Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 1, Year 2

Toy Story 4

Buzz and Wood start a bike shop.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Heart Faces

This weeks challenge is Photojournalism, i.e. a pic that tells a story. Here's all I have to offer...

Happy Monday everyone! (IT'S ALMOST SEPTEMBER! WHAT THE?!)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Let me preface this cute video with the fact that I know nothing about the company who created it. I don't support or not support them. I don't encourage you to give them money or withhold money from them. I just really liked the video. I don't know if they really care about kids finding their right place or if they use this as a front to use your money to buy baby bunnies to make coats with. You get it, right? I know nothing about them. Not a thing except they made a cute video.

Each Campaign from The Loud Cloud on Vimeo.

And on that note, I wanted to encourage you guys not to worry about us not getting a phone call yet. Though we've been working on becoming foster parents since the beginning of the new year, we haven't been on "The List" for even 8 weeks yet. Also, our window is pretty small with what we said we're willing to take. If we changed our minds on what's right for our family, we'd have a kid by 5pm. Feel free to ask me questions about that if you're confused. And thank you for caring, for being worried, and for asking. I dare say we've gotten somewhat used to the waiting game. Now, if we still haven't heard anything in a few months, I may not be able to claim that. One day at a time, right? And today, we're okay.

Eliot is at such a great stage that we're soaking up every minute with him while we wait. We could get a call tomorrow for a child that stays w/ our family forever so we're just trying to appreciate this season w/ the 3 of us for what it is.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My pics!

When I took my Fresh Art class to learn how to use my camera, Jodie and Kim encouraged us to take pics of everything, to practice everyday, to really get to know your camera and how to use it in as many different settings as possible.

I get nervous showing my practice pics because I worry that people assume I'm thinking more highly of my skills than earned. Does that make sense? So, just to be clear, I'm not starting a photography business. I don't plan on selling my photography. I plan on learning my camera and taking 8 million more pictures of Eliot. That's the plan. Just so we're clear.

Russ took a photography class in college and made a comment about how I see things differently now. How just like him, you start to look at lighting and shading and lines and shapes and picturing a still shot.

I've added several photography blogs to my reader. Again, not because I consider myself a photographer. Many of them give challenges weekly or even daily. Some assignment to get you thinking of different reasons to use your camera. One of them is Shutter Sisters and this morning they had this quote: "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." -Dorothea Lange

I like it. I like these. They're teaching me to look at the world differently.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Defending The Bump-it.

In case you didn't catch it (status update), I was eliminated from the jury. Didn't make the cut. Get off my case, okay? (ha!) But what was more interesting? The Defendant was totally sporting a bump-it! I was giddy.

A few highlights I forgot from yesterday. At the very beginning of the day they ran out of number/name tags so they were paging people by name. They definitely kept paging someone named Harry Johnson.

Secondly, they had a list of "rules" once we got into the courtroom. #3 under 'No firearms' and 'Turn off your phones' was "Pull up your pants."

And because I have no shame, I will share the final feature of the day. They were doing a role call and asked everyone to simply say "here." The mature and non-awkward person that I am choked when they called my number. I started to say "me" but remembered half-way through that I was supposed to say "here" so yelled, "Mere!"

Speaking of Bump-its, you guys were busy this weekend!

Sounds Fair...(Illinois State Fair) Thanks Sarah S!

Queen Bump-It (Queens resident) courtesy of Joy S.

And click here if you need to Leisurely Bump-it. Courtesy of Karen R.

Btdubs, I don't want you to hear what I'm not saying here: I don't hate the Bump-It. On the contrary, I own one. It came w/ my favorite Spin Pins. Just so we're clear. Or "Mere", as the case may be.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jursey Shore

I served my country today. and I will again tomorrow. And possibly the day after that. I had/have jury duty.

Last night Russ and I brain-stormed ways of making the whole experience more interesting. Here were our top five picks:

*Make a jersey with my juror's # on the back with my name. I shall call it my Jursey.

*Wear my graduation robe and walk into every room saying "All rise!"

*Wear an orange jumpsuit and hum "chain-gang" until I (pretend)fall-asleep and yell "Not the paddy-wagon! Not the paddy-wagon!" in a panicked sleepy stupor.

*Every ten minutes or so, make the Law & Order sound.

*Draw a tat of the blueprint of the courthouse all over my arms and back.

I am not brave enough to actually bring any of these to fruition but today certainly didn't need it. People are entertaining. Which is why someone brilliant out there said, "hey, let's just let people be themselves and put it on TV!"

Anyway, the highlights include the girl next to me suggesting we make the questioning more fun by drinking every time someone asks to answer a question privately, calling 911 during our break for a juror from another case, one juror holding up the whole thing for an entire hour by going MIA (and the Judge saying, "I'm sending the 'boys in brown' in the paddy-wagon to find him, don't worry"), one girl using "like" after like, everything she said, like.

But truly, The Recorder was my favorite. She has to keep this oxygen mask type of thing stuck to her face (not for oxygen, it was her recording device. We've come a long way from Night Court. Not a good long way, just a long way.) and whenever she didn't hear something quite right, she would urgently pull said device from her face, give the most irritated expression and demand you repeat yourself. I loved her.

The main part that is bothersome for me, besides the obvious, is the moment I realized I have to be mature. I have to make mature choices with my behavior. Bottom line: I can't get the giggles. This could be a problem. It always has been.

Pray for me. As I govern our city. Wearing a tree costume (branches of gov't?)

Here's hoping tomorrow is full of blog-fodder!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bits of my weekend, Vol 22

Saturday morning we spent at the bike shop, getting E's bike fixed. It was given to us by a neighbor and still needed some work.

Do you see the tear? A little bike riding spill but back up again with a cute little grin!

All pics by me, but super amazing editing on this one by The Mr.

Anniversary Intersection:

(Bits-o-my-weekend still on it's way!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Love-bird Tweet (or something less cheesy.)

This weekend we are celebrating our 12th anniversary. If you're new here you can read our story here.

Or pics of our wedding here.

Or the very-long-but-very-worth-your-time story of our engagement here.

Or my marriagical adaptation of a fantastic Salt N Pepa song here.

But in a nutshell, or in a socially acceptable 140 character tweet-style version:

"boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy gets haircut, becomes charming, girl changes mind, girl likes boy, girl and boy get married aug 22, 98."

(all images are courtesy of Fresh Art Photography, but you already knew that...)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Round Draft Pick

Scrolling through my "edit posts" tab of this blog, I noticed I had a few drafts that never made the cut. Today, I'm clearing those out. I selected the 3 that were the most finished and threw in an interesting one at the end. The entries are not finished but this is what you get. Deal.

1. "And the cafe goes to..." was a blog I started after our Guate trip to announce the winner of the Guatemalan coffee. Apparently, you who took a guess on the contest weren't super concerned since we all forgot about it. The good news is that Mama to the best 3 won! Send me your address, friend and I'll ship 1lb of coffee love straight to ya!

2. "Update on ye ol' fostering" (from 5/11)
Paperwork hemorrhage: check.

Social worker visits: check.

Nursery ready for unknown occupant: not even close, but whatevs, details smeetails.

About the ides of June (is that a thing?) we will be certified and chillaxin' in the proverbial waiting room.

Did I mention friends of ours just got twins? Dare. to. dream.

The unknown is what makes me so anxious. I'm a planner. I like routine. Schedules, post-its, order, color coding, whathaveyou. I could literally get a newborn in just a few weeks. or a 4 year old. Boy? Girl? Sibling group? Twins? How do it get ready for that? I realized I don't even have a diaper bag anymore. Will I need one?

3. "Restoration" (from 4/12)
I mentioned turning in our final paperwork for the fostering process Thursday. It felt like an accomplishment. It felt good. I'm a list-checker-off-er, so when the lists are important ones? Imahappy!

While we're preparing the house and all the paperwork, we've kept trying to do our best to prepare Eliot as best we can. One night as we were reminding him why we're cleaning out the office for a baby, he stopped and said, "Mommy, is your belly going to get bigger?" It's impossible to try and explain to a 3yr old what fostering is or what to expect when it's hard to get our adult minds to really grasp it for what it is. So, at this point he knows there is a "baby room" instead of an office.

A friend sent me this quote from Beth Moore:
"He restores my soul" (psalm 23:3) perhaps the most graceful response we could ever offer God for our restoration is to help another be restored"

Which matched beautifully with this quote from Katie's blog:
"There is only one thing I can think of that feels better than helping your neighbor: empowering your neighbor to help their own neighbors."

4."Caesar Augustus needs to figure some stuff out." from 3/19. That's all that's there. Ha! I'll bet that one was going to be funny. Sorry for withholding from you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Iheartfaces contest!

I probably don't have to explain what website this is:

But this is the first time I've entered their weekly photo contests. The theme this week is "Gotta wear shades" and here's my submission:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bits of my weekend, Vol 21

(Have I really done this 21 times?? LOVE that! It's like a scrapbook!)

Pretty low-key around here this weekend. =) Saturday morning we spent at the park.

Don't let that smile fool you...

A good friend, J, gave us tix to the Cubs/Cards game! Just an afternoon w/ the mister... (and yes, we're wearing blue)

A little play-doh time w/ the Marge Sat night.

Sunday afternoon was a cool 92 degrees so we took a jaunt around the neibs. Surprisingly, the boys don't hate my camera quite yet.

This is actually one of the gorgeous doors outside E's school.

Hope you guys had a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mommy Blog Links

This new blog is going straight into my reader. Great photos and great writing.

This video:

killed me.

Hands down the absolute best post I've read on adoption here. Not really a big surprise that it came from her.

Great post on learning about your own motherhood here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So, about -3 of you got my big hint. This blog? The one that didn't make sense? Yeah, I was trying to be clever. That went well.

I'm going to New York City. For the first time. Ever.

It's on my bucket list. Right after "Write down official bucket list."

The day after I bought my crazy cheap airfare, I got this little piece of mail, also on my bucket list:

OhMyGosh I'm so excited! About both, actually. One a little more than the other.

So, advice? What do I ABSOLUTLEY HAVE TO DO in New York? Go.

(Just to clarify: I'm going by myself to visit Joy, R's cousin so it will be a girl's weekend. Joy pictured to the right below when she came to STL last fall.)

Also, a local actor re-enacted the tomato incident of '10. I went back to yesterday's post and added the pics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Dearest Eliot,

As you grow up there will be a family joke about you eating tomatoes. I'm sure it will be embellished over time so I want to give you a reference point to the truth.

Here's how it went down: we realized you were stuck in a food rut so decided we'd try as often as possible to get you to at least try new foods. So far that week you'd tried at least 4 other things and all was well in the land. One night I was prepping dinner and cutting cherry tomatoes. You were cranky. But you wanted to help me with dinner. I asked if you wanted to try a tomato and you said yes but then changed your mind and said you don't like them. Then, big surprise, you said you wanted to try a little one.

Now. Our "policy" has been as long as you try it for a few seconds you can spit it out. Whatevs, as long as you try it.

However. As you started chewing the tomato you freaked out. Like full-on-crying as if I'd set Lightening McQueen on fire in front of you. You begged to spit it out. Had it been because you were allergic or the acid content was causing open sores, I would have agreed to that request. But, yeah, you were just in the mood to throw a fit.

(reenactment using local actors)
So I said no, you need to chew it and get it in your belly. And I would never make you eat one again.

(reenactment using local actors)
And for over 45 minutes you convinced your father and I that you would be able to live the rest of your life with a half-chewed tomato stored in your cheek. You were able to eat and drink the rest of your dinner. I'm pretty sure you named it and created a facebook profile for it at one point. Whenever we would confront you on said stash, your attitude would melt down into a pool of pizza sauce. Tomato based pizza sauce.

It wasn't a power struggle, it was you throwing a fit and us being parents.

There will come a day when life happens to you. Often, actually. And someone will say, "Wow, Eliot, you're handling this so well. I'd totally throw a conniption if I were you."

And at that moment you may or may not remember this story. You may or may not remember that throwing a fit got you no where except stuck at the dining room table w/ a cheek full while life went on for the rest of the family.

Know that I love you whether or not you like tomatoes. Know that Dad will keep offering you tomatoes just to see you react.

Building your character one try-bite at a time,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bits of my weekend, Vol 20

Last weekend I mentioned that our plans changed last minute. The In-Laws were on their way north to the STL when they had to turn around and head home. Since The Nana couldn't come to the E-beast, I brought the E-beast to the Nana this weekend last minute. And yes, I went to Little Rock to stay with the In-Laws without Russ. On purpose. I like them. It's okay.

There's not a whole lot of pictures because overall it was a pretty low-key trip. Not to mention I can't take photos while driving. =)

By the way, if you haven't already read about it, the "host" of Bits of My Weekend is going through a sudden loss in the family. Click here to read the story and offer support.