I wonder if he notices or even cares. (And I wonder why I automatically assume it's a he.)
My week has been unusual. The rhythm of the house is changing. Karis is entering the "terrible two's." While I don't actually find it to be "terrible," I do understand the sentiment behind the phrase. She's into everything. Climbing everything. Resisting everything I say. It's all curiosity and independence and stubbornness (and never leaving her alone in a room for more than two seconds.) All that to say, I'm tired.
I really long to sit down and write and take more photos, but those things are back burner items on weeks such as this. I feel behind in most areas right now. I finally had a massive cleaning spree the last few days, and I'm feeling more caught up. There are still phone calls to tend to and unanswered emails I must reply to lest my friends all stage a "what happened to you?" intervention in the near future.
So how does one cap off a week of feeling out of sorts? I think a trip to Charleston with some friends is in order. Yes, I hit the road tomorrow with 7 friends for a weekend of site seeing, eating, laughing, and general relaxing. No husbands. No children. That will do just fine, I believe.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I wonder if he notices or even cares. (And I wonder why I automatically assume it's a he.)
Posted by Alina at 2:09 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Somebody I know said 'hi' to everybody she saw in the grocery store today. And by everybody I mean every.single.human.being.she.saw. Not only did she say this, but she repeated it over and over until each person either said 'hi' back or ignored her long enough to overcome her persistence. Let's see...approximately 25 people, 5 hi's each...according to my 'hi'-o-meter, I estimate she said it at least 125 times.
Consequently, somebody else I know has a splitting headache and is going to take some Tylenol PM, watch the latest 24, and head to bed early.
FYI--The first picture is up over at The Carey Adventures along with a brief bio on me. Check it out here and here. One picture will be posted each day this week. So fun!
Posted by Alina at 9:15 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Growing :: Cupid's Dart and Black-Eyed Susan
Monday morning Matt and I woke up to some tiny sprouts peeking through the soil. Matt was thrilled, explaining that he has never done this before. I'd forgotten how magical it is when seeds, dirt, water, and sunlight combine to produce life in just a few days.
Growing :: Strawberry affection
Yesterday I asked Karis if she wanted strawberries during breakfast. She nodded yes, and as I disappeared into the kitchen I heard her catch her breath in excitement and begin giggling uncontrollably. I looked back around and she was smiling in anticipation like she does during tickle time with Daddy.
Side note--Karis' appreciation for Mom's photography is NOT growing. Once I washed and dried the beloved strawberries, with Karis looking on intently, I took a quick detour to the window to photograph the ruby red fruit. Her curiosity quickly turned into pleading which immediately escalated into all out sobbing. Bad, Mommy. Bad.
Growing :: Contentment in my city
I didn't want to live in Florida when we first moved here. It simply wasn't a part of my "master plan." But the balmy weather, big city amenities, and nearby relatives are really growing on me. A trip to Angie's Subs and the beach with dear friends yesterday certainly helps.
Posted by Alina at 11:39 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I met a woman named Jewel today.
I attend a weekly group at my church. It is filled with young moms all in the same stage of life, and we talk about our lives, families, and our faith. We are a young, talkative group. And then there is Jewel. She is 82.
I arrived a little bit early today, and I went in and sat next to her. I introduced myself, and we began talking. To be more accurate, she began talking. She was a woman who wanted to share, and apparently I pulled the trigger.
I learned her husband built them a log cabin in the mountains many years ago. It was a beautiful specimen of architecture, and people "came from miles away to see it." There was a skylight in the attic and a tiny little space that she could crawl into and take a cozy nap whenever she wanted. That sounded really good to me, and it reminded me of my friend Jessica's secret room above her bedroom where she too could crawl up and take a cozy nap under a skylight.
Jewel told me her husband died in '98. In fact, I think she mentioned it twice. I've often wondered how people survive the loss of a longtime spouse. I asked her, if it wasn't too personal, how she survived his death. Her face immediately softened. She told me how it happened, and the pain was obviously still fresh as she choked back tears. I was surprised by the disbelief in her voice, as if she was still shocked he was gone. I asked his name. It was Joel. Joel and Jewel--in a cabin in the mountains that people came from miles away to admire.
I love meeting people like Jewel. She is a woman who has weathered many storms that life can throw in 82 vibrant years. And she is proud of her age, mentioning it 3 times in our conversation. "I've lived a blessed life," she said with her hands folded in her lap, a genuinely satisfied smile on her face, and a curious application of white-out on her eye glasses. Her story gives me hope and perspective. I look forward to seeing her next week.
[Photo: Karis spent the morning with her great grandmother, another vibrant woman who has lived such a rich life. She has survived the loss of two husbands and a son, and still remains joyful, grateful, and delightfully quick-witted. We love spending time with her.]
Posted by Alina at 10:29 PM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
There is nothing like using the word "fart" in your last post to motivate you to post something new. (Ahem) My apologies for that...not my finest work.
Last week was a good week. Long but good. The blog was one of those things to fall by the wayside. I think that the internet being down for 3 days didn't help. Oh and my blog address being inaccessible for 2 other days also wasn't helpful. Needless to say, we've been somewhat technologically challenged around here lately. Five days of forced non-blogging was a good break, and I am ready to get back on it.
There have been a few subtle changes around here. For one, my blog now has a new address. You can still type in the old address and be redirected here. The new address is 'coasttocoastblog.com'. Type in the old address or the new and you'll end up here. I hope to improve a few more things as I have time and inspiration. This is a fun, creative place to play, and I enjoy the occasional face lift.
Starting tomorrow, one photo a day for seven straight days will be posted over at The Carey Adventures. I mentioned this opportunity over here, and I am excited my week has arrived. My camera has lived in the darkened confines of the camera bag far too much in the last few weeks, and I am hoping this project will inspire me to dust it off and start taking pictures again.
Posted by Alina at 10:23 PM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
A friend invited me to a free yoga class last night. Knowing full well that a little bit of exercise is better than my current heart-strengthening diet of no exercise, I said yes.
Prior to going, I needed to cook dinner, feed Karis and myself, and drop her off at Matt's work. I fed myself some leftover tuna pasta. I warmed up some edamame in the microwave and tossed it in soy sauce for the now very hungry Karis. I ran off to my room to throw on my most presentable exercise clothes, a pair of black exercise pants that I foolishly painted my white china cabinet in thereby getting white paint all over them. Oh well, I thought and checked myself out in the mirror in the hopes that my outfit wouldn't give away my secret that I rarely do this sort of thing.
I headed back in the dining room only to find Karis had dumped all the edamame onto the table and had soy sauce all over her and said tabletop. I quickly cleaned her up, made her a peanut butter sandwich for her to eat while I was driving (at this point I didn't care how messy it would be in the car), and then made a quick peanut butter sandwich for myself (tuna pasta, while tasty, isn't filling).
I hastily put her in her car seat and realized I never got around to buying a yoga mat. Curses! I made a dash into the laundry room and grabbed a towel out of the dryer. It will have to do, I thought. I drove to Matt's work, dropped off Karis, and headed on to class.
When I arrived, I walked into the room and was met with a sea of infinitely cool yoga mats. I slumped down and wanted to hide in the back but my friends, with big beaming smiles and yoga mats, beckoned me join them up front.
Seeing little other option, I stretched out my gleaming white towel on the stark black carpet and sighed. My breath smelled like tuna fish and peanut butter, my hands reeked of soy sauce. My pants had big paint stains, and I was sitting on a big white bath towel.
At least I didn't fart during the 'downward dog' stretch. That was the lady two mats down. I swear.
Posted by Alina at 1:43 PM
Saturday, February 07, 2009
I finally washed the Italian creamer I got from Goodwill. I knew nothing of its quality as it sat there forlornly on the shelf with all the other unwanted kitchen wares. But with its heavy stainless steel and promising spout, I figured it would be a suitable replacement for the tiny creamer we currently use. In fact, I was confident it would be good; who cares more about their coffee than Italians?
The clean laundry has reached new heights on our bed. The red, white, and both blue laundry baskets have all gone missing from the laundry room, each one used to shuttle more and more clean clothes into our room (command center for folding operations). Even that blue basket, the one I try to avoid because of the mysterious stains all over it, has been used. Desperate times, desperate measures.
On the way to the park we passed an assisted living facility named Almost Home. I pointed it out and we both laughed. While we think it is supposed to be understood that living there is like living in your own home, we read it differently. We felt certain they couldn't have picked a worse name, except perhaps for You are here because you are about to kick the bucket.
The leather ottoman lost its luster a long time ago. On my list of things to do was to clean and condition it. As I sat there cleaning its dark skin, I realize all that it has been through. It has served as a table, extra seating, and most often a resting place for our dirty shoes in Missouri, California, and now here. There are a few cracks and perhaps more permanent stains, but as the conditioned cloth smoothed over the rough and dry surface, I was thankful that leather is resilient. The sheen is restored and the surface supple.
Our weekends, like leather conditioner, are a time of restoration. Long talks, tending to our lists, cleaning and laundering, outdoor eating, and visits to the park...all to get ready for the race of the week to come.
Posted by Alina at 4:51 PM
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Karis has discovered the joy of imaginary play, and she loves to cook in her toy kitchen with her fake food. Cooking and imagination? Well now there is a kid's game I can get into! I've been trying to incorporate her into more of my own cooking practices recently. Realizing that what I do in the kitchen is often way above her eye level, I've been holding her and showing her how to do the various kitchen tasks so that she has an idea of how cooking works. On Tuesday, while making her peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, we pulled out her fake piece of bread with her toy plate and knife, and she mimicked my preparation. Yesterday it was a fried egg. Now if only I had a hot pink frying pan, we'd be in business.
***Update-I realized today that I usually sing this song to Karis whenever I hand her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is every day. Warning, it is perhaps annoying at first but then ends up being very addictive. Don't watch this if you don't want to sing it every time you make a pb & j sandwich.***
Posted by Alina at 9:17 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Our clay pot collection is growing. They sit on our back porch collecting water...and sticks and a ball (the latter two being the handiwork of our daughter). While the temperature has been brisk outside, we've sat in our warm house and discussed what we'd like to plant in these pots. I think herbs have won the argument for the little ones and tomato plants for the larger ones. Now we need to do some reading and find out when to start tending to the seeds. We've not done this before, and I think we're both a little gun shy.
On Sunday I realized that I have some misconceptions about community. Throughout our marriage we have often discussed the benefits of being a part of a community of people. People who intentionally walk along side of each other through the hills and valleys of life. In the last seven years, we've been a part of various groups but rarely for a prolonged time period. I am questioning some of my previous assumptions about being "in community," and I am realizing that what I envision is something straight out of the 70's: a virtual Utopian society of sorts, where we eat multiple meals a week together, do many activities together, and perhaps live very near each other. I believe it is time for a reality check.
This week we are embarking on an intentional commitment to a group of people. Eight adults who are looking for a group of committed people to walk through life with. Individuals who will ask the tough questions of each other. Ambassadors of hope, trust, hospitality, and honesty. People who will also get in your face and challenge you when you need it. That is a whole lot more gritty than my former vision of community.
Posted by Alina at 4:10 PM