Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shoes fit for a princess

I was spending some time perusing Etsy this evening, like I often do, coveting the beautiful things that talented folks have made and came across these simple and lovely shoes at the shop for The Generation.

I thought, "OMG!  These look like the shoes from The Dancing Princesses!"  The Dancing Princesses was my FAVORITE Faerie Tale Theatre movie.

After deciding this little discovery warranted a blog post, I started looking for Dancing Princesses pictures, like the one above, to complete the blog post experience. 

Then, I found this:

Ha!  Awesome, no?  :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Drake and Buddy

Followers of the blog are well aware of Buddy, B and I's four legged child. But you might not be fully aware of Drake. When I was in late middle school/early high school we adopted a white west highland terrier. The name Drake comes from a video game called Legend of Legaia which, at that time, was my favorite.

Drake now lives with my mom in Broken Arrow, OK, so I only get to see him once or twice a year. But before I left for college, Drake and I were inseparable. The phrase "man's best friend" was invented to describe Drake and I's friendship. This picture above is what Drake would look like, if we could keep his hair clean for longer than 2 minutes.

Drake doesn't shed, which is a good thing. But a corollary of not shedding is the same dirty hair stays attached the dog for eternity. Buddy's hair remains white as the driven snow, partially because he sheds an entire coats worth of hair in 24 hours. Fresh hair = clean hair = Buddy is always white = our couch is always covered in hair. Not Drake. As a result Drake leaves less hair in the house, but a more accurate name for his breed might be "off-white west highland terrier."

I brought my computer into the living room early this morning to work on my lesson plans* which turned into watching videos on Right now is a good time for this, as my Atlanta Falcons have a 12-2 record, only matched by the New England Patriots. If they can beat the Saints on Monday night and secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, they'll have a great chance of playing the big game in Arlington.

One of the things I love about the Falcons and their head coach, Mike Smith, is that are a balanced, intentional, and consistent football team. They do not have as many "big plays" as the Eagles, Patriots, or Chargers. There aren't as many spectacular highs during their games where they take a big chance and succeed! And there aren't as many lows where take a chance and fail. But they can pound the ball down your throat drive after drive after drive. After the first half of the Seahawks game, the Falcons had twice as many plays as Seattle! This is especially impressive considering the Seahawks started the first half with the ball!

I'm about to make a potentially absurd correlation between two distinct idea, but bear with me. Or stop reading, either way here I go:

The Falcons are a successful low-risk team and the Patriots are a successful high-risk team. If these two teams represent two philosophies of life, I would choose the Falcons over the Patriots. If the Falcons represent a life philosophy of measured, intentional, and (dare I say?) conservative living, then the Patriots represent more emotional, daring, and risky behavior. I'm averse to drastic fluctuations of emotions. Super highs following by crushing lows... That's probably why I was ready to move on from being a teenager by age 14. It's also probably why I get frustrated working with 14/15-year-olds. Their lives are the swings of a pendulum.

Recently I've spent alot of time thinking about my emotional life. In college I was described as "steady," "even keel," and "consistent." I interpreted these descriptions as very positive comments. Recently I've been described as reserved, distant, and difficult to relate to -- a decidedly negative spin. My behavior hasn't changed, I don't think. I'm not sure why the interpretation has changed. Possibly as my friends/community have changed their expectations for emotional depth and connection have changed. Also as my primary role/identity has changed the expectations for relational depth have changed as well.

No conclusions here, because I'm not sure how to think about all of this (Notice I didn't say how to "feel" about this). On the one hand I want to be a more emotional personal because I think it will help me to develop deeper connections with more people. However, I honestly find it difficult. Enter the Falcons/Patriots analogy. If the Falcons are going to win the big game, will they need to change their game plan and take risks down the field? Or if they stick to their strengths will they be more successful? My money is on sticking with what has worked in the past, both for the Falcons and myself.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Parenting Taboos

Since we're into truth telling around here, I thought this little presentation was fascinating for our child-bearing and non-child-bearing friends alike.

Parent friends, what do you think?

I remember before I got married I got so sad when I heard the "truths" about marriage, such as "you don't like each other ALL the time" and "the next 50 years aren't just like your first year of dating."  Well, maybe not for YOU...but we're different!

But, um, guess what?  We're unique just like everybody else.  I suppose our parenting life will be just as unique.

I really like their ideas about "collectively bending the baseline of happiness upward."  When you feel like the "failure" because your (and supposedly everyone's) expectations aren't met it is nearly impossible to feel happy or even content.  But adjust those expectations, not lower - just adjust, and your ability to "succeed" suddenly becomes significantly enhanced and you discover that nobody is succeeding at the mythical magical life that you imagine based on their Facebook profile, blog, Christmas letter, and general perfect exterior.

Then, whew, what a relief!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Poetic Justice & It's a Wonderful Life

My mom gets made fun of a lot for crying.  At everything.  Her sisters call her a crybaby.  She will correct you that she is not a crybaby, she is just tender hearted.  I made fun of her too, I will not lie.

Then on Saturday night we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV.  It's a good movie but you'll notice it didn't make my favorites list in the last post.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're all important, no life is a waste that touches some one else, blah, blah, blah.

But this year?  This year when Jimmy Stewart looked like this:

S and I?  We both looked like this:
 What is happening to us!?

Why this old thing?  This is what I wear when I don't care that I'm weeping like a baby.   

Sunday it snowed a little bit.  I cried.

Today I was listening to good ol' John Denver and the Muppets and I wept during this:

Okay, okay!  I'm sorry that I made fun of you, mom.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Traditions we can do without

Hey y'all.  What's up?  Been up to much lately?  Yeah, us neither.

You know how I post some of my crafty stuff on here and feel all proud of myself?  Um, there are about eleventy billion bloggers out there who post way cooler stuff than I do and with greater frequency.  But what is up with these people?  They make everything in their houses, they bake crazy amounts of deliciousness, they post on their blog, and they home school their kids.  Why do all of these crafty folk home school their kids?  What is going on with that?

I guess I'm feeling a little threatened.  And confused.

But on to other things: holiday traditions.  You know you have them, you know you love them (or hate them).  We tried to honor some folks we know by trying their family tradition on for size but, I hate to say, it did not work out.

Before I go on, let me share some of our (um, well, my) favorite Christmas movies.

 I love "The Snowman."  Sigh.  Let's all sing together....
"We're walking in the air, we're floating in the velvet sky,
we're walking in the air, we're walking in the air..."
Yeah, I have no idea what the words are either.

"White Christmas" - you are the best.

Um, duh.

How old does a movie have to be before it's a classic?  
I think "Elf" may have made it in record time.

Then I've had all these friends whose families EVERY SINGLE YEAR watch "Christmas Vacation" together.  As in, "it just doesn't feel like Christmas until we've watched Christmas Vacation!"  

Yes, that Christmas Vacation.  

So we gave it a try.  We Netflixed it, we settled in, and we only have one thing to say.


Nope, it's not making the B-S list of holiday traditions anytime soon (ever).  Doesn't that movie stress you out and make you sad about life?  I don't get it.

But if you do, I am happy for you.