Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bring on the Brisk, Please!

 It's officially fall in most of the country.  In San Diego, it's hard to enjoy the lingering heat of a mercurial summer, especially when around here the seasons are green and brown with no rainbow of foliage as enjoyed in my youth in Utah to speak of.
I have a special place in my heart and my budget for chai tea, an affinity for mountain shoulders robed in coats of many colors.  Mom used to start making applesauce in the fall for us to open once the first snow arrived.  As of now, chai tea is still on ice and apples are sliced fresh from the fridge.
I think someone forgot to tell the weather-maker that Autumn is awaited as it's supposed to be 90 degrees tomorrow and our sans-AC bedroom will make for another stifling, fan-stirring night of restlessness.  I can't wait until a good sweater and hot drink are in order.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Places toTake a Warm Nap

Just wanted to say hi.  We hope you get to take a nap today.

Lilly and Milo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Look What I've Been Up To...Mural

Have you ever been sleep deprived?

Over Thanksgiving break I put in 48 hours of painting (I didn't even count the hours of consultation and planning) during evenings and weekends, after work, between running the Turkey Trot, and trying to stuff my face with the best brussels sprouts and cornbread I've ever had.

In the end, the client was pleased and I was tired.  I'm still trying to catch my breath.  I'm looking forward to Christmas break just so I can do nothing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Look What I've Been Up To...Running

There are lots of reasons why I haven't been blogging lately, so in a concerted attempt to redeem myself and explain my absence, as well as to delight your eyes and imaginations with the magical and wonderful things that have been keeping me busy, I would like to present a new series called "Look What I've Been Up To..."

1. I trained this summer for my first marathon with veteran marathoner, and my mentor, Sheri Epps.  Our friend Amy Seed is the most encouraging runner I could ever have the privelege of knowing.  She sang, danced, and recited encouraging scripture the whole time we ran this Long Beach Marathon.  Our medals were huge by the way, proportionately so to the mercury that day.  We cried at the end.  I sat a lot at work the next day.

3. & 5. On Thanksgiving morning we move our feet before we eat.  I ran two races: a 5-miler and a 5K (3.1 miles)  I started the first race again with Amy, but she ran so fast she puked at the end.  So this is my friend, Kristen Sullivan, who I was so glad to have by my side.  And I made good time myself, but I had injured my knee a bit the week before and running these two races really screwed me up good.  I'm upset at my injury and hope it doesn't set me back for a half marathon in January.

The 5K was my one year anniversary of running as it was my first race last year.  I can hardly believe I ran two halfs and one full marathon in just my first year.  I'm so hooked.  In fact, not being able to run on my bum knee is really killing me!  Hurry up and heal, silly knee!

2. & 4. Say hello to Oceanside-Carlsbad.  This is where I get the privilege of running each weekend.  I love that I get to start my weekends like this.  I used to hate waking up early to run, but this is just so worth it.  I can't wait to be healthy and get out there again.  This makes me fall in love with God as Creator and fellow artist all over again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Matrimonio Italiano...Bellissimo!

 She was Cinderella, riding side saddle, behind her two most handsome nephews, gentlemen perched atop their own strong horses.  Her toes dangled and her veil swayed with the horse's gait.  They rounded the corner and the people who loved them most were already on their feet.

The curls atop the flower girl's head were in perfect arrangement and her smile was sparkling almost as clearly as the tears in the father of the bride's eyes.  Sister took the petite hand of niece turned garden fairy as they led the parade of ginger steps down the aisle, followed by nephews, clad in matching linen Armani tunics, and then the Princess herself on the arm of Daddy.

The Italian ceremony was long, so bride and groom sat in chairs as their most beloved friends and family spoke, prayed, sung and recited.  The children's choir was especially sweet, but the groom may have been most moved when the bride surprised him with her own solo.  A translator leaned forward in her chair, her Southern Italian waves brushing the shoulders of the Americans in front of her, her Southern Italian accent brushing their ears.

I ran around in the grass, sidestepping the zanzare as they bit my bare legs.  Great candids are easier to come by with four photographers.  Let's hope this works...

With little fanfare the bride and groom were ushered to Grazano Visconti, a medieval village, to be their own Romeo and Juliet.  Poses atop stairs and behind ivy, stealing kisses with the intent to be caught by a point and click.  The guests were glad we weren't gone long because the first course was elegant cold cut rosettes and savory pastries, as decadent as the wedding cake itself.  This was followed by the most delicious pasta dressed as candy: ricotta pillows in striped noodles, twisted at each end.

The wine must have cost more than my own wedding dress, it was that delicious, and the meat, I'm told, was to die for.  The spumoni cleared our palettes and our minds, ready for more.  It was now around 5:00 and we had been celebrating since 9:30 am. But when the torta came, we could have stayed all night long.  Espresso send us home heady and teary eyed; excited at a new start, overwhelmed with love, and ready for our beds.

It was a magical day to be sure.
I could do it all over again tomorrow.
All 10 hours of it.

Ahhh, amore. Auguri, Paola e Antonio.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last Day to Sleep In

Today was our last day to sleep in this summer.  The life of a teacher is a charmed one.  But we must go back to work tomorrow and my feet are surely dragging.

 We have done a lot this summer, in fact, I think we have played harder this summer than ever before.  Perpetual barbeques bleed lunch into dinner, one day into the next.  Waterskiing until we are sore, frisbee for Jon and running with my girls for me.  Kitchen remodel and visits home.  Kayaking and paddle boarding in the lagoon.

And sleeping in.

This was the view in our summer bed today, trying to hold onto the last threads of both the season and the sleep. 

I am extracting the dread and infusing the joy as I go into Fall; may I enjoy this year as much as I have enjoyed this lovely, lovely summer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Surprise Visit

I have a friend who sometimes blogs, with a wink and a smile, about all the wonderfully embarrassing things that happen to her in her less than mundane life at home with her two adorable girls.

The Fluffy One likes to lay out too...and share my pillow

Here is my nod to her:

Step 1: Don itty bitty bikini that no one but the walls in the back yard ever see me in.
Step 2: Hammock and Psychology lecture on iPod.  Turn it up, zone out.
Step 3: While listening to the various stages of consciousness and sleep, be vaguely aware that the dog is barking somewhere inside.  Ignore it.  Again.
Step 4: Furiously scramble to cover myself, twisting, turning and flailing. Readjust said bikini in areas where it's been inched back to allow for fewer tan lines, but do this in the most graceful and expedient way a hammock will allow, eventually being spilled on the cement, along with my iced tea.
Step 5: Excuse myself, not at all awkwardly, from the pest control man who just rounded the corner and likely got the surprise of the day.

Note to self: Remember when it's bug spray day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh, By The Way...

I forgot to tell you.
Guess what I did!
This summer I got to run two half marathons and I want to tell you about them.

The first one was, at first glance, a bust.  After only 1.5 miles I conked out.  I got too excited and messed up my pre-run routine, and started out too fast.  Going up a little hill, my friends took off.  My mentor/coach/Mr. Miagi stayed with me and never left, but I was so upset about doing poorly and not keeping up.  Finally she told me to get over it, and I wouldn't have wanted them to stay with me and wait anyway.  I knew she was right, but I still couldn't enjoy my run.

My Mr. Miagi, Sheri
I started to get all philosophical and began to think about how I've also felt left behind by friends who have all gone on and started families, even though I started the race before many of them.  It was an emotionally exhausting run, as well as a physical one, but I don't think it was as much of a failure and here's why:

My mentor helped me realize that I wouldn't want anyone to wait to start families as I wouldn't want these girls to slow down, and neither did the race end at the finish line.  I didn't stop running, and I've only gotten better.  I've gotten healthier and even ran another half marathon since then.  And this is life too; we are all called upon to exercise our endurance at many different times, and we are all forced to run.  But how we react and become stronger from these events is where the true success lies.

So my excitement at their finish on race day is just as genuine as my excitement when dear friends and family announce pregnancies and have baby showers.  There is nothing that will ever keep me from sharing in their celebration, and knowing that their victory is also my victory.  The God that is writing their story is my God too, and I love that he works in the people I love.

This first race was the Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half, and the second was the Freedom Half in Salt Lake City on Independence Day, which I ran during my recent vacation there.

Night and Day.

It was me, running it myself.  No comparison, only enjoying the ride.  Much of it was downhill, and I had no goals but to enjoy it.  I finished 8 minutes faster than the other one, and I had a blast.  My family was so supportive, and my dad even came out and met me at mile 10 on his bike and rode with me for a while.

I've been reading Ryan Hall's Running With Joy, and I finally got it this time.  This is my run, I am not running it in competition with anyone, this is my story and I'm running it at my own pace, my best pace I can.  I love that I have companions to pull me along and encourage me to do better, but ultimately, this race is my own and no one else's.

I have learned so much about life from running, and I have so much more to learn, in both areas.  But one thing is for sure: I am hooked.  And now, I am training for a full marathon in Long Beach this fall.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Legacy

I have so many talented people in my family, and collecting all their wonders caused me to realize anew that I had no choice but to follow in their footsteps.  

This little baby doll was my own, made by my mama and I just love that expression.  The screenprint behind her matted locks was recently created by my fabulous cousin and I still haven't figured out how to use or display it.  Any ideas?

Helen Dardik is ridiculously talented, and her work is just adorable.  It wasn't until after I purchased her print on the right that I realized the darling child in the painting was a girl.  So I decided to paint my own rendition, using some of her other sweet originals as inspiration and concocted the little watercolor cowboy on the left...just in case the wee one we get is a boy, not a girl.  Now we have both bases covered.

My husband's great aunt passed down these embroidered and appliqued throws and they couldn't be more dear to me.  I can't wait to supplement them with a quilt from my amazing mother-in-law.

 So many handmade treasures here!  My little sister made the hugging kitties on the left, an illustration of our sisterly love...they even wear our initials on their tummies.  The teddy bear in the middle is one of the many bears my grandma made and nicknamed "Sheddy Bears," as my mom called them, not being able to say her own name, Shelley, as a little one.  And the pink guy is a Popple; my own from the 80s.  Anyone remember those?  You can also see the zig zag blanket I crocheted.

 What is this edging called, like little lace?  These are two pillow cases great aunt made, hanging on the antique dresser a friend bought us.  And the alligator up top is a pencil holder my grandpa made for all of the cousins when we were little.  He sits by a needle punch I made a few years ago; and YES, those are cloth diapers below!

I saved some of my own Golden Books, my first Bible and my mom's copy of Alice in Wonderland, with some other collected classics from over the years.  And there's no way my Strawberry-mobile couldn't make an appearance, however temporary.

Although this pint-sized room is filling up quickly, I know it will be full to the brim one day with all the practicalities and preciousness of all things child.  For those of you in this boat, how do you keep from busting at the seams?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Everything's Hunky Dory

Last week we were supposed to have our last meeting with our adoption social worker.  It was the last in a string of months of classes, interviews, and inspections.  But we were thwarted.  By a neighbor in a hurry.

She was parked on the street and our across the street neighbor pulled out of her driveway a little too fast and, well, by hitting her car it certainly made for a more than inconvenient evening for all parties involved.

I couldn't help but thinking that this could be good, she is seeing us in a real-life situation, more than she could see in a clinical setting.  And if our perfect little one isn't ready yet, this delay only makes for superb timing.  It looks like we'll have to reschedule, but for now, everything's hunky dory.