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Monday, January 31, 2011

I found these from Artwalls on Etsy and loved them to pieces. File this under: Birthday List! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The State of The Union waistline

     About five years ago, there was a period of time where I quit taking communion.  I quit taking communion because the idea of eating something in between meals just didn't appeal to me.  (For those of you playing at home, we are talking about a shot glass of grape juice and an oyster cracker, not a two aisle buffet line).  

I was crazy.  It's ok. You can think that.  It's true.  

     I was obsessive about my waistline.  I had lost 50 pounds over the course of a few years. I was about a size ten and I'd had to beg and scratch and starve and claw my way there.  I will never be a size 2.  It's ok.  I was finally able to buy jeans at those teeny-bopper-techno-music-playing-places at the mall and I relished that fact probably more than I had celebrated anything else in my entire life. 

I was a hungry, grouchy woman in a teenager's jeans.  

And then I met Tim, and all that didn't seem quite as important.  

     And then I gained weight.  I'm not going to tell you why or how or when or how much has happened, because that's not what this post is about, but the truth is, it's here. Not all of it again, but some.  Too much.  

So, I joined Weight Watchers.  

     And I obsessed over the scale again.  The thing is, when you used to worship the scale the way I used to worship the scale and then you sort of get over it, you know, immediately when you are starting to get a little nutty again.  

     I remember walking away from Weight Watchers and crying in the car because I had gained . 2 pounds or something ridiculous like that.  Point two pounds.  I remember hunkering in the car because I had hit a red light, and I didn't want anyone to see me crying.  

     And then I thought about God and how much he loves me and I knew, without a doubt, that He probably wasn't sure all this was such a Good Idea anymore.  

You see, we were not created to hunker.  Did you know that?  

It's true. 

So, I quit Weight Watchers.*  

     With Tim out of work and me coming home in tears, $40 a month wasn't doing us any favors.  

So where does that leave us now?  

     Well, I joined Sparkpeople and I set a goal to exercise 90 minutes a week.  We borrowed Just Dance for the wii and I'm researching other ways to exercise at home.  I am 29 days in, and I'm loving it.  Really.  

     I haven't gotten on the scale all month.  I'm just not *there* yet.  Sparkpeople is great because it teaches you to use the scale as a tool.  I'm still learning, and I'm waiting because while I may be acing the quiz, I'm not 100% convinced that I'm ready to pass the test.  

I don't know if I'm "losing" but I do know that I feel good.  Like, jump around the house good.  Like, "these pants fit a little better now"  good.  

     As I sit here in my bathrobe, listening to Tim sing to the dog** and watching the winter sunshine, I can't help but think about my friend (I wish), Meg.  You see, Meg is someone who has been there. Meg is getting it.  She gives me hope, and I can't get enough of her blog.  For more about her journey, click on the FED tab on the left of her page.  

Gush, Gush, Gush.  President of The I Heart Meg Fee Fan Club.  Lifetime Member.   

Enough said. 

     So, that's where we are.  It's funny because, I have tried, about a thousand times, to write the Why I Quit Weight Watchers post...dozens and dozens of half-written drafts in my blogger dash, but just couldn't hit submit.  

Well, today is the day I guess.  40 minutes or so and one cup of coffee later.  Here we are. No editing.  

Bah. This stuff is so hard.  

Anything is possible.  

Love, a brisk walk, and more Meg Fees, 

* For the record, I think WW can be a great program.  It works for a lot of people. The women there were very gracious.  While I learned a great deal, the meetings just weren't for me.  If you'd like to know more about why I quit or why I feel it wasn't working, please feel free to email me at   OR if you are on a journey of your own and just need a little encouragement, throw me a line.  I am an excellent on-line cheerleader, however my real-life toe touch leaves much to be desired.  

** In case you were wondering, here is part of Tim's song. "I've got a super good Scarlett-dog on my lap...ooohh ooohh ooohhh"  I think it's a hit.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

In the words of J.Thompson,
 "You are treading water, but you are not going to drown."  

Or something like that.  

Saw this picture and thought of you.  

However, I just had the distinct feeling that someone, somewhere needed to hear this...almost as much as I did.  

My best to you.  

Love and a less dense* llama, 

*I'm not going to lie**, I had to google search "density."  

**Also, I just tried to spell "lie" with a y.  Well, shoot.  


Friday, January 21, 2011

Opposite Day

    "Why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time? My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future."

 -Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
source unknown

          If today were opposite day, I guess this would be how I am feeling.  I woke up with a lot of hope today.  Hope for the future.  When it is all said and done, I don't want us to just 'land on our feet.'   I want to come out on top.  Not in a competitive, high & mighty, kind of way....I just want us to feel like we are living the best versions of ourselves and not just merely surviving.  

But I liked the quote and I wanted to post it anyway.  

In other news, we got 19* inches of snow yesterday, and I don't think I'm ever going to work again.  I'm off to make apple cinnamon french toast casserole.  Wish me luck.  

Love and a preheated oven, 

* It was actually only more like 5 or 6 inches I think, but exaggerating is fun...but only if you tell the truth afterwards.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hand wash only. P.S. Don't sell my record player.

     I have heard people say that Christianity is a crutch.  I am familiar with the notion that Christians think they need God and the idea of heaven to make life (and death) easier. More bearable.

But the truth is, I think that God and the idea of heaven makes life harder.

But only sometimes.  Like now.

     All I wanna do is what I wanna do, if that makes any sense.  And it is hard.  I think right now, all Tim and I want to do is be grumpy with each other about boring money and job-stuff and start selling each other's most prized positions.

Hands off my new record player, sir.

But we can't.   Cause I don't think that's Part of The Plan.

It is tempting to come home and say, after Tim has so lovingly done all our laundry,

"If you ever put my 100% silk Gap dress in the washer again, 
I will come at you with everything I have."

Wrong.  No.  Wrong. Wrong.

Jesus and I have found that a simple, "Thank you so much." Will suffice.

     I love my parents' stories.  They have stories about struggles; about moving here from California and being dirt poor and resilient and building a life here in the cold/hot/cold again midwest.

     I write often about Our Future Kiddos, and I am fully aware that these are Our Stories.  This here blog is actually one big fat, long story.  I think I'm accountable to our kids for the way I act and what I write about now.  That can get heavy.   With that being said, I made some decisions about How I Want to Behave during this time of transition while Tim looks for a new job.  Maybe someday, I will write more, but for now-

When it is all said and done, I want to be able to say, "We loved each other completely."  I want to be able to say, that I don't know how I could have been more loving, more gentle, more supportive.

source unknown

So far so good. ((she says, cautiously optimistic))

     As you may already know, I hate January.  I spent the better part of late 2010 feeling like a squirrel, trying to gather all the courage I could muster to face this cold, dark month.  But I'm finding that when I quit complaining; when I bake cookies from scratch and go to The Art Museum with my besties and have spontaneous "help us finish this leftover dessert" parties- that is when the ease sets in.  You see, there is ease in the trying.  There is relief in the effort.

I am empty of answers, but my hands are open and gosh darnit, my heart is so full.
Love, H. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dogs in Disguise

This is what I did on my snow day(s). 

 Nobody liked getting a mustache. Except for the humans, I guess.  We thought it was hilarious.  To my credit, I also cleaned out the fridge, folded a lot of laundry, baked cookies from scratch (they did not turn out, but that's a long, sad story), made home-made pizza, among other things.

     Sorry for the nothing-much-new-here-post.  I think, lately, I've been too busy doing things to actually take a second to write about things.

More later.

Promises, schmomises.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

And the winner is...

     I thought it might be fun to lighten the mood a bit, and help spread the love for some of my blog-pals out there! Recently, Hannah Sullivan gave me "The Stylish Blogger Award."  Given how much I despise January, and my husband's recent lay-off, this sweet, sweet comment/Award came at the perfect time. :)  

     I think I found Hannah through sisters/friends Anna Lynn Riley and Olivia Carter, but you know, sometimes, it's hard to keep track.  

     The "rules" ask you to share 7 things about yourself and then share the award with 15 other newly discovered blogs (therefore, also giving THEM the award).  

Here are my lists of fun facts and blogs! 

1.)  I hate January. I am, desperately trying to make friends with it, but this good ole' first month just isn't having any of it. 

2.)  I am trying to "get into" couponing.  It has been a little more difficult to navigate than you'd think, but I'm hoping it pays off in the end! (Literally!)  

3.)  Sometimes, I watch a re-run of Friends, only to find I have SEVERAL of the lines memorized

4.) I have an etsy shop, but haven't taken the time to do much with it.  I'm looking forward to digging my heels in and starting a new-sort-of business venture!

5.)  For my birthday last year, my husband offered to build me a rabbit hutch (and buy me a rabbit).  After careful consideration, we decided on a parakeet instead (scrappy dogs and cowardly rabbits don't usually get along).  We ended up with a nice/somewhat expensive bird cage...and still no bird.  We're planning on getting one in the spring...although spring of what year, I'm not sure (haha). 

6.)  Every morning, I watch a re-run of 30 Rock or Friends while I'm getting ready for the day. 

7.) Keeping my  car cleaned-out for more than a week at a time is considered a huge success for me (its been about 8 days-hooray!) 

     I have been an avid blog-reader for quite some time and usually stick to my old favorites, so coming up with 15 "newly discovered" blogs was hard to do.  My goal was 10...and I only posted 9.    I hope the "Blog Award Gods" don't mind that I broke the rules (Oh, Yours Truly, forever the rule breaker!)  

     Call me a stickler, but I wanted to post blogs I really  enjoy.  I didn't want to just post whatever was in my history for the sake of posting, you know?  I hope that doesn't make me sound like an award-nazi.  

Anyway, here are the ones that stood out!  

Roxanne and Lorraine (love these two blogging besties)! 

Our city lights (fun/artsy/creative) 

The Allie Bee ( A friend from college)! 

Defying Gravity (Also a friend from college)! 

Joy Just Because


Happy Loves Rosie (LOVE HER STYLE)  

Intangible Goodness (loving her "what I wore" posts and etsy shop!)  

Crazy Mrs. M  (who-recently-butchered-two-pigs! Holy Holy Pig!)  

I hope you found some good, new reads! 

Love and a lot of copying and pasting, 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Something I haven't even told my mom

      This is a post about something I've yet to tell my mom.  And I tell her everything.  The truth is (I hate saying that because it leads you to believe that some things I say aren't THE TRUTH, but "the truth is," I just can't kick the habit).

     Anyway, the truth is, I pulled my back out yesterday.  While putting on my shoes.  My new-last-pair-in-my-size-got-them-on-sale-berry colored boots, no less.  So, I spent the better part of today walking around like The Grinch.  This is how The Grinch walks, in case you forget.   Cause you probably haven't seen him since last year (Haha).

source unknown

So, needless to say, I'm Rather Grumpy and feeling quite brazen in regards to the news I do and do not share today.

Lucky us, right?

     I just finished Crowded Skies by Tara Leigh Cobble.  It's amazing.

     You should know that I don't take my book reviews lightly.  In this, her second memoir, TLC shares the details of her move to New York City.  And it's odd.  It's odd because a lot of her journey in regards to New York reminded me of my pursuit to stay home with our future kiddos.  She often prays for God to Do Something.

That's right.  Something.

     Two nights ago, I dreamed that I was offered a part-time position as our school's librarian (which would rock, by the way). However, I'm pretty sure that position is never going to exist in real life.

But I thought of this book and started praying that God would Do Something.  I started praying that God would do Something that would help us get our own version of New York City.

And today, Tim lost his job.

     Whoa.  I should have told you to sit down for that one.  Ha. See, that is so fun because I totally knew that's what this post was about and you had no clue!  You should see the look on your face right now.  You're shocked right?

Yea, us too.

The truth is, we think it is a temporary/seasonal lay-off.

And I think I wanted a rainstorm and accidentally received a drought.

And today, I got in the car and cried.  Not because I'm afraid.  Not because I'm upset.  I just cried from the sheer weight of it all.

      When we were little, my sister and I would wrestle.  That's right.  We would our little spandex gymnastic tights.  Even though there is not a Mean Bone in Sweet Heather Marie's body, I would still start to cry when she would lay on me.  I knew.  I understood that I was going to have to surrender.  I would have to give up.

    Last summer, I wrote about feeling small.  I wrote about spending the day in the airport and realizing that the time had come for Tim and I to surrender to something that was greater than ourselves.

How much do you love the word surrender?

And, once again- here we are.

Today, I read a story to my kids about a penguin who gets separated from his friends when his island of ice breaks in half.  Later, he writes in the snow...

I Give Up.

(Don't worry, it ends well).

And I think there is just something so inspiring about that little guy.  Giving up.

Sometimes, I try to be inspiring.  I try to say things to you like, "So if you are reading this and you feel....or if you are reading this and you have a case of The Glumps, then...."

But today, I've got nothing.

The truth is, I don't know what God is doing...but I give up.

I give up, but I'm still in...if that makes any sense.  I'm still in for whatever He has in store for us.

This was not the Something I expected.

Then again, it rarely is, right?


And now, I shall go call my mom.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sister, Daughter, Wife, Carrot

This is a post about Christmas.  An unbearably late post about Christmas.  For some reason, what with everyone setting New Year's Resolutions, and just felt...necessary. Maybe you'll see what I mean.  An Unbearably Late Post About Christmas.  Please Forgive.  

     This year, I was bound and determined to blow everyone's minds with Christmas Craftiness.  I was going to do something really outside-the box like find a way to make a really rad color like mustard yellow look Christmas-y.  I was going to gather all kinds of things from outside and spray paint them so everything would look super clean yet still kind of woodsy.

I was going to decorate in mono chromatics.  All white....all blue...all silver.


And then I started actually decorating, and I realized...all that was a lot for one christmas.  It was too much pressure.

I feel like we are still setting up house, to a certain extent.  So much of our decor, for a long time, has been things that were given to us or things I purchased, on a whim, at the dollar store.  Of course, many of these things have value.  We appreciate people's generosity, and of course the opportunity to find a good bargain.  However, I have had a really hard time feeling like our house is "us."  After nearly 2 and 1/2 years, I think we are finally catching our stride.

With that being said, you know I have a tendency to struggle with The Glumps.  You know I have a tendency to look at people and things in life as "me-upgrades."   This does not mean I have a low self-esteem.  (Let's face it, I rock and so do you).  This just means I am honest.  We all want to feel like we are putting our best, most-true-to-self foot forward- like we are expressing ourselves as we really are whether that's a blog layout, a pair of boots or a set of candlesticks.  The danger lies in the constant second guessing.  It's true.

So, I got out our Christmas decor and went to work.  I was a crazy person.  Moving things.  Sorting things.  MESSING with "things."  I was dangerously close to using words like "aesthetically pleasing" and "symmetrical."

And then it hit me.

This is not what Christmas is about.  

I heard, quite clearly, the words, "Less is more."

I think my friend, Carmen refers to it as "a call to simplicity."

So, that is what we did.

And then I went to one of my favorite antique stores and found this little number. (The Antique Tobacco tin in the right hand corner) 

And a light went on.

Tim and I?  We like old things.  Very old things.  We gushed over a set of antique model airplane replicas we recently spotted.  Our last Netflix we watched together featured Kathrine Hepburn.*  We'll take old, solid wood over plastic any day (although we do love IKEA)!

So, here we are.  The decor is not "clean."  It is not modern.  There's no glitter.  But it's us.

I remember reading a book called "Reviving Ophelia...."  which, in hindsight was very "late 90's-lilith-fair-Sarah Mchlachlan-grunge"of me, but it's still a good read nonetheless.

In said book, there is a quote from a girl who states, "I'm a perfectly good carrot that everyone is trying to turn into a rose.  As a carrot, I have good color and a nice, leafy top.  When I'm carved into a rose, I turn brown and whither."

And I recall thinking, "Yes.  That is so me."

I had to laugh as I thought about that now, because I don't feel like anyone is trying to "make" me be anything anymore ((sigh of relief)).  I think my late 20's/early 30's are going to really be about finding myself, cheesy as it sounds.

Nay, finding myself and owning it.

"Me upgrades" be darned!

So, there you have it.

And I leave you with this, my cousin's daughter Norah on Halloween!  Yet another shining example of a perfectly good carrot!  Have you ever seen a more adorable vegetable!?!?!   Yes, for this post, a child in a carrot costume just seemed fitting.

Love and antique tobacco tins,
H: Sister, Daughter, Wife, Proud Carrot

*The movie we watched was called Desk Set.  You should watch it.