Sunday, September 28, 2008

You are invited ...

... to an Art Open House in St. Paul, MN featuring locally and nationally known artists, photographers, authors (yes, that's us), culinary artists and more. Bring your friends. Tell your neighbors. Anyone who collects original art, enjoys great wine and thrives in the company of creative people will be in open-house-(think holiday shopping) -heaven. Come early. Most are one-of-a-kind creations!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fully Engaged

Meet "Jillybean" and Dustin. They're engaged. They're in love. You can just see it in their smiles. And in their engagement photo.

No matter your age or stage of couplehood, you can rekindle the sure and pure giddiness of your new love. Be fully engaged in what your partner is saying. Laugh hardily at his jokes. Smile for no reason in her direction. Hire a photographer (or ask your neighbor with the camera) to capture you looking longingly at each other. Seriously. When is the last time the two of you - without your children - have had your photo taken on purpose? Try it. Seriously. You'll be thrilled you did.

(Note to Jillybean and Dustin: Did I tell you that if I - Carol - take your photos, I get to blog about how adorable you two are? Oops. Maybe I forgot to mention that part).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I love Mango just posted a juicy and funny book review of our second child: What Happy Parents Do.

Here's an excerpt. Link above for the full and "fluffy" version:

"A few publishers have contacted me to review books on theMangoTimes. Most of the time, I respond that the topic or subject of the book is contrary to what we believe, but they always insist on sending me a free book to read and consider (even if I have told them I am going to disagree from cover to cover…but hey…it’s a free book!). The first several books never made it to theMT, but this one I actually found to be enjoyable and was willing to tell you about it."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Snail Mail

Isn't it the best? Since being in Kentucky I've received care packages and cute cards from many friends and family members. Mike and Jill (my brother and sis-in-law) sent brownies and cookies to me (and to Brent in MN, too). Kelsey (sis-in-law), Betsy, and Emily sent me such sweet cards of encouragement. And just last week I received a box full of treats from my mom and dad. I think I better start returning the favor! Today is Kelsey's 22nd birthday and I never seem to get cards off in time. Happy Birthday, Kels. Love you! Forgive me for being even more of a snail than the mail system itself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Time in Colorado

Last weekend we got to (finally) meet our new nephew, six week old Joshua John (or Joshy Bear, as we tend to call him), and spend time with nearly 3 year old nephew Jacob (as you can see, he, like my brother, is a big fan of the Packers). Aren't my three favorite men adorable? We had the best time hanging out with Jeff and Julie, my brother and sister-in-law. I miss the new family of four already! We were able to see some of our favorite friends, too.

Brent, or "Baby Hog," as I began calling him, set a timer for 15 minutes when it was my turn to hold the baby! That way, he figured, Joshy would return to his cradled arms quicker. Not fair, I say! But, nonetheless, very cute. Another highlight was taking Jacob to Wash Park, a very cool and beautiful area--one we'd consider living near, if we ever moved to Denver--where he frolicked in the flower garden and we slid down the slide together. They're both at such fun ages. We can't wait to take another trip out there!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Overheard ...

... by my dear and oh-so-adorable friend Molly while she was shopping at one of our favorite local and oh-so-adorable gift shops (Patina - check it out), was the conversation of a vintage-chic 50-something couple obviously trying to purchase an engagement or wedding gift for a young couple (they said as much). They were milling around the "couple-romantic-wedding" section and settled into a debate between three weddingish-coupeish-romanticish books. Yes, What Happy Couples Do was one of the finalists. [insert tear drop and sigh]. After much discussion and a rather thorough paging through of each book - according to inconspicuous observer friend Molly - they unanimously stated out loud, for all eavesdroppers to hear, that What Happy Couples Do is not only the cutest of the three, but the smartest, has those "adorable real-life stories" and ... mumble, mumble ... Darn it! They walked out of reach so Molly couldn't hear all of the other wonderful things they were surely saying about our book. Last she saw was them purchasing a copy and having it gift wrapped. [insert more tears of joy].

Amen for friends who are willing to eavesdrop at Patina. And for readers who are willing to let us to be a bit proud of our loving little book in the hands of loving little couples.

Happy Monday, all.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It feels a bit like bragging ...

... but worth the risk.

Tonight (close your eyes and take in the aromas of a cherished Indian restaurant as you read) we enjoyed Curried Indian Potato Wraps. yuuuuuum. Find the recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Classics. Seriously. Indian heaven on our plates. Get a copy and wrap yourself one right now. You'll be saying "Yum ... I'm so lucky" (and hopefully, as you fill your tummy with this warm goodness, feeling that way about reading this blog, too!)

If you're new to our blogging, go back a few entries for context.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Juicy Details

One of my best friends of life - we grew up just steps from one another and have maintained connection over miles and years - just celebrated her 15th wedding anniversary this week. In an e-mail this morning she shared the juicy and inspiring details of what she and her hubby did to honor what has not always an easy road, to say the least. But, check it out: They know how to reconnect, celebrate, and embrace their long history (which involves a shared love of all things vino, european ... and many kinds of european vinos!)

Received Sept 6, 2008 [my commentary and editorials in brackets]

Hey Ugly! [that's our nickname for one another]
Yesterday we celebrated 15 years of marriage. All of them wonderful. ahem. My husband, who must have been in a competition for husband of the year award, planned a perfect short getaway. If I ever had a doubt, I now know he understands the simple things I love. We arrived at the Abbey resort near Lake Geneva late yesterday afternoon. I found 5 packages on the bed, all containing nice sweaters, shirts, skirts that are exactly my style and size. (as you know I rarely buy any clothes for myself). (I might have to return only 2). He then opened a bottle of wine (Malbec from Argentina) and we sat on the deck overlooking the lake. Then we went to dinner at a very cool European feeling restaurant. More wine. Back to the hotel. More wine. [I had to delete the next sentence to honor blogspot's rules and regs] (Did I just say that outloud?) This morning we each had a one hour full body massage (separate rooms) after soaking in the hot tub together. Then we went out for lunch. Then on to a wine seminar featuring the wines from Argentina! We meandered home via a pottery shop. Then we stopped to buy some of the good wine we were just introduced to. I was very impressed and felt very spoiled! And I love it!
Are you back at work? Or do you get another year off to research something?!
See ya,
Uglier (but more relaxed after that massage)

- end e-mail -

Okay, husbands, wives, and partners of life: DO something to celebrate your love. Remember where you started. Remind yourself what the OTHER person loves. Take a step back. Take a time out of your daily grind. Your marriage is up to you (have you heard that before)? It's worth repeating. And advice worth heeding.

Okay. So, I think I'll go get 2 gallons of gas for our little fishing boat and take my husband for a surprise trip to the mississippi river today. How, though, can I sneak out and visit his favorite bait shop? I'll figure something out. Because nothing gets him more excited that a fresh container of juicy nightcrawlers and seeing me - ewwww - stick one on a big pokey hook.

Wish me (and, more importantly, those innocent little crawlers) luck, eh?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Yum ... we're so lucky."

... was recited with big smiles and warm hearts & tummies tonight at dinner (read yesterday's post if you're uttering "huh?")

Yes, I was greeted home by the delightful aroma of Sweet Corn Chowder (#37) simmering and butternut squash quesadillas (#46) toasting (thanks to Brianna, our once-in-a-lifetime-oh-so-amazing-after-school-sitter! and my oh-so-talented-positive-helpful-delightful kids).

I'm so lucky.