Friday, October 31, 2008
Today, Annalee and I were each Snow White - something I had wished for as early as last Halloween. I kept my idea to myself and let my little one make her choice(s) by herself. She started out wanting to be a cheerleader, so I purchased that outfit. Then, we went to the store to get my outfit (Snow White) and a different cheerleader outfit that was, by then, on sale. While there Annalee decided to be Ariel, the little mermaid.
Before we paid for everything, I needed to try on my costume and make sure it would fit - and then lightening struck. There must have been something about my outfit that caught her interest; without my saying a word my secret wish came out of Annalee's mouth. "I'd like to be Snow White, too, mama." I swooned. My little dream was going to come true.
And, so it has.
I went to school today and marched in the class parade along side my little girl. Then, we trick 'r treated together. What a pair we made. Oh, how I love this - another day of motherhood glory!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Nothing like waiting until the eleventh hour to carve pumpkins. But, we got them done tonight. I just love carving pumpkins! Leelee designed each pumpkin face. The one on her pumpkin has square eyes with little half-rounds for eyeballs - something she learned from her kindergarten teacher. When it came time for her to design the face on my pumpkin, she remembered that I like triangle eyes, so that's what I got on my pumpkin.
My dad, sister and I used to do all the carving when I was growing up. Mom just kind of hung around on the sidelines. At least that's what I remember. I don't think it was her thing, either, like it isn't Ron's thing. Ron's never really had any interest in pumpkin carving in all the years we dated and have been married. It's just not a thing for him. But, it is for me. I love carving pumpkins. Well, actually, I think it's the pumpkin seeds that I really love.
I eat the whole seed, shell and all. Salt can make or break a batch of pumpkin seeds. I haven't tried our baked pumpkin seeds from today, but I have my doubts about their success. I don't think I boiled them enough before baking. We'll see...
When I look down at these colored polka dots, I can feel every emotion that I experienced on that day. Anticipation, relief, joy, excitement, exhaustion, love. Above all else, there was love. For my daughter. For my husband. For the red thread that brought us all together at that moment in time from opposite ends of the world.
We've experienced so much together in these past four years. But, I will never forget the details of that day. And, if I do (when I get really old - and maybe senile), I'll always have the DVD to watch and remind me...if I can remember where to find it.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I really like the colors in Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration this week. And, check out this little coin purse from Anthropologie, where she found the inspiration.
So, now it's my turn....
I added a teeny bit of black, just because. It was in the original picture and it really made the colors pop. The stamp sets used are Artfully Asian and Symbols of Solitude. The paper is from Bali Breeze. I intend to give it to our friends as a sympathy card. They just had to put their dog, Haley, down. She was a sweet, old soul.
Thinking of the book also makes me think of my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Russell. I just adored her. She was strict and strong and scary most of the time. Then, there was the kind and thoughtful side of her, too. When she laughed, it was with her whole body and heart. It was Mrs. Russell who recommended I order A Tree Grows in Brooklyn book during one of our Scholastic book sales (along with Roget's Thesaurus - a favorite reference book that I still own!).
What's the story about? Well, I remember the basics - Francie is a young girl growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. There's her dad, who drinks a lot, her mom, who seems distant to Francie, and her brother. It's a poignant tale of a girl coming of age. I've read it several times over the years, just not recently. It's that whole transport thing that happens to me when I've read the book - I'm there with Francie walking the streets of Brooklyn - that has made this a favorite for me. Not only that, but it also gives me the warm fuzzy memories of a simple time in sixth grade.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As for The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, I absolutely love this book. I've read it twice. It's one of those that just hangs with you. It's caught in the fibers of my being. It left it's mark on my soul. I'd read it more often, but there is such a sadness, almost a sense of mourning, in the story line that I can only read it about once every 18 months or so. At least, that's about how long it was after my first reading that it called to me again to be reread.
The story is of Henry, a time traveler, and Clare, the love of his life. The story is told in chapters. Clare's is told as the space-time continuum moves, while Henry's story is told at all different places on the space-time continuum. Clare first meets Henry when she is a little girl; his 'chrono displacement disorder' lands him into her life in a meadow near her family's home. He continues to visit her at different points in his life as she continues to grow older, all along the way to their first meeting in his life. He is 28 and she is 20 when they find each other without the chrono displacement - but Clare has already known Henry nearly her whole life. Sound confusing? It does to me, too, as I write this. But, the book makes wonderful sense.
Much of the storyline is told in Chicago and in nearby Michigan. It was fun to read a book and know all the places being described, especially the Grant Park parking garage. To say The Time Traveler's Wife is a page-turner is an understatement. For me, it was all I could do to pull myself away and rejoin my real life in bits and pieces until I finished the book.
I think it could make a fabulous movie. Did I hear that Hollywood is making a movie of the book or did I just dream it? Either way, I'm not certain the movie could live up to the visuals created in my head from my reading. One can only hope.
For now, I have told my daughter that when we pick out our next two cats, mommy gets to name them. A boy and a girl - named Henry and Clare.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Today, my daughter and I were picking ribbon colors, cutting, designing and gluing. And, I was loving every minute of it. I think I'm more excited about her decorated bat (the nocturnal flying kind) than she is. I wonder if Leelee will remember this. I wonder what kind of feelings she'll have when she helps her child with her kindergarten homework. I wonder how her teacher will like the bat.
I was driving to work this morning when my progressive talk radio station went to a long commercial break. I switched to the CD player; a Van Morrison mix was loaded already. The first chords of Wild Night sounded. Not only was I instantly hanging out at my friends' former house outside Madison, Wis., but I felt different. I felt like I did when we spent weekends there listening to The Man and Tupelo Honey. But, the most intense feeling was the one of not being a parent, 'cause in my 'transport' I went to a time, a visit, before I was a mom.
It reminded me of that same feeling when I look at the picture of our travel group on the Great Wall outside Beijing. It was just a couple days before the adoption of our children would take place. While many in the group already were parents, we were not. But, looking at the lot of us, we looked different. We looked so...free!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We've been attending our Episcopal church for almost four years. But, it's taken me until just the last month to identify my favorite part of the service. It's The Blessing that comes just before the recessional hymm and dismissal, and is delivered by our priest or the presiding priest.
I think The Blessing only recently struck me because the past several have spoken to me so vividly. They have gone to the heart of my concerns for the previous week or even that day and calmed my worries. They were as if God was telling me everything was ok.
I think I'll capture those blessings that lift my spirits and remind me I'm doing the best I can.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I love the way you can practically see children's brains at work. They can be so transparent. It's fascinating to watch the wheels turning.
Annalee and I were breaking asparagus, preparing to roast it for dinner. As I finished getting the stalks arranged in the pan with seasonings and oil, she proceeded to play with the hard ends of the asparagus we had just broken off.
Next thing I know, she's created a xylophone of asparagus stubs, complete in graduated sizes from smallest to largest. Then the singing began as she "played" the instrument. I watched with fascination. She was oblivious to me, though I was standing so close that the hair on my arms brushed against her. She remained on the chair, working at the xylophone set on top of the kitchen counter for a few minutes more.
As suddenly as Annalee began playing music, she brought her symphony to an end. It was time to do handstands into 'bridges' onto the ottoman in the family room.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
- Who am I writing this to/for?
- Who will read it?
- Why do this when I can't even find time to write in my journal?
- What am I trying to accomplish?