Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a fantastic day. It was just the four of us this year as we opted not to travel, but we had a really good time.

Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing weekend!☺

Thursday, November 28, 2013

On this day of thanks...

Image courtesy of Michael & Christa,

I want to say I'm grateful for all of you. Thanks for reading and commenting and being such wonderful blogging friends. Wishing you all a beautiful Thursday—and to all my fellow Americans, Happy Thanksgiving! ☺

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
     ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm weak...

Image courtesy of Ramon Gonzalez,
at least when it comes to having to know my new baby's gender. ☺

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

You might remember that I had an ultrasound a little over a week ago. My husband and I weren't sure we wanted to know the baby's gender, so we asked the technician to write "boy" or "girl" on a piece of paper and seal that paper in an envelope. We (well, I should say I) didn't intend to open it. We (I) thought it would be nice to be surprised at the birth. Well, guess what? After a lot of pressure (mostly from our other two kids), I opened the envelope.

Do you want to know?

Here's what the paper said:




 Yes, we're having our second girl! Our four-year-old daughter is over the moon—and our six-year-old son is okay with it, too. I feel so blessed to be adding to our family. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—and every day!

I'm glad I could share this news with friends like you. Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday. ☺

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Today's inspiration comes from a segment that CBS News calls "On the Road."  Ever since I saw this video last week, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. In it, journalist Steve Hartman profiles Richard Renaldi, a New York photographer who stops people on the street—people who are strangers to each other—and asks them to pose as though they were friends, family, or even couples. What Hartman discovers about human nature is remarkable and inspiring. Enjoy!


What do you think about Renaldi's project?

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week and have some fun plans for the weekend.

You might recall my baby update from last Friday's post. Well, there have been some developments on that, and I'll have an update soon. Stay tuned...

I hope you enjoy this week's funny pictures and videos. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Let it pour from your soul

Image courtesy of Marja Flick-Buijs,
Happy Thursday!

I've been rereading one of my favorite books—Ted Kooser's The Poetry Home Repair Manual—and this week I came across a passage that I think will resonate with all creative people. Kooser talks about how the form a poem takes doesn't matter as much as what it says, and he quotes a passage from Anton Chekhov's The Seagull to illustrate his point:

"I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that it's a matter not of old forms and not of new forms, but that a man writes, not thinking at all of what form to choose, writes because it comes pouring out from his soul."

I find this liberating. Just think: It doesn't matter what form our creativity takes; we don't need to shoehorn ourselves into a particular style. We should write (or sing or paint or draw or act or knit...) simply because we love to do it. We should unleash our creativity in whatever form it takes—whatever rules we choose to follow or break. Our work will speak for itself.

What do you think of Chekhov's quote? What's your creaitve outlet, and what are you doing today to follow your passion?

Wishing you all a creative—and wonderful—Thursday. ☺

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"A melon strolling on two tendrils"*

Happy Tuesday!

I came across this Sylvia Plath poem last week, and I just had to share. I think any woman who has been pregnant can empathize with the speaker here. I know I can. It's not necessarily a very happy or positive poem, but some of Plath's metaphors—like the one I used to title this post—make me smile. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday. ☺

(*From "Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

Today I'm once again finding inspiration in animated poetry, specifically this one by American poet Edward Hirsch. If you've ever fallen in love with libraries and books, I think you'll really enjoy this short poem.

(Read by Edward Hirsch. Animation by Tommy Simms.)

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday fun (and a baby update!)

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was really good—especially yesterday, when I had my nineteen-week ultrasound. It was so wonderful to see the baby again! I don't know the gender, but just a few feet away from where I sit right now is an envelope with either "boy" or "girl" written on a piece of paper inside of it. I've been saying all along that I want to let the gender of this baby be a surprise, but I can feel myself weakening a little now. I.don't know when (or if) we'll open the envelope, but I'll be sure to let you all know one way or the other. I'm curious: What would you do?

Now on to the Friday fun. I hope these signs and video bring you some smiles. ☺

And since I have babies on the brain, I couldn't help but post this hilarious video:

Wishing you all a fantastic Friday. ☺

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday tunes

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Let's talk music! Have you ever woken up with a song running through your mind? I woke up this morning thinking about Johnny Cash's version of "Delia's Gone." I adore this folk ballad, which I think is a great example of narrative. The video is really well done, too. Just take a look at Cash's face; you can clearly see his regret as he recounts the tale of Delia's death.

What song is on your mind today?

Wishing you all a fantastic (and musical!) Tuesday. ☺

Monday, November 11, 2013

Giving thanks

Image courtesy of Robert Linder,

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who serve or have served in our military. I'm grateful for all you've done.

Happy Veterans Day!

Wishing you all a wonderful Monday. ☺

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

Today's inspiration is both artistic and thought-provoking. It features performance artist Jillian Mayer as she chases projected images of screensavers with idyllic scenes. Mayer says on her Web site that these sorts of images are created by design programs to be more attractive so that they appeal to our primal desire to be outside rather than in front of a computer or in urban landscapes, which often aren't the most aesthetically pleasing. The film shows that "even if Mayer were to ever catch up with her object of desire, she will find it never existed in the first place... She has been chasing the unattainable."

This is an inspiring piece that has been screened at the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Berlin, Bilbao, and Venice, among other places. I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. ☺

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday yeas and nays

Beautiful fall!
Happy Thursday, friends.

Thursday always feels like a wild card day to me. It's one of the two days each week when my daughter doesn't go to preschool, and it's also different from most of the other days because I don't have a set schedule to follow. It's almost a free day! As I was thinking about the things I need/want to get done today, I came up with this list of yeas and nays—and I learned that I can always find a lot of good if I take the time to look for it: ☺

Project Runway All-Stars is on tonight. Yea!

♥ I'm way behind on my NaNoWriMo project, but I'm still plodding along. Yea!

♥ I have to write the store list for our weekly grocery shopping trip. Nay.

♥ My daughter and I are going to the library today. Yea!

♥ Yesterday's weather was beautiful, so I took the kids outside to play after school. Today, however, it's gray and rainy—not an outdoor playday at all. Nay.

♥ On the other hand, back home they already have snow, so I guess a little rain is just fine—and the leaves are still pretty. Yea!

♥ I'm almost finished with the book I'm reading, so soon I'll be able to move on to one I've been waiting to read for a while, Ted Kooser's Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems. Yea!

We can find them if we look: rainbows and silver linings!
♥ Since I cooked so much this week and have tons of leftovers, I don't have to make dinner tonight. Yea!

♥ Mount Laundry is waiting for me downstairs. Nay.

♥ Today is a new day to get things right. Yea!

How about you? What are your Thursday yeas and nays?

Wishing you all a wonderful day. ☺

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ah, nostalgia!

Happy Tuesday. ☺

It's crazy how fast the leaves turn color in the fall! Last week, our maple tree had a ton of green leaves; this week, they're all gorgeous shades of burnished red and gleaming gold. Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. There's just something about it makes me feel so nostalgic.

And speaking of nostalgia, this animation created by filmmaker Andrea Dorfman really takes me back to those halcyon days of first love. It features a sweet song that Dorfman's boyfriend, Dave Hayden, wrote and recorded for her one year as a birthday present. To me, this video exemplifies what this season of reminiscence and wistfulness is all about. I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you all a beautiful and memorable Tuesday. ☺

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

Today's inspiration comes from artist Scott Wade, who creates what he calls "dirty car art." Wade doesn't merely write "wash me" in the dirt; instead, he creates intricate, detailed, and quite beautiful designs, as you can see in the following video. You can find out more about Wade and his work at his Web site, found here. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. The rain managed to hold off here, and the kids had a great time. ☺

Unfortunately, I was too tired last night to do any work on my NaNoWriMo project. I have a lot of writing to do today in order to reach my daily goal, but I'm pretty optimistic that I'll make it.

So how was your Halloween? And for those of you doing NaNo, how's it going so far? Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

I've fallen in love with these Cat Week videos from The Ellen Degeneres Show. I dare you not to smile!