July 26, 2011

Happily Treking Along

Carson just returned from what ended up being a 27.57 mile trek - with a 3500 foot change in elevation.

Here's the trail - it's outside of Evanston.

And a before photo and then a during. I was so excited to see my boy that I forgot to take an after. He looked pretty similar - still smiling, but he didn't smell very good, and he had a little bit of a sunburned chest from where he forgot to put on sun screen on the last day. Some of my friends were ma's on this trip, and they all commented about how good Carson was about putting on the sunscreen. Such a good boy!

His friend, Shandon - the one with him in this photo - has an awesome mom. Trinh made two shirts for Carson in pioneer style. (although in that camo you sure can't see any style right?).

This is him playing games with my friend, Corinna's, family. Look at that sky!
They said there was ONE cloud the entire 4 days.
I think I'm getting sunburned just looking at it...
I know I'm a little prejudiced, but I think that when it's my turn to be a ma I'm praying for boys like Carson.

My friend, Shannon, spoke in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Here's a link to their talks.

July 24, 2011

Ananas comosus

I don't know what it is about Griff, but he's fixated... This is a post from 2 1/2 years ago. See the spiky apple bit?

Top of the tree
Bottom of the tree -
can't see the peony from this view
Yesterday morning he was staring out the front window at our pine tree. He doesn't sit still like that very often, so I stopped to see what he was looking at. He finally asked...
Mom, will that tree grow pinecones or pineapples?
Can you imagine the poor boy's disappointment?!

Jon sat down with him and described a pineapple plant and how pineapples are harvested - by 14 year old boys who are apparently kidnapped and sold into slavery. I've never said that Jon's completely accurate in his teaching, but who am I to argue his point? Maybe it happens. Sure makes it sound like blood diamonds or something though doesn't it?

Anyway. I've been tasked with getting Griff a pineapple at the store today. I'm happily obliged.

July 23, 2011

Whatever Evan....

Jon brought home a weight bench a while ago. It's too wide to fit through any of our doors, so it's set up outside. The boys have been enjoying the thing. Personally, I can't imagine being out there lifting with neighbors watching through their windows (OK there's only 3 that could see, and only one with a single window that overlooks that side of our yard). I mean - it's hot; the bench is black; the bar gets hotter than tar in July; I'm sure the bugs love the sweat juice that gets left there - because I'm fairly certain that the boys aren't wiping the thing down...

Anyway - Evan is the one that uses the bench the most frequently. This morning Evan asked...

Mom? You know how I lift 20 twice? Well, I'm gonna call these my ... (wait for it) ...

Twenty Twos

Just for the record - he lifts more than 20, and he does it more than twice. Jon's concerned we're going to have a very vain body builder on our hands - Evan's got plans to increase the weight, start calling his biceps "12 gauges" and his 6 pack his "reload clip".

See where I said it up on top?  WHATEVER EVAN!!!

July 15, 2011

Daughters-in-LawDaughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't think I'd have given the book 3 stars if I had quit when I wanted to. The first 3/4 of the book were difficult for me to enjoy. I read for escape, and this one just felt too realistic. Too much like I was spying on a friend's family. But I kept reading.

The author said that she chose the topic because most women are daughters-in-law. Of course this is the case for me, and this book made me think about my relationship with my inlaws.

I know it was uncomfortable for Anthony and Rachel, but the author did a great job of growing all of her characters - not just the children. Not so much a "life must go on" as "life does go on". It has to, and families have to change with it.

I'd love to give another star because this book really did make me look at my own family relationships - those with my inlaws, my sister-in-law conspiracy (there are 5 of us!), my mom (made me think about what it would be like to have my mother as a mother-in-law), and my future mother-in-law-ness. Food for much thought! However, that first 3/4 of the book prevented me from giving it that one more star...

View all my reviews

July 08, 2011


Eighteen years ago today Jon was panicking when I walked through the doors at the Jordan River Temple. We had our scheduled time for our sealing, and I was told to be there about 45 min - 1 hour before. I hadn't worried about when Jon would be there. I figured we'd meet up before we went into the sealing room. He couldn't get a hold of me the day before the wedding (he was in Sandy, and I was in Provo) so he called the temple to find out what time the bride was supposed to be there (even though he only needed to be there about 30 minutes before show time), and they told him most brides were there about 2 1/2 hours early. So by the time my mom and I came strolling through the doors he had decided that I wasn't going to show. Silly man.

Some of the other funny things I remember about that day:
  • I stepped on my train while we were outside taking photos at the temple. My heel had sunk into the damp grass right on top of the train, and there was a big ole grass stain. After our lunch my mom took my dress with her back to Provo to get the grass stain out. BUT I didn't hear her tell me she was going to take it. So when the time came for Jon and I to get in our car and head south I panicked because my dress was gone. This was before everyone had cell phones, so I was in near hysteria while I kept calling my mom's next door neighbor to have her run over and see if my mom did in fact have my dress.
  • See that little boy? He just
    got his mission call yesterday.
    He's going to Tokyo, Japan
    in November!
    See the little girl? She's going
    to Montreal Canada in August.
    Nat's about 3 months
    pregnant in this photo...
  • We had our wedding lunch on the patio of Jon's best friend's parent's house. They live across the street from my in-laws, and their daughter is married to Jon's oldest brother. While I was trying to get in touch with my mom about the dress, Jon was sitting in his parent's living room. I don't remember who he was talking to. I was a little tense just sitting there so I went back across the street to help clean up. I hadn't spent much time with my SIL, Natalie, and she surprised me by taking the plates and utensils out of my hands and telling me that the bride SHOULD NOT be cleaning up on her wedding day. So I went back to my in-laws house and sat in a lawn chair outside the front door.
  • I ended up doing my own hair and didn't really like it. I don't know what I would have done differently because it was so short, and I was adamant about wearing a veil. My friend Christian's fiance, Kacy, came through our line, and she said she was happy to see me in a veil because she also had short hair and wasn't sure she could wear one.
  • We were supposed to do our family photos at the church before the reception. Couple of problems with that... 1) My mom, Jon, me, and our photographer got over to the church, and the door was locked. Took up precious time finding the key. 2) My MIL took the Orem Geneva Road exit instead of the Provo one so she was awfully lost. She didn't make it to the reception until it was almost half over.
  • My MIL had all of our flowers (which I'd never seen but they ended up being BEAUTIFUL) AND my FIL's tux. Our receiving line was supposed to be us and our parents, but for a good chunk of the evening it was us, my mom, and Jon's dad in casual clothing.
  • We had Jon's good friend, Jared, take our pictures. We had set Jared up with my good friend, Dixie, a few weeks before we got married. So the night of our reception, our photog was mysteriously preoccupied. Most of the snap shots at our reception were taken by Jon's brother, Aaron. Jared and Dixie got married that November, and they will also be celebrating their 18th anniversary this year.
I'm making myself sick with all of the chaos! Good thing that day is long behind us!

Do you know what that day taught me? That there's never a dull moment in the Hill family.

I love you Jon, and I'm grateful that you chose me to be part of the circus.

June 23, 2011

A Pocket for Peonies

It's been quite the blogging moratorium for me. Havne't been too inspired to share much. My cousin, Miranda, posted a list of her summer happenings, and BAM - inspiration! So here we go...

 I detest the pine tree in my front yard. Jon swears that it shades the house, but it's so frigging U.G.L.Y. I've tried to edge around the bottom of the mound and keep the ground surface around the tree bare. Doesn't work. When some of our neighbors redid their side yard, they had lots of large rocks that they shared. I plunked (ok - no plunking - that thing is one heavy sun of a gun) one of them down next to my tree to take up some space. It became just the thing my wild-man-G needed to launch his tree escalations. I'm sure he'll hurt himself, but I love watching him climb that thing...

The rock's been there for a couple of years. I've tried planting things next to it, but either the pine tree is killing them off, they get pulled when the boys "weed", or they get trampled by eager climbers.


We had a long, wet, spring this year, and for some reason I was yearning for peony blooms. Does your mom have peonies? I think they're too droopy for my mom. But I loved my grandma's. (I promise this is connected to the previous paragraph - I just couldn't find the seque I needed)  I love how tight their buds seem and how they burst into such full flowers.

At my grandma's house the peonies are just beyond the clothesline. They stand as sentries to the pasture fence, and they always seem enormous. Grandma told me they grew well there because there was lots of air circulation, and the ants could get to them without grandkids disturbing ant piles. I don't know if those two factors really help peonies. Do you? Hmmm something to research...

Anyway I planted a peony this year. Right smack in the center of my yard under my ugly pine tree. I was so excited! (Even though I knew they wouldn't be blooming this year). I think the one I bought is light pink, but there wasn't a photo, so I could be wrong. There's plenty of air flow, and I'm sure the ants will find her just fine. I can not say that the ants will be undisturbed.

Last night I was enjoying a lovely summer evening in the front yard with Jon and G. G was showing Jon that he knew what the plant on the side of the mound nearest the house was called. It's Jupiter's Beard. And then he walked/vaulted over the rock and stopped short by my peony. He instantly looked at me with a heartbroken expression.
Mom? She's broken!
That's right folks. My beloved peony who's only been in the ground for 2 weeks had two strong divisions, and one of them has been injured. It's not actually broken, but it's bent. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

I know peonies will bloom better if they're planted in the fall, so perhaps we'll see what happens and add a friend later this year.

April 29, 2011

Fairytales in Dreamland

All right - I'll admit that I did wake up and watch Prince William and Kate tie the knot. I kind of thought I might when I went to sleep last night, but I didn't set my alarm. My inner romantic must have been clued in though; so when the train horns started bleating as quietly as they do at 3 am it was all I needed to get out of bed and head for the TV.

I have a few questions:
  1. Was anyone else as impressed with Phillipa's dress as I was? I knew we were in for a treat with the bridal gown when the maid of honor's dress was so captivating.
  2. Do you pronounce Phillipa without the l's or was I missing them amongst the English accents of the commentators?
  3. When Kate's brother arrived with her mother was it completely necessary for the American press to bring up his tranny stint recently caught on film? 
  4. I know that Sarah and Andrew are divorced, but if the couple chose to invite the Beckhams and Elton John, don't you think Sarah could have been invited too?
  5. Did you notice that all TV channels were streaming the same footage? I know that security must have been a nightmare to oversee, but did the English have control over what those of us offsite were seeing? Where was the drama? Or was it really that well rehearsed and overseen that it really did go off without a hitch?
  6. source
  7. What is it about royal weddings and horse races that bring out the hats?
  8. I can't help but feel sorry for how exhausted Kate's going to be at the end of the day! She'll have 3 marriage ceremonies - the one we got to watch, the formal royal wedding, and the more intimate one (probably the most similar to what we're used to) later this evening. She also has 2 receptions today. Did you see the food that's been prepared?! You should check this out... Can you believe the menu just for the lunchtime reception? How do you make "Mini Yorkshire puddings?" Those look great! (But that may be because I've got a thing for horseradish.) Do you think I can use my Pampered Chef mini muffin tin? 
  9. I had two favorite quotes:
Arrived a commoner and left a princess. Source: I'm sure Meredith or Ann or Camilla said this, but I'll attribute it to my girl, Tisha.
This one is all Matt Lauer. It was during the recessional, and he was talking about the Archbishop of Canterbury's voice. That man has some pipes! I'd love to hear him say: This is Today...

Anyway - Once I had calmed down enough to return to dreamland I dreamed that I was hanging with the royals in one of the more quaint spaces within Buckingham Palace (those exist, right?). The Princes William and Harry had been called out on routine maneuvers and had to put in some flight hours (and I know that Harry doesn't fly). Kate was fine with William taking off for a couple of hours, but we were trying to figure out what to do while we waited. I went digging through a closet - had to pull out a train track that was coiled like the slides at Cowabunga Bay - and found the stack of board games. I found Ticket to Ride and we sat down to play. That's when I woke up and realized that I had missed the kiss...

I went back to sleep around 5:00 so I had to watch the kiss after the fact. I'm a little disappointed. I'd hoped that we'd see a momentary lapse in William's stoicism and be treated to some royal PDA as he lunged her into a sweeping kiss that would rally the onlookers. Come on.Where's the royal passion?! You're a prince for goodness sake! Romantics around the world are already suspicious that there's a problem!

Anyway - I loved the dress. I loved the pomp. I loved the bridesmaid plugging her ears.

April 26, 2011

Spring a Ding

I've been off of my blogging mojo lately, but I want to show you where I've been splurging.

Last week I hosted book club. We read The Help. If you haven't read this yet, go get it. Seriously. I think it's that good.

Anyway - I really stressed over the menu and decor for this lunch. This should not surprise anyone. I finally settled on a Caribbean chicken salad with honey-lime dressing, home-made rolls, and deviled eggs. For dessert I made individual raspberry cobblers, which did not turn out as good as PWs. But they sure tasted good!

The decor is something that was completely unnecessary, but something I absolutely wanted to do. I wanted to use my every day plates. They're Pfaltzgraff's Trousseau pattern. I'm completely cursing myself by saying this, but Jon and I have been married nearly 18 years, and we still have all 12 of the original dinner and salad plates. I've got 11 mugs, and 12 saucers. I'm down to 5 bowls. 

Anyway - see how there's that bit of clustered pink? I wanted to pull that out, and I had found a fun way to make napkin rings using toilet paper rolls and strips of fabric. So - I made these:

I used fabric scraps from the spring quilt top I just finished. I love this stuff. It's fun. It's vibrant. It's fresh. I wanted to also pull these colors into the table decor. So the night before book club I went through my scrap cache and put this little runner together.

I really do think I'm crazy. I don't know what happened to me that night, but I seriously impressed/surprised myself.

I love how my tablescape turned out. My cousin had suggested a green tablecloth, which I happened to have on hand. Then I shopped my house and grabbed my most springy decor items, gathered them together, played with condiment containers under the grass to get it just the right height. I also had a bit of inspiration and pulled out my pink goblets that Jon's sister gave me for a wedding gift. They were perfect!

I didn't get a good photo of the entire table because I didn't have the napkins in the rings until my friends had arrived, and by then I was too excited to get the party started. Please believe me when I say it was so pretty!

March 23, 2011

Did I Offend?

Today was Evan's big day at the Central Utah Science & Engineering Fair.

I'll let you figure out what happened:

His project was titled Are You Deaf?

He got a judge without a sense of humor who wore very large hearing aids.

I'll give you a hint: It didn't end well.


But the irony makes me cackle.

And he did win 2 games of laser tag.

March 16, 2011

About a Car...

Apparently Evan has been living good lately. Last night he took first place in our ward's pinewood derby. Now I have to tell you that I'm completely impressed with this year's car. I mean come on - it's gold and it glitters! Just don't tell my guys that I said so.

Seriously - isn't that pretty?

Do you see her? She's the one out there a full car length in front of the next racer.

That's my boy's speed demon...

Evan was completely awkward walking next to the track to pick her up after each heat. All that attention kind of overwhelms my dear middle son. And yet he just does these amazing things.

As he was headed to his room for an elated night's slumber, he said:

Mom - I know I didn't ask about sleeping with my science fair ribbon. Do you think it's ok if I take this one to bed with me?

Yep - that's all him. Pure humility.

March 15, 2011

Walking the E-reader

I got a new mp3 player for my birthday, and I'm completely disappointed. I didn't want to go all out - just wanted something that would play nicely while I exercise. Yah - the one I chose - just doesn't cut it. I'm trying to decide if I dare take it back even though there's nothing wrong with it. It just doesn't do what I want it to (no playlists!), and the packaging didn't say anything about that lack of functionality. I removed all of the music I'd loaded (reformatted the thing) and it's sitting here on my desk blankly waiting for me to do something with it.

I'm cursing those silly post-like ear buds. What the crud?! They are not very comfortable, and they're weighted in such a way that they continually slip out of the ear. Just strange.

So this morning I needed to get on my treadmill - can't stop now that I've got some momentum going. Couldn't use that dratted mp3. Carson wore his to school. Evan got a fantastic one for Christmas, but he's got it loaded with Wierd Al singing "Long, long time ago - in a galaxy far away" to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie and Jack Black's "Greatest Song in the World" (Please! Talk about making the ears of teen and preteen boys uncomfortable!). What to do?

I grabbed my other favorite gadget - my ereader. Pulled up a novel I'm reading, enlarged the font size, propped it in the book holder, and started up the tread. It was fantastic! Of course I didn't want to stop reading so I pushed myself a bit and went a mile more than I'd planned today. Can I just tell you how incredible that felt?! Pure goodness.

March 09, 2011

Happy Birthday Barbie!!!

OK - so I may have turned 40 on Monday, but did you know that BARBIE is 52 today? That's one fine fifty something...

Source: Baltimore Sun

February 26, 2011

Muted Nostalgia

I'm linking again even though I wrote this post a few days ago...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Last night Evan's science fair project was selected as one of the top projects in Jordan School District. He's kind of cracking me up about the whole thing. He's played it really cool, but I found out he slept with his blue ribbon last night. Sorry boy - it was something that had to be shared...

He really is excited, but he's driving me crazy! Everytime he's been asked to do something this morning, he has replied,
But I won the science fair!
Like that's reason to be king for a day or something. I had to escape his highness so I retreated to my sewing room. I have a few UFO's and felt the need to wrap something up. Success!

I quilted and bound a small topper (calling it Muted Nostalgia). I also 3/4 completed quilting a twin topper, but I ran out of thread and must stop by the LQS or fabric store when I venture out today.

And here she is in her new abode:

I love this little guy. I found him on Etsy. He's a little felted gnome. He fits right in to this incomplete cloche scene. It's missing something, but I just can't figure out what else to add. Suggestions?

February 20, 2011

Back in the swing

I finally got my sewing machine moved out of the family room and up to my office. I spent Friday in a conundrum over how my once open space is now wall to wall STUFF. I still need to move the futon out, and that will help immensely, but without a clear plan of what to do with that dang thing, it won't get moved anywhere.

Yesterday I decided that I just didn't care what the state of the rest of the room was - I wanted to sew. Took me most of the day (and I "missed" going to see Tron 3D at the $1 movie with Jon and the boys), but this is what happened...

Of course the photo just doesn't capture the color. It's got a lot more yellow than what I see here.

Nope not much better.

Anyway - I need to add some blocks to the sides, but I used up all of the sashing so I'll have to venture out and hopefully get more of it.  Let me just tell you that putting this together without a pattern was a bit frustrating. I don't know how much fabric I wasted tyring to get it the way I wanted, but I'm thrilled with the way she turned out.

It was a very blaw weather day yesterday, and this was the perfect project to chase the bleeriness away.

She's hanging on the door right now, and I've discovered that my new room arrangement has a perfect spot for a flannel design wall - right above my machine... I know what I'll be googling this morning.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

February 16, 2011

Anybody Out There?

Haven't seen much traffic since I switched the address... So let's see what we can do about that.

Linking to Welcome Wednesday!

February 14, 2011

Mon Couer - In 3 Parts

American Gothic
Grant Wood

Today we find ourselves visiting American Gothic.  I don't think Jon and I are quite of an age as this charming couple, but I think they say a lot about us. They are a stark respresentation of what's worth standing for. Imagine the end of that pitchfork was solidly tapped into the soil while they contemplate: 
  • This is us!
  • We are here!
  • We're in it together!
  • Things have not been, are not and will not be easy!
  • We'll stay side by side using the tools God gave us to do what needs to be done!
Jon and I have been together longer than some and shorter than others. We've lost close friends and family, and we've gained a plethora of siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, and step-family. We've had friends move away. We've moved away from friends. We've been able to make new ones. Some day soon we will have to put down a beloved animal. We've been on 25 hour road trips, and we've driven just a few minutes to spend time with the people we love. We've encouraged each other in school and work. We need to encourage each other through weight loss. We argue; we make up; we compromise; we laugh; we love.

April Fools 1943
Norman Rockwell
We really enjoy games and laughter at our place. See Rockwell's Mr. smiling as Mrs. contemplates clocking him with that wrench? Such a fascinating depiction of the way Jon and I play board games. Ever tried Monopoly with him? You'll want to clock him too - I promise. But really - Jon reminds me to smile and enjoy the humor. He knows how to work hard, but sometimes more importantly he knows how to play. One of my fondest wishes is that he continues to play with me for a very long time.

Sweet Responsibility
James Christensen
Our last feature of the tour is a piece titled Sweet Responsibility.I sigh at this bald gent gently handing over a single bloom to the curly haired, slipper-wearing beauty.

 Jon's not big on giving flowers. I think the only kind he's ever bought have been straight from the grocer's refrigerated floral section. They've been precut and prevased. But on summer evenings he brings me single miniature rose blooms from our front yard.

I love those. I love how they show up on my bathroom counter or nightstand months later when I move a clock or book or jewelry box and discover these little treasures that either fell behind something, were hidden for me to find later, or were at one time propped up where I could see them. They've lost their fragrance and the suppleness of their petals, but they remind me that once upon a time I was given a token by a boy because he loved me. This thought brings me a smile on a cold winter day and blustery spring-ish mornings. 

I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

I love you Jon.

February 10, 2011

Mon Couer II

The Shape of Things to Come
Jack Vettriano
Next we move on to Jack Vettriano's The Shape of Things to Come. I love this painting - I love Vettriano's style - very raw, gangster meets glam. Seriously - check out Amateur Philosophers, The Billy BoysDance Me to the End of Love, The Road to Nowhere, or The Singing Butler. Just don't do too much perusing of his site - he's fairly risque - even blatant. Believe me.

Anyway - I love this one because of the chivalry. Her hair's set, and for some reason they've found themselves barefoot on a rainy seascape with the boys looking on. Still the man drops what he's doing and goes to her aid.

Know how this reminds me of Jon? He does thoughtful things like this for me quite often. I'll share two stories with you.

First - after Griff was born I had post-partum depression. Didn't take much to persuade me to stay inside and dread everything. Jon came home from bishopric one night and handed me a pink cookie. You know the kind - the fluffy sugar cookies with about an inch of pink, preservative-laden, lard-filled frosting. Simple act really - he probably stopped to get a soda and grabbed something that was on the counter. but you know what? He knew that my miserable self needed some sugary goodness. He knew I needed him to pull me out of mire - for a few minutes.

Second - I've had 3 boys with the man. I've had fairly easy labor & deliveries (7 hours for Carson, 5 hours for Evan, and a mere 3 hours for G), and I'm a firm believer in drugs making things much better and relatively pain free.

I didn't really know what to expect with my first. I had no idea what it was like so I was wondering how bad it could really be wanted to feel a bit before it got really hot & heavy. I quickly had enough of that and my rescuer/pain reliever stopped by my room at just the right time. He was on his way to a C section and wanted to see if I needed him to start the epidural before he wouldn't be able to do it for a couple of hours. No question on my part. NOW!

 I was sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to wrap my arms under my knees to curve my back (which isn't an easy task with a basketball in between your ribs and pelvis). The anesthesiologist was prepping my back and the needle, etc. A contraction hit, and it absolutely took my breath away. I panicked! Jon jumped up from the rocking chair in the corner, knelt in front of me, touched both of my knees, looked me right in the eye, smiled, and gently but firmly said,
You have to breathe.
The epidural must have kicked in about then because I remember squeezing his hands and feeling an amazing calm come over me. From then on he was right there with me, pointing out when my contractions were starting on the monitor, getting me ice, not touching me because he'd already figured out (or perhaps not so nicely been told) that it drove me crazy to be touched/rubbed through a contraction. Then when I thought we'd both had enough, his son was placed on my stomach, and I watched him smile as his hand ran over the top of Carson's head for the very first time.

I gave that gift to him... And I loved him for the way he received it.

February 06, 2011

Mon Couer Day 1

Your Place or Mine
James Christensen

 The Jon and Staci romance began on October 9, 1992. We sealed the deal on July 9, 1993 (that's 9 months to the day for those of you counting fingers). February 14 was the big day that led to the deal being sealed. 

To commemorate this romantic occassion I'm guiding you on an artistic tour not just of the past but also where I sincerely hope we're headed. I won't drag you through the flourish all at once. You'll get 3 chances to be swept away.

First off is James Christensen's Your Place or Mine. I love the saucy maid and her halibut. What else would ensnare such a fine sir?

I knew that I had Jon ensnared when I called him 3 days after our first date (which was to Rocky Point haunted house - plenty of screaming, protecting, and body grabbing going on there - and not just all by Jon... ;-)) to come over and change my roommate's flat tire. Jon was watching a video at ANOTHER WOMAN's place and made me swear that it really was flat. What?! Did he think I was making up excuses to get him to come over? Insert eye roll here. 
  • He showed up (I don't remember how timely he was in this - I guess that doesn't matter now anyway).
  • He saw the flat.
  • He changed the flat.
  • He left. (So maybe he hadn't finished the "movie").
But he smiled at me as he got back in his car... Perhaps it was me that was ensnared...

February 01, 2011

Inviting Romance and Using Lots of French Words

The Painter's Honeymoon
Lord Frederic Leighton - 1864
Romeo and Juliet
Frank Dicksee - 1884
If you've read me or known me for any length of time you know that I am a true romantic. I am passionate about frills, beautiful fabrics, heart palpitations, decadently luxurious scents, strong alpha-males (and equally strong females), and bling. The problem with this is that I live with 4 very male males. (How better to be a renaissance woman than to raise healthy, lusty, active boys?! I promise their wives will one day thank me.)

When Jon and I bought our house 5 years ago I fell in love with the potential it held in its niches/dust collectors. There are 4 of them. One in our entry hall, one in Carson & Evan's bedroom, one in my office, and one in Jon and my bedroom. It took me a while to fill these spaces. They are high enough that it isn't an easy space to access, and I knew that changing vignettes was not going to occur very frequently ever.

la Belle Dame sans Merci
Frank Dicksee - 1893

Il Bacio
Francesco Hayez - 1859

 Pierre-Auguste Cot - 1873

I was laying in bed one night and realized that while I'd left the space in our bedroom open so that I could ponder the design components, Jon seized it as storage - for his guns and bow. I cannot even tell you how quickly I jumped out of bed. NO WAY WAS OUR BEDROOM GOING TO BE A DEFENSE ARSENAL. Well, it really was too high for me to do anything about that night, but I was startled into the immediate requirement to fill this space - they way I wanted it filled.

At one time my bedroom was the catch all for household flotsam. Who am I kidding, it still is... I started my search for a private, restorative, romantic space by ridding our room of some of these items. Laundry still manages to find it's way, but there are no nerf guns, StarWars guys, or video games in my boudoir.

First of all I found the perfect scent. For me it's Scentsy's Frech Kiss.
Sweet fig tenderly caressed by coconut pulp, exotic cedar, and caramel.
Um - hello? caress? fig? exotic? caramel?! Be still my heart. I love this stuff.

S H J - vinyl cutouts placed on wallpaper sample
Next I fell in <3 with monograms. I also got very wrapped up in whose name appears on the left side of the last name initial. Which side does a queen sit on? Which is the bride's side of a wedding party? See where I'm going?

This is what I came up with. You have to excuse the dust. Remember when I said it was difficult to get to? Anything toward the back of the vignette is nearly impossible to reach - even with those extendable feather dusters... And if you missed the allusion there, then I just don't know what to tell you...

While I was cutting vinyl I also wanted to cut a saying for the wall beneath the niche. I'd found a round metal thing that worked for me, but I wanted something to push the scene just a bit more. Here were my 2nd and 3rd place choices:

I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you.

If you love me only in my dreams, let me be asleep forever.

But the one that captured the essence of my relationship with Jon was...
Ralph Waldo Emerson - who knew transcendentalism applied to romance?
Finally - there is a  pièce de résistance... I found this gem at a store with one of the worst names I've ever heard: Way Cool Dirt Cheap. (It isn't in SL Valley anymore and I kind of miss it. They had some funky stuff in their showroom that was easy for me to repeatedly visit and imagine it in my home) After purchasing my pièce I found very similar items online titled "The Kiss" - I'm sure that's based on Rodin's captivating work. 

Rodin's The Kiss
from a different angle
  Without further adieu:
There it is. I love the simplicity, the curve, the flow, the hollows and angles, the symbiosis. It sat on my dresser until I had everything ready for the niche. Jon's first response was absolute perfection:
I think that's the most romantic thing I've ever seen.

One more picture - this time of the entire scene:
There are other things I do to inspire romance, but with this awaiting me I'm off to a great start even before I transcend the stairs.

And now I'm off to ponder my love of romanticism and its reaction to the Industrial Revolution... I know - I'm so wierd. 
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