Wednesday, February 28, 2007

s'il vous plait

my rant for the day, so watch out!

i hate feeling stressed out. i especially hate feeling stressed out about things that should be simple. i have not been sleeping well this week, and i am 100% sure that the number one contributer is the fact that jack's party is on saturday, and NO IN HAS HAD THE COURTESY TO RESPOND!!

(ok, like 4 mothers have responded. a few people out there know the rules!!)

but the rest of you? hello? my child invited every kid in his class, plus a few extras, so we could potentially have 20 kids there. but i won't know until saturday, because no one has responded! the difference between treats for 6 and treats for 20 is pretty big, people!

i am going to plan for 20, because i am sadly aware that we, as a whole, have obviously forgotten the art of the r.s.v.p. more than likely, every. single. kid. he invited will be there. (and trust me, i WANT them to be there. i really do!)

What RSVP Means
The term R.S.V.P. comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond".

If R.S.V.P. is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event, and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.

Why It's Inconsiderate to Not RSVP
An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for a host including difficulty in planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things.

The next time you see R.S.V.P. on an invitation you receive, please call your host and respond promptly.

so, mothers, friends, people who have told me all about your feet: PLEASE remember dear miss post and the lessons she taught. trust me, it will ALWAYS be cool to be polite!

wednesday wrap-up

oh, what i have learned about feet! we love them. we hate them. they hurt us. they carry us. they carry our families. we paint them and laugh at the way the polish chips away. we cover them or uncover them throughout the day.

These feet of mine may be rough, calloused, usually barefoot, naked without polish, but on those rare occasions, I love the fact that I have these feet of mine that allow me to feel alive. - allison

I like this idea of "putting our best foot forward." Pushing aside those things that pull us down and doing what we know to make us a better person. Essentially our best foot will always benefit others. - amy m

I used to think that “best foot forward” meant wrapped in Enzo Angiolini, a perfect match to a new suit, rushing, moving, working, inevitably sore at the end of the day. But times change. Now I put my “best foot forward” by sitting their naked selves on the ground next to 20 tiny toes, playing Zoo or Picnic. - amy s

I hope that even as I age, my feet will carry me as if I was still a little girl. - angie

these feet have shown me that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for, that if I set my mind to it, I can accomplish anything. - anne

I had a long talk today with a friend about putting "my best foot forward" in life. Running is helping me to do this. It makes me feel so strong, healthy, and proud of myself, not in an egotisical way, but in a loving myself way. - bridget

When thinking of "putting my best foot forward" I thought of the shoes I wear in the different roles of my life. Each pair like an old friend. Each pair loved for their specific qualities and memories. - carlo

Literally every time I step foot into the gym I get a surge of energy and satisfaction. I'm so proud of myself for going, and feel so much better already (it'll be 3 weeks tomorrow). I feel stronger, proactive, determined, and happy...and like I'm moving forward. - jill

So, when I found these cute shoes that fit my casual lifestyle, and they were instantly comfortable, I was in love! - kelly

How does it put my "best foot forward"? I strive to be the kind of person that deserves the unconditional love of my dog... - missy

Feet!! Who knew one could compose so many thoughts about feet? - tina

this is a small, small sampling of this community putting their best feet forward! please go visit everyone and read about their feet. and if you wind up on a blog you haven't seen before, spend some time and look around!!

my sidebar is getting longer! last night during my walk, i was pondering the whole name situation: i'm sort of focusing on a play on words. something will come to me, i'm sure. i am still seeking your input!! as i was thinking about portrait, pictures, photos, images... it struck me that you are all no longer "self-portrai artistes..." you are IMAGE CONSULTANTS!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

self-portrait tuesday

i actually took more photos of my feet than i did of my portrait last week!! i will spare you and only share one of the pictures!

here's what i think of when i look at this picture:

i am wearing pants that are not black! several years ago, some of my friends kindly pointed out to me that my wardrobe had gotten entirely too dark. i have made efforts to add color back in!

i have not done my nails since we went to disney at the first of the year! i am terrible about keeping my nails done, especially in winter.

i have worn these rings for over 12 years. i bought the first one (on my left foot)at a festival in atlanta. my father bought the others for me in india and africa. i have a funny memory of my dad trying my one ring on his finger so that he would know what size to buy.

i often have a pain in my big toe joint, and i have self-diagnosed myself with gout, despite the fact that i believe gout is a disease mainly experienced by old men of probably middle eastern descent (a demographic which i clearly do not fit).

my feet have carried me approximately 55 miles in excercise since january first.
* edited to say, 110 miles!! i mean 110 miles!!

let me know if you have posted a photo on your blog, and i will get you listed for today's portrait!
i have created an item on my sidebar for all of the self-portrait artistes. if you don't see yourself there, let me know so that i can add you!

Monday, February 26, 2007

soup swap saturday

saturday night was my first (hopefully, annual) soup swap. i stumbled across this idea via not martha. it only took a little more surfing to come up with national soup swap day. i seriously had no idea there was such a thing! how could i have not known? it's totally up my alley.

since the official day had already passed, i said, "oh, well. guess i missed that opportunity." ha HA! that would have been the old me. the new me said, "i'm totally doing this next month."

so i printed up invites, in Word, people! i didn't even get all fancy with my graphic design. i quickly mailed them off to 12 of our friends who enjoy food as much as we do. (i shamelessly lifted most of the wording straight from the soup swap site.) the gist? each person (or couple) makes a big batch of their fave soup, divided into 6 one quart containers. then you swap. and you go home with 6 different soups.

this was an incredibly easy gathering for me to put together. we opted to do coffee and desserts, rather than wine and cheese. i suppose you could also offer nothing, and stick to the swap itself. but i find there is so much fellowship in sharing food, and i wouldn't feel like a proper hostess if i didn't put out a little something, a little amuse-bouche (like that, dontcha?)

brownies and turtles. couldn't have been easier. oh, and apples with dip for the non-chocolate people. (there weren't any.) but they loved the dip! and the apples! and my sister brought swiss cheese fondue. because she had a lot of swiss cheese. so, bread and cheese and chocolate, and, oh right, we're here to talk about soup.

lovely airpots from our catering days. pretty utilitarian, but we use them all. the. time. look how i was able to identify the coffee using amanda's snazzy magnets! (by the way, see the little soup logo? word clip art. and i used it everywhere...)

guests started arriving, and the soup started piling up. i made table tents so that each soup would be labeled during the swap. we had 9 positive RSVPs, but in the end, one couple had to back out. (i think it's fun to have more than 6 soups, that way, there is more sport to the swapping.)

the soups in attendance were:
italian sub stoup
french onion
chicken minestrone
italian wedding soup
tortellini soup
garlic basil tortellini soup
chicken tortilla
dried red bean soup

here we are, starting to gather for the "telling of the soup." there were some cute stories behind the soups, and even if people thought it was bit corny to go around the room and talk about soup, it definitely helps to know what the soups are. plus, this group was definitely not above 'trash talking' each other.

we then drew numbers for the order of the swap. the party moved into the kitchen for the actual swapping. we gave a door prize to the maker of the 'first soup picked' (an apron with our soup logo on it) and the 'last soup picked' (three wooden spoons). [i think next time we will also give a prize for the first soup gone.]

i had gotten some paper grocery bags with handles for people to carry their soups home. i didn't even think that some people would bring their soups in coolers, so they automatically had something to carry their soup in. just a little tidbit for you.

at the end of the evening, all that was left was this:

oh, and this:

wrap up -
do this. it was an awesome evening. we are already planning on a 'pasta sauce' swap for the spring.

don't forget to ask people to bring copies of the recipes to share. i sort of forgot to put that on our invite.

keep your host/hostess duties light so that you can really relax and enjoy the swap.

be corny. corny is fun.

i think next year i will ask each participant to also bring some canned soup so that we can make a donation to the food pantry as well.

over-invite. i think the more soups to swap, the more interesting it will be. ask for RSVPs, and then track everybody down for another RSVP. don't get me started. RSVPs are an entirely different blog entry for me...

Friday, February 23, 2007

self-portrait challenge

here is the challenge for next tuesday! i'm proposing something a little different, in the hopes that some of us who are tentative about posting our faces/figures/whatnot, will be able to ease into our new fun!!

tuesdays challenge is: put your best foot forward

our feet carry us along in this world. we ran and jumped and played with our feet when we were growing up. our feet carried us off to school, off to new homes, new communities. our feet move us as we pace the floor.

have you looked at your feet lately? are they in your favorite heels? are you barefoot? are you wearing exercise shoes? what's on your feet this weekend? what do your feet say about you? do they make you laugh? are you self-conscious about them? in need of a pedicure?

take a few minutes and check out your feet this weekend!! post your photos on tuesday!!

i am also trying out a few different names for our self-portrait tuesdays. i am aware that there is already a self-portrait tuesday movement out there. it is very important to me that i don't just grab someone else's ideas without giving proper credit, etc. so, anyone have a name for our tuesday challenges?? send me an email!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

wednesday wrap up

how exciting! here is a list of bloggers who took the challenge and posted a self-portrait (if you're not on the list, and would like to be included, please email me!):


i think we will continue! i will post a theme for next tuesday's self-portrait on FRIDAY.

good mail, good things

what fun to come home from work and find a mailbox full of good things! it totally made up for the postal holiday on monday!

a very sweet note from carlo wishing me well with the upcoming soup swap (more details to follow!) an extra special surprise was the recipe for a great pot roast on the back of the card! girls, you can send me recipes any time!

and from kelly, what in the world?!? training clips for jack's chopsticks!! i have never seen such a thing. he ate his pancakes with sticks last night.

i was so surprised and thrilled to get a package of amanda's super cute magnets! matty was fascinated, and you should have seen me chasing him around the kitchen saying, "give me my good mail back!" thank you, girls!

after my long recap of sundays adventures with jack, i failed to tell about my fabulous new find! driving home from church, we passed a collection of 'things' on the side of the road. i was immediately taken with a wooden chair. i just had to have it! i have been picturing a similar chair to place next to my roll top desk.

only, i didn't have the guts to take it! i mean, there it was, supposedly for the taking, right? but matty usually gets that stuff for me. does this sound silly or what? i knew it would be gone by the time matty got off the afternoon ferry, so it was up to me!

i'm sooo glad i went back, because it looks perfect, don't you think?!?

do you ever pick up thing that are left on the side of the road??

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

self-portrait tuesday


i originally thought i would take a picture of myself doing something else. but, here it is:

i'm at work in this picture. i actually love work. (see those spreadsheets on the desk behind me? i don't actually love those...)

i love this color blue, and i love scarves. i love my dark hair (can't really see the gray here). and i love my hazel eyes.

i love lipstick, but not much other make-up. i love the silver hoop earrings that my cousin passed on to me 10+ years ago.

there you have it!

Monday, February 19, 2007

creative sunday

started off the weekend with a gift sent by a family friend in atlanta. my mom & lutricia were high school science teachers together. she sent a box of these greeting cards to each one of my mom's four daughters (my three sisters & i, in other words.)

it wasn't until i got into the box that i realized what a bounty this is!! every single card is a 3 dimensional collage of goodness. oh, i am itching to send some good mail (it's a good thing there's no mail today, because i would have put card-writing on my already long list of sunday to-dos!)

we threw together some of these treats for the sunday school gathering after church. i must have gotten this idea from someone's blog, because i surely wouldn't have thought of it myself!! thank you to "you" for blogging this awesome idea. they are always such a big hit (for almost no effort...)

i had planned to do a valentine color scheme, but did i miss out on the valentine m & ms this year, or what?!? so, on to plan B (thanks carlo, for challenging me to think up plan Bs!). i went with a mardi gras color scheme. i wish there had been purple m & ms, but i settled for blue. if we ever vote again for new m & m colors, i vote purple!

we had a tee shirt hanging around the hotel (leftover from a training class we held recently.) i coupled that with a pillow from the lost and found, and voila...

now we have this cute little pillow in the office to remind the team about their training. somebody stop me! i'm being creative at work!

sunday was long. i am really enjoying going to church, but i am not used to the schedule at all. unfortunately, matty works on sundays, so jack and i are on our own. before we even left the house, jack and i were at it. this morning, it was over a red sweatshirt. jack said he would be 'embarrassed' to wear it. wha?!? WHY is my 6 y.o. son so weird about clothes?? this is not the first time we have butted heads over clothes/shoes, etc.

anyway, i was soooo stressed out - throwing clothes all over his bedroom and rattling on and on about why i won't let him go out in clothes that are too small, or why he can't wear a hockey jersey to church, and on and on and soforth. ugh! i totally lost it. the whole drive to church, we were basically sitting in our respective corners of the car miserable. i just freak out sometimes, at the tiniest provocation!! and poor kid, when he's the only other person around, he really gets the brunt of it...

this week, the service was about 40 minutes longer than usual, with the kid's puppet show and a special annointing they offered. since the kids had already had 45 minutes of sunday school before church, it was little much for them. they just wanted to go to their party afterwards, anyway!! jack got very squirmy, and we had another round of "WHY does my child insist that the floor is an O.K. place to be?!?" seriously, church, grocery store, theatre, you name it. this kid spends more time on more floors than i will ever be comfortable with!!

as we were driving home (finally), jack was commenting about the amount of trash along the sides of the roads. he said, "this town is built with litter. this town should be built with love." out of the mouths of babes, my friends...

the afternoon mellowed out, thank goodness! my sister & brother-in-law took jack to the playground with their son so that i could get my walk in. (on my walk, i saw two otters playing in one of our lakes! i wish i had had my camera with me, because i wanted to show jack that there really is love in this town).

as i was getting back from my walk, matty was just getting home from work. he had to change his clothes and head back out the door for play practice. he didn't get home until 7 pm. he was literally gone from sun-up to sun-down. while he was at play practice, jack and i made a yummy white chicken chili, and got all of the laundry folded AND put away! THAT is a success in my book!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

a picture is worth...

kellya put some cute pics of herself on her own blog. i know!! what a strange concept!!

so, i was looking for a picture of myself to put on my blog, and was startled to realize i don't have any. (ok, not startled really, because a) i take all of the pictures 'round here; b) i'm not fond of any pictures of me taken in the past, oh, 10 years or so, and c) i promptly delete all of the pictures taken of me!)

i know some of you are in the same boat. or, maybe some of you are putting up 'older' photos because you suffer from any of the three problems listed above.

how about a challenge? are you up for it?? let's have a self-portrait tuesday!! the rules are very simple:

1) over the next 72 hours, take a picture of yourself doing something you love (or have someone else take your picture)
2) post it on your blog on tuesday, 2/20 (fat tuesday... no pun intended!!)
2) label it self-portrait tuesday

easy enough, right? i can't wait to see you!

'rear view' november 2005

Friday, February 16, 2007

good mail

fun things in the mailbox this week.

thoughtful notes from carlo & kristi. love all the hearts.

a very sweet valentine card for jack that doubles as a memory game. we actually enjoyed playing this - he seems to *finally* be outgrowing the "i have to win" phase.

wool felt heart from kristi. i like!

an early birthday gift for jack from his great grandmama in oregon. this is a cute film, and a nice addition to his collection. (jack and matty can watch a movie endlessly. it amazes me.)

an inconvenient truth

so, i've got to get this out of my draft folder...

OK, so i recently watched al gore's global warming movie, and i was honestly shocked by a lot of it:

1) he's been fighting this war since he was in college. this is definitely NOT some bandwagon that he has jumped on
2) i am appalled at how quickly they project some of these warming changes could happen - major environmental changes within 10 years!! irrevocable environmental changes in our children's lifetimes!
3) 'washington' has played some part in trying to downplay this issue for a long time
4) i am not doing ANYTHING positive right now to change the impact MY family will have on the environment and global warming

the movie itself was a little dry (well, let's face it, al gore can be a little dry). but, as it was meant to do, it really got me thinking: thinking outside of my bubble world; thinking about 12 feet of snow falling in NY, where i used to go to school; thinking about having to drive to a recycling place because we don't have curbside pickup where i live; thinking about whether or not we should be replacing lightbulbs; thinking about becoming a single car family again...

but mostly? mostly, i'm thinking about the fact that i used to do something about [x], not just think about [x]. i was a do-er!! i was passionate about important things. i was all about rallies and bumper stickers and amnesty international concerts and red/pink/yellow ribbons. i could change the world!!

and now i am a wife, a mother, an employee, an employer, someone who finds time to read about important things... and yet, someone who has no time to do something about important things? can that be true? i'm too busy, and that is why i run my air conditioner and throw batteries in the household trash and buy groceries with thoughtless packaging?

january was the hottest month on record. what can we expect for june? when my son graduates from high school a dozen years from now, will it be too hot to sit in rows of scorching metal folding chairs on the browning and arid turf of the high school football field? will it really get that bad?

sadly, part of me just doesn't want to know. i want to stay in my bubble world. because it is somehow easier in here. it is, to be truthful, more convenient.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


inspired by crystalyn, i have been thinking about the reasons why i love my love.

1) i love that you didn't give up stalking me
2) i love that you have a tender heart
3) i love that you care about animals, a love that we definitely do not share
4) i love that you never miss the ferry to work
5) i love that you love cooking
6) i love that you can skate circles around me
7) i love that you take care of the bugs
8) i love that you give great backrubs
9) i love that you sometimes crank call me with foreign accents
10) i love that you can recite 'romeo & juliet' AND that you listen to obnoxious metal music
11) i love that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty
12) i love that you love my family
13) i love that you know when i need quiet
14) i love that we are here today

The Everything

Perfect love is to feeling what perfect white is to color.

Many think that white is the absence of color.
It is not. It is the inclusion of all color...

So, too, love is not the absence of an emotion
(hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, covetousness),
but the summation of all feeling.

It is the sum total.

The everything.

(a quote for today from one of my seventeen "books of quotes." this one happens to be from neale donald walsch, of 'conversations with God,' fame. i haven't read it. thoughts??)

last minute love

do you need last minute valentines for teachers, letter carriers, neighbors, etc.? i know sharing home-made edible gifts can be tricky in this day and age, but if you need a quick and easy idea: rice krispie treats with strawberry marshmallows!

i've just started noticing these on the shelf at my grocery. they may have been around for awhile, and i've overlooked them (since marshmallows do not normally end up on my shopping list!) they have a subtle strawberry flavor, and add just the right touch of pink.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Taim i' ngra leat

Here is a *small* sampling of "I Love You" in many languages. Maybe you can choose one to share with your lovies tomorrow morning!!

Arabic - Ana behibak (to male)
Arabic - Ana behibek (to female)
Armenian - Yes kez sirumen
Bulgarian - Obicham te
Cantonese/Chinese Ngo oiy ney a
Cheyenne - Ne mohotatse
Creol - Mi aime jou
Croatian - Volim te
Czech - Miluji te
Danish - Jeg Elsker Dig
Dutch - Ik hou van jou
English - I love you
Esperanto - Mi amas vin
Farsi - Doset daram
Filipino - Mahal kita
Finnish - Mina rakastan sinua
French - Je t'aime, Je t'adore
Gaelic - Ta gra agam ort
Georgian - Mikvarhar
German - Ich liebe dich
Greek - S'agapo
Hawaiian - Aloha wau ia oi
Hebrew - Ani ohev otah (to female)
Hebrew - Ani ohev et otha (to male)
Hindi - Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hai
Hopi - Nu' umi unangwa'ta
Hungarian - Szeretlek
Icelandic - Eg elska tig
Indonesian - Saya cinta padamu
Inuit - Negligevapse
Irish - Taim i' ngra leat
Italian - Ti amo
Japanese - Aishiteru
Korean - Sarang Heyo
Latin - Te amo
Latvian - Es tevi miilu
Lebanese - Bahibak
Lithuanian - Tave myliu
Mandarin Chinese - Wo ai ni
Moroccan - Ana moajaba bik
Navaho - Ayor anosh'ni
Nepali - Ma Timilai Maya Garchhu
Norwegian - Jeg Elsker Deg
Persian - Doo-set daaram
Pig Latin - Iay ovlay ouyay
Polish - Kocham Cie
Portuguese - Eu te amo
Romanian - Te ubesc
Roman Numerals - 333
Russian - Ya tebya liubliu
Scot Gaelic - Tha gra\dh agam ort
Serbian - Volim te
Sign Language - ,\,,/ (represents position of fingers when signing 'I Love You'
Sioux - Techihhila
Slovak - Lu`bim ta
Slovenian - Ljubim te
Spanish - Te quiero / Te amo
Swahili - Ninapenda wewe
Swedish - Jag alskar dig
Swiss-German - Ich lieb Di
Taiwanese - Wa ga ei li
Tahitian - Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
Tamil - Naan unnai kathalikiraen
Thai - Chan rak khun (to male)
Thai - Phom rak khun (to female)
Turkish - Seni Seviyorum
Ukrainian - Ya tebe kahayu
Vietnamese - Anh ye^u em (to female)
Vietnamese - Em ye^u anh (to male)
Welsh - 'Rwy'n dy garu
Yiddish - Ikh hob dikh
Yoruba - Mo ni fe
Zimbabwe - Ndinokuda

Monday, February 12, 2007

random thoughts

jack has declared sunday evenings should feature "that dinner with sticks." he's not very good with "the sticks," but i have managed to make the job easier by wedging a lincoln log between the sticks with a rubber band.

personally, i think i will now eat all my dinners with sticks, because it makes me sloooow dooowwnn. i have this problem with eating incredibly fast!!

i have declared sunday evenings should feature "brothers and sisters" on abc @ 10 pm, because i simply can NOT get enough of rob lowe!!

creative sunday & good mail & sting

ugh, yesterday was a loooong day. jack and i made it to church for the second week in a row (the youth are doing a puppet show next sunday, so i feel the responsibility of getting him there to participate. he is playing "mr. phil theo rich" "filthy rich," get it?!?)

afterwards, he put on the hard core press for some playground time. i was really not into it, as i have been battling insomnia for a few nights. but after he pulled down a cooler, and asked for a picnic lunch, how could i refuse?? we ended up spending about 2 hours at the playground, and i thanked him for the great suggestion.

of course, after that, i was down for the count. i really needed a nap, so he invited one of the neighbors over and i let them play xbox - lego star wars for a while. they were inside/outside for the rest of the afternoon, and i dozed in and out. i have to get used to this new sunday schedule, because the end of the day is here before i know it!

i did manage to finish jack's birthday party invitations.

here they are, all lined up and ready to be delivered. thanks to my sister, jen, for the idea to have it at the new playground. i also got some inspiration from martha stewart, kristi & annie kate, and stacy, and all i can tell you is that jack's party is gonna ROCK!!

i got some good mail last week.

a cute card from carlo with one of her darling crayon hearts, and a thank you from kristi. now i'm getting spoiled, and it was so disappointing that our our mailbox was TOTALLY empty on saturday!! not even a bill or a netflix...

o.k., who saw the police reunion last night on the grammys??


so here are six unusual things about me (thank you, carolynn, for forcing my hand on this one...)

1. i have an irrational fear of popping balloons, and an indelible memory of a friend's brother squeaking his fingers across a balloon right near my ear. it is almost impossible for me to blow up balloons.

2. when i was younger, i wanted to go to the "Fame" high school. (my best friend actually did end up going to the "Fame" high school.) i envisioned her and her friends singing and dancing through the hallways every day. she has told me that it wasn't quite like that.

3. i failed my driver's license exam the first time by screwing up the parallel parking. i have become an excellent parallel parker since then, and can even park on the left side of one way streets.

4. i have a hard time unloading the dishwasher, because i don't like the feeling of sqeaky clean glasses (could be related to the balloon phobia?)

5. i cannot sleep with socks on, and i have to wear pj bottoms and a t-shirt (no nightgowns!)

6. i met richard simmons once, and thought i was being helpful by giving him some marketing and PR advice (who needs "people" when i will give you advice for free?!?)

to find out all sorts of other unusual things about me, here is my list of 100 things. go there now!

ok, amy, you're it!!
(and jen, if i find out where you are blogging, watch out!!)

Friday, February 09, 2007

what moves me this week

i mean, what literally MOVES me. this week i'm walking to*:

Hangingaround - Counting Crows
Rock the Casbah - the Clash
Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5
Lonely no More - Rob Thomas
Here it Goes Again - OK Go
Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
Beautiful Day - U2
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Fidelity - Regina Spektor

warm up/cool down
Any Lucky Penny - Nikki Hassman
100 Years - Five for Fighting
Go Be Young - Edwin McCain
You are my Joy - Reindeer Section

26 days walking since the first of the year, and 15 pounds gone!!

* thanks KellyA for prompting me to post some tunes!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ordinary Miracles

i keep catching this Sarah McLachlan tune (i think it's from the new Charlotte's Web). i'm a huge sarah fan, so i was drawn to this beautiful song from the beginning. i love this quote from the lyrics:

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

i try to visualize my day when i wake up. all too often, it's a blur of getting up and out, getting to school, getting to work, putting out fires, thinking about dinner, walking, overseeing homework, bedtime reading, and possibly some quiet, creative time.

however, as i go throughout the day, i often stumble across ordinary miracles:
the way the sun streams into my kitchen windows while i'm packing lunches
the way jack's giggles when he's pretending not to wake up
the special time we have together on the drive to school
the way my staff constantly pulls together as a family
the way a crock pot dinner smells at the end of a long day
the azaleas on my walking route that are trying to bloom in february
the way jack is learning to read
the hour i find at the end of the day to watch some TV, or write a letter or design an invitation

i want to know what your ordinary miracles are!! will you share?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

good mail

i was very excited to finish up my walk yesterday at the mailbox. inside was a very nice note from jill along with some really cute "good mail" labels. i love the colors, jill! they are the exact colors i used on some notecards earlier this year.

***Edited to add***
my good friend, karen, just stopped by with some awesome walking mixes that she made for me!!

i cannot walk without music!!

i was rereading some old journals last night, and came across a page from 1984, that literally began, "these days i live for getting mail..." the circle really is unbroken, isn't it??

***Edited AGAIN to add***
Good Soup! matty just called to tell me about his lunch. i assumed he took leftovers from last night. he did. however, he and his crew (they are the public works department on bald head island) were surprised with soup from one of the women who lives on the island. she thought it was too cold for them to be working outside, so she made them soup!!

can you guess which one is matty??

Monday, February 05, 2007

creative sunday

jack and i went off to Sunday School and church to start the day. we've been talking about getting into this routine. it can be so challenging, since matty is up and off to work by 5:15, and we have gotten in the habit of lounging around in our p.js. on sunday mornings.

so, off we went, and i really enjoyed myself. our church is medium-sized, with a definite trend toward the retired senior citizens. i've let that be an easy reason for me to stay away.

when we got home, i worked on these fun pillowcases. i wasn't sure how matty and jack would feel about so many hearts on their beds, but they actually helped pick out the fabric!

while i sewed, jack serenaded me with a concert featuring every. single. instrument. we own. for the record, those are:

the piano
the alto saxophone
the clarinet
the guitar
the largest assortment of percussion

i love his openness to learning an instrument (goodness knows, i have spent a large part of my life seated at a piano or marching in a band). but, he hasn't actually had any lessons on any of these instruments. i resisted the urge to run for the earplugs!!

he also helped me get together some good mail. when matty got home, we headed to the park for an hour. that was about all we could take in the chill!! i think we were all asleep before 9:00. (what superbowl?!?)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

i link because i love you

i don't usually post over the weekends, but i have found myself with a few moments to spare. thought i would share a few links that i've stumbled across this week. check them out!

loobylu (at kiddley) links the this post about VERY cute valentine's day cookie holders (you might have to scroll down a bit to find the right project. it's worth it- there's plenty of cute stuff on this site!)

not martha links to megnut for this recipe for easy easy boneless buffalo wings (isn't there a football game this weekend?!?) these would be perfect.

i love gifts that include the little bag or box as part of the design. this bag of charms is absolutely adorable, and i can see adapting this idea for a crafty gift.

finally, did you know about the change to Daylight Savings Time this year?? you can read about it here at The Washington Post. that would have totally caught me off guard this year.

and just to get you in the mood, check out this flickr collection of heart photos

have a great weekend!

Friday, February 02, 2007

valentines revealed

so, now that my valentines have been delivered, i wanted to share my project.

a little history: a few years ago, when matty and i were really having a low period, some friends of ours lent us a set of 'conversation cards.' matty and i have used those cards over and over again - sometimes just one at a time, or sometimes for hours on end. i believe these cards got us talking at times when we really felt there was nothing to talk about.

(the friends that lent us the cards are involved in a movement of marriage enrichment. i don't know if these cards were created by the movement, or were just supplemental. in any event, i'm not sure where to give the credit for the questions themselves. my intent is simply to share something that we have found to be extremely helpful.)

anyway, we've held on to these cards for about three years, and i was beginning to feel a little guilty every time i walked by the box on my desk. wouldn't our friends eventually want their cards back?

for that matter, wouldn't ALL of our friends want a set of these cards??

i tweaked the design a bit (the 'original' set consisted of business card size cards in a darling rubbermaid box with a lid. to gave it a little artistic flair, i personalized each set with an initial charm, and hooked the questions together with a notebook ring. the finished product can easily be hung on a key rack, a drawer pull, a cup hook, or it can be tucked away in a nightstand drawer, a purse, etc.

the cover, showing charms and notebook ring.

a sample of the questions: when you tell me that you are proud of me, i feel...

here they are, ready to be mailed!


isn't it funny how we all crave validation in some way? we put our blogs out there for so many different reasons: some journaling, some history telling, some history making, some sharing, some questioning, some searching...

in my early days of writing this blog (oh, so looong ago {tee hee}) i wrote this post, sort of addressing my fear that no one would respond to my blog. you know, "what if i threw a party and nobody came?"

i blog because i really enjoy journaling. i have kept a written journal almost continuously since junior high school. even in my "personal" journal, i find that i write as if someone, someday, may read it.

so over the past few months, i've really begun to settle into this blog. i've also begun to comment so much more on other blogs.


how amazing that just a few short sentences in response to someone's post can create hundreds of connections! how fascinating!

in an email with jill we were talking about how important comments feel. that we like to think we'd blog even if there were no comments. but, man, it's soooo awesome to get comments. to feel validated? "you like me. you really like me."

this week has garnered a lot of new activity on my blog (if the statistics are true), and it has me feeling welcome.

welcome to amuse-bouche. i hope we'll be friends for a long time.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


i would love to know who took the time to put little football stitches on all of the avacados in my grocery store?!?

i wish i had thought to take a photo of the whole display. it was really something.

hearts for the month of love

i actually put up valentine's decorations on january 14th, so that we can enjoy a full month of hearts.

it's a little blurry, but this is the view i can enjoy from my sofa as i'm watching t.v. or crafting or playing mousetrap with my boys.

close up of one of the crayon hearts we made a few years ago. this picture was taken at night, so you unfortunately don't get the beautiful sun streaming through. i have these hearts hanging in many of my windows.

jack really knows how to spread the love!

do you do anything special to celebrate valentine's day before february 14th??