Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My baby (squeal!)

No, not this one. Though Wendy is pretty. But I only took her picture with my baby.

This is my baby (and my reading material to go with her).

And this is my very sad and jealous Canon. It still gets to hang out in my purse, I guess.

In my low-lighted living room (seriously, I need a lamp or 12) the shot of Pixel (the cat)just doesn't do well with the Lumix P&S. The flash lit up her eyes too much (and red eye fixes don't acknowlege the yellow eyes).

But no flash with the Lumix means I can't see the cat...

But my new baby, she's a performer. Now I can see Pixel (and pixels).

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas morning

Do you see all 5 kids? With that much paper and color they kind of blend in a little.

Our kids were amazing darlings and actually let us sleep till almost 8. I had cautioned them the night before not to wake each other up (I didn't want cranky tired munchkins on Christmas) but apparently they decided that meant waking us up was also out. What sweethearts. They even gave me time to make coffee before digging in. Seriously, Merry Christmas to me. If that's not restraint then I don't know what is.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas on Valentine's Day?

Okay, well, my family is unconventional. But we all knew that, yes? Due to conflicts in timing this year (the downside of a very large family) it looks like I will be having Christmas with the kids and Eric's family on Christmas day and then Christmas with my sisters and everyone else on Valentine's day. My little sister jokingly combined the names into Valentristmas (though maybe Valentmas is easier to say?). Anyway, so if we do that then I think I need to put up a tree for this but decorate it for Valentine's instead of Christmas and put a big heart on the top of the tree. What do you think?

Here are a couple trees and an ornament I found online for ideas. I think it could work.

Pictures from here, here and here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A frost in Reno

Sometimes in the winter we get a pretty heavy fog here, which is unusual for a desert. Unlike regular fog, though, this is an ice fog (called pogonip, meaning cloud) and everything gets covered in little ice crystals. With our temperatures reaching an uncommon -10 in some areas this week it's hung around for a couple of days. I'm told pogonip is terrible on your lungs (ice crystals can scratch up the lung and throat linings) but, despite that, it is rather pretty.

Looking towards the sky the fog looks more like it's a snow of teeny tiny glitter. The ice crystals sparkle and catch the light and they are so fine and tiny that all of the air around you seems to shimmer. So cover your mouth with a scarf and drive carefully but take a moment and look around, too, because it'd be a shame to miss the view.

This was the scene at the elementary school yesterday morning about 10 minutes before most of the kids started arriving. Don't you just want to climb that?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best present EVER

Over at the idea room the question has been posed of what was the best present you ever gave or received. I can think of a few really great gifts but the very best one ever came from my little sister. The picture above came long after the present but the present makes me think of it and vice versa.

When I was in junior high I remembered part of a song but didn't know what it was called or who sang it but it was romantic and beautiful. I wrote down part of the chorus (the part I could remember) on a small piece of notebook paper so I would remember to ask someone later if they recognized it. I wrote down "And it's funny you should happen to walk into my life 'Cause I was just thinking of you". And though my mother and little sister said it sounded familiar, no one recognized it.

Every couple of years I would come across it and try to find the song again. I had done online searches but online didn't cover as much then and the line returned no results and neither did my guess (which turned out to be correct) as to the title. I used the lookup books in the music stores and called radio stations trying to identify it and though the DJs said it sounded familiar they couldn't place it. I could NOT find it. Then, when I was about 25, more than a decade later, my little sister found it. And she gave me a present of the full lyrics to the song and the album it was on. I was so thrilled I was jumping up and down and started crying. I then listened to the song on repeat for about 12 hours.

Though I don't normally post lyrics to songs this one was special to me and so I'll share.

Lari White ~ Just Thinking

I was just thinking
   how nice it would be
To have someone to kiss me good night
I was just thinking
   what I really need
Is someone to hold me real tight

I was just thinking
   of finding somebody I could mean everything to
And it's funny you should happen to walk into my life
'Cause I was just thinking of you

I was just thinking
   of a walk in the rain
Underneath an umbrella for two
I was just thinking
   of the sound of my name
On the lips of a lover so true

I was just thinking
Of a moment of magic that lasts a whole lifetime through
And it's funny you should happen to walk into my life
'Cause I was just thinking of you

I've felt your tender touch in every romance I've read
And I've seen your sweet smile in my dreams
There's a feeling I get, like we've already met
And it's almost too good to believe

I was just thinking
   of a moment of magic
That lasts a whole lifetime through
And it's funny you should happen to walk into my life
'Cause I was just thinking of you

What was your best present ever?

7 years old

7 years ago there was a baby

Who got annoyed with picture taking for a while

Until he realized there were worse ways to get attention

My small but mighty little man

With all the youthful spirit a mother could ask for

And last Thursday (the 10th) my beautiful boy turned 7. And on Saturday in the midst of this:

There was a party for the little artist.

And the presents were opened

And wishes were made

And a good time was had by all. (Though daddy needs to practice his party face)

Happy Birthday, Glenn!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quack! Quack!

Normally I am not a sports fan. I am, however, an Oregon Ducks fan. Today is the Civil War game with Oregon State Losers Beavers and which ever team wins gets the Rose Bowl. Go Ducks!

To give you some family history, one of my brother-in-laws was the Oregon Duck. Yup, my sister married the duck. Another sister married a Beaver's fan traitor so we get some pretty good rivalry as evidenced above. It'll be a good game.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What it all means (or the title anyway)

This morning I was reading Beth over on Be Yourself...Everyone Else is Taken and she is talking about the meaning of her blog title along with many people over at Synch-ro-ni-zing. It occurs to me that I've never really explained my blog, either the URL or the title, so this seems like the perfect opportunity.

indigoamethyst came first. This has been my handle for some time starting with MySpace (yes, I have one of those) and then here and also on Facebook and Twitter. The amethyst is my birthstone but I'm not very fond of the very pale watery amethyst. I am in love, though, with the really deep amethyst. Indigo is a very deep shade for an amethyst and my favorite. And although it doesn't always come out in my blog there are deep facets to me too (somewhere), much like an amethyst which is reflective and doesn't always show the hidden depths, or at least I like to think so.

Turning Stones came later. I love stones and rocks and, much like the ocean, feel a pull towards them. I have a few jars throughout the house of rocks in all types. Part of the reason is just the tie to earthy nature. I think of rocks and immediately have the feeling of hiking along a trail and looking out at a view and my heart is so full in an instant that I could burst. To someone who has never felt this it's hard to explain but only really beautiful nature (a stretched out valley, a wide ocean) and my children evoke this response in me. In that moment I could scream with joy and burst into tears at the same time. I want to spin in a circle with my hands stretched to the blue sky and laugh or take off running down a hill. Maybe this means I'm a little nuts (shocker, right?) but I am immensely joyful and immensely sad in the same moment. I LOVE that feeling.

Turning Stones is also about self discovery. As a child I played outside in the forest a lot and I quickly discovered that there is always something under every rock. And it's never the same. Oh, it may look very similar, but it's not the same. And by turning over the stones you get to see a whole world that you've previously missed noticing. I have now been divorced for about a year and a half. And in that time I have been continuously turning over the stones and finding parts of me that I had lost in the last 10 years or had never discovered in the first place. I've always been pretty sure of myself but I'm learning so much more every day. I learn about me as a person, as a mom, as a partner, a daughter, a friend.

My blog is a bit of a mishmash of personal stories, children, crafts and how to make them, decorating, and childhood memories and the photos I've taken along the way but I think the big picture is that it's me. I'm a mishmash of all of these things and then some and to be true to me this blog is as well. Turning Stones is my reminder to never stop looking outward at all of the beauty in this world, to never stop looking behind the ugly bits of it to find the treasures underneath, and to never stop looking inside of me and discovering there too.

What stones have you turned over recently? I'd love to hear about it.