Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow & Graham

I am in love with all this paperie from Snow & Graham. Letterpressed stationary, calendars, notepads, notebooks, etc. Such a beautiful example of when less is more.

Over here we are beehive of industry and busyness. We are getting ready for out of town guests, a baptism and luncheon, and then going back to work full time next week. It could be awhile until the next post...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cybele's Secret

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

Historical fantasy. This is a loose sequel to Wildwood Dancing. It takes place 6 years later and follows Paula and her father on their merchant voyage to Istanbul to collect a rare artifact. If you liked Wildwood Dancing you will absolutely love this book. Young adult fantasy is my favorite genre to read, and I read a lot. This book is so artfully and expertly written that most other books of this genre pale in comparison, even the great ones.

The setting is historical Istanbul which Marillier portrays with bold honesty and richly woven detail. The characters are many, but very fleshed out and relatable (dashing pirates, handsome guardsmen, exotic women, fatherly merchants and the like). I find the majority of books I read to be good reads, but lacking something. The emotional depth of a story is something that takes true talent to create and sets apart good books from truly great ones. This is exactly what Marillier has given us.

The plot is complex with a healthy balance of suspense and resolution, and a beautiful, slowly unfolding love story that finally rings true (after reading a plethora of ridiculous ones). No silly romances based on instant physical attraction here. Just pure, deep, abiding love that takes time, experience, and trust to develop. I really related to this theme in the book. Especially the idea that opposites attract and can help balance each other out. It was a great reminder to me of what I hold dear and why. So sweet, so tender, and highly recommended. A definite favorite.

This is on my wish list because I already want to read it again, and looking at the delicious artwork is a journey in itself. 

Friday, January 23, 2009


“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down”
-Marvin J. Ashton

Today I am practicing having charity for myself. Try it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Welcome: Lucas Eli

Here's something new for Wednesdays. Wednesday Welcome will introduce you to the amazing people I know. I thought I'd start with the one person in the world I probably know better than any one else. 

Lucas Eli. Age 2.5. Baby of the family.

Actually, to be quite frank, I am writing this about him because I need to put a positive spin on a really overwhelming day.

4 of the following 5 messes were made today. Good golly! How much patience does H.F. think I have? I may have to rethink my prayerful petitions for patience...

Mess #1: Pink packing peanuts. He dumped these out of a giant box (twice) and it eventually led to a 1 hour clean up job thanks to static electricity. If you look close in the picture you will notice he is naked from the waist down. And laying on top of the peanuts. You go kid.

Mess #2: Broken antique saucer (make that 2 broken saucers). I think I cried when this happened. My first actual purchase made after years of envisioning a lovely plate wall. Lucas loves his stool and will use it to climb on the counters and search for hidden bags of candy. He found the bag and pulled. Down came the plates.I loved that robin's egg blue ;***(

Mess #3: Purple nail polish on the carpet. Lucas came up to the piano while I was teaching piano lessons and said "TA-DUM!".  I looked down and noticed his toenails were a lovely shade of deep, dark purple. I followed him into Emma's room and saw the carpet. Alas! The carpet is a lost cause. I did think it was sweet that he used a wash rag (pictured) to attempt a clean up. All of Sister's nail polish is now on it's way to the dump.

Mess #4: Blueberry Jam. This was a great way to unwind after a long day of running errands with Mom. Can you see the smashed berries on the newly washed rugs and the bottom of his shoes? Good thing money isn't an issue in our house right now. Otherwise I might have cried at this senseless waste. Oh, that's right. I did.

Mess #5: Soup of Cinnamon Roll. Can you tell from this picture that there is about an inch of water on the floor in my kitchen? Mixed in with one soggy cinnamon roll. And by this time he figured it out. Mom comes and takes pictures of every mess I make. I better smile for this one. I must be one awesome kid.

Mess #6: Poop. This was one happy moment and a much anticipated mess. For the first time ever, Lucas told me he had to go poop, produced one right in the toilet, and proclaimed: I go big, huge turd. What a proud moment for the Colemans. Until he cupped his hand in the poopy toilet water and drank it. **shudder**

Perhaps you were shopping at the American Fork Target today and heard a toddler screaming: Shut up! and Dammit! over and over. Maybe you even saw his mother pushing the cart with glazed over eyes and a zombie-like expression. If you were quick to judge I hope you can have a little more compassion now.

Those seem to be Lucas' two favorite words. Ever since we had a Family Council on verbal abuse he shouts those words out at the most inappropriate places. (I'm so sorry to everyone who was hoping for a spiritual sacrament meeting experience in our ward any time in the near future).  I'm wondering if we should ask the pediatrician about Turret's Syndrome. I'm watching for ticks.

In the mean time, please know that I am doing my best. **sigh**

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brutal Truth

Ayn Rand said that Robin Hood:

"assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth he did not own."

and also that he:

"became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors."

Ouch. Happy Inauguration Day to you all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fan of My Van

You might remember me mentioning I was in two car accidents on the same day over the Christmas break. The first was not my fault. The second one occurred on my way to the auto body shop for an estimate. What luck! Actually, it was great as far as accidents go. The guy, Scott B., who I slid into, was perfectly courteous and relaxed.

I don't really have any nice things to say about Debra J., who backed into me while I was driving out of the parking lot. So, let's just leave it at that. Well, I guess she is an insured motorists. That's about as much niceness as I can muster.

Our van has been at the shop getting damages fixed and I have been driving a rental. Which is not as nice. At all. And gets stuck on train tracks with traffic honking behind me. 

If I could have any car in the entire world, regardless of price, I would have the exact car that I do. I enjoy it that much—the automatic sliding doors, the built-in sun shades, plethora of cup holders, and on and on. I have been really missing my van, and just came across this funny post.  The author is discussing having a large family. Here's an excerpt:

I prefer the minivan (mine seats eight) because it has fourteen cupholders and doesn’t require a step-ladder to climb into. What? What’s that you say? Minivans are lame? So is having your child open his door into the vehicle next to you in the parking lot.

Hope that made you laugh like it did me. How about you, readers? Do you think minivans are lame?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two great books

Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells

Historical fiction told from the eyes of India Moody, a young southern girl living in Virginia during the Civil War. This novel was one which I enjoyed the way it was written more that what was written. The language is beautiful, at times even poetic, and worth the read just for that fact. There is an awful abundance of graphic war details, definitely not balanced out by happier times, but there are also a few incredible tender moments. In the end I was left with the feeling that India would indeed accomplish all of her heart's desires.

The story ends a bit abruptly, I would have appreciated a small epilogue, or even at least one more chapter. However, I realize that was the general writing style of the entire book and overall it really worked for me. This story really has kept me thinking long after the reading has finished. Wells does a great job of exploring many sides of difficult situations specifically, and the morality of war generally. It would be an excellent book for a book group discussion.

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

What a fairy tale retelling should be! This is a dark retelling of the classic fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin set in the 1700's during the industrial revolution. I loved nearly all of this book, especially Charlotte's comments about her honeymoon and her thoughts after having her first baby. Priceless. While the story followed the plot of the original tale loosely, it was so much more than that. There was an incredible amount of detail, clever plot, and an incredibly sweet love story.

There is a small moment in the book when it veered too far from the believable (what mother could even entertain the idea of giving away her newborn baby to save her business?!), but I forgave Bunce, since she had to stick somewhat to the original outline of Rumpelstiltskin and she has not had any children of her own.

Loved this near the end of the novel:

I backed away. "You cast a spell on me?"

He followed, drawing me back in. "Shh. No. I put my arms around you,
like this, and promised to protect you. I swore no harm would come to you. I've seen you do it too—to everyone you love. You have amazing strength, you know, when you put your mind to it."

"No," I said. "No, no, no... ." But as I whispered that one word, I knew he spoke the truth. I had felt it, all these months. That sense of peace, that overwhelming security—the strong wall that pushed all my troubles back a few paces. It was real. And it was at work on me, now. I held his arms tightly and let myself draw in just a bit of that Randall calm."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Look at what the light did now

Happy day. Our meeting time for church has changed to 9 am. Alleluia! I saw light streaming in through the east windows of the chapel this morning. It was beautiful and symbolized perfectly all that was taking place in my heart while I was participating in the ordinance of taking the sacrament.

It's that time of year again. Time for taking a thorough personal inventory. What do I want to be different from last year? I have thousands of things I'd like to accomplish this year. Things like ridding the world of skinny jeans and the overuse of the exclamation point!  But, since I feel my life needs focus, not a list of thousands of things, I have chosen 2009 to be the year I:

1. Let more light in.
This means saying no to things that do not uplift or edify. And saying yes to more things that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy." I want more light in my life. I want my life to take on so much luster that it illuminates those around me.

2. Be a mother who knows.
Don't you just love Julie Beck? Mothers who know do less.

3. Finish writing my novel.
Even if it turns out to be terrible and I decide to scrap it and start over. This year I will finish.

4. Complete a 12 Step Program with Alanon.
Really, for me, the 12 steps are like the repentance process. This will be a year to really DO the work of emotional repentance.