all jazzed up for Spring

hello,

it’s been unseasonably cold here lately, as we’ve been lashed with seemingly non-stop rain and wind. last weekend, i got tired of waiting for Spring to get here, and decided to dress up our front door.

instead of spending $34 on a Springtime wreath, i made a quick stop to JoAnn Fabrics, where i picked up a plain grapevine wreath for $3.99, and two bunches of pink silk hydrangeas (normally $4.99, but 40% off). $9 later, after 20 minutes clipping and sticking and rearranging, our door was ready to be shown off!

after a long day of work, it’s so cheering to come home to a pretty door. silly, but true.

—-

in addition to prettifying things, i’ve been cleaning and organizing like a madwoman; my newest favorite things are large, stackable storage tubs. all of our winter clothes and blankets are now packed away, stacked in the closet; and i’ve also gone though my wardrobe and weeded out everything that no longer fit (thank you, 19-week belly!), or will no longer fit by the time it’s seasonable to wear them, and packed those away, too. my closet is looking quite sparse right now, as i’ve not done much shopping for maternity clothes; i’m growing quite rapidly now, feeling the baby move around every day, and definitely will not fit in the remaining clothes much longer – i think this calls for quite a shopping trip.

how are you heralding Spring? have you done any Spring cleaning?

welcome, spring!

it’s gorgeous here today, 66 degrees, sunny, and breezy. when we got home from work this afternoon (john from teaching, me from the office), we went for a stroll around the neighborhood, with our new camera, which had been waiting for us on the doorstep when we got home. i couldn’t believe how many beautiful sights we came across – and discovered just how much i love crocuses (croci?). also, i’m enjoying this camera so much!

tonight, we have the windows open, homemade pizza in the oven, lemonade popsicles in the freezer for later, and 2012 for fun. i hope you all have a lovely weekend!

weekend

due to our work schedules, john and i only have one weekend day together (he has saturday and sunday off; i have sunday and monday). we spend as much time together as possible on sundays, and try to plan something fun. this sunday was a lovely one! this morning, we slept in (which, in this case, was until 7am – don’t say we don’t know how to party!), had a leisurely breakfast, then went to town. we sold a few dvds to half-price books, and, due to the money we received from that + the 15% off coupon, only paid $5 for the stack of books we picked up! then on to whole foods – i especially adore the cheese + produce areas, everything is so gorgeous and beautifully arranged.

john had plans to stop for lunch at a tiny mediterranean diner we’d come across, but it was closed; and he then suddenly developed a craving for chinese food. the restaurant we found was housed in what looked like an old alpine lodge – as though the restaurant inside would serve fantastic breakfast foods, rather than egg foo young and crab rangoons!

after we got home, i baked a loaf of bread, we both read for a while, and have friends + their baby coming over to watch a movie with us. it’s always easier to face the week ahead when we have such a lovely day together.

p.s. we’re in the market to buy a new digital camera, and as of right now, i’m leaning toward this. criteria: more than 10 megapixels, good macro, quick shutter speed, reputable brand, under $200. thoughts?

changes

hello, March. a change of a season, and many changes occurring in our little house.

john is student teaching this semester, this close to finishing and being hire-able (oh, we hope)! our time here is drawing to a close, and it is bittersweet. on one hand, we knew when we moved here that it would be temporary, only while john was in school, but what we thought would be two years has somehow stretched into three. we’ll be moving out of this apartment three years to the day after we moved in as a brand-new married couple.

as of right now, we don’t know where we’ll be living after. john’s applying to schools all around the u.s., casting a large net and hoping that at least one school will be interested in hiring him. the most interesting location he’s applied to so far is in brattleboro, vermont, which we know and love, as we visited it during our vermont trip early last year.

wherever this journey takes us, however, wherever we end up, it won’t just be the two of us – we’re going to have a baby in august!

1+1=3?

we’re incredibly excited, and very, very happy (and i am hugely relieved to now be in the 2nd trimester – no more all-day nausea, and i’m getting some energy back!). i had an ultrasound a few weeks ago, and we got to see our little one squirming and kicking around; it was an absolutely amazing experience!

giving thanks

autumn muffin

thankful for
+ john
+ family
+ homemade food
+ the warmth of radiators
+ the scent of apple-cinnamon muffins
+ leftovers from a thanksgiving feast
+ film
+ visits from family for the holidays
+ friends & their babies
+ a warm, cozy home
+ beautiful books to read
+ books that make me think
+ a paycheck
+ toddler art, stuck to our refrigerator
+ the beauty of simplicity
+ dreams of the future

i hope you had a beautiful thanksgiving (or a beautiful weekend, for you non-american folks). what are you thankful for this holiday season?

pockets of peace

in the midst of a crazy day at work, i found myself in a coworker’s office to use his typewriter. he worked only a half-day today and left earlier, but the strands of christmas lights in his office were still lit – he decorated yesterday, eager to herald the season. as i passed through the door, i switched off the harsh fluorescent light overhead, typing instead by the twinkling light of the lights both on the tree and strung around the room; breathing deeply, taking myself back to the magical christmases of my childhood. i stole a moment for myself when i was finished with my task, to just sit there, taking it in the beauty, rather than jumping up and moving on. i felt my shoulders relax, my spine straighten, and knew that i could handle the next few hours of stress.

reminding myself how important it is to carve out + seek these pockets of peace within my days.

slowly

i don’t have a picture for today, but picture this: sitting at the table in the kitchen, tapping away at the laptop, late-afternoon light slanting through the windows. rows of plants lined up near the patio door, the rosemary still going strong, scenting the air and making our meals delicious. a large bouquet of beautiful yellow flowers + green ferns in a simple, clear vase, on an end table by the couch; they’re kept company by a couple white pumpkins and clear glass tealight holders. there’s an aloe plant in a terracotta pot on top of the refrigerator, happy to be mostly forgotten; a purple orchid + African violet stand next to each other on the deep living-room windowsill, seeking the sun. i love being surrounded by all this green, when everything outside seems to be sepia-toned.

the bunch of yellow flowers were free; the cafe (which occupies a corner of the building where i work) closes on the weekends, and as i was eating my lunch on friday, i noticed one of the workers had gathered up all the vases of flowers from the tables and was systematically lining them up on top of a trashcan, then dumping the flowers inside. oh! i rushed over and asked if i could rescue the flowers. she was bemused, but let me (and told me not to tell anyone – so, shh). walking to the car after work, mid-afternoon light on my face, several people smiled at me, and one man even stopped me as i passed the bench where he was sitting. “the sun is beautiful on those flowers,” he said, “what is the occasion?” i explained that i had rescued them from being thrown away, and he gave me a big smile. “congratulations!”

—-

i’ve been ill quite a bit the last two months; first with influenza, and the past week and a half with a crippling sinus infection. i’m on day three of antibiotics (huge, chalky-white pills that i have to take twice a day), and this is the first afternoon in quite a long time that i’ve felt a bit like myself. i’ve been busy as a bee today, cleaning, scrubbing, doing laundry, and preparing for the winter + my parents’ visit. our freezer is full of various preserves and frozen foods, the guest room is being organized, and i’m slowly gathering gifts for my family.

i’ve been completely immersed in ideas lately, changes i want to make in our life, things i want to do in the future. a blog that has me entranced is riana’s these days in french life, along with her food blog, garlic breath. she, her husband, and young daughter live in a old stone house in france, which they are fixing up themselves, using age-old methods. they’re living a slow year, slow life, keeping spending to a minimum, foraging + preserving, and exchanging for things they really need. it’s so refreshing, and something i wish to do in the future (and oh – if only our future could include a stone house in france!)

but for now, i have to take care of the laundry.

i hope this finds you well.


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