Thursday, December 30, 2010

on: 2010.

2010 was a great year. It really, really was. Inspired by an article on NPR, and my spectacular ability to forget things instantly, I decided to make a list of the 50 things that made me happiest this year. So, in no particular order:

1. Movies:
a. Inception,
b. Harry Potter,
c. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
d. Date Night

2. Quiet time for reading, looking over the snowy mountains of Colorado. (Feb)

3. Upgraded from my trusty point-and-shoot to a Nikon D80, thanks to Danielle Larson. (Sept)

4. Loren digging my sister’s car out of the snow at midnight. (Jan)

5. Old Spice commercial at the superbowl. (Feb)

6. English garden roses from Saipua in New York. (July)

7. Seeing the Lion King on Broadway, in which my friend Ben plays Pumba, AND getting the backstage tour. Simply magical. (July)

8. Seeing that a cohesive, supportive community really can beat out bad people, when Weston, MO ran the Westboro Baptist folks out of town. (Nov)

9. Baby animals. My blog is very nearly a baby animal blog. But this year, I discovered that is in fact possible to in fact pet a baby panda in a remote panda sanctuary in China. Add that one the bucket list. (Oct)

10. Three trips to the Zoo, D.C., St. Louis and Kansas City. And in Kansas City, THEY LET THE KANGAROOS RUN FREE(ISH). I was six feet from a baby kangaroo. (Jan, Aug, Nov)

11. I love places ripe for redemption. Thus, I did a lot of my graduate research on the city of Detroit. While there for Thanksgiving, the Eplers took me on a tour. It was something profound for me to experience a place written on my mind and heart first-hand. (Nov)

12. I have loved pandas my whole life. I finally saw a live one for the first time at the National Zoo in D.C. (Jan)

13. Visiting Loren’s favorite restaurant in Ann Arbour: Zingerman’s. We split an asparagus and goat cheese sandwich. And yes, it was every bit as good as Loren had hyped it up to be. (Apr)

14. The R Bar for my birthday. It might have been the best meal of my life. (Aug)

15. Alaska! (Aug)
a. Salmon, salmon, salmon, and crab bisque.
b. Kayaking next to Mendenhall Glacier. And it calved while we were on the lake. Amazing!
c. Hike to Echo Cove. It was nearly too beautiful for language.
d. Climbing Mount Roberts with Loren and Sean. Even if I was on the verge of a panic attack for the latter half of the hike. Somehow, I always manage to forget how much I hate heights. But the view made it absolutely worth it.

16. Getting to eat lunches at home sometimes.

17. Four-day workweeks. I’m so, so fortunate.

18. Handing out flower flats with Front Porch Alliance. And as a bonus, I got sent home with a leftover flat of zinnias. (June)

19. Dancing with glow sticks at Greg and Jool’s wedding; taco’s on the BLVD beforehand. (July)

20. Starting our photo-blog project with Kimmer, “gratitude,” before her return to Korea. (Aug)

21. Camping on my grandparents’ property at Roots n’ Blues n’ BBQ. And of course, the huge quantities of kettlecorn I ate. (Oct)

22. Rachel Maddow’s commentary on the closed-loop nature of the Republican media- and information machine. With a nod to the rumors of her being a lesbian vampire. (Nov)

23. Trying to figure out what to do with all of our crazy vegetables from our CSA. (Summer)

24. Sufjan Stevens playing “Seven Swans” as the opening of his show. (Oct)

25. Time with Stacey and Aaron and Zach in Dallas. (Nov)

26. Breakfast and m. henry’s in Chicago. Berry bread pudding, and crab cake eggs benedict. Another top ten meal. (Sept)

27. Wii bowling with Grandma on Christmas.

28. First Annual Brookside Porch Crawl. (June)

29. Keeping my first garden alive. (Summer)

30. Parkville Beer Fest. (Apr)

31. French macarons from Natasha’s Mulberry and Mott.

32. Painted nails: orange, neon pinks, charcoal gray- yep, I’m still loving it.

33. Walks to Crestwood.

34. Flowers from Flower’s by Design.

35. Homemade peanut butter cups.

36. My professor telling me that I should pursue publishing one of my papers. And just like that, I realized I had found my ‘something’ to be passionate about. (May)

37. A bike Ride to Shakespeare in the Park with a picnic. (July)

38. Dessert with Mom at Café Europa. (May)

39. Surprising my Dad at the airport. (Sept)

40. Christmas with the whole family for the first time in the better part of a decade.

41. Danielle marrying an all-around great guy, and throwing one spectacular party. (Oct)

42. How the dining room looks with the christmas lights and all the candles lit.

43. Roommate holiday. (Oct)

44. Toffee stout from McCoys. What’s not to love: coffee? Good. Toffee? Good. Stout? GOOD. (Nov)

45. Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate, Basil Marceaux. (Sept)

46. An oldie that I was only recently introduced to: Carl Lewis singing the National Anthem at a Bull’s Game in the early nineties. OH-OH!

47. David Hasselhoff’s MESS of a drunk cheeseburger incident. I will laugh every.single.time I think about it.

48. A spontaneous decision to see Conan O’Brien when he was in town. It was a good decision. (Oct)

49. Aaron Moss’ stories about his dad (and mom, too). The second hardest I laughed all year. (Dec)

50. The hardest I laughed all year: Jon Mark having to push Aaron's car out of the snow after we had made fun of him for walking. "Jon Maaaarrrk! Jon Mark help! Jon Mark, push us!" (Jan)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on: neglect.

Oh, hey, blog.

Yeah, I know it's been a really long time. Four months? Really. Geesh. Sorry about that.

Here's a picture of a baby pandas to make it up to you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

on: 25.


It’s been crazy year. In December, I got mono and read Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and started thinking about the story I was telling with my life. In January, I set out to do 24 things before I turned 25, some big and some small. I didn’t do all of them, but I did a lot of them. But reflecting back on this year, it’s been one of the best and most exciting of my life. And 23 was really dang good, too. Now, I’m looking ahead to my 26th year on this earth. Having recently been faced with turns I didn’t expect my story to take- nothing major, just little things that remind me I’m not in charge of my life- I am amazed at the grace of God: of His faithfulness to keep promises, to keep me, and to take me on adventures I never could have imagined, when I only let Him lead. So now, the last year of my life in a few lists:

24 things before 25
1. Read at least one book for pleasure per month. (check!)
2. Visit the Nelson-Atkins. (FAIL- I mean, come on! How easy would that have been??)
3. Paint/draw one piece per month. (Nope.)
4. Take more pictures. (check!)
5. Cook once a week/eat at home more. (check!)
6. Spend time with Jesus before I spend time with others. (Errr, sort of.)
7. Write more letters. Send more cards. (check!)
8. Decorate my office with things I love. (check!)
9. Clean and organize my home office space. (check!)
10. Repair/reupholster some of the furniture I fished out of people’s garbage. (Errr, no.)
11. Have someone over for dinner once a month. (check!)
12. Make one new friend per month. (Halfway. A few new friends! Deepened some other friendships. So, I’m going to call it a SUCCESS!)
13. Sew something on my sewing machine. (check! Cloth napkins. Bingo.)
14. Go to Chicago! Finally! (check! Well, I’m going this weekend, but I’m still counting it.)
15. Take more pictures of Loren and I. (Vomit, I know, but (check!)
16. Practice my Spanish. (Pfffff. This might be on my list every year for the rest of my life.)
17. Trace my family history. (Nope.)
18. One walk per week. (No, but I did take a lot more walks, so improvement!)
19. Ride my bike to class, often. (check!)
20. Make a collage of my pictures from Korea. (check!)
21. Go camping. (No. :( )
22. Grow things. (check! Herbs, tomatoes, green peas, peppers, onions, red potatoes, zinnias, tulips, daisies, peonies and kale. I’m on my way!)
23. Make more gifts. (No. But I did give more gifts, and I consider that a WIN.)
24. Go to the beach. Any beach. (check! Alaska. But it’s still the Ocean, people.)

So, here I have 24 things that I wanted to do in eight months. I did 14 of them full-on. I did another four in part. That’s 75 percent. I did 75 percent of the things that I thought would be dang cool to do in just eight months. That’s awesome. I’m going to write a new list for this year. I highly recommend it to anyone. In addition to this list, I made a conscious effort to take more adventures this year. I only get to be young once, after all, and it sure felt like I was letting the ‘old’ set in far too quickly: I had a 40 hour a week job and everything about my life sounded remarkably average. There’s nothing wrong with average. There’s real beauty in average, and I appreciate that beauty. But I’m not satisfied with average just yet. Travel is a great way to interrupt average. As Alain de Botton said, “The reason to travel: there are inner transitions we can’t properly cement without a change of locations.” So I traveled.

1. North Carolina (well, right before my birthday, but it still counts.)
2. Seoul, South Korea
3. Lots of St. Louis and Columbia, MO
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Detroit, MI
6. New York City
7. Alaska
8. Chicago

So this year, make a list with me, maybe? And let’s go some places definitely. Let’s interrupt average every now and then.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


! I have a slight, but mounting, obsession with "Alice in Wonderland" themed things. I would live in the new Tim Burton movie. No jokes. I would decorate my entire house like a topsy turvy english garden tea party with pretty china and extravangant wallpaper and rose bushes inside. I would cover entire hallways with giant paper flowers. I'm not even kidding. I'm not all that into couture, really, other than for the artistic appreciation of it. But the new Galliano for Dior collection is out.of.control. It's fantastic! I would wear that black and yellow dress as my wedding dress someday. Just dare me. (And then buy it for me.)

Images from rdujour via the Neo-Traditionalist.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Mr. Wind

Found on by Kate of Wit & Delight on a Cup of Jo.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

on: places to see before i die

I don't know where this is, but I must find it, and live there.

and here, too.

Both pictures found here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

more freaking baby animals

Some of you may remember last year's obsession with sea turtles. It's back on.

Also, this.

Via Unruly Things.

Friday, May 21, 2010

freaking baby animals

Meet the sloths from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.

Now, I know, okay? They're a little bit creepy. But damn, they cute, too.

via Serious Eats.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010


"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
-Sylvia Plath "The Bell Jar"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

on: the power of love

I'm sitting in Aixois- one of my favorite Kansas City spots. It's lunch time on a dreary Saturday. I've been posted up working on a take-home final (sort of) and the lunch crowd is slowly filtering in. Among them is an elderly couple. A husband and a wife; the woman is beyond frail. She looks as though I could pick her up and cradle her like a baby. She eats her lunch awkwardly, messily, and slowly, with much assistance from her husband. Each helping hand to wipe her mouth is a gesture of absolute tenderness and grace. It turns out it's her birthday. The waitress brings out a creme brulee for her with a candle in it. Her husband blows out the candle for her and lets her have it all to herself. When she finishes, she shakily folds up her messy napkin and he pats her hand.

I can't stop watching their interactions. The simplicity of tenderness, the commitment of compassion, years passed, love grown. Time expensed past worldly beauty and independence- when only a deep love remains. A love that is beyond the understanding of those of us that are still young and beautiful. Mysterious and passionate, transcendent of our immature definitions of those things. Sweet silence and acceptance. The power of steadfast love.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

right now, i'm loving:

Some things that have made me happy recently (other than the weather. But I assure you, it've been primarily the weather.)

1. This Aardvark Manifesto from Keep Calm Gallery.

2. These "Ideal Bookshelf" prints from Jane Mount. (The one below would be close to mine.)

3. Photography by Paul Barbera.

4. And all things in-the-garden, really.

(photo by lonnymag)

5. The new JCREW. Like duh. All the shots are garden-themed, too! EEk. I esp. love the navy gingham checked button down. But I'm gonna have to wait/hope for the sale on that one. (Btw, did you know that they offer a 15% discount on in-store purchases to teachers and students w/ valid IDs?! I think I may finally go get my UMKC ID after all...)

6. Aixois coffee bar.

(crappy cell-phone picture)

7. THIS nook. THESE blue walls. THOSE lights. Ohhh be still my heart.

(spotted by Mel @ You Are My Fave, Jr., I think)

8. Pandas. Always and ever. Especially in front of yellow backgrounds. And waving pandas.

(spotted by P at What Possessed Me)

9. Red bentwood chairs. Red furniture in general, I think. And that huge table is nice, too.
(via little green notebook)

10. New music!!!
New jonsi album online!
Snoop Dogg goes Green? That Tree!
And of course, via Black*Eiffel a little poppy number.

So, what's been making you happy this week, lovlies?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Ohhhh holy moly. Swooooooooon. A flickr set for Farmer's Market polaroids. Jackpot.

Spotted by Mel @ You Are My Fave.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Not to get all mushy on you, but I can't help but notice recently that the people that have the greatest impact rarely set out to do so. They set out to be faithful, to seek justice, to love well. I want to be one of these people.

My friend, Jane Williams, is an inspiring woman. Check it:

Via Suzanne Williams

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stop-Motion Monday: A "Novel" Idea!

Tim Williams "Novel"

Where do I always get these? Black*Eiffel, always.

Additionally, I could not more strongly recommend you get yourself to a 3-D Movie Theatre and see Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" as quickly as you're able. (A tip: the first showing of the day is usually less than $5!)I can't get it out of my head. I wish Design*Sponge would do a write up on it in their "Living In" column. Sigh. Ohhh to go to Matinees on weekdays again...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stop-Motion Monday is back!

I'm sick. Again. Most frustrating! I did, however, put a small vase of daffodils on my desk, and this has improved things perceptibly.

Stumbled upon this lovely little. Enjoy!

Via Black*Eiffel, of course.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

on: cabin fever

I'm so freaking sick of winter.

And no sun, no windows, no warmth. Only fluorescent lights above. So, I had to immerse myself in daydreams of baby animals, fresh spring flowers, cool mist and dew, Easter eggs, warmer temps, and walks and walks and walks under sweet, sweet sun.

1. That's a BIG Noise from a Lil lamb..:O))), 2. nature bubble-keh, 3. BluebirdNB2 20090329L 047pe3, 4. bench monday - outdoorsy?, 5. Mornin', 6. Tulip Bucket - Farmers Market, 7. dots., 8. hello, my name is inigo montoya..., 9. ikid, 10. soft, 11. Les Parapluies de Brooklyn II, 12. Easter eggs, 13. Husky Puppies, 14. Dupont Farmers' Market, 15. Blue Hyacinth, 16. Frannie's Puppies, 17. Mr. Puggle, 18. Spring Blossoms, 19. Spring Thunderstorm, 20. Are You Looking At Me ???, 21. Madrugada, 22. spring light #4, 23. Look what I got for my birthday. What should we name her?, 24. 'PINK SPRING' - 'IN CENTRAL PARK NEW YORK' - Best viewed large !, 25. Micheldever wood

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Typical: Stress Relief

Well, I'm back to the blog world, babies. It's been a long time. I had to come back to bring you this special report:

My co-worker has this liquid- and glitter-filled squishy stress-ball that she plays with.

Like one of these, only with little toys inside.

We're sitting in our office and we hear this loud "POP" and see glitter and water and small toys blow up all over her face. Glitter on the walls, in her hair, all over her sweater.

It was awesome.

A lot like this, actually.

You may now resume your activities.