29 February 2012

in favor of poems

scanning the shelves at the used bookstore for poetry anthologies

I have not always made a place in my life for poetry aside from the short and sweet rhymes that are just that short and sweet. Poetry is an acquired taste much like coffee or cigarette only poetry will not give you lung cancer, but it may keep you up at night. I adore coffee. Poetry-not so much.

One of the practices that I force upon my children much in the same way as nourishing their appetite with healthy food is by nourishing their minds with really good literature. Here is where poetry comes in. 

For the past few years, I have taken to reading them poems as they lunch and believe it or not they enjoy it. And even ask for it. I found a few anthologies from which we read. Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, John Greenleaf Whittier are a few of our favorites. Our oldest can still recite Kipling's Seal Lullaby.

Even though I don't always appreciate it, or frankly understand it, I fake it for the sake of my children and excitedly read poetry to them. They may not appreciate it today as much as they will when they are older-like they do not appreciate the brussel sprouts until their palates have become refined to endure the bitter that eventually becomes sweet. That is what we as parents are called to do: nourish our children's mind, body and spirit. Literature is my anchor in doing this. 

So today is Leap Day. An extra day to splurge on something. Might I suggest a poem? I leave you with this sestina about summer. My friend Julie read this after our Sunday yoga practice. Even though I do not always grasp or enjoy poetry, this has not left my mind since she read it. It haunts me and convicts me to live a more winsome life. O, the power of a well-written word can do that.

a boy penning his own poem

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Do something extravagant with this extra day-Leap year comes but once ever 4 years! I hope you have a most joyous day! xo

28 February 2012

Aunt Jack

She trusted me with champagne and a microphone-now that is love!

Happiest of birthdays to this girl. We met our freshman year in college when she walked into my un-airconditioned dorm room at a private all girls' college in the midwest and said, "Hello, my name is Jacqueline Hope, and I am from Coral Gables, Florida." 
So very Miss America! 
And from that day forward she has been the truest of friends in the truest of ways. From contending with ex-boyfriends to inspiring me with the double faced satin ribbon, this girl is my heart, my partner in crime. Despite the miles between us, somehow we have managed to sustain a most endearing friendship. It was during her studies at Duke Divinity that I traveled to tell her some exciting news, I was going to be a mother. She still claims our firstborn is named after her. And you know, I am fine with that. If he grows up to have half the wit and grit of this woman, then my work as a mother will have been satisfied. 
I cannot imagine a more comforting person to work as a chaplain-and a pediatric chaplain at that. Mercy!
She's my Rev, my counselor, the wisest, bravest, most generous, smartest, and best dressed girl I know. She keeps me on my manicured toes and inspires me to grab life with both hands and savor it well. 

I love you, dear Q. You make me better! xoxo

27 February 2012

out on a whim

We visit the mall rarely and this is why...boredom sets in after 5.3 seconds. What to do whilst you wait for your pops to buy a new pair of trousers? Hmmmm...

Remember when I said that I like to dance? I mentioned it here. Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, honey. Just add music, and the 5 year old will break out and break dance on a whim. Goodness I love him. Notice how no one even gives him a second glance. Notice how the dancing turns into dance fighting. That's what a boring 10 minute trip to the mall can do to a guy.

Enjoy! xo

24 February 2012

The Cure for the common weekend: Wildassmonkeygood

here's hoping your weekend is full of jammie-goodness-puppy-loving-fun. it's friday. i'm in love! who wants to dance? xo

23 February 2012

Sacrificing our children to idles

12 year old chopping wood he hauled from our friend's farm

We were talking recently, my neighbor and me about the division of labor in our households. Her boys were complaining because she gave them a list of chores. Then she said,  "I told them that your boys had to do chores everyday-and that quieted them down." We observed that the level of manual labor our households require is nothing compared with that of say a working farm. Sorting laundry, mowing lawns (even in our up hill one acre plot of land), taking out recycling, making beds, unloading dishes et.cetera pales in comparison to the level of responsibility some children shoulder in places like Uganda where they must carry water to and fro-if they are fortunate to have a well with clean drinking water.

I really have little- make that zero tolerance for complaining when it comes to work. My children know my adages and can finish them for me-mid sentence …"many hands make light work", "if you aren't part of the solution- you are part of the problem" and their favorite, "suck it up, cupcake!" They will probably be engraved on my tombstone, if I were going to have a tombstone, which I am not because I want to go down in flames Darth Vader style, but I digress.

Maintaining a home where everyone contributes is something I find spiritually important. I have heard many parents say, "It's just faster (and more efficient) if I do it myself." I completely understand. Since my boys unload the dishwasher, trying to find small things like measuring spoons and colanders becomes some kind of twisted game of hide and seek. And how many times have I had an article of clothing mishandled in the laundry? It is maddening. But you know what is even more maddening? Lazy children. And even more maddening than that? Incompetent men who do not help out around the house. I sure as hell do not want to fail my future daughters who will someday be married to these men in my care. 

Having our boys work around the house, I am reminded of the scripture that talks about "sacrificing our children to idles?" O, you say, it is "IDOLS"? I say they are one in the same. When video games take precedence over vacuuming and watching television over keeping their rooms tidy, we parents have sacrificed our children. Now hear me say this, video games and television have a place in our home, and we enjoy them (much to my delight and disdain), but those little mindless gadgets will never satisfy the soul like a little hard work. And children NEED to be needed. A 5 year old can maneuver a dish cloth and spray bottle. A 10 year old can become a genius window washer (or dog washer). The 8 year old can build his upper body strength by carrying heavy loads of recycling. And have you seen a 12 year old push mow a lawn that is on a steep incline? As well as tackle all of the laundry? The satisfaction of a job well done knows no age limit. Our children are fortunate. Whenever they need to cool off with a cold drink of clean drinking water all they have to do is turn on a faucet.

22 February 2012

Giving up for Lent

Yesterday we began our day the way we do every morning, with our Bible reading followed by prayer. I explained that today is Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. What's Lent?

Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. And here is where I get a little confused. As Christians aren't we supposed to be acknowledging Lent year round-not just for the 40 days leading up to Easter? Yes. Of course. In the life of a christian it isn't just the Lenten season that brings up a sense of sacrifice and awe. We should be honoring Lent in our hearts everyday. 

That being said, many people decide to give up something for Lent-a sacrifice. One year I gave up coffee. For 40 days. I gave up wine, juice, beer and shots of tequila, but it was the coffee that was my undoing. The one comfort food I allow myself in liberal amounts. I justify it. For medicinal purposes. After that 40 days I swore I would never give up coffee for Lent. Ever. It was a fundraiser. For my favorite nonprofit. When I sent in my check (all the money I saved not buying coffee and shots of tequila), I sent with it a note saying, "I will not be participating in this fundraiser ever again. Thank you. xo" My Mister later commented, "You could've just written a check and been done with it." But I wanted to walk that long and dusty road of loneliness. It about killed me. It was not a bright time in my life. I feebly walked that lonely road whilst suffering caffeine withdrawals. It was not a worshipful time though it did bring me to my knees-I was exhausted from not having coffee.

I guess where this brings me is back to a conversation I had with a friend several years ago when I was pontificating what I should be doing for Lent. She said to me, "Honey, Jesus paid it all. Why do you think you can add anything to that?" And so for Lent I think I will give up trying to add anything to that which Jesus has already done. Maybe it's just me, but I think HIS sacrifice is big enough. And in the misquoted words of Charles Dickens, I will honor Lent in my heart and try to keep it all the year. xo

21 February 2012

Show and Tell

My friend Stephie once said, "We never outgrow our desire to have show and tell." She's so right! So consider this, my show and tell.

 the 12 year old's design: DON'T EAT ME

These cookie cutters were procured from Williams Sonoma. I have NEVER (as in ever) had good fortune when it comes to sugar cookie art. Until now. These open me up a world of possibilities. What this is is basically a dough version of letterpress or embossing. AND I heart letterpress and embossing. With these do-it-yourself cookie cutters, I can literally eat my words-whatever words I wish to imprint. I can be as sassy or sweet as I wish.
Speaking of sassy, I may or may not used some sassy words whilst I figured out how to best slide those little letters into the cookie press. Alas, the 12 year old came up with an ingenius way to maneuver the cookie cutter (he hails from a long line of engineers and inventors) and all was saved (including my dignity). So go out and get your own. You will thank me. 

p.s. The 8 year old planned on pressing "BITE ME" (he meant it literally)into his heart shaped cookies, but settled on "FROM HARRY"- and that's a good thing. They were for his class presentation. 

20 February 2012

Truth or Dare

Working her Senior Living sudoku

Spending time with family can sometimes feel like a rousing game of Truth or Dare. There is lots of laughing, a little adventure and someone usually ends up getting really embarrassed. Such was the case this weekend when my dear sister and her lovely family came for a visit. 

Sister finds a little whimsy and tells us a story

Let me explain. My niece "Magnolia" (aged 17) is easily tortured by the whims and giddiness of her mother and aunt (me). My sister and I LOVE to dance (which we enjoy doing at the drop of a hat), we find ourselves in deep conversations with complete strangers(or taking them out to lunch which was the case this past weekend), we have a flair for funky fashion(finding a leopard vintage coat to wear around the tag sale til we decide to buy it) and a penchant for clever headbands (one of us wore one around a shop til several shoppers noticed and were convinced to buy one too). Hey, we have a good time. The teenager? Not so much. But I am convinced deep-deep-DEEEEEEEEP down, she really loves our mischief-making. Even if she is not aware of it. Kind of like playing Truth or Dare. You never know what the truth or dare will be, but in the end the adventure is a whole lot of fun. Or at least you try to convince yourself it is as you are running around outside in nothing but your skivvies (oopsie-maybe that's just me?)
Magnolia loves the camera
It was such a lovely family time. Eating. Laughing. Eye rolling. Dancing. Hugging. Cooking. Fire building. Game playing. 

Most of the photos show just the girls. So what of the boys? Unfortunately the 8 year old hurt his foot so that ruled out hiking, a jaunt around DC or even the snow tubing we were hoping. In the end they spent a quiet day at home with a quick lunch date with us in our little downtown at our favorite local eaterie-Cafe Nola.
Mags hearts art.

Thanks for coming, dear Sister and family! Sorry you spent most of your time on I-81 stuck in snow! xo

17 February 2012

Take a hike

Cunningham Falls, Summer 2011, the feet of a well traveled 10 year old
This weekend promises to be exciting: my sister and her family are coming to town. The Mister has some adventures up his sleeve. And so do I. Can't wait to tell you all we get into on Monday. Til then, have a lovely weekend. I hope adventure finds you! 
xo Girl Friday

16 February 2012

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

This is a cautionary tale much like an Aesop fable only this is not a work of fiction, but of truth. 

Once upon a time a girl told a boy, "I don't want anything for Christmas." So he bought her storage cases for her dishes, and she spent their first Christmas as a married couple in the bathroom weeping. It took many failed attempts and many years, but finally this girl decided that the best way to get what she wanted was by asking for it. That was 16 years ago. 

One day this girl began writing a blog. In that blog she told the boy what she wanted for Valentine's Day (with a link to the website). The boy was overjoyed for finally he knew that the way to his true love's heart was not through a maze of uncertain innuendos and riddles, but simply through a cookie jar. And so the boy went to aforementioned website where the girl's desired gift awaited to be purchased and shipped. The girl's box arrived the day before the upcoming holiday. When she opened the gift, her heart sang. The boy was glad. He had surprised her with what she wanted. All was well. She was so happy she made her love's favorite: peanut butter cups. She fashioned his into the shape of a burro as she pledged never to look a gift horse in the mouth. And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

The burro incurred a broken leg during a race (to the dinner table) so the Mister had to put him down(his throat).

15 February 2012

Fairy Godmothers

Dear George, 
You have to stop telling everyone that you have 3 mommies. It just sounds strange, honey. Most children don't have 3 mommies. Most have 1. Some have 2. But 3? It just sounds like you are showing off, baby boy. And nobody likes a show off. 

Someday you will understand WHY you have 3 mommies. One day you will hear the story about when I went over to Auntie Beth's and cried as I told her you were coming. You will hear how Auntie Wallis kept our family fed while I was down and out with horrible back pain from carrying around your sorry ass even though she was pregnant with her 3rd baby. 

You have heard about the surprise baby shower these rascals threw for me. You spent the first 3 years of your life eating every Friday night dinner with these mommies and their families. Someday I will show you all of the notes they wrote to me when we found out we were moving 800 miles away. 

I hope you have friends like these: confidantes with whom you share more details of your sinful life than your spouse would like, chums whose homes feel more like your own. I pray you have comrades in your life who can love you enough to piss you off with their brutal honesty and who will greet you at the door with the perfect cocktail made just like you like it. It is my deepest desire for you to have people in your life whose presence brings such joy and whose absence does not make the heart grow fonder.  

Dear boy, you have 3 mommies because there was so much of you to love it spilled over into the lives of these 2 other women, who are your fairy godmothers. You are one lucky boy. Most little boys only have 1 mommy. You are fortunate enough to have 3. 
But seriously stop telling people you have 3 mommies. THAT just sounds weird.
I love you impossible.
Mommy #1

14 February 2012

The Four Loves

C.S. Lewis wrote about this. 

Here is my version...

and the man who made all of this possible...

...The baby daddy aka The Love O' My Life.

Happy Valentine's, dear ones. Hope your day is filled with all kinds of sweetness. Lest you think the day belongs to Hallmark, read more about the remarkable man who was St. Valentine here.

13 February 2012

Good intentions

There is a saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I felt that way this weekend.
Our intimate wine tasting? Um. Not quite.

I asked my darling Mister to please take me to a wine and chocolate tasting for Valentine's Day. Two of my favorites: wine and chocolate. It was cheap-and it was a fund raiser. Those two things should have tipped me off that this was not going to be a sit down intimate affair. 

When we arrived to the crowded wine bar outside DC, my darling Mister leaned in and whispered ever so sweetly, "I am glad this was not MY idea." I mouthed, "I hate this." We had landed in the middle of what felt like Happy Hour for the over 30-wine connoisseur-philanthropic. 

Let me tell you a little bit about me. I don't do "Happy Hour"-that after work time when drinks are cheap and the bars are crowded with professionals who are hopeful for a hookup. I confessed, "This is why I am a stay-at-home mom. My idea of Happy Hour is drinking alone-at home-in my bathrobe." He laughed. I do believe he loves me or he has learned to tolerate me much like an annoying hangnail.

 We meandered our way through the crowds. We met some wonderful winemakers (or whatever they are called) from around the area. We tasted some piquant vino, and then we got the hell out of there.

 Much better. 

11 February 2012

...Love the one you're with...

What I like about where I live...

free museums-lots of them

impromptu yoga along the A.T.

drop in art classes at the Delaplaine


What do you love about where you live?

peddling my flours at the farmer's market

Hope your weekend is lovely! My Mister is taking me to a wine and chocolate tasting. Can't wait to tell you all about it. xo

10 February 2012

New Kid on the Block

Hey, new kid. You are soooooo cute with your big brown eyes and your goldie locks, but let's get one thing straight-I can totally take you. 

Look. I raised 4, count. them. Four little boys. I get up every morning at 4am to ride a bike-fast. I homeschool AND mill flour. You think you're tenacious? How about breast feeding while getting over mastitis. Done that, buddy? Didn't think so.

So you can try your little dog and pony show with me. I will laugh like it's the first time. But here's a little secret. Believe it or not you are not the first little guy whose poo I have scooped or chased down with a trashy mouth or taught to sleep through the night. You are not the first boy who has tried to woo me with his rascally ways. In the end, I will dominate. 

Consistency is my superpower. You can try to slide one by me (ie my red sneaker). You may think you have the upper hand after the 110th time of going for the red mitten, but chasing you down only makes me stronger (and allows me to indulge in more chocolate). So keep it up. I will get in better shape so that I can take you for longer walks. I will continue to win this little game of "maybe if I walk quietly she won't notice the shoe in my mouth." And when you do wear me down, I will never let you know it. I'll just put your doggie behind in the crate. 

Don't get me wrong. We adore you. When your eye swelled shut, you saw the panic and love as we rushed you to the doggie e.r. You know that I didn't enjoy that whole rectal temperature thing they had to do on you. And I really do enjoy making your homemade doggie treats from leftover turkey bacon. The way you follow me around and lie on my feet while I make dinner is darling.It's just that in my 13 years of motherhood, experience has taught me that a boy with self control is sooo much more enjoyable. And we intend to enjoy you for many, many years to come. So don't misinterpret my "No biting!" or "Come, Kipling." "Down, boy." I mean them as terms of endearment. We are so glad you are here. And as soon as you learn that I am the alpha dog, life will only be that much sweeter. Okay? xo Mama

09 February 2012

wish you were here

Do you ever see a photograph of yourself and blank. "Where was this taken?" "Who is that standing next to me?" "What was I thinking wearing THAT outfit?"

No? Maybe it's just me. Thankfully, there are few photos taken of me where I ask the "Where" or  "Who" of the aforementioned questions. But being a mother I can look back at the ever changing boys in the photos and ask, "How can this boy be the same boy?"

Take this photograph. The boy in the striped shirt is now taller than me. The boy in the green shirt is now sporting green (yes, green) braces. The rascal climbing the fence/door, well, he is still into climbing and his ever-ready-red-shoed brother is still coming to his rescue. Some things change. Some things stay the same.
the 12 year old, Girl Friday, the 10 year old, the 8 year old and the 5 year old xo

Looking at this photo taken about 9 months ago-when the weather was warm-when the family was out for a walk around our downtown-reminds me that as a mother it is so hard to stay present, to be earnest in the excitement of the incidental. To slow down long enough for your kind Mister to snap a photo of the meanderings just so that 9 months later you can remember (or not remember) that warm May day around Mother's Day when your boys took you for a stroll around downtown as a little reminder that life is sweet and fast and fleeting.

May you enjoy your day. And be sure to take lots of photos! O, and you may want to label them. xo

08 February 2012

Runaway Jury

The 10 year old plays with his food. Do you know what this is?

Jury rig refers to makeshift repairs or temporary contrivances, made with only the tools and materials that happen to be on hand

If there was a degree in jury-rigging, I would have at least an Associates degree. When I was a little girl, I made all of my own Barbie clothes from discarded pieces of material. Now when I say, "made", I mean cut arm holes in scraps of blue velvet to situate a parka or sleeveless gown. Rarely did my "making" involve needles or thread. Shoe boxes became my Barbie mobile. Emptied dresser drawers were a 3-story apartment complex. Resourceful? Sure. Bored with the creative limitations of Mattel? Naturally. Impatient to wait for the next birthday or holiday to get a real Barbie wardrobe, car and dream house?Ding ding ding. 

The way this juvenile habit has blossomed in my life as an adult is as follows: thrift stores are my passion, cooking is always a bit creative, and repurposing otherwise ditched treasures is a mainstay. Looking for a new sofa? The mint condition 1950's green velvet found at a tag sale is far superior to the new poly-blend found at the local furniture retailer. Out of brown sugar? Mix molasses into the granulated sugar to make my own. Rescue a box of vintage bobbles to fashion into bracelets and hair clips. 

Repurposing isn't rocket science. It's resourceful. It may not be a Ph.D from M.I.T. but those feathery hair clips are so much more stylish than those cliche pocket protectors. At least for now...

07 February 2012

caught on film

i came across this seemingly insignificant photograph this past weekend. it was taken a few months back when my soul sistas were in town visiting from nashville. 

o, friends. this photograph sums up all that is right in the my world. friends. family. wine. good food. books. and laughter. pure happiness.

sure it has blurry faces. a messy table. dirty dishes. it has me speaking mid sentence (as most photos of me do-"hurry, take the photo" is how i usually chide the photographer who is usually my Mister). but it has so much more.

this photograph is one worth savoring-like the homemade pizza we had for dinner. or the bottle of petite shirah we shared. or the chocolate we nibbled. or the amazing books given to us. or the hugs from arms that live 800 miles away. this. this is the life! 

if you look closely you see a woman who adores my boy deeply-bringing him a game she knows he will find both fun and challenging. do you notice a 12 year old's glee from reading a funny drawing sketched just for him? there is an 8 year old calmly-silently{rare}studying a book that was hand selected with him in mind-something that clearly holds his interest. the 5 year old is perched on my chair-where he finds himself every.night. after. dinner. every.night. this photograph is captured bliss. it is ordinary, and it is extraordinary.

don't shy away from life, dear friends. embrace those unruly portrayals of your life captured on film (less face it, who still uses film?) don't delete those shots of you with your eyes closed. don't pass over those simple snapshots of ordinary. for in the ordinary is often the sacred. and this photograph is sacred to me.

06 February 2012

scattered stories: the theme of the weekend

It started off really simple: Beer+pizza=good beginning to the weekend. Add in a little baking: banana chia bread=bliss. I sure do love when a recipe that I try jury rig turns out to be delicious (and healthy). I can only guess that it was delicious because my brood of boys took down two loaves of the stuff in two days leaving this girl friday with nothing but a crumb. 

The Mister took advantage of the cool Saturday morning for a 6am 10 mile run along the C&0 canal. I shooed away the gray day by: having coffee with a friend, going to yoga, finding some rollerskates for the 12 year old (which he wore nearly all weekend long)-so necessary for our very serious boy.

Doing the dishes on wheels

A little snow came (not enough to sled, but enough for the boys to make crime scenes with the neighbors-don't.ask.) Reading. Fire building. Laughing. Spent a few hours looking through old photos. Then things got sad when I came upon some of me and Phillis. Such a sweet girl. And seeing the ones from our days of living in Tennessee made me ever so homesick. Goodness, I will always be a Tennessee girl. 

The snow was beautiful, but short lived.

The melancholy lingered as I Skyped with my Dad on Sunday. So fun to see my Dad giddy over technology. So many changes he has seen in his lifetime when it comes to technology. It must be shocking to take in at times. I know it is for me. 
At some point my boys decided it is perfectly acceptable to wear their clothes backwards.

I have to say, if I seem a bit distracted it is because there are so many things that have my attention right now. My friend lost her baby from a miscarriage. Devastating. Another friend lost her Grandmother. Bittersweet. Another friend is literally watching her mother diminish breath by breath. Anguish. Seeing old photos of my boys. Nostalgic. Reading a new book about the Amish. Hopeful. Anticipating a visit with my sweet sister and her family. Excited. Missing my two close girl friends. Homesick. Enjoying where we are. Satisfied? Missing where we came from. Always. Is this how Sophie felt in Sophie's Choice? Amish vs Nazi? Wait, what? My thoughts wander about like a James Joyce novel. I am sure you know what I mean (especially if you are of the female gender). 

Perhaps this means I am ready for the week to start so that we can begin anew. In the end, there is always: "Omina per ipsum facta sunt" all things were made through Him. There is rest in that. Even if I can't think clearly to remember it.

Is it wrong to read a book about the Amish whilst sipping on wine?

03 February 2012

a picture is worth a thousand words

photography+no journaling=photo{faux}journalism?

Life is full of highs and lows. I like to capture mine on camera.

Dinner. Toast. Low.

Breakfast. Made up coffee cake with strawberries and Pandora.High.

Nose picking watching Harry Potter. High and Low.

Dinner. An empty dish of M&Ms. Low.

Post conga-line-Bible-memory-verse afterglow. High.

Post money-making-software-gig. Hmm.

Presentation on Lucas towers. High.

Eastern Forest burial. Low.

Pushed this boy to rewrite his Benjamin Franklin research paper. High.

Hair done by the 12 year old, 5 year old jumping on the bed, Nerf dart courtesy of the 8 year old whilst the 10 year old sulks. High, definitely High.
if a picture is worth a thousand words, i'd say these are worth at least 10,000...

02 February 2012

anthropologist: finding lovely

He's so cute in red and for $2.42, who can beat cute?

Okay. Okay. I can be such a hypocrite. Here I am telling you what a genius, Goodwill shopper I am finding furniture, outfitting my boys in Patagonia fleeces and coming across this little Kate Spade oilcloth bag. But when it comes to fun dishes and clever bake ware...

Animal print, oilcloth, Kate Spade and $4.

there's Anthropologie. The kind folks of this chic shop send me a super creative birthday card attached to a super great coupon for 15% off stuff. I go in to its pine floored, wonderland-Disney for grown up girls and swoon. I tell myself, "It's okay just to look". Lovely can be appreciated without being purchased. But sometimes, sometimes, you I want to purchase a little bit of lovely for your my cabinets and your my counters. When providence finds a few extra dollars in my thrifted wallet and a coupon has been sent my way, I journey to the land of lovely.

Saying I go into Anthropologie for the dishes is like a man saying he reads Playboy for the articles. Cue the eye rolling. I confess, I do love the clothes, but a 12$ mug is more likely to find it's way into my heart and home than a 298$ dress. That's just me and my thrifty ways, ya'll. And anyway, what am I am going to do with a dress? Hello, I have boys. And a dog. Muck boots and ponytails and the occasional pair of non-mom jeans are my staple. 

The last time I visited, here's what I got...

These make me happy every time I use them.

Rosemary+Mint=a happy girl friday takes away that wet dog smell.

I promise my coffee tastes better whenever I drink it out of this mug.

I also picked up these hair clips to pull my bangs back (getting bangs=bad decision).

Okay-I went a little crazy. I'll admit it. It was fun. And I did have that whopping 15% off coupon that needed using, riiiiight? Wink-wink. 

This sadly didn't make the cut (I did have a budget after all), but it would be perfect in my kitchen...you know for all those cookies I'll bake-wink-wink-for all that late night working you are doing...hello, Mister, are you reading this? Hint, Valentine's Day.

Here's to finding lovely in grand places and in Goodwill. xo

01 February 2012

Brace Yourselves

{We interrupt this regularly scheduled pity party to give you....}

ode to braces: a photomontage

who knew metal could be so expensive? geez! i am totally going to repurpose those little wires…into a car. they cost more that our first station wagon!

i sure do love the boy behind the braces. since he is home schooled it is my responsibility to call him such names as "tinsel teeth",  "brace face", and "tin grin". and he will loooooooove it.