Friday, March 28, 2008

for amiga tags

I made the sign all by myself.

Update: Who is Amiga Tags?

friday finds: april showers edition

New and improved Friday finds. A much shorter list, but that doesn't mean I love it any less. I chose the April showers because, first, I just can't wait for April to get here because then we are that much closer to May and June, and second, because it has been rainy and dreary for several days so it just seems appropriate.

1. This print just screams optimism to me. I’m tempted to actually purchase it. I love it. I love the expression on the boy’s face. I love the yellow umbrella. I love the blues of the sky. Love. It. Up, up and Away: Arian

2. There is something about the name of this necklace, Cloud Burst, that I enjoy. I love the colors of the stones and the way it really does remind me not only of the sky during rain, but also of the way it makes the grass greener. Cloud Burst: Homespun City

3. How can you not love this? You might not be able to see if clearly, but the painting, besides have rain and umbrellas, also has the words “It won’t be long til happiness steps up to greet me…” and the person under the far left umbrella has their hand out to feel the rain. Happiness Steps Up To Greet Me: Elloh

4. I couldn’t have included this if it wasn’t called “In April,” so I’m glad I could. I’m a sucker for greens and yellows so this suits me perfectly. The colors are earth, life, newness, and hope—everything that spring brings. In April: Cserdan

5. Again with the baby stuff. I just can’t help myself. Babies will love playing with the ribbons, and the soft fleece looks so cuddly! I almost want to have one to entertain myself in church. Happy Rain Cloud: The Willow Tree

Thursday, March 27, 2008

we have only to persevere to conquer

Today is my two-year blogiversary. Thank you. Thank you. While my first blogiversary was marked with snowstorms after a spring weekend, (hey! A lot like this year, too) it was also marked by our return from our trip to Taiwan and China, the details and photos of which I have failed to complete and post. And this brings me to the overwhelming emotion of blogiversary zwei. Failure.

I feel like I’m kind of a failure at blogging, because I just can’t be consistent.

Also, I’m kind of a failure at my job, because while I usually blame all things that go wrong there on, um, Judy, it became painfully obvious this week that my hate of work is also because I’m lazy and I hate to work. I would much rather be reading a book, or reading blogs, or anywhere but editing the minutes from the last board meeting. Being lazy does not help me love my job, and all my attempts to pretend it is fun have failed. Failure.

I have been doing my best to overcome a certain medical problem that has plagued me since our move to Kansas, but nothing I do seems to help. The doctors are a little bit at a loss (although, perhaps this is a failure on their part, but I’m the one in pain) and the last time I went in I was pretty much told that I very well might have this my whole life and that it is quite likely that my pregnancy, should I choose to get pregnant, will be slightly affected. Healing? Failure.

I was hoping this year would be the year I started choosing fruit over brownies, but, alas, the call of the chocolate cookie is too strong for me to consistently resist. Failure.

Sometimes when people I know and love call me I choose to not answer the phone. Am I busy at the time? Sometimes. But sometimes I just don’t know if I have the energy to be a good friend. And I get so tired of saying, “oh, nothing interesting at all is going on here and I have become the most boring friend you have.” Because taking what I want and then demanding more is something I have mastered. Giving, being a friend who stays in touch, and making others happy? Failure.

But the worst of all, and the one that I wish most of all I could succeed at, is that sometimes I feel like I’m a failure at marriage. I mean, granted, I’m still married, and give Somebody credit for that, but in general I kind of suck at putting the needs of others first. It is a great flaw that I cleverly hid while dating. But it’s hard, yo. It’s hard to not think sometimes that it would be easier to give up. It’s hard to not sometimes wonder what life would be like if I was single. It’s hard to not blame the person closest to you when things start going the way you don’t want them to. But you know what is even harder? Feeling like you are failing at the thing you want most. I can’t imagine the emotional (not to mention spiritual and physical) devastation that will occur should failure actually happen. And so I fight on. I can fail in all the other areas and still somehow sleep at night, but to fail in my marriage? Unacceptable. My goal for the next year will be to find success, to embrace the steps forward, and to never give up. Never give in. Never, never, never, never.

In other news, I got my hair highlighted last night and there is no denying the fact that I am blond again.

Also, Somebody is going to get paid to spend two weeks traveling around China this summer. Lucky duck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

he lives to silence all my fears

Here is to egg hunts, chocolate, new dresses, bunnies, chicks, jelly beans, tulips, ham, baskets, lilies, and the knowledge that an empty tomb signified the promise of everlasting life.
Happy Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

friday finds--easter edition

So...not so much with the handmade this edition. Next time? And perhaps by next week I'll have come up with a better way to list these so that it is not a million huge pictures in a list. Ah, next time.

First, could there even be an Easter without the mini eggs? I think not. Cadbury Mini Eggs: this 42 oz bag available at Because when I think mini eggs, I think 42 oz. Maybe I should get two.
I'm not usually a big fan of cutesy salt and pepper shaker sets, but this one is the exception. Functional? Does it even matter? Look at those bunnies! Cottontail salt and pepper shakers:
There are few things more fragile than egg shells, so the idea of growing berries, flowers, or herbs out of one seems highly unlikely. Unless, of course, you had these egglings. Ceramic eggs with organic soil and ready-to-sprout seeds: Red Envelope
I think it was the red that caught my eye, but it was the green and blue that held me. I like the non-matchiness of it all. I like that it is screaming spring in my ear. I like how it almost, just maybe, could have been done by hand. Graphic garden plates: Pottery BarnWe are surrounded with the baby mania, and love being just on the edge of it. We aren't members of the parent club right now, but we are close enough that I can't help but always have an eye out for cute baby things. The pink dots, besides being very "spring" and "Easter," also remind me of watermelon. These groovy bibs are from modern kid stuff.comEvery Easter growing up we had an Easter tree made by sticking pussy willow branches in a large vase and then hanging wooden egg ornaments. I couldn't find any good pictures of the pussy willow tree, but these ornaments do a great job of taking me back to 1984. And, seriously, who doesn't want to go back to 1984 every now and then? Wooden egg 0rnaments: Williams Sonoma
Are you in love? I am. I want to own them all. This might be, hands down, my favorite Easter find. Wool felt Easter eggs: Pink Sweetie's shopThese little cards rank pretty high up there on my list of things that other people made that I wish I could call my own. Lucky, for a few bucks, I can call these my own. Chicks Mini Card Set: Nycole's shop
I have to admit that these eggs drew me in immediately. I especially love that they are orange and so don't perfectly match the typical Easter decor. Wood eggs decoupaged with decorative papers: Catnip Studio's shop
Don't these just make you want to have an egg hunt? I thought so. Puffy treat bags: Pottery Barn Kids

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

let's just say i loathe it all

What is worse than multiple days of head-shattering migraines?

I'll tell you: Having one hit after 20 minutes at work, and then having your boss tell you, "I get migraines all the time and just work right through them," and then leaving anyway to sleep all day, and then waking up the next day to fuzziness and pain, and then emailing the office to say you are still feeling horrible and you won't be coming in, and then to have the only reply be, "make sure you are aware of the balance of your sick time account."

For the sweet love. Thanks for the kind words of empathy and the approval to take all the time I need to get feeling better. Wait, did my sick time account zero out yesterday at noon? Yes. Yes, it did.

Friday, March 14, 2008

friday favoriates--luck of the irish edition

I'm not sure what prompted my desire to give you a list of my favorite finds each Friday. Perhaps I like to talk about myself? Probably. I started just looking for things that I thought were pretty, and somewhere along the way thought that maybe I should be looking only at homemade items, you know, in my effort to support Somebody in his ban of all things from China. So, perhaps for future installments of the Friday Favorites you will only see items that were handmade. We shall see. Remember when I was going to take a picture a day? Yeah. That's working out real well.

Here are just a few things that will brighten your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. They are sure you keep the annoying pinching fingers of others away from you, and, well, they are pretty. Also, pardon the spacing here. Sometimes Blogger is a little pain in the rear when it comes to spacing things the way I would like to.

Hosting a leprechaun gathering? You are going to need this for the appetizers. Multiple pieces of colored glass. Two separate kiln firings. Perfection. Spring Plate: Drew Jaeger

To be honest, I thought this was a belt. I liked it more as a belt. Still, though, it is a pretty cool dog collar. Martingale Dog Collar: Classic Hound

A handmade, crocheted purse. With bumps. Awesome bumps. Seriously, I'm a sucker for a good green. Green Bobble Purse She Knits by Amy
I love the spring-time-ness of this color combination. Zippered Pouch: Sarah Kincheloe
Need a little luck? Just rest your head on this lovely pillowcase--guaranteed to bring dreams of the pot of gold. Good Luck Pillowcase: Tiny Stitches
Did you know that the three leaves on a standard clover stand for hope, faith, and love? Use this to grow your own clovers, and you just that much closer to finding a four-leaf clover that will give you luck beyond your wildest dreams! Lucky Clover Windowsill Garden from Toysmith: Oompa Toys

Crocheted beanie with a little visor and a big flower. Also, I like that cute blond hair. Flowered Beanie: PDX Beanies
This might be the coolest laptop bag I've ever seen. It wouldn't even need to be St. Patrick's Day for me to carry this around. Laptop Briefcase: Janine King Designs
Kiss me--I'm magically delicious? Um, okay. Should Somebody show up wearing this, he would totally get kissed. Magically Delicious Shirt: Cafe Press
Letterpress card set that just makes me swoon. I love the fragility of the swirls. Green Swirls Card: Pistachio Press
Should you find yourself with no other green clothing on Monday morning, this hair clip will keep the pinches away. Fabric Hair Clip: Maya Papaya

Four blank note cards. Too cute to pass up. Bird on a Cage Cards: Just Another Day
A cool version of a sun catcher, these swirled glass shamrocks are made to suction to your window. Shamrock window sticky: Glass Cat

I'm in the mood for some cool serving platters and bowls, and this fit the bill nicely. Whimsical Circle Bowl: chARiTy elise

I love onesies. Love them. You won't even have time to think about pinching your baby in this outfit because you'll be too busy just eating him right up. Two Apples Onesie: Quilt Baby

Thursday, March 13, 2008

too early to say that it's over

How do you come back from a long absence? You just do. Nothing fancy. Nothing big. No excuses. Just a list.

While I spent that last month most certainly not writing any blog posts (except the million I wrote in my mind) I was reading and reading and reading like crazy hundreds of posts by other people. And I found my way back to my blog after reading this post.

And so I took her challenge.

My Love List

I love that my desk is right in front of a window (more like a big glass door that is sealed shut, but whatever) and that I can look out and see a big field on a hill in the distance. I love that, back in the fall, I could watch the farmer harvesting in the field, and now that it is warming up, I can see the farmer out again, walking with his dogs and getting ready for spring. Something about seeing those activities makes my day better, and I really enjoy the reminder of how I am connected to the earth. I love how the warm water from the shower loosens the tension in my neck and shoulders each morning. I love that there are no knobs on the cabinets in the bathroom to catch the cords of my blow dryer and curling iron. I love chenille socks. I love putting a heating pad between my sheets before I get in bed so that the space where my feet will go gets all toasty warm. I love McDonald’s French fries. I love fingernails that are trimmed to the same length. I love genuine laughter. I love the smell of garlic and onions cooking. I love looking at a map and dreaming of future trips. I love church bells, especially when they ring at night. I love looking at the clock, realizing it is almost 5 pm, and thinking that the afternoon as passed by quickly. I love evenings without commitments. I love getting lost in a good book. I love meeting people and instantly connecting over multiple similarities. I love the occasional day when I don’t really have to talk to anyone, and equally love time with friends that is spent talking for hours and hours. I love pretty pictures, especially of nature. I love sunsets and counted them as a main reason to move back to Kansas. I love the mountains, and miss chances to go to them. I love happy tears. I love the TV show Jon and Kate Plus 8. I love pictures of me when my hair was longer and blonder. I love a meal that someone else has cooked for me, but I also love to be in the kitchen. I love it when I crave a particular food, am able to find a new recipe, and the finished product is exactly what I was craving. I love cookies and cream ice cream, and I love walks to the Creamery to buy ice cream. I love to drive fast, preferably well above the speed limit. I love all breakfast foods. I love being outside when the weather is comfortable. I love the way the clouds move when a storm is approaching, and I love standing, watching it coming, and feeling the wind move faster and faster. I love the first drops of a heavy rain. I love wearing ponytails. I love ice water. I love worn-in jeans. I love Sketchers shoes without laces. I love, surprisingly, wearing high-ish heals. I love exchanging looks with friends and coworkers—the kind of looks that communicate a sometimes-lengthy message that you both absolutely understand. I love the color of my eyes, and the way they look all teal and green in the evenings. I love earrings that are just long enough that I can feel them tap against my neck when I shake my head. I love the color kelly green. I love my local library. I love that sometimes the right and best answer just comes. I love Cottonelle toilet paper. I love the roasted red pepper sauce at Quiznos, and come to think of it, love most things that are roasted red pepper anything. I love oranges that have been peeled by other people. I love reasons to get dressed up. I love the comfort of my couch. I love that I see and feel the hand of the Lord in my life daily. I love fleece blankets. I recently discovered that I love swimming. I love to gossip. I love hearing about the successes of others. I love hearing that the rules are fair. I love the Toyota RAV4. I love keyless entry on cars. I love finding a parking space next to the cart storage area in parking lots. I love Ziploc bags, especially when traveling when I put just about everything I pack into different Ziploc bags. I love that there is something about having everything you think you'll ever need sitting in the seat next to you. I love listening to stories that require no response from me. I love wandering through bookstores and fabric stores, dreaming of the things I will read and sew someday. I love knowing what time it is, and I love having a schedule that is planned in advance. I love cards and mix cds that come in the mail. I love looking through photos of previous trips and experiences and seeing obvious looks of happiness of everyone’s faces. I love cherries, and cherry trees in bloom. I love TV shows that tell the how, when, or why things are made. I love decorating cakes. I love making lists, even if I never cross anything off them. I love getting emails. I love clearing out my email inbox and having everything organized into folders. I love a well-cared-for garden. I love sitting with my feet up on the couch. I love finding just the right words to express exactly what I want to express. I love taking self-portraits. I love feeling that I belong, and that sometimes the belonging, more than accomplishing, is what brings meaning to many situations. I love the smell of tomato plants. I love researching anything and everything online; I love going into a purchase, large or small, knowing I am making an informed decision. I love musicals and singing along. I love honesty—with others, from others, and especially with myself. I love the expressions “not so much” and “shut right up.” I love going out to eat, especially when someone else is paying. I love knowing that no matter what I do, and no matter how many times I fail, and no matter what kind of mess I make, that I will always have somewhere to go home to, will always have people who will take care of me, and will always be able to find meaning and hope beyond what the world can give me.

The challenge: make your own list. The only catch? You can't include a single person you know on your list. No "I love the way my husband laughs" or "I love hearing my little girl call for me." It'll be tough, I know. But this particular little exercise is about stripping away everyone who defines you and figuring out what you (not his partner; not their mother/daughter/sister/friend) love