Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Looking Back

For me, 2009 was a big one. Not always easy, but definitely worth it.
  • I started out the year enduring fertility treatments and thinking how nothing could possibly be worth the pain. Boy, was I wrong.
  • I learned to stand up for myself when I had to confront someone who was taking advantage of us.
  • A trip home and some costume jewelry made me again feel close to my grandmother. Charlotte bears the name Louise (as her middle name) to pay tribute to a life-well lived and to serve as a constant reminder of our guardian angel.
  • I took a photography class and learned more about the way I see the world.
  • I cooked for 40-60 people for three consecutive days, and lived to tell about it.
  • We officially made it through the first year of B's residency and started in on the second.
  • We moved to a new home that better suits our needs; and learned a whole lot about yard work in the process.
  • I attended my 10-year class reunion.
  • I tearfully sent my son off to his first day of preschool, afraid that he'd be changed forever. Guess what? He's still my sweet little boy.
  • I got brave and did a maternity photo shoot.
  • I endured an extra week of pregnancy, vowing I'd never do it again. I was wrong.
  • I gave birth to a sweet, angelic little girl who I feel has been a part of me forever. Without question, she was worth the wait.
  • And somewhere along the way I finally became comfortable with me. I'm not perfect, but I'm enjoying this new-found confidence in myself.
So with that, I bid farewell to 2009. Happy New Year, my friends. Thanks for hangin' in there with me.

P.S. Notice that wobbly star on top of our tree? Pretty sweet, huh?
P.P.S. Yes, our new home boasts a wet bar, which is pretty funny because we don't drink. The bar is currently occupied as Hudson's "clubhouse." Until the day I decide to throw a wild party, that is. ;)
P.P.P.S. And no, I don't normally make Hudson get dressed before opening presents. We were waiting for B to get home from work, and I needed all the distractions I could get to keep him from tearing into those gifts like a wildebeest.

OK, OK, that's it. I'll shut up now. I'm officially done blogging for this year. Goodnight, and Happy New Year!

Favorite Posts of 2009

Today's a great day to look over the ol' blog and re-post some of my favorites of the year.

I love words; and photos of words drive me bonkers.

My to-do list before I turn 30 next year.

I loved Hudson's guest posts while I was busy with Charlotte.
You'll be hearing more from him in the new year.

Such a pretty shade. How could you not love it?

Homemade cinnamon rolls. Need I say more?

Still in awe of this amazing birthday party.

My pregnancy announcement

As I look back at the blog this past year, I sometimes feel like I'm trying to be someone else. I've got a few changes in store for my blog for the coming year. Hopefully, it will be more a reflection of who I am and hopefully you'll enjoy what I've got lined up for you. And I'm fully intending to get back on the post-a-day train for the new year. :)

Have a Happy New Year's Eve celebration...and be safe out there!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Showing Gratitude

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I kind of slipped off the blogging bandwagon there for a minute (or a whole week). I blame it fully on my last-minute Christmas hysteria. Now that I'm nearly done clearing away all the debris and finding room for all the new stuff, it's time to think about writing thank you notes. I'll admit, that even though I design cards, I don't send nearly enough thank yous. I made these little postcards for Hudson to send out. I love the idea of letting him help, and I think it's a great teaching opportunity. {Thanks, Jen, for inspiring this project}.

Hudson can barely write his name, so I made sure there was plenty of space for him to sign the bottom. I also created a free download for you to use. The cards come in four colors...simply print them on letter sized card stock, cut in quarters, and help your kids fill in the blanks. Then stick them in the mail and Ta-Da! Your little ones just learned a great lesson about showing gratitude.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cute Booties

I have to thank my girl Christina over at D&OC. She unknowingly hit one out of the park for me. When she posted about these darling booties a week or so ago, I rushed on over to Handmade Baby Love and scooped up a pair for Charlotte. They came last week, and I can't help peeking into the box (and then giggling involuntarily) every time I walk past. True, they look cute as can be in the photo...but in person, they're even BETTER!

They're so soft and cozy and really, really well made. Baby C is going to have a pair or two of these in each size until she starts walking. So next time you're in the market for a great baby gift, pick up a pair of little loafers or booties. I can hardly wait for Christmas morning, so I can see them on her!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ghetto Blaster

I had such a great time at the North Pole last week. Santa kept me very busy, but he told me I could share some of my projects with you this week. There's a distinct possibility that I'm the only person in the world who will find this one funny, but a couple guys in my life are receiving this ghetto blaster shirt that I made. Under the image, there's a dictionary-style definition of "ghetto blaster," (I adapted from which reads:

ghetto blaster: n., a portable radio cassette player. It is played especially outdoors at loud volumes and carried on one shoulder with loudspeakers facing the head. It is assumed that bypassers share the same musical taste.

In case you missed that decade, think the opening of Fresh Prince, "...when a couple a guys who were up to no good started makin' trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my ma got scared. She said 'you're movin with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air..." (Those guys who "were up to no good" were all sitting around a ghetto blaster on the playground.) Oh, the 90's. So I hope these two guys enjoy my ode to the 90's when they open their gifts on Christmas morning. If this one goes well, I may make an entire urban dictionary series. Just imagine the possibilities. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Decorating the Holidays

I have this scraggly little tree adorning my mantle. I'll never forget carrying it home after a holiday prep meeting. I had just moved to California, I was pregnant with Hudson and I'd never ridden the bus before. As I endured my first bus ride, clutching my Christmas tree in the middle of summer, I sat there feeling overwhelmed and wondering exactly what I'd gotten myself into. A new job, a new city, and a new baby all at once. So this tree is a reminder to me that I did it. I survived that horrible boss, that city became my home, and that baby changed my life.

I've always imagined myself having gorgeous holiday decorations. You know, the things you see in design magazines. Instead, I have what I like to call "a collected Christmas." Decorations that I've amassed over time, picked up here and there. As I unpacked the decorations this year, I understood what my mom meant last year. She looked around at my assorted decorations, smiled and said, "This is a real Christmas." I didn't get it at the time, but it became clear as I took a moment to admire each piece and remember the stories behind them. Like that scrawny tree, they all have a story; a memory tied to them. They have shaped the holidays of my past; grown with my family; and I can't wait to see what other treasures (and memories) we add to the collection.

So how do you decorate for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Coke Santas

The Santa ads from Coke have been around for more than 75 years. I've always loved the way they portray the ol' guy. Here are a few of my favorites:

Speaking of Santa...he called and requested my help. That's where I've been the last few days. The work's coming along great, and soon I'll be back to tell you about my adventures at the North Pole.

images via Coca-Cola

Thursday, December 10, 2009

There's More

One more calendar. I just can't get over the cuteness.
And this one's really, really perfect for just about every lady on your list.

Check out her's great, too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Print + Give

I had every intention of designing my own 2010 calendar to give this year. But that's really not gonna happen. Good thing there are so many gorgeous printable options on Etsy. The hardest part is choosing which one is the one this year. I've decided that these little calendars are the perfect gifts for teachers and neighbors. Here are a few of my favorites:

How can you not love anything from flapperdoodle?

Hand-drawn simplicity from govango

You can never go wrong with cute little birds. From bella paperie.

And this one is just plain cool. From i suspect the cat.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiny Dresses

Don't get me wrong. I love pink, especially on baby girls. But it's SO refreshing to find dresses for tiny girls that are darling and sweet without being pink. And I love, love everything from tea. All I have to say is that it's a darn good thing that Santa and I have very similar taste. Wink, wink.

Photos via tea

Monday, December 7, 2009


Remember those great lego tables I posted about last week? Well, the nice people at Riverwoods Mill are offering you a 10% discount...simply enter the code "TENOFF" at checkout to receive your discount. Happy Shopping!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Naughty or Nice

Why is it that the holidays bring out the worst in some people? Yesterday as I drug the kids around town with me doing errands, I kept running into what I can only assume were Ebeneezer's nieces and nephews.

First stop: The Post Office
Arguably the best place this time of year to see people brimming with cheer. In the parking lot, I met Elizabeth Scrooge, the owner of the sassy white sports car parked next to me. She sighed audibly, rolled her eyes and tapped her pointy little black boot as I unbuckled Hudson's seatbelt and got him out of the car. The whole ordeal took literally ten seconds, and then we cleared the way for her to enter her vehicle and carry on about her merry business.

Then as I handled my transactions at the kiosk in the hall, I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Eddie Scrooge chewing out a poor postal clerk. Unfortunately, his box was full so the mail carrier left the mail at his doorstep. He steamed, "What if it had rained?" (It hadn't. But just imagine the horror if his ValuPak coupons had been drenched.) And come to find out, this is the fourth USPS employee Eddie has berated over the situation. Let it go, Eddie!

Next stop: The Bank
Determined not to let the Scrooge siblings at the post office get me down, I was delighted to find a parking spot right up front. Just as I open the car door, I hear a man yell, "You wanna die?" I look back and see none other than Elmer Scrooge in his big, blue truck. He was yelling at a poor pedestrian who had walked in front of him. (Last I checked, Elmer, pedestrians commonly have the right-of-way). So the pedestrian stammered a surprised response...something to the effect of, "I didn't see you." And ol' Elmer so kindly yelled, "You didn't see a (bleep) truck? You're going to (bleep) die!" Um, thanks for your concern, Elmer. I'm sure Mr. Pedestrian appreciates you looking out for his safety.

Finally: The Library
We had a pretty average trip to the library. Checked out a few outer space books, and the like. As we tried to exit the parking lot, Emma Scrooge graced us with her drive-by presence. She honked and flipped off another vehicle simply for making a right turn. True, they were turning into the library parking lot. So perhaps she was just jealous of their literary pursuits, or maybe she was denied a library card as a child. Emma, if I knew your address, I'd sign you up for a library card of your very own, just so you can experience the joys of the public book-lending system.

The day as a whole was a good reminder to me that we're all busy, tired, and stressed out. But why? The holiday will come and go whether we're ready or not. The kids will enjoy their presents; and they'll never miss that kaleidoscope you forgot to buy. The cookies will taste great whether they look beautiful or not. So why don't we all just slow down and enjoy the season. Spread a little cheer to those we love and those we don't even know. This year, I'm going to try to be more patient when I have to wait in line; I'm going to smile to the clerks helping me; and I'm going to put a dollar or two into that red Salvation Army bucket. I may even stop and make small talk with the bell-ringer while I'm at it. So what do you say, wanna help me spread some joy? If we all work together, we can stop the Scrooges dead in their tracks.

{image here}

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey, Santa

Dear Santa,
Your job just got a whole lot easier. Check out these amazing Lego tables from Riverwoods Mill:

I love how sleek and stylish they are. And if you're feeling a little high maintenance, order a custom piece to fit your specified measurements or color preference. My favorite part: you can feel great about supporting an independent business; and get a high-quality piece that's sure to delight for years to come. Do I even have to mention the built-in storage bins to help corral all those unruly legos?

Here, I must pause to give a moment of silence to those cheap, garish, plastic numbers found in toy stores--you've officially met your demise.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GIft Guides: The One Who Has Everything

If you're like me, you've got several of those hard-to-shop-for types on your list this year. I've compiled a small list of curiosities that are bound to delight even the most difficult of gift recipients.

The design on these custom coasters is gorgeous, not to mention that it's one of those gifts that "has their name all over it." Literally.

This book is perfect for the fashionista, or the fashion-challenged.

A monogrammed pillow featuring the oh so irresistible Dachshund.

I'm always on the search for cool, old books.
Whether they're an avid reader, or just someone who likes pretty things, this will hit the mark.

And for the one who's always misplacing those spectacles, sunglasses, or readers.
Help her keep track of them in style.

This guide features gifts (and photos) from two of my favorite sites:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Happy December! Now, bring on the Christmas goodies.
Pssst...Are these not the cutest holiday cookies you've ever seen?

Image from Flour Pot