Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This is how we decorate

This year we went out and cut down our own Christmas tree.  Neither Dave nor I really know what qualifies a "good" tree.  Quite honestly, we're clueless.  But we bundled W, braved the FREEZING cold and hitched a ride on the trailer to the tree farm.  

What we came home with isn't quite the fullest, tallest or straightest tree, but we had a good time scouting out an evergreen that seemed to fit the bill.  I suppose it's about making memories, right?  
Here she is.  Even W is excited.  

Both boys really just wanted to use the saw.  W would have preferred to run around in the field, saw in hand.  

Afterward, when it came time to decorate the tree, I risked my body and tried to string lights.  Those needles are sharp!  And W taught us a, perhaps, more efficient way of decorating the tree.  Something like unto treating it like a basketball hoop.  (sorry for the grainy iPhone/dark room video).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hints for: Him

For the dream boat in your life.  (Or for the brother-in-law you just know what to get.)  

1.  Honestly, who doesn't want this?  

2.  TIMEX Watch.  So classic.   

3.  Michael Jackson + Game System = Possibly the best entertainment ever.  

4.  Not a fan of jerseys?  Me neither.  Try a vintage-esque version of his favorite team.  
5.  You'll see this on the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, but really, it's the best down around.  Practically weightless.  Sooo warm.  Tried.  Tested.  Approved.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hints for: Her

I don't know about you, but I've got to get rolling on my Christmas shopping.  When I hear people say they only have one more gift to get, they're already finished, or that their presents are already wrapped and under the tree...I die a little inside.  

But I've been doing some homework, and here are some ideas that maybe, just maybe, could be the perfect gift for someone on your list.  

1. Ina's New Book.  Fail-proof recipes.    


3.  Hand Embroidered State Pillow.  

4.  Soup and Sandwich Tray.  What's not to love about fancy presentation to comfort food.
5.  Windowsill Herb Garden.  For the person who has everything?

6.  Lovely Bowls.  

7.  Favorite T.  How 'bout multiples?

8.  I agree with Oprah.  Sequins + Ugg = Perfect
9.  Personalized Service Wares.  Personalized gifts are always a fave.

10.  Something I want...that you might too


Monday, December 6, 2010

Random: Black Eye

  • So I was blog hopping.
  • That was my first mistake.  
  • Saw a picture of a friend of a friend.  Who is prego.  
  • Like, super pregnant.  
  • She showed her obligatory baby body/profile shot.  
  • All cute and TINY.  
  • t. i. n. y. 
  • This girl's got weeks on me and I look (and feel) like my baby tum could barrel over her entire body.  
  • I felt like I'd been punched.  
  • Then I wanted to punch her.  
  • By the looks of things, this little lady of mine is plenty healthy.   

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Yesterday's Thanksgiving festivities reminded me all the more the many things I have to be thankful for. The weather was cold and even snowy (yay!), perfect for spending the day inside with family and delicious eats.  My mother-in-law is the culinary superstar who whipped up the incredible Thanksgiving meal.  It was deliciously perfect.  The stuffing was my (and W's and Laura's) personal fave.  But really, the whole think could knock your socks off.    

After our meal, we lounged around, fell asleep on the couch, ate pie...the usual.  The day was topped off with seeing both sets of my grandparents on Skype.  W was so excited to see his MaMom and Poppy; he was jumping off my lap.  And I was so happy to see my grandparents "see" W.  

Aside from W getting sick in the car (too much stuffing perhaps?), I don't think the day could have gone better.  The food, the family, the snowflakes, the simplicity of the day:  it was perfect.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful: A choice

Today a friend of mine mentioned a conversation she had with a woman from our church.  The woman from church felt conflicted about some feedback she had received about the fact that she was a working mom.  She has one elementary-aged child at home and another one on the way.  Apparently some women had given her a hard time about why in the world she would work outside of her home when she has young kids.  The comments they shared were laced with criticism and came from uninformed points-of view.  Rightfully so, it was feedback this woman really didn't appreciate.  You see, this particular woman is from a foreign country where woman have just recently been given the opportunity to work.  The equal-rights movement has just come full circle in her country to include professional woman.  To her, it is an honor and duty for her to be able to work, for now, she finally has a choice.

Wow!  Talk about a different perspective.

Some people might roll their eyes and think, "Of course those women from that church are judgmental and blah blah blah."  But I think this is an issue all woman are faced with and very likely have their own opinions about.  When it comes to a woman's family, her sense of self and her ability to choose, it's a sensitive topic.

Regardless of what you or I or anyone else might say, I am thankful that I have a choice.  It was a choice I made a long time ago.  Long before I had children, was married, or even knew my husband.  I made the choice that I wanted to put my professional life on hold while I stayed home to raise my children.  It is my choice, and a choice I still feel good about.  I am thankful I have the ability to make this choice.  Not just the freedom to do so, but that D supports me in this choice and is able to support our family through his professional work.  I realize this is not a choice all women have, for whatever reason.  I admire the women who support their families financially and still find time to come home, fix dinner, run a household, AND teach, love, finish school assignments and spend quality time with their kids.  It's a ton of work!

Whatever a woman chooses, I am not one to judge.  I support a woman's right to share her abilities, talents and skills in the capacities she so chooses.  I am thankful I have that choice.  I am thankful I have support in that choice.  I am thankful that I feel fulfillment and growth in this choice I've made.  Sure, there are days where I'd really love to don something different than jeans and a T, go to a meeting, make big decisions and, at the end of the day, get a paycheck.  But I have made a choice.  My meetings are different.  My decisions are for a smaller audience.  And my paycheck?  Well, I'm taking stock options in my "company."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photo Series: Happiness

These make me smile.


Thankful: Friends

I am a person who really likes my space.  I really enjoy people -- and I would consider myself a rather nice one -- but sometimes I shy away from too much attachment, even come across sometimes as being disinterested or non-commital.  Perhaps a faux pas in my DNA make-up?  Sorry folks.
Today, however, I am thankful for those people who get through that wall of mine; the people I call my friends.  The people I find myself needing, regardless of any space I claim to need more.

I am thankful for the friend who:

  •  texts to find out how I'm feeling and whether she can take W off my hands for a bit
  • is genuinely concerned about me and always knows what's going on in my life
  • calls, just because
  • calls to check in and share news (let's be honest, I'm thankful for friends who just call.)
  • buys leggings for the little lady...and is especially drawn to them because they're $1.00.  Score!  
  • will get a kick of knowing NKOTB and BSB are performing together
  • will always listen and look me in the eye
  • always says, "I have something for you," which brings me endless excitement
  • is up for anything, and drops everything at a moment's notice
  • though we've grown apart, reminds me of where I came from and what my childhood dreams were, and 
  • makes me laugh, every time, without fail.

I am thankful my sisters are my friends.
I am thankful my mom is my friend.
I am thankful my mother-in-law is my friend.
I am thankful D is my dearest friend.

When I think of these individuals, I'm a little overwhelmed at how lucky I feel to have them in my life.  It's like I'm shocked they would want to be around me.  So perhaps this is a lesson in self-confidence and learning I have something to give.  But regardless, I am so thankful for each of my dear friends and all they have given, taught and shared with me.

Muchas gracias, amigos!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful: Nosey

Yesterday was kind of rotten. I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. Not so fun. Accompanied by pregnancy panic, the day was really quite a drag.
But today, when W got up this morning, he was happy as can be (thankful #1).  I was still feeling less than comfortable as we ate breakfast together. W signaled he was finished with his meal by pushing his index finger through his syrup, then inserting said finger into his nose.
Gross? Yes.
Sticky mess? Yes.
Funny? Yes.
Did I laugh before I even asked him to stop? Yes. (thankful #2)
You know the day can only get better when started syrup in your nose.
I headed to the doctor in hopes of putting my mind at ease. It's not fun to go to the doctor...hoping the doctor will tell you it's all in your head instead of actually having a problem.
Thanks to modern medicine and technology (thankful #3), baby girl is a-ok (#4), the issues weren't all in my head (#5; yes I'm thankful I'm not crazy), and it should be an easy fix to get me back to normal (thankful #6).
Not to belittle the nature of the situation, I am so thankful for Winston's syrupy start to the day to lighten my mood and remind me that everything is going to be OK.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful: And showing it

Five years ago my mom started a personal project called "Laps for Learning."  For two weeks straight, she heads to the pool and swims and swims and swims.  Talk about water logged.  She usually swims about two miles a day.  Two miles!  It is physically taxing on her, but just as rejuvenating, as well.

The purpose of her swims was to raise money for a particular charitable organization she was closely involved with.  The funds she has raised through Laps for Learning have directly helped children in Zambia (education), Kenya (education) and Nepal (clean water).

This year (and last) my mom is swimming for an organization called Haitian Roots.  I've mentioned it before.  This year she swam almost 30 miles to raise funds to help Haitian Roots put kids through school.  Thirty miles, people!

My mom isn't shy about asking for help.  She sends out hundreds of letters and makes personal calls to invite people to support her in supporting Haitian Roots.  She is passionate about Haitian Roots and the good work it does for children in Haiti.  Moreover, she is passionate about her ability to make change, contribute and serve.  Her mantra is, "I swim, you donate, children learn."

If you want to help children receive an education in Haiti, support my mom in her Laps for Learning project.  ALL of the money (every penny, 100%) goes to Haitian Roots which will provide educational support for so many kids.  Currently, it costs about $240 for one child to go through a year of schooling.  My mom is hoping to raise $5,000 this year.  That will send 20 kids to school!

Check out the Haitian Roots website here.  Or you can send a check to my mom who will send it along to Haitian Roots.

I am of the opinion that it's easy to be thankful for all of the great things in life.  But it is sharing all of these blessings that is the true measure of gratitude.  I certainly have a lot to be thankful for.  I suppose I better get on with the sharing part.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful: MaMom and Poppy

I am so, so thankful for good parents/grandparents.  My mom and dad came in town to visit last week (thus, lack of posts).  We had so much fun.  A trip to the zoo, Ted Drewes, Deweys, ferry ride, park.  It was great.  But these parents of mine didn't just come to shoot the breeze; they came to work!  I'm talking, putting in 13 new windows, bagging leaves for days, etc.  They are DIY rockstars.  Both of my parents are workers.  They like a task.  They like the feeling of completion.  They are hard workers to the core.  

I am so thankful they taught me how to work -- how to plan, try new things, feel confidence in my abilities, and do, do, do.  I am nowhere near their level of skill and commitment to get a job done; maybe someday.    

I am so thankful they got to spend time with W.  He loved being greeted by Poppy every morning, being swaddled up and snuggling up with them in bed.  He loved playing in the leaves, going on walks and bike rides with them, and singing together.  I loved the sound of him giggling each morning and whenever my dad would tickle him.  I am so thankful he knows how much his grandparents (both my parents and Dave's) love him. 

I am thankful I could have a good talk with my mom.  Phone calls and Skype are nice, but a real, in-person talk is always better.  I'm thankful I could devour an entire bucket of popcorn with her at the movie.  And of course, I am thankful she could be here to find out we're having a baby girl, then head straight to the store with me to buy pink.

I am thankful for my dad's presence.  I just love having him around.  He is calm.  He is focused.  He is never flustered, but always has a solid sense of confidence about him.  I just feel like everything is going to be OK whenever he's around. 

I failed miserably at taking pictures this weekend.  But here's a bit of what we got to do.  
Carousel at the Zoo.

W walks around the Zoo making elephant noises everywhere we go.  

Obligatory trip for concrete.

MaMom and Poppy.

Monday, November 15, 2010


{via Etsy}

Though Mondays can be a drag, I'm thankful for the chance at a new week to start a list, get my life back in order, and feel like I've got a grip on what's going on.  ("Chance" being the operative word).  Marta's holiday binder has inspired me to get the organization ball rolling right away.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful: Jumping for joy

Tonight I got a phone call from two little girls literally screaming in excitement at the news of the baby girl on the way.
I could feel (and hear) their excitement and delight.
So cute for them to be so happy with the announcement.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful: Oh, so thankful

Today I am thankful I bought these pink little mittens on a whim several months ago.  For $3.00, I thought, "Hmmm, maybe I'll have a little girl someday who will want to wear these."
I was right!
Next winter a little lady will be wearing these (I think I just got a little choked up writing that).
ETA:  April 7, 2011
The mittens are just a tiny bit of how thankful I am.
Oh, so thankful.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yesterday I failed on the thankful front; though I was, indeed (i.e. mother-in-law who steams floors + father-in-law who grouts bathroom =  super thankful).
Today, I am thankful for lots of things.
1) Waking up to the sound of W laughing hysterically.
2) CJane's words of wisdom:
"Sacrifice is the whole job description of parenthood, isn't [it]?  But not the bitter kind so much, the noble kind.  The kind that enlarges your desire to do more."
3)  I will be really thankful for 10:00 a.m.

Stay tuned, folks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Can't forget to mention how thankful I am for two things:
1) no more political ads
2) an extra hour of sleep.

Hallelujah! Bring on Monday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanks: A good laugh and a suspicious mind

I'm thankful for the rescued Chilean miner who made his Elvis debut on Letterman.

And his wacky translator, too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful: Apprenticeship

Dave is one handy man, I gotta say.  He can fix just about anything.  From what I hear, he learned several tricks of the trade living next door to his grandpa.  He was Grandpa D's shadow, following him around and working on little projects.  I am forever thankful Grandpa D taught Dave so many handy skills.

Today, I am also thankful for a grandpa who is doing the same thing for Winston.  Letting him follow him around -- like a little apprentice -- teaching him  things, entrusting him with tools, and just being patient with a very curious little boy (all confined within the space of a small bathroom renovation).

Thanks, Papa.  I'm sure W's future wife will thank you someday, too.