Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas video

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

This is my first attempt to upload a home video to the blog... does it work? We went to our favorite park for a little vacation celebration with Conrad. Speaking of vacation... yes! It's upon us! 2 blissful weeks of no work at Calvin. We went to a new Grand Rapids restaurant to rejoice... it's called The Green Well. We give it 4 yule-logs (out of 5). Especially because of the amazing cauliflower-coconut milk-curry soup. Not to mention, all food is locally raised/grown. In Michigan, that means duck is on the menu. It's not too bad.

In other news, Daniel's first batch of beer turned out really great! We were a little freaked to try it, but it's a good first time attempt. It's a bit on the flat side, but good nonetheless. I'm getting better and better at knitting too. I would post pictures of my accomplishments, but they may be under the Christmas tree of a few family members, so I don't want to tip my hand.

Our friend Joy let us borrow her bread machine for a little while. The first batch: herb bread with our wonderful dried home-grown oregano and basil. I made the bread (well, the machine made it) last night and the loaf is almost gone. This could be dangerous. :) No Atkins diet around here! Winter always becomes soup-season for us, so now we will have amazing bread for sandwiches and toast!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

decking the halls

This looks like a really fun decoration. I have to be careful not to do too much because then the house looks really cluttered, but I think I could hang a couple of these in the window... click here for instructions.

Friday, November 23, 2007

joy joy joy

deck the halls of 1039 griswold!! we found a great family-owned and operated tree farm in Allendale - complete with hay-rides and popcorn balls! It was a little muddy, but we had a flurry of big snow flakes to make it feel more like a Midwest holiday season (oh, and not to mention a recently shot deer hanging from a tree... yikes. some Midwest traditions I could do without).

And look at what we came up with! Daniel found this beauty of a (douglas?) fir and we got a little carried away with the height, ... what a Christmas tree!!

happy thanksgiving!

gobble-gobble all the way through the weekend! Our wonderful friends Chris and Lisa shared the day with us, and what a day! Lisa is an amazing chef. and Chris shares my love for all things Christmas, so he snuck some Christmas music into dessert before we all watched "Elf". Conrad's cousins, Bella and Peanut, are visiting for the holiday, so we have a full house!! Daniel and I have so much to be thankful for, we are bursting.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

granny erin

Just call me granny... I'm learning to knit. :) Yes, it's true. When you live in Michigan, and you know you have at least 5 months of nasty weather ahead, well... crazy things start happening. You develop a taste for the $7 red wine from the corner store (instead of opting for the lovely reds from the specialty store 7 blocks away), the tea-kettle becomes your best friend, the first 20-minutes of your day are spent looking for slippers, weekends revolve around movie times at the discount theater, and projects - particularly the crafty type - occupy your mind and hands.

I really love the changing of the seasons here. And I love the chance to do some different things like knitting in the winter and gardening (well, weeding really) in the summer. We've had a few fires in our fireplace, but this fall has been so mild, just now we are actually feeling the cold. The garlic I ordered from Seed Savers finally found its place in our backyard today... apparently this is the time for that, and it feels like an appropriate ending to a warm season. Seeing as I've never planted anything other than houseplants, I thought something with the name "hearty" and "German" might have the best chance of success. We'll see, I guess.

As far as knitting goes... I'm just beginning. Maybe I'll ask for some books for Christmas. For now, I hope my family is ready for all the scarves coming their way. If only I knew someone who was having a baby... baby blankets would be a good step-up.

Monday, October 22, 2007

autumn in GR

This past weekend through tomorrow (tuesday), Daniel's brother and sister in-law are visiting from Lima, Peru! We have had quite the busy time with them. First, it rained... actually, it poured, on Friday (their first day here) which wouldn't seem like much more than an inconvenience to us, but because it never rains in Lima, they were amazed by the weather. It was their first time experiencing rain in 5 years! We did some major shopping and went out to San Chez for tapas and sangria.

Saturday was so beautiful and 70 degrees out, so we took advantage of it by strolling the farmer's market and enjoying Meijer Gardens. I cannot believe I don't go there every weekend... well, it's $13 to enter, so maybe that's why. But what a lovely treat to visit that place. Sunday we took them to our church - which probably was very strange for them as they are not used to a liturgical service - and had lunch at our favorite Gaya Cafe. We walked through Plaster Creek park with Conrad and soaked-in some of the fall colors then shared a very "autumn" dinner of root vegetables, butternut squash, chicken, and apple pie with our friends Emily and Jeff.

so, it's been a very fun and invigorating time!! All of the seasons are so gorgeous here, but I really believe Fall is the very best. The food, the colors, the air... it all comes together. We've had a good time catching up and hearing funny stories about the family, very sad stories about the earthquake and the aftermath, and showing them our life here at Calvin and in Grand Rapids. It's been a nice little break in the midst of the semester to remember how to enjoy the place we live.

Monday, October 08, 2007

haircut time

These are some of my favorites... right now my hair is longish in the front and mulletish in the back due to lack of hair cuts for almost 3.5 months. yikes. so, the cuts that are shorter are more realistic... and the long red hair is just too cool not to put on here. If I had long hair and lots of money to keep up with dying it, that would be what I'd LOVE to do!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

worker ants

Daniel and I are like worker ants, storing things up and preparing for the Michigan winter! We've canned peaches, pears, and beautiful heirloom tomatoes from Trillium Haven Farms (our CSA). We've chopped and frozen all the eggplant and peppers we couldn't eat now. Daniel built a beautiful fence in our back yard so we no longer have to chain Conrad up or shiver in our snowy slippers while waiting for him.

It's been fun and busy! I think we both feel like real homemakers now. All the little changes and improvements - from every day cleaning to new hand-built shelves in the office - make 1039 Griswold feel more like it's ours. Of course, for every project that we finish, we think-up about 12 new ideas for more we can do! That's where I'm actually really thankful for the four seasons here... we get breaks from taking care of the yard. yay!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I could buy lots of chairs. Especially lots of these.

late summer turns to Fall

I'm not going to lie; it's been a very tough couple of weeks and these past two days have been a very tough couple of days. Today is the first day where I have caught my breath. In the vein of being honest, I'm not too crazy about my job lately. It's felt more like babysitting than creative programming and empowering students. But I still have hope that this semester will get better and better. sigh.

So my fun in life has been to find releases to distract and encourage myself at home. The latest project? Canning! Peaches are done. Pears were canned last night (and the house smells so amazing). Next comes tomatoes. I'd love to try green beans, but I'm afraid the season will end before I can get to them. Maybe I'll try apples... are canned apples good? Daniel has been doing this with me, and we have a lot of fun. The pears were slippery and a little mushy, but they look great now.

We had a wonderful Birthday party for Daniel last weekend! It's so nice to hang out with friends and relax. I made a special dinner and desert, and we all had a good time. Daniel and I have challenged each other to find projects outside of work because it's healthy to have, you know, a life. Mine are both really typical: cooking (LOVE IT) and knitting - I know, such the wild one! Both are actually really calming. Daniel's is his birthday present from me - a home brewing kit! Our basement will soon be known as the Witches' Brew when he and our friend Wolpa start their concoctions. So, soon we'll eat our canned fruit while drinking our basement-beer and wearing our homemade sweaters. Then we'll have to find new things to learn!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

community garden

this summer I've been working a little with Lori, a colleague here at Calvin, on a community garden she started. It's called Everybody's Garden located in Hudsonville area, and the primary intent is to offer a community project for the special needs young adults group (including Mel, her daughter), Ready For Life. So far things have been amazing; God has blessed all of us in so many ways through this simple little project.

Here's Mel watering with her makeshift sprinkler. this was at the very beginning, before Evergreen Ministries surprised us with their donation of a sprinkler system!

these are the most recent results from 2 days ago! the yellow ones are pear shaped and taste like no other tomato I've tried. Incredible stuff.

Monday, August 20, 2007

all is well

Thank God, Daniel's family is safe! They were in Lima during the earthquake, and they said it was scary, but they are just fine with no damage to their homes. We were very relieved to find that out. Please pray for the many people who have lost loved ones.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I've been trying to find ways to decorate the walls in our house without cluttering up the place or hauling in anything bulky - huge and complicated do not translate well in a small, 1940s city-dwelling. I really like these ideas though...

barefoot in Alger Heights

Recently my wonderful family bought me a birthday present - the kind of gift that keeps on giving...

this cookbook is amazing. As a Ina Garten fan, I am constantly aware of the unfairness that the food network is a cable channel not included in the most basic Comcast package (well, that package only includes like 20 channels - 2 of which are CSPAN: thank God for bookTV!). But my days of "Barefoot" deprivation are ended because I have this cookbook. First recipe on tap? 40-garlic chicken. How can you pass that up??

Monday, August 13, 2007

what a summer it's been so far. Daniel and I just returned from about a month of travel. We spent 3 wonderful weeks in Peru (2 of those with Eddie), where we ate so much amazing food, traveled to Punta Sal up North, danced some Marinera, and just had a blast with the family there. Everyone sends their love to the family and has wonderful memories from the wedding last year. Daniel had eye surgery, so now he can see perfectly without glasses or contacts! Amazing stuff.

one of the meals we shared... risotto marisco. que rico!

daniel's mom and dad walking on the beach - so romantic

at costa verde

after returning from Peru, Daniel and I celebrated our 1-year anniversary! My family drove up and recreated the wedding dinner for us. they are the best. we are so thankful for the blessing of our family.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

sisters, sisters

all the girls were in grand rapids this week! Katy, Ellie, and Laura (and Bella!) all drove up to spend some time with us. Of course, we got right to work painting the town red.

The four of us (with poor Daniel doing his best to help but not get trampled) made some exquisite meals, if I do say so myself, including strawberry soup, farmer's market salad, fresh carrot-beet-grapefruit juice (not so popular) and apple-lemon-strawberry juice (very popular), quesadillas.... and just after we were so healthy, we ate lots of ice cream. We did some serious second-hand shopping, resulting in a painting for Ellie, a $5 silk prom dress for Kates, and some fun shoe-trying-on for me and Laura. We went for a walk/hike at Plaster Creek and watched two Indian-family films, randomly enough. Bend it Like Beckham and Monsoon Wedding... both come "highly recommended".

so, now poor Conrad is twitching in his sleep, dreaming of all the crazy playing he and Bella did, and my head is ready for a glass of wine and a pillow! It was sad saying goodbye to the ladies today, but the great thing about summer is we get to see each other a lot more than we expect. I would post pictures, but I need to wait for Katy to send them.... ahem. until then!

Monday, June 25, 2007

back from outer space!

so it's been a little while, huh?
I am officially in SUMMER mode now! This past Wednesday was my last day of work, and I have to tell you, I can't believe I made it. what a year. and now it's DONE. Thank God.

But just today I've actually begun relaxing. Thursday, Daniel and I drove a big van to Ikea (near Detroit) in order to pickup an entire kitchen for a new show some Calvin students will be shooting this Fall. I didn't exactly have to go, but I'm not one to pass-up a chance to shop at Ikea.

Then Friday and Saturday we went camping at Warren Dunes State Park with Conrad. That was a blast, but between our makeshift sleeping bags (a couple of blankets on the ground), Conrad being protective against every noise in the park, and a surprise rain shower about 3:00 am, it was a sleepless adventure. Saturday we ended up driving to my parents house and hanging out all afternoon.

So, finally today, we ended up taking almost a 4 hour nap this afternoon! And I'm still sleepy tonight! But I think we're off to a great start. Here's some pictures of our fun times for now...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Color me beautiful

I'm a sucker for these little quizzes... This quiz tells you "what color" you are. Apparently I'm Green: "You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature." Sounds like me on a GOOD day... wonder what color I am on a bad day?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

working weekend

We have spent the weekend working all over the house and yard! Daniel is organizing the basement right now, but I'm taking a little break... after a nap... after a lunch. Sooooo, yeah.

School is over for the summer! I work until June 15 and then it's adios for a month and a half! Talk about a deal. Becoming a teacher is looking more and more desirable. Between the benefits and vacation time, it's hard to complain. I'm staying busy wrapping up and planning (already) for the Fall, but it's so nice to have a very easy job for about a month. Not too long so I get bored, but long enough to keep me sane. This spring was just too busy for me and Daniel. We are READY for a break.

In other updates, we've sold the Honda Element (sniff, sniff) and bought a lovely Toyota Camry station wagon. This car is sweet... it has one of those backwards-facing seats and lots of leg room. Craigslist is amazing; we found this car in Chicago for $5000 and it has 60k miles on it! When I test-drove it, it felt like a new car. So, tomorrow we will go pick it up and hang out in Chicago for the night. Daniel has AVID training all week in Chicago, so Calvin is paying for a nice hotel room. yay! I've always wanted to stay in a nice hotel downtown. So, while he's in his training on Tuesday, I'll go for a quick swim on the roof, and then I'll be going to the "Art Institute" (a.k.a.: the Camper shoe store, American Apparel... I'll try to steer clear of Anthropologie, but I can't make any promises). Actually, it is the free day at the museums, so I will probably be there where the Michigan Avenue inflated prices cannot reach me.

So, a quick outline of our summer plans... In June I'll end work, we'll go to Philadelphia for a wedding, and we will be speaking Spanish only in 1039 Griswold. That's because July 15 we fly to Lima, Peru with Eddie for 3 weeks! I have to prepare! Right before that, we're going to try to get out to Maryland for the annual summer trip to the ocean, and I'm going to try to get a whole list of projects done! Daniel has a project he's working on for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and I'm helping with a community garden for developmentally disabled young adults. I guess we're going to be super busy! But it's fun busy because it's all choices. And I'll have more chances to blog and post pictures!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

taking it all in

So far it's been a great week. Today someone looked at the Element... maybe they'll buy it!! I really hope so.

My #1 thing I'm looking forward to is the Farmer's Market opens this Saturday. Eddie is coming up here Friday night to hang out w/ us, so I'll make sure I drag him along to the market the next morning for some pretty flowers and fresh bread and vegetables. I've had my eye on these bags from Etsy seller Shanna Murray - but I KNOW I can make them with a little concentration...

Friday, April 27, 2007

I think I can, I think I can...

The last few weeks have been CRAZY for us. But it's slowly winding down. As I type, Daniel is on his first day of filming his short film here in Grand Rapids. I only have 3 small events left, and summer is in sight! Didn't think we'd make there, but it's finally the end of April... or the promised land as I like to think of it.

The BEST news in terms of winding down is that Eddie is coming home on Sunday!!! Yes, he will be back in Michigan by 5:30 Sunday evening. Even as I type those words I'm tearing up, so I plan on just being a teary-fool for the next week.

The funny thing about living in "the urgent" for 3 weeks in a row, is that now that I'm getting back to normal, it's really hard to concentrate! Like, today I have no fires to put-out, so I'm just going through email, writing here, looking at my favorite blogs... but I still have things to do! I guess this is what could be commonly called as burn-out? All of my energy has been used up so I need a day of silliness. Not to mention, Patty Griffin is here at Calvin tonight, and I'm just way too excited about that.

The bad news is that we had quite a scare last night. Conrad ran out in front of a car and got clipped. He's okay... nothing broken or internally hurt. I just took him to the vet this morning, and we may have some x-rays taken on Monday to look at his hip. But he's pretty freaked out and Daniel and I are pretty freaked out. This may sound silly, but in the midst of all of our busyness, this shook us up a little to remember how fragile life is and how quickly we lose perspective.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Unless you were in Michigan for Christmas this year. That's right, we had a 60-degree Christmas on the beach, and now we have a White April. You just can't win.

So, brief catch-up... the Festival of Faith and Music was so amazing. The Sufjan concert was fun, and EmmyLou and Neko were amazing. I could write and write (or gush and gush) about EmmyLou and what an amazing person she is, but we all know that already. The weekend was nonstop work though, so I'm glad it comes only once every 2 years.

Easter weekend was very relaxing and low-key. Back when it was sunny, we talked about going camping, but seeing as the weather took a turn for the worse, we stayed here in GR and enjoyed just chillin. I made some curtains for the kitchen, and they turned-out pretty well (considering my nonexistent sewing skills). We had Easter lunch with Chris and Lisa, our friend Jenn, and another couple with 2 little boys. It was a great meal and, in the spirit of community, we all stayed there eating jelly beans and talking until it was almost dinner time.

These next few weeks are full for both Daniel and I. So full, I don't want to think about it. One day at a time, right?

Friday, April 06, 2007

light to eat by

Finally we found the perfect dining room lighting! And you'd better believe it's a pink chandelier. Think of it as whimsical. I saw it in an antique store window in East Town. So the room looks so good now - although now that the lighting is strong, I think I need to do some touch-up painting... just when you think you're done...

What do you think?

We've enjoyed a half-cleaning, half-lazing day here at home. After a good breakfast at the Real Food Cafe we worked around the house, then crashed to watch "Babel". This may ruin the possibility of a film-writer career for me, but honestly, I did not like the film. Actually, several critics did not like it much either, so I guess I could be the snob of the snobs. We also have "Wordplay", a documentary about crossword puzzles, so I think we'll have to watch that to recover. Did I mention it's snowing outside?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

movie and blog

We just finished watching "Hoop Dreams", an amazing documentary about what basketball means to young men in inner-city Chicago. I loved it. One of the most detailed and well-paced documentaries I've seen.

Tomorrow is a "Friday" for us... Yay for working at a Christian school! When I went to public school, Good Friday was an "optional" holiday, which you would think everyone would take, but most people had sports practices they couldn't skip, or didn't want to be seen as "religious fanatics". We were planning on going camping, back when the sun was out and we could see the grass. But now that everything is under 2 inches of snow and our winter coats have made cameo appearances, I think it's a great weekend for watching movies and cooking over the gas stove - not the campfire. No sense in wasting those marshmallows, though! Better stock-up on the wood for our adventure-less fireplace.

On another note, I'm loving this new blog I just discovered, How about orange. I really appreciate the DIY attitude.

Monday, April 02, 2007

april poetry

my friend Kristin is an English teacher, and so she pays attention to things like April being poetry appreciation month. So, every day in April she chooses a poem and sends it around on email. The poem today was appropriate...

"Introduction to Poetry"

by Billy Collins (U.S. Poet Laureate)

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

After a long weekend of work, it's nice to remember that there's lots of things like poetry, English classes, commemorations, etc. going on all the time. I think people call that "perspective".

Friday, March 30, 2007

festival days

the festival of faith and music is upon us! So today is exciting and nuts. But I wanted to post real quick about how happy I am Eddie is moving to safety! Will I ever take the safety of my brothers and sisters for granted again? I'd like to think not, but maybe I will. What a luxury.

Daniel took the picture of me and Conrad peaceful and happy. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring has sprung up on us

Here is a list of the signs of spring from this past WEEK alone...

mercury crept back up over 50 degrees in Michigan
my dad passed his BIG final test at the plant
Eddie is moving to the GREEN ZONE!!! As of Friday, he's starting the process to be back in GR, God willing, by April 29.
my sweaters, wool socks, winter coats have migrated to the attic only to be replaced by sandals, shorts, and skirts.

And it's only Wednesday. Yes, we survived a very difficult winter that was cold and dreary in many ways. It's amazing what a little sunshine and vitamin D can do for a lady!

So, here I am at work completely distracted with all these good things happening. This weekend is our Festival of Faith and Music. With Anathallo and Sufjan on Friday, then Neko Case and Emmy Lou on Saturday, it's going to be an amazing weekend.. not to mention the amazing workshops we're hosting. Josh Jackson, from Paste Magazine, Steve Stockman, David Dark, Lauren Winner... there's a huge list so check out the website and buy a ticket to Saturday's concert if you can. I'm in charge of that one, 2 divas sharing a stage. Yeah, I'm nervous. But really excited to meet them both!

This year the concert committee did something really cool called Bandspotting. They received 52 submissions and the winner, Son Lux, will perform on Friday (after Sufjan). You can listen to all the bands on the website as well.

So all is getting better here. I don't have any pictures of our spring break trip to DC on this computer, so I will post some later. We had a great time with extended family and ate way too much sea food (as if there's such a thing!).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring forward... more like FAST forward!

Well, the week is finally winding down and I have my sights set on DC! As much as I love Grand Rapids, sometimes I just need to escape! Soon we'll be on the road, enjoying the beginning of spring scenery, eating homemade chicken-salad sandwiches, and listening to Sunday NPR programs (hooray for "The Splendid Table" and A Prairie Home Companion!).

But until then, March is flying by too fast. This week was supposed to be my planning ahead week, but ended up being my putting-out-fires week. One thing that was a highlight was that Calvin hosted a speaker from U of Michigan. She's the head of their media studies graduate program (which I've had my eye on since graduating from Calvin). I boldly introduced myself to her earning not just an introduction, but an invitation to meet with her in Ann Arbor to discuss the program! wow! So, even though it's 2 hours away, I'm starting to consider taking 1 or 2 classes in the program next summer(or even this summer?). Hearing her speak made me miss doing work I get excited about. Well, this job has its moments, but it's a lot more drama and long hours than I anticipated.

Speaking of this summer, a friend of mine here at Calvin has a 23-year old daughter with special needs, and she's looking to open up her home as a group home for young adults with special needs this summer. She's securred a share of farmland near GR, and she and I are planning on teaching this group about gardening. I think the plan is to grow herbs for tea, tomatoes, and some basil. Then, maybe sell the tea to local stores and bed and breakfast places. My job only goes until mid June, so I'm going to have some free time on my hands and thought this would be a great use of it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

it's been a while...

I know I haven't been blogging very much lately. This past month has been so packed, I can't even remember much. Lots of weekend events, lots of evening meetings, mountains of snow everywhere, and new projects popping up at every corner.

The latest news around here is we are downsizing our transportation. Seeing as we both work at Calvin everyday and try to spend our weekends together, we don't really need 2 cars much. So, we've decided to sell the Honda Element (sniff, sniff). We both feel really great about this decision as it will save lots of money in payments and fuel, and the driveway space will seem so big now! For a couple of days we flirted with the idea of promoting the little Jetta to a station wagon... I've had my eye on a nice blue, manual Toyota Matrix. But, for now, the Jetta is a great car and if we decide to invest in a second (used) car a year or two from now, the Matrix will be it!

This coming weekend Daniel will be in Chicago at Northwestern University for a big conference, and I will be here in GR hosting a fashion show on Saturday night. So we have a full weekend ahead, but soon we leave for "spring break" (it's 10 degrees outside, so I don't know who thinks it's spring). We are driving out to Washington, D.C. to visit G-pa and G-ma Crosswhite, cousins, and Alejandro and Mariali and their little baby.

So that's enough catch-up. My job is getting better and better as I learn more about my own way of doing things. At first, I felt like I had to be like the person who had my job previously and it's hard to live up to imaginary expectations. But lately I've felt more confident in my own way of approaching the position. This has allowed me to enjoy my time at work more. The students I work with are amazing. Really, that's the best part of my job - just talking with students (who stop by my cloffice all the time - sometimes too much). There are not really many staff positions intended for younger people, so I think students appreciate having someone close to their age but not in the midst of all the college craziness. And my fellow staff workers are amazing. We've started an office weight-loss challenge. Hehe... we'll see if we can all be thinner by June 15. Guess I have to quit driving by Jersey Junction every other day!...oh, I guess I won't have a car soon, so that takes care of that.

Today I found out some really exciting news... two good friends of mine from my student days at Calvin, Scott and Heidi, moved back to Grand Rapids 4 days ago and live practically down the street from me and Daniel! I am SO excited to have friends in the neighborhood. So, I think I'm going to plan a party to welcome them and invite all the different people I know in-town but can never seem to find time to spend with them. Maybe I can start some good social habits (instead of hibernating in my attic with a book or documentary every night). We've done so much work on our house and I can't wait to share it with other people.

Okay... Conrad is ringing his bell to go outside so I need to help him out before he pees on the floor! I promise I will be better about blogging from now on!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

winter pics

found this adorable picture of the dudes...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dreams of Flying

I found this series of photos online and this was my favorite.

This week has been a long one. It's the combination of work, February, and lethargy (product of February, probably). The mercury climbed up to 38 degrees this week (wow!), and the sun is shining. This is a good thing and encouraging, until I remember Michigan spring is still months away. Still, the snow is beautiful and bright, and I welcome a break in the single-digit weather.

Last night Daniel and I worked until 7ish, and we drove to my favorite little hole-in-the wall, Pho Soc Trang, where we enjoyed delicious Vietnamese food. They did not have my favorite "vegetarian vermicelli", so in the interest of adventure, I tried the meat-laden version (a dollar cheaper - go figure). The bright "red" meat not so great but overall dish not so bad. Still, it remains my favorite place. Nextdoor there's an Asian market. Amazing finds include: gorgeous tea, noodle lunches for $1.50, ginger candy, and sesame oil 1/3rd the price of the grocery store. The thing is, the packaging is amazing on the things we bought; I'll take pictures and post to emphasize their loveliness. We found enormous scallops, and normally I'd go for it, but seriously, I think some of their seafood had been there in the freezer since fear of Y2K.

Tonight I'm taking myself and Conrad to Stevensville to wish Katy and Ellie happy Birthdays. It will be great to take off and maybe stop at my favorite antique stores in Saugatuck on the way south. I'm planning on picking them up a special something at the Wealthy St. Bakery - a Grand Rapids favorite of the O'Connor ladies. This is the only weekend off for a couple weeks, so I need to enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Conrad in the Snow

Okay... this is my attempt to link to for a video Daniel posted for the family. It's mostly in Spanish but you can see my new haircut (although he decided to take a picture of my right after I'd woken up on a snowy Saturday morning, grrr) and see Conrad jumping. Sorry it's so blurry!

Conrad in the Snow

Sunday, February 04, 2007


The snow outside is so beautiful! Even though we have been snow-bound since Friday night I have to admit, I LOVE this. We have food, we have heat, and it's been amazing to just hang out in the house. Originally, the plan was for me to have an event until late on Friday night, then go to a conference ALL day Saturday. YUCK! So I'm very happy to get to stay home and relax.
Yesterday we cleaned the house hard-core. My best friend, Emily Zangaro, recently started working at Wood TV 8, and she was reporting out in the cold all day. The roads were too dangerous to make the drive back to Lansing, so after the 11 o'clock news, she came over and stayed here. Seeing her was so wonderful. Conrad really loves her; he kept running up to her and licking her while wagging his tail.
Church was canceled today and now I'm trying to work up the energy to clean off the car and drive down the block to the video store... Daniel and I are hooked on the Sopranos. Thank God for snow storms!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

this tree resides in a park a few blocks from us. even on a gloomy day, it is so beautiful!

our first Christmas

Here is a lovely picture of our first Christmas tree together. We joined my family in Stevensville in choosing their tree at Bredeweg Acres farm, and my dad found the perfect tree for us. I sewed some lovely stockings from wool-felt for Daniel, Conrad, and myself. So our little living room on Griswold St. was cozy and full of Christmas cheer. After decorating the tree, I was so excited, I made Daniel help me get the air-matress out and we slept in the living room. Actually, I WAS amazed by the beauty of our tree, but Conrad pooped upstairs in our room, so that's why we slept downstairs where the air was clean of all frangrances except pine.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

getting back in the swing of things

Here I am, back in the "cloffice" (closet transformed to office). The great thing about January at Calvin is Interim... life slows to a nice pace and people start talking instead of complaining about being busy. Coming back to work/school after a holiday is so much easier. The January Series of amazing lectures has already proven a treasure once again. I've seen Lauren Winner, N.T. Wright, Laura Smit, and today I'll see filmmaker Gerard T. Straub. Great stuff all around. Poor Daniel is introducing Straub and I don't think I've ever seen him so nervous. For a teacher, he really hates being in front of people.

I'm listening to the Iron and Wine - Calexico EP right now and everytime I listen to it, I miss Eddie. About a year ago, he, Kirsten and I went to see them in Chicago for an amazing concert. So, it's a melancholy morning for me, but I guess it's good to have one of those every now and again. I talked with Ken (one of my bosses) about bringing Iron and Wine to Calvin (for a second time) next Fall, and it looks like almost a sure thing! So, Big Ed, KClimer, and I will have to go again.

Speaking of concerts, I'm counting the days until our Festival of Faith and Music! Sufjan Stevens, Anathallo, Emmilou Harris, and Neko Case are all performing, but as if that wasn't enough, David Dark (one of my favorite authors) will be there. I'm currently reading his book Everyday Apocalypse and it's amazing. Between hearing N.T. Wright and other speakers and reading this book, I wish I could carry these articulate and wise people around in my purse and refer to them hourly.

Alright, well that's about all the update I have time for right now. I have only a few events this month - a fashion show this Saturday and a coffee house music thing next weekend. So, I'm hoping I'll be able to post more in the days to come.