a. yes, i'm weak sauce at the posting right now.
excuses: sick, mastitis, non-napping baby, busted dryer, crazy weather, yada yada yada

b. fall collections are oozing their way out and it is so nice to see fashion turning around after last year's sad tribute to economic depression. as off her noodle as donatella versace is, i wish i was a man because the leather jackets (and almost every other one) are so tasty. and galliano is as surreal as dali, but those suits are delicious. as much as i abhor pastels and glittery foofness, i think the chanel haute couture collection is remarkably beautiful. favorite website presenting collections: project rungay, for so many reasons.

c. we are deep in the throes of Friday Night Lights. i never want to live in texas. i moderately dread my continued life as a coach's wife. high school is hilarious and terrible and i'm very glad it's over. i LOVE the wife. that is all.

d. i like my boy even though he's a whackadoo. especially because he's a whackadoo.


rice cereal

apparently a success.



We have these friends, you see, and I love them very much. We live in our house on purpose, as it fits snugly between the bookends of the most non-family family that we have. In all honesty, I am terrible at making friends. Not terrible at being friendly, which confuses most people. I am quite friendly. I was a church wife. It is a prerequisite. I can turn "on" and be engaging and charming and lovely and it is most often exhausting. Social settings that include more than 3 people generally make me hyperventilate and rehearse conversational topics in my head.

Anyway. Terrible. I am terrible at growing friendships; at taking the acquaintances to the next, knowing level. The friendships that I have have existed for many, many years. The ones I am trying to grow are slow. I like to believe that because of this weakness, there is a rooty richness to those which are present. Yes.

A few months ago one of our bookends burned down. It was horrible and tragic and terrifying and sad. And even though it is only a year that they are not right there, I have deeply missed the casualty of the every day ease of our friendship. It is hard enough to have pieces of them across the ocean for most of the year, but to have even our same-street ones far down at the beach is a slow, quiet drain on my heart.

Luckily, this isn't as depressing of a post as it has made itself out to be.

Last night we started the year the week the season with my most favorite and missed neighborhood ritual: Sunday Wine Nights. This one involved a minor trek to the temporary ocean-front beach house, but it was most worth it. There is beauty and security and peace found sitting amongst my most favorite grownups, sharing bottles of wine, and talking about family and life and Jesus while taking in winter sunsets. The way our year was starting, with the plague and messiness, I was disheartened. I needed last night. I needed the grounding warmth of those guys, the night of listening and talking and time, in order to walk into this year well. The bookends have expanded a bit for now, but roots of those relationships are growing deeper and farther into my earth. For this I am thankful. For them I am thankful.


I am not one for goals. Not being a linear thinker, it has always been hard for me to track progress and find success in the steps. Also, I seem to find too much guilt in process, so I tend to avoid them altogether. But it's the new year. And I have a tiny son and family who'd like to know him and time and energy (hah) to explore wonderful and fascinating things. So here's to starting it well.

- blog 3-4 times per week (re: tiny son and fabulous items of fancy)
- walking with the tiny son (and whomever else would like to join us) 3 times each week
- drawing more. watercoloring illustrations. general and intentional creation. perhaps once a week to start?
- house is clean more often than not
- fresh bread every few weeks
- intentionally pursuing mom and non-mom relationships
- visit the library 1-2 times per month
- complete the following books this year:
- Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
- Jesus Before Christianity
- Infinite Jest
(and fill in the blanks with the oodles of new fiction/etc. I've unintentionally accumulated in the last few months; i.e. Christy, The Hiding Place, Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, miscellany Discworld, Teacher Man, Roverandom, Til We Have Faces, The Time Traveler's Wife.... you get the picture)
- make it to church more often than not
- be creative and financially efficient with meals
- wine nights with neighbors
- communicating more regularly with the girls and family
- creative and cheap date nights

That's all I have. My brain is being overtaken by my nauseous and slowly recovering self, as the family decided to kick off the year with the most horrific stomach flu I've ever seen. Seriously. Lost five pounds in one night. Great beginning for the post-baby body plan. Hah.

Also, thanks to my ridiculously awesome photographer brother, Michael Chiaravalle, for the lovely family photo.