Friday, January 29, 2010

happy friday

wishing you a very happy friday & a restful, life-giving weekend,
full of

moments to smile at
a good playlist
some juicy oranges (i love citrus season!)
time outside
warm cozy beverages + a newspaper
clean dishes

pretty fresh flowers
a hot shower
talking to someone you love

(& whatever other loveliness you are needing these next two days)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


tomorrow we have a big day-
while little m is at school we have her ifsp, which we have twice a year to determine her services (school, therapy, etc.). usually it really stresses me out, although this time i am trying to be less anxious since i don't think it will have a huge impact until her big ifsp this summer. (that ifsp will probably make me crazy, so i'm not going to worry about it yet...) then, we'll drive the hour home and head straight to an appointment at children's hospital for little m to get her cochlear implants mapped. her mapping happens to fall right during naptime, so we'll see how successful the appointment is.

my kind & thoughtful sister-in-law chrissy stopped by tonight and brought treats for the drive!la farine morning buns for matt & me
so. so. good.
a new animal book to entertain little m in the carseat
plus she'd read my blog from earlier today
so she brought me some sweet treats to enjoy tonight.
(my day is suddenly better)

one of those days

i am working on 4 different blog posts and non of them are coming together.

maybe it's the dreary weather outside,
maybe it's that my to do list is very long, and i should attacking it instead of blogging,
maybe it's because the posts are more serious and it's hard to get through them and articulate what i want to say.

i'm feeling like today is a good day for soup and grilled cheese and snuggling.
and not so much for blogging.
(see you lovelies tomorrow)

Monday, January 25, 2010

my new favorites

this awesome le creuset 9 quart dutch oven that matt's parents got me for christmas
(they just gave it to me when we were down at their house this last week- such an amazing gift. can't wait to use it!)
this cd.
matt scoffed as i bought it. "a compilation?!"
mmm. maybe so, but it's good.
so there.
my daughter entertaining herself for more than 5 minutes in the car.
oh wait, just kidding, she hates the car and she goes crazy after like 30 seconds.
well, i can hope...
(and she looks so happy & content in this misleading photo.)

little m's crazy mullet curls, which i can now commandeer into a mini pony tail.
she is so way hipster than i am. chocolate chip cookies crumbled over vanilla ice cream with homemade caramel on top.
roasted carrot & avocado salad recipe from jamie oliver's jamie at home cookbook.
you can find a copy of the recipe here
matt's incredible homemade bread that he has been making lately.
i love this man. and his bread is just one of the reasons.

now i am sleepy.
night night, friends!

what are your new favorites?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

here comes the sun...

after a week of nonstop, pounding rain, thunder, and lightening,
we finally got a reprieve.
the sun came out!

our dear friends kim & jeremy came up from san diego with their boys eli & amos
to hang out with us friday & saturday,
so we all headed down to the beach near matt's parents
to walk,
soak up the sunshine,
watch the waves, play in the sand,
and enjoy the fresh air.

post beach, we stopped at my personal favorite eatery in ventura.
(well, it is tied with johnny's-best tacos, chips & burritos, i swear.)
the very authentic, high-class cheesesteak & hoagie shop.
i am proud to report that my daughter apparently loves cheesesteaks.
a girl after her mama's heart.

ventura's pier
(post-cheesesteak/french fry foodfest, three kids in dire need of naps)
laughter on the swings
jeremy & little amos
kim & i
(i love our friends.
friends who live too far away,
but who have been there for us on some of our hardest days.
they are the kind of friends who can just sit with us and say nothing,
but whom i can stay up until ungodly hours talking about everything and nothing with.
kim & i are kind of experts in talking at all hours, actually,
while our significant husbands much prefer sleep.)
someday these two will be sweethearts.
i swear.
they like to snuggle.
(unless little brother amos swoops in and charms her with those big blue eyes)
or maybe eli just looks adoringly at all the girls like he does at my daughter.
what could be better than a playground on the beach?
amos & little m rocked some significant swing time.

the best of our attempted dual-family photos
little m vetoed her stroller so she could walk hand in hand with her grandparents
matt steals a few minutes of peace in the midst of the hubbub of our two crazy families

hope your weekend is dry & sunny!

Friday, January 22, 2010

say cheese

on our drive down to ventura, we stayed with our good friends in santa maria,
who have two cute munchkins:
isabella-artist, lover of dolls and soft, cuddly stuffed animals,
climber & daredevil extraordinaire...
landon: big brother, expert at all things related to cars, diggers, and puzzles,
and moments away from losing another tooththe kids had an impromptu morning yoga class, where they showed off their moves.
(this came after an evening & morning where they pulled out half of their toys to share with m...much to their parents' delight)
and....after all of the playing & snuggling & running around-
this was the best picture i could get of the three of them.
i think it's kind of awesome.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

it's raining...

it's pouring...!
we've been drenched all week long!

tonight at dinner the electricity went out after a crazy amount of lightening & torrential rain, so we ate dinner with our classmates in the dark. very romantic...

of course, m delights in the rain, especially since she has awesome sparkly rain boots from aunt becca, a cool flowery rain jacket from grandma cornelia, and now a super cute big girl umbrella from grandma and grandpa prinz. for the record, i have no raincoat & no umbrella. so i get wet, while my daughter stays dry & cute. shocking.

tomorrow is the last day of our class, so the half written blog posts i've written this week will be finished and posted. suffice it to say, it has given me a lot to think about.

stay dry, my friends!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

hey there!

peek a boo!
matt, m and i are down in southern california this week,
where matt and i are attending a class together.
m gets to play with her grandparents all day long.
since her day today included french fries &
a trip to toys r'us & lots of grandma and grandpa attention, she seems content to be without us. it's a pretty long day, which starts at 8 am and goes until we get home around 10 pm.
sad for me, there is no wireless where we are,
so my online access is limited, which means fewer blog posts.
i'll try to check in tomorrow...
plenty to write about, but for now, this mama is exhausted!
sleep well, my friends!

Friday, January 15, 2010

good things come in all kinds of packages

this week has been chock full of special moments and little surprises! i love it.

i was telling matt last night that one reason i love my birthday so much is because it is an opportunity -a day set aside- to celebrate and savor the people in my life who have made me, well, me. that covers a wide range: from my family, to my inner circle of confidantes, to dear ones who live far away, to friends i've made through this blog, through old friends who i don't see often but who are still a part of my life's topography...

i feel gifted to be known and loved by such special people, who love me despite my numerous flaws and quirks.

on monday my brother aaron stopped by and dropped off his camera. (mine is on the fritz...again) he sent me a text saying, "you can't have birthday week without a camera!" so thoughtful...

a few visuals from this week that have brought me joy:
m and i grabbed lunch with my friend nicole, who i've met via the world of blogging,
and who also has a deaf daughter.
(notice m's disgruntled expression. little did we know she had an ear infection & that her fever would spike to 104.5 later in the day. considering how bad the doctor said the infection was, i'm surprised she looked this content!)nicole brought me this lovely garland she made from vintage sheet music:it's now hanging in our livingroom, and i love it.
(check out her new etsy shop, where you can pick up some cuteness for yourself!)
matt's present-of-the-day station on top of our mantle
was joined by a few other packages for me to open.
fun little treasures and treats!
matt's parents sent me these pretty, sunshine-carrying tulips
in honor of my art opening last weekend.
my sister-in-law hand delivered them,
and they've been making me happy all week long!
i love birthdays, but i also love mail. so birthday mail is the absolute best!

fun treats & cards popped up in my mailbox, including a fun package & kind note from my friend holly (who has become more of a friend through the world of blogging too. i love blogs.)

and my roommates amy and nancy dropped off an invitation for birthday eve celebrating! matt's sister showed up to babysit, and they whisked me away to a super fun evening.

lots of other joys: text messages, calls, my brother's elementary class called and serenaded me, thoughtful treats to open, a yummy meal last night complete with homemade creme brulee (sosososo good) made by my friend chris, a birthday message sidewalk-chalked on my doorstep by my mom...

i feel spoiled and so so gifted.
and grateful for the people in my life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


35 years ago,
on january 14, 1975,
i was born at 6:01 in the morning.
i was born in maine,
in the snowy winter.
it was 20 degrees below zero.
my mom waited to finish watching the mary tyler moore show before leaving for the hospital.
funny when i think about it, because my mom never watches tv.
i guess when it's 20 below you use any excuse to stay inside, even if you are in labor.
(my mom & me-little toddler susannah- on the car ferry in casco bay, maine.)

thanks, mom, for having me.
i like being alive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

it's a....boy? girl?

the first time i was pregnant (with m),
matt and i decided to be surprised by the baby's gender.
we didn't know she was a girl until the day she was born.

we had my big ultrasound yesterday,
and it was a little less emotional and peaceful than with m.
we had to bring m with us, and it was her naptime,
plus she wasn't thrilled that she couldn't climb all over me,
so cryfest 2010 ensued.
ah, just a glimpse of life with two instead of one.

this time around,
we decided to be surprised again!
we figure that there are so few complete surprises in life,
why not embrace the unknown (at least until may!)
any guesses?
(you can vote in the poll on the right of the page)

Monday, January 11, 2010


um, my husband pointed out that my previous post may infer that i am fishing for presents
from those of you that read this...


i'm not.

just celebrating my fun 14 days of birthday love!

i kind of love presents. i'm not saying that they have to be expensive, or fancypants. i just like opening gifts, and i like giving gifts. i like the idea of giving and receiving things that, regardless of size or monetary value, are thoughtful additions into the life of the recipient.

this thursday is my birthday.
and i should note, that i also love my birthday.

so, knowing me, and that i love presents AND my birthday, my sweet husband started giving me gifts on january 1st. as in, a gift every day leading up to my birthday. as in, the best ever. as in, this is why i married this man. (well, there are other reasons of course, but two weeks of gift giving is a good reason, am i right?)

today is january 11th, so i have had ten days of presents so far (i am having self-control and waiting to open today's gift until later in the day. look at me and my discipline.)

my camera is broken (hence fewer posts and fewer pics as of late), so you will have to be woo-ed by my words rather than images. so far i have been delighted by:
  • a yummy brunch with good friends at camino
  • a big bag of supercute straws from ikea. yes, i said straws. i like drinking with straws, ok?
  • an instyle magazine (a little mental candy for me)
  • choose your own adventure present (and i picked to go to my favorite magazine shop in oakland to buy a couple of fun art magazines)
  • a pint of salted caramel ice cream from bi-rite creamery in san francisco
  • a pretty bamboo bowl for holding cute things
  • a jar of preserves. yummy.
  • swedish fish
  • a gift certificate for a facial at a local place
  • fun surprise date night! on the way we stopped in at the jeweler's to see how much it would cost to replace the half of my wedding band that i lost deep in the ocean on our honeymoon (it was a sad, sad day); then we window-shopped, went to see fantastic mr. fox (which was fantastic), and then had a delicious dinner at camino (yes, where we also brunched)
how could you get any better than thoughtful, fun gifts every day?
i should note that matt has done more than his fair share of getting m ready in the morning, which means i get to sleep extra, which in and of itself counts as like a whole week of presents.

did i mention that i love my birthday?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

my heart is smiling

two thoughts:

1. my daughter has discovered crayons, pens and pencils over the last 6 months.
and she is absolutely smitten with "col, col" {coloring}.
i could not be more proud.
my heart swells to see her face light up when she sees my paints, or a box of her crayons.
it seriously makes me so giddy inside to see her discover the joy of a mark on paper.
how could crayons not incite pure happiness in even the coldest of hearts?

2. today was school.
m loves school.
as we drive up she starts clapping and pointing and smiling.
at school, m got to dance at morning music, see our friend mary claire and her sweet baby girl annelise, go to class and therapy, play in the pretend ktchen with the doll babies,
and... (her highlight, i swear):
see her friend vivian.
vivian and m are like little magnets when they see each other.
the second they see each other they want to hug and snuggle and hold hands.
and it melts my heart every time.
(their enthusiasm is infectious)

this morning i thought of the special magic that happens when you make a new friend.
of the sparkle in these two sweet girls' eyes as they spot each other.
of the gift it is to find a new someone with whom you can laugh and connect.
i imagine those friend possibilities that stretch across my daughter's lifetime,
as well as the laughter she already shares with little friends like vivian,
and it gives me joy.

{my heart is smiling}

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

hello, super cute

super cute
...if i do say so myself!
today i got a peek at the finished product of one of the cards i made this year for papyrus.
i love, love, love the stitching-i had done it by paint to get the layout down,
but it is so much cuter with the actual stitching.
i have a crush on it.

you can buy wherever papyrus cards are sold or at independent retailers nationwide.

here is the rough sketch i first sent in before tweaking it a few times to get to the final card:

Monday, January 4, 2010


there are moments that shape each one of us, that leave indelible marks on who we are as human beings, friends, siblings, spouses, parents. some of these moments are forgettable in their ordinariness. some are split seconds, others are seasons, or years. nonetheless, they make us who we are. we all wear thousands of these moments in the ways we live, and in the way we love each other.

a brief moment: 16 years ago, i sat on a couch in davis. 18 years old and heartbroken, i sobbed as i shared my shattered heart with adriane, one of my roommates. i don't remember what i said. i don't remember what she said. all i remember is that as she sat next to me listening, she started crying for me. she started crying with me. it was a moment i will never forget. it showed me how sometimes tears weigh more than words. how silence can say more than a bunch of advice and wisdom. how the joy of a dear friend can overwhelm the grief, even if it is just a few minutes reprieve.

a moment that became a season: 5 years ago this last week, i parked my car outside of my parents' house. my mom came outside to meet me. it was new year's eve. i was laughing as she walked up to me. she looked sad and old. "i need to tell you something. i have bad news. travis just called; adriane is in the hospital. she was sick all week, they ran some tests." and? "she has leukemia." the sitting-on-the-couch-crying, like a sister to me, healthy adriane, was sick. really sick.

matt and i were supposed to fly back to new jersey, where we had been living that fall. we had some time and a break in jobs; i was in the process of applying for art school. instead we were able to change plans, stay, and be with my friend. to sit, to cry, to watch tv, to run errands, to support.

getting the news was only the beginning. my friend had a long, long journey ahead of her. over 5 months of hospitals, losing hair, appointments, long days, long nights, 4 rounds of chemo, and a bone marrow transplant.

half a year of moments.
i remember how bored we were some days.
i remember how she didn't complain even though she was so sick.
i remember a lot of sitting. a lot of playing mash. being silly in the hospital halls, and then, when she couldn't leave her room, being silly in her room.
i remember when she didn't have the energy to be silly, so we were just quiet.
i remember watching her husband love her so well.
i remember spending my 30th birthday in her room,
and then going home that night & wishing that she could go home to her own bed too.
i remember the day i sat next to her, a few days after her bone marrow transplant, when i thought she was going to die. and while she slept i went outside, called matt, and just cried because i didn't have any other words - just sadness.
i remember praying & yelling at & crying with God.
i remember how brave she was.
i remember her telling me that even though she felt so much pain, that she felt really alive.
i remember the thousand cranes we moved from hospital room to hospital room.

i remember the last day we drove to an appointment,
because her body was healing and healthy and becoming her own again.
i remember a thousand other things.

it was a lot of moments adding up.

when i pause, to think of these moments 5 years ago,
my heart aches for the hardness of that season for my friend.
my heart is also full.
i have never been more honored than i was to sit by her side as she and her husband fought her leukemia.
one of the greatest joys in my life has been to see her living, laughing, becoming a mother to twins, celebrating more years of marriage with her husband.

that season is a moment that i still wish never happened for adriane and travis. but i hope that being their friend in the midst of that dark time shaped me into a better friend, mother, wife. i hope i learned how to love more deeply. i hope i learned to pray more honestly and trust more despite the unknown. i hope that that time shaped me and softened me; i know i've thought of that season many times on our own journey these past couple of years.

today, sitting at the kitchen table, thinking of life-and both the joy and the grief that it contains- i am so grateful that we share these moments with people who can love, carry, be silly and cry with us.

list smackdown

so, my daughter is asleep.

list #1
here is my while-she-is-napping list, in order of priority
(keep in mind she is already halfway through her nap):
1. freelance emails
2. put away dishes
3. wash dirty dishes
4. make bed
5. clean up livingroom
6. clean bathroom
7. design & print my too-late-for-christmas so now a happy-2010 cards
8. take a nap because this baby sucks the life out of me! (and it's only just the beginning)
9. finish filing insurance reimbursements
10. drink tea

list #2
this is what i am going to accomplish:
1. freelance emails (done)
2. blog (doing)
3. drink tea
4. think about how i didn't get any of the other things done

why is it that list #2 always wins the smackdown over list #1?

tell me...

i love this & can't get it out of my mind:
Tell me, what is it you plan to DO

with your ONE wild and precious life?

mary oliver

via bits of beauty