Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Fantasy

I had a plan for a low-key birthday celebration tomorrow.

Morning: Drop Cami off at school, tuck Rose in the carseat, & drive down to a nearby community to check out their local fruit-&-veg shop. Some friends have recommended it, our local chi-chi food shop gets supplies from this vendor, & when I've driven past they clearly have a bustling business going. I realize this probably sounds incredibly dull to you, but is really exciting for me -- I just love food shopping at independently owned and operated vendors. That's one reason I love Trader Joe's so much. . .it has the same vibe.

Depending on how long I took at the shop, either go hiking with just Rose or head back towards home to grab Graham from school & take him with me.

Afternoon: Once Jason was free (he'll be home about 2:30), walk down to our local specialty food shop alone with 15 pounds in my pocket & grab whatever that looks yummy. No plan to it. Specialty pasta & imported sauces. Or cheese from their selection & crackers. Or jams & toast. Or their unique juice selection. Or a mix of everything. Whatever takes my fancy.

Evening: Cami & I go to our first Scottish Dance Class. It's been too long since I took dance classes & I'm excited about doing this with Cams. It'll be fun & maybe someday it'll be something our entire family can do together.

Night: Watch Leatherheads with Jason. He downloaded last night. I know it got awful reviews, so I kind of want to see just had bad it was. (Plus it has the actor who plays "the cute guy" on the American version of The Office.) My other choice was Flawless with Michael Caine. But I went with my first choice because odds are better that Jason will actual watch Flawless some other time. I'll get him to watch Leatherheads only because it's my birthday.

The reality: Cami appears to have chicken pox again. Graham is acting especially emotional -- the clue that he's not feeling well. Rose is showing signs of feeling awful (chicken pox, perhaps). And I have a cold. At least we'll watch Leatherheads.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Booking my Face

I already spend too much time on the computer. But I keep being told my family (especially my dear husband) that I need to get my own Facebook account. When appropriate, like sending a Happy Birthday to my niece two minutes ago, I steal Jason's.

Tonight Cami asked me to tell her a story about people I know, but she doesn't. I decided to tell her about the boy who lived next door when I was her age. And then I decided to look him up on Facebook. Through his page, I found tons of other people I haven't thought about in years. Funny how I haven't missed them. (Not so funny -- but stroking my bruised ego -- I've aged much better than most of them.)

Anyway, what do you think? Do bloggers & Facebookers mix?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Different, Better View

I wrote about some of the issues I have with blogging in my very first post, iCaved. One of the key problems I have stems from my own insecurities, the sense I've had for most of my lifetime that nobody will ever see that I'm special in good ways; not because I've got a weird name, not because my parents had a generation gap of their own, not because I espouse a different religion than most people I know. That sounds very infantile, but since the problem began in my infancy it's appropriately childish.

I spend a lot of time lurking on lifestyle blogs, peeking in on the lives of sophisticated, elegant aesthetes and artists. And Mormon mommy blogs, because I'm jealous of the prettiness. I've not met most of these bloggers which probably adds to the fairytale nature of their online images.

But, yesterday I read a comment where someone congratulated a parent on his ability to encourage his grown daughter to "develop her talents." (His daughter has one of those fairytale blogs I look at, wishing for the prettiness and romance of the photographs she creates professionally.)

I hadn't thought about pursuing dreams as a means of developing a talent. There is a competitiveness to the sport of blogging. But perhaps it isn't always about showing off how great your life is. . .maybe sometimes it's for sharing personal growth.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Best

A couple years ago, Jason and I were getting ready to go to church with his parents. As Jason was putting on a tie, his dad suggested that he not bother. Despite some teasing, Jason kept his tie on. When the church service was over, the pastor's father came up to Jason and complimented him on his attire -- specifically saying how reassuring it was to see someone wearing a tie to church.

Graham hasn't hit the level of sophistication that his daddy embodies. (That's my fault, because the ties I've purchased for him are too big.) But this morning, he charmed me when he saw Jason getting ready for church and said, "Daddy, I want to look like you."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The English Diet

I'm becoming more convinced that we get more healthful food in the UK than we did in the U.S. Partly because we are eating less meat (although definitely not less sugar) and more homemade wholewheat bread, but mostly because the quality of the food is better -- Genetically Modified foods are banned & there are almost no artificial ingredients.

Both Jason and I have slimmed down a bit. Our clothes are baggier than before & our jawbones are better defined. We don't own a scale, so I never bothered with the numbers. But today I had a routine exam at the surgery (American translation: doctor's office) that included a weigh-in. Comparing my numbers with those from when we first moved here, I've lost 5 kilos -- 11 pounds. I don't think I've been this light since high school.

I'm trying to figure out why such a big shift in 6 months. I think that it's not only because of the better food, but because we walk a lot more than we used to & we live in a three story (plus basement) house. The last time I got this much exercise was probably in high school. But, I have identified another cause: the closest bag of Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Chips is across an ocean.

Guerilla Fashionista

I've been wanting to share these photos for a couple of weeks. Here's what happens when Cami finds a couple of scarves. She's got a style all her own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ahoy, Matey

As noted earlier, school uniforms are a joy. But, schools will occasionally have fundraisers where the students get to pay a pound and wear regular clothes. Last Friday, however, was Pirate Day where the munchkins showed up in costume & they spent their class-time doing pirate-y things. What do you think of our rock star buccaneer?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow Day Blessings

When I got my hair cut last week, the girl working on my head asked if how I liked the cold English winter. I had to laugh, because it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit & sunny & I'd worked up a sweat walking the half-mile to the salon. Then I told her that it was -5 degrees Centigrade in my hometown -- and she shuttered.

Things cooled off with a cold front coming in from Russia. We got about 3 inches of snow last night/this morning. Last time this happened, school got canceled. But not today. Graham stayed home with me, though, because he's got a respiratory infection coming on.

While I was in the basement pulling out Rubbermaid bins to find Cami's snowpants, I opened the bin with a bunch of toys that hadn't been played with since we lived in New Jersey. Up it came, a treasure chest for the sick little guy.

I've been thinking about how blessed we are to have extra toys that can be kept hidden until we need them. That I found them when I wasn't looking for them. That we have warm clothes for when the kids are out in the snow. That we live in such a beautiful place.

Our blessings have been on Jason's mind, too, so he gave a Family Home Evening lesson on blessings & gratitude. I had to leave the room for a moment, but when I came back, it was my turn to mention a blessing. I started, "I'm blessed with. . ."

And Cami interrupted, "Such wonderful children."