Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome to the neighborhood...


(thank you, Seattle PI)

We were driving a friend home from our super fun(!!!) Christmas party this weekend, and behold, stumbled across what has to be my new favorite Seattle tradition. Candy Cane Lane. An entire street of already gingerbread-ish houses are decked to the nines in cheesy lights, blow-up Grinches, and even a Christmas merry-go-round. There are conscientious objectors (with whom I completely sympathize), but I could overlook the gawdy factor because of one thing.

Every house on the block has a small wooden sign with the word PEACE painted on it. And at every house, it's a different language! It has to be one of the most beautiful signs of solidarity I have ever seen. Even if it was doused in commercialized crap from Target. I cried.

And you know what? My favorite house had three little signs with quotes from famous peacekeepers--Gandhi, MLK Jr., and Jesus.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Habits I've Formed Since Moving to the Other Side of Town

1. Plan large Christmas party without any grasp on how many people can actually fit into our living room.
2. Cook incessantly in a kitchen that's got storage for ALL my mixing bowls.
3. Curse the state of our 1940s stovetop (three burners, two get hot-ish).
4. Experiment with oven that is known to "keep getting hotter."
5. Call police upon suspicions of car prowlers.
6. Stop at UVillage every time I drive by (at least twice a day).
7. Make returns to UVillage when I remember that I still don't have a job and the whole stinkin' world is in financial ruin and it doesn't matter how cute those pillows are I already have cute pillows.
8. RAKE LEAVES.
9. Rake more leaves.
10. Bag leaves.
11. Trek to City People's to buy leaf bags.
12. Call Seattle Public Utilities (the new SPU) and burst into tears when customer service agent yells at me.
13. Leave message for said agent's supervisor about SUCH misconduct. Rude.
14. Continue working the exact same jobs I had one year ago (not the plan, but not so bad).
15. Spend days volunteering at most random places, but enjoying it all the while.
16. Watching Marie Antoinette and other movies in our giveaway pile.
17. Obsess over the John Adams miniseries from Netflix and tear up with patriot pride.
18. Shop online for Christmas gifts for myself (guilty).
19. Read ten thousand reviews on Twilight.
20. Start three new books, can't decide which to commit to.

21. HANG A HOLIDAY WREATH ON OUR FRONT DOOR! Hooray!

On Pain Tolerance

Husband: OW! Rubbing my shoulders should not mean causing me so much pain.

Wife: Oh please, your tolerance for pain is next to nothing.

Husband: That may be true, my dear...but which of us could survive in the WILD?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas List Item #2

Since I have recently lacked the internet service/will to blog, I am posting yet another bit of fluff. But baby, it's some goooooood fluff.

"Go forth and strike fear into the hearts of the clueless, the careless, and the punctuation impaired."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Christmas List Item #1



Kate Spade is working with Women for Women International, and these mittens were made in Bosnia by women who are rebuilding their lives after the destruction of war. Cool cause, cool mittens!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wedding Obsession Relapse

I'm not planning to get married anytime soon (since I just did that and everything, and I'm going to stick with the one I've got), HOWEVER...



Melissa Sweet still makes me swoon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And one more thing...

I was a sixth grade fanatic over Bob Dole, so don't accuse me of supporting a candidate just because I think he's cool. I'm sure throngs of Obama supporters are relatively glazed over with starstruck awe, but as for me, I tend to be uncool (ie- no boyfriend except the one I married, unfortunate gap teeth followed by clear braces, very bad at any and all sports). So it's not about the cool factor.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hmm...

Here's a tidbit--I realize many people feel strongly enough about abortion that their entire politician perspective hinges on this singular issue. But if the central argument is that life must be valued at all costs, then at what point do we count the lives lost to malaria, diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, famine, and I don't know, WAR, all over the world? These are all tragedies the United States has the resources to lessen. A responsibility to end, even.

And if I'm voting on behalf of the other million+ children who die every year from preventable causes, then why is that so evil? I just don't understand why people who are pro-life assume all democrats flippantly support abortion. It's obnoxious. Do I look like someone who would make that choice casually? NO. Do I seem like I would support people who make that choice selfishly or without painful consideration? No.

But at the end of the day, my opinion on abortion has very little to do with how I'm voting. And if people say that's not good enough, that abortion must be the top issue (whichever side you're on), I don't agree. My gut, my conscience, my faith, my resources all lead me to put my eggs in other baskets that I believe are just as urgent, just as life-or-death. So to the ones who think I'm poo-pooing the loss of life, think again. I'm just fighting for another set of kids.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Contribution to the Election Season


Thank you, Carly.

Who wants to make these with me?


LUMINARIES!

List of References

I was telling someone recently about the laundry list of families I've babysat for in my ten-year, ahem, career. (I obviously cling to that fact.) When I said I've put upwards of one hundred children to bed, those eyebrows sure raised, but I'm thinking my estimate is spot on. Here's my list...starting at the very beginning.

Abby, Luke, and Emilee
Erin and Morgan
Heather, Lacey, and Conner
Jonathon, Olivia, Aubrey, and Sam
Allison and Lindy
Alyssa, Stephanie, Alex, and that middle one that liked to snuggle
Nick and Aly
The three kids on the cul-de-sac whose mom NEVER vacuumed
Annie and her two sisters that vomited in Stonegate
Kylie and her brother (lived across from Abby and Emilee)
Nathan and his gorgeous blond sister (Mom named Valerie, Dad with mullet)
Macy, Mallory and Meredith
Christian and Bre
Aaron the brown-eyed wonder
Magnolia family with BMW and insomniac girl and boy
Meredith on Mercer Island
Alex and Elise
Maya and Stella
Cline and Henry (I'm Kelsey's stand-in)
Aidan (once)
Jack and Scout
Jillian and Willa
The Eckerts (Aubree's stand-in, once or twice)
Max and Sebastian
Ezra and Sol
Clara and Annabelle
Henry and Katy
Collin and Miriam
Nia and Gabrielle

Okay, so that's 62. BUT THAT IS A LOT OF TWINKLE TWINKLE. And I bet my mom will remember at least five more.

EDIT: I already thought of four more: Hailey, Haden, Connor and Grace

Friday, October 24, 2008

Women Advocate for Peace in Liberia


I found this trailer on the Apple site, and I can't wait to see it in a few weeks. Check out the story here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HELLS BELLS

This is a big deal, people. A big freakin' deal. And frankly, if anyone would like to judge me for being concerned by this news in world torn by war, injustice, famine...go ahead. But tonight, I am mourning the discontinuation of the best thing that happened to me as a child (well, top ten, at least).


Samantha Pennington, the doll that inspired me to pray for the repopularization of daily formal wear, is being laid to rest this Christmas. Pleasant Company is letting her go. After twenty years of being an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL. I'm just, shocked.

Too dramatic? Ask anyone who had one of these dollies and you will reconsider.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Serendipity



Dustin snapped this picture today on a sidewalk in Seattle. Reminded us to keep praying...

Why It Matters



This video came from a friend of ours, Kevin Korver. Of course, I appreciate the message, but I thought the cinematography was gorgeous, tender.

PRIZES! FUN PRIZES!

One of my favorite artist blogs is Treasuring, and she recently linked to a contest on yet ANOTHER incredible indie craft site, Indie Fixx.

Here's the best part--Indie Fixx is hosting an awesome contest (ends Nov. 14) for the following sweet prize packages (full of inspirational craft goodies, the ones that haunt my dreams all night long). Heckuva deal, I say!



Or, this one!



Wish me luck, and don't forget to enter yourself, too! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

There will be no white flag above my door...

I'm a babysitter. The kind that starts in seventh grade and then catalogs the children she has loved and kissed goodnight and played dress up with and buried in sand at the beach and stuck bandaids on and put in timeout and said goodbye to when they moved away. In fact, 2008 marks my own personal silver anniversary of babysitting. So I feel like I've come a long way.

Which is why I am no longer interested in taking care of kids whose wealthy parents refuse to treat me like an adult. I am not thirteen anymore, thank you very much, and no, I will not let you round down my work hours when you talk my ear off because you've come home from suuuuuuch a good movie. There are too many families in my life that have invested in me, taken me into their homes, allowed me to soak up their good juju and learn from their love. I don't have time for you anymore, and I'd rather go without a latte than spend the evening looking at your expensive drapes, knowing you'll try and cheat me out of a measly five bucks.

So today I wrote an email to a person who lives in what I would guess is at LEAST a million dollar home in Seattle, and it felt really good to stick up for myself. "I understand that you typically pay less than $15 an hour for your three preschool children, but I am doing my best to make ends meet (let alone get ahead) in a city that has sky-high education costs and not enough affordable housing, so you'll understand when I say I simply don't have time to feel guilty about my prices. All the best."

Yours,

Holly Wood V.B.Ex. (that's Veteran Babysitter Extraordinaire)

EDIT: Yes, I got the lyrics wrong and changed the title. Sorry, Dido.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Calgon, Take Me Away

Caller: Hi, I need to make an appointment to speak with a career counselor.
Sugary Sweet Secretary (SSS): Okay, great! Um, how about you drop in this afternoon?
Caller: Hmm, I thought the drop-in sessions were mainly for "quick questions." I'm a relatively recent grad looking for a full-time position.
SSS: (Silence).
Caller: This isn't really a "quick question," it's more like, "What do I do with my life?"
SSS: (Preceded by weak laughter) Oh, what was your major?
Caller: (Silence)... English and Spanish.
SSS: Ahhhkay. Well let's set you up with a longer appointment then. How's Friday?
Caller: I am WIDE OPEN.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Porkbarrel My Arse


I'm so sick of hearing folks complain about all the frivolous porkbarrel attachments that got lopped onto the bailout bill. First of all, there was no choice, unless Americans decided to suddenly live without Tivo and professional sports and all the other luxuries we mop up on a daily basis. Second of all, politicians are PAID to work (read: manipulate) the system in service of their constituents. Isn't that pretty much the way it works?

But more than anything, has it occurred to the big complainers that this bill passed with some really *important* additions? Like, I don't know, more comprehensive mental health coverage? Or fringe benefits for bike commuters? Or additional funding for rural schools?

I'm not saying that all of the add-ons were legitimate, they're obviously not. But let's not kid ourselves into thinking this doesn't happen ALL THE TIME. HELLO.

Congratulations, America, you're so not smarter than a fifth grader.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Serendipity, Indeed.


This morning I took a walk through a very foggy Seattle, and I admit to fretting a whole lot about the current transitions and unknowns in my life right now. I was frustrated, I was listening to something moody on the little red shuffle, and I was discouraged. And then I walked right past this little bit of love, and I'm convinced it was sent to me straight from heaven. You're right, little brick house, I need to trust a little more.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

While Discussing the Grocery List...

source

Husband: I don't want to get crackers at Trader Joe's. Their snack food tastes too--homemade.
Wife: Would you rather have snacks that taste a little more, um, factory-made?
Husband: Yeah, yeah, like the stuff I grew up on! That TJ's stuff tastes like BARK!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Uh- Oh

Having a bad day. So annoyed that I plan to blog v. much like Bridget Jones.

1. Went back as a sub at my old job, enjoyed myself, wished v. badly I had a job I loved.
2. Got honked at by snob in Jeep as I drove patiently behind a struggling cyclist on a huge hill. (No room to pass, lady! CALMATE!)
3. V. dizzy, slight headache.
4. Sloppy internet connection makes it impossible to upload ANYTHING to FB.
5. Reported a drip in the corner of coffee shop, the drip that was landing on a piece of art by a local student. Request to remove said art promptly ignored with a smile. Artist going to starve due to dripped on brilliance.
6. Have to go to blasted finance class tonight. Not fun.
7. Can't seem to finish book about slave labor in Saipan. Feel guilty that I think 'tis boring.
8. Miss the sun.
9. Pants too short, too tight.
10. Not enough stamps to mail my packet.

Bonus: Derek and Meredith are too good to be true, and tonight the dream may die.

I'll be back tomorrow, in better spirits. Cheerio.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This is Me, Living in a Dream

I know I've been posting a lot of snippets about design-y stuff lately, and most of it has been found with the help of other obsessive blog readers...but last night, I looked at Dustin and asked him this: "Did you know that I'm kind of going through a modern design phase right now?" He just stared at me.

So what? So, his less than enthusiastic response means I need all the moral blog support I can get when I write this design-y posts. Get excited with me, PLEASE!

Because all I want for Christmas is this Orla Kiely chair...



Found via Design*Sponge, available through Heal's UK

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That Was Refreshing!



Thank you for all the inspired comments about the crap you enjoy eating. It made me feel better about my own dirty little secrets. :)

Now I don't think anything's more fun to talk about than food, but here's my next best offer: Let's trade Etsy Favorites! I'm sure there's already a way to share your favorite sellers somehow, but my theory is that posting here on my blog will offer these artists just a sliver of publicity, and that may be enough to eventually win their hearts/make them want to give me free art. Somehow.


Because linking all of these would make my little head explode, just type in a name below, like this: "NAME.etsy.com".

sarahearn
jessgonacha
helveticaneue (as seen above!)
houseoftelsa
Bombus
OnePunkPosy
rachelaustin
AliciaBock
brookerpie
kellyrae
redrubyrose
sophiassweetspot
SEWNBYDCC
AmyGiacomelli
blurb
dutchdoor
galabent
rarrarpress
sarahridgley
kateendle
matsudabunch
MariposaAvenue
kristinemays
12fifteen
kwilson544
foundling
palomasnest
remarket
JennMaruskaDesign
piperewan
treetopstudio
tarajandrews
evapaul
BrassPaperclip
shelbyhealey
Mikiye
girlygirlpurses
yumiyumi
UglyKitty
hazelbrown

Now tell me your favorites, quick!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet 'n Low

I have been avoiding this post for a long time, mostly because it's going to reveal some humble truths about the way I like to eat. And for someone who calls herself a foodie, humble food (or pie!) isn't exactly boast-worthy. In fact, it's downright embarrassing. But I finally decided that enough is ENOUGH, and I am sick of reading food blogs that berate the Hostess fan, lampoon the closet McDonald's lover, and implore addicts of High Fructose Corn Syrup to "just say no."

Just say yes, I say!

So, in quiet moderation, or until you've the courage to eat your Mickey D's in the presence of Anthony Bourdain himself, try indulging in some of my favorite "lower rung" delights. No judgment allowed, now. This is me being very, very vulnerable.

In no particular order...

1. Hamburger Helper. Hallelujah! I always forget about this one, because I'm constantly steering clear of this entire "dinner in a box" aisle. But baby, don't miss the stroganoff. When you're hungry fast, this is IT.
2. Late-night Taco Bell. I can't really bring myself to eat Taco Bell while it's light outside, I guess I'm afraid of seeing what's really in that taco, but after dark...I'm basically like Edward Cullen on a Mexican Pizza.
3. Pre-fab cookie dough. Yes, I know that Nestle is a pack of jerks for buying up natural resources (agua) and then profiting on them in obscene ways. Yes, I know they exploit mothers in Latin America by luring them into infant formula addiction. So don't you worry, I BUY THE SAFEWAY BRAND. And they are just as good. ;)
4. Sour Patch Kids. Dustin thought he had married an alien when I ate an entire bag this summer, having NEVER had them before. But Abbie gave us "Sour Salad" as a wedding gift, and I just couldn't say no.
5. Jalapeno Poppers. I don't care that the frozen box looks a lot like the cover of an 80's dance album. They take thirty short seconds to zap, and then I feel like I'm in a little piece of heaven. For less than five dollars.
6. McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg Sandwich. I try not to drive by McDonald's before 10:30am, that way I'll know it's not even an issue. They've already been snatched up by the lucky devils that came earlier.
7. Ramen Noodles. Three minutes? I think YES!
8. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The blue box, please. With hot dogs? EXTRA POINTS! (This is a sign that I have officially been in the babysitting biz for ten long years.)
9. Cherry Pie Filling. This one will really gross my mom out. But oh my GOSH, when it's so gooey like that? Yummmmm... That's not natural, but who cares?
10. Fanta, Fanta! Don't you want some Fanta, Fanta? Orange Fanta (or Pina Fanta, when in Rome)...makes my world go 'round.

Okay, so admit it! What are you favorite guilty pleasures? Don't get all Whole Foodsy on me, DISH!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Also, Yum.


Sometimes when I see all the glorious handmade goodies on Etsy, I wonder how Crate and Barrel stays in business. There's nothing generic about this sassasfrass. Check out Bombus on Etsy.

Yum.


If I someday become the type to take weekend R&R jaunts (rather than the frenzied weekends I usually have), this will be my bag of choice. Thanks, Jane Marvel.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Treading Lightly

In the spirit of Dooce's tempered response to the, ahem, political circus of late, I am going to make one simple observation.

IF YOU MAKE GIANT SIGNS TO FLASH ON TELEVISION, SPELL MAVERICK CORRECTLY.

And then, watch Jon Stewart and be amused.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oldyweds

Tonight, I could count up about fifteen times Dustin made me laugh OUT LOUD. LOUDLY. And the best part is that our morning got off to a rocky start, and it went something like this...

1. Dustin pulls out onto Alaskan Way in front of a large Dodge Charger. They don't call it a Charger for nothin' because I nearly died. We nearly died.
2. After returning safely to our humble abode, Dustin offers to make us breakfast burritos. And then he proceeds to scramble eggs in the most ABSURD fashion (with hardly any gusto, none), I can't contain myself! I scream, loudly, BE A MAN WHEN YOU SCRAMBLE THOSE EGGS! USE THE WHISK! He looks at me, cracks up laughing, and says, I love it when I get to do things my way, and it makes you CRAZY! Muahahaha! Then I put him in a virtual headlock, I calm down, and I eat the eggs the way he made them.
3. The rest of the day was full of very entertaining activities, including cleaning a vacant apartment together, eating Wheat Thins with cream cheese and salsa verde, a walk to the Fremont Market, a visit from Kryland and a walk home with a bookshelf in hand. And rainbow chard and chiogga beets.
4. This post should have been more organized, but let's be honest, my college education is officially wearing off, and I may be unemployed, but IN BLOGGING THERE IS FREEDOM!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Daring to Dream

Because I am feeling a little sorry for myself tonight about a little job search rejection (yeah, it's a bummer) and because that also means I still have free time to spare, I am going to indulge in something I admit to be remarkably shallow and self-absorbed. I am going to SHOP FOR A WHOLE NEW WARDROBE. Not in real life, no, that would require having landed the job. I am going to pick out a new wardrobe and will spare no detail.

First, a cashmere sweater from J.Crew.


A new pair of Citizens from Nordstrom.


Tory Burch tunic-extraordinaire.


The Ultimate Wrap Dress, Diane VF, The Real Deal.


A sassy paisley sweater and pencil skirt from Banana.


ORANGE. RUFFLED. BRAVE. BANANA.


Yellow is my new favorite, and this one could be my first official purchase from Bluefly!


Toms' Boots? I think I can, I think I can.


Burberry Jacket for the coldest Seattle days.


That is all. I have virtually shopped til I have virtually dropped.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ALSO


I have all but abandoned my wedding blog. It's pathetic. I feel like I ran a marathon and peetered out in the last half-block of Boston.

If You Could See Me Now

There are about five zillion things swirling around my brain tonight, not the least of which are the following:

*Leaky ceilings, unintentionally whitewashed parking lots, and the countdown to residential freedom
*Juggling job search drama (when to accept, when to wait, when to say BASTA and accept my fate as a perma-nanny)
*Trips to the Country Home Buffet for family functions
*Remembering to send well-wishes/myself to every wedding in the tri-county region
*Sharing the darn car with the patient husband
*Paying the darn bills even though our bank accounts have yet to connect
*Rain in Seattle, as if the Northwest has just GIVEN UP on sunshine and the prospect of a decently long summer
*Renting apartments by the truckload and dealing with some surprisingly catty contractors
*Wishing I had access to a television/the DNC.

That is all. Pray for peace in my brain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

There's No Easy Way to Say This

But I need to write a post that is completely random--meaning, all parts of it will be random, and should probably be separate posts, and may or may not be of interest to you, my loyal readership of three.

Nonetheless, I must blog on, organized or not.

Item 1. I have had several awesome opportunities to practice my Spanish skills lately, and boy do I love it. This summer I started volunteering with Family Services (that's another Item on this list), and there are so many Spanish-speaking parents and kids who let me practice with them. They like that I'm trying. :) I'm also buddies with Jorge, the man in charge of landscaping here at our apartment building, and whenever he calls to inform me of the latest knoxious weed issues, he speaks in Spanish until I can't follow him anymore. It's a great system. He leaves me messages and calls me amiga, and I bring him water when he and his team work outside all day. And ANOTHER Spanish party happened at the wading pool last week!!! Even as I continue to nanny mindlessly (I promise I'm paying attention to the children), I'm lucky enough to improve my language skills mid-splash. I LOVE IT. I love knowing that I'm going to mix up my conjugations, verb tenses, and worst of all, gender (grammatically speaking), but there is nothing like the smile on someone's face when she hears her own language. Priceless! Warm fuzzies all around!

Item 2. Like I said, I recently stumbled into a volunteer position with Family Services at their SUPER COOL SHOP, the Baby Boutique. Most days I get to sort through huge bags of hand-me-down Gymboree overalls and miniature cowgirl boots. Then I play with toddlers while their parents shop (for FREE), and I translate when I'm needed, and I generally smile for the entire two hour period. I'm not sure if you've met me, but if you have even come within ten feet of me, you might guess this is basically my version of Nirvana. I would ask for my extraordinary sorting skills to be added to the list of scholarly skills needed to enter the Social Work program at UW, but I don't want to push my luck.

Item 3. There is a new neighborhood attraction on Queen Anne. It's been there for a week, keepin' the rent rates niiiiice and low.



Item 4. Applying for jobs is a HECK of a lot of work, especially when you actually apply. I think last summer mostly consisted of me "finding" cool jobs, and then only following through on occasion. I got lucky, because I don't think most people have the luxury of landing a job after a half-hearted job search. Then again, not everyone is as lucky as I was to have a boss that called herself the Evil Queen.

Item 5. Even though nannying is not really sending my resume to the top of any CEO's pile right now, I still have moments where I want nothing but stroller walks and baby-sized Crocs. This trip to the beach was one of those days (at least until the sand-eating contest began).



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to Get a J.O.B.

Me: I just aced these online office skills evaluations! Yesssss. I AM SO AHEAD OF THE PAR.

Dustin: Yes, yes, you are. (uncontrollable laughter/eye rolling)

Note: I do not play golf.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We're on the MAP!

Everyone! Read my favorite food writer's blog entry about Seattle--I'm just sooooo flattered he thought of us. :)

YUM.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally Legal

Since we already decided to cram some major life-changing events into this summer, I figured I would top things off by becoming a Washington resident. After five years, it was probably time. (Take note that four of those years were spent as a student, I was basically a Colorado expat).

So logic tells me that I best google the Washington DMV before I truck down there--mostly because I can only imagine "urban" DMV centers as glorified versions of a burning, torturous hell that require fourteen form of identification and seventeen copies of my latest light bill. Not fun. But let it be known that here in Washington, we are SO progressive it isn't even called the DMV, it's the DOL. DOL, what the hell. (Good one, eh?) But I found the website, eventually...and then the fun began.

After I waited in line for an hour in a completely confused mob of Seattle licensees (the numbers kept going from the seventies to the upper three hundreds, no rhyme, no reason), I was greeted happily by a woman named Penny. Now, seeing as Dustin and I just finished watching Season 3 of Lost on DVD in record time, I clearly imagined Penny as a wealthy heiress searching for her loser boyfriend in the South Pacific via helicopter at all costs. But this Penny, DOL Penny, proved to be quite a different character.

Penny was thrilled to know that I moved to Washington from Colorado, and she told me all about her travels to Denver, her children's travels to Denver. Then I made the mistake of asking about voter registration. Poor Penny, she has NO IDEA how painfully longwinded she is, has NO IDEA that while she yammered on and on (and on) about the mail-in ballot and the DOL's internet user fee for special order licenses (ETCETERA. ETCETERA. ETCETERA.), I had filled in two full pages of paperwork. In fact, by the time I finally started filling out the next set of paperwork, she had gone on to suggest an entire afternoon of activities I could incorporate into my excursion to the Department of Vital Statistics (among her ideas were: lunch with a friend, stroll along the waterfront, and finish the day by purchasing fresh flowers from Pike Place). Which apparently I'll need to visit if I actually want to change my name.

But I left the DOL with a certified temporary Washington license, and it's strange how much more at home I feel already. I live here now, it's official, and I can call this place home, even on paper. So I'm soaking up all that it means to be a Washingtonian, and in the mean time, Holly Wood will have to wait.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sad Day


Today my hubby crashed his bike on the huge, steep, scary, unforgiving hill by our house, and he landed on the pocket holding his beloved iPhone. And now the screen is completely shattered. Sad day, indeed. :(

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We're "Adjusting"

Here's the scene: Two newlyweds sharing their cramped bathroom as they ready themselves for a night of air-conditioned-less sleep. I am plucking my eyebrows, while Dustin is...well, read and see.

Dustin: Is that candle in there the smelly kind?
Me: What candle?
Dustin: The one that I just lit, the one in the closet.
Me: Do you mean you lit a candle in the closet? (all the while thinking OF COURSE HE TOOK IT OUT OF THE CLOSET! I AM THE APARTMENT MANAGER! WE ARE RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE!)
Dustin: Does a bear have HAIR?
Me: (opening closet to find said candle burning inside) Are you KIDDING ME? You are responsible for the education of small children!
Dustin: Oh wow! I guess I forgot that I shut the closet door!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

FOOD SINS


Dustin and I have been talking a lot about this whole idea lately, so read up, dear ones!

The Accidental Hedonist's Supreme Opinion

Monday, July 28, 2008

Art in Life


Even when I'm completely overwhelmed by the state of things--job, family, money, future--there's something that speaks CALM to me no matter what. It's art, just paint and canvas, but the hope that springs from it brings resounding comfort. Thank you, Miss Kelly Rae Roberts. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Speaking of Etsy...


Check out our new ART! We really, really, really want to support true artists by buying their work, so Amy Giacomelli's Rising Sun is our newest little darling! SO EXCITED!

Oh JOY!

In the hubbub of wedding planning, I subscribed to an unreasonable number of design and planning blogs--most of them wedding-related, but some of them were just color, pattern, art-loving fools. And now, in my infinite internet ignorance, I cannot figure out how to unsubscribe. (No, I haven't yet googled it).

But here's the good news: Oh Joy is worth keeping around. Check out these ADORABLE doodads. They will be my first purchase once the income returns!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is Not Real Life


Only due to the most random of circumstances is it possible for me to stay home ALL DAY LONG cooking and watching the first season of Grey's Anatomy as I blend Cucumber Avocado Soup. But lucky me, I have a few weeks of this lazy summer left, and boy is it FUN!

Let me just give you a taste of how we're spending our days...

*Riding bikes to Fremont, Gasworks, Ballard Sunday Market and once, all the way to Madison Park!
*Making friends at the bike shop in Ballard (they are super patient with amateurs like us, and I think they even like us)
*Organizing my pink recipe folder once a day, then picking at least ten recipes that "I want to try immediately"
*Hitting up those farmer's markets like there's no tomorrow
*Receiving Kelsey's Netflix in the mail, only to see that they are the boring ones that I picked, and she's nice enough to put them at the top of her queue
*Nannying a lil' bit, here and there (Maya, Stella, Gabs, Nia, Gillian and Willa!)
*Geoteaming a lil' bit, especially when MEGUIRE is coming! :)
*Playing games--Imaginiff with our favorite friends (C and M)
*Scouring Ikea for workable furniture options
*Popping lots of Claritin
*Volunteering at the Baby Boutique, a FREE store for families who are homeless
*Working at the blasted apartment building, praying for the day when my contract as manager expires :)
*Reading every SINGLE update on the state of the Sounders FC, of which, thanks Mom and Dad and the surplus wedding budget, we are now season ticker holders
*Camping out in our new Hobitat 6 at the Wood Family Homestead
*Catching salamanders with Kolby in the moderately floaty raft from Guate (see the pic!)
*Applying for jobs with only remote enthusiasm (except for this one really fun one), since this summer has F-U-N written all over it

We are loving life, can't you tell? :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

(Married) Life as We Know It


We're coming up on the month one anniversary in the Harris-Wood household (can't bear to change my name just yet), and in case you've been wondering, we're having QUITE a grand time over here. Let me just say this--in most ways, things are the same. We still laugh at the same jokes, we still debate over how much cheese to add to the quesadilla/pasta/scramble, and we still share endless conversations about our life-long list of to-dos. We also still hear our neighbors having sex, quite often.

But in other ways, EVERYTHING CHANGES. There is a man in my bed, and he tends to like more covers than me. There is a man who can't BELIEVE that I leave the heat lamp on in the bathroom while I do my makeup (it's very dark without it, for the record). There is a man who is DOING MY LAUNDRY. That's correct, folks, DW is a man of the cloth, and by that I mean he folds my clothes. All the time. He even does loads when I'm out running errands, or even when I'm doing less noble tasks, like, ahem, reading all of your blogs.

"So he does your laundry, is that why you married him?" I can hear the cynics now. Get outta here, I married him because he makes me SO excited to come home from the errands because he'll probably have a new iPhone application he has to show me RIGHT NOW. He makes sure I do my fair share of the chores. He listens to me detail all the strange, strange dreams I have about Christmas-present anxiety and my parents' divorce. This guy does a lot, and he loves me all the way through it.

Tonight I had a minor lapse in judgment (okay, major): I called DW a buffalo. I'm not going to hang all our dirty married laundry out to dry, but let's just say I'm learning SO much from this life-partner thing. Obviously, name-calling is one of John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and I've caught myself Apocalypting on the twenty-somethingth day of marriage. But there's something about being married to this man that gives me remarkably HUGE amounts of joy and hope, and even though I've tripped up a bit with the buffalo comment, I am going to sleep tonight next to a man I love through and through, and I know the feeling is wonderfully mutual. Even when I'm being a buffalo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was probably written specifically to send my father into cardiac arrest--it's THAT LIBERAL. And what's worse (or maybe just deliciously ironic), it's all about being liberal while you eat, my favorite thing. And I loved it. :)

Not only is Kingsolver's writing the sort that makes me pause to giggle and think, "Did she really just say that?", I found her exploration into the food industry profoundly personal. How many people can crusade for local, organic, chemical/pesticide/antibiotic-free food without being completely soapboxish? Not too many. But somehow, it's all woven in like a perfectly latticed cherry pie (forgive me), and I found myself nodding along, even making up reasons to get out of the pool on my honeymoon in Costa Rica to read more about pasture-finished heirloom turkeys. Clearly, it's a good read.

And on another note, I'm so sick of reading the exact same article about buying organic berries and bell peppers in every SINGLE edition of anything I pick up, this was refreshingly crisp. Like an organic pepper, maybe. But I suppose the trendy wave of locavore writing might have been spurred on by this little (big) book in the first place.

My favorite part about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? You'd probably think it was the mouth-watering recipes daughter Camille Kingsolver contributes throughout, and although every single one is permanently dog-eared, it's actually the way the main author serves up that one genre in Creative Writing classes I could never quick get the hang of: literary journalism. This is it, Animal, Vegetable, Memoir.

Who Needs Birth Control?

You heard me. Who needs birth control when I can be a daily witness to the vivid reality of toddler hissy fits? It's enough to make me head to the convent (with my new husband in tow, of course).

Today I spent some quality time with a three-year-old we'll call Rosie. Now Miss Rosie lives in an immaculate "castle" where she plays princess all day, every day. Somehow I think the princess gig has become a little too realistic, because this afternoon, when Rosie was sent to her room for refusing to cooperate re: using the potty, she stuck her head out her perfectly royal window and BELLOWED the following to the neighbors, who happened to be in the front yard.

HELP!

HELP ME, PLEASE!

HELP ME SO MUCH!

I NEED HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!

And then I marched inside her jail-cell-pink bedroom, gave a wink and nod to the concerned PTA Mom next door and gave that kid the stink eye. Idealist.com, I need you now more than ever.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome to Summer

Here in Seattle, we're pretty much willing to take what we can get as far as summer goes. I mean, we haven't always been so desperate--practically the groveling ex who just can't stop CALLING--but this year of rainrainrainrainrain has really broken our usually weather-tolerant hearts.

So tonight, when Kelsey saw a gigantic mosquito in our cozy little apartment, it was only fitting that she announced the following:

That thing is DISGUSTING, but because it reminds me of summer, I'm going to let it live!

That's us, taking what we can get.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Famous Last Words

Lately the kids I work with (or for, depending on the day) have been hamming it up in the one-liner department. Some days, I can't believe a big shot editor hasn't secretly been watching me from afar, and then surprised me with a booming, "Holly Elizabeth, WRITE ALL OF THAT STUFF DOWN! We'll pay you for it--your loans are forgiven, your husband has a car again, and we're sending you to Sicily as a thank you for your groundbreaking, um, recording of kid-quotes."

Scout, age 2: Holly, well, I'm just not up to playing with you right now.

Jack, age 4: MY BUTT IS STUCK IN THIS BABY SWING! HEEEEEEEELP!

Maya, age 3: Are you going to wear a ruffly dress to my wedding, Holly? (She's my flower girl, by the way.)

Cole, age 6: Hey, I always put on my dirty clothes after the bath. It's how my mom likes to do it.

Scout, age 2 (again): Did you know that I had a really, super high fever last night? And then my Aunt Marcy put a bandaid down my throat that made it alllll better. And you know why it didn't hurt? She was just SO careful when she stuck her hand down my throat! It didn't even hurt! Really! Really!

Nia, age 4: (After being told that, unfortunately, there is no more bread for grilled cheese) Well, I wanted grilled cheese, but I guess a quesadilla will work alright. HOLLY! I AM BEING SO FLEXIBLE RIGHT NOW!

These are the zippy moments that keep me going in this somewhat haphazard lifestyle I'm leading. Makes me think that motherhood, in due time (in like twenty years, people), will be a whole lot of work, but a whole lot of sweet moments too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

So I Was Telling Maryann About This...


I have an idea... it's been floating around in my brain for about a year and a half now, but I haven't actually gotten around to it.

What if, instead of searching for a vast array of somethings for everyone we know this Christmas, we narrowed it down a bit and gave everybody LITERATURE. Maybe a novel, maybe a list of our favorite blogs (literature used loosely), maybe a subscription to a literary journal or poetry magazine.

Wanna try it? Wanna recruit?

:)

OH!

I have another one. Another one that I've had for quite awhile. I really miss hearing the snippets of sophistication from all the folks who groomed me while I was in the cocoon of SPU, and I'm wondering if somehow we could inspire them to have a collective blog. A sort of--here's what made me think today, you should read it too, kind of blog. Basically just a whole slew of interesting or inspiring or gobsmacking links that the rest of us might find noteworthy.

Now I just have to get them to find five extra minutes in their eight days a week schedules. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wait, Wait!

I have one more grievance--Twenty-year-old station wagons that never had good Consumer Reports reviews in the first place that DIE approximately two weeks before one's wedding. And then require upwards of EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS to get running again.

Yeah, I'm grievin' about that one.

List of Grievances

1. Snotty preschool teachers who DO NOT ACCOMMODATE PICKY EATERS. Okay, I get it.
2. Not knowing what Tim Winton meant when he talked about the sweet momentum of writing a novel. Really? Momentum that feels as delicious as reading itself? That is something I'm still searching for.
3. The ugly return of big plastic homeschooler glasses. I was homeschooled, people, I'm allowed to say that. Tis a trend that needs not catch on.
4. Children who refuse to sleep. Children who slap their mothers in the face. And children who throw their food on the floor as a means of protest.
5. The fact that Adobe is denying me access to ALL downloads until the beginning of July. I'm sorry, I need to use InDesign immediately to figure out the wedding programs. HELP.
6. Children who are constantly watching television or eating nonfoodlikesubstances or making hissing noises. Sheesh.
7. Not being able to ride my bike without having MAJOR bodily harm--either because I'm hyperventilating from the damn hills or because I decide to ride directly into the path of a yellow cab.
8. Getting "declines with regret" in the mail, and then running into someone I really like but knowing we didn't/couldn't make room for them in the first place.
9. Obnoxious tenants who are afraid of SPIDERS.
10. Inconsistent emailers. It's so easy to hit reply, why wait?

Thanks for reading this edition of my List of Grievances. I promise I'll cheer up tomorrow. ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yum.

In case the crappy un-spring weather has anyone confused, it's definitely Memorial Day Weekend. And even though I'm STILL wearing socks, long pants, and my rain coat, it's a good time to remember the best part of summertime in Seattle: THE FARMER'S MARKETS! WOOT!

A couple of nights ago, I made a tribute dinner to all the glorious vegetable love we'll be enjoying all the way to October. Whole wheat pitas with tuna, baby tomatoes, and these delicious sunflower sprouts. Sweet potato fries (because they're healthy, right?) and sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns with buttery orange sauce. Yum, indeed.



Dustin thought it felt more like lunch than dinner, but that's coming from a man who eats with third-graders every day because they're all too naughty to go to recess. So lunch is a pretty relative term.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yes, Carly, I Will Respond.

I couldn't say no to these emails in seventh grade, and now I can't say no on my blog. :)

1. What is your occupation? nanny, geoteamer, apartment building grunt worker,preschool teacher (GAWSH).
2. What color are your socks right now? I'm wearing purple and green stripes, I don't get to watch Clinton and Stacy anymore. Clearly.
3. What are you listening to right now? The new Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz duet. DUH.
4. The last thing you ate? Quinoa muffin with cherry jam.
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Maybe Dustin should be the judge of that. :)
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red or maybe green.
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? The Hubster-to-be.
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Indeed.
9. How old are you today? 23
10. Favorite drink? Pomegranate-raspberry mojito from Palisade. GOOD LORD.
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? College football, but DW's teaching me how soccer explains the world.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yeah, sure.
13. Pets? Are you kidding me? No. NO.
14. Favorite food? The Midnight Cuban Sandwich from Paseo, chips and salsa with ranch, my mom's chicken salad (right now, that would be really helpful, actually), anybody's best version of chili, gazpacho, spinach salad with bacon, Sonja's salmon, Haagen Daz...but that's just what sounds good right now. ;)
15. Last movie you watched? The Parent Trap I & II (the Hayley Mills editions, I'm a little embarrassed I just had to admit that)
16. What do you do to vent anger? Okay, Oprah, I know this isn't ideal...but I go find a really long recipe and spend a couple of hours coooooking!
17. Favorite Day of the year? I think this year it's going to be June 28th.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Magic Nursery Babies, believe it.
19. What is your favorite, Fall or Spring? Spring! Lilac season!
20. Hugs or kisses? Kisses.
21. Cherry or Blueberry? I have been known to eat blueberries by the handful.
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? Of course.
23. Who is most likely to respond? Meguire, since she now has TWO invitations. :)
24. Who is least likely to respond? Dustin.
25. Current living arrangements? With Kelsey. It's been such a treat.
26. When was the last time you cried? Right now, as I'm watching the Nate Berkus makeover for the sweetest Seattle family ever.
27. What is on the floor of your closet? My makeshift Rubbermaid dresser.
28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Mom.
29. The friend you have had the shortest that you are sending this to? Maybe Carly? That's so funny to think about.
30. Favorite smell? Fancy lotion. Stella Sophia Virzi's blond hair.
31. What inspires you? Reading stories about really plain people who have made really extraordinary choices.
32. What are you afraid of?
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Hello, I'm marrying the KING OF QUESO.
34. Favorite car? Well, until Jen Orr inspired me to buy a Prius, it was a Mini.
35. Favorite cat breed? This is worse than the general pet question.
36. Favorite dog breed? Same.
37. Favorite horse breed? The ones with big feet.
38. Number of keys on your key ring? Too many.
39. How many years at your current job? I don't have any real jobs, just several random ones.
40. Favorite day of the week? Saturday.
41. Today’s date and time: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:03pm

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cloudstreet


"I just relived Cloudstreet."

These are the words Dustin told me the night before we handed in a ten-page paper on the most incredible novel OF OUR TIME. So naturally, I went ahead and relived it too; page by underlined page, I walked back through my favorite story. Oh, and two hours later I finally got around to writing about it.

And now, just in time for the summer of reading-palooza, Tim Winton, the writer of our favorite story, is coming to Seattle. For a reading. From his new book, Breath. Clearly, we will all be going.

You know who you are.

So much to tell!

Since I'm feeling a bit whelmed (name that 90's flick, ready, go!) by all the ahem, writing material from the past week and a half, I thought I'd just steal Kelsey's post from a few nights ago. It made me laugh so hard, I went back and read it about twelve times.

Here's what she said:

Let me tell you about a little evening ritual that the roommate and I have. Holly gets ready for bed around 10:00 (she is a very responsible adult) and I usually join her in our HUGE (and by huge I mean, when Holly has her glasses off we run into each other) bathroom for this event.

This evening we were getting ready for bed, using our new sonicare toothbrush, discussing how to save the world, you know the usual. I was wearing a white shirt and noticed that my hands look quite tan (I just spent a week in CA at a friend's wedding. To be blogged about later and possibly with pictures). While I was admiring my new hue I asked Holly "are you jealous that I am so tan right now?"

I thought I was SO funny and laughed pretty hard for awhile. Holly continued to mock the other times I have asked her similar questions. They usually go something like this. "Holly are you jealous that I can put basically any hair product in my hair and it will come out with those great 'fresh from the beach' waves?" Or, "Holly are you jealous that I can avoid taking a shower for at least three days and not have greasy hair?"

I realize that this post may make me look like a pretty vain bitch. The truth is I am not obsessed with these things. I check out my hair in the morning and whatever happens, happens. These little exchanges between Holly and I are just a way of saying "Hey, we don't hate our bodies." On most days we think they are pretty great. There are features about Holly that I am jealous of (the fact that you can actually see her eyes in pictures), but we don't spend a lot of time dwelling on it. At the end of the day our bodies are not what they look like, it is what they do. They allow us to learn, to care, to adventure, to love, to reflect a good Creator. Those things are worth dwelling on.


Go read the rest of her life right here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Be Ye Not So STUPID.


Well. Well, well, well.

I guess I should start by saying this--my birthday was wonderful, complete with good blog wishes, a fabulous dinner at Palisade, new PEARLS from DW, and a birthday cake in a flower pot. That said, today has been considerably less pleasant.

If you're planning to drive down Aurora at 51 mph in a 40 mph zone, BE WARNED. There is a very cranky cop in a how-does-SPD-afford-cars-so-sporty ride who really likes to write innocent people big tickets.

And when I say big tickets, I mean $370.00 big. That's correct. Speeding, combined with expired out of state license plates (the new ones were literally in my trunk, I swear), leads to huuuuuuuuge penalties. This fiasco led to some extremely high tensions in the car (I said the f-word, no kidding), and a temptation to throw an iPhone out the window, but I did refrain.

Also, we were driving to Dustin's surgery (wisdom teeth). Blood pressure gush pre-surgery? Couldn't have been good for him.

And finally, I made Dustin a very involved cheese soup, to you know, nurse him back to health. But my cheese soup turned into more of a curdled, non-creamy, indescribable disaster. Sick. So now we're poor, hungry, and humbled. Blech.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And be gracious to you...

So I had a thought. Maybe, for the more difficult people in my life, showing grace and abundant love means not downplaying the crappy moments, but not letting them get to me. I'm going to try out this meaning and method of grace. I'll keep you (all ten thousand readers of you) posted.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Birthday Wishes.


So much has happened this twenty-second year of life.

Finished school.
Cried at Ivy Cutting.
Settled on a wonderful place to have our wedding.
Moved out of a lively, memory-filled house at SPU.
Rafted down a river with some of my favorite people in life.
Played at Camp Side-by-Side with Ashley and a pack of amazing survivors.
Started my first real job.
Gave out coffee and coffee filters to some of the world's foremost geneticists.
Came home crying, quit my first real job.
Moved into my first apartment (goodbye, big ol' houses).
Saw Teatro Zinzanni with DW, delighted.
Spent my first Christmas away from my family.
Traveled to a wonderful village in the mountains of El Salvador.
Made some wonderful friends at church, felt very loved.
Cried at sad news.
Visited old friends in Colorado.
Started a wedding countdown.
Fell in love with Seattle again.
Grew up a lot, gained a lot of perspective, let go of lots, looked forward to even MORE.

Here's to a great twenty-third year!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How Do People Think of this Stuff?

Now I've really seen it all..

I have done a lot of thinking and praying and brooding about women's rights (everybody's rights, for that matter), and I have settled, as comfortably as I can, into my beliefs about reproductive issues. Not that I'm going to broadcast that here, because I know it will cause a TIZZY. But in the mean time, I will share an article that has sent my head spinning.

Art major Aliza Shvarts ’08 wants to make a statement.

I'm not sure if this woman feels her method is the only way to share her voice, or if she's ignorant about the negative effects such a project might actually have on reproductive rights, or if she remotely considered the pain so many women suffer when they choose to end a pregnancy. I don't know what she's thinking, but I do know that I'm really disturbed.

Sure, we have a loooong way to go before all women have access to the resources they need to manage their reproductive health, but I feel very strongly that self-induced abortions, many times over, for the sake of provocative art, is immoral. There, I said it. I think it's perverse (using the blood from her own pregnancies?) and it was a SMART move on the part of Yale administration to revoke the privilege of displaying this women's senior project. Because, as the reporter says, it really seems to trivialize the matter. This isn't just another Supersize Me. Or it shouldn't be. It's a much deeper issue, it's about the sanctity of lives, born and unborn, and it seems to slap everybody in the face with a big ol', "I'm trying to shake things up at all costs, and I'm only 22." One student called it an "absurbism," and I couldn't agree more.

I learned about this article through a very random grapevine, so I'm wondering if it's really all over the news. Have you read about it anywhere else?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Etsy Love Affair

There has never been a better time to be a hip (or hippie) artist because Etsy is my newest poison. And I know I'm not alone. Here's a few favorites from seller Shelby Healey:


I also love seller Foundling (especially for wedding hair, perhaps?):

Go forth and ETSY!