I'm thinking about making a list of all the things I should be doing right now... but let's have some fun and talk about my European adventure.
These photos are not in any kind of order because I'm too lazy to rearrange them. Confounded blogger interface!
The above loveliness is Vienna. ahhh Vienna. We were fortunate enough to spend a few extra days in Vienna courtesy of the Austrian Airlines. More on that later.
This is Gluwein. Mulled wine. Ymmm. I also had a variety of "punshes", orange, amaretto - delicious! I also had the best hot cocoa ever in Nuremberg. These saved me from certain hypothermia.
I was fascinated by the summer houses tucked at the edge of towns, near the train tracks. The little houses are so charming and the yards and gardens look interesting. I need to do some looking around on flickr to find about more about these little areas.
This was another love, the apfel (apple) pretzel.
Cute stuff in the Christmas markets.
Expensive stuff in the Christmas markets. These are little stuffed hearts. The small is 4.90 Euro, or around $8. That's crazy.
Love. Love. Love.
Digging the tiny cars.
No matter what country we were in, when you mention that you are from Tennessee there are two things people say: Jack Daniels and Elvis Presley.
This is coke mixed with JD in a can. You could drink one of these for breakfast and no one would bat and eye, 'cept for the uptight 'merican tourists.
The night we arrived in Prague we got lost. Seriously lost and unable to figure out where we were. I mean, where-in-the-world-are-we lost. We got off the train too soon. I smelled cow manure. Gina couldn't read the signs. We didn't have any of Czech crowns.
I think I had a panic attack.
We had a very expensive cab ride from a man listening to Al Jazeera (what if he hates Americans).
We arrived safely, the cab driver was a gentleman and was extremely patient while we changed our money.
We had a delicious dinner.
Then it started snowing.
We walked across the Saint Charles bridge.
I was in love with Prague.
Prague sucks you in. Well, literally, you can't find your way out but it is beautiful everywhere you look.
This was right in front of us... these nice men just asked us to wait a moment and out stepped the Czech prime minister! He got in the car and sped away before I could nab a photo of him or ask a few questions.
It was a long trip, 12 days. Our flight out of Vienna was canceled due to all of the snow at the D.C. airport so we had and extended stay in Vienna which we packed with museums and churches and wearing some really, really dirty clothes. Our return trip via the Polish airlines was long and interesting. The Polish people are a very active sort of people. I have NEVER seen a plane board and disembark so smoothly and quickly. I have never been on a 9 hour flight where most of the people were standing or walking around during the flight... or helping themselves to the beverages in the flight attendant kitchen. Thankfully we got home with the only major glitch being that Gina had a box of pretzels checked for being explosives. Really, on the tiny flight to Knoxville. (I think the guy just wanted to eat them)
Anna has let me know that she doesn't want me to be gone for "lots and lots of days" again. Christmas was a blur, probably because to me it was all happening way too close to my European bedtime. The girls are happy and well, that's all that matters.
For the last month I have been praying with my girls for a miracle for our friend Jennifer. Just the other day Anna asked why we weren't praying for a miracle anymore. That's a hard one to answer.
I believe that miracles do happen.
We just celebrated a miracle.
3 years ago:
Our little Lucy just 2lbs 8 oz.
Doing the kangaroo care. Skin to skin contact helps the baby grow. Keeping all those wires connected and trying to keep from flashing everyone in the NICU was a little tricky.
Anna and Paps looking at the Christmas tree, we didn't have one that year. I'm so thankful for Nan and Paps. What would we have done without their help?
Indeed our little Lu came home and after a few minor trials, she's normal. Never underestimate the miracle of normal.
Oh, some of you remember the agonizing over breast milk and my brutal pumping schedule. In the end I had this much left over. A full garbage can - oh and I think my parents had ( or do they still have it? ewww) just as much in their freezer. That is a miracle too.
Oh Lucy, how we love you! I never forget how blessed I am to have you.
Sorry to leave you all hanging, wanting more, more, more exciting photos of junk food and ironing boards.
Let see, where was I? Oh yeah, the exorcism by Lysol did not get rid of the vomiting demon. It hit us all. Lucy ended up with pneumonia. We are all fine now, though a few pounds lighter.
Is it really December 3rd? In 8 short days I leave for my European world tour. Really, what am I thinking? I have so much to do before then: Teacher gifts? Gifts for people who don't want some sort of handmade goodness from a Christkindle market?
What am I doing? Oh obsessing over making my own luggage tags. Gee, I have a problem PEOPLE!
I am purposefully throwing myself at a number of projects to keep my mind of the recent death of a dear friend. Tonight is her funeral and every time I think about her I have that real pain in my chest.
As a gift to her, I was asked to paint this painting with words that describe her. The words were all given to me from the people in our Sunday school class. Really, the words make it. Don't you think? It was so therapeutic - and painful - to paint this for her but I'm so glad that I did, she passed away just a week later. And yes, she truly embodies all of those words a phrases.
That girl was amazing.
So you see, my hands and heart and head have been full and my blog has been empty.
I overheard Anna telling Lucy just how that baby got in Aunt Sara's tummy.
Anna: First, you get married. Then you decide to have a baby so you go to the doctor and he says "Say AAAAAH" and he puts a tiny, tiny, tiny baby, one so small you can't see it, down your throat and he says "looks good" "all done". Then the baby comes out (she was a little vague here) and THERE YOU GO.
Some good mispronunciations of words in songs:
Lucy in Holy, Holy, Holy thinks it says : Lord God and Mattie. (Mattie is her friend from preschool)
Anna from Amazing Grace: That saved a witch like me.
What a blessing to hear them sing the whole hymn though.
We are in serious coloring mode here. Stacks and stacks and stacks and stacks of coloring sheets. this is maybe two days worth.
Anna's is on the left and Lucy's is on the right. You will see at the top of Lucy's that she's trying so hard to write her name. Smart girl. Anna helped me carve pumpkins but this pumpkin resisted. It had such a tiny cavity that carving was futile. Anna decorated it and wrote H H for Happy Halloween!
We are making the most of it. Outside, pumpkin patching, leaf jumping, fishing, biking, leaf collecting -
This past Sunday Anna had her first experience singing in front of the Church. She and the other boys and girls did great. Too bad her Momma is too lazy to learn how to work the camera in low light and this is the best shot I got of her and it's in the car on the way home.
We had a fun time at our neighbor's birthday party and I made her this birthday crown. Directions would have been nice, but it turned out cute.
Isn't it fun to reconnect with old friends? I recently talked with one of my favorite people from college, well she's one of my favorite people period. We went to college together and oddly enough her nephew and my niece are friends at the same college. Ah facebook what would we do without you? Jenny was, hands down, one of the most hilarious people I had ever met. Just thinking back to things that she used to say and do still makes me laugh today.
Here is a photo from a sorority party in 1987
That's me and Jenny on the back row. Jenny's date has his hands up where you can see them. No funny business! Those dresses can only be described as frocks.
The dress I was wearing:
My Mom made this dress because we couldn't afford a *real* Laura Ashley dress. I joke that some Moms put their daughters on the pill, mine just dressed me like a Quaker.
I have no photos to prove this but I'm sure that I had on off white hose and bone-colored pumps. And I GOT DOWN to salt-n-pepa (or something) in that dress. And I thought I was hot!
Here is what I wore to another fraternity party:
Clearly, I had nothing to hide under the yards and yards of polished cotton! I think I am wearing banana earrings and my date may have on pastel flowered jams.
I haven't been to a concert, a stadium concert in a very, very long time. I do recall saying that the only band I would brave a huge venue for would be U2.
I was too chicken to schlep the SLR with me since we were on the floor. I have mixed feelings about that decision. I was shocked by how everyone held up a "device" as soon as the band came on stage. Everyone around me was looking at their 2 x 2 inch screens and not at the awesomeness in front of them. So sad really. (or is it sad that I was watching them, watch their I phones?)
My pal Jeff made these photos with his little point and shoot. We were soooooo close. I could see Bono's lifts. Love him.
What would I have made pictures of? The absolutely ridiculous footwear worn by some women at this concert.
On the craftacular front I made a new tote bag for my things for my drawing class, and of course a pencil holder.
time spent on tote and pencil wrap: 3 hours time spend actually drawing: 0 hours
Since I had all that Ikea fabric out and I was on a roll, I whipped up another bucket to make as a gift. I love those two fabrics together but those little black and white lines made me go crosseyed at times.
Coming back to earth now. That concert blew my mind a little.
E-mail, comment or facebook me and I will make an entire post dedicated to the topic of your choice.
So, Amy and I had a discussion today about our crafting/sewing spaces and how we need lots of room and we are, well, messy. I know that others must have problems keeping their hobbies orderly when not in use. My problem is that I have so many "thing-babies". There's the painting: easel (s), paint, brushes, gesso, gac of all sorts. The other passing fancies such as calligrapy, jewelry making and origami. Then there is a whole bunch of watercolor paints, THOSE brushes, pastels, mixing wells, sketchbooks, pencils and a mat cutter. Geez. Oh, and the box under the bed full of paper? eek.
So, here's some photos of the spaces that are taken up with my junk. This looks quaint enough, but upon closer inspection, it's a wreck. I used the surface of this poor table as my cutting mat for 20 years. This is also the repository for anything that needs to be out of little hands.
I just realized that I didn't upload a photo of the dining room table covered in fabric. Shut your eyes and imagine...
This is actually great storage for fabric etc. Yes, I am in the living room. My paraphernalia is hidden in just about every room of the house.
Now, let's end on a happy note of successful organization shall we?
I made this little book to hold all those on-line patterns and tutorial. Just a notebook with clear page protectors. I even cut out newspaper patterns because apparently I can't cut fabric straight without some help. This little pattern book was inspired by the now famous, recipe book.
How many things will my kids eat out of all these delicious recipes? (Crying softly to herself again) not many.
The OCD comes naturally. While I'm making these photos my girl is outside doing this: