Monday, December 31, 2012

What I Wore :: A Year Ago

I was looking through my pictures to see how much things have changed in the past year. I found some adorable pictures of little, tiny children. I can't believe Bea and Amby were that little! I came across this outfit that I would still totally wear. Except that these jeans ripped up the back. Woops.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Consider the Ravens

One of the best things about this holiday season for me was getting to see Hudson, my brother who lives in the frozen north, West Virginia. He only comes to visit every few months and we write letters intermittently between his visits. 

Hudson lives on a mountain and works the land. He spends a considerable amount of time alone and I believe he must spend most of that time reading. His letters are laced with quotes and references. 

He left me feeling inspired to read more. Specifically my Bible, but generally everything. Classics and anything interesting. Because your mind is a palace and why fill it up with images from a bright, flashing screen when you can fill it with wonder and intrigue and complexity of thought? Hudson has a million references to make his own experience more historically resonant, by which I mean, he can see how what he sees and does echoes what has come before and parallels ideas that great minds from the past have expressed. 

It is a wonderful thing, a head full of thoughts.

image via pinterest

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just for a Day

This sweet little one felt terrible the other day! He stayed on the sofa most of the day and watched Nightmare Before Christmas on and off. (I do not believe that movie is appropriate for children of his age [2], but he saw it when I wasn't around and says it doesn't scare him. And he seems to follow the story quite well.) 

In the picture above, we had moved a living room chair into the kitchen because he wanted to be with me and I was baking. Not long after, he wandered into the living room and took a nap with his stuffed tiger, Hobbes.

He slept with us that night and felt back to normal the next day.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Of No Consequence

The kids are napping and James is out. I could do laundry, but I shall not. Instead I shall eat chocolates and paint my nails nude.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Four Ways to Wear :: Turkish Delight

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with food, dessert, Narnia or books.

Instead, it has to do with a dress. A versatile, double layer dress. I found it at a thrift store and was so excited, I may have dropped my child. It is made out of 100% non-natural material, quilted and hand-washable only. The colors are what some might call noisy and the patterns add to the clamor. So what?

Here's how one can wear such a garment:

1. This is how the dress and overdress look together, as intended by the manufacturer. 

2. I tucked in the bodice of the underdress and wore it as a skirt with a t-shirt and belt. Add some rolled down (pre-Nike) Converse for attitude. 

3. The overdress can be worn with pants under for an exotic, dare-I-say Turkish look. Delightful. 

4. This is how the underdress looks on its own. Lovely collar. Simple yet fancy. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Silver Packages

Tonight, oh, what torture. We read aloud. At my family's Christmas gathering, after all the food was eaten and all the gifts given, we read this book, Silver Packages. It is an Appalachian Christmas story and made us all sit there crying and passing the book to the next person.

Many years ago, I lost a brother, as some of you already know. Well, ever since then, my paternal grandmother has sent/given books to my mama each year. Beatiful picture books to be read aloud and enjoyed by all. We got all kinds of good books. Books about heaven and family and love and peace and all kinds of liberal, big-hearted stuff. Apparently this was one such book. It had a little note from Gramere in the front.

(Inconsequential tidbit: This year, my bother Justus and his girlfriend Andreina have little silver ornaments on their tree that remind sweet Justus of this book.)

Silver Packages is about a very poor Appalachian community and a man who comes on a train each Christmas to throw packages wrapped in silver paper to the children of the community. One little boy longs for a doctor kit, but instead gets mittens and socks and little toys year after year. However, as an adult, he returns to the town... with his real doctor kit.

Here's a review I was delighted to find:

Having lived in Appalachia for many years, I was excited to read a book based upon the efforts of "The Santa Train." (Which does exist, and which uses the means described in the story). The real train traverses areas of West Virginia and Kentucky every December, and provides a semblance of Christmas to children in some of America's poorest communities. This story elegantly captures the essece of the spiritual reality behind the experience as well as the sense of rootedness and community that ties the region together. I am a chaplain now, living in the midwest, and every Christmas I read it to children at the hospital where I work. They understand it immediately, and find it to be healing, hopeful, and helpful.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting Ready

It really doesn't feel like Christmas is so soon. I mean, there's been so much hard stuff to deal with lately in the news and closer to home that it's difficult to feel like celebrating. But I have these children who know nothing of the dreadful things in this world and it is my job to spread around all the Christmas cheer. 

Tonight was the company Christmas party. So I got ready while the kids napped this afternoon. (Aside: We've had some great days around here lately. Lots of playing and cuddling and reading and talking and cooperating, thus good naps.) I got done with everything I needed to do (chores, etc.) and had time to curl my hair. After all this, I ended up with my old standby, the braid crown.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Amby Faced

Remember back on myspace when that guy Mario was friending everyone and then he'd post a huge picture of his face in your comments? I do. That was hilarious. "Oh, you got Mario Faced!" Well, that is just what I thought of when I took these silly pictures of Ambrose's face. He makes such a cute sad face. lol: You got Amby Faced!

Mint Ice Cream

Today is a rainy day around here. We had planned an outside day, but that's what you get for not checking the weather. Bea got pretty excited about this striped backdrop. She wanted to show off her lovely new sweater. It is just the color of mint ice cream so she told me it's ok if I nibble her when she wears it. So sweet. I love this little girl!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lust List :: On Safari to Stay

Well, Cooper, you might be interested to know that I still enjoy the occasional bout of RD3, Restless Daydream Disorder. More in these stressful, busy days than usual perhaps. I don't mind, not at all, except when it gets to where I can't remember where memory stops and imaginary begins. Did that really happen or did I only think it? One thing is for sure. The safari memories are really imagined because I don't even have a passport. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

For Real?

I just got back from Kinkos where I printed my last project of the semester! Sheesh, I thought this day would never come. And it's not due until Tuesday!

I made a box wine package. Check out the front:

The project is to start by thinking about what it takes to create your best work and use that as a springboard to come up with a survival kit. It has to involve a box of some kind and we were encouraged to make it personal. So here you have it: wine. And also the idea of taking a break. You know, sometimes your best ideas come to you when you step away from your work and relax a little.