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Sunday, December 14, 2014

on the road with Mary

There are 2 very diverging topics on my mind today. Let's see if at the end, they connect somehow. :)

I have two very beautiful friends who are always dressed smashingly. They have two very different styles. One is very classic European who wears blazers better than anyone I know. The other rocks bohemian pants and shirts with the best of them. But fashion sense is not the only thing I have learned about them. I know their clothes, meaning, I could count their go-to outfits or pieces that they wear in different combinations. For them, looking good isn't about quantity but quality. And they just don't buy a lot of clothes because that just isn't a part of their culture. They buy clothes that they truly like, that express themselves, and they wear them. They aren't the least bit concerned about people seeing them in the same thing in a week's time. It's actually quite normal.

Our culture, on the other hand, puts so much stock in what we have, including what we wear. We loose sight of dressing in what we like and instead, try to keep up with what is on trend. And this season the buying craze gets in our psyche.

So instead of showing you outfits that look great or things you can buy others ( which I love as much as the next gal!), I'm going to propose making the most of what is already in your closet. Making the most of the gifts you give. It is rewarding in its own way to use what we have and buy smartly, only purchasing the special thing that would make something put together.

I felt this way when I was trying to figure out what my boys were going to wear for a more dressy Christmas party recently. They had pants and these cute blue checked shirts they wore for Easter with these adorable mint green bow ties. How could I recycle these outfits? The idea of hot-pink suspenders came to mind.. but I then realized that may not go over too well. :) So, I went for red suspenders and THEY LOOKED SPECTACULAR, if I do say so myself. I was so proud of this little accomplishment that made so much sense.

So, I didn't get to Mary yet, but I am thinking more about her as our friend as we approach Christmas.  What was she thinking? What was she feeling? She new she was on the way to a crowded city and was probably going to give birth there. Did she know she was going to be flying to Egypt soon to save the life of her son? Did she know they wouldn't find a room in an Inn? Being closer friends to this holy, marvelous, beautiful woman will teach us many things just by being in her presence...

Have a wonderful day, my friends!
I am off to enjoy some gift wrapping later in the day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

why i love florida

Growing up stays with us. It seems like childhood is always our frame of reference for much of our lives, and we measure other experiences according to the norm of our childhood. This goes for customs, surroundings, smells, and culture. I know the smell and feel of a Maryland Fall day, the barrenness of winter, the feel of our ocean condo and the beach in the early evening when we were all cleaned up from the salt water. These are all part of me now, and I love them.

If you asked me five years ago whether I saw Florida in our future, I would have definitely said NO. But as the saying goes, some doors were closed and a window that was Miami was opened and we took the leap of Faith. And those of you who have read this for over a year know how much Miami will be in my heart. But we weren't meant to be for forever.

So here we are on the West Coast, and I have had time to reflect about my own kids and what their childhood is like. I used to lament that they wouldn't remember or for the youngest ones, know what a snow day was. They wouldn't smell Fall and feel the change of Seasons. They wouldn't know the Mall ( which is the place where all of the monuments are in DC) and the grandeur of our Capitol City each Christmas.

But they have seen an armadillo in our backyard. Instead of a million squirrels, they can catch lizards and make them their pets. Instead of robins, bluejays are the norm, and dolphins are their deer. They swim all winter; they go to the beach whenever we feel the whim. Nature is a part of you down here. I see them commune with it. A tangible manifestation of this was when we visited my parents last Christmas and a bird got into the house. The frightened bird found friends in them and proceeded to let ALL THREE of them hold it in their palms without flinching or flying away.

And what about the seasons? The other day, just as I was feeling a bit remorseful over the kids not experiencing Fall, my daughter turned to me after taking a break from swimming and said, "Mom, it's Fall! I can smell it!" Their childhood will be it's own thing, just as their lives will be.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

'tis the season


for what?

I am not being facetious. We are meant to be waiting, searching internally for something, for Someone that the ancient hebrews were awaiting quite literally. Maybe we are not waiting at all, except for the gifts we are going to give and get; for the festivities. We feel no need to be redeemed from ourselves, no inner longing for something more.

Those gifts and parties are all fine and good, but Advent is supposed to be about something more. About something deeply personal and communal.

I'm not complaining. Or maybe I am. I am getting ready to throw a great birthday bash for my little guy and this is something I love to do. But hovering over my head and all around me are the demands: the Christmas play outfits that haven't come from direct channels so that I'm not sure what the requirements actually are and so the certain knowledge I will be scrambling around town looking for an all-red shirt at the last minute, infant in tow; the gifts for family members near and far, ready and wrapped and sent on time if far because no one wants to wrap extra presents sent to their home from Amazon; the idea that I will be making countless trips to Target or Walmart because I have forgotten something each time or they don't have that certain toy; the family picture that hasn't been taken for the Christmas cards that haven't been bought.


It's so funny, I could cry..


So, what am I going to do about it? Nothing for now. I'm just putting it out there because I know you all feel the same way. Sometimes just sharing makes it better.

Have a great day you all. And perhaps if we embrace our inability to do everything perfectly this season, we will have made a small start toward letting a Savior in.

Friday, November 7, 2014

chug chug putt putt


Sometimes I am with ya! I feel great, healthy, energized, ready to take on the world! It's almost Thanksgiving, and then Christmas! It's a magical time of year! Bring on the laundry. The meals. The shopping. The homework. The sports. The reading. The tantrums! I'm ready!

Now is not that time. It's amazing how I forget how much my thyroid, or lack of, affects me. Pregnancy and post-partum changes affect me dramatically. I was talking with a friend who also has young kids who just got part of hers removed and we could totally relate to each other. Anxiety runs high, patience runs low, and you can feel like crying altogether too often all the while wondering why your body keeps chugging along to climb the mountain only to sputter out once you're at the top. Blood draws show levels of functionality, but the feeling of being "off" is something you just can't put your finger on or entirely explain. As a woman waiting for the doctor the other day put it, "it's (thyroid) where your emotions are." And emotions are (almost) everything.

So we try to fight it. Try to fix it. And it's a losing battle. And so finally, I decide to just lose. I am not ready to take on the world right now. But I sure as hell can relish the little joys of life. In the end, those are the big things anyway. Sometimes when you lose, you win.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

fall's happy thoughts

chunky white sweaters




kids eating candy apples


playing on a much cooler beach


And more magic to come


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

mustard done right

It's October, and while others are seeing ORANGE, I see MUSTARD.



Can you imagine the above dining room with a graphic black and white pendant lamp?


Mustard looks polished and complete all by itself but it also goes so beautifully with other color combinations. It moves easily from Fall to Winter (think greens or reds or even deep fuchsia, depending on your taste).  It can even transition to Spring, which visually speaking, is always my pull...


I think mustard is calling my name.

And the CUTEST mustard of all?

Have a great day!