Friday, January 30, 2009

Journaling

Outside my window...
the sun is beaming. I am feeling a tad bit better, hopefully well enough to go for a short walk today and let the sun warm my face. One of my favorite things in the world.

I am thinking...
about my dear friend Janell a.k.a. Frumpy. She called this week with exciting news and tomorrow is her birthday. Happy Birthday Janell! I hope you have a blessed year.

I am thankful for...
my brother in law Jeremy. He fixed my computer yesterday like nobody's business. I owe him a plate of cookies...which leads me to my next prompt...

From the kitchen...
today I am making Jer some delicious chocolate rollo cookies. Yumm.


I am creating...
my creative juices haven't been flowing as freely as I would like, but I am going to sew some patches on Ethan's scout shirt. How's that for creating?

I am going...
for a walk with Lily, she's home with a sore throat and fever. She also requested her nails painted and we'll probably play a game or two of boggle. We're also getting ready to watch Parent Trap...the old one (my favorite.)

I am reading...
still reading The Poisonwood Bible. I'm pretty far into it now and I am really enjoying the way the author speaks in four different voices. It makes each chapter very interesting. I am also reading Princess Academy with Madeline. Only 50 pages in so far, but it's good.

I am hoping...
to feel markedly better tomorrow. We've got basketball games to be at.

I am hearing...
"Lover Man" by Renee Olstead. I have been listening to this album non stop, and it is so good, I can't even tell you how much I love it. Her voice, is so unique and sultry and beautiful.

One of my favorite things...
my Epson printer that prints directly on discs. It is so fun to create pretty CD's. On Monday, I'll share my new February playlist.

I must remember...
Ethan participated in the Cub Scout Space Derby this year. They made rockets rather than cars this year and even though he and Brandon didn't start constructing their rocket until just three hours before the race, he easily took 1st place. He decided that he likes the space derby the best! So maybe winning is important?

***Journaling prompt ideas from The Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The 411

A few things you need to know.

  • My computer has a bug, and now I do as well. I am a mess. Raging sinus infection. Heaven help me.
  • Please go visit my friend Jenny and her delightful blog. She just went to the James Morrison/Adele concert and she posted awesome video. Watch it and swoon.
  • Go wish Danyelle and Ryan a happy 10th anniversary. Happy Anniversary dear friends.
  • Finally. I have waited three long years for this album to finally become available. I have no clue what took it so long to be released, but oh well, it is lovely. My favorite contemporary jazz siren, Miss Renee Olstead. It is a wonderful new album, Skylark, which I downloaded from here. It was worth the wait.


Now that you are informed, I am going back to bed. For reals.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Great Movie

This past weekend we watched an excellent movie. The kind I feel 100% good about recommending. The kind of movie that sticks with you and makes you think. The kind of movie you could watch with older children (though they might find it boring.)

A movie that deals with the issue of adoption vs. abortion in a very gentle and respectful way. I loved it.



The movie Bella, watch the trailer here.
Family approved.

P.S. It has an excellent soundtrack.

P.S.S. My computer is not a happy camper right now, I may be a bit absent until it is fixed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Music

While I was busy blogging last week about how cool it is to blog and thereby setting myself up for major mockery via my brother...I neglected to post some of my favorite new music. Happy music even. And after reading my brothers post, I'm gonna need to listen to some happy music.

Hey, don't worry about me...I'm pretty used to being made fun of.

"Plant Pizza Pizza." (inside joke, I'll explain it to you sometime.)

You know what else is cool besides blogging?

Having brothers who won't allow you to take yourself too seriously.

On with the happy music.


I can't stop listening to this album. It's full on happy music, even the album art is happy. I LOVE it. As well as his singles "Brand New Day" (Target totally snatched up this song for one of their commercials) and "The Lucky Ones." If you need some pick-me-up, feel-good tunes...these are the ones for you. Listen here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 4 - The Art of Memory Keeping


I often ask myself questions like,

"How long will I blog?"
"Will I ever grow tired of it?"
"Am I keeping a good record of our lives?"
"How will I look back on what I've recorded?"

I don't have the answers to those questions yet, and for now, blogging is in my life and I am enjoying it. But now that I am two years into blogging, I have finally (thanks to Sarah) found a good way of journaling. I've never been great at writing down the little, but oh-so-important things, although I've felt the urgency to many times in my life. Especially as a mother, I wish I would have written down more. Now I must rely on my memories to keep track of first teeth lost, and first words, and first steps.

But I have a plan. After seeing an actual Blurb book in the flesh (thanks Mel), I have decided to use their site to have an actual printed record of our yearly memories. I am looking forward to having year after year after year at our fingertips. Yes, this blogging trend is my new Art of Memory Keeping. And I love it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 3 - Expression


Expression: The act of expressing, conveying, or representing in words, art, music, or movement; a manifestation.

This is my little space of the web where I can express exactly what I want to express. My faith, my passions, my loves, my life, my memories.

I appreciate so much having a place where I can write my thoughts, record my interests, journal my memories, express myself. Blogging has helped me understand myself better. Throughout these two years, I think I've even grown to like myself more, and that is certainly a good thing. We all could use a little more self-realization and respect for ourselves, don't ya think?

***Thanks for your comments yesterday, and especially for sharing a little something about yourself. It was fun to read and learn about you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 2 - The People Connection


This is one of my very favorite things about blogging. The way it connects people. I live in the countryside, and on many days, don't interact with a lot of people face to face...except my children and husband of course. Blogging has been my lifeline of sorts to the world outside my little town.

The connections:
  • Because of blogging I have developed stronger relationships with family. It has been really rewarding to learn more about them and for them to understand me better. I think there are about 20+ family members blogging now, they're over there on the sidebar. I love them all.
  • I have reconnected with friends from my past. That is priceless. Without blogging, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have a clue what my friend Jenny is up to or be able to check in on Janell and her family. Priceless, I tell you.
  • "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold." I love that quote. The new friends I've made through blogging have made such an important impact in my life. I can't even tell you how much that has meant to me. Thank you new friends for coming into my life.
  • And then there are the perfect strangers. You've been called lurkers, or blog stalkers. I know you're out there. I see my stats. I see that you come from places like Omaha, Nebraska and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and Denver, Colorado, and as far away as Norway and Canada and Italy and China. I wish I knew you.
Today is my 400th post, and what I would like most is to celebrate you. Each of you who frequent this blog. Please tell me your name (even if I already know you), tell me where you're from, and something interesting about yourself. I'd love to get to know you better. Really I would.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 1 - The Inspiration Factor


I'm sure you've all heard it at one time or another. Somebody says to you, "There is no way I would ever have time to blog." That drives me crazy. As if their life is so much busier than those of us who blog. I am sure they have a hobby of some sort. They choose to spend their time doing that, rather than this, while I choose to do this rather than that.

It's pretty simple really. We all make time in our lives to do the things we enjoy, be it blogging or reading, or shopping, or baking, or golf, or underwater basket weaving.

I really love blogging. It has become my favorite hobby. I don't make cards much anymore. I watch a lot less television. I would rather blog and read blogs. And that leads me to why "Blogging is So Cool." I feel inspired. Every day. To be a better me. To take stock of what's important in my life. I feel inspired to really live.

Yesterday, was a holiday. We didn't do much and it was perfect. I played Settlers of Catan with Jocelyn, snuggled with Lily by the fireplace, did a load of dishes and some laundry, and late in the day, checked some blogs. Lo and behold, the inspiration was pouring off my computer screen and filling up my so called "cup." See here, and here, here, here, and here. When I was through reading, I felt resolved to try a little harder to be a little better. That's a good thing.

That is just a sampling...a sampling...of the wonderful posts that you awesome bloggers share with us readers.

So, here at Passionista this week, I will be recognizing the greatness that blogging is in my life. So stay tuned.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today...

(Lily with the Kit doll that Santa gifted her. They're inseparable.)

Outside my window...
it's a dark and overcast day, with intermittent sprinklings of frozen fog. It is trying to snow...try, try, try. Some snow would make it an even lovelier day.

I am thinking...
about my word for the year. Balance. It eludes me. But, I am not discouraged. I chose this word because it is what I need to work on the most, it is what I long for. This is helping.

I am thankful for...
beautiful, inspiring people. Nie inspired me this morning.

From the kitchen...
the kids have a no school day today, making this the start of a four day weekend, so this morning we had pancakes with whipped cream.

I am going...
to take a nap today. The girls had three friends sleep over last night, and they kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I'm exhausted.

I am reading...
the Poisonwood Bible. Still. It's good, but I am struggling to make it very far into it. I will give it a good shot this weekend though.

I am looking forward to...
enjoying another basketball free Saturday. I thought last weekend was our last free weekend, but I was mistaken. We start the basketball schedule again next weekend. This weekend I will attend a dear friend's baby shower on Saturday, hopefully take the kids to see a movie, attend our H.S. basketball game and visit with family as we celebrate the farewell of a cousin leaving to Australia on his mission.

I am hearing...
"Swimming Pool" by The Submarines

I need to remember...
the cutest thing Lily said the other day. We live just down the road from a horse riding academy. A few days ago when Lily got off the bus, she rushed in to ask me if she could walk down there with the neighbor girls. I said sure. A little while later, I drove down to pick her up, she got in the car, put her hands on her hips and with her best big girl voice said, "Well, I got a job." I tried my best not to crack up, and asked her what she meant. She said that Lindy, the owner, will let her come down and scoop up the horse poo and in return she can ride one of the horses after the chores are done. She was thrilled, and I was amused.

***Journaling prompts from The Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Mail


This showed up in my mailbox this week. I purchased it for someone I admire, and oh, it was lovely.

Even though it is no longer mine and is in the hands of another, I couldn't resist sharing such a sweet little treasure.

It looks like there are no longer any calendar's for sale, but all of her work is amazing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Can't Stop Listening...

Music is all about timing for me. Sometimes I find an album and I like it enough, so I buy it and then I don't really delve into it. Maybe it's not the right timing. But recently, I started making playlists of music that I hadn't really given enough time, and needed to re-discover. A couple of the albums even made my honorable mention list because I really like a few of the songs.

Here are albums that I have reconsidered to be really great after a few more in depth listens...


First, Katie Herzig's most recent release, Apple Tree, which I recommended here. It's interesting to me that I can listen to an album in it's entirety one time and have a favorite and then when I revisit the album a few months later, find a completely new favorite. It is a testament to my ever- evolving music loving brain. My current favorite: Wish You Well, which I am madly in love with and which will be featured on my upcoming February playlist.

She is a talented songwriter, and this song has heart-breakingly beautiful lyrics...

"The only reason my heart beats,
is cause you showed it how."


Duffy's Rockferry first caught my attention because of the hit single "Mercy." It's a very catchy tune...I dare you to listen and not start singing along. But after a deeper listen, there are some real gems on this album. My current favorite: Delayed Devotion. I love the very retro feel of this song and her voice...it's so unique. The entire album is a worthy effort.



I instantly loved this album, but after listening to it more, a new favorite has emerged. "Don't Let Me Fall". Really the entire album is an easy listen, and pretty great.

I discovered this artist recently from Pandora (I love that site) and the moment I heard her gorgeous voice, I was sure she would become a favorite. She is Israel born, but spent much of her childhood in France. She sings in English and French but this album from 2003 is mostly in English. I love the whole thing. The English parts and the French parts. My favorite in English: "Not Going Anywhere". My favorite in French: "Jardin d'hiver" which translated means "Secret Garden."


This new album hasn't actually released (next week it drops) but thanks to this link, you can listen to the whole darn thing. Which is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Being able to listen to an entire album before buying is such a treat. I can fall in love with it before even putting a penny down. And fall in love with it I have. I've mentioned Andrew Bird before, and this new album is going to be on high rotation on my iPod. His albums are full of orchestration and hand clapping and even, get this...whistling. I really love him. How can you not?

***Please let me know if the imeem links work for you or not...I've never linked to them directly and I'm not sure if it will work for you if you don't have an imeem account. I'm curious.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Before & After

I've done before and after posts before, but just wanted to document one of the most satisfying little makeovers I've completed yet. It seriously took me 10 minutes, and it is bringing me immense joy.

Behold the Before:


And the After:


That first picture is embarrassing, but I let this cupboard over my stove get a little out of hand (okay, a lot.) It's the cupboard where I keep my recipe books, cake decorating stuff, cupcake and cookie supplies. We just kept stuffing things in there, and finally I couldn't stand it any more. After some purging, re-organizing, and re-purposing it's much much better. I would still like to tweak things a bit but it is a huge improvement, right?

I think today, I will find another space to makeover.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Favorite



Last week, I featured a couple of jewelry pieces from a favorite Etsy shop. I then purchased the bracelet I'd been drooling over, and have since discovered the sellers blog. Looking at her beautiful jewelry while being serenaded by Sara Bareilles, kind of made me swoon...I swooned.

Discovering beautiful talent like hers, gives me the same kind of good sensation as when I discover a beautiful new song, or artist. My heart goes pitter-patter. So thank you, Rebecca, for providing me the eye candy necessary to make my heart swell.

P.S. Today is the last day to vote for C Jane in the Weblog Awards. She is getting some anti-mormon hate on the web, which makes this a very personal fight. So let's get the voting done today, click here. She is neck and neck with another contender, your vote will make a difference.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gettin' Out The Vote!


I've been voting every day in the Weblog Awards for my pal, C Jane. She has been leading in the Major Blog category, but her lead is slipping. Did you know you can vote once every 24 hours? I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find another blog as inspiring and entertaining as Courtney's. So please vote for her. She deserves to win. Click here to vote...and then bookmark the page and vote every day!

Vote, Vote, Vote!


Did I mention, vote?

Friday, January 9, 2009

This Morning...


After reading Sarah's journaling earlier this week, I had a strong desire to record my own daily thoughts. I imagine that in 20 or 30 or 40 years, I will enjoy reading about what a regular day was like for me, as a young-ish mother. I decided I will do this on a regular basis, maybe weekly, maybe as I feel like it. Today...I feel like it.

Outside my window...
the sun is shining ever so brightly this morning. It seems to have been a few days since I've had the sun beaming through my windows like this. It reminds me that I need to wash my windows.

I am thinking...
about the piano music I will play at a funeral today. A song that is new to me called "In The Garden," it has tricky rhythm and I need to run through it a few more times.

I am thankful for...
my husband. He makes me so happy. We cuddled on the couch last night as we watched our favorite television show.

From the kitchen...
there are a few dishes that need to be done leftover from our morning protein shakes.

I am going...
to visit my bother, Marshall, at his office today. I need an adjustment desperately. Then I will play at the funeral, and go out to dinner with Brandon.

I am reading...
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Enjoying it so far, but it's a very thick book. It will take me some time to get through it.

I am hoping...
to have a relaxing weekend. This will most likely be our last basketball free weekend until late April.

I am hearing...
Nat King Cole sing "Tenderly"

Around the house...
Our fireplace is working again, after a long hiatus. We had the repairman come today and he fixed it, although he will need to return again next week to replace a valve of some sort. I am grateful to have my cozy fireplace back.

One of my favorite things...
For almost four years now, I have been purchasing the "Panache" scent of Tyler candles from Heritage Home and Floral and I love it, love it, love it. It is the scent of grapefruit and currant and it is divine.

***Journaling prompt ideas from The Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beauty


I've been thinking a lot lately about beauty. There is beauty all around us, and I'm not talking about Hollywood's definition of beauty. I'm talking about the kind of beauty we find in people, and good deeds, and truth.

In our church, there is a women's organization called the Relief Society and they provide relief. In situations where someone has passed away, or has had a baby, or is ill, or a family member is ill... they cook, they clean, they care for children, they form a plan to make sure that the family is cared for. It is called charity, or the pure love of Christ. And it is beautiful.

I am grateful to be included in this beautiful organization and to occasionally have the opportunity to serve my fellow man. And it is comforting to me to know that when I am in my hour of need, I will have sisters to rely on.

A couple of beautiful stories to share today:

Nie is back
C Jane is back
Recognizing Beauty (my mom is thinking about beauty too, and this fascinated me.)


*** I edited this post after originally publishing it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Music Memory Tuesday


You know how when you hear a song and it takes you back to an exact moment in your history?

The song that does that for me more than any other is Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. Now I wouldn't say I really even like this song or Culture Club for that matter, but when I was about 8 0r 9 years old, my uncle Brian was my biggest hero and I can distinctly remember singing this song to him over the phone. I think I didn't pronounce the lyrics correctly and he thought it was hilarious, so he would ask me to sing it for him. I'm pretty sure he has a cassette tape recording of me singing it to him (maybe so he could always remember it?)

I have a vivid memory of sitting on a chair at the bar in the house I grew up in with my little brothers to my side, and Brian on the phone laughing as I sing him Karma Chameleon.

Oh, how I wish I knew where that cassette tape is now.

Feel free to share a music memory of your own...

Winners

(The new January 09 CD cover)

These giveaways are so much fun for me. I love to read your comments and I love the de-lurkers, and I love it when you share a memory with me. The last commenter was Meghan and she shared a specific memory with me which I loved and so I decided from now on Tuesday will be music memory day. Many of my favorite life moments involve music... from my childhood, to my teenage years, to my courtship with Brandon, to raising my children...so many songs pinpoint an exact moment or feeling. I want to document those and share them with you, and in return each Tuesday I will ask you to share a music memory with me, either in the comments or on your own blog... your choice.

So on to the winners. Plural. I just can't stand for only one person to win. So random.org chose comment #24 which was Kelly. Now, I don't personally know Kelly, but I do know that she is the PRP's dear friend, so congrats Kelly, you win an entire set of my playlists from last year. Which is a ton of my favorite music, 167 songs and 9.8 hours of music. Congrats Kelly!

I chose the second winner. She's my cousin and she lives in Spokane where they have been gifted over 6 feet of snow. I really love snow, a lot, but I've never been in a situation like that, and I imagine that if I were, I would need a ton of great music to get me through those long weeks stuck in the house. So Heidi, you've won a set of 2008 mixes as well. Congrats!

But, this giveaway was so much fun for me that I want you all to feel like winners. So, each commenter should e-mail me their address and I will ship them a little somethin' somethin' (perhaps my new January playlist??). Please e-mail me your address even if you know that I already have it...I tend to misplace addresses. (my email is lomaril AT aol DOT com.)

Later today, I will share my first Music Memory post. Stay tuned and start remembering your music memories too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Balance

(word of the year necklace, via Lisa Leonard)

I've put this New Years post off a few days so that I could focus on my family for the last days of Christmas break. But it's been on my mind almost constantly. Last year I decided to try Ali Edward's suggestion of choosing a word to focus on rather than specific goals. For me, it was exactly what I needed. I chose the word control and although I specifically wanted to gain control of my weight, I felt I would also learn to control other areas of my life. It helped so much.

Throughout the year, that word hung in the forefront of my mind and served as a reminder that it was all up to me. The life I wanted was in my control. This year, the word I have chosen is balance. I am so excited about this word and have already been considering it daily. Now that I have control of my weight, I need to find the balance it takes to keep losing the pounds while maintaining the rest of my life. And just like last year, there are other areas of my life that balance will help with. Like balancing the things I have to do and the things I want to do. Like balancing church and family obligations. Like balancing work and play.

Talking with a friend recently, we decided that finding balance in life is one of the biggest struggles for mothers today. We are pulled in so many directions, many of them just as good as the next one. I have decided that I will assist my efforts in finding balance with this talk, "Good, Better, Best." It is printed and in a place where I can read it often.

Last year, I did also set myself a benchmark to achieve and I am pleased to report that I accomplished it. I promised myself that I would run the 5k Cable Bridge run in 2008, and I did it (I was racer #1785, and I finished in 42:29.) So this year, I would love to get myself in the kind of shape it takes to run the 10k in 2009.

So this is my goal for the year, to learn how to live a more balanced life.

Happy New Year!