Tuesday, December 30, 2008

somebody is moving away in seven sleeps.

far, far away. 

she and i have been neighbors (of sorts) since 1999.  we lived in married housing in the same complex at university, where we each had our first child and our husbands entered the same major.  everyone wondered why there was a sign that said "rabbit" next to their front door. 

(there is no reason)

i was always comforted to look from my 3rd floor apartment into the windows of their first floor apartment and see the midnight oil burning there, too. (those animators and their hours) 

i always wondered, watching her inch her way from the car to the apartment after a brutal day of dialysis, if she'd be offended if I just carried her the rest of the way home. 

the week before we moved to L.A, we got to visit them in the hospital. she was finally well again! the only better going-away present than seeing that, was knowing that she'd be joining me in the big city before the end of the year.
our kids are just over a year apart. they say they're getting married. they talk about how her last name will change, and how it sounds pretty good that way. they fall asleep curled up in each other's arms, watching tv or playing games.   (we wonder if it's not actually a good thing they're being separated before they get a bit old for this sort of thing)

mostly, this is how we feel about the whole business:

my sweet youngest said, "i don't have a lot of money right now, but i'll save my allowance, and we'll come visit you."  

well we always did like the pacific northwest....

we'll miss you guys. 
a couple of our gifts this year were home made. Craig bought a bunch of plain sketchbooks for his coworkers, and then embellished them with fun pictures and scrap papers (and stamps, ribbons, and brads from my stash). we had a lot of fun putting them together.

about a year or so ago, craig drew a picture of fletch's handprint inside of connor's inside of his own, and I kept it, and I finally did something with it for Craig. This one is embroidered and sewn onto another sketchbook, but I did another one, without filling in any of the shapes, on the back of a hoodie for him. He loved it. 
this week we're making a new budget (house, someday, please?) and organizing, and making resolutions. 

i LOVE making resolutions. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

probably everyone's highlight from christmas day was the nerf-gun war we all had. Fletcher got a fully automatic "machine gun" from santa this year and had loads of fun popping everyone with that beauty:

there were a couple of interesting hits:

and the big kids hunkered down in the fort and massacred anyone who came near. 
we played 4 rounds I think, timed so that there were breaks for reloading and stealing everyone else's ammunition.  after we declared the war to be over though, the guys continued on for a good 15 minutes or so...  :) 
awwww. I like this guy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'll have to post photos all weekend - Nanette took some great ones for Christmas - but these particular ones just show off the theme in presents this year. :) 

Hannah got me this:

yes - it's a giant puffy sheep. fletcher can hardly even get his arms around it. 

and I made this for Nanette:

I made a basic design and then craig made it cute for me. the sheep looks properly forlorn, I think. 

We had Christmas with friends this year- since none of us were going home (it's so much better to visit our family in the summer) and we managed to have a great time. Craig wanted to do the tradition of sending everyone on scavenger hunts for gifts (my dad started that one when I was young) and I thought it'd  be fun if everyone's gift was a Nerf gun. 

Oh yeah. Pictures of that awesomeness later. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Candied Citrus Peels
because all the cool girls are doing it.

these are a little time consuming, and I haven't decided if they are awesome or not (3 out of 3 taste testers said, "yes and no" - I suppose I should ask a grown-up...)
but they sure are pretty! and hopefully they'll be dried enough to take a package of them to connor's fencing teacher for a Christmas treat later today. 
I started these at around 9:30 this morning and it's now 2 pm - so it's a longish process but a lot of it is away-from-oven stuff (they boil for an hour, for example) once you get past the peeling of the fruit and scraping all the pith off. 
that was a drag. 

had no idea what to do with two grapefruits and 4 lemons that I had bought just for the skins - but the kids had no problem coming up with something. Winter lemonade!  it went perfectly with lunch. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This week we'll be doing our last minute shopping and baking, listening to Christmas Carols and, hopefully, getting better from the sick.  Hope you all have a fantastic holiday and I look forward to catching up in a week or so!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am so glad for the weekend to be here! Both boys got sick the last couple days of school and refused to stay home because they would miss the Christmas parties. Now all 4 of us are mega sick (poor Craig still has to work today) and I'm just crossing my fingers that we'll be human again for Christmas itself. 

Made these cookies the other day (recipe from Pioneer Woman, link is on my sidebar) and they were relatively easy to make (more complicated than choc. chip, easier than sugar cookies) and the kids had a lot of fun dunking 'em in white chocolate and rolling 'em in peppermint.  They look really cute too.  I suggest you try them out. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Erin over at A Dress A Day has posted a ginormic list of Christmas shopping ideas.  Usually her readers are like ravening wolves and snatch up her awesomeness before I manage to even check her blog in the morning. 

Today I saw this:

and I thought I had died and met my fairy godmother. LOOK AT IT!!  The collar, the neckline, the back pleat! I can't stop staring at it; I can hardly type.   And then I thought, "Well, there's no way this pattern will still be available" but because I am a masochist I decided to click on the link anyway and see how much some lucky soul paid for it. 

Well she paid $12.  And she was ME!  

I recognize that there is no way I'll be able to wear this before next summer; and I realize that I have not had a 28 inch waist since.... 2003, BUT there is nothing like the proper motivation. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I took a couple of photos of the fort, and then was informed that they did not properly display the awesomeness of the boys' labors. So Craig grabbed the camera from me and took some photos while I blogged: 
(excuse the mess)

this one window can be opened and shut at will. optimal for shooting one's enemies. 
I am also supposed to inform you that the fort is not completed yet. There are several foam board pieces they are trying to figure out how to use (thank you, refrigerator packing) and apparently it is also going to be painted.  Camouflage
and there you have it.

whenever I move it into a corner out of the way I get scolded by my 4 year old, who then drags it back into the center of the living room.   *sigh*

Monday, December 15, 2008

it is pouring down rain today. and was all last night. 
we got to school this morning and there was no power. 
no lights. no heat.
they were still having school. 
I sat in my car and glared at the buildings until I saw lights popping on in the classrooms about 1o minutes after the bell.  Glaring can
 work mighty miracles.

snatched this photo from Firefly Forest. Cause it's gawgeous. 

Saturday morning we went for a walk in the drizzle after breakfast and on the way back in Craig spotted a refrigerator box tucked in by the dumpsters.  It is now a giant fort in the center of the living room.  I have been informed it will be here until at least Christmas. The boys love it. 

Craig: "isn't this awesome?! Am I not the best Dad ever?"

Me: "it's very nice dear." 

Craig: "what? very nice? It's AMAZING! You're just mad because you won't fit through the entrance." 

note: this was not a dig on how rapidly my belly is increasing; he made the entrance just big enough for the boys to crawl into through their play-tunnel. Craig claims that he can fit through the tunnel... 
but every time he gets inside it takes him at least 10 minutes to get out again,  (I like to have proof - been saving this photo for months) by which time he has been peppered by rapid fire nerf ammunition from two sides and is declared "dead" before he could ever make it to the safety of the awesome fort. 

i'm just saying. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

more Christmasy

On Thursday night we went to our friends' house and made graham cracker christmas houses. Fletch focused on making a small house, super fast. He was intent on getting done quick so he could just walk around the table and eat the goods. (there was a lot of candy!)

Con turned his into kind of a treasure chest. And filled the inside completely with candy. Why decorate the outside? It's what's inside that counts...
I made a trailer. It fell completely apart about 2 minutes after this photo was taken. 
There must have been a tornado.

And Craig made this:

Oh sorry! I mean, THIS:

Complete with an angel Moroni statue on top. 


it's finally (almost...) done!

remember this post? more than a year ago? yeah. 

I finally finished sewing the last 6 blocks onto the top yesterday, and I fully plan to back and bind it today. I'm going to skip on the batting I think - mostly because I don't have any handy and I want to get this finished for heaven's sake!

it's a bummer that my fabrics don't all match but since I managed to make this almost entirely from my stash (I think I bought a grand total of 3 fat quarters) I'm pretty okay with it.  It is happily under our tree now, until I drag it back out and pin the finishing touches on. 


Thursday, December 11, 2008

some christmasy stuff.

every year we go to see the temple lights with our friends.
it always ends up being a super-cold night. 
and the kids are always too loud and rowdy. 
and then we always go to Baskin Robbins afterward. because we're not cold enough.
the kids love it, and it's become a fun tradition. it's interesting to see how palm trees and cacti can be made to look Christmasy.  we helped put up the lights a few years ago - that was really fun. Connor's job was to plug strands into an outlet and put them in a "good" or "no good" pile. He felt very important :) 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

now that I am so old (having 30 staring me in the face is more disconcerting than I would have imagined) I find myself thinking about how I look (not unusual, I confess) and how I'm aging and what style (not too young, not matronly) I want to adopt to save my closet from being the eclectic mess that it has been for so long. 

part of me likes that I have so many different things in my closet. I could dress for hiking, or church, or the park, or a flower child gathering without much thought.  my favorite fall-back in high school and college was a white top and pinstripes - which have definitely gone by the wayside since I had kids - and I do miss that. 

what am I getting at?  the other day I suddenly wondered why my likes and staples seemed to have undergone such a change in recent years. I thought perhaps being in the city had "corrupted" me - made me more style-conscious and designer-conscious and vain about wearing clothes that were in style.  But then I looked over my search engine and realized it's not me it's my location.  For example: 

a white blouse. I love white blouses. Love. Them. And this one is gorgeous. (From Forever 21) And I would have gazed wistfully at it ten years ago and then purchased something that was still white, but less easily stained and more easily washed.  I lived in the mountains, for heaven's sake.  I could wear this now - to girls' night and on a date - (okay, I would wear it pretty much anywhere; I don't need an occasion to dress up. that's just how I am) and I wouldn't worry so much about it getting dirty or having to ship it 45 miles away to the cleaners. Because there is a cleaner on every corner here. 

and these:
yeah. I love 'em. Victorian, black, high boots.  Yum.  I would NEVER EVER have purchased these when I lived in Weaverville and Redding.  They would get wet! Muddy! I would be laughed off the street.  Now?  I'm itching to buy them even as I type. (thanks, Zappos.com)

I've always liked plaid and this would probably have been okay for say, church back home - although now, in near winter, it would have to be worn with boots which for this much eye candy might be a bit of overkill. (note, these "city clothes" I did not put here to be an outfit. I'm not that flamboyant. They're just things I've liked recently)  Here in LA there isn't really a time when I simply could not wear this skirt and be warm enough. (skirt's also Forever 21)

Which is why back home my wardrobe more closely matched the simpler cuts and blander colors that come with corduroy and wool and cold, cold weather and wet mud and snow:
super cute skirt. I love it. I could still wear it here. But I'd rather wear the plaid one. :) forgot where I found the picture. I think on amazon...

boots that can get dirty, and have a low low heel for walking in dirt/mud/snow. (zappos again) Jeans can be tucked in and skirted legs can be kept warm. Much more practical than the ones above.

I had tons of sweaters just like this one (victoria's secret). I love cowl necks. I can wear them here for about 3 months out of the year. They are just too hot! But back home, I'd be wearing this, with a long sleeved shirt underneath, and a coat over the top!

I guess this whole super-long post was just to reassure myself that the city hasn't changed me so much as I've simply got more options here.   It's nice to have options - to be able to purchase things from the summer-sale rack in December and know that I could probably wear them next week. Not that I would wear summer clothes in WINTER.  How tacky. 

(kidding! I'm kidding.)

Of course, this little trip down City vs. Country Lane hasn't much helped me decide what style I'd like to adopt with some permanence.  Maybe my closet is destined to remain as scattered as my thoughts and habits and hobbies.  


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Thursday, December 04, 2008

so proud of myself. 

a friend of mine bemoaned the fact that her baby daughter did not have a cute stocking this year and I said, "I can make you one" before I really thought about it - 

anyway she came over yesterday just to look at the christmas fabrics I had available and she liked these and then I had this great fur from Craig's halloween costume.... 

voila!  I love it.  And it came together fast - so she got to go home with it yesterday!  It was nice to feel so productive. 

Monday, December 01, 2008

good morning! it's cyber Monday - an idea I pretty much scoffed at all weekend, until I started shopping online this morning - and I've pretty much finished all of my Christmas shopping here at the kitchen table in my pajamas! 

it's a good day. 

Thanksgiving weekend was blissful. We got to have daddy home for 4 whole days, spent a day and two nights with friends, completely re-organized the boys' room, put up our Christmas tree, and played board/card games with the kids.  mmmm.  The downside is that both boys have come down with nasty coughs; though they seem to be happy to miss more days of school as they sit in their jammies and play Viva Pinata and eat cinnamon rolls.... 

We haven't had a live tree in awhile, and also this is the first time ever I've had a Douglas Fir tree. It's very bushy! very, very bushy.  But it has the appropriate smell, so it's all good. 

this is one of the felt pockets made by my friend, Catherine, for her advent calendar. I was feeling like a huge loser about not starting mine yet (seeing as how it's Dec 1, today), but I'm so glad I waited because some of her designs are just beautiful and I'm eager to copy them. 

as soon as I get some laundry done, so I can get dressed...