Tuesday, May 27, 2008

catching up.

...barely! and needing to post about the boy birthdays, dillard (sock knitting!), and the latest two paper adventures. here goes - this one's a long one!

first up, the boy birthdays and dillard. a great time as always. thank you mother & daddy! I uploaded a lot of photos from the weekend - all favorites - click the descriptions below for a larger image.
1. pj, 2. andrew, 3. birthday boys!, 4. phase 10, 5. prepping dinner, 6. up close, 7. knitting, 8. phase 10 (again), 9. scene it!, 10. zombie socks with their knitters, 11. zombie socks, 12. birthday brownies
note to self AND OTHERS! we need to be sure to get a real group shot next year. with everyone. from ground level.

at least we got a good one of us siblings:

special attention for the socks. thinking we must plan a follow-up to show completed works, as opposed to works in progress. and melanie, I am certainly in agreement now that the pooling is my problem, not yours (for those of you who read this and don't know "pooling", it's what happens when the hand dyed yarn doesn't stripe - note that lydia and karen both have stripes on their socks and me - wide stripes is maybe a generous description!)



and the paper adventures. weeks 21 & 22. week 21 very late and week 22 very early (at least for me!). both good times with the photos AND the journaling. honestly, the trust prompt for week 21 threw me for a loop. I picked up the prompt when I was in Orlando last week, and kept thinking "believe" instead of "trust" when I tried to journal about it. friday night, I finally looked up the word "trust" and printed out a very long definition and tucked it in my bag for the weekend. sunday morning (not quite dark early, but still early :-) I had a chance to read it. and saw "reliance on the integrity of someone", "confidence", "hope", "belief", "to depend on". and realized I have a lot of TRUST in my life. the journaling came. and then the idea for the photo.


and week 22 was easy. or maybe I made it easy. favorites. a favorite (recent) photo, but not of people, and journaling from today. honestly, capturing my "favorites right now" is a staple of my journaling. looking back at lists like this really help me focus in on who I am/was in that moment (really - I've been journaling for just about 18 months and I'm still amazed at how different me today is from me twelve or even 2 months ago!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

boy birthdays.

...what I call the month of may. when all the boys in my life (save marc and my dad :-) celebrate a birthday. yes, so that would be my brother and his two sons. we're planning a belated celebration in dillard. brownies, ice cream and presents. (more photos to come!) and boys, happy (belated) birthday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

business travel.

...not so good. and I've done a bit more lately, and learned today that I'll be doing a bit less for at least the next few months. and I love that! (note I've deleted next week's trip to Orlando and extended my girls beach weekend by a day in the sidebar :-)

not to say I didn't have a good trip this week. it was good to see my Orlando team members - and I took pictures to post at work (not here, sorry!) and this one very fun photo of me and Kit (much better than our last one!)

but business travel is still long days and nights, missed and irregular meals, and totally missing my family back home. honestly, I can't imagine really enjoying it.

summer jobs.

...marc and I are proud to say that both of our girls have jobs for the summer! katie texted this morning to say she had a full-time hostess job at Two Urban Licks (right...all those details weren't really obtained til the 11:30 a.m. phone call!) and sara has decided to study "home-keeping" this summer. which means we're laying off our regular maids and so can direct that weekly payment to her. the idea of even taking this approach occurred to me after I made my mother's day card, and realized how much I appreciated knowing how to clean, how to sort darks, lights and delicates and how to make a menu, shop, cook...and balance my checkbook. so marc and I - with some input from sara, crafted a "summer job" description that will help teach sara...and help keep us in good home.

would love to get your comments for the best home-keeping lessons you've learned - thanks!

Monday, May 19, 2008

a morning person.

...elise's prompt this week - three words to describe you. and believe it or not, these were not the first three words I picked! I was planning "loves pretty paper", with an accompanying photo of the hundreds of sheets of paper and embellishments and other stuff that clutter my scrapbook table. or maybe "I make lists" or "a big smile". but friday morning, at the end of my 6:00 a.m. workout, rob asked me why I got up so early every day, and these three words just flew out of my mouth. because I am "a morning person". so true.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

what to knit?

...I'm recovered from the fact that my yarn arrived a day after karen's and lydia's. and now focused on finding us a pattern to knit the fabulous clash - the first installment of lotus knits sock club (melanie, it's fabulous!). (also have on my to do list to listen to some of their music - a quick run through my i-tunes library - no clash songs!)

I visited ravelry to browse sock patterns. wow, 158 patterns tied to 51,432 projects. oh my, socks are very popular these days! I'm looking for something that:
::has 8 st/in (that's the gauge I got when I knit the monkeys on size 1 needles)
::shows off colors
::isn't called something frou-frou (we cannot knit socks called anastasia - as pretty as they are - with punk rock yarn)
::isn't something one of us has already knit
::and is free.
That shouldn't be too hard, right?!

maybe wrong! I only found two patterns that seemed to work:

Tidalwave has the old heel flap construction, but seems like it might work well with our colors.

bff might be my favorite. designed by cookie a of monkey fame. the name is appropriate, too, for our first joint knitting project!

please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments - we need to get going!

our new york.

...it would be an understatement to say I love this album. It was a complete blast to create. One of those projects that starts off slow and then gathers momentum and by the end, the pages are practically creating themselves (which was good, because it was nearly 11:00 last night when I finished decorating the covers and that is way past my normal bedtime!)

I had purchased the simple spiral bound album before we went. I even took it with me, along with a ziploc bag of supplies, with the best intentions to make a travel album like ali describes here. But I didn't have time. We were only in our room long enough to sleep and bathe and I wasn't going to give up either of those things! So the whole kit came back home with me. I finally decided to take an afternoon off work so I could have focused time to pull it together.

I wanted to use the very cool cupcake scrapshop kits (march, april and may). and once I got everything out, and sorted through it, the idea to use the transit authority maps (the bus was a huge part of our trip) and then to make sections for each day came to me.
I didn't have the first page created til around 3:00. Sara came home from school at 4:30 - "wow, mom, you've only made four pages in 5 hours?" yup! but then I got into a groove. Had so much fun matching up the papers to the ephemera and the photos. and I'm really proud of the covers - the big transit authority map that was really dog-eared by the end - adhered with matte gel medium.
and my first ever hambly overlay.
(and mom, I watched la vie en rose, too - a beautiful movie, but such a sad story!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

as promised.

...more from sunday and monday. first monday. a last minute location change to cafe intermezzo when marykay couldn't make it - karen, liz and I still had a great time. seems like ages ago that we all worked together. and I really love that now we can be friends rather than co-workers. maybe that's because, somehow, now that we don't work together, it's so much more fun to talk about (make fun of!) our co-workers - we still have a lot of them in common :-) also love getting liz's perspective on teenagers. she's an aunt to about six (more?) of them and that "non-mom" view is just different enough to be really helpful.
and then mother's day - as you saw from my last post, the girls treated me to a lovely day. and katie's not pleased with the photo I selected to commemorate the day, but oh well... first up, the gorgeous flowers that katie brought. hydrangeas and purple tulips are my new favorite combination (and katie, they still look great!)
the girls cooking - sara totally took charge of the kitchen and katie did a fine job taking orders. everything we ate was delicious.
my sole attempt at a self-timer shot. I think the girls are laughing because the first time I "set" the timer, I really turned the camera off. I was actually surprised this shot turned out as well as it did! (note to my mom - our first meal al fresco for the year!)
evening sunshine. despite the wind. I completely enjoyed the long call with my mom...and this view.

Monday, May 12, 2008

details.memories.

a brief intro. elise had "details" as the prompt for week 19. and i'm not sure my details are what she had in mind, but i guess that's what happens with a "prompt" - we get to take it where we want, right? I think I knew on wednesday that I wanted my details entry to be about the journaling. and mother's day (duh, right?, perfect subject). but I couldn't pull it all together til sunday. and my first entry with multiple pages for the journaling (I did try to squeeze it onto one page and print using the computer...nope!) so now there's a bit of blue pinked card stock edge peeking out from the cover of my create 08 book - very cool! (and I do have a few pics from yesterday and today's dinner out to share...tomorrow....)

p.s. to see all the journaling, go here, and here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy mother's day.

...thank you for all the wonderful things you taught me and shared with me about being a mother. making time to listen. cooking meals to bring the family together. keeping house. taking trips to see the country. loving the feel of cool grass under bare feet. fresh vegetables. keeping photo albums. baking christmas cookies. making lists. holiday traditions. unconditional love. books. antiques. family history. meals al fresco. game night. being a family. i love you! - m.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

to mom, with love

In writing the perfect blog post, there are always a few throwback staples on which I rely: music, entertainment (i.e. television, movies, and especially celebrity gossip, because we’re all lying to ourselves if we don’t admit that Lindsay Lohan’s mug shot equates to entertainment at its finest), rambling (as just witnessed), and lists.

However, a true synthesis of these elements provides for a truly mind-blowing experience. The perfect blog post (at least a blog post by me) mixes all of these elements just right, not rambling too much or referencing vague things that only I would understand too often (because it's okay to do it once in a while), therefore totally robbing the post of its personal quality. Indeed, the best blog post is one that everyone can understand.

And so, as I embark on my first blog post in a few months, I do so with a specific purpose in mind. Today (actually tomorrow) is Mother’s Day, which means that, for an entire twenty-four hours, the whole world worships the mother. Now, I’m really not one to worship, but I do think that gratitude is one of the most important things in life (hey, that’s something we have in common, Mom!). So, in keeping in line with the whole best blog elements thing, I’ve decided to make a list—my top 10 reasons why I love my mother, in hopes of sparing the cheese and the corn.

10. She lets me make all the Thanksgiving desserts. It should also be noted that she allows me to make desserts on several other occasions throughout the year. We’ve made a mutual decision to open a specialty foods store later in life. Hopefully, we will meet Ina Garten (or be invited to one of her parties, which might be better).

9. She understands my love (okay, passion) for celebrity gossip magazines and always nods her head when I go on and on about how Angelina Jolie is a homewrecker and Jennifer Aniston deserves someone so much better than Brad. And not only does she understand my love for such magazines, but she also seems to willingly support it. We both know it’s trash, but who can resist trash this good? (P.S. You all know the Angelina Jolie thing is true. Admit it.)

8. She puts up with my driving. I’m not a bad driver, but I can see the stress in her eyes, and I really do appreciate her for taking one for the team and embarking with me on my journey toward licensehood. She’s also done a heck of a job, too. I no longer make her feel as if she’s about to collide with a mailbox. And I've also managed to figure out how to maneuver up and down our driveway!

7. She goes with me on trips to Chicago and New York and always compliments me for being a good travel buddy and (something much more important for me, as it’s something I take pride in) for being an excellent food orderer in restaurants.

6. She dresses well. This is only number six on the list, but, believe me, it’s important.

5. She helps me with my math homework. Oh, God, there have been too many math problems over the years, yet she always conquers each with authority and a penned drawing. Here’s to AP Calculus and AP Stat in the coming years! (Also, I do appreciate your help on reading my writing over the past few years. I may not have always made it clear, but it really did make a difference. (And, again, here’s to AP Lang and AP Lit in the coming years!))

4. She likes the same television shows as I do, yet she accepts that I enjoy indulging in the occasional trashy one. I’ll never let her forget that I introduced her to The OC, and for that she should be eternally grateful. However, she also understands that a little Real World never hurt anyone (theoretically).

3. She lets me listen to good music and willingly seeks my opinion on musical matters. This also makes me feel important. For commentary, a little shuffle!
- "You Got Me All Wrong" by Dios Malos. Oh, wow, one of the best and most underrated songs ever on The OC. Came in a truly haunting episode, and if I go any further, I might be going into the incomprehensible vague reference area.
- "We Will Become Silhouettes" by The Shins. As much as I love The Shins, The Postal Service just do it better. Although, I’m really enjoying how this is going in the usual route of a shuffle: OC song, cover, etc. Next, I’ll be dealt a truly embarrassing song. And, play!
- "Summergirls" by LFO. Oh my God! This is seriously no joke. I did not edit this at all. This song really came up! Oh, wow, this has never happened before. I can’t believe this. Whoa. The Apple gods must really be messing with me. I remember when Katie used to play this song every single morning when she woke up. (Mind you, this was when she was in the sixth grade and this song was the utter definition of cool.) That’s right, every morning we’d wake up to “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits / Chinese food makes me sick….” Wow, I still can’t believe this. Of all the songs on my iPod, too, this is the most embarrassing. What a magnificent sampling! (This is all extremely honest, too. No sarcasm in the above paragraph.)
- "Life Is a Song" by Patrick Park. I’m sorry, but has my iPod gone totally crazy or is it just me? A sampling of the best songs on my iPod. And, this is also no joke, I was going to write (in the commentary about the Shins song) that there’d be a Patrick Park song, too. This is so unbelievably crazy that I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it won’t last too long. Next song is going to be really, really bad.
- :Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick. Half-true.

2. She puts up and goes along with my obsessed vents over things like The OC, Gossip Girl, Juno, and Across the Universe. This is incredibly important, because we all want people to make it seem like what we have to say is really important and that they’re also really interested in our meaningless babble. The insertions of head nods and “I know, right”s in the proper places are key.

1. She has the hugest smile ever. And she always makes me take the long-arm shot.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! If you’re crying, I hope it’s because you’re laughing so hard from my incredible wit and humor. Love, Sara

dinner with lydia.

...us after dinner (waiting for the valet to find my car - it's so not comforting when they take your claim check, then come back 10 minutes later to ask you what your key looks like, and then come back 10 minutes later to ask which valet you gave your claim check, huh? how could you lose my car? ...turns out it was parked right out front, whew!)

it was lydia's suggestion to meet for dinner. and we'd settled on knitch around 5:00 and then murphy's (since lydia had never been there and it's one of my favorite places and it's very close to knitch!) knitch was - as it always is - completely inspiring. lydia selected something stunning and I'm sure she'll blog about it, so no more details here! and I selected a knitch shop pattern - a v-neck shell with a cable up the front that splits at the neck and continues around. and this yarn. and we were completely amazed that it was nearly 7:00 when we finished. hummm... something about yarn stores and time - it really seemed like we'd been there about 30 minutes. but I guess that speaks to how much fun we had.

dinner was lovely as always. we hadn't made reservations because of course we thought we'd be there by 6:00 no problem and we snagged the last table on the patio. and so enjoyed dining al fresco. we shared calamari to start and lydia had a spring vegetable salad and I had mussels. then we each had a rhubarb tart for dessert and yes, we both nearly cleaned our plates. it was delicious!

and as much as I enjoyed the food, the conversation was really the best part for me. I am so fortunate to have a real friend in the woman my brother decided to marry. we talked about the usual - family, work, play, plans, knitting, new york (she'd been in february and her experiences and recommendations informed our trip last month), upcoming dillard, teenagers, .... - and we took our time so we didn't feel rushed.

can't wait til dillard when we can continue our conversations, over knitting, with more family who are friends (and wine!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

trophies.

...from a season well-played. congratulations sara! love the one on the right - it's for winning the jv mixed doubles tournament. and her name was spelled right in the program. the lovely flowers are a thank you to me for team mom duties (I had lots of help, so it feels weird to be the one singled out, but still, I guess it's nice). so smiles all around!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

five senses.

...a lovely lunch with karen at pastis. perfect prompt for this week's paper adventure (inspired by marta)!

and the photo of the two of us. yes, my knit-round scarf is done. and garnered many compliments at cast on cottage (where we visited before lunch). five sweaters worth of yarn on sale, but that's material for a later post

Saturday, May 3, 2008

houston.

...a good trip. starting with a great flight into hobby airport.

dinner with our client team at the swinging door - barbeque! totally yummy brisket, green beans and blackberry cobbler. oh my none of us thought we'd be able to eat again for days!

josh brought his navigator along - not only so we could find places like the swinging door, but also starbucks. my team knows me well. I am a much happier camper when I have my morning coffee.

the meeting went well and we celebrated getting our very first signed enthusiastic client certificate (this is a hewitt program - and it's a huge big deal for us when we get one signed for the first time) with lunch at pappadeaux.

seems I have a knack for lunch time pictures with suzanne - I saw her last at a lunch in new york back in december.

and now it's saturday morning and I have big plans for theresa's first anniversary sale at cast on cottage and lunch with karen. happy weekend!