Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Girl Haircut

Emma got her hair cut today. A couple of weeks ago, she announced that she wanted a "big girl" haircut this time - shoulder-length, please.
So, we made quite a deal of it. We picked out pictures of haircuts she liked and brought them to our hair magician. He knew just what to do.

She could not stop looking at herself in the mirror! She feels beautiful and that makes me so very happy. I would not have thought it possible to make her cuter than she was, but somehow, I think it's happened.
Afterward, we picked out some lunch at the Fresh Market right next door to the salon and did a bit of shopping in some of our favorite stores in Hyde Park.



Monday, July 26, 2010

A LIttle Knitting

I've been pretty obsessed with this little shawl I cast on. It's called the Summer Flies shawl. In fact, I've been so obsessed with it that I didn't even stop to add it to my projects sidebar over there. I cast it on, I think, Friday, and I'm already done with it.
Granted, I need to block it, but I may never get around to that.

Besides, it's made out of bamboo yarn. Does bamboo even block nicely? I don't know.
It has this little picot edge which took just forever. I didn't think I'd ever finish it.

Worth it? Oh yes. I'll try to get a photo of the finished product for you soon.

Summer Flies Shawl in South West Trading Company Bamboo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hi There

I turned 34 this week.
I'd intended some sort of reflecting post with a self portrait.
The only "portrait" I managed to get was this shot of Emma, sitting in for me to adjust the focus.

I actually kind of like it - how she's so low in the frame, how she isn't posing, the bath oil all in her hair from the bath fizzies we'd made and tried earlier in the day.
It was a good birthday.
I won't lie - it's been kind of a tough week. No calamities of an obvious nature have befallen me, just a series of small things that add up and steal my focus. But my birthday more than made up for it - yummy cake and dinner out with my family and homemade frozen yogurt made by my brother and The Lovely Mindy that was to-die-for.
And birthday shopping.
Oh, birthday shopping.
I don't get to shop a lot, but that just makes it so much more fun when I get to. And there was an obvious moment of destiny between a new shirt and a pair of shoes. It was breathtaking.
I like shoes.

I've had a little bit of software trouble, thus the absence of posting. I think we are all squared away now, with a few new toys for me to sweeten the whole deal. You should be seeing a little bit more of me here soon. Yay!

Wake-up Playlist: Death Cab for Cutie, Soul Meets Body

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On a Tuesday

My girl & I went downtown today.

We had some tea at the local coffee house

and just looked at stuff.

We made a little salt dough to cover the outside of our fairy house. Now it will need to dry for a few days.

Tomorrow's my birthday.

Daily Bliss: a cup of my third favorite kind of tea
Wake-up Playlist: Led Zeppelin, Over the Hills and Far Away

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Fun

Emma and I made bath fizzies from a book of spa recipes

and I made peach pie for supper (yeah. I made the crust too).

Then we spent some time in the back yard.

Wake-up Playlist: The Beatles, I Should Have Known Better

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Way Underestimated

a) just how much popcorn this would take


b) the cuteness factor

Daily Bliss: a little time by myself at the lake today
Wake-up Playlist: It was a Kings of Convenience song...I just don't remember which one!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Little Help

So. That oil spill.
I sure haven't said much here, what with trying to be a little less wordy this summer and all, but I'm going to say something now because I need a little help.
Not long after this disaster occurred, I found myself having a good, serious conversation with my kids about it.
Honestly, we don't have TV (it isn't some self-righteous thing, we just neglected to get a converter box when they were widely available and don't feel like putting out the effort to find one now), so we haven't been over-exposed to all the awful news and the updates and the photos.
We were in the car (isn't that where all the best talks happen?) and heard a blurb about it on the radio.
As I began to explain to my kids what had happened and how the environment and animals would be affected, the gravity of the situation really began to sink in.

This family loves nature.
We especially love critters - of all shapes and sizes.
And we especially, especially love birds.
Andrew grew quiet and Emma sobbed big, heaving sobs. Soon thereafter, Emma began drawing sad pictures and telling me she'd entered a Blue Period like Picasso.

And I knew I wanted to help them do something about it.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't politically motivated and I'm really, really not a chipper cheerleader who tries to rally people to a cause. I just want my kids to know that when their hearts are moved by a situation, the right thing to do is to follow your heart and do something about it. Even if you can only do a small thing.

I looked into volunteering - physically going somewhere to help out. I really did. But honestly, children and girls-with-good-hearts-but-no-training are not on the help-wanted list. But there are a lot of non-profit organizations coordinating people who know what they're doing.

We really don't have a lot of extra money to donate - (shrug) who does? But the kids and I brainstormed and came up with a fun way to multiply what we do have to give. We're making bags of candied popcorn in yummy flavors this weekend and plan to sell them to our local family and friends.
All money will be sent to the National Audubon Society. Like I said - we love birds.
Two dollars per bag (a generous snack for one or just enough to share between two) with a lovely label designed by the Divine Miss Emma herself, including one the following illustrations:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Birthday Cake

Thank you all - each one of you - for your words about yesterday's post.
It means so much to me to hear from all you other fabulous women.
I mean it.
Who wants some birthday cake?

Daily Bliss: Bach. Seeping-out-of-my-fingertips Bach (Preludes & Fugues) and on-the-radio-and-forgot-how-awesome-it-is Bach.
Wake-up Playlist: The Swell Season, I Have Loved You Wrong

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I interrupt this Silent Summer to bring you a few important words.

My son turned thirteen today.

He has had just about the best 24 hours a thirteen-year-old boy could ask for. His two best buddies came over last night for a sleepover. Only one of them slept (not Andrew) and they played video games all night long. There were cheeseburger-flavored Doritos, cupcakes and Cheetos. Oh yeah, pizza and unlimited sodas too.
He did not go to bed after his friends went home.
He continued playing video games until lunch time. He ate more pizza for lunch while we watched Pink Panther cartoons.
Then he played more video games.
He took a short nap, a shower and was ready in time for supper at the restaurant of his choice. He ordered up a burger the size of his head, chowed it down with nary a look of caution from his parents, and went to Grandma's house for presents and cake.
That is living, I tell you!

It's very different now.
It used to be that I would be awake all hours the night before his birthday, painting, gluing, baking and setting up for some elaborate theme party. Erupting volcano cakes? Pirate ships made out of refrigerator boxes? Light Saber training games and Jedi costumes for all his friends? Yeah. We've done that.
It's more quiet now - more subtle. But that isn't a bad thing.

When a girl has babies, she hears from every well-meaning person in the grocery store to "just wait" until the terrible twos. "You think things are hard now? Just wait until they're walking and you have to chase them!" When a girl's babies turn into toddlers, it seems like most wiser folks want to tell her that while "you think things may be exhausting right now, just wait till they can talk and get smart with you!"
And on it goes. It's hard to enjoy living in the moment with your children when you are barraged with dire warnings about the cataclysm that lies just around the corner. And if you believe everyone who tells you how fast time flies, it sometimes feels like you will surely awaken tomorrow to find a pimply, smart-mouthed, rebellious, hair-dying, body-piercing alien life form staring out of the crib and blinking at you.

That kind of stuff makes me mad.

I have always wanted to enjoy each and every moment - all the joys and the rough stuff too - for myself, in my own way, from my own perspective. And you know what? So far, everyone else has been wrong.
The terrible twos were just about my favorite year. That is until my son started talking to me and I began to see what an amazing person was living inside that tiny body. Every year has gotten better and better and every year seems to be my favorite one. I could not be more proud and more humble, all at the same time, to be Andrew's mom. He surprises me every day with intelligence, maturity and righteousness beyond what I have expected. He is a leader in his school and balances a very full life with ease. He is funny and loves to laugh. He loves music like I do. And yeah. He's a gamer. I'm okay with that.
I got a few minutes alone with him today in the car and he asked, "So. Are you freaking out about me being thirteen?" And I replied that, even though I had been joking around about that, the truth was that, if I stopped to think about it...

And that's where I lost it.
Big, Mama-tears started rolling down my cheeks.
He reached over and touched my arm and said, "You okay, Mom?"
And I said, "Yeah. I'm alright. It's just that you used to be so small and now you're not."
I went on to tell him that I'm, not freaking out about him being thirteen. I told him (for the millionth time) that everyone warns a girl about what happens when her son starts to grow up. The horror stories of broken-hearted moms are everywhere.
"But that I don't think it's going to happen that way for us," I said. Tears still falling, sobs choking me up, I told him how proud I am of him and how he's growing - proud that he's respectful and that we talk honestly about things, humbled that God chose Chris and me to be his parents. I told him that I'm so glad he landed with us.
And he said he didn't think it was going to be so bad for us either.

Don't get me wrong - I know that there will be heartache on this path. This is going to be a big year, bringing big changes. I've known enough boys in my lifetime to know that. And if I do my job right, he will leave, I will be replaced with a lovely young somebody.

I know that.

I also know that, in spite of what I was told,
I believed in better things for my baby boy and I wasn't wrong.
I believed in better things for my toddler and those years were a joy.
I believed in better things for my little boy and he exceeded all my hopes.

I believe in better things for my teenager than what the world predicts.
So far, so good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Birthday Cakes

Oh man.
Andrew turns 13 today.
I don't think I'm even ready to process all that means!
He and I devised a fun birthday cake for this year, though, and we made miniature-version cupcakes for his sleepover last night. The big cake will be for later today.
S'mores cupcakes, anyone?

Chocolate cake on the bottom, marshmallow-flavored icing & crumbled, homemade graham crackers on the top. Oh - and a little piece of chocolate too.

Daily Bliss: my teenager still talks to me about deep stuff. for now, anyway.