Archive for May, 2009

Nostalgia, or, When Blogging at Midnight…

I just stumbled on this video (produced by a Lynchburg photographer) and it made me so nostalgic & homesick for Holland, Michigan, and Hope College — not for the place so much as the memories. The dreamy fireworks sequence, and that song and so much keeps flooding back. 

While cleaning up my attic studio today, I came across two cassette tapes (remember those?) with individual broadcasts I did on 89.9 WTHS. I listened for awhile, since they contained many favorite songs. It was a little strange to hear my voice, now five years younger. That girl sounds so happy and content on air, but there were so many hidden insecurities, sort of these figurative monsters under the bed. Thankfully, I think I knew even then that the growing pains would someday subside. 

It’s hard to believe how out of touch I feel with college friends, or how much my life has changed since then. Listening to Sufjan Stevens or Rosie Thomas brings it all flooding back. Today the cassette tapes were warbling in the background while I lost myself in a painting and for a moment, I nearly forgot I had a daughter and husband downstairs. That I was painting in the attic of our house. That I was 27. In that moment, I could almost be 20 again (21? don’t know which years I taped the shows), talking into the microphone of the tiny studio in DeWitt, watching the students pause at the ATM. That radio studio doesn’t even exist anymore; the station moved after I graduated to the new digs in the Martha Miller Center. 

I played Sufjan’s student EP. He went to our college, we had his stuff in our music library even before he stormed onto the indie scene. Ever since, his songs have become intwined with my personal history. My roadtrip cds included “Chicago” even before it appeared as the soundtrack to the opening roadtrip sequence of Little Miss Sunshine. 

This post wasn’t meant to be a tribute to Sufjan, or a lame attempt at indie posturing. But it’s nearly 1 a.m. and everyone’s asleep except me – and just before I logged off for the night, I found this video and suddenly remembered flat tires in Ohio, a golden harvest moon rising above Grand Rapids, the Pine Grove, singing with Mary while she played her guitar, and so much more…

I was in love with the place

In my mind, in my mind

I made a lot of mistakes, 

In my mind, in my mind…


You can see John Carl’s video below:

we were in love from John Carl on Vimeo.


31 May 2009 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

The creativity is flowing…

This morning, we went for breakfast at Starlight: sweet crepes with strawberries, bananas and Nutella (yum!) and then took a walk through the historic district end of our street and dropped jaws at the ornate stone scrollwork and the iron fenced backyards with rose trellises in full bloom.It was perfect, and hopefully the first of many such Saturday mornings. 

I spent the rest of the day setting up my attic studio. Found some hilarious childhood photos, a doll’s quilt I made as a child, a list of books I read each summer for a couple of years as a kid, etc. Rocked out to Cat Power, Mates of State, Rosie Thomas. Put a few coats of pale aqua paint on a few picture frames and restyled a clock to match. Took breaks to play with my darling little girl (and amazing hubby who is making this studio time possible). Took another break to run over and help Jill load up two chairs she bought at auction into our truck and back to her house. Took another break to make some Cuban style steaks. Mmm. 

And now? It’s that point in the night when the final montage begins to play and everyone gets the girl. I’m barely even watching the movie; Sofia is teething and took forever to get to sleep. So today is drawing to a close, and if tomorrow is only half as good as today, it will still be fairly swell. 

(among the many ideas swirling: finally creating a curtain for our front door, refashioning a couple of dresses, finishing the painting I worked on today, editing photos, gardening…we’ll see what happens…)

Inspired by these (and hoping to win!):


Vintage Wedding Frock (refashioned)

Sheer skirt

30 May 2009 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment

Scratch that whole feeling better business. I think I overdid it yesterday, caring for hubby & baby when I had only just started to go on the mend myself. I called in today, and am going back to bed. I did, however, move baby’s appointment from tomorrow to today. Mostly I did this out of a sense of professional courtesy and the realization that I probably have no personal time left for the year anyway, at this rate.

Besides, there’s going to be enough waiting for me tomorrow as it is.

For now, back to bed.

4 May 2009 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

On juggling orange cupcakes and multiple deadlines

So, it’s been awhile. I went back to work three days after writing my last post. And yes, that was a month and a half ago. Is that all? two and a half months ago.

It’s been a bit of a blur: finishing our move into our lovely home, getting used to work, watching our daughter grow very nearly into a toddler. Weeks full of baby squeals (she’s oh so happy in the morning!), pumping and cleaning bottles and pumping again and cleaning bottles again, sunshine through our windows,  car trouble and health issues and more health issues, catching up on what went on in the office during maternity leave and starting numerous other projects since then, laundry and dishes and laundry and dishes…

You know how it goes. 

Yes, there’s much I haven’t taken time to write about. And of course, this weekend has been spent passing a stomach bug around our wee family, which means hubby & I have taken turns caring for baby when not sick. So here I am: sitting in a tank top & jeans, my desk covered in ginger ale, saltines & disinfectant wipes.

It’s no accident, then, that just now I hit an old bookmark button and finally finished reading an article that speaks to a bit to all of this chaos. I like the sound of her “gentle rebellion,” and think I need to keep the bookmark. Especially since I often stare at my ceiling before falling asleep, racking up the list of to-do’s back at the office, juggling the priorities and weighing the estimated time to complete them. 

(Hm. Apparently  my window of time to write has been drastically reduced–the happy squeals & coos have quickly turned to cranky fussing, though a quick time check says it’s too soon to be hunger. Maybe she’s bored. Daddy’s talking to her and that seems to be helping.) 

In the interest of time, the highlights of what I want to say: first, that I recently made some yummy orange coconut cupcakes with chocolate frosting for hubby’s birthday. Which, in the interest of time, were not homemade whatsoever, but completely from a box. Betty Crocker Orange Supreme mix, threw in a half cup of shredded coconut, and frosted with Betty Crocker milk chocolate frosting. Sprinkled some coconut on top & lit some sparkly candles. Yay. And, done.

Don’t get me wrong: when I have a minute, it’s homemade crepes with Nutella, strawberries & bananas (inspired by my favorite local cafe’s take on the Paris favorite).

But these days? Boxes are my friend. Quick & easy? Yes, please, even if it’s a recipe straight from Rachel Ray or Semi-Homemade (two of my least favorite cooking shows). Yep. We are eating a lot of pizza these days, simply because I can prep healthy toppings ahead of time & whip it together quickly when it’s time for dinner. Speaking of pizza: if anyone has a quick, preferably make-ahead recipe for pizza crust, I’d love it! 

(Hubby changed her diaper, bless his heart. She is back to happily cooing)

One of the other things I’ve been meaning to do but never get around to it is post more giveaway and/or recommended links! I have found so many fun things on other mommy blogs; it’s amazing what talent is out there, and how the internet has blown the doors wide open for stay work-at-home moms to share (and profit from!) their talents. One of my favorite blogs to catch up on is Grosgrain Fabulous (if you couldn’t tell from my previous posts!). 

Here are her latest giveaways – you put together quite the cute outfit if you won the picnic frock, a Swanki hat, and an Art Nest pincushion ring. Or for your little girl, check out this simple skirt she made! 

(In the meantime, Miss Princess has demanded her dinner and promptly fell asleep afterward. Too bad I’m too tired and have too much laundry waiting to spend much more time here…)

Finally, you have to check out this recent photo shoot by a fellow Lynchburg photographer (and she’s a work-at-home mom!). Can you say fabulous vision meets fabulous fashion?

And now, the laundry awaits. Sigh.

3 May 2009 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment

Meridith on Flickr

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