Friday, September 30

so the other day i spent the majority of the afternoon in illustrator.  i am so inexperienced with that program that any time i try to mess around with being creative, it sucks my whole day.  i had wanted to replace the random photos we had in these huge frames in the girls' room and yesterday was the day.  here is what i did:

i wanted nursery rhyme mini posters instead of baby photos.  we ended up with some of kate's favorites
humpty dumpty
mary had a little lamb
 hey diddle diddle

and here are the actual images i made because they look way better than my poor photos :)

my favorite thing kate does right now is recite hey diddle diddle 
she has this quasi-beatnick flow to it :)

Thursday, September 15

never forget.

i know i'm a few days late in writing this post but that's only because i've been immersed since sunday watching programs i recorded from history channel's 9/11 lineup.

there are so many emotions and thoughts i have had over the last few days.  my persepectives, my feelings, my emotions have grown and enlarged and been magnified after so many hours of taking in the story and timelines of that september day. 

i am immensely grateful for the countless men and women who gave their time, talents, and lives to work and help and save so many others, so many strangers.  it is incredible how quick the response was.  i am baffled at the speed of the evacuation of those who were able to get out, the speed of the numbers of firefighters and officers who arrived at the scene upon hearing of the tragedy, the speed and efficiency of work that was accomplished in such a short span of time. 

i am in such awe of the many stories of heroes from the day.  men and women helping each other, escaping down those narrow stairways together, pausing in their own descents out of the buildings to help dig out people who lay buried in the rubble, sharing of their resources.  the heroes of each flight, the crews, the men of flight 93 who did all they could to thwart the intended terrorist plan for that plane and its passengers, who stalled putting their own desperate plan into action until they were flying over a rural area as opposed to one more heavily populated.  the examples are numerous.

i am grateful for those who have been willing to share their experiences, be it through emergency worker radio recordings, voicemail messages that were left by loved ones, home video shot through apartment windows or from the streets below the towers, or their own personal accounts of living through that day.  i am grateful for those who are willing and able to share their stories of unimaginable loss, tragedy, hope, and love in the human experience. 

while the day itself was horrific and unbelievable, the tragedy was far from over once september 12 dawned.  countless faces were searching for loved ones, either in the pit, in the streets, in the hospitals, or by plastering xeroxed copies of posters on any free space in the city.  firefighters worked day and night looking for friends and survivors and hope was alive.  as the days passed, reality set in for all of us.  what started as the site for rescue, in days turned into a job site.  as men and machines removed and cleaned debris, searchers moved onto the landfill to continue the search.  be it for the victims ability to rest in peace or the families of missing persons to have some closure, these workers remained so steadfast and stayed the course. 

the funeral services, the cleanup, the resolve, the patriotism, the unification.  i could go on and on.  do you remember how you couldn't pass a car or house or building without seeing some form of the US flag?  the bumper stickers, the clothing, the antenna flags, we were unified.  i have to say, i haven't stopped to reflect and appreciate with each anniversary as much as i have this year.  i owe it to the programming of the history channel :)  it is true - i have been just immersed and am flooded with gratitude, love, sadness, sympathy and empathy, pride, patriotism, and awe.  we are an amazing country with a rich history.  we have resilience and integrity... we must all do our part to make sure this country continues to stand for something, to stand on the principles from which it was born.

truly - god bless america, land that i love.

Wednesday, September 7

year one

it's my baby's birthday.  beth is one today - i can't believe it.  i think this has been the fastest year i can remember.  i wish i had been one of those moms who diligently take a monthly photo of their baby (you know, laying on the same blanket by a cute sign saying how many months they are, every month of that first year).  but, i'm just not.  i did compile a bunch of cute pictures of my sweet baby beth. 

can you even believe how happy this girl is?  i felt so lucky and blessed to have an easy baby when kate was born.  beth?  she blew kate out of the water :)  but really, beth has been so mellow, easy going, tolerant, flexible, generous, and the definition of love.  she is just lovely.  

she has started "walking" this past week or so.  i count her official first steps as sunday, september 4th.  she walked 3 steps completely on her own.  and then this morning?  she walked 5 steps and bridged the gap between the couch and the chair - completely on her own.  i love watching the wheels work in their heads when they decide to turn around and walk.  

she has been saying dada for several months and mama a few less than that.  although, it must be said that whenever she has used mama, it's really because she needs something - usually food.  she says nana for banana, shhhh for shoe, has said ball once or twice, and signs milk, eat, more, and all done.  

beth has her 1 year appointment with the doctor tomorrow, but she has been packing on a bit of weight in the last three months so i'm hoping to see her percentiles in a more average range.  i'm sure she'll maintain her petite status, however :)

 happy birthday, little one.  we love you!

Saturday, September 3

home improvements

welcome to our porch.  
this photo is actually from before it was ours but it serves to show you how dark and cave-like the porch was.  the other day, i trimmed down the honeysuckle - it had a radius of about 3 feet and was out-of-control-wild.  did you know that honeysuckle grows off old wood?  maybe my terminology is off, but basically we had 2 1/2 feet of old wood (think bird's nest for a huge bird) and 6 inches on the outside of pretty green growth.  anyway, it was time to pare down... now it looks kind of sad but i'm hoping for a beautiful plant come spring.


here is what our porch looked like thursday afternoon.  bare honeysuckle/grapevine, handrail in the middle of the steps, stains all over the cement, painted house number, brown storm door, black front door (did you even notice the cute diamond glass we have in there?  me either ... ok, i noticed it, but it doesn't really stand out at all)

 here is our garage door as of first thing this morning - more brown. 

and now, are you ready for the big reveal?

here is our porch this afternoon.  i know, right?  just kidding :)  so i painted the door, painted the storm door (it will do until we just go out and get a new one), and painted all the trims.  we hired weston's cousin to acid wash the concrete to even out the stains and get rid of the painted numbers.  the concrete still looks aged like it should be so i'm happy.  he also cut out that ugly handrail which, by the way, i wouldn't have minded if it weren't in the middle of the porch. 
 cute little diamond window looks much better behind gray, don't you think?
 and don't forget the crisp white garage door!  i'm so excited about white, can you tell?  even if it shows the dents in the door more than the brown did, i'm still wildly happy with the results.
and you want to know the best part of it all?  my husband and i worked side by side to get this all done.  great way to spend a saturday (and don't worry, he was still able to squeeze in a couple hours of skateboarding.)