five things, november 25 gratitude edition

Turkeycollage 1. I am grateful that I that I have this space to come to every day. And I am grateful for each and every one of you who come here too.
2. I am grateful for my family.
3. I am grateful for my friends, longtime and new, far away and near.
4. I am grateful for my camera.
5. I am grateful for yesterday. I am grateful for today. I am grateful for these days.

I have been filled with blessings this year, my friends. I hope that you have been too.

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five things, november 18 edition

1. I think it's time that you, dear readers have the floor. I've been reading lots of blogs as I work to revamp SPL, and one thing I'm going to add is an "About Me" page. I've heard that some of you are, ahem, afraid to comment here, but now's your chance to pull out all the stops. I can't lay claim to need for a "Frequently Asked Questions" section, but I sure can answer some random questions, if only you'll lay them on me. What do you want to know? What kind of camera I use? What kind of camera I want? What do I like to take photos of? What kind of dogs we have? What my favorite color is? How Neel and I met? Leave your questions in the comments, and see if the answers pop up in the new blog!
2. I think I'm very excited to take some pictures of some beautiful jewelry this weekend.
3. I think I need to get crack-a-lackin' on my Christmas shopping.
4. I think that I'm very excited about Thanksgiving this year. Something new for us!
5. I think these are some of the things I'm grateful for this week:
    a. that when a door closed a tiny window opened
    b. that little Violet seems to be managing her new condition (no seizures yesterday, and she was giddy with delight that so many people asked after her!)
    c. one-dish dinners!
    d. my mom and my aunt hooking me up with a hotel room!
    e. all my dear, dear friends who have taken the time to offer me such sweet words of encouragement the last few days, both here and in person and on the phone. I've been going at it hard, both at work and on the blog re-design, so I haven't had the time I wanted to respond to all of your comments. Each and every one of them has meant the world to me. More than I can say.

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five things, november 11 edition

IMG_9394For Mark, SPOILER ALERT: The tortoise wins the race!

1. I think, as much as I loved Callum's play, I am SO GLAD to be done with our late night play practices.
2. I think I might be the only person in the world who likes the end of Daylight Savings!
3. I think I've learned a lot about myself in the last four weeks.
4. I think I'm sad that baseball is coming to an end. Double header tomorrow!
5. I think these are the five things I'm feeling grateful for this week:
    a. Really feeling part of my city and taking part of the political process.
    b. A lovely talk on the phone with my mom and a lovely visit with my dad.
    c. That our sweet pup Violet seems to be doing okay after her scary seizure.
    d. All of my new Blogging Your Way friends. I look forward to staying in
    e. Each and every one of you who takes the time to stop by this space. Whether
    you comment or not, and I do love your comments, just knowing that you
    come by means the world to me.

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five things, november 4 edition

1011_anniversary flower1 1. I think I have been very tardy in saying thank you to all the wonderful new blogging friends I've made who have taken the time to stop by still+life and say hello. The Blogging Your Way E-Course is coming to an end soon, and it's been such a wealth of inspiring (overwhelming!) head and heart are both full. The total side bonus has been all the amazing blogs I've been introduced to along the way. Who knew?! I'm filled with gratitude to be part of this community.
2. I think it's been a crazy hectic week, but we survived it. Bonus for Callum: Alfie surprised him by coming up a day early.
3. I think I'm really looking forward to seeing Callum in his school play tonight and on the ballfield (56 degrees for the high and windy...yikes!) tomorrow. Two sides of the same coin.
4. I think I have a lot of changes to make in two short months.
5. I think, as we enter the month of gratitude, that I have a lot to be grateful for. Like Kate! Spade! Wedges!

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five things, 16th wedding anniversary edition

Hands (1 of 1)photo credit to Callum

1. I think I still love it that Neel's laugh is the first contact I ever had with him. He makes me laugh every day.
2. I think that despite the fact that I need a picture of me (that makes me look stunningly beautiful and thin) for the blog and we need some family photos, I'd really like to have some more photos of just the two of us. I'm looking at you, Dafna.
3. I think it's very interesting that Neel got to pick where we're eating for our anniversary AGAIN. (See #1d.)
4. I think I feel very grateful for a marriage that can survive the times when raising our child or caring for our home or any of the other myriad of things that get in the way of really tending to it.
5. I think October 28, 1995 was one of the best days of my life, seconded only by Callum's birth (duh) and the day I first heard that laugh. I carry your heart in my heart. We'll be spending the evening at the ballpark. Chicken and waffles for dinner. Maybe there will be champagne.

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five things, october 21st edition

1. I think I still have a lot to learn about writing and photography and who I want to be when I grow up.
2. I think I'm feeling very lucky these days.
3. I'm thinking it's time again for chicken and waffles.
4. I think I need a makeover, a glamour consultant and a photographer...STAT.
5. I think I really need to give my living room some love. Right now, except for my pink wall, I am not feeling it. I walk through it quickly to get to the back of the house, and I want it to be a room we want to spend time in again. I need furniture, but I'm open to suggestions. And donations. But only of gorgeous stuff.

P.S. Come and try the new line of teas that they're featuring at Simply Selma's!

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five things, october 14 edition

1011_boxes11. I think that at a time when I'm feeling particularly rudderless and heavy-headed, this class was just the thing I needed. You've probably seen the button on my sidebar and maybe wondered. I know I've written about wondering what direction I've wanted this space to take and what place I want it to have in our lives, and this class (even in just the first week) has challenged and inspired in all the right ways. Made me think good thoughts. Pushed me in the right direction. I'm ready to take a leap, I think. I can't thank Neel enough for encouraging me to dive in, even this far.
2. I think I want to take one of this woman's workshops. The Natural Light Food Photography or Food Styling and Photography. I'm wondering if it'll be harder to talk Neel into this than it has been to get him to drink water.
3. I think I'm ready to take some things in hand.
4. I think, and I have backup on this, that you can't have too many suede wedges.
5. I think I'm very excited about some packages that arrived yesterday. More on that next week.
6. (Bonus). I'm feeling very grateful that Callum's head injury yesterday wasn't any worse than it could have been and also very glad that I trusted my instincts to bring him home early from school.

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five things, october 7 edition

1. I think I am so grateful for the talk I had with a friend this week. She's one of Callum's former teachers and a parent of girl who's in 6th grade with him. They too are finding the homework load pretty intense this year. Not just on the weeknights but on the weekends too. It's not just us! We're not alone! Callum does have a lot of work. So far, 6th grade is a ton of fun, but it's hard.
2. I think this is the dogs' favorite time of year.
3. I think the hardest thing about trying to change how I eat (I'm trying make some changes in how I eat, by the way) is breakfast. I am not a breakfaster. Unless it's brunch, and bloody marys are involved. But I'm trying. I recognize that 10 a.m. is not optimal, but my body is not really feeling the 7 a.m. timeframe so much.
4. I think harder than that is to try to get Neel to drink water.
5. I think these are five things I need right now:
    a) more glamour
    b) less shy
    c) more structure & routine
    d) more mindfulness
    e) black boots

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five things, september 30th edition

0911_crackersbw1 1. I had dinner with four friends last night, and let me just say that I think they mean the world to me.
2. And I think we need to do it more often.
3. I think that today should be very interesting...I'm ready for whatever comes our way.
4. I think I'm having fun finding a winter drink. Negroni gets a thumbs up.
5. I think I'm very excited and happy for my dad today. Congratulations, Alfie!

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five things, september 16th edition

0811_sky1 1. I think last night was my very favorite kind of evening. Callum had a late play practice, and as we drove home a cold front moved in bringing lightning, heavy rain, and gusty winds. The temperature dropped 20 degrees from the time I left to pick him up to when we pulled back into the driveway. Callum had finished most of his homework during flex bell (study hall), and what he had left was the kind of thing that could be done at the kitchen island, so as Neel and I finished up supper and the storm raged outside, we were all tucked in, safe and together. I love fall.
2. I think I really appreciate the sweet note I got from my friend Marianne this morning.
3. I think every year I seem to forget how hard it is to settle in to new school year routines.
4. I think I'm sitting in a place of both disquiet and gratitude.
5. I think I'll try to focus on the gratitude.

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five things, september 9th edition

0911_twelve1 1. I think that for certain members of the family, it was a pretty good week.
2. I think that I am officially clumsy. I fell again this past weekend. This time coming down our rain-slicked front steps. Several things were similar from the last time I fell: water+flip flops. Apparently a bad combination. Thankfully this time I didn't hit my head. Just my back and left hip, leaving some lovely bruises and making for interesting sleeping and sitting this week. Neel and I are hoping that I'm getting all of my falling out of the way before I'm old.
3. I think that car salesmen do a lot of sitting around and waiting. And I decided that because of this they feel compelled to make us do a lot of sitting around and waiting.
4. I think, in honor of my friend Anthony (Fern Marie), I will be making this recipe sometime next week. Does this sound familiar, Fern?
5. I think that this weekend I will be reading this book and this book. Because I remember, and remembering is the absolute least I can do. As John Kennedy said, "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

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five things, september 2 edition

0811_bolling1 1. I think I'll be glad when the first few weeks of school are behind us and we're well and settled into a new routine.
2. I think I might celebrate the start of a new year with a book-buying orgy of my own. And curtains. Even though Neel doesn't want them.
3. I think I'm finally up to admitting that I'm not loving my dining room very much these days. Fortunately we have a plan. And a new lamp.
4. I think I'm pretty proud of my boy this week.
5. I think it's interesting that Neel and I are both eating more mustard lately.

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five things, august 26 edition

0711_summer_sun1 1. I think that despite the fact that we never do all the things we set out to do, it's been a good summer.
2. I think my biggest regret is that we didn't get to the beach more.
3. I think that 6th grade is going to be a very good year. Callum gets his class list today (he found out his homeroom teacher on Monday and is very excited), and he can't wait.
4. I think I'm ready for our old/new routine to begin.
5. I hope that the ocean is this serene soon again. When I originally wrote this blog post (and on a good week, I can sometimes get ahead of the game), I blithley hoped that I'd be blogging about the first day of school on Monday, but I suspected that I'd be blogging about this gal. Have ya seen the news lately? We have a target on our backs apparently. All week, as we've watched the weather (and I have to say, our weather guys are generally pretty low key), the news has gotten worse. Right now we're hearing 60-80 mph winds and 12 inches of rain. Last night we went to bed knowing that today would bring a decision to evacuate. It's not yet dawn, but right now our plan is to hunker down. We're under a Hurricane Warning now. Parts of our city are under a mandatory evacuation, but not us. At the very beginning of the blog is a post about Hurricane Isabel, and comparisons are thick on the ground. This could be worse. We have supplies and plans and friends around us to help. We have doggies who will be very worried, and an eleven-year old who thinks he's in for the thrill of a life.

Anyhoo...I may not be around for awhile. I fully anticipate losing power pretty early into this thing. I don't suspect my readership is so large that there are millions around the world worried about the state of affairs over here at Still+Life, but for those of you who are, we'll check in when we can. I don't think Callum will be starting school on Monday.

And one final thing. Callum's wearing orange today, and I'll be digging out Neel's UT shirt (all my Tennessee gear happens to be pink, go figure), to show my pride in this woman.

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five things, august 19 edition

Submerged 1. I think late summer is here if I'm checking Weather Underground every day.
2. I think I want to make chicken and waffles really, really soon. As soon as Callum (brace-face) can chew food again. Chicken-sausage gravy, hmmmm.
3. And yet, I think I need to bumb up my cooking mojo. Time for a trip to the farmers market to get inspired.
4. I think I'm feeling better. While not perfect, this was a pretty darn good week.
5. I think we're going to submerge ourselves in fun for this last (sigh) week of summer.

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five things, august 12 edition

Chairs_on_pier 1. I think it's good to be home. We took our lone trip of the summer deeper south to visit family last week and had a great time. Callum got to hang with his cousin and his grandparents; I got a spa day with my sister-in-law; and (miracle of miracles) Neel, Callum and I all got along famously. No arguments, no sniping, just a lot of fun. At two times during the trip I had to witness families get into crazy screaming matches near me, and it made me so grateful for my own family. Even given the bumps we've had this summer, we take care of each other. We're not screaming at each other in the middle of Centennial Park. We don't need to have security called on each other. We have fun.
2. I think this trip stirred up a lot of things for me however, that I'm going to need to spend some time processing. It feels tender, so I'm not sure I'm ready to do it here, but I probably will.
3. I think we need to go white water rafting again soon.
4. I think work is getting ready to kick in again for me in the near future, and I have a list of things I want to do before then. I'm wondering if I should post that list here.
5. I think my friend and neighbor Tyler has it right. Any time any of us in the 'hood goes away, he'll say, "Man, taking a trip is fun, but it sure is better to come back home." We'll be settling in today. All those lovely chores like the grocery store and laundry. It's all good. We're home.

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five things, august 5 edition

Ov pier 1. I think it's pretty beautiful where I live.
2. I think this week has been hard. Lots of heat, lots of headaches, lots of parenting struggles and lots of worry in the world. I'm ready for a shift.
3. I think Neel got some pretty amazing news over the weekend. When my brain isn't so mushy, I'll spend some time here in praise of our country and the NIH.
4. I think I had some good stuff happen this week too. I like my job a lot.
5. I think I'm outta here for the next few days. I could use a break (still). Catch you sometime next Friday.

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five things, july 29 edition

Cherries (1 of 1) 1. I think the dog days are upon us with crazy heat and crazy storms. It's been exciting, but is it any wonder that I still am thinking about fall? It doesn't help that the Boden catalog came yesterday. So. Much. To. Love. Sigh...
2. I think I'm so glad football is back on, but I think I'm enjoying this free-agency frenzy almost more than I enjoy the games. I might need a job in the front office.
3. I think we still have a lot left to do this summer. It's good we still have some time left.
4. I think Callum and I have a big project ahead of us, an exciting one that I'll document in the next little bit.
5. I think I've been thinking about memory a lot. After writing this post, my friend Sarah's comments on her own memories about our vacation together helped me remember more and more about that trip. It was nice to reminisce, even if it was over the internet! When writing the Little House series, Laura Ingalls Wilder (and I'm paraphrasing here, from memory of all things!) spoke about how she would let her mind drift back to a memory and let it sit there awhile and more and more details about the event would spring into her consciousness. That's definitely what happened to me, along with Sarah's help, when I thought about that trip. I'll tell you more about it next week, perhaps.

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five things, july 15 edition

Callum_braces-17 1. I think it was as big and good a week for him as we thought.
2. I think I'm enjoying a book my friend Jean gave me called The Happiness Project. You should check it out.
3. I think I want to do some more reflective writing. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.
4. I think since everyone else is doing it (I'm looking at you Mark.) , and since I need to, I'm going to start getting rid of a certain amount of clutter each week. Ten items? Five? Twelve? What do you think?
5. I think I thought it would be worse than it was, and that he'd look more different than he does. But I think he looks great, and it's all going to be good.

Callum_braces-25 Braces!

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