Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back By Popular Demand

Certainly not my own popularity, but this unborn child of ours seems to have quite the fan base--especially among those who are eager to get a look at his new digs. You know, the ones he'll move into once he vacates the good ol' uterus. While the nursery has been complete for several weeks now, I have been lazy and unmotivated to take and post pictures. But with time running short (17 days to go till the due date, but our doctor is doubtful I'll make it that far--head low! 2 centimeters!), I figured the first day of his birth month would be an appropriate time to debut his Very Own Room. So here you go.
This is the view from the doorway, featuring the blackout roman shade which was an--ahem--investment, to say the least. But we've been assured by other parents that it is money well spent, as it pays out in hours of sleep for tot as well as mom and dad. Also seen in this shot is Matt's childhood toy chest under the window, which he refinished and painted especially for our little boy. It's not finished yet--once he's born Matt will customize it with the baby's name and some other cool stuff he has planned. (Don't worry, once the kid is mobile we'll move it out from under the window so he doesn't fall out.)
After much debate over what to do over the crib (Do any other fault-line-dwelling parents out there obsess and fret like I did over hanging framed art over a crib? Of course it doesn't bother me at all that we have three very heavy and pointy-edged pieces of art above our own bed.), I finally found a company that makes decals that work on textured walls. So we chose a quote by William Blake: "Sweet dream, form a shade o'er my lovely infant's head ... sweet dreams of pleasant streams by happy, silent, moony beams."
In these shots is also my current Most Favorite Item in the entire house, which was discovered and promptly purchased on Etsy: This felted mobile handmade by AndreaBeth.
I fell in love with this the moment I saw it, it was the first thing I bought for the nursery, and the bedding and all other colors/decor were chosen to compliment it. And when it arrived in the mail it was even more lovely and precious than I expected. If the kid doesn't like it, it's moving into our room so that I can enjoy it.
Friends for the little one. This monkey is actually mine, but I'm willing to share. For some reason the green in the bedding is coming out kind of dingy in these photos, but it's actually sage and a muted lime. Not nearly as drab as it appears here.
A view of the other side of the room, featuring the ultra-comfy chair that glides and also reclines to a nearly flat position. Matt and I have each already spent one night of sleep in it, and it is cozy. (No fighting--he went in there when he couldn't sleep and I went in recently when I was horribly sick with bronchitis and couldn't bear to keep Matt awake another minute.) Above the chair hang my Next Most Favorite Items in the entire house: These prints from Elizabeth Soule's The Little Zoo collection. I actually saw these first in her Etsy shop at least two years ago and knew immediately that when we finally had a baby I had to have them.
And we end back where we started--at the door. I include this otherwise boring shot just to show you the growth chart--also found on Etsy, this one by a.e. wilder--custom-made and personalized with The Name. Don't get excited, though, as I blacked it out! You sneaky snoops who've been trying to figure it out for months now (you know who you are) will just have to wait a little bit longer. (The blacked-out blob on the bookshelf is this wooden plaque of his first initial from Restoration Hardware. I love that it looks like an old-fashioned typesetter's block.)
This last item technically doesn't go in the nursery, as it will be in our room, but several of you know the saga of how we acquired it and have been curious to see why I was so determined to get it. While we are exceedingly grateful to now have this darling item in our possession, it was a Huge Pain to get this bad boy here from Portland, Oregon, where we initially bought it from Molly. Apparently her Miss Brennan didn't care for this lovely bassinet and barely slept in it, so we happily took the nearly-new item off Molly's hands when she put it up for sale. And then we found out it was impossible to have the darn thing shipped down to us. Seriously, IMPOSSIBLE. Thankfully, B and Mike were willing to hold on to it for us for a few months while we tried to come up with a solution. Then God saw fit to shine His face on us and some friends from church drove it down for us after being up there to drop their own "baby" off for her first year of college. And now it is ours and we can't wait to put our own little bundle in it!

Friday, March 20, 2009


If any of you are still coming back here to see if I've made new posts, I'll be amazed. But here I am at home alone at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, sitting on the couch waiting for my darling to get home from work and feeling bored.

Also? Lonely. I suppose I should feel blessed and fortunate that we have SO MANY fabulous friends and dearly-loved ones that there are enough of them to be scattered all about the country and still have some left here near home. But I don't. I want all my favorite people within walking distance. Is that too much to ask?

If I had my way, right about now I'd head over to Kelly's for a late afternoon photo walk. Then, for sure, I'd be off to B's for a scrumptious homemade dinner and fresh made bread. After that meal it would be time for an evening walk with the Popes. And then? To Carol's for one of her famous pies. And Christy would be there to have it with us. (If you happen to be reading this and are wondering why your name didn't appear, I'm walking to your house tomorrow.)

But instead, I'm watching HGTV and missing people.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year-End Thoughts

Though I haven't made an appearance here in some time, the last day of the year and the 35th anniversary of my birth seems like a natural time to revisit this space and share some words to close out the year.

It's been a growing season, this 2008. And for the experience I'm 75% grateful and 25% borderline post traumatic stress symptomatic. My vision of who I am and my ability to shape my own character and worldview were shaken this year in a rather humbling and sometimes frightening way. But the benefits have been enormous: trust, love, honesty--with myself, with God, with friends who I now know love me far more than I ever had imagined before. And that has made it worth it. So much energy throughout my life has gone into building a facade of independence and strength. Finally having to admit and accept that I'm fragile has been freeing. I'm learning to be kinder to myself, and as a result it's easier to be kind to others. And that's a good thing.

I've also witnessed suffering in others that has left me without words. The breakdown of marriages due to infidelity and horrible cruelty. The loss of loved ones from old age or disease. Illness and frightening diagnoses of cancer, diabetes.... My heart is heavy for these friends and acquaintances whose lives are being changed forever. And I am more grateful than ever for good health, while realizing it's not something to be taken for granted.

Friends moved away. Some of my favorite people who I can now no longer see and touch and smell and just BE with on a regular basis. They are family, and I miss them.

So it's been a sad year in ways. Scary at times. But above all, tranformative. In a good way. People I loved a year ago I now love more deeply and more honestly, if only because I realized at last just how much we need each other and how much sweeter fellowship can be when you stop trying to take care of everything yourself. I appreciate my husband's love and patience and kindness more. I trust God in a way I never have before--some days actively relying on Him for each and every breath. And my prayers are genuine and urgent and, in a word, real.

I hope that you are well and healthy, that you know you're loved, that blessings abound, and that 2009 brings all of those things and more.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Honk if You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Bumper Stickers

I've been seeing these yellow and blue "=" sign bumper stickers for months and months, but never remember to research what they mean. My mind can rest easy now. They're distributed by Human Rights Campaign to promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender folks.

I'm not a bumper sticker person. Are you? I'm not against them in any way--I get that they reflect one's personality, values, etc. and frequently they keep me quite entertained on the road. I just would never put one on my own car. Wanna know why? Well, I'll tell you:
  1. I'm a private person and don't necessarily want to advertise how I feel about things to everyone and anyone.
  2. I hate conflict. Really, really hate it. And by putting my opinions out there I'm automatically opening myself up to hear people's differing views. Even people I like and don't want to disagree with.
  3. There are crazy lunatics out there who wouldn't think twice about doing something stupid to me and/or my car simply because they don't agree with a sticker.
  4. As soon as they start to look faded and worn, I think they look tacky. (What can I say? I'm a product of the American consumerist culture.)
  5. They're a pain to get off, right? I mean, I can't know for certain because I've never had one. But I imagine it's a laborious task.

I do, however, keep an unofficial running list in my mind of which bumper stickers are proudly displayed on a virtual car in my mind. This one is now on it. Alongside these:

(By the way, these stickers are all available on Cafe Press.)

Does anyone else do this? Or do you emblazon your actual car with stickers? If so, which ones do you have, or would you have if you were brave enough? Or cared enough?

See, Rich Food is Good For Us!

(Photo borrowed [ahem] from
Is it just me, or is this the best Gwyneth Paltrow has looked in years? Glowy, healthy, cute hair, and a gorgeous dress in the most luscious shade. I used to hate orange, but lately I'm loving it! I read somewhere or other that she's no longer such a die hard vegan or whatever it is she was for so long that made her look ashen and stringy. Eating her way through Europe with Mario Batali for their new show has done her good!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To Prove My Point...

...I had to show you a side-by-side of that tiny, delicate Rowan Kidsilk Haze next to a typical yarn. See what I mean?

The Gift is in the Giving

Now that the item in question has been completed and handed over to the recipient, I can safely reveal the secret surprise project I hinted at in a previous post. Tada! It was a lacy shawl crocheted especially for my friend Suzanne, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday. Thankfully the yarn called for in the pattern came in Suzanne's favorite color and shade of all time! It's 70% fine kid mohair and 30% silk. If you don't know much about yarn, all you need to know for the purposes of this blog post is that this stuff is SUPER fine and light, like crocheting with fuzzy sewing thread. It took some getting used to (read: it was a pain in the arse), but was well worth it for the light airy quality and softness it gave to the finished piece. This is quite possibly the simplest and most basic crochet pattern one could possibly follow, but I must confess that it was tedious work. I took it with me on our recent trip to visit BAM in Portland (post on that to come soon) and worked on it nearly every spare moment I had, and yet I still didn't make it all the way to the pattern's recommended 29.5" width. (Seriously? Did the pattern writer really think that last half inch was so important?) I stopped at 25" wide, which turned out to be a good thing. Suzanne is a tiny little thing, and at that shorter width it fit her petite frame perfectly. I finished off the two shorter ends with tiny glass beads, which added a little flair and sparkle. In the end I was quite pleased--mostly because Suzanne was so surprised and delighted. Hooray, a successful gift!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Guilty as Charged

You know that lame youth group or party ice-breaker game where everyone stands up and someone starts by saying something they've never done--like, say, "I've never kissed a kitten or puppy"--and then everyone who has done that thing has to sit down? Well, I can no longer use as mine, "I've never received a traffic ticket--not even a parking ticket." Because, folks, I am now officially a recognized traffic violator.

I received my very first ticket Tuesday afternoon from the Most Disinterested, Unsympathetic, and Bored-Looking Police Officer in All of Pasadena. All I have to say for myself is that I did it, yes, but it was a trap. He was hiding out just waiting for someone to go straight at that ridiculously mundane little backroad intersection with the totally illogical "Right Turn Only" sign. In fact, the guy driving right behind me also went straight. But who got the ticket? I did! It was sexism, I tell you.

So I was feeling all bad for myself that now I'm going to have to pay a fine and go to traffic school. Not to mention coming to terms with the ugly reality that I am not perfect. It's hard to accept, you know? In fact, can we have a moment of silence to recognize the demise of my driving record perfectness?


But then I started telling people at work or friends on the phone about my law-breaking shame, and guess what? Every single one of them has had at least one ticket. One coworker who shall remain nameless even got THREE speeding tickets in the span of about 2 months! Knowing that I'm not alone made me feel tremendously better.

So how about you? How many tickets have you received? Did you go to traffic school? If so, did it serve pizza (an amazing number of people have mentioned attending a "pizza driving school"--who knew such a thing existed?)? Have you ever successfully talked your way out of a ticket? Please share your secrets.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Illiteracy and a Meme

So apparently the NEA thinks that the average American has only read six books from the list of 100 titles below. Only six?! This makes me sad, sad, sad. Because 1) so many Americans are non-readers and that makes their worlds and their minds VERY small and then they go out and are allowed to do things like dictate what can be in school libraries and, say, vote for our next president. And 2) I've obviously spent years and years of my life on a couch or in a bed or in a nook with my nose in a book. This helps explain the width of my arse.

So someone out there on the web turned this list into a meme (I only recently realized that that means "me! me!"), and of course I had to steal it and share it with you guys because I am a book whore. Here's what you do:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you L.O.V.E.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia complete series - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (en Francaise, no less!)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It pleased me more than is probably appropriate that y'all liked my littled knitted projects! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. (Let's see if you all still like it once you're saddled with wearing things I've made that maybe don't turn out quite as cute.) I've already started my next item, but it's a secret/surprise so you'll have to wait for details and pictures.....

Meanwhile, in other news, two years ago today my sweet Matthew asked me to be his wife. Saying yes was the best decision of my life. Thank you for "choo-choo-choosing" me, Bug. I love you.