Monday, December 20, 2010

i can't believe...

...i was ever afraid of having a boy.

thank you for making my life silly, snuggly, exasperating, loud, and so much fun. when i saw you for the first time, and they put that bright red hat on you (only for babies born around christmas time,) i fell into so much love that it caught in my throat.
today is your day. today you can drink pop and have more than one treat! i hope that it is so much fun for you, and i hope that someday you understand how special you've made my life.
love, mom

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

my 4 year old

today my little boy turned 4. yes, this one:

how can he be 4?

wasn't this yesterday?

and now he's into buzz lightyear

and planning his astronaut career.

happy birthday to my precious, smart, handsome, wonderful, sweet boy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the doing

(little c. asleep on the couch.)

"but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. this is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. there is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. and I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

anna quindlen

quote via hula seventy

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

some things

halloween was short and sweet for us this year. the kids wanted to go to the school carnival without costumes, and i was fine with that. we went to the trunk-or-treat our community did and ran out of candy in about 15 minutes. it was our first trunk or treat and i loved it because we were done so quickly, and the kids got tons of candy without having to go a million different places. wait, is tons of candy a good thing or a bad thing? :)
the best thing to me was the awesome trick-or-treat bags that my mom made for the kids. (isn't she amazing?) i love those bags to death. she also made m.'s costume, the pinafore and the shirt that goes underneath. (thanks mom! you rock!) we lucked out and found sparkly red shoes at target.

this is sufjan stevens. last monday i got to see him live, in concert with my hubby, nene (co-author of this blog,) and nene's husband. it was amazing. it's really hard for me to describe my feelings about this concert in words, but let me just say my mind was blown. it is still being blown. i usually have reservations about using the word "genius" but i have no problem going there for sufjan. he is a genius. the concert was crazy, inspirational, loud, strange, beautiful, fun, enlightening, and haunting. i loved every minute of it and i'll always be glad i got to be there. it was seriously a privilege.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

to the rescue

this morning could have been disastrous. j. woke up grumpy again and was refusing to go to preschool and refusing to wear his yellow shirt as well (they are doing colors this month). i was trying to make french toast and calm the chaos, but heading for frustration central. instead my husband saved me and helped us all laugh. he made goofy faces and got j. dressed and soothed a meltdown when j. freaked out over cutting his french toast. then we got into the car (on time!) to take j. to preschool and CCR was playing on the radio and we drove down the street singing "I WANT TO KNOW, HAVE YOU EVER SEEEEN THE RAAAAAIN." and everything was all right again. thank goodness for this man.

Monday, July 19, 2010

at the park

we went to the park yesterday evening. it was 92 degrees out, but luckily we went to a great park with tons of big trees. it didn't seem very hot at all.

i love how kids get so excited to play and how lost they can get in it. it's so fun to watch them enjoying such simple things as slides or climbing over and over. i have fun just watching them have fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the innocence mission

have you heard of the band the innocence mission? if you are a kid of the 90's, such as i, then you might remember their song "bright as yellow" which is one of their only tunes to really hit the main stream.
the innocence mission is one band that i feel safe recommending to anyone. teenagers, people who aren't all that into music, my parents who are in their seventies (hi mom and dad!) that's how good this band is. peaceful, lulling melodies, and sweet, meaningful lyrics.
they penned my favorite lines in all of song lyric-dom, (which, if you know how jam-packed my brain is with song lyrics, you know is saying something):

let's get up early now, dive clear into the day
let's get out of the car with open arms, not wait to be embraced.
-from the song "when mac was swimming"
isn't that such a beautiful sentiment? and isn't it just put so well?
this is my soul music. if i could make music, i'd want to make music like this. plain and simple.
so, why all this gushing about the innocence mission? they have a new album out today! it's called "my room in the trees." isn't that a great image? and if you click here you can download two of their new songs, "the happy mondays" and "god is love." also visit their website to hear "spring," which sounds just lovely.

i can't wait to get my hands on the entire album.
p.s. if you're just being introduced to the i.m. try "the lakes of canada," "sweep down early," or "beautiful change."

p.p.s. if you don't like them after listening to those three songs, i'll give you a hundred bucks. just kidding.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

before church

here are some pictures i snapped before church today.
question: do i usually have time to take pictures before church?
answer: no, no i don't.

p.s. sweet m. completely dressed herself AND fixed her hair today. i smoothed out the bumps in her hair a little, but otherwise, that cuteness? all her.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

my sweet seven year old

my sweetest of sweet m.'s,
i can't believe you are seven now. what a great year you've had. first grade, lots of new friends, you were super girl for halloween, you got so sick we almost had to take you to the emergency room, you played t-ball for the first time and started ballet.
i love how kind you are, how attentive you are to your teachers and coaches, how you really want to do your best and please everyone. you try so hard, and i love that about you. i love how much you tell me you love me. i know you mean it.
this year let's have so much fun we just about burst, ok?
love, mom

and one of you today, on your birthday:

Monday, July 05, 2010

a day with the grandparents

this is what it looks like when my parents come and visit: my kids are happier, my house is cleaner, everything seems sunnier and more fun.

please come back soon.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

no time to sleep

i know it's silly but it makes me so happy to see him sleep. especially with his bum up in the air, which he is doing in this picture though you can't really tell.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

once upon a summertime

we've had a busy-ish summer so far. sweet m. is taking ballet and doing t-ball, we've done a quick road trip, and park day is every tuesday. what's busy to us is probably pretty mellow for most people. that's okay.
my favorite summer days are ones like today. nowhere to go, no big plans, pj's stay on longer than they should, some chores get done and some might not. that's okay.
i'm trying to live by my motto, some lines from leonard cohen's song "anthem." (that i've probably quoted here before, but that's okay too.)

ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in.

Monday, June 07, 2010

rocket pops and many thanks

last night we decided to try out our new popsicle molds. we made a mixture out of frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and a little bit of apple juice. then i blended it all up and poured it in the molds. the kids had them for snacks this morning.
review: sweet m. loved them. little c. thought they were cool for one second and then, before even trying a lick, decided they were yucky and wanted a regular popsicle. silly kid!
i thought the molds were great. they froze the pops beautifully, the designs are so cute, and the little tray that catches drips is ingenious! they were easy to get out of the molds, too. just a little hot water and they slid right out. (if anyone is interested they are tovolo popsicle molds and i got them from amazon.)

now i have to take a little minute to say thank you to everyone who has been so kind to me lately. there have been words of encouragement, flowers from my parents, kind comments on the blog, there were really yummy cookies and a thoughtful note from a friend, there have been empathetic conversations and wonderfully capable women who covered for me and didn't make me feel bad about it at all.

one of the worst things about depression for me is how isolating it can be. it is so easy to stop reaching out to people and to convince myself that i'm alone, that everyone already has their group of friends and why would they want me to join in?
but i couldn't possibly feel that way now. not with all of the kindness and love you all have shown me. thank you, thank you!

i feel so happy lately. happier than i've been in a long, long time. and i know a lot of that comes from the happiness and kindness of the people in my life, whether it be old friends, new friends, acquaintances, or blog friends. i'm so grateful.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

my new life

stephanie nielson is my inspiration. i'm not going to pretend that my battle with depression is anything like the trials and struggles that she goes through, but i draw strength from her example just the same. my new life and my new world is one with depression in it. hers is one with scars and surgeries and things i can't even comprehend. if i can face up to my trials and endure them half as well as she as hers, i'll call it good. she's amazing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'fessing up

first shot, originally uploaded by girlhula.

sorry for my long breaks and silences here. i have been going through quite the doldrums lately. i guess i didn't say anything to anyone or even admit it to myself because i kept hoping the next day would be better. but it hasn't yet.
i know it will eventually. in the meantime i'm reading a great book called "the mindful way through depression" that i hope will be very helpful.
thanks for reading this blog. i will be back soon...see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

this is my mom. these are her hands.

when i'm feeling down, stressed, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, depressed, lonely, or negative, i call my mom.
she is a great lady, this mom of mine.
she tells me, "you can do this!" in a way that makes me believe it.
she says, "i'm so proud of you!"
when i'm feeling like i have such a long way to go, she says, "look how far you've come."
when i tell her that hubby and i are having an argument, she never picks sides.
i know she always has my back.
her prayers are something mighty to behold. they are a force to be reckoned with, and that makes her the most powerful woman i know. luckily she uses her powers for good.
she is cheerful. she is a dang hard worker. she is an amazing gardener and mind-blowing quilter. she makes the best bread and rolls (among other things)i've ever tasted. but the thing she is best at is mothering. in all senses of that word.

y'know how people always say that girls grow up to be just like their mothers?
i can only wish.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


i'm trying to remember if i said last september that autumn is my favorite season. did i say that? maybe i meant spring. i love spring. i love that i get to celebrate easter in the northern hemisphere this year, where things are actually coming back to life. it is full of a whole different kind of meaning. i love it. love the pastels everywhere, love the budding trees and the sprouting tulips and other such bulbly flowers. love it. so to celebrate spring, and also because i love making cupcakes lately, we made these.

we made them from scratch with a yellow cake recipe and tweaked it a bit. and we did cream cheese frosting. some of them overflowed a bit when baking, but they taste pretty darn good. another great part of spring--wilton easter sprinkles.
what easter crafts are you doing?

down with the shine

last night i was watching the avett brothers tiny desk concert at npr on youtube. they are amazing performers. the second song they did (which is so new it's not on any of their albums, DARN!) is called "down with the shine."

down with the shine, the perfect shine
that poisons the well and ruins my mind
i get took for a ride every time
down with the glistening shine.

can i just say wow. this song really struck me, i mean it flat-out banged me over the head. i LOVE those lyrics. how often do i get distracted and caught up with things because they're shiny? and anyway "the perfect shine" is just an allusion, right? that makes my own life look less wonderful in comparison and makes me want more than what i have. that is poisonous, indeed. isn't "the shine" what makes me think that if i only had this new thingy or if i was only like her, i'd be happy. it's not even usually a conscious thing, but still "i get took for a ride every time."
i love the idea of a revolution, and instead of people shouting, "down with the czar!" or "down with the government!" they'd say "down with the shine!"
if you want to watch it go here, "down with the shine" starts at 7:23. or watch the whole video, because it's all great!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

most this amazing day

lately my husband has been like, "what's up with you never posting on your blog anymore?" and i'm like, "i dunno!" so this post is for you, honey.

today when i woke up i remembered that FANTASTIC MR. FOX (more about that later) came out on dvd today, and i was so excited that we went to the grocery store first thing. it was so foggy that it was quite hard to see; but when we came out, most of the fog had lifted.
it had already been a good morning: little c. was great in the store, (quite unusual,) we were both excited to watch fantastic mr. fox, a movie that my whole family has been dying to see since we saw the first trailer for it months and months ago ( i ♥ wes anderson very much,) and we were listening to a great song.
i started looking around my neighborhood, and it was beautiful. the frost had settled all over everything, making even the brown, reedy weeds look beautiful. and everywhere there was steam rising up from the ground, like in brigadoon when it disappears. all of a sudden this poem that i memorized in my first humanities class in college (the class that got me to fall in love with the humanities forever) sprang into my mind,

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
-e.e. cummings

it made me happy. i hope you had a happy day, too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

this too shall pass in the sun

there are two videos that have come out lately that i have watched repeatedly (mostly because the kids are like, "again! again!") one is ok go's new video for their song "this too shall pass." this video is definitely an amazing feat. it's shot in one long take and they had engineers from all over the country create this "machine" for them. i don't own any ok go albums, but they without a doubt make some awesome videos. this one is my very favorite.

the other one is she & him's video for their single, "in the sun." how adorable is this video? plus, i really want the dress that zooey deschanel is hula-hooping in at the end.

these two videos have got me thinking about other music videos that i've loved over the years and that my kids have loved watching as well. here's a list:

p.s. for some reason it seems to be cutting off the sides of the videos. if that happens just click on them again and it should take you to the original source.