Thursday, December 31, 2009

best songs of 2009

i wasn't going to do a list like this at all; 2009 was such a GREAT year for music that it's hard to pick any favorites, but then D'Arcy asked for it, so blame her!

"lisztomania" and "1901" - phoenix. this whole album, wolfgang amadeus phoenix, is amazing. it's one of those albums that can make cleaning fun.

"song away" - hockey. watch this video and try not to smile.

"little secrets" - passion pit (any song on their whole album, manners, is amazing. perfect dance music.

"i can see the pines are dancing" - a.a. bondy, from the album when the devil's loose. this song is one of my favorite songs ever. just speaks to me that way. plus i love the title, and it makes me want to take a drive in the mountains.

"you and i" - wilco featuring feist. from wilco, the album. i already quoted this song to my husband on my anniversary, so you can see how much i love it.

"you saved my life" - cass mccombs from catacombs. i was going to quote the lyrics but you seriously need to listen to the song yourself. it's beautiful and amazing.

"i'm a pilot" - fanfarlo. my favorite song on my favorite album (reservoir)of the year. one of my favorite albums of all time. these people are amazing.

"oh no" - andrew bird. from noble beast. he's one of the best lyricists ever, and this song has some of the best lyrics he's ever come up with.

"i'm on my way" - yo la tengo. from popular songs. so mellow, so sweet.

"two weeks" - grizzly bear. from the album veckatimest. this song blows my mind with its amazing-ness. it's too good. the whole album is genius.

"now we can see" - the thermals. from the album now we can see. this song pumps you up. it's like a gritty powerful musical version of plato's allegory of the cave. at least that's what i get out of it! :)

"stillness is the move" - dirty projectors. from the album bitte orca. such weird goodness.

"my girls" - animal collective. from their absolutely stellar album merriweather post pavilion. i've never heard such sweet words set to such strange, cool, peppy electronic music. and i love it. seriously moving stuff. i don't know whether to cry or dance.

"boat behind" - kings of convenience. from declaration of dependence. put on this album, have yourself a dinner party. seriously.

to preview these songs and some of my other favorites of the year click here.
if anyone wants a cd with these songs, let me know!

what were your favorite songs/albums from 2009?

nothing changes on new year's day?

you know that u2 song?

all is quiet on new year's day
a world in white gets underway
i want to be with you night and day
nothing changes on new year's day.

right now the house is quiet except for my "best of 2009" playlist, the husband took the kids sledding and snowmobiling. here's how he looked:
(handsome, right? i'd steal that hat from him if i thought it would look as good on me.)

anyway, the house is quiet and i'm thinking about all the goals and plans i have for this new year and whether i'll be able to accomplish any of them, let alone all of them. i tend to dream big and have small follow-through.
but right now i'm thinking i don't care about the past. i think things DO change on new year's day. i'm thinking i will accomplish my goals this year.
i'm thinking about how i've cleaned my whole house in preparation for the new year (like the chinese do for theirs) and tonight, how we're planning on incorporating another chinese tradition into our new year. the tradition is that at midnight you open all the doors and windows in your house to let out the old year. (i don't know if we'll open ALL of ours, brrrrr! but we're going to do it!)
when 2010 comes around i want 2009 out of here. it was a great year in a lot of ways but i'm so excited to start the new one. it's my clean slate, my world in white getting underway...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

it was just like christmas

i hope you all are having the merriest of holiday seasons! here are some images from ours so far that i don't want to forget:
camping out by the christmas tree

watching and waiting for grandma and grandpa
making sugar cookies with grandma
looking at the tree christmas morning

don't ask me why little c. was sitting on daddy's shoulders...he just wanted to, i guess.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

in the bleak midwinter

what can i give Him, poor as i am?
if i were a shepherd, i would bring a lamb;
if i were a wise man, i would do my part;
yet what i can, i give him: give my heart.

merry Christmas, everyone! i hope your season is filled with cheer and love and peace.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

free christmas music!

just in case you hadn't heard, itunes is offering a free holiday music sampler (i think it's just available for a few days.) it's twenty songs, all different styles from weezer to david archuleta to sarah mclachlan to rascal flatts, and it's all free. just go to itunes to download.

found out via stephmodo

Friday, December 04, 2009

twoofthosetoo, originally uploaded by yyellowbird.

if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
-ivan turgenev

Monday, November 23, 2009

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

Wow, I can't believe Thanksgiving week is here already. I just loved this video. I LOVE Thanksgiving. I really missed not having this holiday when we were down under. I think that anyone can benefit from stepping back and looking for things to be grateful for. When I think of everything I could mention, I get teary.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

it's nice to know

that these guys weren't a fluke. their second album, contra, which comes out in january, is sounding like it's going to be almost or just as good as their first. this is the video for the first single from the afore-mentioned album. it's called cousins, and it doesn't stink!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

todaysmama holiday meme

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
a new lens for my camera, a hand-held blender, camera gear, adobe photoshop cs4, and books! books! books!
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
when i was a teenager i started to make a hand-bound book and never finished it. years later my mom finished sewing the pages and bound it for me. it was an amazing present.
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
a really funky afghan.
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
my parents always made christmas so fun, it's hard to say. probably when they gave me and my twin sister each a little kitten.
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
c.: anything with car, truck, or robot. m.: art supplies
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
my mom's homemade rolls. they are perfection.
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
i might try a gum-drop wreath i just saw on a blog, or help the kids make their own snow globes
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
it's a wonderful life. hands down, favorite movie of all time.
9. Favorite holiday song?
"christmas time is here" from a charlie brown christmas. (but i really love so many others)
10. Favorite holiday pastime?
hanging out with family and watching my kids open their presents.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i can see the pines are dancing

on a recent fall-getting-close-to-winter day, we all went to the park together.

can you see m. at all in this first one? she's standing under that really big tree.

it was cold. this is m.'s cold face:

this is when daddy helped her cross a fallen-tree bridge.

here is little c.'s cold face:

here is m. playing on the bridge

i like the way the light turned out in this one:

daddy climbed quite a tall tree, like a conquering hero:
i just loved the way little c. was looking down in this one:

Friday, November 06, 2009

our halloween

i suppose i should finally put up our halloween pictures. it's taken me a while because i've been working nights and i've been pretty tired. but halloween was AWESOME! the best part about it is that j. has forgotten his trick-or-treating candy and i don't have to worry about inordinate amounts of sugar going into his system. oh, and i thought it was so funny when people were asking what kind of candy s. likes. she's barely 8 months. give me a break.

at the stake halloween carnival with the cousins.
going trick-or-treating!

buying that firefighter costume for j. was the best money i've ever spent! can't wait to see what he wants to be next year.

Monday, November 02, 2009

all hallow's eve (and week)

halloween week is always such a blast in our neighborhood. we get to go to the ward party, the school carnival, and then regular trick-or-treating. i had lofty aspirations for costumes this year and once again fell back on the store-bought stuff. oh well, these kids look cute in everything! and they had such a fun week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

first snow

since j. is in his "terrible twos," some days go more smoothly than others. tuesday was an awesome day for us. we woke up to a thin blanket of snow, and j's reaction to it was just the best. his being excited about it made me more excited. and i've been pretty excited to see snow, after nearly 5 years without experiencing it. there's just something about getting to see things through your kids' eyes, it makes me feel so blessed to be a parent.

first look

first touch

first snowman

Monday, October 26, 2009

today i'm trying...

3., originally uploaded by m a v.

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
-George Bernard Shaw
Epistle Dedicatory to Arthur Bingham Walkley
“Man and Superman: a Comedy and a Philosophy”

today i'm trying to not be a feverish selfish little clod.
found quote via here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

they are so good, so good you see!

kings of convenience have put out their first album in about five years this week. why the title of this post from green eggs and ham? it's because i'm as sure as sam that if you try kings of convenience, especially this album, you WILL like them. i almost never buy entire albums of music and even more rarely recommend a band or musician to everyone i know. but i am doing that right now! if you have ears that work you'll love these guys. they're mellow and cheerful at the same time. they have the most beautifully harmonizing voices since simon and garfunkel.
go listen to a lot of it for free here.
better yet buy it for $7.99 here.
what are you waiting for? hop to it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

when i was afraid

sweet m. called me from school on tuesday around noon. i came and picked her up and i could tell she was feeling horrible. on friday morning she was doing a lot better and we almost sent her to school, but i felt like we should keep her home one more day just in case. that afternoon she was lethargic, her cough had become much, much worse, and her temperature was up. i took it at home and it was 101.3. after trying to contact our family doctor a few times i took her to the urgent care, where they found her temperature to be 105.3 degrees. they almost sent her straight to the emergency room (they said 105 temperature can cause seizures) but instead they attempted to get her temp down there. when we left about an hour later her fever was back down to 101.4 and she was feeling a lot better.
they gave her a prescription and she has improved a lot over the last couple of days.

it's such a relief. i can't explain how terrified i felt when they said she could be having seizures and that they were considering sending her to the e.r. you know, there are so many times when m. frustrates me and i forget to see her for how precious and special to me she really is. the only good thing about her being that sick was it really put things into perspective. it didn't matter that sometimes she can be pouty or stubborn. all i could think of was how much i love her, how kind she is and how helpful she tries to be with me, how concerned she is for people around her. and how incredibly blessed i am to be her mom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the magic numbers freebie

do you like the magic numbers? i'm a big fan of their sound. they are offering a free download of one of their new songs, called "hurt so good" through their website and their myspace page. click here if you want it, you just enter your email address.
i've listened to it once. it seems like quite a departure from their earlier stuff in some ways, but i like it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

get well soon, my sweet niece

hope you are feeling better, m. we love you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"blue skies" by noah and the whale

for a limited time, (i'm not sure how limited,) you can download the "blue skies" single from noah and the whale's new album called the first days of spring for free. just click here! i've only listened once but so far i'm really liking this song a lot!

albums i'm excited for: volume 1, devendra banhart's "what will be"

devendra banhart is really strange. and i love it. i love his freakiness, i love his folkiness. i guess that's why his stuff is called freak folk. anyway, he has a new album coming out on october 27th called "what will be" and you can hear two songs from it already. the first one is called "baby" and you can listen to it on his myspace page.
the second song is called "walillamdzi" and you can watch a video of devendra and his band recording the new album that is set to this song over here on stereogum.
p.s. i'm really liking "baby" a lot. check it out!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

back in the U.S. of A.

ok, so it's been a couple of months since we moved back to the States. i guess i kind of turned the blogging over to jo because she's been doing such a great job. but we had an experience today that's worth writing about.

this afternoon we went to a pumpkin patch.

we paid 5 bucks per person and got on a trailer hayride, pulled by an extremely old-fashioned tractor.

this wasn't even the tractor. the tractor that pulled us was even OLDER.

then we got out to the pumpkin patch.

more pumpkins than i have ever seen before! we got to each pick our own pumpkin out, and they had some HUGE ones.

i know that this might not be blog-worthy to some people. but, to us, it was the perfect afternoon.

here's the reason. we are just thrilled to be here. we love the mountains, love the friendly people, love the way people get into the holidays here.

we LOVE halloween. we used to celebrate it in australia, but it just wasn't the same. a lot of our friends there consider it an "american" holiday (which i guess makes it unworthy of celebrating :). i used to pray i would find an orange pumpkin in the grocery store for us to carve. last year i actually talked to the produce manager and he special ordered me a couple from queensland. guess how much they cost . . . $19.99 each! therefore, we only bought one. so when we sat on our hay bale and came within sight of the pumpkin field, i actually felt like crying. to be back here, with family and friends, and get to experience autumn and halloween simultaneously this year, it's just THE BEST!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

brushing aside waves to look for water

home life. it doesn't offer many surprises. there are so many chores. it's easy to get discouraged (for me at least.) i get frustrated with my children a lot. i let them watch too much t.v. i feel like there are too many improvements that i need to make.
luckily i get reminders, almost daily sometimes, of how lucky and blessed i am. seeing nie-nie on oprah, conference, capturing a moment with one of my children in photo form, or reading a really good quote.
like this one that my friend kat put up as her facebook status a few days ago, "If you seek some special life outside of daily activities, that is like brushing aside waves to look for water."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

little c. at 2 and 3/4ths years old

***these pictures and this post are from a long time ago, for some reason i never published them.

favorite song: "tell it to the volcano" by miniature tigers
favorite primary song: "i am a child of God"
favorite color: blue
favorite meal: cheesy tortillas
favorite outfit: anything involving a yo gabba gabba! t-shirt
favorite thing to do while millie's at school: throw ball with mom
favorite t.v. show: yo gabba gabba!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

sweet m. at 6 years and some odd months of age

this is how i will always think of you looking at 6: bangs always slightly askew, top front tooth missing,that tiny scar on your cheek from when you fell off your bike a few months ago,and always mixing patterns in your clothing, always dressing yourself exactly how you want.

a couple of weeks ago i asked the kids a few questions about themselves and wrote them in my journal. here's what millie said:
favorite song: "winter white hymnal" by the fleet foxes
favorite primary song: "i love to see the temple"
favorite color: tie between pink and red
favorite smell: the way my hands smell after i wash them with lots of soap (no joke this is exactly what she said.)
favorite meal: mac and cheese or mashed potatoes
favorite outfit: red tanktop that has white and blue butterflies on it, with white shirt underneath, and jean cut-offs
favorite book: goodnight gorilla
favorite thing to do at school: go to lunch
favorite t.v. show: the electric company

Monday, October 05, 2009

vampire weekend's drinking horchata

if you enjoy both "free" and "good music" you should definitely get yourself over to vampire weekend's website, where you can currently download a single from their album that won't be out till january 2010. it's called "horchata" and it's sounding pretty good to me.

keep on trying

"my brothers and sisters, don't ever get discouraged if you stumble at times. don't feel downcast and despair if you don't feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. the first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. we must try to believe, try to learn of God, read the scriptures, study the words of His latter-day prophets, choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us.
TRY, and KEEP ON TRYING, until that which seems difficult becomes possible, and that which seems only possible becomes a habit, and a real part of you."
-president dieter f. uchtdorf

i was in a pretty dark place when conference started this weekend. i felt another depression coming on and i was feeling guilty and terrible about that. facing another major episode of depression was wearing me out and i didn't feel like i could do it anymore. so many of the words and songs at conference uplifted me and restored my spirit. especially these words of president uchtdorf's. i feel like if i can just keep trying, someday i will be the person that i want to be.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

husbands and wives

old married couple, originally uploaded by AnguSung Photography.

one of my favorite quotes from conference so far:

"First, I give counsel to husbands and wives: pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion, pray for the love that makes their weaknesses and mistakes seem small, pray for the love to make your companion's joy your own, pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion."

-President Henry B. Eyring

*photo via flickr