Thursday, August 30, 2012

there's something in the air

Can you feel it? 

Yesterday's doodles

On my walk into town the other day yellow leaves were swirling on down to join the gorgeous crunchy layer already forming on the ground. And there's a definite crispness making its way into the air. The transitional times of year are always my favorite. I'm so glad I don't have to miss them again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

more household updates

Yesterday I spent some time lining the drawers of our buffet cabinet.

This is exactly the sort of low effort/big impact project I love when I'm stressed (from, say, moving).

It's the sort of thing that might not matter to most people but feels very rewarding to me.

It keeps my hands moving, my head quiet, and brings a small sense of accomplishment.

Working with something as beautiful as this Orla Kiely paper is an added bonus. The paper was a bit of a splurge, but these drawers now bring a smile to my face every time I open them.

The buffet itself is a mid-century piece that belonged to my grandma. I love its lines, especially those round pulls and the sweet little legs. It seems only right to treat it with care and safe-keeping. (Meaning, next up: Organize that helter-skelter situation on top.)

I also bought a new calendar at the paper store yesterday. Simple and charming, with colors that match our kitchen. I'm telling you, these are the small joys that make me so happy. And I love filling in the date boxes with family events that I'm actually able to attend. Multiply that joy by a thousand.

This photo isn't really an update, just something else I love - our bathroom floor. I've always wanted a floor like this. Even as a kid I thought they were so cool! (Yep, I grew up weird. Andy sometimes teases me for being the perfect combination of an 80-year-old woman and a ten-year-old boy. Luckily he finds it endearing. Also? I've kind of always been that way.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

where were we?

Ahh, now here is the update I wanted to give. At the suggestion of my husband I cleared the cookies on my computer, which seems to have solved the constant log-off problem. Apparently my technology was confused by all the places it's been lately. Meanwhile, as the above photo would suggest, I seem to have lost track of time.

And not without reason. You may have guessed our biggest bit of news by now, but here it is: Andy and I said ma'a salama to the UAE last month, and it feels GREAT to be back home! We've moved into a tiny, quirky apartment in a historical suburb of Chicago. Andy is flight instructing out of a couple nearby airports, and I'm working at a private school downtown. A lot of factors went into our decision, which I truly believe was the right one for us. 

Home sweet apartment!

The first of many boxes to make their way out of storage.

The beginnings of a cleaning kit that makes me embarrassingly happy.

We're on the third floor of a 3-flat, making for lots of interesting nooks.
This one is in the bedroom, and we're turning it into a cozy reading/writing area.

A pretty rug and drawer liners (leftover wrapping paper from a wedding gift) are already 
helping to make this place feel like home.

Even in the midst of multiple moves, our cats are settling in juuust fine.

Part of me can't help but wonder what I'm missing out on travel- and adventure-wise by choosing to come home. But what I'm gaining is a multitude of family experiences (weddings, birthdays, and babies, oh my!) and a renewal of my sense of place. Too much rootlessness over the past decade made me feel like I was starting to unravel. Returning home might not seem like the impressive or cool or exciting choice, but I don't care. It was our choice to make, and you know what? We are happy. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

weekend update

This is not the update I wanted to write. But Blogger keeps kicking me off every ten seconds (wtf, Blogger?! W. T. F.), so this the update I'm forced to give. A little glimpse of our weekend, apparently in 25 words or less.

Gift for a friend's sweet little girl who celebrated her fourth birthday on Saturday.

And a sleepy, stormy Sunday. I've stayed in pajamas all day :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

middle school will break your heart

Notes from the eighth grade, 1999


I'm still sorting. And some parts? Some parts ain't so easy.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Leaving Budhanilkantha, Nepal, after a blessing from our hosts.

Back in my old room in Chicago after a whirlwind of summer-so-far. Lots of welcome changes ahead . . . but more on that another day. For now I just wanted to stop in on this space, make sure it knows I haven't forgotten. I've started sorting and packing yet again, all the remnants of my past lives, now sprawled around me in various bins and boxes and tipping over piles. It always feels like such an impossible task, deciding what to keep and where to put it.

I am sentimental.

I like mementos.

I like the story, mystery, and beauty of objects.

Flipping through an old notepad, I found the usual to-do lists. But then, tucked in between the pages of class assignments and grocery lists, there was this:

i am just very human
listening for bells
and looking for light
as i wander my way
through this world.

Five years later, and that still sounds just about right.