28 May 2008

peas in a pod.

first, the little kid slept in until TEN o'clock which never happens. he was in the sweetest mood all day too, even without a nap. needless to say, it was a happy mommy wednesday.

second, we got long-overdue family haircuts today at green pea salon. well, the grown-ups did [i've been trimming eli's myself.] so while erika cut my hair, jeremy and eli roamed to the bookstore & post office. during j's turn, eli and i browsed a nearby antique store where i saw many things but successfully held onto both my wallet and my squirmy boy eager to get down and touch expensive china with all the love inside him.

next, we three headed over to Crema, a newish coffee spot downtown. jeremy had been there a few times and raved about the mochas. i found myself back in italy upon the first sip. truly, it was the best mocha i have had in these united states and i'm not exaggerating an ounce. eli bounced between us, sampling fistfuls of my zucchini nut muffin and j's fluffy raisin scone. eli exudes the most happiness, we've noticed, when all three of us are together. he held each of our hands in his own tiny ones and walked along blissfully; we lifted him over puddles swinging him up into the air.

tonight i made an indian feast compliments of Whole Foods: chicken tikka masala, Tasty Bite jodhpur lentils (not so tasty...too much cumin), and wedges of whole grain naan brushed with olive oil.

and now, a little fun with photo booth to capture our new haircuts (in reverse) while they still have that fresh-from-the-barber-chair vavoom:

27 May 2008


[look Keely, it's queen anne's lace!]

today was nice. lots of activity. jeremy began painting the stairs: which inspired us to clean, which motivated us to want to work on more projects, which encouraged us that one day soon our house will feel "finished."

just maybe.

while he painted spindles wearing old blue converse high-tops i didn't know he owned, Eli and I headed into town where we met my friend Danielle and her son Ellis for storytime at the downtown library. very much fun. Eli attempted to storm the stage a couple of times, especially once he caught a glimpse of a guitar up there. but mostly he paid attention to the theatrics (including a bit of juggling, some tap-dancing, fiddle-playing, songs about colors, and yes, a story was read too), and all the while he and Ellis stuffed their happy little faces with a kid-snack buffet of graham crackers, cheerios, Nilla wafers, and cheese goldfish.

after the story, we took our lunch to the courtyard and sat under a magnolia tree; then let the boys fast-walk around near the big fountain. i brought lunch from home but bought a macaroon from the Provence bakery attached to the library. come to find out, Eli is not such a fan of coconut.

he napped the whole way home, and I listened and sang along to Katie Herzig's Apple Tree CD, which is my favorite music of the moment.

this evening, some friends came over for dinner and it was good to have our home filled with three babies and six adults and lots of food and conversation...

[eli's first scribbles, after taste-testing the chalk]

now the dishwasher is swishing and glugging and we're stuffed and sleepy...

...so goodnight.

23 May 2008

pretty modern things.

normally when it comes to design, i'm mostly a vintage girl. i love scouring flea markets, the look of old fabrics, and furniture with character: the more scuffed up the better. i like things with a story.

lately though, i've been appreciating the clean lines and anti-shabby details of modern-mixed-with-retro in certain household products.

take my brand new iron for example. yes, i am blogging about an iron. yes, i am actually excited about an iron. but how could i not be? it's glimmery and pink and pretty! and it presses out wrinkles too.

and here's the new garlic press i bought last week (our old one broke):

a great label for a great dish soap:

then there were the flowers i found in the yard. usually i gravitate toward daisies & skinny strands of wild weeds...but i found this big hunk of a thing growing in our front lawn, and the modern-look of it, a flower (at least i think it's a flower), appealed to me. especially resting in a darkly-glazed pottery vase made by an artist friend.

aisle 5.

so i'm (mostly) off cashews now and have moved on to sugar snap peas. i just gobbled up an entire eight ounce bag of them. i guess if you're going to binge on something, sugar snap peas are hardly the worst thing.

i am solo this weekend while J is in Atlanta working. that means more sweet time alone with Eli who is taking a late nap after our errands this afternoon. he manages to amuse people wherever we go, particularly at the grocery store. in the produce aisle, he points enthusiastically to watermelons, cantaloupes, oranges...anything roundish actually...and says, "ball! ball!" over and over again. he has also never met a stranger, which scares me just a little bit. he will strike up a "conversation" with anyone he can see from his perch inside the shopping cart.

i picked up a magazine and some ingredients for tonight's dinner: teriyaki-udon noodles with chicken, broccolini and....shoot, i ate the snap peas.

[update: substituted grape tomatoes for the hastily-consumed sugar snaps and also grated in some fresh ginger. + two potstickers from the freezer as a side-snack. waaay better & fresher than take-out. mmmm...]

i always eat asian food while J is away. it's part of my ritual, whether i get take-out or make something myself. he is not the biggest fan of asian food so i rarely make it when he's home. together we eat mostly italian, sometimes mexican (which i finally grew to love when i was pregnant and have never looked back), a fair amount of indian, and lately lots of meats on the grill.

i haven't had much to blog about lately...we're kind of just cruising along, enjoying the spring weather, preparing to plant a garden and finish house projects as the summer progresses.

after Eli wakes up we'll head out for our second walk of the day, this one to Burns Park so he can play a little while when we headed out for our walk it was four-ba-jillion-degrees outside, so our walk turned out to be a spin around the block with a stop for iced coffee, a quick push on the swing, and home with flushed faces...

13 May 2008

art for sale.

...with this new house, one of my goals is to decorate mostly with handmade or reclaimed items, whether pulled from antique shops, the flea market, Etsy, or my own imagination. so far, we have little on our walls, but i have managed to acquire just a few artistic pieces [am trying to follow the motto of owning only things that are truly beautiful or useful...]

my ever-so-kind friend Jenni sent this Alyssa Ettinger porcelain milk bottle as a housewarming gift. i love it! her knitware pottery items are incredible as well.

i had to snap up this Julia Rothman pillow for Eli's bedroom before it sold out at Urban Outfitters. the bright green fabric and Dr. Seussian design make me happy and add a bit of "art" to his space.

also went by red tree coffee yesterday to take a few photos of my own artwork that is on display there:

close-up of poppy

close-up of ledger #2: lemons

ledger #1: good pie

ledger #3: little red wagon
and finally...

no, my husband is not art for sale, [though he is quite easy on the eyes, don't you think?] but he does have his own masterpiece for sale in the form of an album. unfortunately, with all of our house renovating and chasing after a one-year-old, i feel like Recovery's release didn't get all the celebration it deserved. i am really so proud of him for such an accomplished work of art and am hoping that at some point we can have a belated CD release party to honor his creative genius.

11 May 2008

what i am.

the day began early at six-thirty. eli beckoned me from his room across the hall with elf-like chatter and the occasional "ma-ma?" thrown in for added enticement. he is the sweetest little person in the morning, bright-eyed from the get-g0, always with an ear to ear smile.

j prepared coffee, then brought in sweet cards, the loveliest "motherhood" necklace from Blue Poppy, chocolate (of course!), and tickets to the art museum for the three of us. sometimes i still can't wrap my mind around the fact that i'm a mother...especially on days like today when it's being celebrated and i'm included.

M-O-T-H-E-R...it's so official and grown-up-seeming; it requires knowing things that only mothers know. i'm still learning, but i am blessed with a gracious husband and a tender-hearted little boy who never seems to notice my imperfection. with every hug, he squeezes just as tightly as the one before.

we had brunch at Marche', then a quick walk in the blustery wind, and tomorrow we'll see Renoir at The Frist. we came home to a jar of wildflowers on the kitchen table that we picked while on a family drive yesterday afternoon. [i'll take a plain glass jar of roadside blooms over a dozen perfect roses any day.]

mother's day is all about honoring mothers, and i'm definitely thankful for mine (i inherited her creative genes, for which i'm grateful.) i'm also reminded of all the things i love about being a mother to my child. today, more than i thought about being recognized in my role, i found myself pondering the many glorious facets of my son, and all the joy i have in being his mom...

...like how sweetly he says "mama" in a particular voice he reserves for that word alone.

how he says "toot-toot" when the train goes by, just because he knows it makes us laugh.

his still-tiny fingers that clutch mine when i reach back from the front seat of the car to reassure him... or to hand him a Goldfish cracker. which he reaches up and takes from me. which still amazes me, every single time.

the way he hugs every stuffed animal or real live dog & cat with equal affection.

how much he adores taking a bath, playing piano with his daddy, and balls of string.

his independence, even already...wanting to walk by himself instead of being carried or holding a grown-up hand, and trying to keep up with bigger kids, always watching them carefully so he can follow.

his curiosity about everything: be it bug, flower, rock, toothbrush, fondue pot, or box of oatmeal.

how he rests his head on my shoulder every night at seven and lets me rock him to sleep. this is my absolute favorite moment of any day, without question. no matter what kind of day i've had, how many times i've reached under the sofa to retrieve a puzzle piece, or how many frustrated little tears i've wiped away from his cheeks, it's the moment when all i think about is how fortunate i am to be this amazing little person's mother, for always.

coffee for me, coffee for you.

when we first moved to kingston springs, we were hopeful but tentative. upon touring the little downtown area a block from our house, we said, "if only there was a coffee shop..."

it's not so much that we're that addicted to coffee [lately i cannot keep from consuming mounds upon mounds of cashews, however...] besides, we brew plenty of coffee at home. it's more the idea of being able to get out of the house to grab a latte when we want to, and the experience of smelling the earthy-chocolaty-spice of rich coffee beans filling the air.

fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for our wish to come true. on saturday, red tree coffee had its grand opening on our little main street. we strolled over at 10 o'clock for the ribbon cutting and a delicious iced beverage with a hint of hazelnut.

the owners are two sisters, Amy & Katie (and their husbands)--- really great people we're enjoying getting to know. Eli has quickly made himself at home at the shop and even picks up a broom sometimes, or dashes back into the kitchen to sneak a tasty gingersnap from Amy who bakes them fresh.

we love red tree coffee for its sweet, eclectic atmosphere filled with flea market chairs and dainty chandeliers. i'm fond of both the vintage charm, and the cranberry-orange scones. the coffee (from local roaster Portland Brew) is excellent too. if you find yourself in the neighborhood, it's definitely worth a stop.

the owners have also graciously allowed me to display some of my art pieces for sale. i've always hoped to find a place willing to spare some wall space, so it's exciting for me. i created five pieces to start: part collage, part painting, part pen-and-ink...

[four & twenty]

i'm not really sure if people around here buy much art (especially from coffeehouse walls) but if nothing else, it's fun to walk into my new favorite place and see a little something there that I created.

01 May 2008

Found jotted among an old stack of papers...

In all our wanderings, the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us--we never roam beyond the Shepherd's eye.

In our sorrows, He observes us incessantly and not a pain escapes Him.

In our toils, He marks all our weariness and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones.

The watchful eye of the Lord encompasses us in all our paths and penetrates the innermost regions of our being.

~Charles Spurgeon