Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Golden Globes Sleeves

Awards season in Hollywood is just warming up.  Over the course of a month or two, the celebs hit a series of red carpets in a row, as others note what they wear and who they show up with and who wins.

I stick to the classics, the Academy Awards and Grammys.  But, in post-Golden Globes coverage, something caught my eye:  sleeves.  For women committed to dressing modestly, it was a bit of a victory -- what we've thought all along may actually be true:  it is possible to be gorgeous, fashion-forward, glamorous, sophisticated and womanly (even hot) while maintaining a certain level of discretion.  Applause!

Crossing fingers this trend will trickle down to department stores, where evening wear options are either supershort-bandeautop-powderypastel prom "dresses" or matronly-neutralshaded-waistlinehidden grandmother of the bride "dresses."  At the very least, I'm pleased to have some lovely reference points for those who think dressing demurely is a total drag.  It can be beautiful!

Thank you to my photo sources, primarily just jared.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year Kickoff at the Cabin

Going to the cabin, particularly in the dead of winter, is like hanging a "Do Not Disturb" tag on the doorknob of life.  We're so removed.  Just us.  Everything is so still.

I spent most of our quiet weekend trying new recipes, loving most and eliminating a few.  The ones I'll keep are Barefoot Contessa's Confetti Corn and a biscotti recipe with cherries, pistachios and chocolate that I fashioned from a combination of several I dug up online.  I made cranberry bread from a TJ's mix, but added an extra cup of real cranberries -- yummy for breakfast.  I also worked on a few projects for my new church assignment, which I'll show and tell in an upcoming post (I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat).

Mister spent a fair amount of our trip shoveling snow and tending the fire.  So masculine.

While the baby napped, Bug spent hours outdoors in the fresh glittery snow.  Hours.

She laid in the snow.

She posed on the snow.

She threw snow up in the air.  Repeatedly.

She ate the snow.
We didn't watch television all weekend; our satellite was out.  However, we had plenty of little projects. One was this mammoth gingerbread girl that was fun to decorate but tasted like cr@%.

We packed lunches and went for a drive to see that the huge lake had layers of ice in spots, and the river was absent of fishermen.  Less animal spottings than last year, though we happened upon six or seven wild turkey.

After so much baking (and tasting), I needed to move a bit, so I bundled up my entourage for a late afternoon walk.  Mister and I worried about how the freezing temperatures might affect our spirits, and planned on an early retreat, but it turned out to be so much fun, nobody wanted to go back inside.

Before we left, I dug out the goals and predictions we created a year ago.  We missed a few, but were eerily accurate with most.  In creating our list for 2011, I had a renewed hope and motivation for the new year.  Again, I was reminded how special it is to kick off another year in a place we love with our simple, little, loving family.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fire Station VIP Visit

My older brother is a hero.   Not just my hero.  He's saved people's lives and homes and children.  Maybe even their cats up in trees, but I've never asked.  My brother is a fire fighter and paramedic.

Except for his time as a medic for the Marines, which took him across the globe in peacetime and wartime, my brother has always been a firefighter.  He started while he was still in high school, as a volunteer.  It is what he's meant to be, and he's good at it.

Though we were only in town for a day and a half, I wanted to make sure I did something I've wanted to do for a long time: have him show us around the station.  Since it was his day off and the other guys had left the station to go shopping, we (literally) had our run of the place.

It was a fascinating visit, with only his kids and ours, because we were able to ask lots of questions.  He explained how important fitness was to his job, and how he helped negotiate with the union for required daily workouts.  (How would you feel if the guy expected to pull you from a burning building couldn't drag his jiggly belly up the stairs?)  He taught us about each rig in the large garage, and their specific funtions, from the truck that specialized in rugged wild fires to the one they bought from Southern California.  He showed us the conference rooms and the room where they had their Christmas tree set up.  He spoke of the generosity of the community, neighbors who have brought meals and gifts in support of their local life-savers.  All this from the kid that used to (threaten to) beat me up.  I was so impressed, so proud.

And with this special visit, he let us climb aboard a rig.

Once the kids crawled in the back, a surprise!  My brother and hubby hopped in front, and we went for a (legal) spin! 

The kids were ecstatic, and I was thrilled beyond belief.  Could it get any more exciting?!  YES!  He sounded the siren!

Back at the station, a learning moment.  He geared up and turned on his air and let the kids get good and close, explaining to them that when they're in trouble they shouldn't be scared of the big guys that come to their rescue.  It was a monumental lesson for our kiddo, who was very shy to start, but warmed up when she realized it was her uncle's eyes she could see through the mask.

Extra bonus, the Uncle Firefighter Special.  The kids got to try on his gear, the ultimate dress-ups!  The baby just sank to the bottom of his pants; the top of his big boots were taller than her waistline.

Thank you, Uncle Martin, for the backstage pass.  We realize this was the chance of a lifetime.  We are so proud of you!  We're so lucky to have you as our hero, and your community is lucky to have you as theirs, too.