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December 2009
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February 2010

365/52 week 4

pix of the week so soon? well, yeah. since i was late last week, they're sort of running into each other this week. whoops.

it's freaking cold here today, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue. it's lovely, but deceivingly so. harper is painting, i'm heading to the showers, then there's an ikea errand to be run. marc's in a plane to california and warmer weather, and i have a feeling henry will be whining about having to play catch-up on some homework tonight because he's slacked on his reading log this week.

just another normal thursday.

which means, also, time for pix:



the morning joe.



the boy and his chores.




we got some good numbers this week. now we just need to visit the bank and see what *they* think. and then i need to get over my crisis on conscience. maybe i'll post my neurotic pro/con list and you can hold my hand as i work through it.


why does he always look like we're in HIS space?


we left a bottled water in the car the other day, and the next morning found this amazing crystallized center. we were fascinated by it.


henry and his buddy, drawing comic books. they've gone entrepreneurial on us, and are going to start selling their books at recess for $.50 a pop. more power to them.


time for common sense to rule the senate.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

sure, jon stewart is satirical. sure, he's contextual. sure, he's a comedian. he also lets experts do the talking.

right now, every member of senate needs to listen to elizabeth warren. they need to put aside petty partisanship, and put aside their promises to lobbyists, and they need to seriously consider what their votes will do to our economy and our country.

wall street's money canNOT dictate what happens to this country. obama needs to put on his tough guy tighty whiteys and be the president and tell these guys that they canNOT let the gordon geckos of the world make the decisions. greed is NOT good; it's screwed over millions of people for the benefit of a few.

it ISN"T about socialism. it's about giving the people their money back. titans of business who can essentially ruin the lives of thousands of families in one selfish swipe should NOT be given multimillion dollar bonuses for doing so.

let some of our money trickle back down to us, asshats. you had your day in the sun. now it's time to be a little decent and let main street have its money back. people have very simple dreams, and the wall street ceos are making those dreams impossible. and congress and the senate are allowing it every time a wall street ceo lobbies them.

365/52 week 3

i'm only four days late with this, but even so i have a good excuse:

my geek took apart our file server, then it wouldn't come back up. so he had to find the bug and kill it. but he got sidetracked by "call of duty" on xbox live. several times. so i'm just now able to access my photos again.

have i mentioned i'm not thrilled with the xbox live thing? i haven't? hmm.

so, here's last week:


i should really take down xmas stuff.


such a pretty, pretty girl. love her.



remember miss evie? look how big she is now! and yet she still has the hair!!


in minnesota, we shovel our roofs. suckers.



my brilliant artist girl drew a still life of Cat on Window Seat With Kalanchoe. Including Window and View of Neighboring Trees. brilliant.


self-explanatory. just pretend it's the glowy shot i lost of henry in bed, reading a 700 page book.



finally hauled the tree to the curb, before february comes and the trash men stop picking up trees.



and that's that.

we had an insanely busy weekend, the vikings lost after a good game, and it's back to normal: snow, ice, marc's gone, plumber came and went, and i've had my coffee.

more later.


redirecting my energies ...

first, and certainly foremost:

matt. becca. wyatt. in their kitchen. THEIR KITCHEN!! ie little man is HOME!!!

one day shy of the three-week mark. what a blessing and miracle. he's a strong little guy, and i can't wait to hold him!!!


secondly ... my day.

remember the issues we had with our bathroom remodel? namely, this, this, and this? well, last week i noticed some leaking around the seal of the toilet. not a lot, but more that there should have been. by saturday, it had seeped out a good six inches from the seal. saturday, we called the Contractor From Hell to see if he would come fix it for free, since it was his issue. well, he wasn't home. monday, i called our favorite handywoman, celest (seriously ... if you live in the twin cities: call her!! she's the best!). she said yup and arrived today at 10:30 on. the. dot.

after first expressing her confusion as to why the toilet was sealed with PUTTY (not sealed to the floor, as is code), she then took the toilet off the bolts to discover that it has never actually rested on the wax ring in the past, oh, year. so that brought up some warning flags to her. in checking further, she discovered that one entire bolt - the thing that anchors a toilet to the pipe and thus the floor - was NOT CONNECTED. TO ANYTHING. it had rotted away years ago (no fault of CFH, she pointed out), but CFH actually was aware of the problem enough to, drum roll, putty the thing in place and walk away.


so half of our toilet was just sorta resting on the assumption that bolt #2 would do the job for them both.

bigger annoyance? not something she's qualified to fix, as in, it's gonna need the big plumbing guns.

good grief.

first, the cat. then, my car. now, plumbing.

don't you hate it when you try to do everything right, save up that magical 20% for a down payment, then everything the universe can surprise you with pops up and makes you think you'll never, ever move and will be doomed to spend 160 minutes a day - bare minimum - in a car, schlepping kids, and never ever get a life of your own again?

hate it. i'm so mad right now. just when everything seemed to be going RIGHT with the move/build idea ... this. savings = even farther away.

so, to whip myself even more with this wet noodle of despair, i started flipping through my online folder of kitchen inspiration photos. i can't remember where they all came from so i can't give credit, but as i looked - and as you will soon see - i have a definite "style." no mystery what my future plans for a mythical kitchen will be, eh?

enjoy the eye candy.







Architectural Digest 2

Farm kitchen 1

... all on a smaller scale, and with stainless counter tops, not marble. warm balanced with cool. farmhouse balanced with industrial. clean balanced with splashes of color. what fun that would be.

a girl can dream, i guess. then, wait for the plumber.

365/52 week 2

oh, how we've had the sickies here this week! harper was vomitous all day monday, after marc had been ill most of last week. then henry got it on tuesday, just in time for marc to skip town. knocking on wood, it hasn't hit me. yet.

here's week two of the photo-a-day thing:


i bought new glasses at target. thank you, target ... they're just what i wanted!!


mario hangs out in the bathroom cupboard. whatever.


me and my girl on the day i officially stop being honest about my age.


mom buys barbie ornaments for me and becca every year for xmas. it's a long story. this year, however, we got two: one from this year, and one from ... no, that isn't a typo on the box ... 1995. '95, people. i was still in college. becca was 11. holy cow is mom a good present hider.


i used to lament the fact that no one sends real holiday cards anymore. then i realized how much i love to see faces i adore up on my wall. it actually feels *more* personal than just some card.


i made fake muffins for breakfast. oh, and the turquoise bowl? yet another "thank you, target" purchase.


mario, chillin' on harper's halloween wig. harper, chillin' with mario.


and while i'm at it, who needs a wyatt update??

Shapeimage_2 little man is doing great! there are still some ups and downs with him keeping his oxygen saturation levels steady, but he's off the oxygen, out of the special bed, no longer hooked up to a million things, becca and matt can pick him up and hold him and dress him and bathe him, and the latest milestone is that he's taking a bottle! the doc says as soon as wyatt goes 36 hours feeding solely from bottles, he can go home!! HUGE news!! becca and matt are hoping and praying that this weekend will be the time they can finally all be home and start life as a new family. we'll all keep our fingers crossed for them! becca's photo updates and blog updates are linked here.

36 things on 1.10.10.

36 things about me ... in honor of the 36 candles on my cake today.

and this will be the last time i mention 36. henceforth, i will deny any and all presence of the 36.


1. if i had to describe myself in one word, it would be "juxtaposition."

2. i love polka dots. especially red and white ones.

3. i love eyelet.

4. i have no desire to do or be or experience anything southern. yet i adore southern cooking. and REM.

5. i have a serious need to travel, and a serious fear of flying.

6. i wish i could plug myself into a system, a la "the matrix," and instantly learn anything. french, kickboxing, and using any kind of camera would be first on the list.

7. i have an addiction to bowls. if i see a pretty bowl, it's coming home with me.

8. i love avocadoes.

9. i love all thing girly and glittery and feminine, yet have no desire to wear or decorate with it. i just like to look at it.

10. i'm addicted to floor plans. when i was a little girl, i'd steal my mom's country living magazines, copy the floor plans onto a legal pad, the decorate them. i'd make lists of colors i'd use, draw in furniture, move walls around ... why i didn't pay attention to that and go to school for interior design or architecture, i'll never know.

11. on that note, i can close my eyes and see a floor plan in 3d and virtually walk through it in my head.

12. i hate milk. except with oreos.

13. i hate ketchup. except with scrambled eggs.

14. i hate scrambled eggs. except with ketchup.

15. when i find a new song i love, i hit repeat over and over and over until i know the song by heart. i can't stand loving a song and not being able to sing along.

16. i want a house with a porch swing, a tire swing in a big old oak tree, a split rail fence, and a garden full of tomatoes.

17. i wish i had the superpower to blink and erase all child neglect, child abuse, and human trafficking. humans who can do that to other humans - especially children - should be eaten alive by weevils.

18. i'm ready to commit to a house and stay there until the mortgage is paid off and the grandkids come over to play. i never thought i would say that.

19. i wish i lived in new england. though minnesota is pretty great.

20. i used to be just as flaky as henry is now, which is why i get on his case about it so much.

21. i wanted to go to college for environmental journalism and go work for greenpeace, reporting from whale ships.

22. i'm kinda glad that didn't pan out.

23. i love that i officially have an isbn # attached to my name, forever and ever, amen.

24. i never thought i'd be a stay-at-home mom. never.

25. i love to cook soup.

26. i love cool colors. my house is full of warm colors. not sure how that happened.

27. i can't bake to save my life.

28. i adore my children and think they are they most gorgeous, funny, smart creatures on the planet.

29. i think the same thing about their dad, too. minus the funny part.

30. i love going to the orchestra. it's a religious experience for me.

31. i loved being a summer camp counselor; it was my favorite job ever. even though it involved kids. and no a/c.

32. i don't care how the rest of my life goes, as long and my husband and kids are safe, healthy, and happy for a long, long time.

33. i love french toast and always think that's what sounds good for weekend breakfast, but when it comes right down to it, i always get or make an omelet.

34. i wish all of my dearest friends lived within easy reach.

35. i wish our families lived in minnesota so we could see them more often. because we aren't leaving. i think.

36. i'm excited about what the future holds, even if that does mean saying goodbye to my 30s sooner than i'd like to admit.


thank you to each and every one of you, who have been a part of my life over the past five years i've given to blogging. you've made my 30s a great decade so far! and now, off to fondue.


one of my goals in '10 is to keep up with the 365 project again. i loved doing it in '08, i let it fizzle somewhere around february in '09, and this year i'm committed to being faithful every single ding dong day. there is a project in my head, and by golly i'll do it this year.

however, one of the big deterrents the other times was having to take a pic and post a pic every day. that's just too much pressure. this year i WILL take a photo every day, but i'll post once a week. and if i don't put it in a full-on post, i'll at least add it to the album over there --->

being the seventh day of january, the new year officially turning one week old, here is the first of 52 weekly daily pic shares:


my little tech heads, occupying themselves with "professor layton and the diabolical box" (henry) and "pokemon pearl" (harper), while we pack to head home.


the driveway full of 2' of snow and ice that greeted us when we returned home, thanks to the neighbor not shoveling us out like he said he would.


once we found a lifesaver with a bobcat to clear the drive, we were amazed and awed by the size of our new decorative piles.


the kalanchoe is in full bloom, with one sassy little orange blossom making her presence known.


we had a major plumbing issue in the bathroom while marc was gone. i tried to show it who was boss and take care of it myself. in the end, liquid plumber got the assist.



my little science dude was fascinated by the glops of ice sticking to random things under the eaves.


new year's resolution to eat better and exercise is firmly in the "so far, so good" category.



week one: success.


for several years now, ali edwards has challenged people, as the new year begins, to come up with a word of the year. truth be told, i've never given it much thought.

this year, however, as the buzz began about what word people were using, one little word kept whispering in the back of my mind:


maybe it's because i've put off tending to my health and well-being for far too long.

maybe it's because as the new year rang in, my thoughts were on my sister, going home without a baby in her arms; a brother-in-law, welcoming a son the day before burying a father; a nephew, hooked up on machines and sedated until he could be strong enough to grow on his own.

maybe it's because for whatever reason, before all these crazy things happened just before the new year, my family had one of the best holidays together that we've ever had.

maybe because after all these crazy things happened, the faith of people i've never met inspired me to get back to that spiritual place i used to be in, before i got so cynical and disenchanted and fed up.

there are so many ways in which this word can save my life this year, my mental and physical health, my faith and trust and outlook on the world, my future happiness and well being.

this word came to me for a reason, and i'm not going to analyze it. i'm just going to go with it.

and heal.

and 2010 will be the best year yet.


happy christmas, happy birthday, happy new year.

we never would have guessed that we would have all three while in indiana.

there is a much longer story than i'm going to go into here, but there's a cliff's notes version with all the photos in the holiday album. the most important part of the story, though, is this:

we went to indiana for christmas. we started with my family. we had a lovely holiday.


the day after christmas, i went to my sister becca's house to take some belly pix. because she was 33 weeks pregnant and oh so cute and round. i knew i'd see her again at the end of january, but it would be too quick of a visit - just long enough to give her a shower - and pix might not happen. so we took them on december 26th.


then we left for marc's family's home in indianapolis for christmas with them. we had a lovely holiday.


then, on december 29th, becca's father-in-law passed away.

on december 30th, becca was in the hospital with contractions and cramping.

on december 31st, becca underwent an emergency c-section.

and on new year's eve, little wyatt j. became the last baby born at that hospital in 2009. seven weeks early. 5 lbs 8.2 oz. perfect, but early.


on new year's day, at 12:00 on the nose, we got distressing news about wyatt's lungs.


later that day, we got better news.


the next day, more bad news.

later that day, better news.


(photo from matt's iphone)


as of now, he's doing better. getting stronger and healing. becca's home and healing. matt's healing. all of our emotions are healing. the little guy came earlier than anticipated, but as long as he grows and gets to go home soon, earlier is okay.

it wasn't the holiday any of us planned, though most of it was quite nice and peaceful, but we were truly reminded that it isn't gifts or trees or traditions that make the holiday special. it's family. and blessings. and for that, it was a wonderful holiday.