Sunday, January 30, 2011

House guests and Photography School

Quite literally - the most adorable houseguests I think we've ever had for a weekend. 
Humphrey and Gigi have a common love of pacifiers. 
Izzy and I obviously have a love of stripes in common. 
Kind of sad to see them go. 

Oh well. 

We know where they live. :)

ANYWAYS ---- (I'm a rambling type, by the way.)

About me - 
I don't like to talk about the things that I really care about because somewhere - it's always lurking. 


Hey - from what I hear - I'm a middle child which means I'm a people pleaser. According to some Birth Order book hooey. Judgement and me don't mix. 

Just like oil and water.

But in this sacred place. This blogosphere - I will bear my nakedness. 


don't scroll down. 
Or leave.

I swear. I'm keeping my clothes on! 

I will bear my naked soul and tell the truth.

I am going to school. For photography.
I'm not great at it. 

Maybe I will be one day. 
But I really enjoy the hell out of it. And it's mine. So far, no carbon copies have appeared. 

I was told in high school that I had an eye for graphic design. (But c'mon - have you seen how much math is involved... how much computer softward figuring-out is done in that line of work?!?! NOT for me.)

I'm going to the Art Institute. 
I wake up at the butt crack o' dawn on Saturday mornings (because I'm a mommy and it's my only day.)

I've only told a handful of people.
So far out of that handful, I've had a few thumb their noses about it. And so it confirms for me to shut my mouth. Don't talk about it.
I'm what Kevin calls the 'creative type.' 

I might go on a binge and eat quinoa and barley for a week because I read something inspiring about fiber. 
Then I'll spend three days drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar because I want to see what health miracle will happen. 

I love coffee and I will give up many meals for a beautiful cup of it with just the right touches of caramel.
I am not likely to plan a vacation, I'd rather decide on the road and grab the essentials at a grocer or drugstore.

I forget to water plants until my husband mentions they're leaning thirstily.
I may squeal throughout the house just because Gianna is doing it and it looks like so much fun. (I definitely sing here. I pity the fool that would ever lean their ear up against our front door.)

So this creative type had some homework.
This week's assignment was to interpret a song's lyrics and mood through photograph. 
I grabbed my ipod, scrolled and landed on L.A. Song by Beth Hart. 

This is what I got: 

The lyrics are: 

She hangs around the boulevard
She's a local girl with local scars
She got home late, she got home late
She drank so hard the bottle ached
And she tried, and she tried, and she tried, and she tried
But nothin's clear in a bar full a flies
So she takes, so she takes, she takes, so she takes
She understands when she gives it away
She says

* Man I gotta get outta this town
Man I gotta get outta this pain
Man I gotta get outta this town
Outta this town and out of L.A.

She's got a gun, She's got a gun 
She's got a gun she calls the lucky one 
She left a note right by the phone
Don't leave a message 'cause this ain't no home
And she cried, and she cried, and she cried, and she cried
She cried so long her tears ran dry
Then she laughed, then she laughed, she laughed, then she laughed
'Cause she knew she was never comin' back
She said

[Repeat *]
It's all she loves It's all she hates It's all too much for her to take
She can't be sure just where it ends or where the good life begins
So she took a train, she took a train
To a little old town without a name
She met a man he took her in
But fed her all the same bullshit again
'Cause he lied, then he lied, then he lied, then he lied
he lied like a salesman sellin' flies
So she screamed, then she screamed, then she screamed, then she screamed
it's a different place but the same old thang
It's all I love It's all I hate It's all too much for me to take
I can't be sure where it begins or if the good life lies within
So she said

Man I gotta get out of this town
Now I gotta get back on that train
Man I gotta get out of this town
I'm outta my pain
So I'm goin' back to L.A.
Back to L.A.
Back to L.A. Hey...
I'm goin' back to L.A. Hey...
I'm goin' back to L.A.

It's an older song. Probably from the late 80's/early 90's. Good sound. We shall see how it grades. :) 

All this photography got me to thinking about a time in my life when I was super young and hadn't a clue who I was. I was fourteen. Magazines littered the floor in my bedroom and I tried desperately to make myself appear as flawless as the models inside. 

It wasn't a good thing. I didn't understand.

In this world, we are so deadened. We're numb to super-imposed/photoshopped images. 

And I really kind of think that we miss out on the beauty of flaws.

Some folks try to plump up their crow's feet with collagen. But let me tell you how I see it these days. 

Crow's feet are BEAUTIFUL! I purposefully avoid slathering moisturizer around the corners of my eyes because I cannot wait to become a part of that club.

When I am going to visit my Dad, I have this thing. My favorite thing. I like to watch when his eyes meet his grandchildren. He smiles at them with his whole heart.

Most people think of their mouths as the part of their face that smiles.

Not this girl.

When my Dad smiles - of course the corners of his mouth turn upwards. Just like everyone else. 

But my dad has lived. And he's part of the club. He's got crow's feet or laugh lines around his eyes. Lucky guy.

My favorite feature on my Dad is his grandpa eyes.

When grandkids are around, Dad's smile is deep.

It begins when the corners of his mouth turn upwards in a smile - and the smile continues across his face.

UP... UP... UP...

until that smile lands in the corners of his eyes.


That's what you see on his face when he see's grandchildren. Any grandchildren. My kids, my nephew, my step-sister's kids. It doesn't matter. Children are a part of his soul and he gets those grandparent eyes. It's my most favorite thing about my Dad. 

So it's sad when I see my impressionable tweenager adoringly scouring the pages of catalogs or magazines the way that I did. Staring at the shape of eyebrows and hoping to imitate the look in her own mirror.  

Do these photos look like a fourteen year old to you? 

I'm glad I had the experience because I can tell the fourteen-year-old girl inside of me or the twelve-year-old daughter of mine exactly what is real and what isn't.

Man, am I glad for the experience. 

Things happen for a reason, folks. 

Laugh lines. They happen for a reason. Crow's feet - reason. 
Just ask my husband. The reason he has his laugh lines/crows feet is so I can kiss them and run my finger across them when he smiles with his Daddy eyes. 

Love your features, because if you don't - I will. 
I already do. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I wouldn't say we've outgrown our house, because I firmly believe you should learn to live within the space you have before an upgrade could be deserved. On our little plot of land, though - sometimes it seems I've got nowhere to go that is mine.
I may sit down to plan the week's menu - leap up to kiss a boo-boo, chauffeur a child, or change a diaper and return to find that my list has grown legs and ran away. It can be frustrating and sometimes it would be nice to have a place that is just mine. I can close it up and return to it knowing it will be just as I left it.
As a human - I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this desire.
And dear husband enters.

I must be loved...
I know this because my husband took our coat closet and turned it into a space of my very own.
Jessica space. Check it out!

And he even drilled a hole into an old sconce we bought on clearance years ago (and has sat in it's pretty box (in our attic)) so that he could install a toggle switch for me. I love that he left the words "on/off" because he knows how wordy I can be! HA!

He even installed a toggle switch into the sconce for me. I am so loved... now I'm gonna go cuddle him and show him I love him too!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Holiday Steam

I Love The Holidays. 
If you grew up in my parent's house, you would love them too. They were magical. Literally. 
You knew it was coming when Mom would pull out this 5" thick Sears catalog, hand you the magic marker, and tell you to circle "whatever." I look back and I know what she was doing. She was handing out busy work. Hey, I get it. Three kids... busy work means sanity and it's a method I subscribe to for my three. If they enjoy the work and devour it, even better. 
The tree would go up. We'd "help" Dad. 
Ornament magic - looking through those tchotchkys you haven't seen since last year's magical season. I was always eagerly awaiting the silver bell that would play music and 'hinged Santa' who was held together with brads so that you could pull the string on his head making his arms and legs flip upward as if to say "Hooray! It's Christmas and I'm-a-coming!"
The food. Oh man! The food. Grandma Wolf = peppernuts (pfefferneuse cookies) and noodles. Grandma Lemons = rice and broccoli casserole. Mom = Cherry cheese pie and bierocks. Yeah. The food...
The lights. Dad would climb the choppy modern roof to line the edges with clear lights that would look BEAUTIFUL. I don't think I will ever be able to have anything hanging on my eaves  but clear lights. They glimmered and glistened and I know it must've been a pain. But I stood in the grass (sometimes the snow) and watched proudly as if our house was announcing to the world that we were part of the Christmas Club. 
Sometimes the trees were lit, and sometimes the sidewalk was lined with lighted paper lunch sack things. Whatever. Santa knew our house. It sparkled. Couldn't miss it. 
Dad played piano and the rest of us sang. 
We always left cookies for Santa.
Christmas Eve meant candlelight church service, pretty Christmas dresses, and curled hair.
Christmas morning meant coming downstairs in your Christmas night gown to see what surprises were under the tree and in your stocking. It meant seeing how long you could stay in those jammies before you were shooed upstairs to dress for the grandparents and Great Aunt Marian & Great Uncle Gregg who would be coming over for Christmas dinner (which actually began around lunchtime with beers and laughs and lots of attention spilled onto us kids - which of course we RELISHED in!) 
So when I look back on Christmas as a child, it's covered in glitter. It probably always will be. And I want that for my kids. 
So I try, but it's never quite the same. It's still lovely. Enjoyable. 
But there's always that period after Christmas and New Year where you just gotta let the steam roll off. The tree stays up a week longer than you planned on and the red-green plastic storage containers take up residence in your hall for a good two weeks. It usually takes tripping over them before you find the motivation to take them back to the attic. 
But - nonetheless. I love you, Christmas and in one year I'm gonna be ready to see you again. 
Our tree is gone. The ornaments have left the building. 

Gianna's Christmas Shoes 2010
(Thanks to my Mom - who understands about Christmas magic)

That's okay. Got something else going on that puts a spring in my step. Stay tuned... 
details are coming and no one else knows!
MuahHahHAhahaha (evil laughter)