Hatful invention

Miss Lu, running around with the rice basket on her head while Mr. Nick and I tried to cook dinner (ok, it was all Mr. Nick that night with regards to the cooking—sticky rice, peanut sauce, and spicy chicken strips. Mmmm....)

Her silliness knows no bounds.


Be prepared

Every time we fly, Lucy "reads" the airplane info card. Quite thoroughly.


My momentary faves

Thinking about Lucy's faves made me think about my favorite things (well, at least the things that have caught me eye during the past week). Here's my random roundup:

1. Helvetica Cookie Cutters
(image via Beverly Hsu)
When these are actually produced, they are coming home with me.

2. Books with clever jackets and integrated bookmarks. Someone had a lot of fun designing these!

(image via fubiz)

3. Giant earth art by Jim Denevan.
(image via Jim Denevan's site, which is very fun to explore)

4. Crayola crayon chronology.

(image via Weather Sealed)

5. My discovery of Bon Iver, thanks to cJane. This video makes me happy.

Ok, so I didn't make it ten (aren't you glad?), but five faves is pretty good. Admit it, something in this post made you smile ... come on ... you know it did ... :)

Faves at Four (and a half)

This is Miss Lu eating her raspberry yogurt. There are few things this four year old loves more than yogurt at the moment. Although, obviously, princess dresses are pretty high up there too. As are headbands, which she has renamed "crowns." 

Lucy's Top Ten (January 2010 edition)
1. "I like to eat vegetables like strawberries"
2. "Tom and Jerry"
3. "I like to sing this: 'Lullaby, lullaby, lullaby, rock a fruit, lullaby ..."
4. "My puppy" (it's a toy)
5. "Bananas"
6. "My sparkly Sunday dress with flowers"
7. "And I like to draw you and me sitting by each other in sun"
8. "My friend Grace"
9. "I like to dance rainbows"
10. "Duh! I like to go to South America!"


Diner Dinner

This is the handsome Mr. Nick and I (yes, I know I'm lucky!):

This week he took our little family out to dinner at a '50s diner to celebrate some good stuff.

We ate yummy food, watched America's Funniest Home Videos on the big screen, and laughed at Lucy's antics. I don't write about him a lot, but that doesn't mean I don't like him.

In fact, I love him.

And I'm proud of him.

Oh dear ... just what I wanted

It appears that the rumors were right. I'm fairly optimistic about the device (as in, if I could justify it, I'd sign up to buy one right now). It seems to fill in the gaps that have kept me from looking seriously at the iPod touch. I need to look at the specs more closely, but first impression = hello gorgeous :)


Vesper Love

Dr. Sondrup called me today and gave me a gift. For no particular reason. And I am thrilled! I know it's a bit funny to get so excited over a font, but, well, I am. Someday when you're all enlightened you too will find joy in new typefaces.


Fresh Feeling

Scene: Driving to the Alexander's for dinner and FHE.

Mom: "Lucy, are you endearing?"

Lucy: "No, I'm freshhhh!"

Mom: "Ah ..." [breaks into uncontrollable laughter, thereby ensuring that Lucy will now introduce herself by saying 'Hi, I'm fresh!' for at least three more days]

("Fresh" Lu at Wheeler Farm, May 2009)

The type psychologist was right

In an effort to take a break (also known as procrastinating) from my editorial duties of late, I decided to take Pentagram's interactive type quiz (password: character).

Apparently, I'm emotional, understated, progressive, and disciplined. My typeface? Archer Hairline:

(image via thedonutproject, which I just spent ten minutes browsing and have now added to my bookmarks for future procrastinating efforts)

The doc was right: I love it. And the rest of the family too.


I really like this idea for a calendar (it even has the moon cycles!) ... but I'd go with different colors.

(image from ghin)


yes please

Why yes, Mr. Nick, you're correct: I would absolutely love one of these for Valentine's Day. How did you ever know?

Font #2 please.

wood + concrete

Part of me wants to live here.

(image from parliament via design*sponge)

This is what my Saturday looks like

(wordle from the text I'm editing today; click to enlarge)

Flights of fancy

Friday found Miss Lu and I cleaning house. I won't go into the gory details, but it involved a veritable tribe of dustbunnies along with several hours worth of '80s pop covers playing in the background to keep us moving. 

Somewhere along the way I remembered wanting to make Miss Lu a costume rack for her evolving performance space in the playroom. I hunted around a bit, found a set of mismatched wall hooks, and voila! Instant princess paradise.

Miss Lu was so excited she spent the rest of the day as Cinderella.

Snow day

This Thursday the lab closed at 2 pm. Which meant that Mr. Nick and Miss Lu were able to build a sizeable snowman before dinner. She was thrilled.

He looks pretty happy about the whole thing too.


Keep out

Mom and Dad have officially been told to Keep Out. Miss Lu made the sign. She's very proud of it and posts it wherever she happens to be playing.

Personally, I was impressed with her ability to represent "Keep Out" without being able to actually write the words. As she put it, "Mommy and Daddy are sad because they're out; Lucy's happy because she's in." I think I'm filing this under "cute for now" ...

(Black and white makes it easier to read)

A new grin

Lucy's developed a new grin. It's kind of a bare-your-teeth-while-saying-grrr / wrinkle-your-eyes-up-tight giggling grin. She thinks it's hilarious. I caught her snuggled up on my bed, hiding from me. When I pulled back the blanket, I was met with The Grin.

3 Questions

I have been asked 3 questions in 3 days about this purse. Where did I buy it, where did I get it, and how much was it. 

I made it out of an old men's sweater I found at DI. I felted the wool, cut off the arms and neck, sliced the arms into straps, sewed up the bottom, and put a little bird on it. And I love that when it gets dirty, I just throw it in the washer.

Using old things for a new purpose makes me irrationally happy. I don't know why. But there it is. Apparently, 3 other people like the look too :)


Lucy and my dad

Every so often, out of the blue, Lucy will talk about my Dad. She knows that he's not here, and that one day she'll see him when he's "alive again" (resurrected). 

I'm always surprised by her concern for this man she's never met, and her love for him.

On Thursday evening as we were cuddling, she looked up at me and said "Mommy, I miss my Poppop." When I asked her why she missed him, she answered "Because he's my Poppop." I love her sense of family and her connection with my Dad.

Of course she misses him; I believe he helped her get here. And every time I see this painting by Brian Kershisnik, I think about him, and her, and how happy they'll be to see each other again.


Sleeping beauty

Today, you ran, danced, placed seventeen stuffed animals and dolls on my bed; you sang a song about fireflies I've never heard before; you chopped olives for tacos, strung beads for a bracelet, made a necklace for Keira, shoveled snow into little piles; you went shopping with Daddy, you helped me clean the garage; you asked for something chocolate 4 times; you helped me make ice-cream and wheedled your way into staying up an hour past bedtime.

And then you fell asleep in five minutes, just like this.

A well-deserved rest.

"P" day

(Anna, Bryn, and Lucy's P-work)

I'm always amazed at how much Miss Lu loves preschool. It's just myself and two other moms running a rotating co-op for our three girls. Nothing fancy.

But when she figures out it's Tuesday, the first question is "Do we have preschool today? And then dance?" And when I say yes, she laughs and shouts "Hooray!"

As nice as the break is, I get a kick out of hosting. This week we studied the letter "P"—tons of possibilities. After reading books about Piggie and Elephant (a current favorite), princesses (no surprise there), and poetry (another fave—especially mine ...), we made pizza.

They had a blast watching the yeast "wake up" in the warm water, "feeding" it sugar, oil, and flour, mixing the sauce, grating the cheese, patting their dough into circles—their excitement at being able to pick their own toppings was contagious. I mean, I get to pick toppings all the time! And it's a big deal!

Seriously though, I couldn't get over how big my little girl is getting. As the pizza's baked, they played with the Lego blocks in the front room. When Lucy accidentally bumped her friend's tower, she immediately apologized with a sweet "Oh, I'm sorry Bryn. That was an accident. I didn't mean to. Here, here are some more Legos. Let's fix it." So there's hope :)

They ate their pizza; they filled out their worksheets; they colored penguin pictures. And then they played. They played so well I called their moms and told them to come pick the girls up half an hour later. There are days I really love preschool.

Bundles of joy

My Flip and Tumble bags came today. They're bright; they make me happy. And even excited to brave the lines at Smith's.




Super dad

Miss Lu to Mr. Nick (while being tucked into bed): "Daddys are the best!"

(Posing on Casey's motorcycle, August 2008)

Best buds

Lucy: "Mom, we are always best buds, right?"
Me: "Right."
I love my little Lu.


Dinner conversations

I love the things that come out of Lucy's mouth. Dinner has been especially fruitful lately.

[Monday's dinner: homemade orange chicken, white rice, potstickers, fresh veggie sticks, and broccoli garlic stirfry]
Lucy: [munching away] Mom, I love it when we eat American food!
Nick: What's American food?
Lucy: You know, rice and chicken and this stuff.

[Tuesday's dinner: Papa Murphy's Hawaiian pizza and salad]
Lucy: [Praying] ... Please bless the food ... and, um, errr, hmm ... [long pause] thank you for cousins, and bless the food, and please bless Daddy so he can go to work good, and bless ... the food ...

[later that meal]

Nick: Hey Lucy, how was preschool today?
Lucy: Good.
Nick: How was dance?
Lucy: Good.
Lucy: So, Dad, how was your work?
Dad: Good.
Jenny: [Thinks: Well, that's better than no conversation ...]

(As much as I love Papa Murphys, I wish I'd made some of our homemade pizza ...)


Love Ghost

Lu decided to treat us to a spectre-tacular visit today. Enter the Love Ghost.


Christmastime was here again

Realized today that I never put up the rest of the Christmas pics (here's the first). It was a good year. We stayed in Los Alamos and had our own holiday—Lucy let us know that it was "fun, but not as much fun as cousins." I really liked not having to pack and travel over the holidays, but we did miss our Seattle traditions. Next year ;)

The candy store was set up the week before Christmas. It held out pretty well against Lucy's fairly regular visits.

Gingerbread house decorating is definitely being added to the traditions list.

And, of course, Santa's big reveal. There was lots of running. Early running. And we loved every minute.

(Yes, this Christmas will go down as the year of the games. No, we didn't coordinate or plan in any way. Yes, the puppy game Lucy made me is the most awesome thing ever. Ever!)

Rock on

How fun would these be in a home? I wonder if I could re-create something like this ...


I could justify this expense

It's been two months since I first saw this. I still want it ...

Yeondoo Jung

I wish I could do something like this with some of the great drawings Lucy's made lately. Yeondoo Jung is a Korean photographer; I love her projects. They reveal the humanity in people.

This project, "Wonderland," is probably my favorite. She's taken children's drawings and translated them into photos.


Trouble in Idaho

I posted this on Salsanight today; hopefully there might be some discussion on it. I'm cross-posting it here because I really do think this story is representative of several problems in LDS cultural norms and perceptions regarding women, as well as its Americanization of the Gospel (another topic for another time). And these are things I care about. And this blog is for things I care about.

Ummm ...

Has anyone else heard about this?

Apparently an LDS gubernatorial candidate in Idaho is holding a meeting in a few weeks. Ok. But the meeting is for active Elders only, and the purpose is to discuss the "White Horse Prophecy."

I don't know about you, but this seems wrong to me on several levels.

1. An LDS candidate using his membership and perceived authority via secular position in order to gain political capital among other members of the church. Isn't the Book of Mormon pretty clear that priestcraft (using religion for one's personal gain) is a not a good idea?

2. Religion aside, what kind of person running for public office in the United States arranges a meeting and then explicitly states they're not inviting one gender? The article quotes Rammell as saying that "he hopes that the men will take the message home to their wives." Nice. Last time I checked, women in Idaho could vote. I hope they're taking notice of Rammell's perception of women.

3. I perceive the topic—the "White Horse Prophecy"—to be problematic for several reasons. To begin, it's not scripture, it's not canonized, it's not officially taught, etc. Its compositional history (recorded 10 years after the death of Joseph by two men who relied on their memories) is open to criticism and leaves us with a text that cannot be defended doctrinally. (Note: I have nothing against the men and their integrity, but the history of the prophecy does not support a defensible text. FAIR has a decent article on this here.)

If you're going to have a political meeting for members of a specific religion, it's probably best to discuss something doctrinal / canonical rather than engage in speculation regarding a problematic text. Especially one that has been appropriated at times to justify the idea that Mormons need to take over the US government and ultimately institute a world government.

I paid attention to the story because, initially, the whole thing just got my feminine hackles up. I expect it to raise all of your feminine hackles as well. And your church vs. state ones. And your "what the hell?!" ones.

Seriously, am I missing something here? Am I the only one to see this not only as ridiculous, but dangerous? Next time I need evidence of the latent sexism in Mormon culture (not the church, but the cultural mores that have developed in the western "Mormon belt" in the US [Utah, Idaho, Arizona, etc.]), and specifically Mormons of a certain age (because honestly, I don't see this attitude as much in Mormons in their 20s and 30s) this story will come to mind.


The Day I Got Free Bread and Milk

I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when, at 8:20 am, Lucy called out "Hey Mom, come and I see what I'm doing!"

She was cutting her hair.

When I asked why, the answer was "Because I'm tired of eating it in my mouth." I found my hair scissors and tried to even out the damage (she was taking off about 5 inches on her own).

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Lucy's preschool was short than usual, so I didn't get as much editing done as I'd hoped. When I went to pick her up, I offered to take one of her friends home with us so her mom could go to her doctor's appointment minus one active preschooler. I thought I'd get a bit more work in as they played.

That didn't happen. Lucy locked her friend in her bedroom because she wanted some alone time. It was traumatic all around. Luckily, a fancy snack picnic on the bed followed by a crazy dance party to the Glee Season 1 soundtrack saved things from completely falling apart.

After throwing together a hasty dinner, I looked at Mr. Nick and realized he was quite tired. Since we were out of bread and milk, I offered to take Miss Lu with me to the store before bedtime.

Lucy and I shopped our way through Smith's. We stocked up at the caselot sale, remembered to find things like toothpaste and denture cleanser, and finally, after 10 minutes of looking all over the store, found their farm bread. It's called cottage bread here, so when I asked for farm bread at the bakery counter they all looked at me like I was crazy.

We saw a cashier we know, said hi, and she offered to check us out even though her light was off. The time: 7:45 pm. We had two caselot boxes left to ring up when an odd, high-pitched beeping filled the air. Every singe register in the entire store suddenly crashed.

Lucy and I waited, chatted with the cashier, opened her bottle of Crush, sampled the mini muffins they were passing out to disgruntled customers, heard several people swear, waited some more, watched an entire episode of Go Diego Go on my phone, and finally—after making plans for a playdate tomorrow afternoon with the cashier and her daughter—made it home at 8:55 pm.

How did we escape? I really just wanted to pay for what had been rung up and go home, but I didn't have enough cash on me, and they couldn't process anything else. So the cashier asked her supervisor if we could just leave everything in my cart so I could come pick it up tomorrow. The only perishables I had were 6 yogurts, a bunch of bananas, creamer, and milk.

Actually, I had 2 milks and 2 breads that I really wanted to pay for with cash (they're the main reason I went to the store in the first place). But the cashier asked if I could just take them since I'd been waiting, oh, you know, almost an hour. The supervisor came over and said I could take one milk and one bread (and the Crush that we'd opened for Lucy). And that's how I arrived home with free milk and free bread.

Here they are, in all their free glory.

So not worth it.


Self Motivation

I have worked out on the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes for 3 days in a row. I also completed 30 minutes of yoga today, with Lucy's help. It doesn't seem like much, writing it down, but I'm celebrating.


Top 10 from 2009

Ten photos—favorite bits of my life this past year.

1. Lucy with her Friends (March)

I love, love, love these girls. And I love how happy other people make Miss Lu (most of the time). This year, it was like Lucy's (already) social personality exploded—I look at this photo and it gets me excited for the fun and friends in her future.

2. Boston

Near the end of March, I went to Boston for the first time. I spent most of my time in Cambridge as that's where the conference was (my first ACLA [American Comparative Literature Association]!). I loved walking around the Harvard campus, trying to find spots my parents would have frequented during their years there. But my favorite part of the trip happened on Sunday: my friend Bethany and I attended church in the same building where my parents attended. After years of stories, it felt a little bit like coming home. (Sadly, the building burned to the ground shortly after I was there—I'm so glad I thought to take a few photos!)

3. Family in Our Home (April)

April, Joe, and Co. came to Utah. Cousin craziness ensued. It was awesome. And one of my favorite things ever.

4. Steven's Graduation (April)

Mom and Julie came down for two days of graduation partying. I got to show off the power of the A-lot sticker when parking for the ceremonies. I felt pretty good about that :) This graduation was a big deal to me—kind of the end of an era. Having Steven at BYU meant he was close by; I loved knowing he was.

5. Kayaking on Lake Washington (May)

Miss Lu could not get enough of the kayak. Everyone took turns paddling her around. I love the looks on their faces here—this trip Lucy started to "get" Uncle Dan a bit more. And then she started teasing back.

6. The Lion Dance (June)

Lu's first experience with a dance class was a hit. She was so very excited to perform the "Lion Dance" (to the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King) on the big stage in front of "lots and lots of people." Although she looks like she's giving us the peace sign here, she's actually showing off her claws and growling ...

7. The Move

We moved to New Mexico! Seriously, the biggest thing ever. Nick went down a month beforehand to start work; Steven flew out to Utah to help me load the moving truck and send it on its way. Then Steven, Lucy, and I had an awesome roadtrip down to Los Alamos. We wandered a bit here and there: we hit Arches (that's where this pic's from), we stood on the Four Corners, we held an impromptu Michael Jackson dance-off—in the car—while stuck in construction traffic, we ate fry bread and looked for hotels with swimming pools open past 9 pm so Lu could cool off. And then we all ended up at the Best Western in Los Alamos. It had air conditioning, so everything worked out ok.

8. Monster Hail: The Surprise Attack Version

July 6, 2009 was a pretty normal day ... until the hail started falling that afternoon. Huge, monster hail. The kind that dented our cars (one was later totaled out by the insurance company), broke windshields, and had me praying that the glass roof in the sunroom would survive intact (it did; we were lucky).

9. Sandpiper Sand Castle (August)

My favorite vacation spot; my favorite vacation tradition. The building of the giant sand castle. This year's castle included a new addition: driftwood supports. Oh, and Nick built a "throne" into the side so Miss Lu would have a place to rest as she ruled.

10. More Friends (October)

We've been so blessed to find new, dear friends here in New Mexico. We miss our Sandy friends, and always will. But I'm grateful we've landed in such great spot—I really feel like God had a hand (and possibly a whole arm) in getting us here. Hope we can pay him back somehow.