Spring Fever

I’m usually the type of person who’s pretty able to appreciate the ‘now.’ I don’t hate any seasons by any means, and simply enjoy the feeling when one transitions to the next. It’s refreshing and rejuvenating, isn’t it?

This year, I still feel this way, but I find myself excitedly looking forward to things. Much of it…okay, probably all of it has to do with the baby. You’d think I’d be grabbing at every square inch of time (yes, I know time isn’t measured in inches) with the little man before he turns into, well, a real man. At 7 1/2 months, he’s certainly growing up fast, and I’m not necessarily excited about it. He’s teething up a storm (none have appeared yet, but he’s fussing enough for a mouthful), days or weeks away from crawling, and LOVES his walker. You can see the longing in his eyes to be able to get closer to those darn cats.

So…close…ahhh, gotchya. Wait. Wait! Come back!!

I’ve been warned enough that once he’s mobile, life’s never the same.

Duh, we know. We knew that life would never be the same when we found out that we were having our awesome little guy in the first place. We knew about this whole sleep-deprived, slightly-controlled lifestyle that we’d be undertaking. Or, so we THOUGHT we knew.

I’m thinking this is one reason I’m kind of cool with him getting a tad older. We’ve had some rough patches. *gasp* Wait. Did I just admit for the whole world to see that life isn’t perfect? No sunshine? No rose petals? No perfect baby, no perfect life??

Yup! But don’t be mistaken, please. I LOVE OUR LIFE. Well, most of it. As far as our home life goes, we’re lucky enough to be stronger today than we were, hell, when we got married. Parenthood has made us fall even more in love with each other. We’re supportive (most of the time; sleep deprivation has its residual effects), and our priorities are completely one and the same. Our cats are hysterical bits of daily entertainment that we feel downright blessed to have in our lives. Our families, as annoying or over-reactionary or misunderstanding as they may sometimes be, are incredible and truly have our backs.

We wouldn’t ask for any other baby. Hadley is in-stinkin’-credible. Not that looks matter, but the kid’s got ’em. We even considered getting him into baby modeling, if we were in a more conducive environment to do so. (I kid you not!) Somehow, he’s masculine but uber-sensitive at the same time. He’s pensive. He’s expressive. His giggle is beyond adorable, and infectious…then when he hears us laugh, he does this laugh that resembles a cough (like he’s forcing a laugh) because he’s mimicking what he thinks a “grown-up laugh” is. When he sees me after a short absence, his face beams in a way that doesn’t beam for anyone else. I’m here, honey. I’ll try to never leave you in a forever way.

Yeah, he’s a mama’s boy, through and through. Tough as nails in some ways and incredibly needy in the other. Therein lies some of the issue. We’ve gotten through most of his early gassy issues (in which he would SCREAM incessantly for quite awhile, which made a huge challenge for his grandma/sitter) but the kid. Won’t. Sleep.

There was a time (many months, actually) that he’d sleep a full night. Lately, we’ve gotten one of those nights in the past month. With a break from school last week, I realized that between BFing all day and night, I was up every three hours (one night he gave me a 4-hour span…halleluiah!) from Friday night to the NEXT Monday morning. But, I wouldn’t mind that so much as I do the fact that he won’t nap for his grandma. No, he DOESN’T WANT to nap. He hates it. He cries. He doesn’t like being put down on his back. He doesn’t want to be left alone. He wakes up almost immediately when you put him down already asleep. It’s rough.

Some days, I think it’s teething. (Partly, possibly.) Other times, I think he’s just so attached (as Dave puts it, the kid’s a spokesbaby for attachment parenting…which we don’t really subscribe to). Some might call him “spoiled.” How does one spoil a 7-month-old?! Well, regardless, it’s a phase and I remind myself that this, too, shall pass. I’m thinking that once he starts crawling and expending energy that he may welcome naps and nighttime a tad more.

Which is where my spring fever comes in. I’m allowing myself not to wish, but to daydream about all the wonderful things coming down the line for our family with the coming of a new season.

March is one hell of a long month, isn’t it? February’s so obnoxiously cute in its shortness; March is obnoxious in its sheer length. I shouldn’t complain since educators get mega time off, but it’s rough to go from mid-winter break through the month — we’ve got Good Friday off, then the second week in April is (finally) SPRIIIING BREEEEAAAAK.

I’m itching to get this kid in his stroller to hit the pavement. Talking about the smells in the air, the singing birds, the squirmy wormies, the hints of green popping up all around.

To get back to farmers’ markets with their young asparagus, fiddleheads, garlic scapes, and fresh herbs I didn’t have the time to grow on a hardly-gets-sun kitchen shelf. Planning and planting our own garden, showing Hadley what happens when we put something special in dirt and take care of it.

Finally getting a thorough spring cleaning done (I don’t know the last time I truly did the spring cleaning that my mother would approve), even if it means requesting that my mom come and assist me while the hubs watches the baby. Cleaning every square inch, including those damn glass ceiling fan light covers. Yes, even under and behind the couch. Organizing the basement and giving *someone* a chance to finish painting. Piling stuff for the annual garage sale.

Considering our summer vacation, or even grabbing a quick spring getaway to another state to visit friends without the fear of sudden winter weather thwarting our plans.

And Easter. Honestly, Easter was never my favorite holidays, although I’ve always had reverence for Lent and self sacrifice in order to cleanse one’s spirit; mind you, the only part of Lent I’ve participated in this year is the Almighty Fish Fry. (As a child, I gave things up, went to church…all that.)

I was always incredibly wary of the Easter Bunny. Was he a small (normal-sized) rabbit? A human-sized bunny? A guy in a fuzzy suit? Either way, how would a rabbit have the ability to hide eggs AND carry those cheap-o baskets full of stuff to everyone…with bunny paws? Santa, somehow, was relatively believable. Easter Bunny? Not s’much.

But, it’s the fact that we can start our own tradition. That it’s not a huge gift-driven holiday that can be ruined by the best intentions of relatives. That WE can get a handful of useful, fun items (an outfit or two, a summer hat and sunglasses, some bubbles to watch us blow, a couple of books) for the EB to bring him. I look forward to the days when we can insert sidewalk chalk and a jump rope, and color and hide eggs (although we’ll have to buy regular white ones; he won’t know they come in any color but brown). That we can have a fun day. It’s nostalgic for me, I guess.

As a child, even if it was still REALLY cold, we’d run outside to at least try out our bubbles. Even if the sticky solution ran down our hands and arms in freezing cold streams. Sometimes, a simple walk around town (whether before or after dinner) was invigorating, probably because we hadn’t walked during winter. It also meant that we’d be hauling our bikes out of storage in the garage soon, wiping the cobwebs and mud from the previous year off and filling the tires with air. That we could switch out our fluffy, warm winter coats with thinner jackets.

So, what can I say? I’m allowing myself to be excited. Of course, I’m enjoying the time we have together now, but what’s wrong with a little daydreaming about what’s to come? Any readers excited about the new season?? (Besides getting rid of the cruddy weather. Mind you, I’m in the midst of a snow day right now.)

And don’t even get me started on the summertime. Squeeeeeeaaaal!
(The night that I wrote this, the baby slept. What’re the odds? Could be a handful of reasons, but I’m not complaining!)

Public Display of Affection

You may notice that I mention my husband around this joint from time to time (and he makes a rare occasion, especially when we’re talkin’ wedding anniversaries and traveling). We’re not huge over-sharers when it comes to our relationship and some other stuff, mostly because we try to be cautious about how public his job is and the wackos that may or may not hunt down our family. You think I joke. It’s creepy enough that folks he’s never met refer to him as “Dave” at the grocery store (or shout to him from a busy garage sale at the corner of our street) and treat him like a long-lost friend that they can bitch to. Even creepier when people chase us down in Kmart to take a gander at the baby; that one makes my skin crawl a bit.

But, I’ve gotta give credit when it’s due. For the most part, I married an A+ guy. He tries SO hard. He does SO much for his family. He keeps his chin up and deals with major work stresses only to pick up a crying baby and schlep home in the dead of winter to…me. A lady who, odds are, is already in her comfy nighttime clothes (far from sexy, closer to Punky Brewster frumpy) with my wet, uncombed hair in a messy bun…and probably exhausted and in need of dinner ideas. Last thing he needs. But, he deals with it in such a sweet, loving way, I have to remind myself to try to pick up the slack sometimes. ‘Cuz goodness knows he’d never tell me to. Maybe he just knows better. Maybe he knows how Rita I can be when provoked. Either way, he’s incredible.

Just last week, before heading back from our luxuriously long holiday break, he went grocery shopping for me. Sure, I had to remind him NOT to buy ANY seafood unless it was on sale. (He’s also fully aware of which types of seafood to buy and from which origins, to say nothing of his religious following of the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15.) And, sure, he had to call or text a few times. But, he purchased thoughtfully and made life easier for me. He accidentally got Stonybrook yogurt’s soy strawberry (have you tasted that stuff?! And why, oh why, create something soy-based that still has dairy in it? I just can’t wrap my head around it) and the wraps he purchased were rye (yeah, I’m not a fan unless I throw some Thousand Islands on that sucker to make it Reuben-ish), but he tried so hard and everything else was stellar. I also saw that he sneaked a few Chobani yogurts for himself. I love that a deed well-done is self-gratified with such a healthy, delicious treat.

But, that’s not all. He’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’ve been wanting to soup up the ol’ blog as part of a fun, exciting opportunity or two coming down the line. While many husbands would raise an eyebrow (especially with a needy almost-6-month around the joint), he welcomed it. I’ve seriously gotta buy that guy some pom-poms. He’s a frickin’ cheerleader, that one. Even when I’m being my usually “realistic idealist” self, especially when my admittedly low self-esteem rears its ugly head (even when an absolutely wonderful opportunity arises), he’s more “rah rah!” than “blah blah” about it. My successes are his successes, and he’s like a proud papa when good things happen. It’s nice to have a buoy around when you should be enjoying a moment, rather than questioning whether you deserve it and why it couldn’t possibly work.

When it comes to that shared successes thing, I guess you could say I’m pretty darn proud of his, too. Particularly when he achieves things that are in his realm of happiness (we’re both creative people, so when we’re able to nurture those tendencies), it’s an awesome thing.

Here I thought he was wary of blogdom, especially when I first started this venture — I can’t count how many he writes for these days, from All-Star Comics to Dorky Daddy (admittedly, my favorite) to his newsroom one (which I’m so happy that he’s using to try to find missing animals for heartbroken families; a news guy with heart). From here, I’ve also gotta brag about a venture with his friend, Andy, that I find simply incredible. If you’re into comics, check this out. If you’re not…still check it out. It’s an idea that he’s been incubating for years about a very adult web comic series revolving around the bar that caters to all those holiday characters that make childhood what it is. I’m not biased here — ‘cuz if one of his projects is a flop or lacking, I’m pretty honest about it (at least he knows he can give me something to read through and I’ll be a reliable judge). It’s hysterical. And the art that Andy has done for it? Amazing.

So, just for $#!@s and giggles, let’s take a moment to appreciate…the awesomeness…that is…Dave. (Feel free to start a slow clap…or view this pictures with any number of hilarious songs, like “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings” or “All Star” .)

Patiently waiting for me to take a blog photo…which he doesn’t realize he’s in.
His best friend. You didn’t think it was me, did you??


The Internet rocks. To some, this may sound downright idiotic; to others, it’s blasphemy. “Well, of course it rocks. Where have you been living the last 20ish years?!” says one side, while the other insists, “It’s ruining the moral fiber of our country, and others.” I totally understand both sides, I really do – I do worry that it, at times, has kept me from spending enough time with my husband or has been the master king of time suckage to my life. But, be that what it may, the Internet is still an awesome thing. Clearly. I’m blogging on it.

While I’m a user of Pinterest (I don’t think I’d have the nursery art inspiration and other ideas that I’m currently housing without it!), I’ve been able to keep myself from getting obsessed. As it is, the blogs that I follow (and, believe me, it’s not nearly as many as most folks…well, the folks who follow) provide me with enough eye candy and information to read on a daily basis. Oh, and if I miss a day or two, I’m set! It’s like winning some strange jackpot.

Not that every aspect of the Internet is da bomb. I’m not a fan of Twitter (but I have one…which I rarely use…@megactsout, holla), and have a love/hate relationship that I’m trying to break off with Facebook (but it DOES help me know more about folks following my blog, and to keep up with possible cloth diaper deals, etc). And the fact that the Internet has absolutely deteriorated the use of general manners and decorum in conversation and treatment of others is disheartening. See, lots to hate.

But, what do I love? E-zines. There are some awesome e-zines out there that I’m getting into – and most are currently free. SERIOUSLY! (Why does that impress me so much?) Normal folks are putting information and eye candy out there for the whole world to see, mostly because they’re uber passionate about the topic. It’s a wonderful thing!

I do get regular ol’ glossies, too, don’t get me wrong. Thanks to a few REALLY good deals, I scored myself Real Simple (a mainstay that I’ve been reading since college…although it can be hit-or-miss), House Beautiful (which has actually been a disappointment, but dirt cheap and provides some eye candy) and Better Homes and Gardens. I also get a stack of used This Old House and Consumer Reports mags every time I visit my parents. (Dave gets some mags of his own, and we share The Writer). Oh, plus the Newsweek that I get free for donating to our local PBS station. And, yes, I recycle old copies. 😛

But, there’s something neat about e-zines. They’re relatively eco-friendly (sure, you’re using a computer, but that uses a heck of a lot less energy than the creation of the paper versions), generally shorter (so you can easily read it in one sitting), and there are often links to cool products or places on the web that follow up with the story.

My new favorite is Kaia Magazine (and that’s not just because I recently submitted an article for consideration). It’s all about living realistically sustainably. The articles aren’t overwhelming, expense-inducing or even lecturey (yes, I made that up) like lots of green living magazines seem to be – it’s attainable. They’ve only released a couple of issues, but I hope they’ll be around for the long haul.

I also enjoy The Lettered Cottage Magazine. Of course, I’m already a huge fan of Layla and Kevin’s blog, but sometimes a magazine format gives you a case of the “oooOOOOooo”s. You know what I mean. It’s when you see something in a glossy that looks wicked professional or pretty or gorgeous and you have to say “oooOOOOooo”. Or, wait. Is that just me? Regardless, they rock.

And, lately, I just keep stumbling over new online magazines, mostly thanks to FB posts (sue me!) from other Kaia Magazine contributors/editors. I spent more time than I’d like to admit reading Green Child Magazine, for example. It’s a great place to pick up ideas for raising kids in an eco-friendly setting. And, now that I’m “with child” and expanding exponentially, how can I resist? The recent issue even had a great review of various baby carriers. Sweet!

See what the Internet has to offer? I know, there are billions of other cool things out there, but currently I’m sticking with a few new e-zines. It’s all my schedule can really handle, and I’m enjoying the process of learning new things (while not spending an arm and a leg on “regular” magazines).

A Love Letter to Pottery Barn

Dear Pottery Barn,

Hey, there! Just dropping a line to see how you’re doing, and tell you about the awesome experience I had during our last visit.

Dave and I made a shopping trip to Syracuse over the weekend specifically to bulk up my summer wardrobe with a) some more “modern yet not tooooo trendy” pieces and b) items that I can use both to dress casual-but-nice, particularly to summer school, and particularly because Dave has a way of throwing on jeans, a tee and an open button-down and winding up looking way dressier than me in my jean capris and tee. He was incredibly supportive to not only go shopping with me but to share his opinions, left and right, even when I immediately shot him down. Have I mentioned what a saint this guy is? Oh, you already knew that? Wow, you ARE great, PB.

And, of course, even though I hadn’t had much luck and we were running out of time, he sweetly said “Okay!” to a detour into your store! (Don’t worry, I ended up having luck in the last couple of stores we tried, and even had time for Christmas Tree Shop.)

The cool thing about you, Pottery Barn, is that you’re one of the only things that will turn my husband into a guy who’s actually interested in design and what, aesthetically, our house could look like. Lowe’s brings him close, but the instant that we walk into you, we both start talking and sharing and discussing a mile a minute. It’s a shot in the arm (in a good way) of inspiration – for both of us!

I tend to glance around with two goals in mind: #1) To see if there’s anything that we can actually afford, perhaps on clearance (mostly to no avail) and #2) To see if there’s anything that I can either emulate on the cheap or purchase for less elsewhere. Dave takes in the ambiance of the place, with a tendency to be drawn toward anything old-looking.

Here are a few items that flooded our conversation with ideas:

A desk similar to this stopped Dave in his tracks. (It was decorated with items that were more vintage-looking, including the clocks mentioned below.) It brought us to discuss the fact that I had wanted to find some filing cabinet-type pieces upon which to add a cheaper desk top idea to, in order to end up with a custom-made desk unit that we could use rather than the three (count ’em, three) current desks. We’d get rid of both of our cheap-ish desks, keeping the small child-sized desk of Dave’s for future use…by child-sized people, if you catch my drift. *sigh* What a dream!
Upon entering you, PB, we saw a sectional like this decorated with great beachy blue-and-cream pillows and chunky blankets that made me want to scream “I need a white slipcover, stat!!!” Rather than screaming, we calmly discussed that something like this sectional would work for us, but the only reason I currently want a sectional is because of our seating issue in our tiny abode (ie, there’s hardly any), and that I’ve never really been a “sectional person.” Our current couch is Dave’s other girlfriend – meaning that he’s had it forever, loves the heck out of it, and I’m not sure he’ll truly ever be able to part with it. (If it wasn’t a couch, I’d be worried, but since it doesn’t talk or breathe or scream when I punch it, it can stay. For now.) Which is why I’m leaning toward the world o’ slipcovers.
This may or may not have been one of those embarrassing “Why did I marry her?” moments for my spouse in which I, again, may or may not have screamed “This table! This table must be miiiine!! This is MY table!!!” Maybe. Maybe not. But I found the exact modern-lined yet rustic farmhouse table that I’ve been dreaming about for quite some time. Rectangular. Perfect medium wood tone with some richness thrown in. To be paired with possibly mismatched chairs of varying levels of modernity. *swoon*

We were chatting while I casually flipped through the huge rug displays (secretly wishing there was a super duper clearance sale) when, out of the blue, Dave suggested ripping up the carpet that lives in our living room and staircase. Apparently a rug such as this one inspired him to start thinking about the hardwood floors that are lurking (some partly damaged, we think) beneath the rug. We’ve always hoped to rip it up and have the floors refinished, but it was more one of my passions than a priority on his part (which is understandable; how many projects CAN we undertake at once?). When he suggested this, and wondered if we could “live with the hardwood as is for awhile”, I seriously wanted to slap myself to see if I was asleep and dreaming. The good sort of dream.

A display of clocks such as these were displayed en masse on a desk (as mentioned above) that just made me think, “I want to start collecting old clocks. Those. Are. Incredible.” I think Dave was as taken with them as I was, and he was on board with my interest in emulating the set-up.

So, as you can see, my dear Pottery Barn, any trip to see you provides me with so very much, even when I inevitably leave empty-handed. Any close conversation (one where the energy of both parties is palpable in their jaunty dialogue) between a wife and husband is something wonderful to behold, so there’s that. There’s also the sheer inspiration of the variety of styles within the store, from modern to rustic or vintage to country, seeing that it all seems cohesive within one big room makes it feel a bit more achievable at home. Your inspiration is uplifting!

Until we meet again, PB.

Megan McCoy Dellecese

Running Theme

I was enjoying the first hour or so of my “free Friday” (I’ve got a 4-day weekend, baby! Yeah!!) by, what else, reading blogs. Really, guys, I don’t just blog for fun – it’s mostly because I’m just so inspired by the blogs that I read that it encourages me to write, myself. I get my encouragement from these generally faceless, wonderful women (mostly). While my writing is generally about, hell, ANYTHING going on (can anyone determine what this blog’s about? Eco-stuff? DIY and design? Married life? Eating? Cats? Ranting? Maybe I should pare it down…hee hee, who am I kidding?), most of the blogs that I’m interested in are design and DIY-based. These chicks (again, the occasional guy…er, one, John from YHL) may be talking patterns and paint, but they’re courageous and downright inspirational.

So, while reading my daily dose of YHL, Sherry mentioned that they’ve taken a lot of risks as far as their new house is concerned, including lots of interesting color choices and great patterns, and just thinking outside of the box for the most part. (Mind you, I adooooored their first house, but am excited to see what they accomplish with this one.) She posted a link to another blog, Nesting Place that puts, quite eloquently, the words to the fear that many readers AND bloggers (I’d say people in general) feel about making changes to their homes.

Nailing holes (why is picture-hanging so terrifying??). Purchasing furniture. Hell, purchasing ANYTHING to coexist in a funky, interesting (but not “gah”) way. Painting. Painting. Painting. And let’s not get started on larger renovations.

It all reminds me of my recent to-do list, which specifically stated:

Yeah, I’ve been pretty desperate lately when I take into consideration the whole mess of a color scheme goin’ on in this place. Like, “time to re-paint the living room and dining room” sort of craziness. As I mentioned, things are looking a little too monochromatic, and not in the good way.

But, what has me froze with insecurity? Several things.

A- We know that this isn’t our forever home, but we’re also not sure how long we WILL be here…so changes that the average local buyer wouldn’t like may be detrimental to an eventual quick sale.

B- Also, the age of the house makes me question decisions…lots. While I LOVE and NEED an older home (it’s just in my blood, don’t make me explain it ;-)), I also like to mix the old with the new, especially in terms of color and pattern. And my mother would kill me if I painted the woodwork any more than it currently is (I know she’s secretly wishing that I’d strip it all and refinish it, but I doubt that’s happenin’).

C- Another question mark, for me, is the fact that I’m not alone in my decisions; financially and emotionally, my hubby is along for the ride. And, man, does he like details. And, man, am I not good at describing my thoughts – or, at least, the plan that I have cropping up mentally for a space that may or may not work out. When I try to explain, I frequently get the supportive-yet-confused look — you just have to see it to believe it, it exists. But, at least he at least pretends to trust me enough to let me try ideas.

D- I just question myself too much. My general self-confidence level determines whether I’m motivated enough to accomplish a project, simple as that. This is my biggest deterrent.

Things like Polyvore and doing the legwork to figure out what I like (by searching for online images or tearing pages out of magazines that inspire me) give me a little more confidence. But, where do I get the most inspiration and confidence? Those blogs. And the blogs I read today made me feel like it’s okay to go back and adjust some of the choices I’ve made, or to change my mind about some of the projects I’m about to start. It’s a good life lesson in itself: just try what you’d like and if it doesn’t work out, try something else. You can’t force more confidence onto yourself, but you can look to others for inspiration, which is the seed of confidence.

Now, time to sport some goggles and sand the bathroom ceiling before finally taking a shower. Gotta love a free Friday!

Kids Say the Darnedest Things…

It was a pretty hard week. The kind where one more thing couldn’t possibly make it worse…then does. Where you’ve got several days blocked with many, many students, you’re introducing a concept they should have been practicing since 4th grade (but are just being made aware of as high schoolers) and frustration from every party involved is imminent. The kind of week where any additional attitude magnifies itself beyond frustration. When you’ve got an observation scheduled, on top of everything else, and it seems like there wasn’t a break from the week prior.

The kind of week that was so much harder for your husband, you feel mortally guilty to mention a word of your horrid week at home. The kind of week where you question yourself. The kind of week where your grandfather is transferred from rehab for psychiatric evaluation, and in your heart you’d rather be with him and knowing exactly what’s going on than anywhere else in the world. The kind of week that brings waves of unthinkably bad news, all affecting the folks at school. The kind of week that you’d kinda like to give up.

Today, in the midst of the down slope of that treacherous week, the students gave me hope, in the form of a small gesture of kindness, and a good laugh.

While monitoring a 7th grade Spanish class in the library working on a project, I had a girl call me over to her table. I made my way over, after quickly helping a couple of other kids first. She sat there, along with two other silent girls. Bluntly, she said, “You are soooo pretty, y’know.” I was shocked, and thanked her, and walked away feeling that the weekend had already started.

You see, I’ve been having some self esteem issues lately, so a genuine comment like that from a middle schooler (generally a highly critical breed of human) struck an unexpected chord. It was as if the popular kids back in high school were suddenly very nice, specifically to ME, the outgoing but awkward band geek. Of course, the thought that she was joking crossed my mind for a second, but the fact that she and the other girls all smiled (let’s face it, I’m pretty used to the “turn your back, snicker” thing that we get all too often in the library) indicated that there was sincerity involved. It pretty much made my day.

At another point in the day, I was reading a book to 4th graders. In it, the phrase “No wonder they pity us” was uttered, to which a student said, “That’s what Mr. T. has on his hands. They’re, like, rings or something.” Before I knew it, I was doing my Mr. T. impersonation – “Oh, yeah, Mr. T! ‘I pity duh fooh.’ So, what does pity mean?” Wait, did I even know I HAD a Mr. T. impression?? And how old WAS this kid that he knew Mr. T.?! So, I asked how he knew — apparently he watches “The A Team” (…TV Land, maybe?). 

Kids started sharing what THEY watch, or who THEY know from “olden times”. Suddenly, I heard a name that sounded a little too familiar. A quiet voice squeaked, “I know Dwight Shrute.” Wait. That’s not even an old reference. And what 4th grader watches “The Office”?! I stood there, dumbstruck, staring at the pint-sized girl. Somehow, I wasn’t too surprised. She lives on a farm, after all…who couldn’t relate to Dwight Shrute’s shrewd agricultural talents?

Sometimes it’s the little things that drag you out of the muck, unexpectedly. And who else is an expert on “the little things” but kids? And how can a reference to “The Office” not make you smile?

Friendly Inspiration

At the end of last week, Dave and I schlepped down to Massachusetts for the wedding of our friends, John and Danielle. Oops, let me clarify – Dave was the officiant, so he actually MARRIED them! Apparently, in Mass., any ol’ person off the street can apply to be, essentially, a justice of the peace for 24 hours. Pretty cool, huh?
Other than the fabulous, special wedding, we were lucky enough to see (and stay with) our awesome friends Josh and Melissa. Dave’s known them since…well, for plenty of years…and I’m lucky that they’ve become dear to me, as well. Seriously, it was like love at first sight when I met them. They had arrived early for an overnight visit last year and I scrambled to meet them at the house, admittedly nervous about greeting them solo (since Dave was at work). But, after showing them into the house, we all started talking, and several hours later when Dave arrived, he still couldn’t shut us up. They. Are. Awesome.

And so is their new apartment. I won’t show any pictures that indicate where they live or any crazy thing like that, but I MUST share the inspiration that struck me while staying with them. They very, very recently moved into a new place, but you could definitely feel their sense of style and awareness of space (mostly brought about by their years living in NYC…and because they’re truly artistic souls). My faves:

Awesome pillow.
I believe Melissa made this with Ikea fabric.

Rustic kitchen table – with storage underneath!

Sorry, gentlemen. Just loving the colors in that quilt.

Another incredible handmade pillow.
(On a slipcover couch. WANT ONE!)

Pay no attention to my chatting husband.
DO, however, notice the spray-painted lamp. Gorg.


And the beautiful Crate & Barrel trunk coffee table.
Chunkiness. Storage. Rusticity. Room for wine. Perfect!
(And see the red entertainment center in the back?? :-D)
I should admit that the inspiration that Dave and I come away from Mass. and seeing his/our friends is clearly more than decorative (although we hit up their Christmas Tree Shop on the way home – way more stylish than ours! I went a little nuts). It’s almost like our perspectives on everything are reset. We return home feeling jubilant, ready to conquer any challenge, inspired (of course)…but also missing the heck out of the folks we’d just left.