of tasting and reviewing coffee, now if coffee companies would just start sending me samples… thanks.  I’ll start tomorrow.  Coffee + writing + sharing my opinions, what is not to love?

Some of you may know our lives are in the strange season of waiting and trusting and being content.  I used to think that being patient was the hardest thing, but I’m starting to think that being content is harder.  Would you agree?  About a month ago, I told the husband that I wanted to start running because I wanted to have actually control over something tangible that I could make happen.  Funny, right?  Well, I’ve been slacking the past few weeks, but I’m coming back.  Anyways, last night I told him again that since I haven’t even been doing that, I feel like there is nothing I am working towards or able to control at this moment.  He said, hmm, that is not true.  He then proceeded to give me a very lengthy list of all the things I have some/most of the say in…  I think he started out being funny but he was speaking truth.  Hmm perspective, what a boring word… I should probably adjust my thinking; it would make a huge difference.  Here are a few items out of his mouth:

  • You have control over what Hudson wears and what he does all day.
  • You have control over being the kind of parent, wife, and friend that you want to be
  • You have control over the decorating of our home.
  • You have control over the menu planning and grocery shopping.  {Does that mean that he has to eat more vegetables?}
  • You have control over what you wear.
  • You have control over what you do all day.
  • You can be as creative as you want.
  • You can watch the television shows that you want and if you hate something, I never make you watch it.
  • You can drink as much coffee as you want {this does not mean necessarily trips to Starbucks.}

There was more, but that’s an overview,  I certainly made fun of a few of those items, but all in all, he’s right.  Yes, I said it, the husband was right.  I suppose my biggest frustration is not having control over what God is doing and I willing acknowledge that is neither my job, my responsibility,  my privilege, nor my right.

So I’m working on that whole perspective thing for today and finding contentment for right now.  I suppose it is easier when I start weighing all the good against the bad, one severely outweighs the other.  More good, less bad. More good, less bad.

I’ll leave you with this for the weekend. 

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”- Epicurus.

and this…

love {yes, they are mine.}

2010 is coming… where’s yours?


2010 calendars filled with images from my collection of all-time favorite paintings are available from Redbubble.  Yes, this could be yours.  And… for the next five days they are 15% off.

This would be a great way to have multiple prints for a fraction of the price of individual ones.  It’s marked at $22.61.  Also, a great Christmas gift for an art lover, yes? Or for one of my admiring fans, hmm, do I have any of those? I’m not sure.

Go here to view the entire calendar month by month to see if your favorite paintings are included, they are probably are… and you can also order your own copy right now…

Just think, one less thing to do in 2010.  You can mark that off your list, and who doesn’t love that??

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

mug shots #1- honeymoon mugs

As promised, here’s the debut of a new series of posts called Mug Shots.  What is mug shots, you ask?  Well, it’s a bit of a writing exercise/self-analysis/glimpse of a person through their coffee mugs.  I know you have that favorite mug that you reach for every time you enjoy a nice warm beverage.  You may not be a coffee drinker, tea or hot cocoa may be your drink of choice, and that’s alright, but if you let me, I’d convince you that you should be .  It’s a proven fact that both of my college roommates and the husband have become serious addicts, it’s probably my fault, and I’ll take the credit for that.

Previously I shared that the husband and I started a tradition on our honeymoon of buying a pair of coffee mugs from Starbucks every year.  Maybe one day we’ll get them somewhere else, but so far, I don’t see that happening.  We’re big fans, which of course, you didn’t know.

Honeymoon 074 copy

|Card available from Palette theory via Red Bubble here|

Here’s a picture of our honeymoon mugs. They obviously are not identical but they were from the same line, just like Matt and I were two different people starting our lives together, but sharing the same purpose.  They are rather elegant as far as design goes, perhaps this speaks to all those notions of having all the nicest things and making the most perfect little house resembling something out of a catalogue, rather than the reality of having used furniture and some nights, you’ll eating cereal for dinner.  {But really, cereal can be just want you want for dinner sometimes, right?}  I love the combination of two different color schemes and patterns, but complimenting each other just the same. 

I love that besides these two mugs, the only other thing we purchased on our honeymoon was season two of The Office.  We had some seriously limited funds, but we loved every second of our  cabin escape to the Smokey’s.  Since that week of September 2007, we’ve used those mugs and watched that season more than we can remember, talk about quality investments.

So, there you have it.  As I share thoughts and pictures from years 1 and 2, you’ll see part of the development and growth of our marriage.  It’s so obvious and hilarious to us, maybe you’ll notice too.  Oh and incase you are wondering, we never, ever use each other’s mugs.  It’s just a his and hers kind of thing…. and truthfully, we only allow other people to use certain ones.  I’m not even lying.  We’re funny like that.

- - -

I’m still waiting to hear from you.  Send me a picture and a few paragraphs about you and your mugs.  Maybe you have more than one favorite, don’t worry, so do I. 

I’m off to make some coffee and restart Baby Einstein for the 100th time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

dream house, hands down.

I can’t deny it any longer. Every time I see it, I know that I’ve found my dream house, yes, dream house. I love everything about this, the cozy, family comfort that this house evokes and the beautiful landscapes surrounding it. Even if it is only a movie set? Is it, I don’t know.
It’s the house from Marley & Me, the big old stone farmhouse that the family calls home in the second half of the film. Isn’t it perfection? Now, if it was located near a coast of sorts and a great coffee shop, I’d want nothing else.
Look at those gorgeous trees and fall colors, hmmm, yes please.
And wouldn’t Christmas just be divine here. I doubt one would even notice the frigid temps.
|Photos found here|
Hmm, one day. ..

a little tiny exercise

I've successfully completed The Artist's Way for a little while now, but it is still something that I return to often, the process of unblocking your life + creativity is not a one time deal, but a constant process, constantly growing, analyzing, discovering, and creating. It's not an easy job, but someone has to do it.

I've been hoping to try and plan another inspire night with the girls, but I think some of you people need to stop being so busy, right now we could probably successfully plan something for the fall of 2014 :) Hmm, did I just say that? I believe it did. Anyways, I thought I'd share a little exercise with you, that can easily be completed at your leisure. If you want to share any of the answers or thoughts, please do. I'd love to hear them. Here goes, it's easy. I promise.

A little tiny, but awesome exercise that may direct you to doing more of the things you love.

1.List 20 things that you enjoy doing {it can be ANYTHING, I mean it.}
2. Next to each item, jot down when you last did this item. {This is the crazy part. It's been a while hasn't it?}

Now keep this list and try to do something from it on a regular basis. I believe these little actions will start making a huge difference in your creativity and how much you enjoy life.

Here's my list...

  1. Painting- two weeks
  2. Reading poetry out loud- over a week ago
  3. Sewing- about a month ago
  4. Enjoying a French film- last week
  5. Baking bread- two weeks ago
  6. Trying a new recipe- Sunday
  7. Biking- I seriously can not remember, boo.
  8. Kayaking- about two years ago
  9. A picnic- three or four months
  10. Reading magazines at Barnes & Noble- last week
  11. A farmer's market on a Saturday morning- a few months
  12. Writing an actual handwritten letter- last week
  13. Camping- too long
  14. Intentionally watching the stars- last month
  15. A campfire- last month
  16. Peruse antique stores- two weeks ago
  17. A good quality road trip- last year
  18. Tried a new restaurant- hmm, can't remember
  19. Played soccer- a few months
  20. Had a great conversation with good friends- a couple days