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re:defined: August 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

work it, mama


okay- so i'm not dead. dead tired? yes. but not dead.

as you all know i started a new job working part time for a family i nannied for when i was in college. kate and i stayed in touch and we all got together when we were vacationing in nantucket, one thing led to another, and now my sister and i are sharing a job doing housekeeping and some personal assistant-type tasks.

and i love it. i work every wednesday for as few as 5 hours and as many as 10 until the fall starts, then i'll be working 10 every week. but i've been party-planning for kate (she and the kids stay in their nantucket house for the summer) for her husband tucker's 40th birthday. meeting with catering companies and designers, addressing invitations, organizing her guest list and contacts and the like. very fun. but it's been quite monumental.

so i'm not dead. or missing. just missing in action, and way behind in my own life. laughably, actually. but it's all good.

so do you want to hear a funny story?

we are (were) working with this catering company called "the catered affair" and they work with another place called "party by design" and kate was thinking she'd throw this loungey, sexy party in her backyard (which is gorgeous) for 50-75 people. i meet with the people who make these things happen, we discuss what kate wants, yadda yadda. okay- so she's looking to spend about $10-15,000 on this party. sounds reasonable [well, not for everyone, of course. it's a little out of my league ;)] for a party with tents, lighting, bartenders, catered food, loungey furniture, etc. i figured they'll come in about double that, maybe at $25,000.

i DARE you to guess what their quote was. just try and guess...




over $65,000 PLUS alcohol.

!!!!!!!

can you even believe that? it's nuts man. suffice it to say, we're going in a new direction. check out this place- it's called "mooo" and it's on beacon hill. plan b it is!

so i want to be blogging, i miss writing when i don't have time, but i've been working every day party planning and momming, with no extra time to be found. i have been working on a culture blog but it's so epic, i'm going to have to break it up into a few i think. i'm excited about it. i'll probably have volume one posted tomorrow.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"talk about it, mom!"


elias says this phrase all the time that kills me: he's always saying "talk about it..."

he uses it a couple different ways: either "talk about it, mom!" which is in an aggravated tone, and he means it more like"don't talk about it, mom" for when he's getting into trouble, or i'm explaining why he can't do something. and he also says "talk about _______!" and it can be anything from a movie he's been watching, or a book he likes, to something that happened that he enjoys recounting.

as a tribute to my young clone, let's "talk about it": here is a brief (wait-am i ever brief?) overview of the many blog topics up and coming and in my brain of late. if you want, feel free to tell me what you'd like to hear about first.

this is what i want to talk about soon:
- i haven't done a yard/projects update in a while. i guess because the rock wall is at a stand still and the back yard, though flat now, is about as easy to walk on as, ohhh, the moon's surface, and we can't quite afford to buy the top soil we'd need for 3/4 of an acre. because it's about a bazillion dollars. i also need to update on the garden, and discuss how i have poison ivy. again. and i HATE it.
- i want to blog about my husbands sermon series on "the Way" because it's AMAZING. one of my favorite series yet. you can listen online and download the sermon notes if you're interested. my girl leelee told me this morning she's using them as a little bible study for herself. i love her. i want to blog about her, too.
- an eli/pippa update. elias is killing me as usual with his word choices and phrasing (for example, his usage of the word "responsibilities" [which sounds more like "ponsabilities"] which are not to be confused with superhero "abilities", which are also a hot topic. priceless.). and piper...is nuts, and she's getting SO big (and i mean, off the charts literally kind-of-big). so i'd like to do a little update on those rascally rabbits and all their cuteness.
- some pictures from the john legend concert, which was a-mazing. and how much i love him. and how this concert made me realize i need to be around black people way more. dead serious. enough with you white people. kristen thinks i can blog about this without sounding weird or ignorant. but even writing it sounds weird and ignorant. ahh well, what can i say? just trying to keep it real. i am just sort of obsessed with culture outside my familiar. (and i want to adopt some babies who look more like my kids baby dolls than my kids). and that's for real.
- picture post on the NY part of our vacation. there are some cute ones, i'm just a bit overwhelmed by the amount of pictures i have. again, i'm my own worst enemy.
- and i wanted to tell you what my husband got me for my birthday without straight bragging about him. although i may just have to flat out brag. but i had a great birthday, and never really got around to sharing. silly me.

this is what i will talk about now:
- poison ivy + insane heat + naughty 3 year olds = me wanting to hurt myself or whoever is closest to me. i've been praying about that lately, again, for patience. i think God is working on me, and giving me lots opportunities for growth. if only there weren't so many. ;)
- work is going great and i love it. and i adoreeeee getting out of the house by myself for a day. it's just so necessary. and bringing home a little of my own bacon sure can't hurt.
- the poisonwood bible and unchristian are still treating me well. loving a little reading time when i can squeeze it in.
- i've spent every minute possible floating in my parents pool. let's face it- 93 degrees plus humidity is just plain oppressive. i'm trying to survive this obnoxious heat wave by immersing myself in any water i can find- water fountain, muddy puddle, kiddie pool. i don't discriminate-it's too stinking hot!
- and i wanted to know- have any of you seen any good movies lately? i've seen a bunch of movies, which i may blog about as well, but they were mostly just so-so. i need a good blow-em-up, shoot-em-up action flick, or maybe something with some romance and a good story line and script. anyone??

this is what i don't want to talk about:
- how annoying it is to have a 3 year old on miralax. because he poops in volumes you could not imagine. and instead of napping, he does a lot of pooping. and changing his own diaper without me hearing him. let's not talk about how today he used an ENTIRE container of wipes to clean himself up after changing his own diaper. granted, he did a good job, but an ENTIRE container?! and of course, he's only THREE, so there's poop on the floor after he "changes himself" because this is not ordinary kid poop. it's soft ,mushy, MESSY poop.

see, i had always locked elias in his room (for his safety and my peace of mind) but since he's been potty training, i've left it open. of course he's not used to being able to get out. so he'll just pee on the carpet since his diaper full of poop is on the floor under a heap of dirty wipes! and then he'll remember, and he'll do the rest of his poop and pee on the toilet. which is great. but a liiiiittle late.

i'm just EXASPERATED with the pooping problems, with poop on my floor, with the large volumes of poop, and with my poor boy going 7 days without pooping. i just can't take ANY MORE poop! it's been over a year! so just pray for my boy and his gastro-intestinal organs, that they might function normally, and that he might not have to be on a stool softener, and that i won't have to ever EVER (not) write about poop again.

and there you have it. that's what i want to talk about and don't want to talk about. what do ya think?

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

wanna go gown shopping?






this is going to seem so random, but i keep dreaming about it, so it's clearly in the forefront of my mind. a little back story:

dave and i got married november 14, 2004 in newport at a beautiful castle turned hotel called oceancliff. since we planned out wedding shotgun style and in the off season, we were able to have a wedding that would ordinarily be way out of our league. i mean- this place was and is gorgeous.

this year is our 5 year anniversary, and ever since i saw an interview with heidi klum where she said she renewed her vows with seal every year, I'VE wanted to do the same thing. whatever. leave me alone. i'm hopelessly romantic. of course, i won't be flying my family and friends to bali or anything, but i like the idea of recommitting yourself again and again. so much has changed in our life and our relationship in just 5 years, and as our love evolves (and gets better), what better way to remind each other how important our committment is?

so this year dave and i decided we'd stay at oceancliff for a night to celebrate, and if all goes as planned, we'll renew our vows, just the two of us, in the very spot we did it 5 years prior. and THEN, my sister and mother (ie, the professionals) are going to take photos of us, which is SO exciting. since i had wanted them to enjoy our wedding, and not have to not work during it, i've always secretly wished they had taken our photographs.

and this is what i've been dreaming about- a new dress. i love my dress, but since in the last 5 years i've carried two children in my body, i can't seem to zip my dress past my rib cage. bummer. (maybe if i start corseting myself, i can get in it by november?) i don't want to spend a gazillion dollars on a new dress, by any means, but i really would love to stumble across something beautiful and sophisticated to renew my vows in. preferably not so wedding-ish that i couldn't wear it again, but don't let me fool you- if i found a second hand or clearance rack gown, i'd be all over that like white on rice. or white on brides. although, i'd prefer ivory ;)

so the search begins. if in your shopping or web-surfing travels you come across anything* floor length, silky, lacey, vintage, and/or lovely, let me know, okay?

*to be more specific, anything that she does, any one of these gorgeous things, or something like this or this or this or this or this or this or this or this or this. but cheap. easy, right? ;)

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

lovin and a huggin and a walkin

as much as i find myself speaking to elias for not being careful or gentle enough, and pippa for being in eli's personal space and for whining, these two really do love each other to bits. this is a video of elias and piper lovin-and-a-huggin. there's nothing that brings more joy to a mama than seeing her children love on each other. kinda makes you want to melt a little...

video

although she's taken a step here and there since june, piper started putting 3, 4, and 5 steps together last week. here she is this morning doing her thang. she's gotten very confident with standing, and now i can see in her feisty little eyes that she's dying to run and keep up with elias (which i'm not sure is a possibility, but one can aspire). her little walk is too adorable. between that and her new top teeth, she's suddenly a really big girl to me.

and i LOVE it, but i always miss my little babies...

video

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

books


i love books.

(as if you didn't notice, right?) classics, suspense, spiritual, mystery...you name it. i've always been a reader, but i go in and out of being immersed. of course, being a mum doesn't always allow for reading as much as i might like sometimes, but lately, after the kids fall asleep, dave and i have been crawling into bed early and reading until our eyes can't take it anymore. there's nothing on tv worth watching in the summer (or is there? anyone??), and reading, unlike television, actually engages your brain. yet another thing mums can be rapacious for...

so here are a few books i'm reading or read over our vacation:
jim and casper go to church* by jim henderson and matt casper. this book is a "frank conversation about faith, churches, and well-meaning christians" written by a believer and an atheist. it candidly talks about church experiences across he gamut from churches across the grid like saddleback, mosaic, lakewood, imago dei, mars hill church, willow creek, the bridge, and the potter's house. SO interesting for people across the board- both for atheists, agnostics, chrisitians...whoever. you can read it in a day, so pick it up at the library for a quick but thought-provoking read.

the poisonwood bible by barbara kingsolver. my friend nick got me this book SO long ago (my maiden name is etched in its inside cover) and i tried starting it a couple times and didn't get into it. then it looked so good with all my antique books, it became a decoration for a while. i blew the dust off it and brought it to NY and i'm really enjoying it. it's soooo well written, and is the story of a crazy pastor who takes his wife and four kids into the congo to "save" the congolese people set in the late 1950's, early 1960's. it's about 600 pages, and i'm at about 200, and i just can't stand not knowing what's going to happen as a very subtle suspense builds with every page. i've heard good things about kingsolver- has anyone read any of her other books?

jesus wants to save christians by rob bell and don golden. a lovely friend of mine, kate, had let me borrow a pile of books after my post about books i want/need/have to have. this book was on that list, but i had started it and it didn't get me right away. but i dove back in, and i'm SO glad i did. this book is about"faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, safety, terror, Bibles, bombs and homeland insecurity; it's about empty empires and the truth that everybody's a priest; it's about oppression, occupation, and what happens when Christians support, animate, and participate in the very things Jesus came to set people free from." a very powerful and relevant book that had a lot to say about the ironies, complexities, an inconsistencies of "religion." i love rob bell, as many of you know, and he doesn't disappoint in this book.

sail by james patterson. my friend amber introduced me to patterson in college. i've read a handful of his books (kiss the girls, along came a spider) and enjoyed them. this book would make a great movie. good beach read.

unchristian by david kinnaman & gabe lyons. i've talked about this this book already, and gave you a little excerpt, but i'll say it again. read this book. wherever or in whatever your faith is, read it. and then "let's talk about it" as elias would say (he's his father's son...).

redirecting children's behavior by kathryn kvols. my sister lauri gave me this book and i've garnered some good insight. it's written in a really practical way with realistic scenarios, dialogue, and ways to react to/approach specific behaviors. since i struggle with being patient sometimes, and with pausing before i react, i appreciated the approach this author has, although her language and suggestions at times struck me as too gentle and her suggestions for some scenarios a little too unrealistic. a helpful book, though. i wish it would tell me how to not want to flip out as i write this and piper screams her bloody head off in her crib. GO TO SLEEP, CHILD. anyone know any good books for that?

so what are you all reading? i always love to hear so i can make my next book wish list...

"a good book has no ending." r.d. cumming

*the foreword in this book is written by george barna, founder of the barna group, who did the research for unchristian. i like overlap like that when i read books- like when authors quote books i've already read. a small world gets smaller-type thing.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

"a-b-c-d-e-f-g..."

this morning piper was humming and singing her abc's. she kills me, my little birdy bird, always chirping away :)

video

and this is elias a month or so ago singing a little "take me out to the ballgame"

video

cuteness: at an all time high.

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quote of the day

"what's nice about faith is- once you have it- it feeds itself: from life, from books, from everything. in a sense, it's a constant dialogue." -yann martel, author of life of pi, winner of the man booker prize

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

breakfast rescue


i need your help.

for some reason, i can no longer drink coffee or any of its brothers, sisters, or cousins. no hot coffee, no iced coffees, no mocha-latte-frappa anything because it makes me feel so ill (it's not like coffee has a lot going for in nutritionally, but...). when piper was going through her rotten i-want-to-do-back flips-instead-of-nurse-stage, i cut coffee (and chocolate- talk about love) out of my diet to see if that was part of the issue. and ever since i've reintroduced it- coffee and i are a no-go. of course, i still drink it anyways sometimes, because i miss it (did i just write that?), but every time i do, i feel nauseous and anxious. a great way to start the day, right?!

which brings me to my dilemma.

i am fresh out of breakfast ideas- especially when it comes to drinks. breakfast right now = big yawn. i do love tea, but in the summer, i can be a smidge hot for tea, no? and i'm SO sick of breakfast foods, i've reduced myself to eating things like pop-tarts and frosted donettes. eeww. i'm going to have a heart attack at 40.

so tell me- what the heck do you eat for breakfast, and what do you drink for breakfast? because if you know or learn one thing about me, it's that i cannot skip meals or i have a very bad attitude. also, i'm just not amused by food and, like my dad, find stopping to eat mostly inconvenient. unless there's bacon involved. or french fries.

overview: i need to find food i'm excited to eat OR i'm going to get mean. and it needs to be fast because i have eli and pip to cook for, too.

help!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

excerpt of the day


"many young adults view christians as hypocrites, meaning we say one thing and do another. they're right. but hypocrisy isn't the issue. we all believe certain things and then act in ways that are contradictory to our beliefs. one person declares the beauty of the simple life on th balcony of the half-million-dollar home with a new cadillac escalade in the garage. another rants against all things corporate with a latte from starbucks in hand...
the problem is not fundamentally hypocrisy. we're all hypocrites at some level. the problem is the air or moral superiority many of us carry around. we stop acknowledging imperfections in our lives. we forget where we came from and all God has done in our lives. i don't see in jesus' teaching a call for moral superiority . i'm a sinner following him. i don't have it all together, and that admission is precisely what tweaks the perception of hypocrisy. in our faith community we say "it's okay not to be okay." we talk about how we as human beings have a lot in common no matter where we are on our faith journey. at the most basic level, we all share the human condition with all of its brokenness. and we have the hope that jesus can really transform lives and redeem the future..."
-jud wilhite (but it might as well have been me)
pastor, central community church, las vegas
author, stripped
from the book "unchristian" chapter three: "hypocritical"

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

(new to me) music


so i wanted to let you in on the cd's that were my saviors during our road trip to new york state. i love having new music on long trips because it makes them somehow more memorable for me. these were an old list of cd's i wanted. now, with your help, i'm compiling a new one. awesome. so this is what i've had in rotation in my car for the past few weeks:

kenna make sure they see my face. this entire album is fantastic. his music in in the same vein as coldplay, U2, and radiohead, but with splash of electronica and funk. his newest album, which i can wait to obtain, new sacred cow, is produced by chad hugo of the neptunes. looking forward to that one, too. buy this album. it's so good.

wilco sky blue sky. the more i listen, the more i like. and i hear their latest album (wilco, the album) blows this one out of the water. so i think i want that one, too. the voice of lead singer, jeff tweedy, reminds me of ben folds for some reason.

radiohead in rainbows. great album. if you're one of those tech savvy ipod people, download tracks 1, 4, 7, and 8. track 1 is just so good.

mat kearney nothing left to lose. i like mat kearney's voice, and i saw him live one time and really liked his music. but most of the songs on this cd sound the same. heard one, heard 'em all. the "rapping" is not my favorite- especially when he has such a great singing voice. his newer album is supposed to be better- anyone heard it/have it?

ryan adams easy tiger. i LOVE this album. the more and more i listen to it, the more i adore (most of) the songs on it. a couple of them have a bit to much twang for this girl. download tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 (is folky, country-ish), and 12.

robin thicke something else. this album has a lot of soul. every time i listen to it i love it more and more. his cd's are like that. this cd has a catchy r&b throwback feel. i like it better than his last album, actually. download tracks 3, 6, 8, and 9. and if you want to laugh a little about white guys singing r&b, watch this ;)

ray lamontagne gossip in the grain. haven't fit this one into the rotation. he'll work his way in this fall, i'm sure. his music isn't jammin summertime music, so he's gotten back burnered.

black eyed peas the E.N.D.. this one's okay. just okay.

so if you're looking for new music, even if you don't know what you're looking for, there is this website that will help you find similar artists based on bands/cds you like. for example, if you like ben folds, click here to see who else you might like.

and THANK YOU for all your great music suggestions. i'm really looking forward to doing more investigating and listening :)

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Monday, August 3, 2009

read this book


okay, i have a handful of half-written blogs, and i just have too many ideas, too many thoughts, too many house projects, and too many vacation photos to get them finished. i am literally my own worst enemy sometimes because i just am incapable of being brief or inexhaustive. i have an acute ability to make blogging painstaking. lol. someone save me from myself!

so. i've been reading a lot of good books in the past few weeks, and i'm almost done with my music, movies, & books posts (when you read them you'll see what i mean about my attention to detail problem), but i have to inject a book plug before my actual post because this book is so necessary. especially for "christians" but not exclusively. the message of this book is poignant for any one who considers themself spiritual or religious in any regard, and for those who have been hurt or turned off by "christians" or "the church" at large. this book feels like the pinnacle of unarticulated thoughts that have been in my heart and mind for months...even years.

so here is my plug. go buy this book. then go read this book. NOW. right now. this minute. and then tell me what you think.

what, you need more than me telling you what to do? ;) geesh. okay. here is a spot of the co-author on cnn talking a bit about the book. the book is refreshing, smart, well-written and researched, and EXACTLY what any Jesus follower ought to be thinking and feeling, in my opinion. i'm SO over people in the media giving my faith a bad name. and i'm SO over people who call themselves christians being obsessed with politics, "saving people," all the while hating gays and having too much to say that has nothing to do with what Jesus taught. i'm sick of christian jargon, christian marketing, and psychotic anti-abortion protesters. DONE with it.

it's time for a new generation of "the Way" and the Way is not about agendas or activists or "us vs. them". eew.

it's about loving people, accepting people, helping people, being real, and being the change we want to see. like gandhi said, man.

so despite myself, something just came surging out, even if it's not concise or witty or well thought out. i don't even care. that's how important i think this book is for the future of believers and those we know and love.

so has anyone already read this book? anyone have any thoughts on "christians" they want to throw out there?

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