Tuesday, December 29, 2009

change and worry and letting go.

i have a problem. my problem is that i make elaborate, detailed plans, and fully expect things to go as i plan them. and this rarely works out. and i'm learning that i cannot control things like the weather, and phones getting ruined, and lovey working like a madman.

this week is not going as we planned, not at all, and it's not fun. but i can either be angry and let it ruin things even more, or i can breathe and let it happen. because i'm certainly not changing anything.

so, i'm going with it. i'm letting things happen. and i'm not going to have canker sores and knotted muscles because of snow. or because i'm concerned that someone might be mad at me. or because we're all out of whack with our schedule and the kids are staying up to late and sleeping in too late. there is nothing i can do. i know the snow is out of my hands, i know i've done nothing remotely malicious to upset anyone and if they are upset, it's their own problem. i know that the girls are missing their daddy and trying to stay up to see him. so i'm letting it all go, and it's nice.

i miss my lovey. he is working from 3pm-3am everyday, which means he gets home around 3:45 and sleeps til he has to go to work. and the kids are missing him, violette climbed up on my lap the nite before last and said "i'm just lonely for my daddy". me too, baby.

but this chaos can't last forever. & i'm going to be overjoyed when things are settled back down.

i have hundreds of pictures to upload, but our computer freezes when i attempt to put them up, so it looks like i'll have to make a day of it in february, when we get our new one. i'm still doing project: 365, there's just no evidence :)

i'm off to go play with my new mixer & cookie sheets, i think we could all use a sweet treat!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


so, we had the craziest christmas ever in okc. the news said the snowstorm was the worst in history, 14 inches!

around 2:30pm on christmas eve, my folks picked up the kids and me to head to my grandma's house, brady was working. the roads were horrific and some kind of belt on their minivan broke off when we hit a snow drift, so we were stuck in the middle of an exit ramp, the car totally dead. there were abandoned cars all over the roads, it was completely surreal. it was snowing, and brady said allegedly there were up to 50 mph gusts of wind! we wrapped up the kids in blankets and started walking towards a house that was about 1/2 mile away. my dad had theodore, i had violette and jed had emma. thankfully a woman stopped and picked up me, violette and the baby. we got to the house, and the lady's car got stuck, so my brother and dad had to push her out. we got inside the house, and the nicest folks ever let us in and started taking care of us. the threw our wet blankets and coats in their dryer, made us hot cocoa and coffee and put on a christmas movie for the girls. i have to admit that it was probably the most shocked and unsettled i've ever felt in my life, it was chaotic. the girls were scared, so i was putting on my mom face trying to keep them calm, and that was hard. thankfully, it was about 2 miles or so from my grandma's, so my uncle was able to come pick us up and get us there.

my 3 other siblings were in a different car, and they got pinned in between other cars that were stuck or broken down, so they started walking. i'm not completely sure of their story, other than i know they ended up at a hotel, and had to stay the nite there.

when we got to my grandma's, we got warmed up and i realized i didn't have a way to contact brady, since the cat poured water on his cell phone. i started to get a little anxious about that, realizing that we were there for the nite. i called his office around 6 and left a number for him to reach me, and waited to hear from him. we didn't, so my dad called around 8:3o or so, and the lady told him that she thought they were headed back to the shop. so around 9 i think, he called and i have never felt such relief and gratitude to hear his voice. he had to drop off a friend and then come to my grandma's, so he got there around 10:45 or 11, i don't know. it was the longest evening of my life. thankfully, my grandma let the kids open a few gifts and we sang some songs. my aunt and uncle and their 2 kids were there as well, and i probably wouldn't have made it without everyone's help with the kids, and my uncle's sense of humor!

we all slept in my grandma's room, and we woke up really early yesterday morning. brady rallied the troops and shoveled the driveway and packed us all up and got things moving. we got to our house, and then he and dad and my brother left to go get the other kids from the hotel. i don't know what time it was, but when we were all together at my house, i finally breathed again and felt completely home.

brady had to work yesterday, so we packed up all the kids presents from santa and us and went over to mom and dad's. this whole thing had blown all of our plans and traditions, and we were all determined to roll with it and have good attitudes. we all wrapped presents and got ready, and brady got there around 2:30 or 3, and we went sledding and played in the snow with the girls.

then we went back to mom's, had a fantastic brinner and opened our gifts. it was fun and wonderful, the kids had a blast. i think emma was a little sad we didn't get to set out our cookies for santa, but she was okay with him being a little late.

her version of the story is pretty great: we got stuck on a snowy mountain, had to walk to a house on the side of the mountain, uncle greg was our hero and rescued us.

here's to hoping next year will be quite calm :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

merry christmas thursday things!

merry christmas eve, folks! today we're having a lovely day cuddled up watching christmas movies and talking about what time santa will probably get here. we've decided to put a sign on the front door to make sure that he knows it's okay to come in. for my thursday things today, i'm going to list what i've yet to do, and hopefully will accomplish before tomorrow morning.

-bake santa's cookies and zucchini bread for our family party tonite
-wrap presents and stuff stockings
-give all the kids a bath and get them dressed in their finery
-charge the camera battery
-try not to miss my lovey too much while he's working today, hopefully he'll be home before 10.
-a few other tasks i cannot post for fear the recipient of the gifts would read my blog today... hi mom!

i'll probably think of many more things along the way, but that's a good start.

i hope everyone has a very merry and bright christmas, full of love and peace and contentment. hug your babies, sip your cider, kiss your honey and have a beautiful holiday, i'll be doing the same.

i probably won't be posting until the new year, i'm working on a big blog post: my year in review.

love to you all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

thursday things.


-anticipation of a fun date tonite with the most handsome & charming man in the world.
-prayers for my littlest, who is refusing sleep because his top teeth are coming in & causing great distress.
-gratitude for 2 little princesses who know mama needs some slack today.
-happiness that a magic christmas gnome told me some gifts i made are just perfect.
-hope for a shower & rest.
-much love for family & friends & folks all over
-beautiful music that makes me dance & sing along
-feeling very surprised i don't have a nagging sense of guilt for not vacuuming & doing dishes yet today.
-excitement, this christmas is going to be fantastic.

what are you up to today?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

gratitude and family.

this weekend we had a wonderful time with brady's family, they came up from amarillo and we had a little christmas party at our house. the girls had been counting down the hours, and they were ecstatic to spend the day with "all their families".

yesterday we received quite a surprising blessing. we got a check from brady's old job, which we weren't expecting until a few years from now. i'm always amazed at how the universe works itself out and relieved that we have a few less worries this holiday season.

the girls have been worried about santa being able to get into the house on christmas, since we don't have a chimney. they've planned to put our cookies and milk on a bench right next to the door and leave the door unlocked so he will know it's okay to come in. i love how their little brains work!

theodore is so very big! sunday morning he pushed himself up to sitting from his hands and knees. he's learned the sign for milk, so his little hands are busy asking to nurse most of the time now.

we are doing so well, and i'm feeling very rich and full of love right now. what a beautiful gift my life is!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

i've been thinking...

i'm sure most of you could have gleaned by now that i've been on quite a zen, be here now kind of kick for awhile.

and that's good. it's so good. watching, engaging, being here. it's good.

it's good up until i realized that i've become so wrapped up in being here now, i've stopped being here. i've stopped watching and engaging because i'm so incredibly focused on enjoying the present that i'm missing out on the present. i want to remember every little word and gesture, and i have totally missed the boat.

brady reminded me the other nite that we have so many more christmases to christmas, and it's a marathon, a journey. this isn't IT. it doesn't have to be just perfectly perfect right now. and you know what got through to me the most? when he said "we'll probably have 5 or 6 more couches in our lifetime".

how right is that?

and this morning, my friend sara sent out an email. her baby is 25 years old today. and i just smiled, and sighed, and it totally hit home.

one day, my babies are going to be 25. and christmas will still be here, birthdays will still be here.

and i can relax, right now.

thursday things.

a list of things i'm thankful for:

-warm socks and blankets for mornings of 11 degrees.
-the mindfulness of yoga
-knitting gifts
-party preparation! decorating and cleaning and making lists.
-emma and violette's excitement and anticipation for family get togethers.
-inspiring dreams
-snow globes
-my neti pot
-mr. clean magic erasers
-my pandora christmas station: sufjan and john lennon!
-"arts and crafting" christmas projects
-the scent of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
-my lovey.

happy thursday! i hope your day is magical!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

thursday things.

-really neat pictures: a walk through time
-collage generator
-write something
-retired teaches keeps teaching for free
-it's so true, and not so funny
-my parents were awesome

also: my little brother is having surgery on his thumb today, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

six months!

yesterday my baby boy was six months old. he has two teeth on the bottom, and is so close to crawling it's unbelievable. he says "mum mum" when he's frustrated and laughs like a goober when we play peekaboo. he likes to eat rice cereal and sweet potatoes, bananas not so much. he is joy and light and we love him to bits.

today starts advent! we are counting down to christmas with all kinds of fun crafts and activities. i love this time of year, and it's so fun that the girls are big enough to participate and get into things.

i hope you have a beautiful today!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

beautiful morning.

the weather forecast says rain is likely today. theodore and i are hanging out, he is gumming a rice cracker and coo-ing. he said "boob" twice last nite just before bed, he was fussing for the nursies and very impatient. emma's and violette's first word was the same: mama. theodore's is boob. i find this amusing and quite appropriate.

today is a big day, thanksgiving at my parent's. we will cook, eat, get a tree, purchase new ornaments and decorate. my parents have a tradition of giving each of their kids a tree ornament every year so when the time comes to move on, we have a good start. their first tree was pretty bare and they decided early on that they didn't want that for their kids. i'm so grateful to them for that. they gave me a box full of ornaments in 2004, and it is always so fun to look through them and see what i've chosen through the years. that little stocking that says brady, i made it in 2002. we still have it, though the stickers are curling at the edges and threatening to fall off. my great grandmother made the little snowflake doilies. my grandma painted the wooden jack in the box. i love having things rich in tradition and history. how blessed i am to have them.

(our tree in 2006)

i want so badly to have holiday rituals and traditions with my children, and at the same time teach them gratitude and appreciation for the privilege to celebrate. i want them to understand that it is our family, being together and making memories that is important and certainly not gifts, greed and excess.

there are so many exciting things to look forward to this season: family get togethers and parties, stories to read, songs to sing, gifts to craft. i only hope i won't get overwhelmed and anxious. it can be so easy to get stressed and snappy when all that matters is being with my children and enjoying our time together. and if things become too much, i should remember it's not too hard to say no.

i would like to know what are some of your favorite holiday traditions? what is the one thing you and your family do that you look forward to most? mine most certainly is our "drive around". on what we call christmas eve eve, we get a pizza and drive around the fancy neighborhoods looking at their light displays. the girls ooh and ahh and get so very excited. there is nothing more fun to me than to watch them being so happy. last year emma called the lights "constellations", i can only imagine what she and violette will come up with this season.

if i am posting less in the days to come, please forgive me. it's just that i will be celebrating and being here now.

(on a side note, my 365 is quite behind. i am having a hard time with this new operating system and i cannot use the photo editing program. i hope to have new pictures up tomorrow, but i'm not making any promises!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


today i am thankful for:

-nice weather!
-my funny babies "hiding" under the blankets when i went to wake them up this morning
-e-mail, so i can communicate with far away family easily
-my sweet honey who works so hard. i'm very excited about the next few days of hanging out with him! also: that he doesn't have to work tomorrow like he did last year!
-holidays! when can i start decorating?!
-all of the modern conveniences we have: ovens, microwaves, dishwashers... i'd much rather cook thanksgiving now than 100 years ago!
-having my computer fixed (even though i have to learn how to use linux, i guess i should be grateful for the opportunity to gain more knowledge)
-the gift of music.
-theodore welcome, and all of his baby cuddles.
-knitting, and how it injects a bit of tranquillity and peace into whatever moment i pick up a project and knit a few rows.

Friday, November 20, 2009

i cannot sleep...

so i am going to share music with you! these are my favorite songs of right now. xox.

MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

realization, pt. 30929038409234.

dearest friends (and mainly myself):

tonite, i have been in this funky, weird place. and that's not the point at all. the point is, i was just lying in bed, surrounded by my three babies. and i had my little ipod working, and i was listening to neutral milk hotel, the song i posted on my blog earlier today. i looked at my daughter's pink dress and i was completely absorbed in how incredibly PINK her dress is, and then i noticed the contrast of the pink dress against our green blanket. and then i saw her little ear poking out from her hair. my heart was exploding with this feeling of urgency and NOW. and then i looked at my baby boy's face, his sweet dark eyelashes and his little nose and his mouth nursing lazily, sleepily. and i turned and looked at my big girl's sweet face, trying so hard to fight sleep. because she loves THIS DAY and THIS MOMENT so much. and i let go of all of my petty problems with today, and breathed. and i realized that THIS DAY and THIS MOMENT is all i have to cling to. and it is so urgent that i'm right here, right now. not preoccupied with happened earlier, with what minuscule thing didn't go my way. or what might happen tomorrow, or the next day. all i've got is the chance to choose to embrace this moment, and to respond to every instance with an open heart and love. always love. and i realize the kindest thing i could ever do is simply pay attention. stop my brain and my anxiety and my incessant self-absorbed monotonous thinking and notice. be a witness to what is here, now. and i have this realization frequently, but i've never experienced this realization so deeply as i have tonite. so if you'll excuse me, i've got a lovey to go apologize to, and dishes to neglect, and songs to sing along with. there is a lot of loving i've got to do, so i'm going to get to it. and i wish so much peace and love and grace and happiness to you, right here and right now.

thursday things.

-rad embroidery designs
-the scriptorium
-free knitting patterns: popknits!
-susun weed's wise woman forum (herbal medicine and spirit healing)
-sweet reunited siblings story.

edited to add this much better version:

(did you get a bit teary? i did.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

blessings, pt. 2

-a new gorgeous coffee table, nearly free from a garage sale. the man said he wanted it to go to a good home, and i guess we were the folks to take it in!
-we got a package from brady's brother aaron! he sent us some wonderful gifts, there are pictures on my flickr.
-3 bags of yarn from my grandma
-got the first photo for a project i'm working on. only 49 more to go!

today, i'm going to clean and organize and purge and bless my home. what are you doing today?

Friday, November 13, 2009

blessings abound!

praise god, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise father, son, and holy ghost.

blessings have flown freely from the universe & the divine as of late, and i'm so grateful.

i had been stressed about the baby's diapers, he's outgrown most of the diapers i had. i was pinning the very tips of the corners of his prefolds to get them to stay on, and the covers were barely covering his little booty. yesterday, my friend vanessa brought by her whole stash of diapers, which are all the next sizes up and will get us through months and months of diapering.

my novel has been at a stand-still for the past few days, i haven't time or inspiration to write or work on it. i was feeling very depressed and sorry for myself about it, but this morning i woke up with all kinds of ideas and i'm just itching for the chance to get it all out. (nap time, kidlets?)

my lovey is an OU football fan, kind of big time. he was given a ticket for the game tomorrow nite, so we're pretty excited about that.

what have you been blessed with lately? always remember: the universe is conspiring to shower YOU with blessings!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

thursday things!

instead of posting links today, i'm interested in seeing what you're diggin' right now! please share something you've found recently that you enjoy :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

bear with me, friends.

i've got some unloading to do. it's been far too long since i've posted something real, and i miss that.

things have been topsy-turvy weird the past little bit. i've written nearly thirteen thousand words for nanowrimo. 2 weeks ago, i would have laughed in your face if you told me i would even consider writing a novel. here i am, though.

i switched the lens on the camera sunday, my mama has been encouraging me to do so for a while now. and the truth is, i was scared of it. terrified of a few more inches length. but, i did it. and i think the pictures i've taken with it look different, a little bit better. i like them anyhow. it's got a lot of fancy zoom action, which i enjoy. i can get shots of the kids when they don't know i'm taking a picture and i can catch them acting naturally, instead of posed. i really don't like taking posed photos, it seems fraudulent to me. i want to catch the act, if that makes sense. and the fancy lens allows that.

i've been feeling very open and creative the past few days. incredibly full and juicy. and it's a nice feeling.

i have a new favorite band. it's everything i've always looked for in music. it's the music i want to make. it makes me tear up with joy: half-handed cloud.

spirituality has been a major theme for me the past few days. i've prayed and sang and believed. i haven't felt this way in a very long time. and it's so beautiful. if this the opiate for the masses, count me in.

also, how are you? i truly want to know.

love, love, love,

Friday, November 6, 2009


this is amazing. i've pored over these photos this morning, delighted. each time i click "older posts", i find a new favorite. and to think it just as easily could have been that no one would witness such wonderful captures of a time. fascinating.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

thursday things.

i don't have many links or much excitement to post today. instead, i'm going to list ten things i'm grateful for this morning.

1) birdsongs and fresh morning air
2) falling leaves, and watching them dance to the ground
3) reading lovey e-mails from 2002
4) perusing etsy for christmas presents and trinkets
5) lovey calling right as i pick up the phone to call him
6) allowing myself to participate in nanowrimo, and thoroughly enjoying it
7) my children, for keeping me on my toes.
8) motivation, not procrastination.
9) the calloused yet tender hands that mine fit perfectly into. the first time we held hands, we were at my little brother's football game. it was quite cold, and everyone had blankets and hats and scarves and was acting like it was a blizzard. we were sitting by each other, and kept doing the pinky thing, feeling out whether the other wanted to hold hands. after about ten minutes of piddling around, i took a deep breath and over-exaggeratedly grabbed brady's hand. we both kind of laughed, and then were relieved to find that they fit together perfectly. and after seven years, they still fit perfectly. i'm so grateful for that. i'm more than certain we will never outgrow each other.
10) so many projects! so much creativity! i've really hit a burst of energy, and i'm flowing with it. knitting hats, knitting a sweater, taking pictures, working on the novel, nursing my baby, running my home, cooking breakfast, lunch & dinner, dealing with tantrums and fits from preschoolers, entertaining and playing with the kids: it's all art. and i'm feeling in stride and graceful about all of it. dare i say that i feel i've hit a stride i haven't felt in quite some time.

one extra: 11) you! i'm grateful for the folks that read my blog, and take the time to email or comment and let me know they appreciate what i write. i'm glad to have something that's resonated with people, and it's lovely to feel interconnected on this crazy information superhighway.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

halloween and a mini-belated-thursday things.

lots of new pics on my flickr.

-spooky tales!
-let them sing it for you. hours & hours of fun.
-unnecessary quotations.
-i'm not ashamed to like this song.

today starts nanowrimo, and i just might participate.


our phone and internet services were down the last few days, and i have to admit that it was a very nice break. i'm not quite sure what was wrong, but the nice at&t guy fixed it right up for us this morning.

on our "break" we had birthday parties for dora & diego, played with playdough for hours and had a successful halloween of carving pumpkins, trick or treating and watching spooky movies. (okay, i didn't like the spooky movie at all, and laid in bed most of last nite listening for ghosts.)

look out for pictures of the cutest bumblebee, butterfly and teddy bear ever in a bit :) and perhaps a few links & things for an abbreviated "thursday things".

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my prayer for today, and every day.

this clipping fell out of a bible that we have, it first belonged to my great-great grandfather.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

thursday things!

-halloween food ideas
-audio stories for kids
-patchwork mat tutorial
-wikipedia list of unusual deaths, i found this especially creepy.
-pyrex, i love you.
-little owl pattern
-rumi poem that i love


theodore will be five months old on the 30th. i keep saying he's four months, but i know it's inching towards five and it's making feel so... nostalgic. how can i miss a phase we were in just days ago? but i do.i miss his scrawny little legs, and his funny "craugh" face: is he crying or laughing? (definitely more "cry" in this shot!)

how did he go from that to this in just... days? (yes, that is a gourd. emma that is was an appropriate prop.)

tonite emma wanted me to rock her to sleep. and of course i jumped at the chance. she doesn't want to cuddle as much any more, being as independent and precocious as she is. she will be five on her next birthday. FIVE. that is monumental. she'll be a full fledged kid, with no hint of baby left. there really are no hints of baby or toddler anymore, but i can't even lie to myself when she hits that milestone.

and violette, my sweet and shy little fairy. my friend vanessa captured violette's personality so well the other day: she is almost always near me and she takes quite a while to warm up. yet, i see these glimpses of her courage gathering, and her daring to venture. irony is triumphant, though. when we're home, she is most likely to be playing in her room, with her dollhouse or legos, entertaining herself for hours. only needing me to "make a sandwich, mama, it's peanut butter-chili* time" and "help! wipe my butt, cos i pooped a big one." *the other day, i was making chili, and she was so concerned as to why i was chopping onions and getting out cans of beans. i told her i was cooking chili, and she went to the fridge and got out the grape jelly and said "mama! chili's right here!"

one of their favorite things to do right now is look at slideshows of my pictures on flickr, the other day a picture of vi came up, from before her surgery. she got very skittish and said she was scared. i asked her if she wanted to me go to the next photo, or if she wanted to talk about it, but she leaned in closer, studying her lip and asked how it got cut. i explained she was born with a cleft lip and she told me that was silly, and she just "cut it while she was playing" and mama milk fixed it. it made my heart explode, but then i was gripped with this anxiety. how will this affect her? i want her to know without a doubt that she is a beautiful, whole person, and that a scar doesn't matter. but will it?oh, i worry.

and i worry about many other things, will theodore feel left out? emma and violette are so close in age, and he trails by nearly 3 years. and emma is so bossy sometimes! i know her intentions, but she can be perceived so harshly by other kids (and parents!) sometimes. she is so much like me, yet so different. she has a confidence i never had to back up the sassiness. i wonder if we've done the right thing, is it fair to them to homeschool? to live this artsy, bohemian lifestyle we've got, where creativity trumps schedules & inspiration matters far more than routine? what about religion & spirituality? they know about jesus, and that mama & daddy believe in god, but they always know we read books on sufis and buddha. i have a hard time telling them that one particular thing is true.

the most important thing, though, is that i'm completely honest in my intentions, words and actions. and who can see my inconsistencies more than my children, who i am around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

i am not perfect, and i don't attempt to be. so i can't figure out why am i so incredibly hung up on these unattainable standards? who has set this ideal that mother's are supposed to have a spotless designer home, with little angels sitting at the kitchen table in shiny catalog clothing, happily doing some craft project, while home made cookies are baking in the oven and mommy doesn't have a speck of flour on her apron (or the kitchen floor!)

oh, i don't know. i do know that it's 2 am and mr. teddy will be needing to nurse pretty soon, therefore i'm off to bed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

rainy nites.

a perfect nite for:
coffee, cuddles, granny square afghans, wuthering heights, knitting, the comforting clacking of the typewriter, sleeping babies and peeking out the window watching the raindrops racing each other to the sill.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the saturday shirt.

it is one of my goals in life to have the perfect outfit for every day of the week. last friday, lovey and i went on a thrifting adventure, and i found the perfect saturday shirt. it was obviously designed for weekend projects, puttering around and tasks around the house. obviously! even better, as i was walking to the store the other day, while wearing this shirt, a man was driving by and slowed down to yell out that his aunt had a shirt just like it. i got a little bit too excited that it could possibly be the same shirt his aunt had actually worn! oh, the world is so big and so small.

thursday things and some.

it's been the rainiest fall this year, and rainy days mean, for us, daddy is home. it seems like daddy has been home for the last 2 weeks, which has been 3 parts spectacular adventure and 1 part wreckage of our routine. things like housekeeping and big projects don't sound nearly as much fun as tucking away for an afternoon nap, watching foggy drizzle slide down the window. or a cabin fever inspired jaunt around the block just before supper. or knitting, reading, and talking mornings into afternoons into evenings. however, today, daddy is back at work, and i'm staring at this mess... but it's not horrifying me as it once would have. instead, i'm content with the playing that occurred. and grateful for the opportunity to thank the universe for each member of my family as i put away emma's books and crayons and papers, violette's teddy bears and dolls, theodore's blankets and toys, lovey's books, chewed up bottle caps, and socks.

my thursday things will be a bit different today, i want to remember this feeling of gratitude i'm basking in right now. so here are my thankfuls for today:

-the green-ness of green
-baby's hands & affection
-my sweater, growing row by row
-lovey's browns, lovey's reading face, oh! all of lovey
-violette's independence, rivaling rudolph's
-emma's all-knowing vocabulary (she told my mom the other evening, when mama was having a hard time with the carseats: "well, maybe you made the wrong selection")
-good folk songs
-big laughs
-project inspiration
-our home
-drizzle and the word "drizzle"
-the gift of language
-the overwhelming scent of clove.
-pumpkin cobbler
-reading in bed
-tea, especially chamomile
-paper maiche messes
-hopes of a handmade christmas
-approaching holidays and time with family and friends
-this feeling of being surrounded by love and goodness

poo-poo the naysayers, life is good and beautiful. it all depends on where you're looking. i'm making this promise, right now. i will stop entertaining the ideas there are devils lurking around every corner, hidden mean-ness in uttered words. there is enough darkness out there without my creating new drama. and when i'm full of gratitude and light, there is simply no room for the darkness. (and we all know dark is just an absence of light, an illusion.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

lovey day!

Align Center

7 years ago today i went to a show. and at this show, there was a certain boy i'd had my eye on. and he said "hi lauren", apparently several times. and since he has always spoken very quietly, i didn't hear him. thankfully, a friend said "hey lauren! i think brady is trying to tell you something"... and i perked up considerably and thought "BRADY?! WHERE?!" and i looked up and saw him. and there was this thing, this electric, magnetic, knowing
thing. and from that point onward, we were lovies.

we sat on the steps of a beautiful church and talked about big things, little things, everything. we knew that we were inseparable, the new robert and elizabeth barret browning.

and in the last 7 years, we've changed, grown up, gotten married, had babies, and watched our family blossom. but what hasn't changed is the fact that we are always have been and always will be lovies.

i'm now in love with a man, a strong, loving, kind and gracious man. a blue collar working class hero, at the same time a bohemian writer beat poet hippie.

and i know that we were created with the other in mind, and that we are 2 pieces that fit together in the giant puzzle of the universe.

and i know that we will live out our days in peace and joy, and we will always be together.

and i know that when it's time, i will follow him into the dark.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

thursday things.

-pronoia resources
-punny card!
-the gashlycrumb tinies
-quotes on being vegetarian
-this just might work!
-me, on ravelry
-dreads inspiration, plus! he's a saddhu from nepal!*
-new favorite band

(thursdays make for the best rain days.)

*going for the neglect method, again. twist & rip all the way. i'm a few months in, so hopefully they'll look good in about a year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

sick day.

i'm not feeling all too well today, there's an icky bug floating around in my family. thankfully the babies have been untouched by it. so i'm camped out in front of the computer, bored, & wishing i could find the energy to wash up the dishes, take out the garbage & hang the sheets on the line. & that i could find the perfect hat pattern for the girls winter hats. & that i could get warm. & that i didn't waste so much time making silly wishes.

belief & convictions.

(i wrote this last fall, here is the updated version.)

my core beliefs and convictions, at the moment:

-knowing myself, and being honest with myself at every turn. also, not looking to others to fulfill me or complete my life. my family and friends are beautiful enhancements, not mine to clutch & cling to.

-loving my husband and children to the fullest capacity. my first earthly priority is to them and their well-being.

-living my life as a spiritual seeker. i will not get bogged down by theories and theologies. i will love and live as according to christ's words in the new testament, and also all of the other prophets and saints i've encountered along the way, ranging from my children to buddha.

-living a creative and art-filled life, and attempting to bring beauty and love to every space i am in.

-parenting gently and kindly. i respect my children as people, as individuals. they are not property - they do not "belong" to me. i refuse to hit them in any manner, i will not belittle them or talk down to them. i believe that their behavior is less important than they're entire being, and when they act out, i will find the root cause. i am committed to their health and well being, i will do whatever i feel is best for them, even if it causes me temporary discomfort or opposition. (breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not vaccinating, homeschooling...)

-living my life as an individual, i believe that we are all made different and have a unique spark of the divine within us. we are of no use when we are all trying to look, act and live life the same way.

-not supporting the beast of mammon. money should mean very little, if anything. some folks are so concerned about currency it's a disease, an epidemic. basic human needs are air, food, water, shelter, warmth (clothing) and love. i do not need to keep up with the joneses to feel like a human. i can live without new clothes and cable television (or television altogether!)

-refusing to consume the garbage spewed by major media and the entertainment industry. i don't need my creativity, peace, truth, and beauty attacked on a regular basis!

-creating peace. i do not support any violence or war. i believe in turning the other cheek and loving one's enemies as christ did. (interesting thing here, if christians are so militantly anti-terrorist, should we not then cut paul's books out of the new testament, as he was a converted terrorist.)

-being 100% honest at all times. lying is the most unpardonable thing to me. i have zero tolerance, sympathy, or time for untruth.

-living simply & mindfully, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"

-being grateful at all times. there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, always.

Monday, October 5, 2009

knitting season has arrived.

project 365: 119.
Originally uploaded by mama-effie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

thursday things.

-encyclopedia of mythology
-the arrow of time, family photos from 1976-present
-2nd favorite poem
-love, love, love these sculptures.
-the new avett brothers album came out tuesday, i love it. my favorite song: and it spread.

effie and jonnie, december 2002.

today is my brother jonnie's 22 birthday, i'm wishing and hoping this coming year is full of big adventures and excitement for him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

praise be.

in celebration of goodness & light, in honor of beauty & wonder: i will rise early, meditate and give thanks and praises.

i will search for hidden joys in the mundane: hallelujah! the bacon sizzles! hip hip hurrah! the wind is playing in my hair! holy cow! today is majestic.

i will acknowledge negativity: real or perceived, mine or otherwise, and nod. take note, and move on.

in celebration of peace & calm: i will remember that no one can hurt me without my consent. and i will have patience with myself and others.

"Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating." - Simone Weil

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


please forgive a lack of posting while we attempt to find a new routine in this new season. i am taking pause, being aware, breathing.

breathing in, i calm my body. breathing out, i smile."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

thursday things.

-101 t.v. free activities to do with kids!
-darling little book.
-why mister rogers was the best.
-fish hat!
-radical coffee table idea. i so want to make these!
-the sweater curse.

p.s. contrary to popular belief, mr. rogers didn't serve in the military, nor did he have any tattoos! heavens forbid someone is just plain nice, with nothing to hide. http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/mrrogers.asp

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

here's the mail, it never fails!

project 365: 104
Originally uploaded by mama-effie
emma and violette have recently become very interested in mail. they have received a few letters and cards and needed somewhere to keep them. i used the pattern from "handmade home", and whipped these little satchels up. violette chose the blue toile, and emma chose the red stripes, which i found to be appropriate. they have asked nearly hourly since i made them to read their notes with me. i'm so glad they have an appreciation for letters, i've always found handwritten letters and cards to be much more satisfying than an email or phone call. hooray for the usps! (and a quick hello to my favorite postman- rex!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

today's favourite.

Monday, September 21, 2009

to remember

tonite: chicken & dumplings + cheesesticks + salad; nursling; talks of nanowrimo; go fish; texas hold 'em with quarters; coffee; cuddles; bubblegum in hair; angelina ballerina and lots of "bal-a-let"; bluebell ice cream cravings; cursive writing and arguing about 'Q'; lovelovelove.

a seemingly boring & simple evening, my favorite kind. i feel warm and fuzzy and full of love.

every new day.

we had a fantastic weekend of card games, getting our house put back together, football games, and cuddles, with a few tantrums thrown in. (emma is in quite a phase!) this is the first morning since theodore's joined us that i've gotten up without a gigantic to-do list looming over my head, and it's nice!

speaking of theodore, we looked at our photos on flickr as a slideshow last nite, and i have already forgotten how teeny he was. we were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how big the girls have gotten, and then a shot of theodore came up and he already looks so different. but! instead of feeling sad and mopey about how quickly it's going by, i'm going to be a witness to his life story, and not miss out on where we are now.

last nite, emma had dinner, and then an apple, and then something else, and then was whining for another snack. so i said she could have 3 blueberries, to which she replied "i got 6!!!!!!"
i opened my mouth to tell her to put them away RIGHT NOW, and in that moment, i decided to just let it go. the only thing that would come of me getting on to her would be crying and frustration and, really, what does it matter? so i told her it was fine, and it wasn't going to upset me. (i suspect a lot of her outbursts lately have been baiting me for attention.) she went and sat at the table, and brady came and sat by her, and they started counting, and then brady ended up teaching her about addition and subtraction(unschooling at it's finest!) and it was so sweet and tender. but what would they have missed out on had i fussed and made her put the blueberries back? how many beautiful occurrences have i missed, worrying about forcing my will on her.

oh! forgive me, for missing the tapestry and focusing on the thread.

(also, i am married to the most thoughtful, caring, and helpful mister in the world.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged"

-Helen Keller

Saturday, September 19, 2009


last nite i went through my great grandma's high school memory book. she saved so many wonderful pictures, notes and little things she found interesting. she kept flowers, a tiny harmonica, pictures her friends drew, cigarettes, and so many letters. it's amazing to me that i have all of these things, preserved since the late 20's.

after sorting through the things i wanted to keep out for my inspiration wire, i remembered that my uncle scanned letters she had written to my aunt dixie in the 60's. she wrote her nearly every day, noting the weather and what she did that day. there are stories of my mom and her siblings in almost each one, which i found so fascinating. reading about my mom being a one year old, "up chucking" and having problems with her tonsils. it's quite a trip.

it completely reinforced my belief in saving little things, and hope that one day my great grandkids can go through my box of goodies.

i also went through the box of mine and brady's poems and notes and things. what i found notable was a receipt from braum's from last september, where brady had gone to get the things i was craving while barely pregnant with theodore. (ice cream, ice cream cones and a granola bar.) there was also the envelope my mama used to give us a gift for our christmas date last year, she drew adorable little pictures of us and the car we used, which was the same car we'd gone on our first christmas date in.

i cherish each of these little reminders and memories of milestones and hope and love. and can't wait until the next time i go through these boxes again and rediscover all of my treasures.

Friday, September 18, 2009

blogging & narcissism & why.

while washing the dishes today- (i always have the best thoughts and conversations with myself and the divine while washing the dishes) i found myself thinking about blogging, and how it seems like such a tribute to ones self, writing all of these thoughts out for the world, as if anyone really wants to read my personal thoughts? and then i started wondering why do i have this blog? what are my intentions with it? because i certainly don't need something in my life that could add to my self diagnosed delusions of grandeur. and it was going downhill fast, almost to the point where i break out with the figurative flogging...

and then i stopped the self deprecating attitude and the false piety, and thought... i blog because i enjoy it. because it's a way to communicate and share stories and have a 'snapshot' of my day and what i'm feeling at any particular time. and because it's fun. because it's different from my "analog" journal, where i work out my mental kinks and spiritual crises, this is my place to be positive and peaceful.

so, there's that.

admittedly, it's a bit difficult for me, putting stuff OUT THERE.. i'm quite a private gal. and to be honest- it feels a bit immodest, what with all the pictures and 'frivolous' lists and links. (i am such a snobbish prude. seriously, i am!) i don't even know where i'm going with all of this. i think it's bed time.

but i'm curious to see, if you have a blog, why is it that you blog? and if you don't, why not? any reason in particular? the internet fascinates me.

oh, & by the way! you should watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOtEQB-9tvk

Thursday, September 17, 2009

8 things - past lives and alter egos.

this is my first 8 things post, so i'm kind of excited. this week's topic is past lives and alter egos. i fancy myself multi-faceted enough to embody all of the following:

1. mary poppins.
2. children's librarian.
3. 1950's housewife.
4. a crazy, bohemian, hermit writer surrounded by composition notebooks, classic literature and tons of highliters in every color.
5. holocaust survivor. i don't know if i believe in past lives, but i know for sure that there is something to this. i remember having these extremely vivid nightmares as a tiny girl, and not having the words to explain them. and then when i learned about the holocaust and saw photos and heard stories, i knew that's what i'd been dreaming about for so long.
6. buddhist monk.
7. simone weil.
8. a zoologist.

thursday things.

-10 puzzling ancient artifacts.
-make a little notebook!
-brain teasers.
-3 way chess.
-lioness and baby.
-276 questions to ask before you marry. (while i think 276 is a bit more than enough, it never hurts to discuss the basics- kids, careers, whose responsibility it is to put in the trash sack after taking out the garbage... in all seriousness, it's astonishing how many women i've talked to that had no idea their spouse wanted 15 kids/0 kids or what have you.) in any case, some of these questions are hilarious.
-cookie dough pie.
-interesting concept, teaching your child how to argue.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

praises for today.

-beautiful music: http://www.greatcomfortrecords.com/mp3/Bifrost-Arts_Come-O-Spirit.mp3
-beautiful misty, foggy weather.
-beautiful new baby! congratulations to maggie and austin, on this special, wonderful day. prayers of peace and joy for them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

lamby wamby

lamby wamby
Originally uploaded by mama-effie
this is lamby wamby, and she has been in our lives since emma's baby shower in march 2005. she was given to us by one of my aunts, and she is made from the softest material you will ever feel.

as i washed her saturday, i got hit with a wave of nostalgia and sentimentality.

i remembered the fun and craziness of putting together emma's dresser. how we were certain it was much more than pieces that didn't fit and more screws than necessary... but a sign of things to come. terrified we weren't going to be good parents.

i remembered washing, and drying her clothes, daydreaming of what it would be like when there was a tiny body wearing these clothes. i remember ironing on images of jack kerouac and peta's "i'm not a nugget!", hoping my baby would look just a bit cooler than the other babies in frills and lace and so. much. pink.

i remember having a meltdown, a few weeks before emma's birth. calling my mom in tears and her taking me to sonic, telling me of course i'd be a good mother, of course i'd know when i went into labor. i remember her taking me to her house, and lighting incense and reassuring me, it will all be fine.

i remember rearranging emma's "room", time and again from the end of march until she arrived, april 20th. waiting, waiting, waiting...

(look at how white lamby wamby is!)

and i remember her birth, and how she was fine. and we were fine. and she LOVED lamby wamby.

i remember when violette was born, i was terrified, again. this time that emma wouldn't want her little sister, that she wouldn't want to share. but it was fine. and lamby wamby comforted another sweet little one.

and now, theodore has a lamby wamby. he's not nearly as interested in her as his sisters were. but they keep trying, hoping one of the times they shove her in his face and say "lamby wamby loves you, see-da-dore!!!", that this time, it will stick.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

thursday things.

-shaped pears!
-rules for poetry.
-50 things everyone should know how to do.
-banksy is fascinating..

this video, my friends, is the best thing i have ever seen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

summer's end.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


labor day is the signal for me, of summer fading into fall.
of school supplies, apples, cardigans, falling leaves, the scent of pies baking.
when i think of autumn, i tend to hear hauntingly beautiful melodies played on a piano.
nothing is more promising to me than the feeling of late summer, when the air gets chilly just before bed.
it's as if autumn herself is letting me know, she's almost here, just around the corner.
it's nearly time to bring down the boxes of sweaters, gloves, hats and scarves.
(and it's certainly time to finish up the last of the winter socks and gloves i'm knitting!)
holidays are near: time well spent with loved ones, laughter and food.
pumpkins, late nites, and woolly blankets.
there is nothing quite like the shock of cold tile in the morning,
the reminder: hey! you forgot to put on your socks!
the kettle whistling, the promise of warmth, at least for a few minutes.

however, right now, it's time to relish in the last few hours of summer.
my horoscope for this week was quite appropriate:

"Here's what I did not do this summer," begins the testimony of one of my Gemini readers, Beth Hylton. "Not once did I swing on a tire swing over the river, watching the pink shimmery reflection of myself in a wet suit on a tire swing. I did not take a day off work to sneak out alone to Jones Beach with a book and a beer in a ginger ale bottle. I did not eat outside at a red-checkered-tablecloth-and-too-much-cheese-on-the-pasta Italian restaurant, sucking back carafes of Gallo like Kool-Aid. I did not catch fireflies for the satisfaction of setting them free, and I did not nap in the noontime sun. Where are all the 'I dids'?" I'm happy to inform Beth, as well as any of her fellow Geminis who might have been remiss in doing the kinds of activities she named, that the next three weeks will be a very favorable period to make up for lost time.

tomorrow, we might be picnicking. or running around in our swimsuits. or playing on the slip & slide til dark. but i can assure you, we will be chasing down the last little bits of summer we can find and putting them in our pockets to save for a cold, rainy, wintry day.

i had plans...

to write a long and lovely post about the end of summer and standing between the seasons and just how beautiful it all is. however, tonite is not the nite for that. maybe tomorrow.

tonite, i have a sink full of dirty dishes, a to-do list with absolutely nothing checked off, a husband and baby asleep and two little girls so full of piss & vinegar they don't know what to do with themselves.

tonite, i'm feeling crabby, flabby, out of sync, and tired.

tonite, i had planned to sew, create, journal, and cook a fantastic meal of chicken & dumplings with rolls and veggies - we had pancakes.

tonite, i'm resolved to wake up early in the morning, & take care of myself first. because it's not a pleasant feeling when it's 5 pm, and lovey's on his way home from work, and i realize i'm still wearing my pajamas.

tonite, i'm debating whether i should drink the last of the coffee and clean like a madwoman or go ahead and call it a nite.

tonite, i realize that this is the time when i need to be here now, and breathe in and out and let the fullness of the frustration flow through and out of me.

and emma just came running out the kitchen screeching "mommy, i learned a new trick". and i'm off to put into practice breathing and being, as i'm 95% certain i will not be impressed with this "new trick".

Friday, September 4, 2009

labor day weekend...

i'll be off for the weekend, enjoy your labor day folks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

as of late...

i've been feeling very creative and domestic lately, it's quite exciting. my brother hung up a clothesline for me, i've been wanting one for ages. it's a nice little break, going out to hang up and take down the clothes, a little pocket of time to breathe and just be. and it's nice have fresh smelling clothes, and no more button burns! (our dryer is the most HOT dryer ever, which is nice when you're in a hurry, but holy moly metal buttons can get quite burny!)

i've also been sewing a lot: a purse for myself, bedtime bags for the girls, a clothespin bag, a felt block for the baby, and on today's agenda is a camera strap and perhaps pillowcase dresses for the girls. the only downside is burning through my sewing notions quite rapidly!

emma has been writing her letters and numbers very well, lately she's been making up words. today she's changed her name to "ohib" and she's writing it on everything. the other day she got down one of our bird books and drew a bird and copied down the word "bird", so precious.

violette's latest thing is sorting granny squares by color. she will play by herself for hours, making stacks and arranging lovely towers and castles.

theodore is trying very hard to roll over, he gets to his side successfully, but getting that crazy arm out of the way is quite a hassle for him. poor little bunny is having a hard day today, he's very sleepy but refusing to sleep. it doesn't help that his sisters think he needs his music box started as soon as he falls asleep!

well, it's quiet time for now, off to get the girls settled in their room and the sewing machine out :)

thursday things!

-adorable dress pattern
-s'mores bars!
-"pretty" is oh so relative. (and i ♥ craigslist.)
-harry potter cupcakes!
-i kinda want everything this chick sells.
-always new stuff up on my flickr - i've been playing in photoshop!
-this little guy always cracks me and the girls up
-lovely poetry

Friday, August 28, 2009


what is it?

it's the feeling of laying in bed, surrounded by my sweet little family; it's the first cup of coffee in the a.m.; it's cardigans; it's the edge of autumnal crisp in late august evenings and early august mornings.; it's rain; it's little weedy flowers strewn all over the house; it's pictures colored by preschoolers hung up every where imaginable; it's new bags sewn; it's planning projects; it's spending time with the family i was born into; it's real & composed music; it's the first hug&kiss attack when daddy is home from work; it's suppertime, listing our thankfuls and talking about our days; it's emma saying "clume" for climbed; it's the way violette wants to be tucked in with "flower" every nite; it's theodore's precious, chunky, slobbery smile; it's my husband's devotion and love for me; it's every tree, rock, flower, & blade of grass; it's the sky, the sun, the stars, the moon; it's the ocean, it's the desert; it's you, it's me. it's the divine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

thursday things!

-lovely photography
-interesting looking pasta pie
-for the harry potter fan knitters
-tips for rising early i've been attempting waking up when brady leaves for work, but so far i've been failing. these ideas seem to be pretty good.
-in case you're bored...
-homemade checkers!
-we're up to season 5 on lost! this is the only show, besides gilmore girls, that i've liked in a very long time.

this is one of the few pictures i've taken that i'm actually pleased with.

been on a really big 90's kick the past few days, it's good stuff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a few thoughts i've had stewing.

setting my intention: every morning, i've been declaring my intentions for the day. not so much a "to-do list", but more of setting the tone. as of late, i've been focused on respecting all life, and treating every breathing thing with the tenderness i would appreciate all breathing things to treat me with. i've noticed a marked difference in my response to things like red sharpie all over the fridge, a skein of yarn cut up, you know, things children do out of curiosity. i've actually been thankful for these opportunities, so i can test out my new found patience. i keep thinking it's a fluke, it's so hard to have faith in oneself.

academia: a few quotes. i think everyone knows where i stand on the subject :)

"but it is inherent in scholastic thinking that something written down has a greater validity than something said or experienced." - idries shah

"if you want to get laid, go to college. if you want an education, go to the library." - frank zappa

wealth and abundance: always a struggle, but it's really been not sitting well with my being the last few days. how on earth can followers of christ have anything other than contentment and joy in the now? i've read and heard so many greedy christians lately, and it confuses me. i truly believe that the wealth and abundance talked about in the bible has absolutely nothing to do with material things and possessions, and everything to do with love and relationships. you cannot serve both god and mammon! i think mewithoutyou says it best:

"if i come without a thing, i've come with all i need."