Monday, July 30, 2007

The friend of the people

Today I have decided to talk about my sister Susie. I want to talk about her because she is coming to visit soon and I am feeling sentimental as only a visit from Susie will make me feel. Susie is one of the most good natured, kind, loving, generous, accepting, and totally sincere people that I have ever known. She is just easy to be around. She makes people feel instantly comfortable. She laughs easily and doesn’t often make too many jokes but when she does they always catch us off guard and crack everyone up. There is nothing pretentious or judgmental about her. My parents got lucky with Susie because she has always had such a clam spirit and after raising me they deserved a break. She brings a wonderful balance to our family. She has a heart of gold in the most uncheesy, not-a-cliché sort of way.

When we were kids I would ask Susie to bring me stuff from my room in the basement and as an incentive I would promise her all the change on my dresser. She would run my errands for me-go grab my hair tie or the cordless phone only to discover that I didn’t have any change on my dresser or if I did it was only a few cents. It is something I still feel a little guilty about. I tell myself that one of these days I am going to save all my change for a year and hand Susie the box of change I owe her.

Susie and her husband live pretty far away from us now. They bough their first house a couple of years ago and came back home to pick up their things and brought a video of them walking through their house. We spent the weekend watching the video and discussing all the changes they wanted to make, how they were going to fix the place up and make it their own. One morning, just before they were going to head back, they got a call that their house had burnt down. Both Susie and her husband were incredible during the experience. I never heard them complain. They were sad but always positive and diligent about making the situation okay. And in the end they rebuilt a beautiful home.

As I am writing this I am remembering tons of stories I could tell about Susie. She has carried me through a computer programming class, let me borrow her cell phone and run up her minutes when I had a crisis at home while on a vacation, always let me be the travel agent when we would play pretend travel agency. For years we would spend our afternoons together while I babysat my cousin Sean and we would walk from the bus stop to my Aunts house and I would talk and talk and talk the whole time and Susie would listen. She has always listened without judgement and supported me unconditionally. And there is so much more.

I have so much admiration and love for my sister Susie. I certainly cannot touch on all of the beautiful, special and uniquely lovely bits and pieces of the person that she is in a blog post. But I do think that I will write them out and send her a letter. We should celebrate the people in our lives and make sure they know what they mean to us.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Corn we just pickedVegan taco pie (a family fave) (you should click on it for the full effect) Henry "eat eat"

Self-portrait #3

Me and my boy

Over it

Can I tell you something? I don’t really feel much like working today. All I want to do is search for new vegan recipes, listen to new podcasts and look at the photos here, here and here. They convinced me, I am saving up for a really good digital camera.

Self-portrait #2 (a little bit of a cheater)

Okay, so this is kind of weak, I know. It's only the second week of my adventure in taking self portraits and I am already pulling out the old stuff. My only defense is that I had a sick kid all of last week and didn't get to do much with a camera. I should have taken a picture of me at sitting up at 4 am listening to Henry cough or toting around the thermometer like it had magical powers but my head really wasn't in that place.
But, on a good note this picture is from my wedding, almost 5 years ago, and it is one of my favorite photos from that day. Hope you enjoy. Back in the saddle next week, I promise.

Not sick

Henry-boy is feeling much better.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not just talk, science too

So I was turned on to RadioLab by a This American Life a few weeks ago. If you haven't check it out then you should, it's great. I have been catching up on the old ones and just listened to the Sleep episode-awesome. I had to listen to it twice just to take it all in. Download itunes (if you haven't already) and subscribe, it's free! I'll put a link on my sidebar or just click here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Mosaic

The weekend was rough and went by too quickly, but making a mosaic always helps the Monday blahs. Many of these were found on Flickr (god bless it, my favorite time waster). Two berry photos, two cupcakes, and a vegan pizza, makes me want to lick the screen. An awesome knitted ball necklace which I am totally going to try to copy. A photo from my friend Tracy's recent trip to Paris. A child in the grass, aspen trees, the word cuidame which I think means something like take care of me in Spanish, tiny white flowers, great red shoes, a hopeful little quote, a cute outfit and drawing of a little boy that melts my heart as only little boys do these days. Happy Monday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Or lack there of

I talked to my friend for over an hour tonight. We don't get to talk to each other very often anymore, both too busy. Her with her career and new relationship, me with my lack of a career and total confusion over what to do with my life and Mommidom and old relationship. Sometimes I envy her a little because she has made it through undergrad and grad school working full time in half the time it has taken me to finish just my undergrad. She sort of throws off my whole I haven't graduated yet because I have always had to work full time excuse. And she has her dream job and lives by the ocean and sleeps in on the weekends and travels. But she is dating a lot and goes to parties to meet people and UGH I hate the beginning of relationships and UGH I hate parties so then I stop envying her for a while.

She listened as I went on about the same things that I always go on about-my job, my husband, my sick kid, social injustices, being fat, no time, no money, no sleep....I asked her if I was complaining about the same stuff and telling pretty much the same stories the last time we talked and she was kind and acted like that was a silly question. "No way" she said, "besides I never get sick of your stories."

She said she sometimes envy's me. When she looks at the Bean blog or when she spends her whole night at a party and goes home feeling tired and lonely. She said sleeping in on Saturday's isn't nearly as fun as rolling around in bed at the break of dawn with a snugly and sweet little boy that is as soft as a teddy bear and smells like heaven. Humph.

And so tonight, up too late and in the face of the enormous pile of unfolded laundry to my left and the stacks of unpacked boxes to my right and with the sound of a coughing and scarily high fevered little boy coming up over the monitor I am going to try to find a few things that I love.

-Like my new vegan cupcake cookbook that is chalked full of scrumptious treats for myself and likely many of Wade's coworkers.
-Like the fact that I can call my Mom and tell her about Henry's fever every 15 minutes, distractedly listen to her advice and then call again a few minutes later to ask her about it again.
-Like the fact that I have three different and totally amazing sisters that accept my every quirk and neurotic tendency.
-Like the look on my little sister's face when she talks about counting down the days until she moves out of our parents house and remembering that glorious feeling of freedom and nervousness.
-Like my super comfy exercise pants that I bought to wear to the gym but have ended up wearing to bed almost every night for the past month and my loving husband who I am certain remembers that said pants were purchased to be worn to the gym but never says a word about it.
-Like the fact that Tylenol can bring a fever down from 102- 99 and my panic level down from totally insane to mildly annoying in under 20 minutes.
-Like the cat sleeping in a tiny ball on the enormous pile of laundry to my left.
-Like the fact that I have an old friend that I may not talk to for months but that will call at just the right moment and give up her Saturday night party for me.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Flowers** Click on it, you won't regret it

Because the flowers on my desk that I bought at the famer's market last Saturday are starting to sag. Because I am up early today and feeling a little grumpy. Because it is almost the weekend. Because everyone deserves to have some flowers on their desk.

**I can't take credit for most of these photos. All but three of them were found on Flickr or taken my the artful eye of Ms. Supafly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I could be

Today is the 200th day of 2007. That means that I am over half way through the year and I feel like I haven't accomplished really any of the goals I set for myself this year except going back to school. I was supposed to start going to the gym again, organize my papers on my desk, start making weekly grocery lists, work in my art journal more often, take more photos, send monthly packages to my sisters, get my teeth cleaned, and close one of our bank accounts open another. It is also less than one month until school starts (ick) and a short two weeks until I enter my 30th decade on Earth. Time is flying by and I feel as though I am just treading water. I need to find a way to do the crawl stroke or at the very least the back stroke (my personal favorite because it is pretty much like floating and moving just a little, of course I always end up going cock-eyed and bumping my head on the side of the pool) but anyway, what I mean is making a move in some direction rather than just complacently staying in the same spot. I need a plan. I want my 30's to be totally amazing, I've got big plans in the works...more on that later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bingerberries, as promised

Self-portrait #1 Sidewalk chalk with Henry

I am seriously not getting anything done today

So drawing some inspiration from some of my favorite blogs and my recent purchase 52 projects I am thinking of stretching my creative muscles and comfort level by posting a weekly self-portrait. This is by no means an original idea, they actually have sites set up just for this purpose but posting on those sites might be too far of a stretch for me at this point. There are no rules and you can take the “self portrait” idea as literally or abstractly as you would like. Anyone else game?

A line up

Have you heard of Little John? I’m probably spelling his name wrong, it’s probably something like Lil’ Jon. He’s a rapper, carries around “crunk juice” in a jewel encrusted goblet, is nearly impossible to understand and coined the phrase “What? Yeah!” Well, if you haven’t heard of him lucky you. Apparently Henry has because last night for I’d say, oh about a half hour he said “What? YEAH! WHHHHat? YEAH!” over and over again. I will be interviewing all possible suspects in the case of “Who taught my son that?” The first person of interest is Aunt Kelly and Rex. Come over here you two and sit under this light….

Or Henry may just be channeling his inner crunk. (I’m sorry if that is offensive, I really have no idea what a crunk is or how it is juiced). I’m imaging him with gold fronts and a bedazzled baby bottle. “Milk? YEAH!”


Is it called a meme? I don’t know. But I have been called upon to participate and it sounds like fun so here’s the drill-- 10 quirks or interesting facts about myself. (I can’t promise they’ll be interesting but they will certainly be quirky)

1. I never clean up the little dirt piles I sweep up. Something about the act of walking into the laundry room to get the dust pan, bending over and trying to get all the stuff into the dust pan (which never actually works, there is always an old pea or stray cheerio that rolls back out or pops over the side over and over again) really bugs me. It drives my husband nuts. He says things like “No Henry, don’t eat that pile of dirt and old food that Mama swept up and then left right here in the middle of the kitchen floor.” I claim forgetfulness and he sweeps them up for me.

2. I hate driving. I get bored. And other drivers make me crazy. Not in a road rage sort of way, but in an ugh this is so slow and boring sort of way. I hope they invent teleports in my lifetime.

3. I still wear my maternity underwear…okay, okay…I love my maternity underwear and I wear it, them okay them, I wear them, 3 pairs, first before all others. Laundry day comes, I wash my undies, fold them (yes, they are large enough to fold, shoot they are large enough to hang on a hanger if I felt so inclined) and put them on the top of the stack. I love them. I pull them up to my chin and snuggle in. It’s like a cummerbund with leg holes.

4. I have two reoccurring dreams. One is that my teeth are falling out. At first it just gets a little wiggly and I push on it like “there is no way I just felt my tooth move” and then I decide that my tooth is in fact getting looser every second and try as hard as I can not to touch it with my tongue but in the end it falls out and it’s neighbor starts to wiggle. The other one is that I am in school and have somehow missed weeks of class and lost my schedule and can’t remember where my classroom is and the bell is about to ring and I am in line in the office but the line is so long or sometimes I find my classroom only to walk in late during a test or walk into the wrong classroom, usually a huge lecture hall and sit down in the middle of the room before realizing that I am in the wrong place.

5. I stick raspberries, blackberries and olives on my fingers before I eat them. Henry has picked up the habit and now we call raspberries and blackberries “bingerberries” (translation finger berries”.) I’ll post a photo.

6. I hate flying. I’ll do it because I love to travel but I won’t sleep the night before and my stomach will be in knots the whole time, oh and you’ll have to hold my hand through the entire flight. I don’t care that this is a twelve hour flight and you are a total stranger, put on some hand lotion, do some finger stretching and get ready for hand-holding carpel tunnel.

7. Sometimes, okay this is super embarrassing but we did just talk about my underpants, when I am home alone cooking I will pretend to be on a cooking show. It all started when I was a kid and I would do pretend shampoo ads in the shower--“Johnsons and Johnsons leaves my hair silky and shiny. And it smells fantastic.” Well, I don’t do that anymore…not very often at least…but I can do a fake Rachel Ray like nobodies business. I even pretend to read a teleprompter. I’m turning red, I may have to delete this one.

8. I am fairly certain that grasshoppers are the most disgusting creatures on the planet and considering that fact it seems perfectly acceptable that I will not get within 10 feet of them. They have no jump control and when you startle them they will just jump right at you! One landed on me when I was 6 years old. Easter morning, I was wearing my blue polka-dotted Easter dress and white tights, saw the grasshopper and walked towards it thinking that it would hop away from me like most normal, not totally freakish bugs. It hopped right at me and landed on my leg and pooped on my white tights. I had to wear grasshopper poop stained white tights for the rest of the spring and probably the next spring too, those things are pretty stretchy. Ehh, I just got the chills.

9. I sing everything. EVERYTHING! This is not something that just happened after I had a kid, I have done it as long as I can remember. And I do not have a good singing voice.

10. I asked my husband if he could think of any quirky things about me. I said it sort of like "Can you think of any quirky things about me? Even just one?" He raised his eyebrows, sort of rolled his eyes and said "Are you serious?" So this #10 spot is saved for him. I'll add his comment as soon as he "narrows it down" (as he put it).

Now it's your turn. Come along to Memeville and unleash your inner quirkiness.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Too good to be true

Yay! For months now I have been thinking about buying/making address cards for our new house and for months now I have pretty much come up empty on ideas. Then this afternoon my husband delivered this cute little package to my work. Inside was without a doubt the cutest address cards I have ever seen. By far cuter then anything I could have come up with. They are from our friend Mary who happens to be a very talented stationery & invitation designer. I love that they are orange and brown and polka-doted and I love that she included Henry. Thank you so much Mary! They are adorable and perfect and I love them!

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Suga

Have I mentioned I love cupcakes? I am going to make red velvet ones for my little sister's birthday this weekend. Yay for red teeth and fingers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


For years I have been struggling with what to do with myself after I graduate and then last week it came to me....pastry chief school. I love sweets and I love making sweets for other people. This weekend we are going to go to the strawberry patch to pick strawberries. When we get home I am going to make those strawberry pops up there and we are going to sit in the sun and eat them while they run down our arms and then, when we are full of strawberries and nice-and-sticky, we are going to run out into the yard and play in the sprinkler.


I know that the same people that look at this blog probably look at the Bean's blog, but I could resist posting this picture. It is one of my favorite ones we have taken thus far. I love that he still has his chubby baby cheeks but he is starting to get a neck and look like a little boy.

I love being a Mama. I've yet to find anything that compares. Last night I was trying to sleep and started to miss Henry. In his baby monitor I could hear his sleepy little baby coos. I got up and tip-toed into his room, rubbed his little round tummy and stuck my finger in his hand. Until he was about 3 months old he had a grab reflex so every time I would give him my finger he would squeeze it and hold it tightly in his little hand. He still does that when he is sleeping.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 4th

I love the 4th of July. I love the smell of it-fireworks, outdoor grilling and sunscreen. I love the flag cake that we eat every year. I love my memories of the 4th as a kid-grass stained knees, red white and blue outfits, sparklers, staying up late, going to pick out fireworks with my Dad and sisters, mid-afternoon snakes and parachutes, lighting a firecracker and running for my life, putting our lawn chairs in the driveway and cheering on the neighbors, listening to pops as I fell asleep...

It’s still light outside when Henry goes to bed so we didn’t do much in the way of fireworks this year. We ate flag cake and set off a few poppers. Next year is going to be more fun, I’m sure. This is one of my favorite parts of being a parent, getting to help create those special childhood memories for Henry. I want for him to be a Papa and tell his kids about the flag cake that his grandma made or shooting off fireworks with his Papa or, he may be like Wade and his favorite 4th of July memory could be shooting roman candles at his friends…whatever it is, I am just excited to be a part of it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Here is my kitchen. I had some reservations about putting a picture of it on my blog, it needs work. I want to replace the cabinets but that is not going to happen. So, I'm thinking of painting them white and getting new hardware (I think do the green knob from an earlier post). The fluorescent light has got to go and the counter tops are pretty outdated, I want to replace them with concrete counter tops and put some white subway tiles on the wall. But, all of that is going to have to happen gradually, for now I want to put an antique sign behind the stove. That space is really blah. Something about food. I love the EAT sign at Local Burger. I've been looking for a while now and not found anything even close. Anyone have any suggestions of good places to find antique signs?

Right brained

I’ve been bad today. Really bad. I think it is a procrastination thing. I’ve learned how far I can push it and I am pushing it today, for sure. I have so much work to do, my inbox is overflowing and all I want to do it find photos on flickr, make lists and listen to music. I am going to really hate life when I have to work all weekend to catch up for my slacking.
But what fun I have had this morning. I found a new blog to read full of creative ideas. It’s amazing what a comfort it is for me to find other women who are Mom’s and creative people. It tells me that it can be done, it is possible to maintain your creative spirit and still be a Mom at the same time! In fact, children really seem to thrive in that kind of environment (not surprising really, but I tend to get caught up in Mommy duties and forget sometimes).
I also spent some time on Amazon this morning. I have wanted to order this Anne Lamott book about the first year of her life with her son. My husband heard her on one of his talk radio shows and emailed me to tell me that he thought I would really like her books. The next day I decided to listen to my favorite This American Life episodes and realized that she was reading my favorite story. In the processing of ordering her book I also found two other books about mixed media art and journaling. I am really excited for that package to arrive.
I also started a list of things I want to do in my 30th year. I tend to make lists and then never look at them again. This is my stack of lists on my desk here at work.