Archives for January 2011

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming…


I missed my Thursday Ten.

I also missed telling you how I got so scared on my flight on Tuesday that my hands wouldn’t stop shaking for hours after (and seriously, as far as turbulence goes, I have felt worse).

I have missed telling you about the awesome people I have met so far. And I haven’t told you how in one evening I got to hear Michelle Branch AND Mat Kearney (as well as get my picture taken with Mat and I didn’t drool or say anything stupid…or, well,much of anything at all, really. Hard to mess up, “I’m Sarah” –then again… I have messed that up before).

It’s been a busy few days – and I’ll tell you all about it… When it’s over and I’ve had chance to catch my breath.

Thursday Ten: When It Rains It Pours Edition

1. Isn’t it funny how you could just be going on about your life and everything is fine and then suddenly there’s this figurative smack in the face and suddenly you’re bombarded with…STUFF?! Whether it’s work projects or life or whatever, seems like the saying, “When it rains, it pours” is definitely true. I’ve gotten a few things going right now – with work and prepping for travel, and it’s a little chaotic up in here. I’m not one hundred percent in my happy space – but I will be soon.

2. And prep for travel, I AM. Just a few more short days til I’ll be heading to Nashville. CANNOT WAIT.

3. I was trying to think, yesterday, of songs that were perky and that cheered me when I was feeling blue. The first song that popped into my head was “Dry County” by the B-52s. I still love this song. My mom and I listened to this album repeatedly as we road tripped from California to Michigan when we moved here in 1990. It still evokes memories of the road (the flat, boring, stupid road). What songs cheer you up?

4. In guitar lesson this week, we started playing Mat Kearney’s “Nothing Left to Lose” because I MAY BE A LITTLE EXCITED about seeing Mat Kearney next week. I love the song too.

5. I got a manicure today – SUPPOSEDLY this type of polish is some newfangled gel stuff from OPI that I should not be able to ding, chip, crack or peel. WE’LL SEE. I’m notoriously bad with manicures.

6. While I was at the salon, there was a horrible talk show on television. The topic today was something about “Men Who Lock Their Wives In Closets”. The salon owner was engrossed. I didn’t say this was a classy place. Also – who takes their man on a talk show about getting locked in the closet? You can call Joe Schmo at a reality show, but not the police? {Skeptical Sarah is skeptical}

7. I have a photo shoot coming up this weekend – I’ll be photographing a very lovely three month old. I’ll consider it a success if she doesn’t puke on me. I’m excited for the opportunity – she’s a pretty baby so it ought to be a cakewalk.

8. I cleaned out the spice rack today (I know, I know. My life has hit heights of fabulousness that you can only aspire to). WHERE DID ALL THOSE DAMN SPICES COME FROM? I’ve never used half of them. Onion powder? It was so old it was hardened in the bottom of the jar. Imitation vanilla extract? I KNOW I didn’t buy that.

9. Gearing up for an upcoming gymnastics competition – knowing what to expect helps a lot. The Princess isn’t nervous – per usual – but this time maybe I’ll keep calm, also.

10. I bought Giada DiLaurentiis pasta from Target the other day. I made it. It was pretty, but plain (hmmm. Gosh. Wonder if that was a coincidence). Long story short – get the cheap grocery store brand. No difference except Giada’s face isn’t on the box.

Looking forward

A week from now, right about now, I should be in a plane touching down in Nashville where I will spend several days in the arms of bliss, learning fun stuff, and spending time with friends – both treasured and new. And it’s funny how, despite the miles between us and the infrequency of times when we’re able to get together how we can walk into a room after several months and pick up where we left off, pick up as if there weren’t hundreds of miles separating us.

The internet is kind of funny that way. By funny, I mean, totally awesome.

I have loved having the opportunity to meet people I might not have otherwise, and to soak in the awesomeness of people who radiate talent, kindness, humor – people who are REAL.

It’s what gets me – me who is phobic about airplanes – on an airplane even though I am petrified and spend most of the flight in a panicked death-grip-on-the-arm-rest sweat. It’s worth it.

The memories of laughing until I cry, eating phenomenal food (UM, hello? My mouth still remembers barbecue pork sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits), sharing my drink tickets, and of course, my legendary hotel insomnia – they carry me from one year to the next.

And I’m ready.

Time for some new memories. See y’all next week.

The Flip Side: Making Faces Edition

“If you keep making that face, your face is gonna freeze that way!”

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Well, they were kind of right. There are lines on my face deepened from where my eyes or nose crinkle when I’m scrunching up my face – I know exactly where every one of those lines comes from. And yeah, I care – I do… I don’t care enough (yet) to go jamming needles in my face and getting all Botox up in this face.

But my expressive nature means you probably never have to wonder what I’m thinking… It means when I’m happy, you know it – and when I’m not? You’ll know that too. And, you know, that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Delurking Day, 2011

It’s that time of year again!

I love how Chris from Rude Cactus reminds us yearly about the time to let the people who read our blogs to pop out of the woodwork and say hello – even if you aren’t a regular commenter, to come on out just for the day and say hi.

I know that my writing frequency here is sporadic. I tend to try to STOP MYSELF from blogging when I have no real subject to talk about (unless it’s Thursday, in which case, all bets are off – I’ll ramble whether or not I have anything even remotely resembling a point).

I love writing. And I would probably write if there was only one person reading. I have always loved writing. I do it because without writing, without words, my brain is not the same (shush. I have a brain. I’ve seen it on an MRI. I know it’s there).

The thing about blogging is this… Though I could write solely for the sake of writing – and do – if I didn’t like the interaction I get from the people who stop by my little space in the internet, I would just write in a journal.

I don’t. I write here.

I love comments and the interaction I get with people who stop by.

So, if you ever venture into this space, even if you don’t normally say hi, please take two seconds today to delurk and say hello.

Thursday Ten: I Haz An Earworm Edition

1. Earlier this week, I saw this song posted online somewhere. I have never seen this movie (I have this thing where Nicholas Sparks makes me a little barfy, and I mean that in the nicest possible way). I love the lyrics and simplicity of this song – and it’s been in my head almost nonstop since the first listen.
“Paperweight” – Joshua Radin, Schuyler Fisk

2. My summer birthday kiddo is approaching her half-birthday. Pumpkin’s teacher allows summer kids to celebrate half-birthdays in class – so I’m on the lookout – I need some AWESOME cupcake ideas for her (no peanuts or peanut butter). Anyone have great fun (cute) ideas?

3. How many of you are heading to Nashville for Blissdom in a few weeks? I’m looking forward to meeting those of you I haven’t met yet (tweet me, find me, say hi), spending time with my friends (HEEEEY), and HELLO, Mat Kearney and Michelle Branch are coming to entertain us. I figure, maybe if I ask really nicely, I can just stand off to the side and hold guitar picks for Mat. Think that’d fly?

4. I’ve decided that 2011 is my year to get my shtuff together. I really would like to make it the year that I spend more time doing the things I love doing – and one of those things is hovering behind my camera. I was asked by a friend the other day to take pictures of her beautiful infant daughter. I am so tremendously flattered and excited. I can make this happen – it’s just a matter of not getting in my own way LIKE I DO.

5. A lot of people have designated a word for the year – a word to define their goal for the year, or how they aim to live life in 2011 — the word I’ve chosen is “HOPE”. I figure, once you lose hope you’re pretty much screwed – so it’s a matter of finding hope and hanging on. Have you chosen a word for 2011? What is it?

6. Valentines Day is fast approaching and guess what? I’m not excited. It’s my least favorite “holiday” (quotes because, let’s be real, it’s not a TRUE HOLIDAY). The best part about V-DAY? The candy conversation hearts. And, I’m told that philosophy has a great smelling bath product for VDay also.  (No one paid me to say that. Hey Philosophy: Call me. You can pay me in bubble bath).

7. My cold is back. My local grocery store doesn’t have the good cold medicine. The good stuff you can make meth with and actually get sinus relief from. Consequently, my ear hurts like someone is burrowing in it with an ice pick. It’s AWESOME.

8. I have gotten into the gross habit of waking up before 6 a.m. Now that Pumpkin has that amazing alarm clock – she doesn’t wake me up that early. However, the dudes that plow our driveway like to come by around 5:30, and then there’s the guy across the street with one of those obnoxiously loud exhaust systems on his car (it’s like “Fast and Furious Suburb Style”). HATE IT. Now I am incapable of sleeping.

9. I have loaded up my Kindle for my trip to Nashville. I don’t anticipate reading much once I’m there – but I’m going for the “read to distract myself from in-flight panic” method. Are you reading anything great worth recommending?

10. Over the holiday break, I didn’t pick up my guitar AT ALL and had a phenomenal lesson when I returned. This past week I did practice and played HORRIBLY at my lesson this week. Hmmm. Why is that? Seems like a total flip flip of how it should be.

Flip Side – Hiding Behind 28 – 135mm

I am constantly behind a camera.

Okay, almost constantly.

I spend my days looking at my surroundings as if looking through a lens – I gauge my surroundings as though I’m framing a shot. I see beauty in unexpected places. I see beauty where some people wouldn’t. I see beauty in everyone.

I hide behind a camera and so much of what I see is translated into pixels and colors and textures and richness.

And my world is better for it.

Somehow, the same care I give to viewing the world around me is not given to viewing myself. Somehow the rules that apply to the things in front of my camera do not apply to the woman behind it.

I made a promise to myself – 2011 is the year I would be kinder to myself, less dysmorphic, less apt to point out the fat days and the bloat (PMS, you cruel cruel beast), the split ends and bad hair days, the imperfections. It would be the year to embrace the qualities as they are because those are part of what makes me who I am.

And I tell you this:

It’s FREAKING difficult.

I don’t think I’m going to be entirely successful, but I guess I don’t have to be. Even if I become a little bit kinder to myself, that’s a step in the right direction.

Poofy Dresses for No Reason and I’m Jealous

Yesterday as I was reading PostSecret (as one does on Sunday morning, right? Show of hands?), The Princess wandered into my office half dressed in a flower girl dress asking if I would zip it up and tie the bow. Pumpkin wandered in soon after in a flower girl dress of her own, tap shoes in hand. They donned matching headbands, and in their dresses – one white, one cream – they bounded downstairs.

What for?

Well, what NOT for, really.

There was some dancing to Taylor Swift (I mean, very INTENT, very THEATRICAL dancing). The Princess would dance pirouettes and Pumpkin would follow two steps behind, doing her best to mimic her older sister’s moves.

Then, there was some story time. They nestled together on the couch as The Princess read Pumpkin picture books. Their feet dangled off the couch – The Princess in her boots given to her by her friend, Pumpkin with her older sister’s handed down tap shoes.

And then the dog joined them.

He clambered between them on the sofa and he curled up in their laps and he probably got dog snot on them (face it, it’s what he does).

All the while, my daughters decked out in their fanciest dresses didn’t bat an eye. They didn’t bat an eye at the dog snot, or the sofa smush wrinkles. They sat on the floor and played. They ran and jumped and twirled.


And I wish sometimes I was more like that. Watching them dance around the living room – watching their skirts swirl around them, it made me want to find a big fancy dress and kick through sand on a beach, or jump fully dressed into a pool, or eat a melty ice cream cone — all without thought of getting dirty, making a mess, or “no, you shouldn’t”.

I wonder when that part of the brain clicks over – when you stop embracing the moments and instead start thinking two steps ahead of yourself.

Sometimes I want to be back. I want to put on a shimmery dress and lie in the grass watching stars. I want bare feet and a slice of pizza in my hand. I want pirouettes in the living room.

I’d like to be a little more like them, and a little less like me.

Thursday Ten: And It Smells Like Bliss Edition

1. After all that sniff testing I have done with perfumes the past several weeks, I have finally chosen one! Bliss is the fragrance I’m sporting (when I remember to put it on) – a light scent, kind of green (the most prevalent scent in this to me is cucumber – which you’d think would be totally disgusting – and maybe it is – but I really love it).

2. There is a new hole in the knee of my jeans. This morning it was nonexistent – just faded denim worn to a soft layer, threatening to break. And then the hole appeared. I can’t stop messing with it. I figure by the end of the day, the hole will stretch across my knee rendering these jeans pretty much unwearable until the weather thaws. It’s a sad day for pants.

3. In guitar lesson this week, we started playing Iz (big Hawaiian name guy)’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – which my guitar teacher was saying was about the same strumming and chord progression as Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (just moved a few frets over). And now I can’t unhear it.

4. I know getting rick-rolled is a totally horrible thing you’re supposed to hate, but I still kind of like “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Just so you know.

5. I counted the other day and I realized I read 104 books in 2010. A lot of those books? TOTALLY FORGETTABLE. What was your favorite read of 2010?

6. I made brownies for my sister so my house? Smells like chocolate bliss. Which is nice. VERY VERY NICE (until I eat all the brownies I made for her and then have nothing to give to her).

7. More than once this week, I’ve been rendered speechless by a complete lack of knowing what to say when someone is having a rough time. I feel like I should have the words – I just don’t. It’s difficult. Wanting to be a good friend with the magic words – and instead offering lame platitudes.

8. I have been craving chicken tacos for the past three days. At some point I am going to have to give in to the craving and just go out for tacos. Hey! Maybe tonight.

9. I’ve been listening to “Holiday In Spain” by Counting Crows over and over today – there’s something about the melody of this song – and it is appealing to my mood at the moment. What song is in your ear today?

10. I really miss Project Runway. I also don’t have a tenth thing to write about. So I’m writing about missing Project Runway. Because I really, really do.

And Just Like That, Christmas Is A Memory

I cannot believe that Christmas was over and done with over a week ago.

With all the anticipation and planning and shopping and baking and preparation that goes into the holidays – it was over before you could say “Can someone get me another slice of cheesecake?”.

And that’s okay. The children are still basking in the joy of their newly acquired treasures including a shared dollhouse that the girls painted with nailpolish the other day and fumed the whole house out.

I am basking in the glow of my newly acquired levels of camera geekery – loving the beautiful captures of my daughters’ faces that I am getting with my lovely 85mm lens (Has it replaced my 50mm as my favorite? I don’t know but it’s sure a tight race).

The Princess went back to school today after two weeks off and it was with great reluctance that she hauled her fanny out of bed. She even blamed me for making it Monday {There’s a new mom-superpower I’ve managed to acquire: I am now responsible for the passing of time!}. But she survived the day and tomorrow Pumpkin will also.

By the end of this week, they’ll have re-settled in their routines of waking up early and getting dressed for school and filling backpacks with paper and notebooks and packing lunches and waiting for the bus and soon the novelty of staying in pajamas until dinner time (yes, The Princess did that one day this week) will be a distant memory.

Every year, I try so hard to get so much done around the holidays – cookies to bake, gifts to buy, presents to wrap, things to mail, and then all of the other things that crop up along the way that I didn’t anticipate (last minute tickets to the Nutcracker, for example).

It gets a lil hectic up in here.

And when things are hectic, I get a little cranky. And overwhelmed.

I had a beautiful Christmas and an uneventful New Years and now? Now I look forward to the joy of returning to a routine.

And spring. I look forward to spring, also.