Monday, December 22, 2008

Letter to Santa

Posted as part of Painted Maypole's Monday Mission

Dear Santa,

If I could have the gift of being able to be anywhere, instantly, this Christmas, I'd ask to be in New England, even if just for a moment. I want to see my niece and nephews. I want to hug my kids, all of the beautiful babies- most now taller than me- that I've cared for over the years, who hold little pieces of my heart. I want to smush Luke in a bear hug and hear him say, "Auntie Jess!" I want to see Bailey crawling and laughing. I want to hold Adam and Brady close and shield them from the sorrow and upheaval that their short lives have already witnessed. I want to marvel at how Allie and Isabelle, the little girls who were the first I cared for with the title of "nanny" have become beautiful young women, teenagers, in what seems like the blink of an eye. I want to laugh with Michal and Eliana over the silly pictures we took the last time I was in Boston. I want to hear Danielle's infectious giggle and Will's serious voice explaining technical sailing terms with all the confidence and poise of an old salt, even though he's only 11. I want to hug my mom and dad, and my brothers Sean and Daniel and my sisters Katie and Lib. My sister Julie, who is even farther away in Wales. I yearn for the comfort and safety of knowing I am loved. 

But as far as I know, there's not enough room to carry a Star Trek transporter on your sleigh. And it's too late for Milky the Cow. So instead I'll just say thank you for the gifts I already have. For my brother, Zach, who lives just on the other side of El Camino Real -the Way of Kings- and cares for me so well. For the friends who have surrounded me this difficult Christmas season and given me happy memories of gathering around a fireplace together, laughing, instead of sitting at home, alone and feeling sorry for myself.  Thank you for the comfort and safety of knowing that I am loved. 

p.s. I'm sorry there won't be any cookies this year. I'm truly sorry. I ate all of the dough. It's been one of those weeks, y'know?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Miss Bossy Pants

I may have a tiny little bit of a control issue. I like to be in charge. It just feels natural to me; as the oldest sister, my job was to corral the little ones. And there were always little ones. A new sibling every three years (just like Christmas! Only with stinky diapers instead of toys) until I was out of the house* pretty much cemented my role as second-in-maternal-command. 

*Katie, the youngest, was only three when I went to college.

Sometimes I failed in the boss-lady role, like the time when my parents went away and left me babysitting for the weekend and 3 or 4 yr-old Daniel escaped my clutches and went running naked through the front yard; shocking, but not surprising the neighbors, who expected nothing less from my family at that point. Ten or eleven years later, I started a fight with a slightly larger Daniel, and he punched me in the nose and threw an electric beater at my head (no, I don't know either, I guess he couldn't find the blender). I was a crappy big sister a lot of the time, but that's a subject for another time. The point is that (for a while anyway) I was bigger and bossier than any of my siblings and I found comfort and identity in being the one who held things together and told people what to do. I may be quiet and subdued in certain situations, but when I feel the need to lead, watch out. (My sister Julie is swearing at the computer right now- or she would be if she read this blog- I was a meanie big sister to her and it still drives her crazy at family reunions when I take charge).

I feel anxious and vulnerable if I'm not in control and I often feel as if my whole adult life has been an excercise in learning to let go and relax, and trust that God is going to take care of me. He always has. But it's still a lesson I need pounded into my head over and over... and over. Welcome to round three hundred and eighty-two. Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Haiku

Happy holidays!
Please let them be over soon,
I can't take much more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Accidentally Flushed My Christmas Spirit Down the Toilet

Happy holidays, rah rah rah. Blah. I'm not really feeling it this week. Maybe tomorrow I'll be feeling it.

Today: Meh.

Yesterday: NONONONO

But tomorrow is my last day of work for a while and that means rejoice, rejoice, for I can work on filling my Etsy shop up again!!!!! I seem to have developed a teeny tiny Michael's addiction. The store, not the boy. Though, let's face it, I'm hopelessly addicted to the boy too. I don't really want to be cured. He smells so good and he gives great hugs and he puts up with me when I'm all, "My life is oooover, I don't want to go to work tomorrow or ever again. And your family hates me and everybody hates me, and I hate me tooooo!!!" And then he makes me laugh, sometimes against my will.

In any case, the next few weeks look to be a veritable whirlwind of
trying to justify the 3 bazillion new supplies I've bought at Michael's this season.*
! crafting incessantly and taking pictures and uploading items one by bloody one for hours on Etsy.

Today I moved 8oo lbs of books. Not all at once. At least it felt like 800 lbs. I have this wacky new job where I run somebody else's errands. And it's great because it turns out getting paid to run somebody else's errands is way better than running my own for free!!! So today I took took 200+ books, and moved them off of shelves, and replaced them with (probably over) 200 more and then brought 150 of the former to Goodwill. I get my muscles from booklifting thank you very much. And yes, I do have muscles. Just not the showy, in-your-face kind that you can see with the naked eye. Mine are subtle, because I am a delicate flower. So there.

*One for every 40% off coupon and- it's like a miracle!- when you check out they give you another one, so it's like you have to go back the next day! After all, if God hadn't wanted me to develop a close relationship with the craft store, He wouldn't have brought me (through a long and hopelessly convoluted series of moves and events) to this house within walking distance of one. Right? Right???

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Theological Interpretations

Recently observed in the 1st grade Sunday school room wall mural depicting the Garden of Eden: 

The first people God made were named Evelyn and Lillian. (is that like Adam and Steve?)

The first animal was a hose. (I think there was supposed to be an "r." in there somewhere)

I highly recommend spending time with six-year-olds. They're an endless source of entertainment.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Do You Mean You Don't Have Time to Write Anything Substantial?!?

New food obsession: Sesame sticks from Trader Joe's

New favorite USPS feature: Priority Mail

New favorite crafting medium: Sculpey Ultra Light

New shocking revelation: People are actually willing to buy stuff I've made with mah own two hands!

New personal realization: I'm a judgmental twerp who judges people who I think are judging other people. Judgy Judgmental Judger Judgerer. Working on that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I swear at one point I figured out how to make a pretty little button for my blog featuring the Etsy store, but doggone it if I can't remember how now. I miss my brain. Have you seen it? 

Until I figure out how to obtain the code again, let this thought comfort you: misplacing some html is way better than misplacing a $6000 check that you were supposed to deposit for your boss. Not that I did that. Well I may have, but only briefly. We were both very relieved when it was found.

Monday, December 8, 2008



Please click over and check things out. Let me know what you think!

Grand Opening!!!!

Yes, it's finally happening. After a day and night of laboriously uploading items to the Etsy website (I'm wondering if they make it time-consuming on purpose to keep people from listing large quantities of non-handmade items?) I still have more to put up, but there's enough there that I'm opening up at 4pm PST today and here's the exciting part... The first customer will get a free gift (a glass ornament) with his or her purchase! I'll also pick several random winners from the first week's purchasers to receive a a free gift. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stuff and Nonsense

Some recent conversations: 

Unidentified person: Nice haircut, Zach, you must be beating the girls off with a stick!

Confirmed bachelor Zach: Naw, I just beat them off with my awesome personality.

4 yr old Kaitlyn: I can speak fwee languages!

Jess: Really, which ones!?

Kaitlyn: Russian, English.... and American!!!

I baby sat at church Friday for a quarterly event that lets parents who teach Sunday School have a kid-free night to thank them. Parents drop their kids off and go out to dinner or run errands (or, at this time of year- Christmas shop). 

Trapped in a roomful of variously aged children (including the aforementioned Kaitlyn), I let myself be persuaded to attend a picnic, featuring an incredibly random assortment of plastic food and a tiny table. Unfortunately, faced with the opportunity to practice her medicinal skills on a real live adult guinea pig, the leader of the pack declared that I was sick and needed medical attention. I was reluctantly persuaded to recline on a giant stuffed dog and thus began my most frightening medical experience to date. I was soon surrounded by a horde of children who favorite refrain was, "This is going to hurt." I was poked and prodded by a wide variety of extremely suspicious-looking surgical implements. My neck was put through what I feel was a completely unnecessary procedure involving an eggbeater and a handheld drill. All I got in recovery was a pretend band-aid and a plastic tomato. In addition, although my surgeons claimed that the medicinal use of butter on post-surgical wounds was widely accepted in traditional medicine, I had my doubts. 

Although I appreciated the constant supply of plastic ice cream sundaes that this establishment obviously felt to be critical to recovery, I drew the line when I heard someone behind me whisper, "Let's put stuff in her hair!" Last I heard as I ran out of the room, the children were trying to persuade one of their own to take my place. Unfortunately for them, only a grownup would be dumb enough to volunteer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Funny or Die

Obnoxious commentary removed by penitent author. Yeah, I was being a judgmental twerp, so what?

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Photo Session

Josh of The Photographic Awesomeness came over today and took a bunch of pictures for the shop. I'm always amazed at how much work everything is. Not that I did much besides stand around with a confused expression in my face and provide random items needed for backdrops. What, you need a 40 foot length of blue velvet? I have that right here *whips out curtain that has been living in a box for three years*! Finally, my tendency towards pack-ratishness has paid off. Take that, Libby! Now if only I had all those glass jars... but back to the point, work. I somehow always assume everything will be quick and simple. For instance, opening an Etsy shop? Easy peasy! I think I fast-forward through all of the details involved and arrive, mentally, at this place where the job is already done before I've even started. Then when I actually start working I quickly get overwhelmed by details.

My point- I think I had one... yes- was that it took us hours to take all those pictures. Josh is such a trooper and worked through what appeared to be the early stages of the flu. I always think, "Eh, whip out the camera, take a few shots and yer done." But it's actually way more complicated if you're doing it right. Who knew? they came out beautifully though. And I think I can announce with cautious optimism, that I will be able to get the shop up and running this weekend. Yay! I'm going to do a giveaway & possibly other fun stuff (any ideas?) for the grand opening so tell your friends.
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals