29 November 2007

attention parents: do not try this at home

I have no real credentials to justify this offering of parental advice. I'm not a parent. But, I do spend a good chunk of my week observing the results of other people's parenting. Also I deal with a lot of paperwork. And I have this to say about naming children: when you give your child a name, be kind. Do not make it unpronouncable. (T'Qhajani? Not okay.) Do not use multiple apostrophes in one first name. Do not give two siblings the exact same name, especially when it is the same name their father has. Spelling each child's name differently (Mychia and Mikah? Seriously?) does not make this practice less obnoxious. And finally, please, please don't get sucked into the idea that it is cute or clever to base all your children's names on the same one name. Having an Andre and a D'Andre will only complicate your life. Having a Cedric, a De'Cedric, and a TreCedrica will only give your children a reason to blame you for all their problems one day.

25 November 2007

look, we're crafty!

I generally avoid shopping on "black Friday," but this year I spent the afternoon strolling shamelessly around Michael's, purchasing items often associated with craftiness - hot glue gun. acrylic paints. floral wire. ribbon. Who am I, you ask, and what have I done with the craft-averse person who used to live here? Not sure. I guess Christmas is a special occasion.

Every holiday season Shay and I talk about switching out our usual Christmas tree ornaments and doing something new. We've wanted to incorporate some of the little trinkets and knick-knacks we've collected as we've traveled to different places, and do sort of a Christmas-around-the-world tree. This year we actually took the time to put it together. It was all kinds of fun.

If you're having trouble sorting out the randomness that is our tree (can't imagine...), here's a breakdown.

The bulky paper mache-looking bulbs are covered with antique maps. This was a great idea in my head but they were a bit interesting to actually make. You can thank Shay for ones that look really good.
The little hanging oreos are adorned with different flags. Thank you Italy, Portugal, and Mexico for having Christmas-colored flags. That really helps. And sorry, other countries, that I don't always know the right orientation for your flags once I've cut them out. We probably made a few mistakes.

The poinsettias are just there because we like them. They add color and flair, I think.

and everything else on the tree basically falls into two categories - (1) little things with sentimental value that we brought home from places we love

and (2) things that looked cool and were cheap at World Market.

Still a work in progress - it lacks a tree-topper and a proper tree skirt. (Any ideas for the top?) It is definitely looking like piecemeal, homemade decor on a cheap fake tree. But, I adore it. And, it was seriously fun to work on it with my husband, with Christmas tunes in the background. Ah, Christmas. It's good.

23 November 2007

oh, the first snowfall of the winter

When I left for work Tuesday morning it was autumn. By the time I got home that afternoon, it was winter. It came that fast. By Wednesday we had our first snow storm. The snow didn't really stick to the ground, but it looked amazing falling from the sky. As I drove around running errands, I simultaneously mourned the end of a fabulous autumn, and got excited about all that's good about winter. If I had been anywhere besides my warm and cozy car at the time, my sentiments probably would have leaned more toward the mourning side.

I do love seeing the first snow of the season, though. It builds anticipation for Christmas lights, scarves, hot chocolate, and other cozy things. Also I run around for the rest of the day with the lyrics to "the first snowfall of the winter" running through my head. Usually it's Karen Carpenter I hear singing them, but sometimes it's the Bing Crosby version, and sometimes the two mix and it sounds all wrong. Also I get hung up on the part about folks and their surreys and fogetting about their worries, because what on earth is a surrey?

15 November 2007

i see where they're goin' with this...

I can't help it - Brian Regan makes me laugh. And, I like to laugh. So, I like Brian Regan. We are off to nearby Lincoln, NE this weekend, to visit a friend and to enjoy some live Brian Regan stand-up action. This clip about the Pop-Tarts is old but it is still a favorite.

13 November 2007

the heart of life is good

I have been a lazy blogger. Sometimes I check my own blog hoping to find something new here. It's strange how I always find the blog looking just the way I left it.

We've been busy. We are happy. My favorite things at the moment are singing at the top of my lungs on the drive home from work, playing Boggle with Shay and kicking his trash consistently, and walking up the street where we live and stepping on crunchy leaves every step of the way.

Thanksgiving is looming, and I am feeling the thankful vibe these days. Life is full of so many good things.

04 November 2007

rock chalk jayhawk

Everything about KU has been pretty easy to love - the stately old buildings, masses of trees and a lot of gorgeous open space, great sports teams, a very spirited and supportive community, lots of history, decent school colors. The only major obstacle to KU conversion that I have run into is their goofy mascot, the Jayhawk. This cartoonish, grinning, made-up bird seemed a bit cheesy at first. But now that Homecoming week has come and gone and I have partaken in many Jayhawk-centered festivities, even the goofy bird is growing on me. (Perhaps the turning point was when I realized, hey, I'm coming from a place where we all rallied around a giant blue cow. Shouldn't be too critical.)

These are mostly for Holly, because she wanted to see some KU sights, but here are some pictures of campus that we have taken this week. Enjoy!

01 November 2007

good for a "laugh"

Thanks to Robin's blog for introducing me to The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. I found it "hilarious."

If I ever started a poking-fun blog (I seriously almost put "poking-fun" in quotation marks, but stopped myself), the topic would be... misplaced modifiers! Yay, my favorite linguistic phenomenon! I would include such delights as the gas station sign that said "We cannot sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container." (This seems like plain old prejudice to me; people in glass containers are people too.) But the one example that really needs to be documented, and will probably go down in history as my all time favorite, came from the mouth of a friend's mom. She began her talk at her son's missionary farewell with this dramatic line: "Taped to the wall, I daily read this quote...." Now, try to keep a straight face during a somber moment with that mental image running through your head.