Thursday, June 28, 2007

spt challenge - yankee doodle dandy


do i even need to spell it out for you?!?

next week is the BIG DAY. (well, for those of us in the States...) cook outs, sack races, fireworks, parades, uncle sam & fresh corn! the flags are waving in the wind! the band is cranking out sousa marches by the dozens.

this challenge is not to be confused with the americana challenge! this challenge is pure red, white & blue bunting hung on watermelon-seed studded front porches!! this challenge is kiddies in matching t-shirts riding bikes decorated with streamers!! this challenge is freshly-squeezed lemonade and homemade ice cream.

how will you celebrate Independence Day? what does it mean to you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

wordless wednesday

thought this was a fitting follow-up to yesterday's spt.

my nephew, max & my niece, rebecca

i took the day off yesterday, and spent a good portion of it holding my beautiful niece, rebecca. my sister was sent home from the hospital shortly after lunch (no transfusion! no surgery!) turns out, 3 out of 4 sisters and one of my parents are "chronically anemic." we apparantly never communicated that effectively to each other?!? so katie's low hemoglobin wasn't *as alarming* as it could have been...

hope to come back soon and answer some of the questions that have been popping up in my comments lately!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


i have a lot on my mind right now. i look at my spt this week and i realize that anyone who looks at me will know right away that i've got something on my mind.

lots and lots of somethings, actually:
the hotel is PACKED: the season is in full swing. we are rolling out new *wardrobes* (they are no longer uniforms), gearing up for the NC 4th of July festival next week, needing to hire a new breakfast hostess because my a-number-one girl is moving to connecticut... the list goes on

i am getting ready to hold auditions for a production of "godspell" that i am directing this fall. my head is exploding with ideas, and i just want to get going already! so many details!

we are preparing a U2charist (an Episcopal eucharist based on the music and messages of the band). it's going to be a lot of fun, and a lot of work!

matty's 36th birthday is fast approaching (saturday) and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO TO CELEBRATE!!)we will be spending most of the day selling sno-cones and nachos at "beach day" - a kick-off event for the 4th of July Festival. what a fun way to spend your birthday, huh?

my baby sister had a beautiful baby girl on sunday. now my sister is dealing with dropping hemoglobin levels and potential internal bleeding due to her fibroids. we are hopeful that her CT scan this afternoon will not be alarming (but are ready for the fact that this may mean another surgery)

it's now taken me about two hours to get this post ready! i'm sure there are a multitude of other somethings i could list, but i'd rather just leave you with this...

Monday, June 25, 2007

what's 9 lbs, 21 inches and R.E.D. all over??*

my niece, Rebecca Elizabeth Deese, born Sunday, June 24th, 2007.

she's out of her oxygen hoodie now, so cuter pictures will follow!!

(*cute monogram, huh?)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

spt challenge - hello!

quick and easy this week!!

spt posts have been pretty light these past few weeks. summer schedules are so much more hectic, aren't they? whatever happened those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?" i've got the crazy ones covered!! i sure could use some of the lazy, hazy ones...

so this week, no challenge, no props, no tours of your hometown. just you!!

can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


i am in search of...

a really fantastic banner for my blog! i'm stumped for an idea, and with 2,574 other things running through my head these days, the banner project is sitting squarely on the back burner.

so, i thought i'd ask around and see if one of you clever girls was interested in helping me out! i'll sweeten the deal by throwing in a personalized set of "let's talk" cards!! you can read about them here.

if you're interested in a little barter, send me an email! i'd love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


photo by jack (6 years old):
i love you because you are my mom.

exactly what i needed to hear this morning. i spend a lot of time obsessing that i'm not a great mom, not the best mom. the message from jack is loud and clear in it's simplicity: the mom in me is doing okay.

Monday, June 18, 2007


we had several family & friend get-togethers this past weekend. there's nothing like a party to inspire me to try some new recipes!

first up: chocolate cupcakes & peanut butter icing, by ina garten (the barefoot contessa) [via missy]

delish!! we *cheated* a little and used a box mix for the cupcakes. the icing was subtle and not too sweet. it sort of reminded me of what a melted "mary jane" would taste like.

and to appease the non-chocolate people: orange cream cheese pie from jill [via elizabeth's awesome blogger book of summer recipes.]

5 stars on both recipes from my family!! (jen, i definitely had a cupcake on your behalf!!)

Friday, June 15, 2007

spt challenge - through the eyes of love

a-hem, now that i have gotten that song stuck in your head...

this week's challenge is interactive. a little less "self-portrait," a little more "self-love."

now, go ahead and hand your camera to the person on your left. no-one there? okay, how about this: hand your camera to your little, your husband, your aunt, your best friend. have them snap your photo. ask them to share with you one thing they love about you in the picture. make sure you share their comments when you post your spt.

next step: take a good long look at your new photo. think about the response you got from the photographer. did they love your eyes? did they love your goofy expression? did they love your red shirt?

do you see the same things? do you love the same things they love? had you forgotten that you love your smile? or your freckles?

go ahead... fall in love with yourself again! i can't wait to *see* you through new eyes on tuesday!

having a ball

the blogosphere keeps giving and giving! where would i be without kristi's great end-of-year teacher gift ideas?!? jack was concerned that one of his teacher's didn't like gumballs, so we found some round chocolate caramels for her.

last friday (has it been a week already?!?) was jack's kindergarten graduation. part of their end of year program was a collection of disney inspired skits. here is jack as "tramp" from lady and the tramp.

his big line was "it's o.k. lady. you can have the last meatball." so here, for posterity's sake, is the last meatball.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

i craft! and recycle!! and blog about it!!!

i saw this fun garden-art-type-thing several years ago outside a local gift shop. i thought it was totally charming. and i totally thought i could make it myself.

flash forward several years, the idea still nothing but a lingering dust bunny in my head. (you know, as in, "oh, yeah, i really should get around to making that totally charming garden-art-type-thing.")

a few weekends ago, i finally got around to putting my thoughts into action. i love the way it turned out, i love coming up with new words, and new word combinations. it makes me smile every single time i pull into the driveway. an added bonus is that i managed to make it out of 98.99% recycled pieces: the post was slavaged from a local park when they put up a new parking border, the wood slats are from a whiskey barrel planter that fell apart, the hardware is from my dad's workshop. the stars (of course, the red, white & blue stars) are from my collection (not sure if i will keep them there year round, though.)

matty convinced me to splurge on some outdoor paint for the words. they still look *weathered*, but will stand up to the weather (if you know what i mean.)

happy sunshine summer to you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

good hair day

you know that day? the day when you're hair is just right?? and you didn't have to really do anything special to get it that way?? and you think, wow, my hair looks good...

and then? the next day you look in the mirror and ask yourself why you didn't get your hair trimmed two and a half weeks ago...

today is a good hair day. my hair has caused me a ridiculous amount of joy today. the "bangs" that have been tormenting me all week are the perfect length today. the flippy-outty ends are all flippy-inny today.

i will probably hate my hair tomorrow...

on a side note, i am currently suffering from a serious case of rachel's nerd alert. until i get my new supply of contacts, i am hopelessly hiding in the back of the classroom, and too nervous to talk to the boys. what is up with that?!?

happy camper

camp seabreeze is underway!! the staff very kindly provided iron-on names for all of the kids (it helps them keep track of all those littles!). so after a few moments of this...

...we have a summertime of this!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


***edited to add: here is a link for the star garland. i bought two strands several years ago from terry's village. the stars are red, white & blue, with a "weathered" look to them.***

annalisa recently talked about having her *style* discovered. i was surprised to hear that the two choices were town or country. i typically don't fit into either category! i believe my *style* would probably be described as hip-suburban-cottage-eclectic. or something like that.

so as i set about taking spt photos this week, i was even a little shocked to find that i had so much americana in my home. i tend to think of americana in decor as a country look. however, i do live in the 4th of July capital of North Carolina, and i can't deny that my home becomes a little red, white & blue showcase from memorial day through july.

this is the wooden star garland that hangs from the eaves of my front porch. (the color is a little off in this picture.)

the chair and footstool that i salvaged and repainted. it has a place of honor by the front door.

a little uncle sam nestled among the photos on top of the piano.

and, perhaps the piece de resistance of my "americana" collection...

this elvis was a wedding gift from my sister, handcrafted by an atlanta artist. i love him! (i'm not a huge elvis fan, but i love this guy on my hearth.) he reminds me that one day i might just get in that airstream camper and travel route 66 from chicago to california!!

have a safe trip home, michelle!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

spt challenge - it's as american as apple pie

have you visited michelle recently? she is living in paris, and her blog has recently featured excursions to the louvre, sacre-coeur, and a neighborhood brocante. i am intrigued by her "living like a local" accounts of this fabulous experience.

she will be heading home soon, and how i will miss these daily strolls down parisian streets (or through parisian metros!) i'm sure the leaving will be bittersweet. so i thought, as a way to thank her for sharing her french adventures with us, and as a way to ease her transition back to the U.S., there should be an spt challenge in her honor; an autoportrait mardi , as it were.

this week's challenge is to look around your home and help us showcase the history and folklore of America! dust off your americana relics! let no wagon wheel go unturned! let no bobble head doll go un-noticed!!

think you don't have any americana in your home? according to wikipedia: Americana refers to artifacts of the culture of the United States, the history and folklore resultant from its westward expansion. Examples of this culture include baseball, apple pie, Superman, the Diner, barbed wire, wagon trains, and NASCAR; jazz, the music of Stephen Foster, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, the music of Aaron Copland (notably his Fanfare for the Common Man), and rockabilly; and American art, such as that of Frederic Remington, Grant Wood, and Norman Rockwell, all based on American folk art.

it's a good thing

many of you know that i am involved with founding an organization called "where we live: building better communities." please check out our website (you can get there from my sidebar.) i am really excited about this project! i believe in the importance of community, in the strength of the village. where habitat for humanity brings people together to build houses, where we live hopes to bring people together to build stronger communities.

this blogging circle is a community which i never could have imagined! your supportive comments about this new project of mine have helped fuel my drive to make this successful! it seems strange to turn to the immense blogosphere for support in my little community. there is a way that you can contribute to our efforts. i'd like to introduce you to

what if where we live earned a penny every time you searched the internet? well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. you use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by yahoo!, so you get great results.

just go to and be sure to enter where we live as the charity you want to support. just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! be sure to spread the word!

it's a little thing. it's a good thing. thank you!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

spt - how about a good old fashioned recap?

green grow the bloggers

rebekah, price cream parlor, michelle a., melanie, lisa, cristin, laurie, kristen, and katherine all shared that the grass just might be greener on their side of the fence!!

bloggin' on blue bayou

elizabeth, rachel & barb are definitely not singing the blues!

red hot bloggers

andy, stefanie, jill, annalisa, andrea, cynthia, and neighbor jane payne might have roses in december!

there were a few surprises this week, too! how about amy m. and her tan , or kristi (the queen of everything pink) and her...

... white?!?

[o.k., if you know kristi, you might have assumed pink. of course. however, if you follow kristi's spt posts, then you might not be surprised at all!)

silver and gold friends

and i couldn't resist tying in this colorful challenge with our new friends/old friends challenge a few weeks ago.

chloe has taken the challenge from anne, marie comes via barb & kelly, jen got the bug from jill and keli has recently come out of hiding!! welcome to all you colorful girls!!

spt - color me beautiful

waaay back in high school, my mom got a copy of this book, and from then on, i have been drawn to darker, bolder, brighter, (louder) colors. taking my instructions from the book very seriously, i developed a lifelong aversion to all things pastel. and yellow.

i am a winter, like these beauties. as a winter, my thirty special colors include Bright White, True Red, Royal Blue, Emerald Green, Purple, Navy, Black and White. it's true, i get the most compliments when i wear these colors. i also feel the most confident when i wear these colors. and as i look around my life, it is easy to see that i haven't strayed far from my winter color palette.

a beautifully etched wine bottle i received as a shower gift before our wedding

the objet d'art we bought together for our recent copper anniversary

candle holders on the windowsill beside my piano

i'm keeping it real, folks

it would seem that i favor greens and blues. i'm a little more cerulean than pacific blue, a little more electric lime than fern. i am still drawn to darker, bolder, brighter (and louder) colors. if pressed to pick a favorite, then here is the tie breaker:

silk flowers from our wedding
mango tango, fuschia, and inch worm.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

spt...a little delay

can you stand it?!?

i'm going on a little hotel field trip this morning, so no time to post!! check back tomorrow... i am determined to find my favorite color!

Friday, June 01, 2007

spt challenge - the colors of my world

we all have a favorite color. maybe it's that certain periwinkle blue, a bold chartreuse, a butter yellow. perhaps you go ga-ga for cotton candy pink, yet cringe when that color goes slightly more pepto bismol...

my son often asks, "what's your favorite color?" and i usually say "green!" no, "blue!" "what did i say the last time you asked?" i had the occassion to *dress up* my guest room this week, and found myself drawn to the purples. maybe i'm not sure what my favorite color is. so, i'm setting out this weekend to find out.

i plan to take a little tour around my house, photographing my favorite things, my favorite clothes, my favorite sights around town. i'm hoping a trend will reveal itself. who knows? maybe when asked what my favorite color is, i will soon be able to answer, without hesitation, "cerulean!" or "manganese!"

so, hey, "what's your favorite color?"