Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Being Obsessed is hard work

I've been doing research on the couple who first built this house because I was curious about what sort of people they were. Evidence of them is all over the attic: signs hanging from the rafters that meticulously catalogue where to store everything from camping equipment to Christmas decorations, 30 year old empty boxes that once held brand new stand mixers, giant rolls of old shag carpet that just beg to be put back into operation, and old tax records. So I did a little research on Lillian and Norman Flaigg and found put all kinds of interesting stuff. He was an amateur archeologist who is name-checked all over the internet by the Texas Archeological Society and they both dabbled in plant photography and have many photos of flowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center that are referenced online. They did amazing landscaping in our yard and took fantastic care of the house. But one thing always nagged us: we were handed over plans for the house from the previous owners, and a different name is on the plans: "Colonel and Mrs. Jack Harpster and Marty". The previous owner, Jared, was completely confident that the Flaggs were the original owners. Despite what the plans say. Well the plot thickens...

Tim was cleaning out the garage the other night and he found a bunch of stuff behind a stuck door. A master's thesis, some photographs and notes on arrowheads, and something I'd never heard of before: a "memory book" for the deceased. I read it and discovered that Mr. Flaigg had been married before, to a Beatrice Flaigg, who died in 1969 in OKLAHOMA! Our house was built in 1968! There is a letter in the box with the memory book and it is addressed to Mr. Flaigg at an address in Oklahoma and was written after the funeral. So my guess is that they were not the original owners. I also discovered that Mr. Flaigg and his first wife had a son, Don, who died of AIDS in 1989. So the poor man had to bury two wives and a son before his own death in 1998. So now I'm faced with a great mystery: when did Mr. Flaigg move to Texas and buy this house? When did he marry the second Mrs. Flaigg? And did the Harpsters actually see the house through to completion and if they did, how long did they live here? Why did they move from the house they'd worked so hard with the builder on to make their own? Unfortunately I'm just hitting dead-ends with my internet research on the Harpsters. Too common of names and most likely they moved around a lot because he was military. But I must continue my search. I'd like to compile a book that includes the history of all of the owners of the house and put it in the attic. That way, one day after Tim and I are long gone the next owners can already know who lived here before them rather than having to do all this research that I am! If anybody has some tips for finding info on people, send them my way!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Babbling incessantly

Do you ever feel like you just don't shut up? I've been having that feeling a lot lately. My friend Miriam and her toddler Daniel came over this morning to play and socialize. We had a great time, but I kept catching myself talking about was my house and buying stuff for it. I HATE people who just talk about their purchases all the time, I mean how annoying and obnoxious. I am probably overreacting because Miriam said she had a really nice time and we made plans for lunch Monday, so obviously I'm not that horrible to be around, but I have really got to work on this. Sometimes it's hard when you are talking to the only adult you will see between 9am and 7pm while simultaneously trying to keep an eye on the kids.

We did get to discuss how hard it is to act and be a mom. That is not a subject that many people I know can commisserate with; it's pretty specialized. We talked about how you spend their nap every day working on your lines or preparing for your part in some other way. When I'm directing, I spend it working on blocking and preparing for rehearsals. It's a very important couple of hours. Of course, now we're done with blocking and don't rehearse again until Saturday, so today I'm kind of twiddling my thumbs. I shouldn't be, but-

woah, I think a large branch fell off one of the trees in the backyard. I must investigate-

Okay, so it wasn't that large of a branch, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't there when I was outside this morning. It looked like the Loch Ness Monster and I think I would have noticed it. In other sad news, it is turning cold again. I know that I will long for cold weather in August, but right now I am so sick of it. It has kept us cooped up like chickens and I am not looking forward to its return. Plus it currently feels like our house just might blow away it is so windy. I should really close the flue, but I'm not exactly sure how to do that in this house.

That up there is a picture of Stella and Daniel R. (not to be confused with her buddy Daniel L. or her Uncle Daniel P., Stella knows a lot of Daniels!) Unfortunately they would not cooperate by being still or looking at the camera, but still, aren't they cute?!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator

So it is official. Our church has decided to say "Screw you, John Wesley!" and has now whole-heartedly embraced the "contemporary" "Praise" style of worship. I suspected this was coming. Almost exactly a year ago, we had a meeting where it was revealed that we didn't have enough money to last more than a few months and that we didn't have enough members to sustain our church. They were going to add a "contemporary" service. Fine. Many of us were pissed (particularly our friends Mary and Todd who unfortunately have since moved to Mexico so could not express outrage with me at the latest development), but we were told this was the way to get to the "unchurched". The folks that apparently had never been to church and were scared by things like the liturgy and "churchwords" and God, I guess. No one has yet explained to me satisfactorily why these people are choosing the United Methodist Church, known for their hymns and traditions (and food!), over some crappy nondenominational "praise" church in a strip center, but whatever.

Yesterday we had another town hall meeting and we did better last year. And based on the results of the worship survey they'd conducted that only 60 of us had filled out, they had decided to move the "praise" service to 11am and move the "traditional" service to 9am. I don't know why they don't just drop the UMC designation entirely and just forge out on their own. The pastor and our lay leader (both people who I really dearly like), kept insulting everything that I consider wonderful about the United Methodist Church. My great-grandfather (not that I knew him), was a Methodist minister, I grew up in and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church, and when I sought out a church to raise my daughter in, it was United Methodist all the way. I want my child to grow up with the same traditions and experiences I did as far as attending church. I was so upset after their announcements and insults that I left because I was about to start crying. I was like, "we're finding another church, this is ridiculous, blah, blah, blah", but Tim talked me off the ledge in the car (he often talks me off the ledge). We're now faced with the decision between: a) going to the 9am Traditional service, which means early rising for all, but on the plus side means the rest of our morning is free, b) going to the 11am "Relevance" service, ear plugs in hand, or c) finding a church who respects United Methodist traditions and has a traditional service at 11. Luckily they aren't switching the services until March 8th, so we have some time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Now that's just sad
This is about the most pathetic thing I have ever heard of. You pay people hundreds of dollars to trail you around and take pictures of you like they are the paparazzi and you are a celebrity. This reminds me of when I'd go to Astroworld as a kid and you could dress up and get a photo of you "on the cover" of a magazine. It was kind of fun when I was 10. But it's pretty pitiful for a grown-up to do this kind of crap.

My adorable daughter

Stella was just chattering away in her room so I went in there to check out what she was doing. It was so cute. She had put her "babies" on the ottoman in her room and had covered one of them up with a blanket and given the other one a stuffed dog to cuddle with. She said, "nap, nap" and I was like, "are your babies taking a nap?" And she said yes. I asked if she wanted another blanket for the other baby and she said yes, so I gave Stella a blanket and she proceeded to pull every blanket out of the drawer and put it on them. They are very warm now. I left the room and she closed the door, I guess to denote that it was nap time. She's been going "bye bye baby, nap" for a few minutes now. Freakin' adorable.

Tim, I think, has been bewildered by me getting excited about the whole doll thing. I wanted Stella to have a doll and while I wouldn't say I pushed the doll, I certainly played with it with her and suggested she cuddle and sleep with it, that sort of thing. Although she didn't really need convincing. And it hit me this morning, it's really awesome to watch your child imitate you taking care of them but with their doll. And Stella is really enjoying it, she obviously likes to imitate Mommy with her dolls. I mean, she's got blocks, books, stuffed animals, all kinds of stuff to play with in her room and when she was by herself, this particular time, she picked her dolls. I think that perhaps dolls are NOT evil tools of the Religious Right trying to turn all little girls into perfect little Mommies, but perhaps fun toys that allow them to imitate their mommies. And if little boys want to play dolls, dammit they should be able to do that too. And I'll continue to give Stella all sorts of toys, not just "girly" ones, but I'm not going to deny that I have a soft spot for playing with dolls and I'm really touched watching her imitate me.
You know, she's also imitating her Daddy, because he takes really good care of her too. Let's not leave out the daddies!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

House color

Bonus post, I'm on a roll folks!
I never posted pictures of the finished product. The color looks even better in person:

We still have to find the perfect orange for the front door, not to mention we have a lot of other stuff to do to increase curb appeal, but the paint was the first BIG step.

It's really a strong aqua blue in person, rather than the milquetoast light blue it looks in the pictures.

Becoming Modern

So we got the IKEA furniture all assembled. It looks very sharp in the living room:

I'm still working on "merchandising" the bookshelves. This is harder than it looks, folks. So far it's become sort of a "Russian-tchokes" shelf. Which wasn't intentional. But I love our Russian tchokes, all the more for the fact that Tim and I have separately in our life come into Russian tchokes (he because he lived there, me because my father worked there). I'm not done yet, so cut me some slack, but any suggestions for improvement are appreciated.

By the way, on the bottom there are 8 drawers, which we painstakingly put together, to house our million cds. For those of you keeping track at home, this is solution number 342 to the "housing our cd problem". Hopefully it will be the last one. We finally decided we needed to replace solution 341 because they could not be anchored to the wall and we were afraid our daughter or one of her friends would pull the cd cabinets over onto them. Not good. The cabinets are currently on Craig's List, $25 apiece, but for you, my special blog friends, can get them for the low low price of $15 each. Let me know if you want them. They slice, they dice, they even-- nevermind. Maybe we can get back .01 percent of the cash we've outlaid on cd solutions.

We still have to put this cabinet, which is currently living on the floor:

above our awesome new HD BIG SCREEN TV!

I never thought I would purchase a BIG SCREEN TV! But then, at least in this new living room, I was noticing that when I watched letterbox movies I was squinting. I like my movies to look good. And I don't like squinting, dammit. We'd upgraded to the old tv because we had to move our couch in the old house really close to the tv to read subtitles. And because we were on Warehouse Warriors and they gave us $200 to use at Sears. Can't complain about a $16 tv. Anyway, the other reason I wanted a flatscreen tv, and I know this is a really weird, possibly lame reason, was that I couldn't find any tv storage solutions that I liked that would fit our old tv. They're all designed for flatscreens these days. So I casually mentioned this to Tim and he of course latched onto it and a mere 4 hours after we received the refund check from Newmark, we were buying a flatscreen tv. Of course, as with all consumer electronic purchases, things snowballed and suddenly not only did we need a flatscreen tv that was bigger than I'd originally considered, we needed a blu-ray dvd player. And then, after we bought the blu-ray dvd player, actually, no Julie, what we needed was a Playstation 3, which has a blu-ray dvd player but is much better because it's only $100 more and you can play games on it! As you can imagine, by this point I was too worn out to fight and I meekly accepted this flimsy excuse. (In his defense, Tim did throw his Christmas money in towards the price differential). So I am the proud owner of a Playstation 3. Which for some reason, rather than coming with a game came with Spiderman 3. And we haven't seen the first 2 spidermans, so Spiderman 3 is sort of useless. But I do love watching movies and tv on the flatscreen. I'm not ashamed to say it. And it looks sleek and beautiful and modern, so it doesn't need to be hidden like a regular tv.
Speaking of modern, I find it interesting that we've finally got our mid-century modern house and it just seems to scream for modern furnishings, not the kitschy "Atomic Ranch" sort of furnishings which I thought I'd want. Also, Tim and I have always loved blonde woods, but this house with the walnut floors demands dark woods. So we have become "dark wood" lovers. Our dining table is dark wood too:
(And by "wood" I mean "veneer over particle board".) It looks great with the white plastic IKEA chairs, and even better with our family and friends sitting around it for Christmas dinner:)

I feel really weird about spending so much money, I'm a saver, not a spender, but I am so enjoying putting together our house and making it perfect!

Wow, that very long post took my mind off the fact that I am sick as a dog with Cedar Fever. And that Tim and Stella are sick as can be as well. In fact, we are the sick family and absolutely miserable. Although we did have a bright spot:

Our dear friends Anna and Sean had their new baby girl, Georgia Grace Friday morning!

Isn't she beautiful? Thursday night we had Tim's company party (for which we looked like this):

that's my fab dress from Emerald's, the picture doesn't do it justice. We had a great time, Tim had some really fantastic coworkers and their wives who we hung out with. We also had fun at the blackjack table. I actually won quite a bit! Stella spent the night at Tim's parents' house because we didn't know how late we'd be. We'd been home about an hour when the phone rang. It was midnight. I said, "uh oh, I hope that isn't Anna and Sean." Well of course it was! So we went over and picked up a very confused sleeping little Daniel who cried "Mommy" in the most heartrenching way until we got him in the car. Then he was a little sweetie and even gave us some smiles before going right back to sleep in Stella's crib. I love that little guy, he is adorable! So we didn't have a night sans kids, but it worked out for the best since Stella's bed was empty and we didn't have to install a carseat in the middle of the night either. AND Daniel sleeps to 8:30 (lucky bastards) so we got to sleep in. Although Anna called at 8am to let us know Georgia had been born and we were too excited to sleep. We got to meet her Friday afternoon and I've already been able to spoil her silly with lots of cute little pink things. I had to be practical with the first kid because Daniel needed boring stuff like strollers, but it's all about frilly pink stuff with Georgia! (Lest you think I forgot about Daniel, he now has a peeing, wetting Cabbage Patch kid newborn named "Kaylee" to call his own. Glad to know that Cabbage Patch kids still have ridiculous names).

And Georgia is not causing any baby fever in our household, nope, no siree. Although Stella did agree that she wanted a baby brother or sister like Georgia. Okay, kid, be careful what you wish for, trust me, being Numero Uno is not the same after a sibling arrives!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What a special milestone

So Stella was wondering around and stuck her hand down the back of her pants as she sometimes does. Except this time she apparently had a poopy diaper and there was POO all over her hand. Ewww. So I have now had the rite du passage of washing poop off my daughter's hands. Yeah. What scares me most is that I was like, "see, that's what happens when you stick your hand in your diaper when you have a poopy diaper. Do you like having poop on your hands?" To which she responded, "YES!" Oh, crap indeed.

So today is the day in which we are "trapped" in the house, carless. Although I'm discovering that one of the benefits of this is lazily sipping coffee and sitting around in your pjs to an ungodly hour because there is nowhere to go. Although I'm sort of intrigued by figuring out the bus schedule so I can head over to Moxie and the Compound on Mary and check out their purses. Surely there has got to be a bus that goes over there, it's pretty close. Of course, the only downside is that pretty much the only thing over there is Moxie, and it might be smarter if I'm taking the bus to go to SoCo and shop all the shops. This is all hypothetical wherein my daughter is patient and loves shopping. Right. Or I just might sit on my butt for a bit longer! Especially since it's sort of cloudy and windy outside.

Oh, I neglected to spill my good news that the builder of our old house sold it and agreed to give us back our FULL DEPOSIT! Yes! So we went a bit crazy this weekend and now that money is pretty much all gone (of course a great deal of it went to pay back a loan and some other commitments). So yeah, we are in IKEA furniture assembling hell. Fun! Hopefully I'll be done by this weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Shopping Spree!

So Tim's Mom called me this morning and said she could watch Stella this afternoon so I could go shopping. So plans were changed and I got my Shopping Hat on (not literally, I'm not that big of a dork), dropped Stella off with her Baba and G.G. and headed to the mall. My first stop, after the food court for lunch, was Nordstrom's. I was always intimidated by Nordstrom's until Tim's dear sisters got me a gift certificate to there last Christmas. One visit and I was hooked. They have good sales, their clothing is very high quality and their sales staff can't be beat. They take care of you without being pushy. Love it. So I knew I needed jeans desperately and hoped they'd have some on sale. The awesome sales girl, aka my new best friend, Katy, asked me if she could start a room, then quickly segued into asking me what I was looking for and my size. She then proceded to get me a pair of every single one of their jeans with a 34 or 35" inseam in my size and put them in the dressing room for me. One of every fit in every brand. Wow! No more kneeling and going through giant stacks of jeans one by one looking for the right size. She checked on me regularly to make sure I didn't need a different size and to whisk away what didn't work. I wound up getting two pairs of jeans that, yes, cost about twice what I normally pay for jeans, but fit perfectly. I put back on my pedestrian Levi's just to make sure that these jeans I was about to buy were worth the price differential. Yep. It was like night and day. Also, not having to put up with the jean shopping B.S. I always go through was worth the extra surcharge on the jeans. Damn skippy. Jean shopping has always been a nightmare due to my height and my hips primarily, but this was a fun experience. The other thing I love about Nordstrom's is that the lighting in their dressing rooms makes you look gorgeous, not washed out and like shit. I also got an adorable top that was marked down from $78 to $30 and another great top that was $15. I'd gotten two of them last year with my gift certificate and they are the best shirts, hold up to repeated washings and wearings beautifully. Although they don't hold up so well when you decide to carry your naked Burt's Bees Diaper Cream wearing baby from the bath to her room for clothes. Yep, unfortunately one of them was stained by Stella. They're made by Caslon if you want to check them out. I got Katy's card if I want to go pant shopping. She said I could call ahead and she'd pull all their options for me! Not sure if I'm ready to go there yet, as I bet their pants are even more than their jeans, but it was still an exciting proposition. I left Nordstrom's with my Christmas money completely depleted, but my shopping thirst was not satiated yet!

That entire experience probably took less than an hour and I headed back into the mall. While looking at the directory, a Security Guard on a segway rolled up and asked me if he could help me find a store! Dude, I don't know what happened to Barton Creek Mall lately, but they are suddenly all about helping. Unfortunately the store I was looking for, New York and Company, is temporarily closed for renovations. I decided to skip the not-fun pant shopping experience and head to the boutiques away from the mall.

After a quick Starbucks stop for my requisite non-fat, non-whip, decaf peppermint Mocha, first it was to Franchesca's in the North Central Market shopping center. Amanda Ward, the author of Forgive Me who came to our book club last week recommended them. I headed over there and was surprised that it is an extremely tiny store. But there was a lot of cool stuff, more great sales, and I tried on a mountain of stuff. I walked out with two cute dresses in a wonderfully soft fabric. It was funny, all their sizes were S-M-L and so I asked how they run. The salesgirl said on the small side. And sure enough, I needed a Large despite my new tiny (to me) 10 that I wear. So this explains why when I was a 14 or even a 12 I couldn't shop at boutiques!

I headed over to Emerald's. The children running the store were having a discussion about age. They were talking about how "old" some guy was who had been born in 81. One of the salesgirls was born in 90. I felt like I needed to leave the store immediately and proceed directly to the drugstore for some Geritol and a walker. Instead, I decided to shop through their clothing, because they may consider a '77 model old, but dammit, I still like their stuff! Once more, they had tons of sales and I must have tried on about 50 things. Out of this I found a beautiful dress for Tim's company holiday party Thursday night, and two skirts. One of the skirts was only $15! So another place I highly recommend for sales.

I couldn't find a purse, unfortunately, so I'm not done yet, but let me tell you how much more fun it is to shop when everything fits. Wow, I was almost giddy! And when you're on a roll of finding clothes that work, you've just got to go with it. Especially when for a while getting dressed has been a traumatic experience because everything falls off!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Feeling Trapped

First off, I just have to say that Stella got her pants off BY HERSELF! Be afraid. Be very afraid. Luckily so far she's left her diaper alone.

Secondly, Tim's work sucks. They made this big deal out of that once they moved to the new office they would only make him come in once a week and the rest of the time he could work from home. So we sold his car that never got used because he always rode the bus. Then they fired the boss that said that. So then they called him into the office and were like, "we don't want you to leave. We will pay for a taxi for you to come to work if it comes to that." Then I think that he got a new boss who said, "screw that. I want everyone in the office everyday." So after much back and forth, it was finally agreed that Tim would work from home two days a week, but would have to come into the office 3. But that they would pay for a car service for him to come into the office those three days. Then they actually moved and lo and behold, the boss said it was too expensive to pay for a car service and "we know your wife doesn't work, why does she need a car?" Yeah, because it's just fine to be trapped at the house with a toddler all day and no car. Who needs groceries or outings or doctor's appointments, etc.? Then it was, "we'll find a co-worker for you to carpool with." Shockingly, no co-worker was up to this. So now the latest compromise seems to be Tim saying, "I'll drive in two days a week and you pay for a taxi for the third." So I didn't have a car Monday, which meant no groceries were purchased and Stella kept saying, "car go" all day. Tuesday I had the car in the morning so groceries were purchased and we can eat again, "hip hip hooray!", then Tuesday afternoon Tim had a commitment, so no car, and then today no car again. I know this is hardly that big of a deal, but I do have certain errands I'd like to run, and I just don't like the thought that if I need a car I DON'T HAVE ONE! We are within walking distance of a park, so that's totally cool, but that's pretty much it. A convenience store and a Money Box are a little farther, if I stretch the meaning of "walking distance" a bit and brave "Mission Hill" a.k.a. crack house hill. (It's not really that bad, I'm exaggerating, but I would prefer not to walk down it with my child.) I should figure out the bus system, because really, although I'm tempted to buy a second car, that is a complete waste of money to have a car payment for something that almost never gets driven. And if Tim's work found out, maybe they'd force him to commute everyday and he'd be depressed and I'd be depressed and Stella would be depressed and that would suck. Plus I Hate Car Payments. So we're kind of in limbo right now. I'll just have to get used to it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Guess it's time to get a toilet lock

So during Tim's shower this morning, Stella thought it would be fun to put her legos into the toilet. Unfortunately, Tim did not discover this for a while as he takes looooong showers. Although he noticed she was quiet, which is always cause for alarm. So now we have to get a toilet lock. And she's also never messed with the knobs on the stove, but she just reached for one today. So we have to get oven knob locks. Yay. I guess you just start thinking that you don't have to worry about those sort of things after a while. Like, "if she hasn't messed with it yet, it's not going to happen." In fact, we haven't put cabinet locks on the kitchen cabinets in this house because she's old enough to know not to go into any, except the one that is hers. We don't put anything dangerous in them just to be sure, of course.

3 months away from 2 is a pretty cool age. She is chattering away constantly, and actually stringing together sentences. I can understand her most of the time when she's actually speaking English. She repeats most words you say and she'll tell you when she has a poop. Speaking of, she just said "poop". I'll be right back.

Isn't that cool? I think it's funny that she says poop, and it's very helpful if the smell doesn't knock me over for her to tell me that she needs her diaper changed. Last night it was really funny. We were watching Daniel so Sean and Anna could go out to eat dinner and Daniel was getting all whiny and so I was like, "do you need your diaper changed?" and he was like, "diaper!" and took off in the direction of Stella's room. Then Stella got all whiny, so I asked if she needed her diaper changed and she said yes. So Tim got Stella and got in the "queue" for the changing table behind Daniel and I. And both kids were poopy. What's up with that? Tim was making fun of me because I've never changed a boy's diaper and I was marvelling at how different their anatomy is. He was like, "um, shouldn't you know the differences between boys and girls before now?" I have had a child, so yes, the answer is obviously yes, but baby boys are just different. Anyway, it was an experience. I hope Anna and Sean do not now think that I am a freak and won't let me near their child with a ten-foot pole now. Really, I'm not a freak, I promise!

Tim's mom thinks Stella has all the signs in play for the big Potty Training. Eek! I don't know if I'm ready for that yet, although it would be nice to save $75 a month in diaper service costs. And it's not like I consider changing a diaper to be fun, especially when I'm somewhere like my Weight Watcher's meeting last Friday and there isn't a changing table. I was planning on waiting until she turned two, but I do take Tim's Mom's advice seriously, she had 4 children and to my knowledge none of them wear diapers anymore!

Speaking of Weight Watcher's, I reached Lifetime Friday! So exciting, I've lost 33 pounds, now I just have to keep it off. And I can attend meetings for free now.

Well, Stella is grabbing my hand so I guess I'm off to whatever she wants to show me. Aren't you glad I took the time to post about poopy diapers? yay!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I am extremely flattered that Marsha gave me this award. I think it's especially funny that she should award me at a time when I've barely posted because of the holidays and the painting project that won't die. Anyway, I'm supposed to say what three things I believe are most important to powerful writing and then pass the award on to five blogs I believe deserve recognition. I guess the three things I think most important are: humor, a unique perspective, and grammar and spelling skills. Yep, I went there. As far as five blogs I like that Marsha didn't already name...
Tim's blog. Yes, that's my dear husband's blog, but nobody said that you couldn't give the award to your kin. I give him the award even though his grammar and spelling skills suck. For example, he doesn't know the difference between lose and loose. He'll say, "don't loose your marbles." But I love him anyway and I enjoy reading his tirades on everything from urban density to his wife forcing him to paint our house while he's supposed to be enjoying vacation.
Katie-Kat World. Once again, more nepotism, she is Tim's sister, but she's funny and speaks incredibly frankly about her mental health issues and being a teacher. Her stories about her students are HI-larious.
Dooce. Julie turned me onto this blog and she is great to read. I'm sure she'll never see I bestowed this award on her because she doesn't read my blog and she doesn't allow comments, but I hope folks will check her out. She is an incredible photographer and writer.
Austin Contrarian. Once again, I can guarantee he will neither know nor care that I gave him this award, but Tim introduced me to him and he has converted me to "smart" growth. Density, VMU's, he discusses them all in an entertaining and informative way.
Sweet Juniper. Yep, won't know or care about this award, but is funny, entertaining, unique. Also makes you want to move to Detroit with his amazing photos of the urban decay and ruin.
Okay, so that's five. It's taken me all morning to finish this post because today is all about Stella. Poor thing has been at her grandparents most of the last week while we painted. I know she had a blast with them, but we've missed her and she's missed us. I think I now know what it would be like to be a mom who worked outside the house and it has definitely confirmed that I'm happy with my choice! So I'm really trying to ignore everything else and spend lots of time with her to make up for it. Of course, now she's napping, so I'm off to try and finish the first coat up on the back of the house! I'll have to live up to my award later:)