October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

(photo found here)

I'm stuck in a meeting at work for the whole day. Yuck. However, I'll be done by dark and heading out into the neighborhood to take candy to the kids. Camp is tucked away from everyone else, so we take our Ranger (like a suv golf cart) and ride around and give out candy. Our neighborhood is amazing. Most people decorate their porches and sit outside and hand out candy. It's very family friendly and SO MUCH FUN!

And just for fun...

October 30, 2009

Remember the days when ice cream was THE BEST thing in the world?!

When I was in Seattle, we went to get ice cream one night. This little munchkin was as excited as I would be if I had won the lottery. He screamed "iiiiii-creeeeemmmm" for most of the ride there and in between any bite that took more than 5 seconds to get to his mouth. Plus, he had this intense/panicked/pure joy look on his face the entire time. He could have eaten all 4 of our ice cream bowls by himself and still have asked for more. It was one of the best parts of my trip. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Remember the days of being so excited over ice cream?! So sad that we lose some of that joy as we grow older.

Other notes of interest~~~~I got a hair cut today. I felt quite pampered and relaxed. If only I could afford one of those every 2 months or so instead of 2 times a year. It's not anything crazy. Just about 5 or 6 inches cut off.

October 29, 2009

TV time

Because so many of my favorite shows (like Battlestar Galactica and Scrubs (kinda)) said goodbye last year, I had a few openings in my TV viewing schedule this year. I'll be honest...I'm terrible at adding new ones. I like the old. I dislike change in any form. I hate saying goodbye. Plus, I hate getting invested in a show and then having it ripped from me at a moments notice.

So, I tend to be very choosy with my TV viewing. I like to wait a few weeks to see if something will last, and then watch a bunch of episodes at once to see if it's worth my time (or wait until the entire show goes off the air and I don't have to fear cancellation: see Arrested Development, The OC). Mostly, I wait for my brother to watch something and then order me to watch it, too. He's got great taste in TV. He hooked me on Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights and 24 to name a few.

Here are a few that have made it through my ridiculous criteria of television viewing. Some of these have great potential to be favorites for years to come...

#1 Glee

I know I've already talked about this show, but dear goodness, I just love it. I think every show should have singing and dancing. Buffy did. Scrubs did.
It makes me laugh. I get chills. I just enjoy how random and different it is. It's a keeper. Oh, and this is one that broke my own rule for and I watched from episode #1 (last May). I knew that it would be a hit. Just that good. One of the best pilots I've seen since Lost.

#2 Modern Family

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big, huge sitcom person. I usually go for a good drama over a sitcom. If I do watch a comedy, it's very rarely the kind with a studio audience annoyingly laughing in the background. Friends is a big exception. And I Love Lucy. I like comedy in the Scrubs/30 Rock style.

Anyway, this was a case of great advertising. I saw a commercial for this show and thought "hey, I would give this a try." Thankfully, it was actually FUNNIER than the commercials. In fact, I would venture to say that it's one of the funniest shows on TV behind 30 Rock (sorry, The Office. Sad, but true. You aren't really funny any more.). I caught up on the 5 episodes that have aired this week on Hulu. I highly recommend it, especially if you love and miss Arrested Development. It has so many laughable moments in normal life situations. It's hard to pick a favorite character because there are so many great ones.

#3 Grey's Anatomy

I will admit that I let Grey's Anatomy back on my schedule. Or at least my "I'll watch it online after it has aired" schedule. But it's on probation. I'm willing to drop it at a moment's notice if it decides to go back to the ridiculousness that it was. I will also say that I stopped watching it at the end of season 2 and started again at the end of season 5 and don't feel like I missed much. It's entertaining at the moment. I'm enjoying it.

#4 The Rachel Zoe Project

This one is already over for the season, but I really enjoyed it. I missed the last 3 episdoes (and am hoping to catch them on a Bravo marathon). It's interesting, silly and mindless. Everyone needs a little of that in their lives at one time or another. I can't believe that I actually like a reality TV show!

What about you? Find anything fun lately?

October 28, 2009

look what I found

My obsession with tall ships just loves these bookends.

This beautiful clock. It would look so perfect in my Vanilla Milkshake shaded room.

And this video is positively delightful. I would live here. In fact, it reminds me very much of my life here at camp. Except for the whole shared showers thing. We definitely don't gots that here.

October 27, 2009

Is it possible to be homesick for a place you don't actually live?

When I went to Seattle, I not only got to see The Bro, go to Alki and climb mountains, I also got to spend a week with one of my dearest friends in the world.

We met in college. We were roommates for 2 years. She was one-third of the Igloe threesome. (Our apartment with our other friend (my other roommate of all four college years). She was one of those girls that I just clicked with. We could share our thoughts and our hearts openly and honestly. I adore her and cried buckets when graduation parted us. She headed back to Seattle and got married just a few months later.

I missed her desperately. Over the years, I've been fortunate to go and visit and just BE with her many times. She's one of those friends with whom I can not talk for months and then instantly pick up like no time has passed at all. We don't have to fill quiet moments, but can just be quiet and comfortable in each other's presence.

Now she has 4, yes 4(!!) kids. It was an absolute joy to spend a week with her and her family. I love her kids to pieces and think her hubby is so fantastic. The days flew by and when I had to get back on the plane to come home, it was heart wrenching. Tears, hugs, more tears.

I so miss the days that we shared a room and would talk late into the night. I know we'll see each other again, but it would be so nice if she could just live right across the field. Then I could run over and we could have dinner together. I could snuggle with the kids and laugh with them. I was once again reminded how incredibly precious her friendship is to me. And how just being with her feels like home.

October 26, 2009

I'm feeling very Harry Potter-y today

I need to read the books again. All of them.

I need to watch the movies again. All of them in marathon style.

I've been doing some HP research for a super secret mission, and it got me all excited for the world of Hogwarts and wizards. I miss those characters. I miss the excitement of knowing that another book was still coming out, and I would have more of the story to love and sob over. I miss staying up till 2am because I can't put the book down because it's just that good. I miss the Weasley's and Hermione and Luna and Neville and the Hogwarts Express.

Sigh...there is nothing like getting lost in the land of make-believe.

October 25, 2009

Tell it like it is

I wanted to post a link to the message I heard when I was at Mars Hill in Seattle a few weeks ago. Such an amazing message. It's tough love. Mark doesn't candy coat the topic.

You can listen to it here or download the podcast on Zune Marketplace or itunes for free and listen when you are cleaning (my favorite time to listen to podcasts!).

I want to go back and listen to all of this series. It's really fantastic. I like speakers who don't shy away from the tough stuff. I want to be challenged not patted on the head and told that I'm doing the best that I can.

This morning my pastor was saying that if you are exactly where you were last year in your relationship with Christ then something is wrong. Yikes! Now that's a great reminder. Being complacent and content can be so dangerous sometimes. It's a constant struggle for me to not get too comfortable.

Anyway, enjoy. Hope you learn something like I did.

On another topic...
I read these verses today and all I could think about was the clothes I bought yesterday.

"He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
And He said to them, 'Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money, and do not have two tunics a piece."

Hmmm...somehow, I don't think Jesus would accept my excuse of "but I can't wear the same thing to church twice in one month." I'm telling you....God has really been working on me this year with things/possessions and giving more to what really matters. It's humbling. It's TOUGH. It requires sacrifice. And somehow I just don't feel right buying stuff I don't really need when there are kids in Uganda that don't have clothes without holes or food to eat or a bed to sleep in.

Why do I continually talk myself into thinking "I deserve this. It's MY money to spend." Maybe my money is the money that He needs to support an orphan for a year in China. Maybe the money that is needed for food for the Karamojongs is the money in my bank account. If I truly believe that it's all His, it will affect what I do with everything I have whether it be money or things or time.

I think I may be making a trip to the return counter at Target this week....

What may God be asking you to give? Is there a ministry that He has been laying on your heart lately that you "keep meaning to do something for?" Is He trying to whisper to your heart about the "things" in your life? Is He asking you to step out in faith and join Him on the journey of sacrifice? I'd love to hear about it!

October 24, 2009

I may have done a little shopping today

While I was in the fitting room, I heard this conversation...

"I can't believe these clothes. They are so weird."

"I know!"

"They are supposed to be from some big designer. She designs clothes for that show about those up-iddy kids in NY. What's it called? Oh, Gossip Girl."

"I've never seen it."

"I watched part of it once and it was painful. It made my eyes hurt it was so bad. So stupid."

All this going on while I was trying on clothes from that exact designer and secretly thinking "I feel kinda like Serena Van Der Woodsen in this." Ok, not really, but I was trying on the clothes and was secretly arguing with these women about the addiction of Chuck Bass and his ultimate coolness.

It was one of those dangerous days when everything you try on fits perfectly and looks fantastic. You know what I mean. Thankfully it was just Target. My budget can handle some new clothes from Target. Anthropologie...not so much.

October 23, 2009

more, more, more

Sorry about the persistent photos from my trip. I just can't help myself. Here's a few more for you to enjoy while I head out for a night of hip-hop.

I like shadow photos. Reminds me I was actually there.

I know, right?! So beautiful!

If you look closely, you can see Mt Rainier peaking through the clouds. It decided to hide for the rest of this day, no matter how much we begged it come back out and play.

October 22, 2009

hotdog & hip-hop

While on our drive up, up, up into the mountains, we stopped here to eat lunch. PB&J on the mountains side. Does it get any better than that?

Oh, wait....then we had hotdogs cooked over a campfire.
Yes, that is about as good as it gets.
Now I want a campfire hotdog, pronto.

In other news, I'm going to a hip-hop dance competition tomorrow night. Let's just say I'm a little over the top excited about it. My friend, my partner in crime this past summer, is the head of her school's team. They are competing with a bunch of other colleges. It's going to be cra-zy!
ps...What does one wear to a hip-hop competition at a college? I don't know these things. I'm old and all of my clothes are from about 4 years ago. But at least I still look like I'm 18. Whew.

October 21, 2009


My friend Chaych coined that fantastic word. Today I had a lovely one. Half-day at work turned into a super crafty time. I got lots done. Birthday presents worked on (almost completed!) practiced knitting on circular needles (I'm terrible at it, but finally "getting" it), cut, sewed. It was lovely.

I decided to go outside and enjoy the warm sunshine. It's been perfect here finally after 5 straight days or rain. I'm soaking in all the warmth while I can. Winter is right around the corner, you know.

Whilst my sewing and knitting, I listened to Elsie's Autumn Playlist. It's quite fantastic. New music and perfect for relaxing and being creative. Try it here.

And just because I can't post without including a photo from the West Coast, here you go.

Please note: The older gentleman in the foreground. He must have been pushing 80 years or even older. This was about 3 miles into the hike, UP HILL almost the entire way. And there I was behind him barely dragging my feet up each step. Oh man, that was the kick in the bottom I needed to get up that mountain.

October 20, 2009


I read Harry Potter with a British accent in my head.

Gossip Girl. Yes, Gossip Girl. It's my weakness. And I'm kinda embarrassed to admit it. Thanks a lot, baby brother.

I dream about buying vintage clothes (and just clothes in general) all the time, but feel incredibly guilty and can't actually purchase them, especially after I read this blog.

I got some lovely, yummy mail from a blog friend. A proper thank you note is on the way, friend!

I never seen the following movies: Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, any of The Godfather's, any John Wayne movie or Can't Buy Me Love.

Got a bunch of crafty ideas floating around in my head at this present moment. It's wonderful!

I never listen to the radio and have no idea what is popular at the moment.

I teach myself almost every craft I know how to do. I'm a terrible student, so it takes me forever to "get it."

I went to the library yesterday and got only children's novels: Swiss Family Robinson, Matilda and Out of the Dust.

I think Ender's Shadow was better than Ender's Game. (Thanks, Kirsten!)

I enjoy writing this blog way too much.

Cottage Girl

October 19, 2009

night time

Crooked skyline Seattle. I LOVE the skyline view from Alki. This city...sigh...there is something so beautiful about it. So different from any East Coast city.

Camp fire. duh.

Firecracker gone bad. Just kidding. More camp fire.

It's funny looking through my photos and seeing the extreme difference between my SLR pictures and my point and shoot ones. They don't compare at all.

And speaking of point and shoot...
I got a new one. Canon SD780. I got it right before I left for my trip. My old Kodak finally gave out on me. It was well loved and even more well used. This new one was bought after MUCH debate and research. I come from a family who over researches any big purchase. Much time online checking out what is good, what reviews were given and what would work in my price range. I had to say "no" to several that I REALLY wanted, but couldn't justify spending almost as much for my point and shoot as I did for my D50.
Anyway, long story short, I really like my Canon. It's super small. Almost the exact same size as my cell phone. It can fit in my back pocket. That was the most important thing. My Kodak was just a little to big to carry every where. We'll see how the photos come out. As of now, I'm enjoying it!

October 18, 2009

Mt. Rainier is a beauty

When I got on the plane to go to Seattle, I had no idea that I would get to go here. The Bro had told me that we would only get to see each other for just a few days because he had to his new job at Sundance. Boo-hoo and woo-hoo at the same time because it was freakin' Sundance and I was so excited for him!

But at least I would see him for a few days. Then when he picked me up at the airport, he told me plans had changed and he had a few extra days to chill in the Seattle area. We did the city and Alki (my fave!) and then were pondering what to do next. I suggested Mt. Rainier because it's so beautiful and the weather was seriously perfect. The hike is incredible and one of my very favorites. There were places to camp for really cheap. Plus, it's only about 2 hours from the city. So we decided to go for it.

I hadn't packed any clothes for hiking 5 miles through snow and rocks, but who cares. I slid on my crappy tennis shoes and jeans and started the hike. Straight uphill for about a mile. It's a tough hike, but not really "hard." Just a lot of uphill trudging. The views are totally worth it though, don't you think?

We decided to go for the gold and do the big 5 mile circle which takes you to these sweeping views. Since it was so clear, we could see a few of the other Cascade Volcanoes: Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams and a hint of Mt. Hood (all in Oregon). Amazingly clear! Just the day before, in the same spot, we couldn't even see Mt. Rainier which was right in front of us because of the clouds. So cool to be there on such a perfect day.

I really love hiking. Not that I'm great at it or anything. I huff and puff and take a bunch of breaks, but I love the feeling of just being outside surrounded by nothing but nature. And it's so humbling to think of the beauty that God gives us just because He loves us. We could be on a planet with no colors or mountains or waterfalls. But He chose to give us beauty and the imagination to wonder at it. Hiking is always a spiritual experience for me. Verses in Psalms always run though my mind. I'm so blessed to be loved by a God who surrounds be with beauty.

ps...my friend's hubby hiked to the tippy-top of Mt. Rainier just 2 weekends before we went there. His story was incredible. Hiking in the dark to avoid the warm weather which creates avalanches. Freezing temps. Going straight uphill for hours. Crazy!

October 17, 2009

a few thoughts and a really cool photo

It has been raining here (home) non-stop since the day I came home. Rain, cold, clouds. Sounds like I should be in Seattle, but no. It was sunny and perfect there. Always is when I go. I think the whole "it's so rainy in Seattle" thing is a myth.

This is another photo from Mt. Rainier. We did a short "hike" the first day we went to the mountain. The clouds had rolled in and blocked the actual peak from our view. We came back the next day and it looked like this (see above) the entire time we hiked. Cool, cloud free and beautiful. I've done this hike a few times now and still think it is the most beautiful ones ever, ever, ever. It's awe inspiring to say the least. And pictures don't do it justice.

Working this weekend. It's still so tough to get up in the morning. You would think 3 hr jet-lag wouldn't be bad, right? I usually don't really get jet-lag when I go somewhere. It's when I come home that it kills me. I tried to cure it today by taking a nap while on a break. We'll see how it works tonight.

Watched Garden State again this afternoon/evening. It's a perfect rainy day movie. Scratch that...it's a perfect ANY day movie. I think (though it's so hard to pick just one) that it is my favorite of all. I want to re-watch it as soon as the credits roll at the end. Every time. Love, love, love the whole feel of it. How random it is. The beautiful shots and composition. And of course the star/director.

Night, all!

October 16, 2009

the return

Since I've been complaining/whining about how my brother moved away for months now, I figured you, dear readers, deserved a happy photo like this. It's kinda crazy. The moment his car pulled up to the curb at the airport arrivals and I was greeted with his signature smile and wave, it was like the previous 6 months didn't exist. Yes, I made him give me a big hug. Yes, I was really excited!

I realized how blessed I am that I have a great relationship with both The Bro and my sister. We are pretty tight, as siblings go. Be sure we fought like crazy when we were little. Even now, The Bro and I can argue like the best of them. All in good fun though. If you can't antagonize and mess with your siblings, then who can you mess with, I ask?!

Love you, Bro. I'm so proud of you. Don't forget to use your fancy new job to help me meet all those famous people. I'm counting on you!

October 15, 2009

I would like a camp site in Middle Earth, please.

One of the nights that I stayed with my brother and his BFF, we stayed at Mt. Rainier National Park's Cougar Rock campground. It was seriously no frills camping for this girl. And by no frills I mean no hot water, no showers, no heated bathhouses. It was chilly that night. Around 40 degrees. Yes, I was cold.

However, it had the most amazing trees and views. Wait till you see a photo of our campsite. It was like living in Middle Earth or Jurassic Park. When I woke up in the morning and headed to the bathhouse I looked up and saw this and instantly ran back to the car to get my camera. The sun shining through the trees...awe, pure awe. There is something about the Pacific Northwest that is just breathtaking. I never get tired of visiting.

I have so many stories to tell about my trip. SO MANY! I'll do my best to keep them coming. And the photos....oh, boy. It could take months if I only posted one a day. But I promise not to bore you for that long!

October 14, 2009

I have mountains in front of me.

Mountains of:

dirty laundry
un-opened mail
magazines to read
books to finish
mail to send out
blogs to catch up on
and don't get me started on the TV shows I've missed.

However, the mountains of photos that are waiting on my camera(s) are, I just know it, full of golden nuggets waiting to be found. This one caught my eye instantly. Maybe cause I'm missing those little kiddos that I spent so much time with. Or maybe cause I think that the next time I see him he won't have his lisp or his little chubby face and hands and won't crawl into my lap with his blankets asking to be snuggled.

In any case, I'm quite was quite happy to find this one in my mountain of photos. Yes, I was.

October 13, 2009

Airport observations

I love airports. The people watching has supreme potential.

How about this machine, huh? Download a movie from a walk up booth.

I also saw a man get up and offer his seat to a lady because there weren't any around. That's almost a miracle now-a-days.

There is a man standing next to me that is either in a ninja cloak or a monk's robe. Hmmm...

It's always an adventure and I love it!

On my way home now. Can wait to get back to my real computer with human sized keys.

October 12, 2009


Another quarter of the adorableness I've been drowning in this week. Sorry for the yucky phone camera photo, but it's better than nothing, right?

Things are starting to improve here, finally! We are seeing the dull light at the end of the tunnel get a little brighter. Amen.

It's going to be really tough to leave here in 2 days. I hate saying goodbye to this girl and her family cause I never know when I'll get to see them again. Thankfully, every time we do get together, it feels like no time at all has past. College sealed our friendship for eternity. Amen to that as well!

October 10, 2009

I heart Southwest

Yesterday, we had a slight emergency here. Things were a little crazy and didn't seem close to calming down even by 11 pm. My flight was leaving at 11 am today, which threw in a whole other set of problems with airport runs, etc...

So, I went to Southwest and they graciously let me change my flight (for the second time since I bought it and after I had already checked in online). Problem solved in less than 10 minutes. Let's just say that I love Southwest. LOVE.

More to come later....

October 09, 2009


And this only one fourth of the cuteness that I've been lucky enough to be with this week. The other 3 are just as adorable, too.

I've hate being so far away from my friends and their adorable babes. It's so not cool.

I'm sorry, but wasn't The Office wedding one of the cutest things you've ever seen?! I'm dying to go back home and watch it again on Hulu another 14 times.

That Jim Halpert. He pulls me back in every time I say I'm done with that show. And he was the shining star last night. Oh, my. I teared up almost as many times as I did when I saw Up. Sigh......

October 08, 2009

Dear Seattle,

Please won't you move closer to the East Coast?!

I need you and your ever green trees, mountains, cool evenings and bestest friends to be right next to me and not a whole day's plane ride away. I need afternoon walks and ice cream dates with little ones to happen more than once every 2 years. I need some consistent West Coast love in my life.

Your immediate attention to this matter would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated.

Cordially yours,

Cottage Girl

October 07, 2009

Hello, Mt. Rainer

Yesterday, was a perfect day for hiking. We could see for miles. It was a long uphill hike for most of the 5 miles, but totally worth it. It's so beautiful here in Washington. Every time I come, I fall more in love with it.

Today, and for the rest of the week, I'm hanging out with one of my best friends from college. It's so fun to be with friends who feel like family.

October 04, 2009

The Lord's Day

We decided to try out the famous Mars Hill this morning. I thought it was a great message. I like when pastors lay down the law like he did this morning. No wishy-washy church, please.
Now me and the boys are walking about downtown Seattle enjoying the abundant sunshine and perfect temperatures. It really is such a beautiful city!

October 03, 2009

People I've thought I've seen at the airport so far

Jeff Bridges

Sissy Spacek

my pastor

All of these "people" have proved not to be who I thought after closer inspection.

The adventure continues....I'll be re-united with The Bro in just 3 hours!

See you soon

I'm off on an adventure.
Will post when I can.

Cottage Girl

October 01, 2009

Flowers, please

Gasp....is this not one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen?!! Found this vintage bouquet on The Wedding Chicks blog today. Gotta start collecting vintage pins so I can make one. One of the most creative ideas I've seen in a while.