a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve

Another finished project! I spotted this idea from caprimaize on flickr and wanted to do something similar. Unfortunately the letters she used in hers were from Anthropologie--I love the store but can only shop there when their clearance is on clearance. Their letters were going for $18 a pop. Ouch. So that kind of ruled that out for me at this point and I managed to find some decent substitutes at Hobby Lobby for about a buck each. The typography isn't as stylish, but it's modern and simple enough, and for the savings it was the way to go!

I've been working hard trying to get the house straightened up. I'm still unpacking and rearranging from the move, and then throw in Christmas decorations to the mix. Between Evie, Choky, and Justin, (okay, and me too) it's as if entropy exists here at a rate unparalleled anywhere else in the universe.

I finally gave up tonight, moved as much clutter as possible out of the living room and took pictures as if this is how the place actually looks.

It should be fun navigating the way down the hall in the dark tonight without waking Evie.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Glasses, glass, girl, giggles (and spoon)

What to do on the Monday before Christmas?

Get your groove on

This kid can move.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Almost guaranteed to be the prettiest thing you hear today.

This is the a singing of "A Christmas Blessing" written by Phillip Stopford in Belfast Cathedral, Northern Ireland, conducted by the composer, October 2008. Our choir at Centenary is singing this and it just makes me swoon.


Monday, December 14, 2009

This weekend



my girl

What day is it today?? The fourteenth? As in, Christmas-is-in-a-week-from-Friday the fourteenth of December? Where has this month gone? Where has the year gone for that matter??

This weekend was really low key for us as Justin got a bad stomach bug that landed him horizontal and unable to eat for pretty much 48 hours. He said he didn't feel all that bad other than for the fact that he couldn't control his bodily functions and for the persistent pain in his abdomen. (I tucked Evie's bear under his arm for that photo. This prompted him to mutter, "Can't a man be sick in peace?" Then he smiled.)

His not eating this weekend has caused me to come face to face with an unfortunate reality. I'm having a hard time justifying holiday baking this year. It simply doesn't feel quite like Christmas without lots of baked goods around, but when your household comprises of two adults (both hoping to watch their weight), a 17 month old and a puli, there's not a lot of room for sweets. I have a couple of recipes waiting to be made, but I know how this story will end: I will make the cookies, and then I will eat them. Probably mostly by myself, because I'm quick like that. This would be delicious, but not good for me, so I'm needing to come up with an alternate plan. Either 1) I do not make the cookies or 2) I make the cookies and then find someone else to whom I can give/mail them. Hmmmm....

After a major cold snap last week, it's been a bit warmer (40s-50s) the past couple of days. I have to admit that I miss the super cold weather. There's something really nice to me about having the tiniest bit of a chill in the house so that you need a cozy blanket for snuggling. I like walking past the windows and feeling the cold outside in contrast to the warmth indoors.

The Christmas tree has presented an interesting challenge for Evie. She can go for hours without paying much attention to it, but when she does turn her attention to it, there's no distracting her. We've explained that the ornaments and lights are for looking, not touching, but unfortunately this is a concept that Evie feels is open for debate. "No" brings tears often nowadays, and I can't help but be amused by them, because they are the biggest crocodile tears you ever saw. If you look closely in that third picture you'll see a big wet one above her grin. My father always teased me about my ability to laugh and cry at the same time, and as far as I can tell, this one has inherited the trait.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The alphabet, a la Evelyn.

She's been doing this for a little while now, and of course, never does it as well for the camera as on the fly, but you can get the picture. As well as letters, she is now repeating the beginnings of many words; "ba" for bottle, "ma" for makeup, "ch" is Chokydar (although my family swears she can say Chokydar, I've still never heard it...), etc.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Watch out Fred and Ginger

She's testing out her new red Christmas shoes and has discovered that the hollow ornament box makes for a lovely tapping surface. Think Top Hat with her as Fred, and the ornament boxes "downstairs" as Ginger, trying to get some sleep. Lord help me if she finds some sand for soft shoe...

And yes, that is an empty prescription bottle she's playing with.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Deck the Halls

i lost count

I have about six craft projects in the works at any given time. It's so easy to keep gathering materials for them, and you can come across so many neat ideas for things; it's much more difficult finding the time to actually do them.

Lately I've been looking around and taking inventory of all the unfinished projects...my granny square blanket (I've lost most of my motivation on that one as it came through the move a little musty), another crocheted afghan I'd nearly finished only to have to unravel and rework due to shoddy joining technique, a Christmas quilt, stockings (indefinitely on hold), oh, and there are so many more. I decided it was a good time to stop collecting and start working with what I have. First up was this ornament wreath I've been wanting to make ever since I came across this photo on flickr by pixiegenne. I still like hers more, but I think I made a fair approximation, especially for a first attempt.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Look Loretta!

It's not much, but I put pen to paper. (Or digital stylus to tablet, as the case may be...)

Thanks for encouraging me. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009



~ Yes they are lovely she thought, but are there enough? ~

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

We went home for Thanksgiving and had our first big family gathering in many years. Now that we've been stateside for a few months, I've stopped thinking of everything we do in terms of stateside vs abroad, but events like this stand out in such contrast because we weren't able to take part in the family gatherings for so long.

It struck me how special it was to be in the home where I grew up. Justin and I held Evelyn's hand as she walked around the cul-de-sac where I used to play with my brother and sister. The times we had back then...riding our bikes incessantly around that little concrete circle, imagining ourselves to be cops and robbers, wild animals, you name it. We used the curb as a balance beam to see if we could walk the perimeter of the street without touching the grass or road. So many happy childhood memories flooded back for me, and how special it was to be there again with my husband and daughter (and dog) and the rest of my family.

Even the air at night had that magical "Christmas smell," as I like to call it. Parking in that driveway, letting the dog out at night in that back yard, those trees, that back patio with its particular cracks and crooked benches my parents made so long ago--I soaked it all in and appreciated it in a way I don't think I ever have before.

My mother still has a good deal of my grandmother's things from after her death in 2006, and we took time to go through some of them together. There were pictures, photos, letters, figurines, a curious lockbox no one could open (I'm still dying to know what's in there...part of me hopes we can never get it open...) and it was cathartic for me to see my grandmother's things again. I came back from Germany in May of 2006, when her death seemed imminent, to have a final visit, but was unable to be there for her funeral that June. I was able to say my goodbyes, but I never have felt complete closure. I suppose it is just that way with loved ones who leave us.

Mixed in with these things we came across a set of class pictures of my mother from her school days. I asked her if I could scan them and share them and she said I could. Isn't she completely lovely? I must say my favorite pictures are the first (she tells of having just given herself a haircut secretly in the closet days before), and the last, when she looks so grown up and transformed at age 15. You really must click on the picture and then view it in it's original size on flickr by clicking the "all sizes" button.

isn't she lovely?

Now I need to find my old class pictures as well. I swear I never looked as put together as she did!
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