Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fine Motor Skills...

The task given to her: Help Mommy by taking these little wooden beads out of their tray and put them into a zip-lock for easier storage.

What she decided to do instead: (In her words.) Make a puzzle.

Her finished product.

I would have totally expected such attention to detail from her older sister. I guess maybe she has a bit of the organization bug too. It amazes me how a 2-year-old brain works!


Because I'm Kinda a Nerd...

Check out this little informational video about the candle. I found it fascinating.

Update on the cleaning/organizing/crafting progress thus far. BUT, my kitchen table and counter have been found under the piles of this and that which have accumulated over the past several weeks, all the movies in the house have been put away, we can actually see and use the coffee table, and the bathroom has been scrubbed for the first time in weeks. So actually, quite a bit of progress has been made...just of a different sorts than I had originally envisioned for this week.

Today's project: Lexi's pirate costume. After all, Halloween is tomorrow!!!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the Comfortable Silence of Friends...

This weekend I stole away to Wisconsin for some time with good friends; Laura, Marie, and Carlos. I was reminded of the simple joy that is being in their presence and the comfort that exists even in the silence that lays between conversation. Politics, spiritual beliefs, family roots. The depth and breadth of topics which we discuss when we're together amazes me. My life became a brighter, happier, richer place as each of these individuals have come into it. I'm so blessed by their love and friendship.

As we merged into city traffic going into Madison Friday night, we pulled up behind this car.

It gave me such comfort to see that welcome as we began our brief stay in Madison.

We had so many great, simple moments of fun throughout the weekend. Night time walks lit by the glow of the capitol building. Sharing a yoga class with Laura on Saturday morning at a studio just 2 blocks from Marie's apartment. The Madison Farmer's Market. Possibly my favorite part of the weekend!

I'd never seen brussel spouts in their true natural state.

The market was amazing. Produce. Handmade crafts. Fresh, Wisconsin made cheeses. Organic, grass fed meats. Bakeries with breads and sweets, including these fancy little sugar cookies.

And no farmer's market is complete without a little casual jammin'.


We took advantage of the wide variety of fresh, locally grown/produced food to round up all the items we'd need to prepare a delicious supper back at Marie's apartment that evening. Fresh pasta, sun-dried tomato pesto, broccoli and spinach, feta cheese, crusty bread. We tasted warm fried cheese and shared a cream cheese danish...all in the shadow of the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building. Quite honestly, about as perfect as life gets in my book.

After a lovely lunch and a couple of pints of local brew in a downtown pub, we headed back to Marie's for some casual afternoon downtime. A nap. Some tea. A little Scrabble. As the afternoon progressed we geared up a bit. After couple rounds of old fashioned Boggle, Marie and Carlos faced off at on-line Word Twist while Laura and I threw together our day's purchases for dinner. Some wine, a few beers, good music, great company, good get the picture.

We even fancied ourselves up a bit and headed downtown for a few drinks.

What a grand weekend it was. Made possible by the presence of great friends. Thanks guys for a fabulous time. My heart is over flowing with love for each of you and the comfort that IS when we are together, even in silence.

Cheers Madison! My love affair with Wisconsin continues. I hope not to be a stranger!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And this...

is an example of why sometimes I just don't get the way the world works these days. (It's an interesting, somewhat funny read. Especially for those of us who have NO CONCEPT of spending money this way!)

What $75,062 will buy you at Neiman Marcus

I can't help but think that for that amount of money...we could pay off our mortgage!

(I wonder...if they don't win...does she still get to keep the stuff? Oh wait...OF COURSE SHE DOES. Silly me. What was I thinking?!?!?)


Getting My Groove Back...

I've been in a funk.

Been missing my mojo.

Have lost my groove.

I'm not sure exactly when this took place exactly. The best I can deduct is that it's happened slowly over the course of the last year. All the ups and downs. All the time spent focusing on just getting through the basics of day to day. Somewhere along the way I started to lose interest in some of those things that make life interesting. Things that help brighten my days. That provide a creative outlet. That help me stay sane and balanced.

I wake up each morning ready to simply cautiously go through the motions that will get me safely to the end of the day. Sometimes I wonder when the next big hammer will drop. Admittedly each time the phone rings I take a moment before I answer, weighing the pros and cons of answering. It could be my Mom just calling for a chat. OR it could be one of the many entities to which we owe money and are currently unable to do anything more about that fact than apologize and promise we'll send some just as soon as we can. The phone has not always been a friendly messenger this past year.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been pondering this funk. About steps that need to be taken to slowly climb back out into the sun. With the coming of winter and it's colder, darker weather and impending holiday season (a topic will be getting it's very own post here soon) I know I must be vigilant about not allowing myself to slip further into darkness.

And so yesterday I started formulating a plan. A plan that involved tackling one of my biggest frustrations...the ever existent clutter in my office...and a return to a creative outlet that has been nonexistent (except each year at Halloween) pretty much since Brea was born...sewing and quilting. It's pretty raw still...the plan that is. But I can already feel a little warmth of the fire I hope it can spark.

The main goal of the plan involves cleaning and reorganizing my office to allow room to move my small sewing desk back up from the basement. This will allow me to sew while Brea is playing away in her room or in the living room like she already does while I spend more time than I care to admit online. (A time commitment that needs to be adjusted!)

In order for this to happen it means cleaning and organizing an area in the basement where some of our filing from the office will be relocated to, as well as getting the book shelves down there in order so that some of the stacks of books that have started to sprout up here and there can be worked into the mix. It also means getting the surplus of little girls clothing, that has been "temporarily" stacked, boxed, and bagged in various places, sorted and either stored (things Lexi has outgrown that I'll save for Brea) or gotten rid of (things Brea has outgrown that some other little girl might as well get some good out of as well). Runs to Goodwill will need to be made. A few boxes of clothing will be put together for donations to shelters and groups who helps get those items to people in need. Trash bags will be filled. Our basement and my office will once again be found.

And once ALL THAT has happened...let the sewing begin! I already have a list of items that need my attention:
  • E's quilt needs the final border sewed on, sandwhiched, quilted and binded. Since she turns 2 this month, it's probably about time to get it finished!
  • The fabric boxes for the Lexi and Brea's dresser need finished.
  • Flannel PJ pants for the girls will be sewn for our traditional Christmas Eve gift.
  • More babies are on their way...they're gonna need warm snugglies.
  • I have socks waiting to be made into critters.
I think I'll stop there, as you get the idea.

I've thought about this project several times throughout the past several months. But it has always seemed so overwhelming. I'm taking it as a good sign that it doesn't seem quite as daunting these days. That with a little time here and there, I'll actually be able to see progress. It gives me hope that darkness will not prevail.

I may have started today, but alas my day has been filled with laundry, cleaning up after Brea's middle of the night pukeing incident. Luckily I think it was hyperactive gag reflex from her snotty nose, and not a tummy bug. But it still makes a mess. And I've started slowly getting ride of creepy, crawly fuzzy things in our refrigerator (and doing the extra dishes involved with that process). I'm amazed, yet at the same time sickened, by the number of different types of mold that can grow on things that have been residing in the fridge for too long. And since tomorrow will be spent getting ready for and working at the Women's Health Focus (an annual event at which the studio where I teach has a booth) and Friday I'll be preparing for Laura and I's 2:00 departure to go visit Marie in Wisconsin for the weekend, I'll have to wait until next week to start working on my plan in earnest.

Like I said, not all the detail of the plan have been cooked yet. But at least I've started to gather the main ingredients!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dance, Dance, Dance...

I know, I know...enough with the YouTube videos you're saying. But's about a political dance off! I mean when it comes to getting younger voters involved and excited about the democratic process, you gotta give this one props. Besides that, you can't help but be amazed at what some of those dancers can do with their bodies...the strength, the control. Amazing! (And in case you're wondering, yes, I do watch So You Think You Can's family time!)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything...

With Scott working a second part-time job at a video rental store, we've been watching a few more movies than normal lately. I mean hey, it's free entertainment. One of our favorite animation series, Veggie Tales, just released their second full length animated movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. So of course we had to give it a watch.

The girls were entertaining me earlier today in the car on the way home by singing the movie's theme song. So at dinner while we were waiting for their pizza to cool, I suggested they give Daddy a little concert too. Of course, too funny not to share.

We're trying to talk the girls into being pirates for Halloween...I think Lexi's leaning that way, only she want's to make sure it's "appropriate" for girls to be pirates. Miss Marie? Greta? Laura? Apparently Mommy's opinion isn't quite enough reassurance on this topic.


Simple Reminder...

I've found this past year that facing anything is possible with love on your side. And that's also why life hurts so much sometimes. Because we open up our hearts to love. It's a beautiful thing, but it also makes us vulnerable. Today, I'm extending my arms all the way to Texas to hug my brother. And a shorter distance down the road to my friend JW. Words can not explain how heart broken I am for your losses. For the world's loss. May the memories of your loved ones and the strength of the universe settle peace into your hearts over the coming days.

On a day when my heart is heavy with sadness for tragic events, a simple, beautiful reminder to continue celebrating life. This one's for my Mom, my girlies, and the special bond that comes from being a daughter and a mother. Just one of the many ways opening my heart to love has blessed my life.


Friday, October 17, 2008

More Fun with YouTube

A little YouTube fun to get your day started with a laugh. Weird, but you've gotta give the guy some credit for instrument creativity!

And while you're on YouTube, check out the latest additions by tiny circus. While I didn't actually have a hand in any of the newly posted shorts, the girls and I did watch a little bit of the shoot for this rough of The History of Maps. (Don't worry, there's no sound. There's nothing wrong with your computer.) I'm hoping to make it out to help with the current animation, The History of Brainstorms, a bit this weekend. I need me a little tiny circus fix.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Prattle...

It's Thursday morning and Brea and I are just chillin'. She while playing with a collection of babies and stuffed animals and watching Elmo on Sesame Street. I while wasting time doing nothing productive with Scott's laptop nestled on my lap and a warm (but quickly cooling) cup of coffee at my side. What better to do with my time than personalize my iGoogle page and watch/blog about tday's random YouTube videos that have been selected by the little gadget thingy. (After all, sometimes we all just need some wasteful down time and that's what my Thursday mornings are all about!) So here you go, my favorite short thus far this morning. It makes me laugh because well, you know you're a progress bar watcher. Come on, admit it. It's ok. I do it too!

This one is a close second because who doesn't love those sound effects from the original Super Mario Brothers Games!?!?!

* Related note: I discovered that by using iGoogle (which I haven't been doing to this point) I can access both my Reader listings AND the Blogger dashboard all from the same homepage. Lucky me!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh, you meant...

Let me set the scene. The girls and I are sitting at the dinner table last night, eating our tacos (it was Tuesday you know), talking about Lexi's day at school and the new song she learned. We're quietly eating when she asks:

"Mom, how many virgins do you know?"

Me (trying to keep a straight face and wondering WHAT the hell a 7-year-old knows/understands about virginity): "Huh?"

Lexi (without missing a beat of course): "How many VERSIONS do you know? You know, of that song?"

Me (silently to my self): "OH THANK THE LORD, SHE MEANT VERSIONS!"

Deep breath of relief...she meant VERSIONS!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Negative Nelly...

I have been in quite the negative mood the past couple of days. I could go on and on about why I think this is the case, or trying to justify my feelings, but what good would that do? So instead, I just want to say SORRY for those who have got the "pleasure" of listening to me bitch and moan over the past couple of days. I'm aware of the situation, and I'm consciously trying to turn my mood around. Shake it up. Flip it over. Whatever you want to call it.

On a somewhat related note, I found the latest post by Connie at Dirty Footprints to be a timely read this morning. A good reminder that negativity is a slippery slope, and that we all have the ability to stop the slide before it gets out of control.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I wish I could continuously record the things that comes out of Brea's mouth these days. I'm lucky that whenever I need a pick me up through the day, I just have to stop and listen to my 2-year-old. Brings a smile every time!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

With Courage and Grace...

I'm cheating today and double posting the same post on both of my blogs. But I feel strongly about the message and thus, wanted to share these thoughts with all of you who may not also visit my other spot, Happy Daisy Yoga.

After attending a couple of conference sessions with Max Strom this past spring, I signed up to receive his monthly e-newsletter. It's often filled with wonderful words of insight and encouragement that always make me take a moment to stop and think. Today's newsletter was no exception.

"Today we cannot pretend to know the outcome of these global financial events. Catastrophes create new opportunities. Often when things explode in our face, they also blow open new doors. We can reinterpret this negative situation into A Wakeup Call for Action and Wisdom.

To have our courage stripped away by others is something we cannot afford to let happen. Money and property can be taken away by others, but our strength of spirit and human good is ours alone to keep or give away." ~ Max Strom

With the current state of world affairs, shortly following what has been a trying year for me and my family on a personal basis, it's nice to be reminded that we posses the strength to weather this storm...and that we can choose to do so with Grace. I am thankful that my yoga practice and the small local yoga community (and larger global yoga community of which we are all part), combined with the loving support of friends and family, have allowed me to remain mostly positive, grounded, and strong through the past 15 months of adversity which my life has faced. I truly believe the strength and love I experienced/found during such a scary and difficult time has better prepared me to move forward in life, regardless of what struggles lie ahead.

I do worry about the state of our future. Of what the world will look like as my two young girls come of age and enter adulthood. However, I'm also optimistic that the human race can learn, can grow, and can readjust the state of affairs to make for a better world. I choose to move forward with strength, and grace, and hope, and courage. I hope that you will join me.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


My Mom always has always felt that responsibility should be taught from an early age. That everyone has something they can contribute to the task at hand. That it requires us all to work together to move forward. I'm so thankful she instilled that value into my brother and I...and in ways I don't think we truly appreciated growing up...until now we see how it's helped shape our lives.

We have expected our girls to be contribute responsibly to the functioning of our home starting at an early age. Just little things as simple as putting toys back in their basket before bed, bringing Mommy or Daddy a diaper from the diaper basket at changing time, or throwing away food wrappers at snack time. But through all those simple little tasks, they have learned to contribute, and do so willingly. (Another fact I'm thankful for as I know that's not the case in everyone's households!)

One of their favorite toddler tasks has been helping me load or unload the dishwasher. I remember Lexi eagerly joining me for this task when she was younger, and now it her sister's turn to take over as "putter awayer" of the silverware. It's helpful that the silverware drawer is right by the dishwasher and that often she can take as much time as she needs to accomplish the task as I always have things I can be doing in the kitchen while I supervise her progress. We also use it as learning time, saying what each utensil is as she puts it away, or counting how many spoons she has put in the drawer.

I'm proud to say both my girls have a great ability to stay focused, and very rarely do I have to remind them to finish up once they've started a task.

Already as Lexi gets a little older, and more influenced by her friends, I see how this basic truth, this basic sense of responsibility affects her decisions and her ability to decipher right from wrong. Who knew you could learn all that from putting forks and spoons in a drawer?

Thanks Mom for teaching us so many valuable life lessons. Lessons I'm proud to pass on to my girls knowing how well they will serve them in life.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Celebrating her 95th year...

My Great Grandma Mary is celebrating her 95th birthday today. My Great Grandma who still lives alone in her 3 bedroom house, because assisted living facilities are for "old people." My Great Grandma who at the age of 5 left Italy, her land of birth, on a boat bound for the USA with her parents. My Great Grandma who married another Italian here in the states, and who I remember speaking in Italian with Great Grandpa when she didn't want us grand kids to understand what they were saying. (My mom says growing up she knew all the Italian cuss words thanks to Great Grandpa's use of them thinking he was fooling the grand kids.) My Great Grandma who used to tell me a story about a little mouse, making a prop from a hankie. My Great Grandma who is kind and loving and who I feel so fortunate to have had in my life for over 33 years.

Happy Birthday Grandma. We love you!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Little Pillows of Happiness...

I am infatuated with these flowers. They're planted in a pot by our front step. This spring I randomly selected some annuals for the our big ol' pot that looked nice together and were noted as good for pots. This one has not disappointed. First of all, it's October 9th and they are still blooming strong. Second of all, their whole design amazes me. They start out as this little clumps of square pillows (which I find fascinating for some reason)...

and then ring by ring, starting from the outside, open up...

into these cheery little puffs of happy little flowers.

I smile and pause every time I walk past.

Check out this bug that had stopped to rest on a sign at the gas station the other day when I stopped to fill up Velma.

He was huge...and super cool.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


One of my biggest joys as a mother is watching the incredible, magical bond between my two girls. Whether it's coloring together, playing babies, playing school, watching a movie, chalking on the sidewalk, swinging, or digging in the sand box, their ability to play so well together for hours at a time amazes me. Lexi is a great big sister. Such a natural nurturer who is patient and kind to her little sister. Brea looks up to her big sis with adoring eyes. And even though they have their moments of differences, they are the best of friends.

Lexi has blossomed into quite the reader as of late. She devours books and, luckily for both her parents and her little sister, she never tires of reading to Brea. Lately when I listen to her read, I can't help but smile at the emotion she gives her stories. Last night while I was making supper, the girls were sitting just a few feet away reading The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. I couldn't help but stop slicing and dicing to listen...and then quickly (but quietly as to not let her on to what I was doing) I grabbed my little camera to get a bit of her reading "on film" so that I could share a little bit of this special moment with you all. I think she got a little nervous once she realized what I was doing, but oh how special to watch her grow



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quirky Confessions, II...

I prefer ODD to EVEN numbers. OK, I'll admit, sometimes it's a little more than just a preference. I can't explain it, but for as long as I can remember I've been attracted to odd numbers. It's not like I FREAK out if confronted by an even number, but in situations where I can control the number of things, you can almost bet they will be odd. Here's some examples of how weirdly aware of the number of things I sometimes am in my life.
  • My favorite number is 3, followed closely by 9 (3, 3s) and then 7.
  • I like the number 13 even though most people believe it to be unlucky.
  • The humans in our house all celebrate our birthdays on an odd numbered day. Lexi and I's birth dates also happened in odd numbered months during odd numbered years. Scott was born in an even numbered month in an odd numbered year. Brea was born during an odd numbered month in an even numbered year.
  • Our wedding date was picked because it was an odd numbered day. The original date I chose, May 27, 1995 (all odd numbers) had to be abandoned because of family conflicts.
  • The full first names of both my daughters have an odd number of letters. Alexandra (9) and Breanna (7).
  • Knowing only the approximate date of Tilde's birth, we picked to celebrate her birthday each year on 11/13...original year of birth, 2007. (Yep. All odds.)
  • My chosen jersey numbers in high school were all odd numbered; 9 and 13 for volleyball, 53 for basketball. (Oddly enough, my husband's chosen jersey numbers, 10 and 42, are both even.)
  • I like zero. I don't consider it odd or even.
I can even find the odd numbers in most even numbered situations. (It's like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the father can take any word and show you how it's origins are Greek.)
  • There are 4 people who live in our little house, but it's 3 girls and 1 boy.
  • Even though Lexi, Brea, and I (Jenn) have 4 letter nicknames, when combined with our last name, the total letter count for each of our names is 9.
  • Our wedding party (ring bearer and flower girl not included) of 6 could be split into 2 sets of 3 (3 girls, 3 boys) and when combined with the pastor was a group of 7, or 9 with the flower girl and ring bearer included, when standing at the front of the church.
(I'll pause so you can roll your eyes and and laugh at the absurdity of all this rambling.)

Of course, there are times when things are just even and that's how it has to be. Take for example the counts associated with teaching fitness classes. Aerobics music is based on 32 count phrasing. Almost everything we do in a fitness class is done in sets of 2, 4, 8 or one of their multiples. Trying to fit things into any other count feels awkward and just flat out doesn't work. Definitely an instance when the use of even numbers is necessary!

And there you have odd oddity.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Festival in Living Color (and some other photography stuff)...

I cleaned our carpets this afternoon which means for a bit we all have to find things to keep us busy while they were drying. Lexi was at a friend's. Brea was napping. Scott was busy watching football (meaning taking a nap while the game was on). So I decided to sit down at my computer and play with photos.

One of the things I love about this blog is the photos. And then there's the wedding photos that can be seen here and here, both talented freelancers. All these photos jump off the page at you with color and detail. And I love that. And while I've been working really hard at capturing a complete photo "in camera" that doesn't require much processing once downloaded, I know Photoshop is an amazing tool that I really could utilize more in regards to livening up the color in my photos. Feeling pretty confident lately with the composition of my photos, I've decided it's time to explore color saturation. I don't know why this has scared me in the past. I always maintain the original RAW files as shot and save changes as a new file. So there's really no reason to give some new adjustments a try!

Last night was the annual Fall Festival at Lexi's school. As a organizing member of the PTO, I wanted to grab some pictures not only for our family scrapbooks, but for the PTO scrapbook as well. Today while the carpets were drying I decided to use this collection of photos, which are full of color because of the nature of the event, and see what I could do to make them pop. I started with pictures that I felt were well composed and started playing around with adjustment sliders. Once I got started, it was hard to stop!

Then I decided that this was also a good chance to see if I could "save" a well composed shot that had a bit of lighting issue. I started with this:

And finished with this:

Naturally all this playing around got me to thinking about how I processed Allen and Shannon's wedding photos, and I wondered how saturating the color and playing around with shadows and the such could change some of the images. So I chose this photo as my guinea pig:

And livened it up into this:

Needless to say, now I want to go reprocess them ALL! (Shannon...let me know if you want me to reprocess any shots specifically and add some of my new found pizazz!)

More than anything all this messing around confirmed:

A. Why I love digital photography so much and am thankful I made the jump into shoot mostly in RAW format;


B. How LITTLE I know when it comes to utilizing all the tools available to the digital photographer...or should I say, how much I still have to learn!

Luckily for me, I love the challenge of learning!



This photo is one which you can purchase from the National Geographic Photography website. Someday I hope to have the skills developed to take photos with colors this bright and vivid. It makes me wonder...Photoshopped or simply the amazing brightness of life?

Regardless, I think it's beautiful and it gives me something to strive towards in my own work.


Friday, October 3, 2008

I Just Don't Get It...

Differences in views aside, after reading some of the news/controversy centered around Sarah Palin's pregnancy and the birth of her son in April, (I know...old news but remember, I RARELY stay in touch with current events and I only went out to read about this particular topic today after watching a bit of the debate last night and having NO idea what Palin was referring to when she talked about having a child with special needs.), I'm wondering WHY ANY woman would willingly accept the invitation to join the Presidential/VP ticket with a newborn at home!?!?!

I'm all for Moms supporting Moms regardless of whether we choose to stay home full time, work part time, or work full time. Unfortunately I don't think that support if offered up enough because we all get stuck on the idea that OUR choice is the only RIGHT one when it comes to balancing work and family life. (Supporting each other as Mothers...don't confuse that with I will vote for her because we both have vagina's. So NOT the case!) Not to discount the role of Dad's in the lives of small children, but mothering a tiny infant, and on top of that one with special needs, is A LOT OF WORK! And being VP of the USA is no small job either. I mean, I may not know all the ins and outs of the particular position, but knowing how much effort it takes to juggle my relatively simple life while raising kids, I can't imagine taking on such an intense professional pursuit at this stage in the game...and I only have 2 kids! She does realize you don't just give your 2 week's notice and quit the position of VP if it proves to be more than you bargained for....right?

Maybe it's just my personality. Maybe it's because I enjoy being available for my kids WHENEVER they need me. Maybe it's because I'd rather be doing a little bit of good, relatively anonymously here in my small community than publicly seeking fame and fortune in front of MILLIONS of people around the world. Whatever it is, I don't envy Palin AT ALL in her pursuits.

And Sarah, all that talk about knowing what it's like to sit around the kitchen table figuring out how you're family is going to cover their bills when things get tough...awfully hard to believe while your saying it while wearing a suit that costs more than ALL THE CLOTHES IN MY CLOSET COMBINED. Not all of us are fooled by your "I'm just an average American," claims.


Thursday, October 2, 2008


while Mommy was in her office on the computer putting together some fliers this morning for PTO, Brea was in the living room "creating" herself.

Obviously NOT on the piece of paper she came in and asked me for. (I should know that long spells of quiet are never good! Except for nap time of course...thank goodness she still naps!!!)

One more argument for why Mommy needs a lap top!


Quirky Confessions...


We all have them.

You know, those little things you do that make you who you are...even if sometimes they don't make sense.

I love people's quirks. Like the fact my husband who needs little order or neatness in his day-to-day life, has a totally organized closet! Who would have guessed it? (Love you honey.)

So, at a time when the world is all full of seriousness, I've decided to celebrate the silly little things that make me who I am. Even if that means having to laugh at the absurdity of some of my own quirks. I guess officially that means I'll have two "regular" features here now, even though Thoughts from the Shower haven't been flowing real freely as of late. (I have been showering though. Don't want you to think I'm just hangin' out here all stinky!)

So today's confession involves...our dishes.

A couple years ago I traded in our random Corelle Ware dishes that we had mix and matched from the outlet store in college, for some inexpensive, but colorful stoneware. Four place settings in blue. (Dark, almost navy.) Four place settings in yellow. (Like the color of mustard.) For the price (a totally of $30...I told you they were cheap!), I thought it was a nice change and a great compliment to our Tibetan Red kitchen. Plus, with small kids in the house, if something were to get dropped and broken, no big deal. (We're not quite at a point in life where spending the money on Fiestaware would make much sense. Someday!) What I didn't realize at the time that I purchased them is how freaky I would become about HOW they are stored in our CLOSED DOOR cupboards or how they are arranged on the table when set out for a meal.

Always alternating in color. That's what I need.

On more than one occasion I've opened the cupboard after someone else has put the dishes away and found them "out of order." Naturally, I rearrange, because we just can't have that! (I know, those of you who have been to my house know the general state of clutter and disarray in which we live on a day to day basis and you are SHOCKED at this secret from the cupboard. It's can laugh about it.)

But it's sad to say my obsession doesn't stop there in the cupboard. When we set the table for a meal, I always feel better if the colors of the plates can alternate as we go around from place setting to place setting. With a family of 4, accomplishing that is easy. Imagine the dilemma when ONE guest comes to our house to eat. There is NO way to alternate colors when you set the table for 5! (Keep laughing.)

On occasion (OK, this is maybe where it gets a little weird I'll admit), I make a choice of what color of plate I eat off of depending on which color will best show off my food. Mac-n-cheese looks like crap on mustard yellow, but fabulous on deep blue. A plate full of nachos made with blue guessed it, goes on a yellow plate. Pasta with a nice red tomato based sauce looks nice on either color.

I don't know what's more embarrassing...admitting all of this this OR telling you the fact Lexi has caught on to this little quirk AND SHE TOO works to keep colors evenly distributed. (Mommy is sorry honey. I'm sure it's not the only oddity you'll pick up from me unfortunately.)

Maybe I can chalk it up to a search for balance and aesthetic beauty.

Maybe I'm just a freak.

At least I guess it's good for a laugh!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Handmade Goodies...

For those of you who have not discovered the goodness of Etsy, get out from under your rock! Etsy is a website dedicated to helping those who want to both sell and buy handmade goods. It's an amazing place and while I have yet to buy something, I drool often! These little felt hair clips may be what puts me into the buyer catagory! They're from the store front of Zoe Bug Designs. Not having much patience for hand work and such SMALL embroidry, I'm amazed by what Amy has created. Not only does she do clips, but pony tail holders, PUSH PINS (amazing), applique/patches, brooches, and birthday favors, just to name a few things. Check it out. I promise you'll be amazed and inspired.