30 December 2005

seek and ye shall find

it's true: I've done more than my fair share of complaining. it's so easy to do. it just sort of wears on you, the everydayness. dirt and the rocks, that's what it is. the everyday dirt and rocks of a foundation you work so hard to build, and you get lost in it and then it becomes near impossible to see what you were working so hard to create in the first place.

and then all of the sudden, it is the last day of the year and you find yourself looking back. if you're lucky, you really see. you are able to look beyond the daily gritting of teeth, the sweating, the steady application of much elbow grease, the inconvenience of 365 days of living and you see your life for what it really is. people, I am an expert whiner, I am superb. my skills in this area are unmatched (it may surprise some people to know that I am the pessimist, the realist and ward is the eternal optimist in this marriage deal). I am not so dense though, so steeped in my ways that I can't see the beauty in my life that is spilling out all over the place. I am so rich, I am rolling in it, I'm drenched and saturated. love, love, love. I see it, feel it even when I don't want to.

this year: watching ava and ezra grow up in a million heart-breaking little ways (too many to name), playing in the ocean, dancing again, teaching again, celebrating eleven years of marriage, and wow, the writing I have done. this blog gig broke open a world I didn't even know existed until about a year ago. and the people I have met along the way have inspired me in the most divine ways. I'm humbled by the creativity and support my new friends have so willingly offered up. sitting here writing this, I feel something crazy and alive bubbling under my surfaces and I am excited to think of where it will take me. I have been laying in bed at night, eyes wide open. thinking clearly and slowly untangling threads of ideas in my head. the possibility of art, of painting, drawing, of photography, of choreography, of more dancing, more writing, it's too much. I feel good and green and bursting with colors, seconds away from eruption.

2006! here it comes. to my friends, my family, the world-- happy new year.

22 December 2005

it's the thought

ava has really gotten into the spirit of things. she has taken to wrapping up tiny little found objects to give to all her school friends. I haven't had the heart to tell her that her classmates might not be so excited about receiving a piece of an old pencil eraser. frankly, I was thrilled to see her focus shift from getting to giving. it's an exciting thing to witness, it's what you hope for as a parent. even if it has been breaking my heart on the daily. any little thing that caught her eye (which included the cracked half of a plastic pink bead she found on the floor of the thrift store the other day) was lovingly wrapped in a minuscule piece of red tissue paper and a whole mess of tape. she held them in her hands the other day, all those tiny little red packages. she held them carefully, as if they were jewels and her eyes shone with pride. she could not wait to give them to everyone in her class and I said a small prayer that her friends would somehow see the love behind the odd little gifts. and then in the car on the way home from school the other day, she told me that she had given out all her presents. she looked out the window and said nothing else. and of course, this worried me but I did not pry.

yesterday, we had lunch with ava at her school to celebrate the grand opening of the new cafeteria. as we sat eating macaroni and cheese and fruit cocktail (naturally), a little boy eyed me from across the table. I could tell that he was working up to the saying of something. then finally, "ava gave me a present," he said, grinning generously. oh, he was so happy about that little gift, he was. and then ava, she smiled too-- a smile as wide and as open as the whole of the sun.

kids, man. they can be so cool.

19 December 2005

fa la la la la

I am currently in a state of super-crazy-holiday-momminess. I'm not screaming at sarcastic sales people or swiping parking spaces from nice old ladies in oldsmobiles or anything like that but I am feeling completely spent. super-mommy wants to make everything extra-special for everyone, but andrea (the real live human-being) is unable to do so without some sort of superhero powers. and so I am letting it go. which is why I decided to post the above photo of the ava girl because I look at this and I think that I'd like to be all wrapped up in her glowy happiness and earnest anticipation. so I am going to try to let go of all the lists and the urgenturgenturgent need to cross all items off said list and I am going to get all wrapped up in the spirit with ava and ezra and ward and my family and friends. maybe it's corny but goodbye to all my caring about what's corny and what's not because we are going to sing and bake cookies and dance around the house in our pajamas and wrap presents and celebrate the birth of christ and revel in the love.

I'm off to revel. I'm wishing you the same.

13 December 2005

self portrait tuesday #16

more self portrait tuesday loveliness here and here.

11 December 2005

hello, I'm 35

hello, I'm 35 years old

and I'm blissed out. check it:

1. adorable children and husband treating me to breakfast in bed (which would be a warm krispy kreme donut with birthday candles stuck in it and a glass of ice-cold milk).
2. an ava-girl original birthday card (best present EVER).
3. and more food: lunch with all my people at figo. butternut squash ravioli good enough to make the knees buckle and the eyes roll back in the head. chaotic and lovely and everyone together.
4. three words: RED. VELVET. CAKE.
5. and you know there were presents (and they were good ones).
6. a fabulously designed birthday card (jan, I LOVE it) and an inspired gift from poppy.
7. a little shopping spree at victory vintage (where loverboy is painting a mural in return for a nice little chunk of store credit).
8. a massage at my favorite local spa, natural body.
9. brown suede wedges that I finally broke down and bought myself.
10. and still, more food: dinner with ward at agnes & muriel's. working on my '35 things to do before I turn 40' list over fried green tomatoes and mashed potatoes. ward kept making me laugh thus preventing me from finishing this list (stalled at number 21).
11. lovely words from the man I love most (thank you).

people, it was a birthday weekend extravaganza. started off with a bang when we hit the scene at husband's work christmas party. no lie, there was a photobooth on site (free and unlimited use! I almost passed out, I swear). hence the above photo. AND there were fresh strawberries and a chocolate fountain. A CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN, PEOPLE. that's really just about all I need. saturday included a trip to the fleamarket with my momma and the purchasing (and setting up) of a fresh christmas tree. the house smells fantastic. and so today, I am on a post-birthday high. me likies birthdays.

09 December 2005

oh christmas tree

soon the house will be filled with the scent of fresh pine. we are headed to pick out a tree this weekend and when we bring it home, we will play vince guaraldi's charlie brown christmas music and sit on the couch and stare lovingly at it. we'll be breathing deeply, through the nose, taking in as much of that christmas tree smell as possible. eventually, we'll get around to stringing the lights on (a day or so later) and then finally, the ornaments. ah, the ornaments. sadly, all the vintage ornaments (so carefully wrapped in paper and just waiting to make their yearly appearance) will have to remain in the attic. ezra is completely and totally head over heels in love with and obsessed with balls. or anything AT ALL ball-like in nature. 'BAH! BAH!", he screams. or "BOON! BOON!" when he catches sight of a balloon. he dives into the refrigerator the moment I open it, hoping to get his hands on an orange or an apple or kiwi whereupon he will throw the poor fruit around until it is reduced to mush. I knew we wouldn't be able to hang the ornaments on the tree this year but thought at least maybe I'd be able to set them all out in clear glass bowls around the house (which is what we did when ava was two). but I just KNOW that once he lays his big brown eyes on all those sparkly little orbs (placed just out of reach), it will be all over. it will become his personal mission to get his hands on any and all ornaments and my time will be consumed with preventing him from doing this. there will be unbelievably wild acts of baby desperation: supernatural scaling of walls and furniture to get at said ornaments, crying, whining, baby-like pleading and begging. and you know, you just can't reason with a baby. which is why I have chosen not to bring them out (oh how I will miss you, glittery little ornaments). they will stay nestled in their old cardboard 'shiny brite' boxes. and we'll be cutting out many MANY paper stars to hang on the tree instead.

06 December 2005

self portrait tuesday #15

reflection all over the place, what with this month's self portrait tuesday theme and me turning 35 in like, less than a week. bring it, I'm READY. (shut yer piehole nate I am embracing my age and I am proud of it and OH YEAH YOU ARE IN YOUR THIRTIES TOO).

04 December 2005

keeping my head above water

clothes fresh from the dryer, the japanese maple in our front yard that is currently the most brilliant fiery red (finally), ava's new pixie-style haircut, music by the shins ('chutes too narrow' please because I cannot get enough), my husky/scratchy/raspy I-have-a-cold-but-don't-I-sound-sooo-good voice that I wish I could keep FOREVER, freshly painted toes in crimson (thank you amy), sugarbath lemon soap by fresh, this birthday/christmas wish list that was loads of fun to make, ava's enthusiastic nightly 'discoveries' of planet venus and all the stars, these photos that are so bright-colored and deliciously inspiring that I want to lick the computer screen and take to snapping pics all around town, chocolate-dipped strawberries, making paper snowflakes with the ava-girl, a dance class high, the promise of a red velvet cake, ezra walking around with boots on his hands, the scent of freshly cut christmas trees, the possibility of a tuesday night trip to star bar (where my clothes will get drenched as I spend hours dancing to the likes of 'double dutch bus' with all my lovely dancer friends), fantastic knee-high boots recently found at the thrift store, a new season of project runway (people, I can't WAIT), ward's new beard (which I am absolutely loving and weak in the knees over), this christmas album by my bro (with original album cover art by this totally hot guy I know), the possibility of a road trip to see this art exhibit, the unconditional love that is heaped on me daily via sloppy kissing, frantic squeezing and much bumrushing.

I won't front. the title here was indeed inspired by the 'good times' theme song. ain't we lucky we got em. you know you want to sing the song now. don't fight it.