Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my favorite holiday, and I'm about to leave work and go home and make pies (Where's Patty Griffin when you need her?), and I'll confess that the thought of it just made me tear up a little.

I love stories like these from the women of Slate on family and tradition and cooking and what it means.

"Cooking my Mother's Gravy"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Short Term Missions

I like the way this post discusses When Helping Hurts and short term missions...

Obviously, we don't think that churches or God's people mean to do harm in the countries where they go to serve and share the gospel. We don't think that churches want to use money to fund a trip or experience, instead of using that money in a more positive, useful, long-reaching, Kingdom building way. After living in Haiti, we simply recognize that serving a country like this is complex. People who have lived here for 20 years are still struggling to understand how best to love and care for the people of Haiti. So obviously, planning a healthy, short-term mission trip, from the States, thinking through all the ramifications, and making sure the trip's end result (for the Americans going, and the people in the country they are serving) is beneficial is also going to be complex. Probably more complex.

Lots of ministries in Haiti need money. Orphanages need generators. Children's homes need new roofs. So, sending a team of people to play with orphans, instead of sending money for a generator is a hard call to make. If two team members stayed home and sent the money it would cost them to actually go, an orphanage could have a generator. Complex issues to think through. Sending a team to build a roof on a children's home in a country where local men are in desperate need for work, is again...a hard call to make. How can a short term team pour into Haiti in a sustainable, healthy way?

From All Things Hendrick via Rage Against the Minivan

Convicted of Coveting Cool

Although I am old and more Martha Stewart wannabe than hipster, I think this applies--applies no matter what cool(ish) identity I'm chasing. Oh, and also a comfort to Carter, who cannot grow a beard. ;)

What I’m suggesting is that we need to think more about what it means to be a Christian on both the form and content level. What does it mean to truly embody the call of Christ in our lives? Can we embody that selfless, humble, transcendent Gospel of Christ when we look the part of a self-focused, vain, trendy hipster?

I think we need to deal with this dissonance, and confront the implications of cool head on. I think we need to redefine cool in terms that aren’t as much about consuming the right sorts of things or having privileged knowledge of what is or isn’t fashionable, as much as about the things that are truly attractive and appealing about our faith.

The coolness of Christianity comes not from how fashionable or trendy Christians are, but rather from how well we embody the humility and charity and love of Christ in our lives.

In a world that constantly reinforces our own hubris and obsession with self, true revolution is that which points us outward. And this is my hope for the Christian hipster. That in the midst of this business of creating new perceptions and correcting some of the skewed priorities of evangelicalism, the focus should always be on Christ and his kingdom, rather than on ourselves, our skinny jeans, and our strategically overgrown mountain man beards.

Excerpted from The Search via Rage Against the Minivan

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cleaning Up at the Shower

Look at my brilliant and beautiful hostesses! These girls know how to throw a party.

Music? Awesome playlist especially created for the event.

Food? Watch out cuz you about to pig out on yogurt parfaits and fancy cheeses and petit fours.

Tablescapes? They lay out a mean fallish book theme.

Personal touches? We got the inside of Corduroy Bear as a sign-in book, ladylike tea party action, Tazo tea bag party favors, low-key children's book quiz, and my own personal mug.

I've shamelessly stolen all these pictures directly from Molly's blog because I liked the image collages... and because I couldn't figure out how to save pictures from Shutterfly. I'm a dumb.

Mom and Sara were there, looking hot.

Molly made this awesome banner for Miss Charlotte Bradly. Bradly told me she loved it.

We socialized.

I got a little weepy reading what everyone wrote for their inscription in the book.

Yeah, I got to keep all those centerpiece books. Word.

We ate like champs.

Our bouncer, Jack, kept out the riff raff.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Madewell Likes

Aberdeen Oxford

Silk Peasant Blouse

Novella Capelet

Slowly but Surely

We got the Flor rug tiles earlier this week. After the amazing shower on Sunday, boxes and bags are still everywhere and need to be sorted and find homes, but the room itself is starting to come together.

Next on the agenda? Making the bedding. Crib skirt, I'm looking at you first...

What do you think of something similar to this for trim along the bottom of the skirt?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Journaling Birth

I really love this idea from Fly Through Our Window...

Monday, November 8, 2010

My New Best Friend

We recently acquired the Cooking Channel, and I cannot emphasize this enough, IT'S AWESOME. Even Carter is singing it's praises. A little more hipster, a little more challenging, a little less obnoxious (cough, Rachel and Sandra): it's a much better version of the Food Network.

Here's who I've been loving...

1. Mo RoI have had a serious crush on Mo Rocca and his glasses since his stint on the Daily Show, and he's the apparent face of the Cooking Channel. Sigh. He so dreamy.

2. Jamie Oliver gardens and grills and throws things together low key style.

3. Um, messy, sweet, brilliant Julia Child is on everyday when I go home for lunch. They even have old school greatness.

4. Chuck's Day Off is also smart, fresh, perfectly-curated restaurant food that I could cook, too. Plus, Chuck has a fun accent.

5. But Kelsey's Essentials is the STUFF.

Kelsey is my new best friend. She makes real food, do-able food and actually teaches some great techniques... which is sorta my complaint about the Food Network. They're more about making fancy Hamburger Helper with chocolate sprinkles in less than 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong. I still watch and love Ina, but the rest of them are appealing to a different crowd, I guess. I feel like the Cooking Channel is food that certainly would take a little longer, but it's like taking a cooking class for free. I feel like I'm learning things when I watch... and it's not nearly as slick and produced from what I've seen. Kelsey seems to be the most bubbly of the bunch, but I really like what she does. Look at her up there. She even wearing an Anthropologie dress for goodness sakes. What's not to love?


Mattress and box springs? SOLD

TV Stand? SOLD

Yellow trunk? SOLD

Big desk? SOLD

(Look, the buyer even sent me a picture of the desk in her new office. She had all kind of plans for it.)

Here's to tearing it up Craiglist and clearing out the nursery for good.

Friday, November 5, 2010

You're Amazing

We had our most interesting Craigslist transaction to date last night. The buyer had been sending me essay length text messages for a few days, each punctuated with excessive exclamation marks. Last night was the hand off, but they were a little late because they got in an accident on their way to our place. When I told her coming late wasn't a problem she texted, "You're amazing! I feel bad, I don't even know your name!!" I'll confess I got a little weirded out by a potential Craigslist crazy being superfluously friendly. When they showed up, the buyer was indeed a sweet, sweet girl who was clearly high out of her mind. Slurring and mild stumbling and loving every single thing in our living room. This explained so much.

We completed our transaction, and away she went, giggling with delight over her vintage yellow trunk.

The End

Cleaning House

Sometimes I get really excited about doing laundry and washing all our bedding and Lu's blankets and vacuuming and bathing that little dog. It feels good. I think it's one of my most fulfilling check marks on the running list. I really like to get it all done in one day. Then I just roll around on everything, feeling so clean and fresh and accomplished.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Observations from Jury Duty Part III

In the future, I'm definitely going to pipe up with some crazy story during the jury selection process about how I'm traumatized about something or another and cannot offer an unbiased opinion about, well, anything really. Definitely coming up with that now. The key story elements will be as follows: my entire family, my house and car being broken into on the same day, and the persistent violated and now vengeful state in which I exist.

It was my observation that the attorneys picked the first twelve non-oversharing, non-crazy-storytelling peeps in the jury pool. Since panelists one and two had both had robbery/ID theft/anger issues, my neighbor number three and I were the first two picked. My theory was just to lay low and not say anything and get looked over. Obviously, wrong.

But the trial was short. We heard all the evidence and deliberated and came to a verdict in one day. It was pretty clear cut and our vote was unanimous. Defendant was not negligent in her driving and not responsible for plaintiff's medical bills. (I'm allowed to share this now.)

My other personal verdicts of the day include:

1. Plaintiff needs to cut off his ponytail and take a shower before appearing in court again. And probably shave, too, but that was the least of his image issues. I'm not expecting him to wear a suit, but everybody can lick their hand and smooth down their hair a little. The defense attorney could have given him some tips in the slick hair department.
2. Having been arrested for child abuse sorta undermines one's claims of starting a charity to help women and children. They kinda cancel each other out.
3. I'm fairly certain that this was the plaintiff's attorney's very first case ever. Plaintiff should have hired Jim Adler, the tough smart lawyer. Jim Adler can get you some undeserved money pronto.

My last object of note is the 1000 piece cat puzzle that was on the shelf in our jury room. Very curious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Observations from Jury Duty Part II

Universal Observations:

Don't wear boots when you have to go through security.

When told they won't have access to a bathroom for over an hour, women turn into wild beasts, trampling each other to get to the ladies' room.

People don't listen to instructions.

People don't listen to other people's questions and like to reword the exact same question and ask it again. For the fun.

People freak their freak when told they can't eat for an hour and a half.

Most people really want to follow the rules and not get in trouble. Older women are especially concerned.

Personal Observations:

I shouldn't freak out about being a few minutes late because, at this kind of party, there will probably be someone much more tardy than I and there's no way they're starting on time anyway.

Riding the bus isn't too bad.

I love sweater weather!

Observations from Jury Duty Part I

Universal Observations:

The court system provides a fascinating cross section of humanity.

Some people like to talk to strangers a lot. Some people don't.

People are freaked out (and sometimes belligerent) about missing work and losing their jobs right now.

In a group of a thousand local people, chances are you'll know a couple of them.

A collective groan makes everyone feel better about waiting.

Scarves, although cute, can make your whole body really hot and sometimes make you feel like you're suffocating and dying.

Personal Observations:

I seriously don't like to sit in the middle of a mass of hundreds of people. Against a wall is better.

I should always carry a pen, but I don't.

When I'm feeling like I'm about to pass out, sitting on the toilet is a gross option, balancing on the sink is too precarious, so sitting right on the bathroom floor will have to do.

Old ladies will take care of you if you're in a jam.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Saturday Morning

We rode bikes.

Carter pretended to read for class but really just girltalked with me.

I drank coffee.

We watched the changes around the Kimble and giggled at the impressive number of people headed into the Bird Mart.

Week 24

She's the length of an eggplant, about 9".