Wednesday, December 31, 2008

thanks, 2008! jomama out!

2008 was the year:

we moved into a new house.

hubster and i went on a road trip to portland, oregon. and fell in love. (with the city. we were already in love with each other.)

sweet m. started kindergarten.

little red and the big bad wolf went on a walk through the woods.

the computer crashed and took with it hundreds of music files and thousands of pictures and home videos.

on a more personal note, sharing my depression issues with all of you was really cathartic and a huge step for me in facing how depression has changed me and my life. and i can say that this is the year that i felt most like myself again; more capable, more functioning, more happy, fewer bad days, and even in the really low points, a sense that things can only get better.

what are you doing new year's, new year's eve?

are you optimistic about the new year? have you made any resolutions yet? are you going to? 

last year i didn't make any at all because i was discouraged and i felt like, why make resolutions that are going to make me feel bad when inevitably fail to keep them? (i know, great attitude, huh?) 

but this year i'm more enthused. i'm excited for 2009. i'm 29 years old and it's  2009. this is the year i'll finally get to visit nyc. this is the year i'll hopefully be living in the same country as twin sis again. i'm sensing great things in the air for 2009.

how do you get ready for the new year? this year, in the spirit of the chinese, i'm trying to give my house a thorough cleaning and organization. (i'm also trying to not beat myself up that the blinds and baseboards aren't going to be done.) i want to start the new year off fresh and clean and organized. not for bad luck reasons, but because i really want this new year to seem like a fresh start.

how about y'all?

a little christmas

christmas with my folks is a tradition i don't know how (nor do i want) to break. i love it. i love how excited my kids are to see them, and i love how much fun my parents have watching the kiddies open their presents. it's a thing of beauty. so thanks parental units! you're the best!

this one is for nene. here's the white christmas that you'll hopefully be enjoying with us next year!

the tree before the kids tore into everything.

Monday, December 29, 2008

little c. turns 2

(a week and a half ago.) sorry we're so late getting these up. for those of you who could come and celebrate: thank you so much. for those of you who couldn't, we missed you!

the only decorations we put up: (cut by my fabulous mama and glittered by sweet m. and myself)

we took the easy way out and made cupcakes with these cute letter candles. the days right before christmas are stressful enough for me without trying to plan an amazing bash. i always get great ideas but i have zero follow-through. this year i decided that's ok; it's just fun to hang with fam and friends, y'know?

i can't believe he's already TWO YEARS OLD. that first christmas with him doesn't seem very long ago... i remember how precious christmas seemed that year with a tiny newborn babe in my arms. Christ's birth was much closer to my heart that year, and i've thought about it both years since...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

best albums of 2008 (in my humble opinion)

here are my fav albums of 2008, and some are going down in the history books, baby. all-time greats.
5. sun kil moon- april.  mark kozelek, to me, can do no wrong. i love his calming voice.  i adore his album of modest mouse covers. i listened to it pretty much non-stop last winter. this isn't even his best album in my opinion. 
here's my favorite song of his; it's not from april, it's from ghosts of the great highway:

4. okkervil river- the stand ins. i guess it's kind of a follow-up to the stage names, which i liked even better. that's saying a lot because this album is amazing! okkervil river has thought-provoking lyrics coupled with upbeat, well-arranged beats. 
good intro to o.r.: our life is not a movie or maybe 

tied for 3rd place:
she & him- volume one. everyone loved zooey deschanel singing in ELF, (her voice is straight out of the 50's) but who knew she'd make one of the best albums of '08? of course this had a lot to do with m. ward, the "him" part of the equation, who is one of my favorite musicians. suggested track: sentimental heart. you can listen on their myspace page, linked above.

bonnie "prince" billy- lie down in the light.  will oldham, "billy" is pure folk genius. he just is. listen to "lay and love" from the album the letting go. like i said, pure genius.

2. vampire weekend- vampire weekend. beautiful, fun, and happy are words that come to mind when i think of vampire weekend. their music has a great west-african pop sound to it, and i could listen to it all day long.
check out the video for a-punk, it's pretty fun:

tied for first place:
bon iver- for emma, forever ago. what can i say about this album? it's gorgeous, it's haunting, it makes the other music in my itunes jealous. listen to most popular song "skinny love" on his myspace page, but my favorite is "flume"

and i hear he has a new ep coming out in january! 

and finally:
fleet foxes- fleet foxes. words fail me when i attempt to describe how much i love this band. you might be tempted to categorize them as just another "good" grungy band from seattle, but oh how wrong you would be. they have the harmonies of the beach boys, and great pop tunes, but it's more than just that, y'know? they have that certain something, they've got "it." i think i've already blogged about them twice but i don't care. their greatness must be shared. 
so many good tunes to choose from. i love "mykonos, "winter white hymnal," but here's my current fav, "tiger mountain peasant song" the live version:

while you're on youtube check out the band first aid kit's cover of this song. it also is brilliant.

so, those are my picks for best album of the year! what are you listening to? do you have any recommendations to share?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ok computer

sorry about the lack of posts lately. do you know what happened?
my computer crashed. 
it was pretty horrible. when the computer-fix-it-man told us that our hard drive was kaput and he wouldn't be able to retrieve any files, i was devastated. literally the day before the crash, i was reading a blog (can't remember which one, sorry) where the lady was saying how happy she was to have her computer, to have all those memories of her family saved, and that if there was a fire, the only thing she'd grab would be her picture albums and her computer. and i thought,
"me too." how stupid was i not to back up the files?
i was able  to get most of our music back from our ipod, and we do have some pics saved on flickr...
now it's time to start over.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

chilly goodness

The First Snowflake from The Boy Least Likely To on Vimeo.

i love the boy least likely to, so i was so happy to hear a new song from them! the song is pretty, but the video is the best beautiful! if this is what scotland looks like, i gotta get me there! and it actually made me crave snow (which is kind of crazy considering that in the winter here i feel like i live in narnia at the beginning of the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.)

found via red aprons and lunchboxes

Monday, December 01, 2008

backtracking: weekend before thanksgiving

one thing i'm very grateful for: that our christmas lights are already taken care of and that hubby has a great work ethic and is completely comfortable on rooftops (just like santa!)

the kids had a lot of fun, too:

this one is supposed to be blurry, i like the way it makes the lights look:

Monday, November 24, 2008

thanksgiving crafts

there are a lot of sweet thanksgiving crafts over at the crafty crow. here are some i like:

handprint turkey reverse applique

happy thanksgiving turkey cards

and here's one that's simple enough for even me! i'm definitely going to do this one with my kids and all the extended family on thanksgiving morning:

crafty ways to show thanks

i'm going to have all the leaves cut out and ready to go, and then everyone will just jot something down on their leaves on thanksgiving morning. then string them up and everyone can enjoy them all day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

good day

a good day is...

sleeping in.

dancing in the grocery store aisles with sweet m.

watching hubby help the kids decorate a snoopy gingerbread house with no interference from moi.

Friday, November 14, 2008

today i...

sometimes i start thinking about all the improvements i need to make, all the things i don't get done, how much tv i let my kids watch, and on and on and on, and it can get a little much. i can really get pushed down by it, y'know?
so i think it's important for slowly-improving people like me to celebrate the small things. as in, some days i get the dishes all done. as in, some days i get a load of laundry done, clean a bathroom, and play a lot with the kids. as in, some days i get to take pictures.
today i took pictures.

Friday, October 31, 2008

little red riding hood and the big bad wolf

so, i had really big plans for halloween this year. great handmade decorations, a big party with lots of sweet m.'s friends and our friends, games, cookie decorating, magic tricks...yea, i get a little too crazy. i guess we'll have to save the big party for next year.
this year what i really wanted to do was take some pictures of the kids outside by some trees in their costumes. i did get that done, but not without some troubles: it was raining on and off, little c. had just woken up from his nap and was terribly crabby, and sweet m. wouldn't hold still. so this is what i ended up with and put into polaroid version, for the non-polaroids, check my flickr stream (if you want.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

just a preview...

i took some pictures of sweet m. in her costume today before she left for school. for some reason they don't have school tomorrow so the big halloween celebration is today. i'm hoping to take some even better ones tomorrow, with her little brother, the big bad wolf. also in the evening light tomorrow, i'm thinking it'd be cool to get some spooky shots. or of them by some trees, you the woods on their way to grandmother's house.

Monday, October 27, 2008

kinda exciting

remember how i've been raving about poladroid lately? (i've been told the link isn't working so here is the url:
anyway, i put up some of my poladroid creations on my flickr stream, and this one was put on the poladroid website as the poladroid of the day! (it was put up yesterday but is still up today.)
i usually don't take screen shots, but i just had to of this one!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

just can't get enough...

more polaroids. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

pola love

ok, so i love polaroids. but the film is expensive and is going (or has gone) out of production. so that's why i was beyond thrilled when i found out about this site that takes your regular pics and turns them into lovely, amazing polaroids! it's photography heaven! you can even shake the polas while they're developing! it's lovely.
it's called poladroid

found via a cup of jo via swissmiss

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

letters to a young poet, lesson 1

i'm truly sorry if i have been inundating this blog with pictures that i've taken lately. believe me when i say that it's not because i think i'm wonderful at taking pictures, or even that i've become proficient at it. it's actually got a lot to do with this guy and some things he wrote to a young poet who asked him for advice.
man, this little book is full of great things to think about if you're a creative type, or if you're like me and you're trying to expand your creative horizons. he's really changed my way of looking at a lot of things.
for instance: i have been guilty (many times) of thinking: if i lived somewhere cool then i'd have lots of things to take pictures of. or, if my life was more exciting i'd have a lot of stuff to write about. and then i read what rilke says on the subject: "if your everyday life seems poor to you, do not accuse it; accuse yourself, tell yourself you are not poet enough to summon up its riches; since for the creator there is no poverty and no poor or unimportant place."
so that's why i decided yesterday to drive around my town and look for things i found beautiful. i only had time to take shots and one place because i left the kids at home and plus the light was fading, but here is what i saw:

this last one has a cross-processed effect that i thought was kind of cool.

Monday, October 20, 2008

my own face inside the autumn trees

i took my camera out for some practice shots tonight while the kids were playing in the yard. the air was slightly chilly but not quite enough to need a jacket, and i loved it. i just can't get enough of this kind of weather...

more photos here (and they look a little better)