In the midst of merry madness.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I've wanted to post about some really fun things we've been doing -- a Father's Day hike, a sixth (bunny!) birthday party, a superhero run, a sewing workshop in New York City, Thanksgiving ziplining and scooting, playing with cousins.  But, as you've probably guessed, it's too much.  I can't seem to find the time to get photos from camera to computer to blog.  I'm too busy having fun with my little family and our extended family, squeezing in some sewing when I can, volunteering a bit here and there, and just keeping it all going.  And now the Month of Madness is upon us, when my to-do list grows exponentially and every moment seems to lead to December 25, which is both Christmas and Little Brother's birthday.  It's a fun time, but good golly is it busy.
This weekend, for example, will begin with a Daisy Scout sleepover in the school cafeteria, followed by a children-giving-to-children holiday parade, a garden maintenance volunteer event, a birthday party, some gift-making, and some angel tree shopping.  See?  Busy.
If you find yourself wondering what I've been up to and why my blog seems a bit stagnant, you'll know why.  Madness.  Merry Madness.

Think Purple.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In this month of Thanksgiving, my family spends time each night talking about Thankful Things and filling our Bowl of Blessings.  As the election dust is beginning to settle, I return to this:

I am thankful for our right to vote, which so many fought tirelessly for, and which our nation protects fiercely today.  In my city, there were very long lines.  People waited hours to cast their ballots, in a state where everyone knew where our electoral votes would go.  By 4:00, more ballots had been cast than in the entire 2008 election.  So I am thankful not only for the right to vote, but that so many value it so highly and exercise that important right.

I am thankful also for our right to express our political beliefs freely and openly, without persecution or retribution.  People of deeply held and varied political beliefs are friends, neighbors, colleagues.  Despite different beliefs, we manage to get along, mostly, and see past those things that divide us.
Yesterday, we were a nation of reds and blues.  Today, I'm thinking Purple.


I choose to think today about what unites us as Americans.  The right to vote and advocate for our political beliefs, the freedoms we share, our strength as a nation -- these are things we can all agree on.  These are the things that we want to preserve for our children and model for other nations.

It's easy to think about the red and blue divide, to get sucked into the pundits' talk about mandates and political turmoil and impossible challenges ahead.  It's harder to focus on common ground and shared values.  In this time of post-election analysis, I challenge you:  Think Purple.

In the end, we are so much more than red and blue.  We are friends, neighbors, colleagues.  We are people who work hard and want to leave this country better than we found it.  We are Americans.  We are Purple.
America has always been a country of red, white, and blue.  But today, my America is Purple.  If you see me today, you will see that I am wearing purple and you will know why.  I am thankful for all that unites us as Americans.

Halloween Addendum, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Okay, confession time.  I left out something big in my Halloween 2012 post.  Despite having chosen their costumes, the kids did not love them.  How can that be?  I don't know.  But it was so.

Never fear -- with some last-minute improvising and modifications, we made it work.  Tim Gunn would be proud.

Big Sister's cape was simply too long.  And, with long sleeves and warm weather, it was too hot.  Trust me, I know.  I ended up wearing it trick-or-treating.

We switched out the cape for one that I bought originally, but Big Sister instantly rejected.  On Halloween Day, suddenly she loved it (thankfully).  She wore it to school, and then she insisted on wearing it trick-or-treating.  This replacement cape, which was silk-screen printed by hand (!!), was made by Baking with Medusa.

I do not know what that shining light on her chest is.  Spooky!

After wearing his Spiderman costume once, Little Brother informed me that Spiderman is not as tough as Batman, so he did not want to wear that costume again.  Not one to argue about toughness, I switched to speed.  Thanks to cheap and easy-to-procure Target pieces, I was able to put together a Flash trick-or-treating costume almost as quickly as Flash can run around the Earth.  Lucky for me, Spiderman boots look an awful lot like Flash boots.

I take no credit for that awesome hat.  That's all Ramona, of Etsy shop Soil (which seems to be down at the moment and won't let me link to it), who did an amazing job with this custom order (I suspected that the thrill of Spiderman would not last, so I did plan ahead a bit with the hat).

I even threw together a Flash trick-or-treat bag before work that morning. Now you know the full extent of my ridiculousness. But, hey, these fun superhero days won't last forever, will they?  And who could resist this fast Flash?

Oh, and we were joined by Batman, who was quite a trooper with his first trick-or-treating experience.  So glad little nephew/cousin could come along!