Monday, February 23, 2009


les came home from school today - threw on clothes - grabbed her pastels - and ran outside to decorate our sidewalk. she was inspired. SHE inspires me.


went to lake worth with char & carlos for the annual chalk festival. the chalk art was amazing and les was totally inspired. i was inspired by the town itself. sometimes i get so down because i feel like a fish out of water here. there are actually places that have michigan-like qualities in fl! (unfortunately 2 hours away!) they have a film house that shows a different independent film every day . . . right next door is a charming little community theatre . . . and next to that is a yoga studio where they had guys playing african drums while they taught the class. tons of cute restaurants & lots of them are ethnic. adorable and affordable art galleries. okay, you do have to drive through a kind of scary area to get downtown but . . . i don't know what it is about naples. it is lovely. and new. and expensive. and i try so hard to really feel like it's home. i want it to be home. but sometimes i just don't feel those roots growing. why is that?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

why i love saturday or how i'm trying to love swf

so, after a horrible headache (yes, again) yesterday, i felt i deserved a do-nothing saturday morning. it was delicious to sleep in and then lay in bed reading for hours - up for some tea and scones - then back to reading. i didn't get out of my pj's until 1 or so. very nice.

then, around 3 we all got it together and headed for an art festival downtown. they are always having an art festival downtown but this happens to be the one i actually really like. it's in the park. it's a little more creative than the usual offering. anyway. last year i met this artist that i really like. he reminds me so much of Arnold, my step-grandfather (who was such a cool, extremely bright, artistic, and kind human being). his name is nandor horthy and he's from toronto. i loved his work last year and was dying to buy something. this year, bret and i both went straight for the same piece of art. nandor said it is his favorite piece and one of his oldest but for some reason it never sells. well, i HAD to have it. so. . . i begged a little. and reminded bret that i never did get my bedspread for Christmas. and i do have a birthday coming in just 3 short months. and now that lovely little piece of art is hanging in my dining room. i am SO in love with it. happy birthday to me!

after the fair, we grabbed pizza and walked around town. then we joined the crowd and headed for the beach. i'm not a lay in the sun girl, but i really do love the beach in the evening. it was cool but not cold and extremely crowded but we sat in the sand and goofed around and got dirty looks from some older people sitting in front of us and had a really happy fun night. i am so trying to make the most of living in paradise.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


the simple things really are the best things. today i poured a big jug of minty bubbles from the dollar store into a plastic bowl - gave each of the kids a giant bubble wand - and stood back. What I saw was magic. The bubbles were huge and swirling around the playground. The littles were dancing and twirling and popping and blowing and having fun that you can only have when you're a little. by the time i thought to grab my camera the excitement had died down. but those first few windy bubbly moments? magic. and it only cost a dollar :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 random things

1 I'm a Gemini & I really do have 2 personalities - sometimes very social and sometimes very inward and quiet.

2 I have trouble remembering numbers.

3 Life w/o tea would be too sad. Tea is my ultimate comfort food.

4 It's weird how a lot of my friends have lots in common with my husband.

5 I love Meg Ryan movies and always wanted to look like her. Went to many hair stylists trying to get my hair to have that Meg Ryan look. Successful? No.

6 My sense of style is pretty similar to what it has always been. If you look at pictures of me when I was 12, I am probably wearing something that I would wear today. Very early in my life I decided what I thought was cool and I haven't wavered much.

7 If I could leave my house with only a few items, the quilt my granny made me would be among them. It is my comfort when I feel bad, cold, out of sorts , nostalgic . . .

8 I like the way Bret's knees smell. Okay, weird, I know.

9 I had a minor in film in college.

10 I almost named Leslie: Willow, Isabel (Bella), or Hannah but I'm happy that I chose Leslie

11 I always read about a third of a book (maybe half) and then skip to find out how it ends. Then I go back and finish the book. I don't like surprises. I want to know how everything is going to play out. It kills me to wait. You get it . .

12 So, if you read #11, it won't surprise you that I don't wait to open (or give) gifts either. If you send me a Christmas present 2 weeks before Christmas you can be pretty sure I've opened it 2 weeks before Christmas.

13 Bret almost always makes my breakfast.

14 My first car was a tangerine Mustang. My parents bought it for my 16th birthday.

15 I was a Brownie and then a Girl Scout for one year. When Leslie was small I was her Daisy and Brownie leader. (By the way, I loved my Brownie uniform. I thought the beenie was way cool.)

16 I loved Donny Osmond when I was in 4th grade. I talked my mom into taking me to see him in concert. I also talked her into buying me a purple hat just like his. I never wore it.

17 I don't really love driving and I get out of it whenever I can.

18 I had to take swim lessons at the Y when I was in 3rd grade. They made us dive off the high board and I did a belly smacker. I have never tried to dive since.

19 I used to get my brother to let me put make-up on him. When we played school, I was always the teacher. When we played games, I always got to decide which one. It must have really sucked to have been my brother.

20 Bret was my first real boyfriend (that I could actually go on dates with and not just hold hands with in the hall).

21 Every time I had a wish (a birthday candle wish, a fountain wish, a first star wish), I wished to be a mom.

22 When I was little I wanted to be a waitress. Then, in 7th grade, I decided I wanted to be a model. In high school it was a buyer for a department store. In college it was a writer. But I am so happy that I finally decided to become a teacher.

23 I am just coming to the realization that having too much stuff is limiting. It stiffles creativity. It causes inertia. I have too much craft stuff and too much teacher stuff and I don't know how I'm going to pare down, but I am. (Bret would say I have too many dishes, too.)

24 I really, really, really try to live w/0 regrets. But, if I had to list only one then it would be that Leslie didn't stay at Upland Hills school. I love that wild little place in the woods where she was able to totally be herself.

25 I miss having parties like we used to have in Michigan. Impromptu or planned. A few friends or lots of friends and neighbors and family. I miss entertaining. Why don't we do it here?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10 things that make me happy

Took les to the dentist and got to spend 45 minutes reading junky magazines. Love it. Nothing like doing something I love and not feeling guilty that I'm not accomplishing something. Anyway - discovered a new-ish magazine that i love - Domino. It's a kind of hip cousin to Architectural Digest. On the back page, they have a feature called '10 things that make me happy' where someone (famous?) gives you a list of stuff they can't live without at this particular date and time. Well, here's my list for February 10, 2009:

Zhena's Gypsy Tea in cocoa-berry (okay, yum)
Levi's (loving that they fit my big booty and somewhat smaller waist + i'm kinda into retro)
Tom's shoes (it's so cool that they donate a pair to kids - also they remind me of France)
StriVectin (amazing)
'Sharing Your Story' by Ali Edwards (can't wait to get into it & lift some ideas)
Snapfish (so nice not having to drive down to Ritz any more)
Method dryer sheets (smell so good & supposedly okay for the world & our bodies)
Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (okay, they make me feel a little guilty but . . . yum)
my new car (even though i say i'm not a car girl, it is pretty fun to drive)

Okay, gotta go do the dinner thing so i can reward myself with some thin mints and tea and get into the Ali Edwards book . . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seafood Festival

Okay, so every year Bret wants to go to the Seafood Festival which is basically a carnival where they sell tons and tons of fried seafood. Wellllll . . . you know me and my food issues . . . we don't really trust carny food and even if this is a small step up from carny food still not trusting it. Also, you must add in the traffic which crawls at a snail's pace on a 2 lane road (with lots of motorcycle traffic trying to pass you because for some reason bikers love this place) and then once you finally arrive so many people that you can barely push your way through. You must hold your pee all day unless you don't mind porta-potties (I do) or you can try to sneak into a restaurant where they have many handwritten signs warning you not to use their facilities. Okay, so you're getting a clear picture, right? Well, here's the funny thing. Even though I don't trust the food and love clean bathrooms available to me at all times, I actually like the Seafood Festival. I love the little small town atmosphere and all of the people that are so real and so not Fifth Avenue. It reminds me of the Fish Fly Festival in New Baltimore. It kinda feels like home. Scary.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a chilly blog

too much buzzing around in my head today . . . having a little trouble focusing because i am sooooo cold! florida should not have so much cold weather. and i should have a real furnace. one that works. maybe someone is trying to tell me something. like why the heck would you move back to michigan when you can't even take a few nights of 30 degrees?! i have officially turned into a florida wimp.

okay, let's get to it. for the 3 people that actually read my blog (occasionally) i have some messages:
sal- i came up with my words for 2009. authentic (i will try to be), enough (must remember i really do have enough and stop searching for better and more), centered, connect, balance, and grace. i know i was just supposed to choose one but i love words so much that i couldn't help myself.
jen- you would be great in those orange boots. i really mean it.
les-i'm proud of you for doing the things that make you happy and not just doing things to please other people (including your MOM!). i have spent too much time worrying about what other people will think, feel, etc. you have such a sweet heart and i know you always try to do the right thing. but somehow in your 14 years on this planet you have learned something it has taken me over 40 to learn - to say no when there is something you really don't want to do. this parenting thing is an interesting dance and i am so thankful to have you as my dance partner. thank you for teaching me every day.

okay, what else? today i had such a nice circle with my littles. they have such smart things to say. i have to remember to spend more time talking with them and less time rushing through the day. it is the small moments where i see growth and glimpses into who they really are - getting down on the floor to watch two boys cooperate on a puzzle, glancing over to catch one little "reading" one of our class books to some others, helping another little set up the fairies . . .
i really do love, love, love my job and i am so grateful for that.

i am in a movie mood this week. les and i watched "nick and nora's infinate playlist" tonight (cute, great music) and i am looking forward to seeing "he's just not that into you" tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

why i avoid the computer

Jen, you wanted a picture

Leslie is playing with my hair. I like it. Bret is watching some really boring thing about the senate. Really boring. I wish he'd come up and play with my hair too. And turn off the TV. It's really bugging me. Jen told me about her stalking activities today and it lured me to the computer. Now I have been here for hours and have neglected all of my duties as a wife and mother. I have a neck ache and I need to get the clothes out of the dryer but I can't seem to pull myself away from the computer. The good thing about having a daughter is you get someone to play with your hair.