Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Us:

Us:

Thursday, January 29

Update: Reached My Goal, and I Feel GOOOOD!

Remember this? (I'll keep the photo smallish, so as not to scare you any longer with that horrifying pile of CLUTTER!)


Well lookie here!!

Except.... this is just the ALMOST DONE phase...

How many of you work on projects like this-- ordering, organizing, tidying.... Only to end up with a whole NEW pile of clutter, reshuffled? Like as in here, on my bed, on the other side of the room?

Yikes. I got the desk in order... only to be left with all of this....EXTRA stuff. Ha! It never ends! And now there is no place to sleep!

So back to the piles I went, finding MORE ways to sort and reshuffle and toss and store.... And got my bed down to THIS, finally:

Much better! Manageable, even. Just this box--- destined to be shipped to a dear friend. (Does that dear friend recognize the content and know it is coming? Hmm???)

... and these. Just three remaining piles.
Left to right: 1.) a picture frame I painted red, but still needs to be varnished. Easy. Just gotta DO it. 2.) a dollar store red bulletin board. I want to put some other Noah stuff on there, including his name, to hang in his room... 3.) red box lid with stuff I do not need/want... but is nice still. So Goodwill? We'll see.


And that brings us to THIS:

The REAL final desk... a bit more stuff back on it after the bed purge... But this is more realistic. Fabric organized into bags beneath (not a pretty solution, but it works.)... A tray on the left with more urgent to-do projects... a "joy jar" from my beloved ELW'ers (see the orange and purple flowers in the center? That's my jar of thoughtful quotes and notes from my girls. THANK YOU, girls!!) and then the necessary files and piles and boxes and books that hold treasures and necessities... A MUCH more manageable desk, wouldn't you say??

And speaking of treasures---I found THIS--- a little bundle of joy I purchased on Etsy months ago, but quickly lost in shuffle:

They are packets of vintage ephemera (oh I am a sucker for ephemera!!!) The back packet is childrens' things, and the front packet is in my favorite colors, red and turquoise, and has flashcards, labels, etc. etc. And buttons! And Baker's Twine! Divine!!

(Go to Lilypad Lounge on Etsy to buy your own treasure bundles...Just because. It's such happy stuff!)

and lastly, I rediscovered this:

a gift, but one that never made it onto my baby... And actually, it wasn't made FOR Noah-- It was regifted to me, and while I adore it, I am thinking someone somewhere has the PERFECT home for it... Someone who can actually USE it?? (It would fit 3-6 months, probably.) Leave me a comment if you adore it and have to have it... If I get a crazy response, I'll draw a name. But if only one person really even wants it, it is yours.

Anyway. That was a sidetrack.

The point is, I REACHED MY GOAL. I loved having two hours to myself in the sunny morning when I am the most motivated... Thank you Joe. Thank you Noah. I found a little chi in that pile!!

This is My Goal Today:



Yikes. Seriously.

Joe has Noah and they have gone to play at the Science Center, so I am on my own with my Wintry Mix CD blaring and I have a job to do. If all goes well, I'll be back later tonight to update this frightening post with a new, better, TIDIER photo.

Cross your fingers.


And toes.

I'm out.

Monday, January 26

My Bessie's Wedding (Warning: Photo Overload!)

Genny is my best friend from high school-- a staple in my life and one of my happy thoughts. So of COURSE when she got engaged to be married in October 2008, I jumped at the chance to take her photos... and help design her invites... oh, and make her wedding cupcakes. Why not? I'm her best friend, right??

So without too much judging of the fact that it is currently January, and these photos are from October, sit back and enjoy the highlights of this gorgeous day with my gorgeous bessie and the love of her life... A day I am deeply joyful that I got to be a part of:

{they got married in this old schoolhouse in the middle of a garden. It was the most perfect, charming setting...}

{Lily, Genny's sweet sister-- she did Gen's gorgeous hair and makeup...}
{Gen's family is so dear to me. I adore these photos of them!!!}

{My mom and sister provided the music. Aren't they beautiful?}
{inside the schoolhouse. Do you spy a Joe and a Noah?}

{my cupcake contribution. I agonized over these, and without the help of my sister and mom, they would NOT have gotten done in time!}
{the wedding begins}


{Gen's two brothers sang "When I'm 64" by the Beatles as the closing song... Charming!}

{after the wedding, we had time for more photos... first, the friends. Ahem, ME. :) }
{thanks, Joe, for being the trusty camera handler when I want to be in the shot!}

{This one has our other bessie from high school, Sarah. Sarah, you were irreplaceable that day!!}
{and a few more of the newlyweds:}



To conclude, I wanted to show two more fun ones, these from the following week, pre-reception. Genny and Neil are not your conventional folk, and their wedding gifts to each other were not conventional either. They gave each other these slate grey Doc Marten boots... So fun! So instead of the traditional "ring shot", we decided to try for a more clever take... What do you think??

And the last shot-- with their feet still in the air, here is the happy pair...

Here's to a long, love-filled life, my beautiful Genevieve. You are a joy in my life and these photos bring me deep satisfaction.

Love ya!

Wednesday, January 21

What Are YOU Reading?

Books are such a fundamental part of my life that it THRILLS me to see my son enjoy them so much already. He can sit for long stretches of time and flip through pages and pages of a pile of books. He is really good to the pages, too-- he doesn't have to stick with board books. It warms my heart every time he brings a book to me after having sat on a pile of them and browsed for ages. It is clear to me that after enjoying the books his own way, one of them will strike his particular fancy at that moment, and he'll NEED me to do it justice by actually reading it to him.
I love that.

*

It's funny, but for all the reading we do in this house these days, my own personal reading has definitely suffered. I mean, of course it has, right?? Chasing after a kid during the day, editing photos and crafting by night? Doesn't leave much decadent time for lounging with a book. And yet, I still think I can manage... So I start books... And they end up on my nightstand. Waiting for me to come back.

And sometimes I do.... but more often than not? I crash into bed at the end of the day and immediately fall asleep.

So for now-- I'll enjoy the reading I do with Noah. and I'll attempt a chapter or two of the books on my nightstand... And one day I'll get back to devouring my own pile of books the way Noah does.

*

For fun, here's my nightstand stack (tidied up for your viewing pleasure:)


And up close:

Now your turn--

What's on YOUR nightstand? Either list stuff in the comments, or take your own photo and blog it... Then tell me about your blog post in the comments...

(And it doesn't have to just be books! If you see in the lower right corner of the first pic, I also have my cell phone and a pen... And if your nightstand is just tissues and cough drops, well, that's okay, too! Share!)

Anyway... Something to do, right??

*

Friday, January 16

My Day, These Days:


My day, these days consists of:

* trying to "sleep in" as long as possible, while Noah chatters in his crib contentedly. What DOES he talk about in there? I wish I knew. I truly, deeply do.

* zucchini/carrot/pineapple wheat muffin for Noah's breakfast... Along with milk and maybe a few other treats... While I drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast or eat a bowl of cereal... do some dishes...

* lounging in the living room until Noah's naptime... Him playing with toys, exploring, bringing books for me to read, while I read/handsew/dash to the computer to catch a few moments before he comes inquiring as to my whereabouts...

* maybe some laundry... maybe some other task or chore... Always in PJ's, both of us.

* sometimes (more often, lately) some window gazing... "Look at the trees, Noah!" (insert sign for "tree")... "Look, a bird!" (insert sign)... "Do you see the wind?" (sound effects)...


* the morning stretch is usually short... Noah wakes at about 7:30, chatters until 8:00, eats breakfast at about 8:30... and then by 9:30 or 10 he is ready to go down for his nap.

*Naps are mostly successful... and Noah takes about 30 minutes to chatter himself to sleep, and then naps for an hour and a half.

* I....

1. get on the computer... check in with my mama group (hi, girls!), Facebook, Twitter, email...
2. pick up the morning mess in the living room
3. putter. craft. sometimes shower.
4. get back on the computer and "hang out" some more.
5. ~or~ nap.


* for months, Noah's naps have been 1.5 hours, like CLOCKWORK. Except recently, he's snuck in a few longer naps... VERY unpredictable. Like today? I puttered for an hour of his nap, then decided to lay down for a teensy 30-minute nap of my own. NINETY minutes later, he finally woke from a two-and-a-half hour nap. Yum!! Thank you, Noah!

* that kind of surprise makes up for all the times I've planned to nap when he naps, only to have him wake after only 45 minutes. Hate that.

* three or four of my days have Joe added into the mix-- him sleeping off his work shift or having a rare day off.

* when Joe sleeps, I try to keep my music turned down. But I still play it. I'd rather have music noise than TV noise any day.

* after naptime is lunch... Trying to find something that has veggies for Noah that he will actually eat... trying to remember to eat something myself...

* I am currently training myself away from my Mountain Dew cravings by drinking the sugar-free sparkling lime soda water from Aldi. It is yummmm.

* in between getting Noah from his crib and putting him in his high chair, I wrangle a few snuggles and smooches from him. This kid is NOT affectionate. But I make do. :)

* post lunch, I try to get out on a "field trip" of some sort... Either a necessary errand (Walmart, groceries, post office, fabric store, bank, etc. etc.) or a play outing (library, science center, mall, etc.)

* oh yes-- by this time, Noah and I are suitably dressed in daytime clothing.

* depending on Noah's first nap, there might be a second nap. there might not be. I am so easy about it these days.



* if Joe has been sleeping, he wakes about 3:30 pm and gives me a mini-break... I can:
1. nap ~or~
2. play on the computer ~or~
3. get out and do something fun for me (i.e. craft stores, etc.) ~or~
4. run errands ~or~
5. just sit in the living room with both my boys and relax while they play and catch up together.

* sometimes we play in Noah's room instead of the living room. It's a small apartment.

* dinner is at 5:30... Bath at 6:00... bedtime at 6:30....All usually with Joe around, so it is a warm, cozy, quiet family ritual.

* post bedtime can find me:
1. sewing ~or~
2. wasting time on the computer ~or~
3. doing something for the business-- emails, packages, website work, etc. etc. ~or~
4. editing the small load of photos I have these days (such a difference from the hectic autumn! It's been a nice break, but I am getting more inefficient as I get out of practice of working hard!) ~or~
5. lazing on the futon, watching a movie... perhaps handsewing ~or~
6. cleaning up the house from the day ~or~
7. on the phone with a friend or loved one


* and at the end of my day, I am curled in bed, either playing solitaire on my cell phone or reading "Little Women" or reading one of my mom's journals I just borrowed... And drifting off.

* also at the end of the day, I am trying NOT to beat myself up for the million other things that are always LOOMING, waiting, undone, half-done... put off... And trying to be grateful for every moment I have.

*

It is a quiet time of year-- cold, silent, still... It's easy to feel STUCK, stuck creatively, stuck inside, stuck with no new adventures ahead...

But it is also a time for routine, for ritual, and for slowing down a little after the hectic holidays and before the warm weather. Time to give myself permission to let go a little... to let myself nap instead of work (did you see that theme recurring? It's been a recent luxury, and not something I got to do much this autumn!). To let the mess stay there a little while. To stop worrying and just get on the floor and laugh with the wonder-filled little man in my life.

This is my day. Nearly every single day right now.

And it is good enough.

*
*photos from a few days ago... Noah LOVES the music player on my cell phone, and if I lock my keypad, he can hold it and enjoy the music for LONG stretches. Here, he is perched, in his jammies, on the ottoman beneath a window where he can gaze out at the neighborhood beneath him. I LOVE this kid. Love his expressions, his jabber, his laugh... My life ain't glam, but it is deeply, richly satisfying most of the time.

Thursday, January 15

Winner, winner!!

We have a Monkey Winner!!
Here, the big bowl o' entries (thirty total, wowza, folks!):


And.......


(I made the lil' sign after drawing your name Judie. It would have been silly if your name was that big in the first place, because then of COURSE you would've been chosen, right? Haha!)


But since I am making this whimsical, random fun CD to go with the monkey, and CDs are easy to replicate, I thought I'd go ahead and draw a second name (seems a shame to let all those scraps of paper go to waste after writing and cutting all of them!) and that person can have a copy of the CD. Fun times!


So Judie and Andrea, I think I already have your mailing addys, so look for a treat in the mail someday. Perhaps by the end of this week, even!

*

Thanks, all of you, for such a sweet response to my crafties. I am still such a rookie at the sewing thing that I am really really tickled at my own results, and flattered at your attention...

Now if I could only whittle that sewing time down from, oh, about 10 hours for that bag to something more REASONABLE, I could even ponder making them to sell! but until I get more skilled or efficient, I'm afraid that's not gonna be so easy for me. Oh well... I'm a hack, what can I say?

Happy Thursday, all!