December 31, 2008

music of my year

First of all....the bro was kind enough to show me my major typo. I am NOT yet 32. Sheesh. I have to hold on to 31 as long as I can.

Second, we are having super high winds today, which means the power has already been out for over an hour today. Thankfully it's back on at the moment. I'm writing this now praying we will have it for the rest of the night! It gets freakin' cold here in the cottage with no power.

Lastly, I've been working on a couple posts about my favorite things in entertainment (TV, books, "movies" is coming tomorrow) this year. This one is music. Hope you find something new to love!

My top 10 albums/songs of 2008. You know the drill...may not have come out in '08, but I found it then.

Coldplay Viva la Vida (delightfully different than their previous stuff, however I've loved all their stuff)

Sigur Ros Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (it's pure Sigur Ros and just beautiful)

Patrick Park Something Pretty
(my favorite song of the year)

Death Cab for Cutie Lack of Color
(my second favorite song of the year)

Meiko Meiko (found out about her when I saw her on the Hotel Cafe tour in March. Cool voice)

Seabear The Ghost that Carried Us Away (mellow and dreamy)

Beck Modern Guilt (funky and strange and perfect)

Enchanted Soundtrack That's How you Know (just because it makes me smile)

Jeremy Larson Salvation Club (#1 of the year for me. This is a "must listen from beginning to end" CD for me. My favorite is #2 Wintersong. I LOVE this one!) the bro informed me this morning and I was unfortunate to find out myself, read this. If the power goes out, I'm stuck in silent world. Weird that it happened to everyone, huh?!

December 30, 2008

she's all mine

(it looks like this)

I can't even believe it.

Seriously? A almost-brand-new-car that's mine? I've never owned such a wonder.

So much of the credit goes to my parents. They spent their entire day yesterday haggling, dealing, driving, waiting and going above and beyond what most parents ever do for their child, not to mention their 32 year old single, oldest child who still hasn't given them a grandchild. I can't say thank enough, guys. That word seems so inadequate.

Being a single girl who works in ministry, I had many disadvantages against me, I really believe that the Lord had this one waiting for me though. And the fact that it happened so quickly and perfectly helped me see the Lord's hand in it. Such a big investment, but I'm so excited to have a car that I can actually depend on.

Yippee for new cars!

And yipppeeee for new bikes, which was my Christmas present from my parents. Yes, I'm old and I got a bike for Christmas and I'm ridiculously excited about it!

Transportation rules this Christmas in Cottage Girl world!

December 29, 2008

a quote and a song

"He made me feel at home -
not in his house or even in my own,
but in the wide world."

- Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Don't you love people like that?! Someone that no matter where you are, if you are with them, you are at home. Fell in love with that quote while reading this book (sequel to Stargirl, which you all need to read).

Please enjoy a little Rosie Thomas while you read. (this video shows various sappy Alias clips, but since that show is the reason I first heard the song I'm okay with some sap.) You can buy it here.

December 28, 2008

I decided to do a little decorating...

A new table for writing, eating and planning.

The front door of absolute protection.

This delightful new tub for soaking away my worries.

A phone complete with speaker system for making daily announcements to my roommate.

Desk of importance for my office with paper included for penning inspired thoughts.

A tool box for all my craft supplies.

A little artwork for the walls.

Chairs for the living room with tray included for eating while watching TV.

A helmet
to go with the bike I got for Christmas.

Some patches to make my favorite hoodie a little more interesting.

New jewelry
and watch for going out on the town.

I guess I would need the hottest dress around to really enjoy a night out.

And last, but not least, a new way to to get around in style.

Yes, I have infinite funds to acquire said items. Everyone does in the world of make-believe.

December 27, 2008

Favorite books of 2008

These may not (most likely haven't) come out in 2008. I'm usually at least 2 years behind in anything. But I read these in 2008, and I really liked them. Not to mention I love making lists and this time of the year is just another excuse.

My favorite reads of 2008 (in no particular order):

1. The Host
I will be the first to admit that it wasn't the best book ever, but the story stuck with me. I still think about about it often. It was such an interesting idea. And it had aliens. I do love aliens.

2. Stargirl
I love, love, love this book. It reminds me of the beauty in being who you truly are.

3. Into the Wild
A haunting story of adventure and passion. Chris' story of finding himself and shunning others is heartbreaking and amazing at the same time.

4. Peter and the Starcatchers
Finding out where my favorite storybook characters came from was fun to read. The fact that this story of fantasy is woven with actual facts makes it magical. If you love Peter Pan, you have to read this series.

5. The Hunger Games
Yes, it's a young adult novel, but what a story packed inside those simple words. Katniss' pain is almost palpable in the darkest, darkest moments. I couldn't put this one down. And I can't wait for the next one.

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Even though it was my second reading (and it was actually a book on CD), I still couldn't "put it down." I think I've read the epilogue (or listened to it) about 20 times since the first read 2 summers ago.

7. Irresitible Revolution
Life changing. This little book sparked a new way of thinking for my whole life.

8. Through the Shadowlands
One of the best biographies I've ever read. Love, pain, God and honesty.

December 26, 2008

When at home..

...I like to swipe my mom's photos off of the laptop.

In Disney last year after riding Pirate of the Caribbean, one of our family's faves. I remember not feeling well this day, but staying in the hotel room would have meant missing out on the Magic Kingdom. That was NOT an option in my book!

A giant tree in Vancouver. I LOVED Vancouver and was just saying 2 days ago that I would go back in a heart beat. It is so beautiful!

Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver. Yes, that's were the film studio got its name.

Grand Cayman circa...I don't remember. We had some crazy wind on this day. The waves were so big crashing against the rocks!


December 25, 2008

Jesus has come

May we all be in awe of the miracle and wonder of baby Jesus, who came to give us life and give it more abundantly!

Merry Christmas, friends!

December 24, 2008

The reason for my Christmas joy

I am humbled today by the love of my Father. How much am I worth to Him?

I am worth Jesus to Him.

His only son.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

- John 3:16

I praise you God for your unfailing love!

December 23, 2008

holiday fun

Eating candy canes

Wrapping packages

Sitting by the toasty heater

Watching a bad Christmas movie (The Holiday...I have a weakness for Kate Winslet. I'll watch just about anything she's in.)

Feels like Christmas here

Tomorrow, it's off to my church's Christmas Eve service with the bro and then on to the homestead for a few days.

Happy Christmas!

December 22, 2008


Last night as I laid on my couch, curled up under a Christmas blanket my Grandmother gave me a few years ago, the Christmas tree twinkling on my right, the garland in the kitchen glowing and a 1940's holiday classic (my fave Holiday Inn) in the DVD player, I let out a contented sigh. It was a peaceful evening. Cold outside. I was warm snuggled up on the couch in the living room. The wind was howling outside. My tummy was full of yummy pumpkin bread that my sweet roomie had made. My life, this moment, felt very precious. Like a gift. Something I take for granted too often.

Why this thought at such a peaceful moment? I was about 3 seconds away from a serious life threatening car accident yesterday morning. Only 3 little seconds. A quick trip to the airport to drop off my roommate included a little more excitement that that we ever expected. It was misty and 5:30am COLD outside. I was doing the speed limit, but that seemed to be too much when ice is involved. We hit a patch of it at 65-70 miles an hour. My car spun out of control. I grabbed on the the steering wheel and hung on as tightly as I could and prayed that we wouldn't hit anyone (thankfully the traffic was very light because of the early hour) or hit a guard rail (protecting up from the road beneath ours) or flip over. The car finally skidded to a stop a few inches from the guard rail. But it was turned completely around so we were facing the 7 cars that we headed straight towards us.
I truly believe that the Lord was guiding my little car and those around it. There had already been 2 accidents which we could see once the spinning had stopped. They were watching us as we sat there waiting for the cars to pass. And they did. Each one passed by without skidding or sliding at all. I restarted the car and we continued our drive to the airport. No injuries, no damage. Nothing. Not even a flat tire or scratch on the paint. We turned the car around and left as if we had stopped on purpose.
Now it seems silly to say that this is such a big deal. But for some reason, God seemed to be reminding me all day how very fragile our human lives are. He holds us in His hands and He can choose to bring us home to Him at any time He chooses. My Christmas could have been very different. But instead, I went home (driving MUCH slower and a little shakey) and went to church (we had a service with no power because of the ice in the area). I went to lunch with friends. I took a nap. I had a normal Sunday.
But in the back of my mind, the whole day (and still today) I was constantly reminded of the Lord's protection in my life. Sometimes it's in ways I never see. And sometimes He gives me a glimpse of that protection. I saw it yesterday live and in person as my car spun out of control on the ice. And seeing it before me I can do nothing less that thank Him over and over for how He protected me in that moment. How precious is this life He blesses us with!

December 21, 2008


I found this blog the other day and have not been able to get it out of my head.

Amazima Ministries (Katie's blog)

Are you ready to have your world shaken? Cause reading this blog may do so.

Read this post. And then, at the end, make sure you read how old she is. One of the previous youth pastors at our church said something a couple years ago that stuck with me and it seems to apply here.

"I believe they (teenagers) are the present of the church. I don't think they are 'the future.'
I don't think we are PREPARING them (teenagers) to do great things for God. I think we can equip them NOW to do great things for God."

Now, I'm not longer a teenager and haven't been for a while, but I think that I use this philosophy in my life way too often. How often do I think that I have to wait until I'm older or married or settled to dive into a new adventure with God?

He is looking for willing participants in this life that He offers. Am I taking steps to find out what that means in my life? Am I open to His leading even if it means some fear and trembling? I'm sad to admit that many times I am not. I fear that He may choose to teach me through pain. I fear that He may choose to take something from me that I hold dear and that I won't be able to bear it. My fear makes me say, "I'm fine where I am, Father. I'm learning right here. No need to take it any further." How that must break His heart! To hear His children say no to the adventures (complete with blessings) that He wants so desperately to give them.

I have much to learn and much to give in this life. Sometimes I am humbled by my selfishness to keep everything safe and easy. I'm trying to be brave and pray that He will give me courage to step out and join Him wherever He may lead. I want Him to use me as He sees fit and not hold so tightly to this earthly life that I have.

Again, please read the blog linked above. It really is inspiring!

December 20, 2008

Once more please....

Again, again, again!!! Was my response to this little movie (seen this afternoon with him and her). A well told story. Characters to love. Beautifully shot. A soundtrack that blends seamlessly with what is being seen. I loved Slumdog Millionaire!

Trying to decide what movie to see during your Christmas break? I HIGHLY recommend Slumdog Millionaire. It's getting my vote for the Golden Globe this year. And I dare you not to want to adopt a little boy from India after you see little Jamal (above). The little kids in the movie will steal your heart.

less color is sometimes better

The Christmas tree held this crazy wonder for him. He touched it a bazillion times a day.

Nana is quite taken with her grand babies. Good thing she has my sister or she would never have any! I'm not getting any younger or getting any closer to giving her some of my own.

Do you ever wish your only job was growing? I do. Sleep, eat, grow.

I'm headed out to brave the stores and finish my Christmas shopping. Kinda scared I won't be able to get home because of all the traffic. Oh, well. I have no one to blame but myself for waiting this long. Stupid, stupid Cottage Girl.

ps....I think Blogger makes my pictures look weird. They looks so much better on my monitor. Sorry they seems a little off.

December 19, 2008

tall ships are cool

I finished watching Master and Commander for the 456th time today and was just dreaming of tall ships. There is something so romantic and dreamy about them, don't you think? The sails and their silhouettes on the sea. The ropes and the wood. Oooo, I just love them.

There is one that sails up and down the river here sometimes by our shores, and I get mesmerized by it's magic. It's like stepping back in time. I wish I could swim to it and hop on board and go off on a crazy adventure to unknown lands. And hang off the side like Jack Aubrey does on the HMS Surprise. Maybe find a buried treasure or a giant tunnel to take the ship in to.

Yes, that's what I'm dreaming about today.

What about you?

Friday finds

I just loved this post from sfgirlbybay. I too am in love with Old Hollywood. Audrey especially.

I've been wanting to do a photo shoot with fake mustaches lately. Then I saw this on Tara's blog. How absolutely adorable! I love family shots that are fun and not "sit and pose here."

Super excited about the new Wolverine movie. Complete with Hugh Jackman (you've seen Australia, right?!), Dominic Monaghan (my favorite hobbit and Oceanic 815 survivor), Taylor Kitsch (freakin Tim Riggins) and Ryan Reynolds (my favorite from 2 Guys and a Girl). Now that's my kind of cast.

Listened to The Dark Knight soundtrack last night. It's really fierce and spooky and delicious. Number 2 was my favorite.

Pop Candy's top 100 people of the year finished up this week. I liked quite a few of her top 20. Hello, Chuck Bass! And sweet Wall*E.

My favorite CD of the year Salvation Club is now available on itunes. Jeremy Larson's music It will surprise you. This CD is one of my all time favorites, I think. Wintersong is the bestest.

Check out these yummy wall decals from vinylfruit. I'm getting these for my newly painted room. Silhouettes = love. I also some new ones... this one and this one designed by Elsie.

Thanks it. Have a fun weekend, friends!

December 18, 2008

7lbs of lovable snuggles

I miss that little peanut already. She fit perfectly in my arms. I hate that the next time I see her she'll be so much bigger. I loved how the colors and patterns in our clothes seemed to perfectly compliment each other this day.

She likes to be moving. Walked around. Rocked. Swung back and forth. Ride in the car. A mover and a shaker, this one.

I'm just getting through my large stack of pictures. And playing with lots of Photoshop. It's way too much fun!

December 17, 2008

stupid sickness

Last month, I began asking my dear sweet baby brother what he wanted for his birthday. Then I got the idea to take him to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their Christmas show, which comes into town only once a year. He has wanted to see it for years, and it's something that I wanted to see too.
I mentioned it while I was at home for Thanksgiving and my parents wanted to get in on the action. We bought the tickets that night and all of us were excited to go!

Flash forward....

On Saturday, I was working. My nose started running and I got that "I think I may be getting a cold" feeling. It wasn't too bad though. I was able to work. I watched Wall*E and laid on the couch during the breaks between meals (that's camp speak for break from work). I finished up work for the day around 7pm and came home. By then breathing was about impossible, so I took some cold medicine and crawled into bed lucky enough to find It's A Wonderful Life (my favorite Christmas movie and possible plain old movie of all time) on TV.

And then it got ugly. I could not for the life of me fall asleep. The cold medicine didn't really help. My eyes were watering like crazy. My throat was dry. And sleep was taunting me. I tried watching TV again (SNL is NOT funny anymore). I read. I laid on my pillow for hours watching hours pass by. After the 6 hour mark (about 4am), the medicine wore off and I got even worse. So I decided to just go ahead and take more cause I already couldn't sleep.

Then Sunday morning would hope that a new morning would be like it is on those sleep commercials with birds chirping and the breeze fluttering through the curtains. Mine instead was coughing and the realization that I now had a fever. I called to tell my brother that I wouldn't be going to church. Instead I laid in my bed and watched the service on webcam. Now, that was pretty cool. It was like I was there except I was really up to my chin in blankets freezing and achy. But the sermon was great!

It only got worse from there. I usually run pretty high fevers when I get one, so this one was most likely up in the 102-103 degree range. (my thermometer broke the last time I had a fever and still haven't bought one. oops...). I couldn't get out of bed without getting light headed. Even walking to the bathroom was a chore.

I realized that I was going to have to call my brother and tell him that I couldn't go to see Trans-Siberian with him. Nope, I would be stuck in bed sick, sick, sick. That was a tough phone call to make. I had been looking forward to this for so long and now....disappointment. He was able to find a friend to take my ticket and he and my parents had a wonderful time.

I was stuck in bed. Being sick sucks. But being sick and missing out on cool stuff like concerts sucks even more. Thankfully, the fever only lasted until the next day. It wasn't even the flu or anything serious. It's just that it had to happen on that particular day. I just had to whine about it a little bit. All is better now. Or almost all better. Better enough to function.

And that is my Sunday from Hades story...

December 16, 2008

Zip and the day is gone

Where did the day go?

  • Being gone for a week and coming back to a piled high desk at work. Craziness with a helping of insanity on the side for fun.
  • Christmas baking
  • Catching up on a delicious episode of FNL with The Bro (he's my Direct TV connection). Oh, my gosh this show is the best thing on TV right now.
  • Listening to Sweeney Todd for free on my 14 days of free Zune Pass. This happened whilst doing a hodge podge of chores and things of that sort. ps....I heart my Zune. Yes, I do.
  • Trying to finally get rid of this plague that has, well, plagued me for the last few days.
  • Re-visiting Stars Hallow with my roomie. We may have watched a few/several/many episodes while baking. She is just now discovering it's magical addiction. I'm happy to re-visit at any time, of course!

I promise there will be pictures of niece and nephew in abundance. There will be an explanation of that Sunday, bloody Sunday. And of course more fun and excitement than a list of what Cottage Girl did today. I just need to catch up a bit. Friday, maybe? Life doesn't really slow down during December does it?

December 15, 2008

Birthday wishes to my two bestest

He enters the "late 20's" today. How can this be? Just this past week, as I was playing cars with Luke I was thinking, I just did this with the Bro not too long ago.
I love this kid. He is simply the best brother on the planet. No, not your brother....mine. I always wanted a big brother to watch out for me and protect me. I never realized that when my little brother grew up, he would do the same thing. Every day I thank the Lord that he lives a short walk across the field from me. I know it won't last much longer, but I love every minute of it now.
Love you, my dear sweet baby brother!

This one had a birthday 10 days ago. I was too busy being with her to give her a proper birthday post then, so here you go, sis.
Being only 2 1/2 years apart, we were pretty tight. Shared bunk beds and clothes and hairspray. Now she lives too far away and visits are much fewer and far between. But I love her just the same. She knows if something is wrong just by the sound of my voice on the phone. She still knows how to make me crazy and laugh at the same time. It's been so fun to watch her babies show little signs of her in their facial expressions and mannerisms.
Love you, sis. You are the best little sister any girl could ever ask for.

And tomorrow, I will share with you the Hades that was yesterday, Sunday, December 14, 2008. Bet you can't wait for that one, can you?!

December 14, 2008

netflix is my friend...

...cause it introduced me to this adorable little guy.

Have you seen this yet? If not, please DO!!! The artwork is only outdone by the amazing story (with so few words actually spoken). Wow. I want a Blu-ray with HD TV to really see all the gritty details of it.

It was my perfect lay-on-the-couch-because-I'm-not-feeling-well-and-want-to-escape movie yesterday.

Cottage Girl hearts Wall*E!

December 13, 2008


nasal drip

It feels like someone is blowing up a water-filled balloon inside my head.

Welcome, common winter cold. May your stay be short and your effects be mild.

I tried to deny its existence all day while I worked, but my denial was in vain.

I think if I could jump into this picture and swim around in the colors I think all would be healed.

December 12, 2008

Friday finds - the short edition

This week I spent little time online because I was kissing little cheeks and playing cars and hyperventilating in fabric tunnels. The most time I spent on the internet was typing a post on my 10 favorite TV characters this year. The only other things I looked at were these:

My Yahoo - I'm a Yahoo girl. My Yahoo page is jam packed with my favorite sites and blogs. My go-go spot when I turn on the computer. I loooove it.

Hulu - I've stated before my love for Hulu and it's magical free TV. This week it came in very handy for all the shows I missed. Prison Break, Chuck, The Office and 30 Rock would have been missed with out it.

The CW - Two words....Chuck Bass (#1 on my list). Thank goodness the CW FINALLY decided to upload Monday's episode today. It was GOoooo-ooood. The kind that required repeat (10x's, no joke) viewings of several key scenes.

And finally, I didn't find this online, but I've been humming it all week because it's Luke's favorite part of his favorite show. He has to make sure that all of us spin in circles and do jazz hands with him. My mom, sister and I are already ready for another trip to Disney since he doesn't really remember us being there this time last year. I'm always game for more Disney World!

There will be more pictures to come of the munchkins. But for now, I'm going to sleep to try and get rid of this annoying headache that has plagued me since my mom and I drove over the "mountain" range between my sisters home and ours. I guess 10 hours in the car didn't help it any.

Have a great weekend, all!


Cottage Girl

December 11, 2008

fuzzy photo but still so cute

She isn't feeling great today because of a shot yesterday. I know it's not the greatest picture, but she looks so sweet. She's been sleeping most of today. It's going to be sad when her baby blue eyes turn into their real color. She is oh, so kissable. You can't help but kiss her little head and cheeks. And snuggle her too. There's nothing like snuggling a newborn.
Tonight I say goodbye to the kiddos since we leave tomorrow morning early, early. Then it's back to work bright and sunrise-early on Saturday. How did a week go by so fast?!

10 favorite TV characters of 08

Taking a cue from my favorite TV critic/columnist I'm going to indulge in a long post about TV as the year comes to the end. Why? Cause it's my blog and I like TV and it sounds like fun. Feel free to skip this post if you just can't stomach another rambling post about television and my obsession with it. I won't be offended, promise...

Like TV Gal, I'm going to pick my 10 favorite TV characters of 2008. Here we go (in no particular order)...

1. Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl) In my opinion, Chuck makes the show. I can't take my eyes off the screen if he is on it. He's funny, horrible, has the craziest fashion and makes all of that "cool." You can't help rooting for the jerk when he's Chuck Bass.

2. Morgan Grimes (Chuck) His crazy antics, yet sweet and caring heart make him one of the best friends any guy could ever have. Lucky Chuck. Truthfully, I could insert the entire supporting cast on Chuck in this spot. Ellie, Capt. Awesome, Jeff, Anna and Lester (I dearly love him too). They all make the show. Each one is hilarious in his/her own way.

3. Archie Morris (ER) I have to admit that he was one of my least favorite characters on the show when he began several years ago. Now, I can't get enough of him. He can be funny with out being the annoying "comic relief" character. His personal story has taking such a nice warm turn as we are able to see him as more of a person and not just a doctor. I'm going to cry buckets when I have to say goodbye to him at the end of this season.

4. Jim Halpert (The Office) There are lots of characters to love on this show, but Jim is my favorite. His ability to portray just about any emotion with just one look (and no words) at the camera is magic.

5. Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights) I was never really a fan of Kyle Chandler until I became hooked on FNL. Coach Taylor is so very human. I love the small moments on the show that let him shine as an actor. Scenes like throwing the football to Matt in the street, telling his wife that they can't afford her dream house, making coffee in the morning while watching his infant daughter on the counter. Chandler's ability (like Jim) to say so much with out using very many words is a perfect case for the right actor in the right place.

6. Liz Lemon (30 Rock) Sometimes I see myself in Liz Lemon (it's almost impossible to say her name without saying first and last name together). Tina Fey has come into her own in this role. Season 2 she was shining bright amidst a cast full of scene stealers. Liz Lemon is the reason I watch 30 rock.

7. Admiral Adama (Battlestar Galactica) The scene when he finds out that one of the final 5 Cylons is someone he deeply loves is a perfect example of why he is so great. I would follow Adama to Earth and beyond any day. I still can't believe I got to see him in person last year!

8. J.D. (Scrubs) I think Zach Braff is adorable, so I admit my bias. But the best part of JD is how funny he can make any situation. Funny, yet in the next scene he can bring me to tears. The writing in this show is brilliant, but without Zach as JD, it just wouldn't have the same zing.

9. Sarah Tancredi (Prison Break) Evidence of how much she makes the show: She wasn't on last season and I didn't watch. Her character adds so much to the most important character on the show, Michael. She makes even a silly season with minimal story worth watching.

10. John Casey (Chuck) Adam Baldwin is so very perfect for this role. In my humble opinion, this character could be absolutely ridiculous and ruin the whole dynamic if it had been cast wrong. Thankfully, Casey can pull off the gruff, mean, sarcastic man with perfect ease.

11. Seth Cohen (The OC) Now this is a bonus because The OC has been off the air for a couple years now, but I just discovered it this year. There is no better character on that show. I can't even take how funny and adorable he is. I just HAD to include him on my list.

Alright, enough for today. I was feeling all TVeeey. There may be more of these posts to come before the year is over. Just to warn you!

December 10, 2008

Breathe, just breathe

This was about 1 minute before he decided to come in the same end that I was in. He crawled on my back into the tube. All fun and games until I realized that I was stuck unless someone pulled him off me. Then I had a slight panic attack and was about 10 seconds away from hyperventilating because of my severe case of claustrophobia.
Some cool auntie I am. Can't even play in the fabric tube in the living room. We all have issues, ok?! No laughing....

December 09, 2008


Originally uploaded by cottagegirl1

Life in a toddlers world

A little jam session from today.
Luke's favorite book at the moment is The Magic Grinder, which was one of our favorites when we were growing up. It has such pretty illustrations and a fun story too. He likes it when mom reads it and then Auntie (me) reads it and then Nana reads it one right after the other.

December 08, 2008

a little Luke too

Click photo to see bigger.
Originally uploaded by cottagegirl1.

Had to share one of this little munchkin too. We're having lots of fun running around together while his sister sleeps.

I like to call her Evie Jane

Click photo to see bigger and more shots too.
Originally uploaded by cottagegirl1.

December 07, 2008

quick update

It is COLD here. And snowy.

My niece is so beautiful. She has tons of dark hair, almost more than her 1 yr old brother. And his hair is red. Kinda funny. She has really long fingers, too.

Luke can almost say my name. He's so cute. We can play together now and read stories and run around.

I'm reading Harry Potter again. #1 fit perfectly in my airplane carry-on, so that was the deciding factor for another reading. And there was HP movie marathon on TV last night. Coincidence, I think not.

I miss the water. I always do when I leave home. I miss the nightly sunsets over the river.

I'll try and post pictures soon depending on if my camera decides to talk to my mom's computer.

December 06, 2008

people watching @ the airport

a 40 yr old lady reading Twilight. 20 middle schoolers w/ their football coaches. business men on a Sat. I LOVE the airport. its never dull.

December 05, 2008

Who needs an art gallery....

...when you can see this out your window every night? This was tonight's show on display as my roommate and I were leaving to pick out our Christmas tree.

***listening to this. Master and Commander is on my obsession radar today. Was watching it at lunch.

Friday finds

Little towns with big price tags. I would live in Haleiwa in a heartbeat. I fell in love with it when I visited it a couple years ago. It's one of those places that soaked into my soul the minute I saw it.

I don't even have words to describe how much I love these images. That dress is the most beautiful one I have ever seen. And the shoes and hair piece...I can't get enough! Vintage is the way to go. Photos by the amazing Chenin Boutwell.

What a perfect idea for a simple gift. Of course, it's from Martha!

I wish these 'staches were still available. They are perfect for a photo shoot!

Found a lovely little blog full of beautiful images and ideas.

Fun little homes for your pictures. Photojojo has great ideas for gifts too. I love the re-stickable decals.

This little articl
e I found on Pop Candy tells the story of the big Hollywood production company logos. Kinda fun! I've always loved stories of the early years of Hollywood.

I just love these beautiful, simple note cards on Etsy.

Lots of fun ideas for things to do in the Nation's capital. I've been there a bunch of times and there really are some amazing little spots! One of my favorites is the FDR Memorial on the Tidal Basin.

I wish I could take my nephew here. How fun!

My Flickr faves are chock full of yummy images right now.

I want this tree so very much. I saw this white tree in Target yesterday and even though I can't buy it, I WANTED to take it home with me and fill it with colored ornaments.

I got lost in this girl's photostream for hours. Her images are stunning and just beautiful art. She also has an Etsy shop. I want this one for my newly painted room.

Etsy finds: I heart tall ships (on a necklace instead). Cute little pouch. Wearable mechanical. Don't know why, but I love these! Etsy is full of great gift ideas!

And old(er) movie to re-watch this weekend. Again, I heart tall ships. Even though I've seen it a ton of times, it's still one of my favorites.

Pretty sure there were about 200 other things I found. There were lots of great finds this week! I leave tomorrow for the frozen tundra to meet my new neice (eeeek!). I plan on posting unless my sister hogs the computer the whole time. We both love the intra-net.

Have a great weekend everyone!

December 04, 2008

Movie review

(ps...I am in love with this shot. Anyone else want to have a picnic here?!)

Since I've been raving about Australia for months without seeing it, I thought I should tell you what I thought after my trip to the theater last week. I'm happy to say, it did not disappoint.....

You must go see Australia on the BIG screen. MUST. It won't be the same on your screen at home. And don't believe all the so-so reviews floating around either.

Nicole Kidman was wonderful. Her outfits are stunning and perfect. She looks beautiful, which is something that I haven't said in a long time. And Hugh my friend Jenny said after seeing the movie, "I liked him before, but oh. my. goodness!" He is just fantastic. Wow.
But it's the little boy in the movie that will steal your heart. His eyes will pierce your soul.

It's beautifully shot, full of color and striking Baz Lurhman's artistic angles. Even if the story was horrible (it wasn't) it would be worth it to see the beauty of Australia.

I agree with IMDB's rating of 7.6. Worth the $8 matinee (gulp) ticket.

December 03, 2008

10 minutes ago

10 minutes ago
I saw you
I looked up when you came through the door
My head started reeling
You gave me the feeling
The room had no ceiling or floor

10 minutes ago
I met you
And we murmured our how-do-you-do's
I wanted to ring out the bells
And fling out my arms
And to sing out the news

I have found her
She's an angel
With the dust of the stars in her eyes
We are dancing
We are flying
And she's taking me back to the skies.

In the arms of my love
I'm flying
Over mountain and meadow and land
And I like it so well
That for all I can tell
I may never come down again
I may never come down to earth again

For some reason, when I titled this post, I just had to sing this song. It's one of my favorites from that musical.

This was the sunset 10 minutes ago outside of my little cottage. As much as I hate the cold of winter, I do love its amazing sunsets.

December 02, 2008

Blog treasure hunting

I'm quite taken with Lula magazine today. The colors and photographs are so very lovely and very much my style it seems. Just look...

My favorites are the beautiful images in Issue 5. Wish I could find a paper copy, but it appears to be more treasured than fine gold!

****All images from Lula Magazine.

***found by way of decor8 (a favorite design blog of mine) which lead me to The Unicorn Diaries today. When I saw the post on Sara Crewe with it's stunning pictures (it's one of my very favorite films), I knew I had to investigate for more fun links. Blog treasure hunting is one of my favorite past times.

December 01, 2008

repeat showing

I can't get enough of this little picture. Sorry to post the same thing 2 days in a row. When I see them this weekend (and all next week!), I can bet you there will be PLENTY more to come.

Plus, I doctored this one up a little big with TRA. I haven't had hardly any time to play with them yet because of all my painting and re-claiming my bedroom for living.

Be back tomorrow with new stuff...

November 30, 2008

big news

I have some big news for you all today. Yes, I do.

Don't you hate it when someone says that and then doesn't actually TELL you the news?

This drives my sister CRAZY, so I like to do it to her often. Instead of telling her the news, I'll tell her about my day.

For instance...

It's been raining here all day today. ALL day.

Now it's foggy and the big fog horn across the water is sounding every couple of minutes. I love that sound. I wish it was cloudy more often so I could hear more.

I've almost finished my big painting project. Now comes the fun part of moving every thing BACK into my room. I AM exciting about doing some purging of junk.

During my painting marathon, I watched all the current episodes of Prison Break season 4. I love that Sara is alive and she and Michael back together again.

Sang Till I See You this morning in church. That song gives me chills.

I'm watching my parent's dog this week. She decides to go crazy at 10pm every night, racing around the house and pouncing on me. This continues for about 10 minutes and then she falls asleep. Strange one, she is.

Are you still hanging in there?
Still wondering "when is she going to give us the BIG news?"

Go HERE (and here) to find out....

And then be sure to come back and tell me if you think it's big, wonderful news like I do!

November 29, 2008

disaster area

Blog central has been declared a disaster area today.
Everything IN my room is now sitting on the living room floor.
Did I mention I'm OCD and this type of thing chaos drive me insane?
The painting has begun.
My desk is sitting in the middle of the room with the computer still hooked up so I can watch Hulu and not go crazy.
Back to the yellow and white.

November 28, 2008

Totally Rad

I finally gave in a spent a huge chunk of change on the Totally Rad Actions. They were on sale today, which a very rare thing. I've been waiting for such a sale and saving all my pennies.

Gotta say, after playing for a while (hours) today, I'm in love with them. I can see how they are going to help me grow and learn as a photographer.

Here's a couple of examples (click on the photo to see bigger or go to Flickr).....

The Louvre in Paris 2005

The view from the towers of Notre Dame in Paris 2005

The bro from our trip to see a David Letterman taping

What do you think? Worth the $$$?

November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I'm off to eat some yummy goodies, chat with friends, finish watching the parade and maybe see a movie later.

So much to be thankful for. So many blessings to remember.

Enjoy your happy day!

November 26, 2008

deep thoughts with cottage girl

****First of all, there are free Christmas songs on Oprah's website for the next 48 hours. Good ones! Gecha some!

On to other deep (read: random) thoughts...

Do you ever wonder what our lives would be like without an imagination?

I think about that often and especially lately. In the last week, I watched 2 movies (Harry Potter #5 and LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring) that always remind me of the beauty that is our imagination. How different would life be if we were only to experience what we could see and touch in this life at this moment? Nothing would be other than it is. No dreams at night. No thoughts of what may be in the future. No ideas of how your life would be different, if you made a different choice.

No Harry Potter, Anne Shirley, Admiral Adama, Frodo, Seth Cohen, Chuck Bartowski, Eric Taylor, Edward Cullen, Spike, Stargirl, Peter Pan, Ron Weasley, Luke Skywalker, Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, Tom Sawyer.

No Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Avonlea, Narnia, Smallville, Sunnydale, Willy Wonka Factory, Neverland, that old house that I dream about often with a big attic and beautiful garden.

Would we even have the internet or telephones or fabulous recipies? Would we enjoy colors or textures or light?

When God created us in His image (Gen 1:27), He bestowed upon us one of His most grand attributes. The ability to create. We are able to paint and photograph and tell stories. Our creations are extensions of who we are and point back to THE Creator.

True, as the stories say, we can use this gift for good and for evil. Man, in his human, imperfect state, has ruined this wonder many times. He has abused it and degraded it and used it for personal gain. He has pointed to himself as the inventor.

But I like to think about it in a more magical way. I've always had an overactive imagination. I liked to play pretend (still do)more than anything else. I've always loved to read stories and imagine new worlds and characters. I've always loved TV and movies and the worlds they introduce me to. There is just something about the imagination that points me to God, my creator. His wisdom to grant us such an invaluable gift that, should it never exist, our lives would be much less full.

Movies/books, like Harry Potter and LOTR, let me escape my reality into a fantastical world that is full and colorful and different. I can't imagine a life without my imagination.


This is me and my sis reading a book in my parent's living room. I just noticed that it must have been after Christmas because of the decorations on the door and window. Plus, there is a pile of toys and random objects at our feet. And look at our little slippered feet. I wonder if my mom happened upon us reading together and ran to get her camera. This was either the year before my brother was born or just a week after his birth.

That little blond-headed peanut in the picture is due to have her second baby any day now. Good gracious time does fly. Makes me thankful for another thing God gave us. Memories.

November 25, 2008

Christmas giving

Here's a couple of my humble suggestions for giving this Christmas. These are all organizations that I have already been involved with one way or another.

I think this such a cool idea. My Bible study did this 2 years ago as a Christmas gift...

World Vision's Gift Catalog

The way that they advertise the gifts you can give is brilliant. You can buy a goat for a family. You can give clothing to a child. You can give seeds and tools for farming to those who need them in Africa. You can give a bicycle to a girl in India so she can go to school.

Read about their mission statement here.

Back in youth group, we did the 30 hour famine a couple times. Another great idea to get people involved in caring for the starving around the world.

You can also sponsor a child.

I personally sponsor a child through Compassion. I love this organization and how dedicated they are to caring for children. Compassion lets you pick the child you want to sponsor and even keep in touch with them by writing letter and emails. Then you get letters and photos back from your sponsored child. It's amazing to watch them grow and learn and actually hear from them. I've been sponsoring my little Teresia from Indonesia for about 4 years now. It's so cool to hear how SHE prays for me, even as I pray for her.
If you can't afford to sponsor a child, you can give in other ways.
Love Compassion! Love them!

Living Hope International is an organization that I started giving towards this past year. A friend of mine (and her husband and 2 boys) is moving to China in 2009 to work in a Living Hope orphanage. I'm supporting them.
It's a really neat ministry. These little Chinese orphans that are forgotten and "unadoptable" are given hope and love. And all you readers know how China orphans tug at my heart. I'm so excited to have a direct link to donate towards my friend as she and her family love and care for these precious little ones. You can learn about how to give to LHI here. They also have an orphan sponsorship program.

And finally, an organization that is near and dear to my heart....Shaohannah's Hope. I have been sponsoring SH through the Stevey Joy Club for a couple years now. I get these post cards with stories and pictures of little ones that have been adopted and are now in God-honoring families. Shaohannah's Hope gives grants to Christian families who want to adopt but need help with the funds. You can read some of the amazing stories here. I love it cause it lets me help with the whole adoption process even though I can't personally adopt at this point in my life.
Shaohannah's Hope is also building Maria's Big House of Hope, which is for special needs orphans in China. I'm really, really excited about this for a couple reasons that I'll tell you more about later. You can donate towards Maria's Big House here.
Oh, and did I mention it was started by Steven and Marie Beth Chapman? You all know how I feel about them if you have read my blog in the last few months.
Check out this video to see what SH is all about.

Again, these are just suggestions. I know there are 1,000's of others that do amazing things. Don't forget to check with your church, too. Give to those who are in need this Christmas!

"The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself."
Proverbs 11:25