29 January 2011


My cleaning and purging around the house, as well as a few shopping trips, have given me lots of things to take to my little booth at the flea market. I made a trip over with a car full last Sunday.

I got a call yesterday saying that my bench had sold, so I need to go back over and straighten. I've already gathered several baskets of new things to take. I made a few of these ribbon necklaces with some baubles that I had, and I've been crafting and painting and still editing my own stuff, particularly in my office this afternoon.

27 January 2011

Pillow talk

I've been contemplating a bedroom redo for quite a while now, and while new hardword floors and pulling out the sliders to convert the screened porch to an all-weather sitting area might not be on the near horizon, I'm thinking these sweet burlap pillows from Ballard could be the jumpstart to at least a new bedding set. We've had most of the bedding we have now, in Ralph Lauren's Guinevere and Aragon patterns, for several years. By far the longest I've ever lived with a comforter. I haven't found anything I want instead, but it's getting tired and we're getting tired of it. We've hedged on replacing the set, though, thinking we might upsize to a king bed to better accommodate the 90 lb. black lab mix who routinely stretches out between the Mr. and Mrs. at night. I'd also like the room for Macauley to sneak down and climb in with us from time to time to, while he's still young enough to want to. There's a country song, I think, that says something like, "Let them be little...let them sleep in the middle..." I like that. And I like these pillows. For the burlap, of course, but also because I'm happy to be the Mrs. to a Mr. I hope I can always roll over to find in the other side of my bed.

25 January 2011

Blogger's Block

I am alive and well (and have been quite productive of late) but for some reason I've just not been inclined to post anything to my blog, something I generally find both worthwhile and enjoyable. I came across my horoscope in this Sunday's paper and made note:

Virgo (August 23-September 22): Your project lacks the momentum it once had. It's normal to hit a plateau. Muscle through.

Tonight my body is tired (I've just now sat down after a full day of teaching high school, a trip to Target, several loads of laundry, the compiling of two gift baskets, homework for Macauley and me both, and replacing my piles of linens I sorted through around midnight Saturday back into my hutch in the dining room) but my mind is swirling with all I've likely intended to post here to remember later. I don't know if I'll finally plug in the new little camera I got for Christmas and play catch up with all the pictures I know are waiting there on that itty bitty memory card or just call it good and go from here, but at least my fingers are tapping the keys tonight--my feeble attempt at muscle.

Like many invigorated by the promise of a new year and new beginnings, I've been rather ruthlessly cleaning out closets and drawers around here, sending many items to my flea market booth (looking quite cute and mostly full as of this past weekend) and others to the thrift store. The hard-to-reach cabinets above my washer and dryer can now be opened without fear of falling beach towels, light bulbs and camping gear that should probably be stored elsewhere. The small closet just inside from the garage now contains neatly lined up baskets of batteries, those light bulbs, dog and cat treats, dog and cat flea treatments, dog and cat hair removal tools, and just one basket of "old" towels to clean with. It no longer contains 84 "old" towels, 16 random knobs and drawer pulls, 3 plastic bowls of screws and other hardware, 204 shopping bags--paper and plastic--or miscellaneous (unsuccessful) tile brightening treatments among other half-used cleaning products. The drawer next to the stove holds our 3 small cutting boards, a tray of measuring spoons and cups, and a tray of screwdrivers, scissors and a hammer--a non-themed grouping but one that for some reason works for us and just needed to be reigned in. The drawer of plastic cups by the sink lost 2/3 of its population and the remaining, oft-used citizens breathe much easier now. I've tossed out condiments in the door of the fridge that dated to last year (and one to the year before that!), and I got really honest and threw out food in the freezer that I knew, despite being wasteful, we were never going to eat. Cereal boxes and jars and baking supplies and bags of chips each have a place in the kitchen pantry. A chunk of clothes that are cute but unworn made way for a smaller chunk of newly purchased pieces I will actually wear. The bonus room that Macauley had so adorably arranged as a "classroom" last summer but had been repeatedly trashed by play dates and a couple of pizza parties with friends is now back to being the French Country catch-all room, just another place to watch TV or jump around in and not the room I couldn't show guests without all sorts of apologies and explanations.

There are still several nooks and crannies around this place that need similar treatment, and I'll try to click through as long as I can, ride out the newness of this new year as long it lasts for me, but teaching is my day job (and on my mind many hours past the time I clock out) and holiday break has been over and done with for a few weeks now. Last week I started a new semester and have 2 classes of freshman English, a class I haven't taught in a few years. I'm adjusting to the younger kids just fine so far and still have my one class of seniors. I do enjoy being a teacher but I don't consider teaching my "life," and I don't guess I write about it much here, preferring instead for this space to be a place of leisure, of family, of nesting and not work. And while I've neglected the documenting of it here, I have been making time for all 3 of those since I last wrote on 1 January, despite being back at school. My handsome little boy has been making me laugh and getting smarter daily and my sweet husband I have, for whatever reason, been riding one of the highest ups on the rollercoaster of love and marriage these days. I'm thinking and a-doing and reading and even creating a little...now I need to get back in the rhythm of writing about it all...

01 January 2011

Per usual, it flew...

I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to the twinkles and sparkles of my holiday home, but I did pull a few things down here and there today, lacking the motivation to tackle to total tear-down.

We had a wonderful time ringing in Twenty-Eleven last night with old friends at Touch--a yummy dinner and rocking retro concert. Ryan and I have lazed about most of today, although I did attempt a Martha Stewart recipe for chocolate souffles that was mildly successful. That and a pot of chili and lots of TV, namely the launch of OWN, have sustained us for this first day of the new year. Macauley is with my parents, and while we relish the break, we miss him so much when he's gone.

I got so many lovely gifts this year from my friends and family. Ryan gave me a cute set of baggage from Victoria's Secret, their new Bombshell fragrance, a new (bigger!) pair of diamond earrings AND a new camera! So, so sweet of him. I love giving gifts (I have found that is for sure my Love Language, if you're familiar with the 5) and so enjoyed buying and wrapping goodies for everyone I love...

The weather swelled to the low 60s here the last couple of days, but today we've dipped way back down into winter and I'm left with mostly the urge to snuggle up and insulate myself from the inpending return to school and the real world coming up Tuesday. There's all sorts of organization and cleaning and such to be done, but I suppose it can wait. This season always blurs by so quickly...I'm going to try to soak up what I can of it before I pack it all away and settle into the grayer days of just plain winter. Some peace there, too, for sure, but certainly less sparkle...

Warm wishes for a safe and satisfying 2011 to all...

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential." ~Ellen Goodman

Christmas Morning

Macauley came into our room around 7:45 in disbelief that we were actually still in bed. We had to get up to see if Santa had made his way to Woodfield Avenue...

Macauley was excited and polite and grateful as he scanned the small items spread on the floor and the surprises in his stocking and even the treats left for the pets of the house, but I knew he was disappointed not to see the item he'd been obsessing over for months. "Santa knows I've already gotten a METRIC TON of presents," he said.

There had been lots of talk on the news about the likelihood of a white Christmas for us, but we really only got a light dusting of snow. We lured Macauley outside to see if there was enough powder to try out his new sleds, but no, there really wasn't. I told him we'd just go back inside through the garage and I put up the door...

and there was the Polaris Power Wheels we'd been visiting at Toys 'r Us for months! Santa had tucked it in right behind Dad's car! Macauley first looked at me and asked if I had gotten it for him and if I knew all along it was in the garage. I just shrugged and said, "Why would you think that?" and he quickly moved on...
Such a dream come true for this little boy...it's even got an MP3 player jack. Ryan loaded up his old iphone for Macauley and he's spent most free moments either driving around the neighborhood or sitting in the garage jamming out to his music. He calls it his "baby." I'm so glad Santa could deliver such a wallop of Christmas joy to our sweet, hilarious boy...

Christmas Eve

Functions with my in-laws are always light-hearted and laughter-filled. Ryan's family is louder than my own, lots of joking around and big whoops of laughter. They've always welcomed me and after almost 14 years I for sure feel like one of the fam. We traditionally spend Christmas Eve with Ryan's mother's family here in town and this year his grandfather Earl hosted. I am still laughing at one of the you-just-had-to-be-there moments during this year's gift exchange, the short version of which involved Ryan's uncle being socked in a most painful place by his grandson then later opening the Nutcracker Ale he coincidentally got as a gift...We had a nice evening then Ryan's parents came over to our house to celebrate on our own. They gave Macauley a sled. Santa did, too, but he liked this model much better. They gave us several nice things (I got a travel mitt for my Chi--what a great idea!) including season passes for all 3 of us to Silver Dollar City and White Water. Wow!

Ryan's dad has taken up woodworking in his retirement and he was sweet enough to make this I Heart My Grandma trinket for Macauley to give to Linda.

I'm so glad to be a part of this family, so grateful for my son to have such loving and generous grandparents, and grateful for my husband's parents being willing to let their little boy go and spend the big day with me and mine.


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