Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the long end of the stick

We absolutely adore staying out late; hitting concerts, catching movies, playing flashlight tag, star-gazing on a whim, board-gaming with friends for hours.
But we must be home by around eight these days.
That's alright. Though our family is found wanting in the night-life fun department, we make up for it in the area of adorableness.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunny Snapshot: My son, the dragon slayer

We've always a bundle of costumes and swords laying around the house, it simply cannot be helped. I guess Fitz wanted in on some pretend play. Cheeky from birth.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wooden toys and the key to contentment

From time-to-time a tiny speck of a thought will persistently poke my brain, right in what could possibly be my temporal lobe (though I've never been able to remember which part does what). Semantics. The part that deals with semantics; where my theories develop like a grain of sand introduced to an oyster. Sometimes those thoughts become pearls. We'll see about this one.

Here's what got me thinking. I've noticed, recently that old fashioned, wooden toys have become incredibly hip. You've noticed it, too? No. Well you can see it here. And here. I immediately was attracted to these classic beauties, and integrated a few into my boys' vast collection. Here's what I imagine was going on in my subconscious...

(Pardon the following sentence fragments; that's just how I imagine my subconscious rolls.)
Kids in the early twentieth century, grateful for the little they had. Cherished their toys. Wooden toys. My kids trash toys, ungrateful monsters. Times were simple, simple toys. Life is nuts now. Buy simple toys for a simple life. Happy children. Smiling. Hours of imagination play.

Now, understand. These are my beloved, innocent children who have spent so little time on this earth. All of the responsibility for their ingratitude rests squarely on the shoulders of us, their parents. That said, I have seen their disregard for fast-food happy-meal prizes, for dollar-store acquisitions, for well-planned birthday gifts and now, relics of another generation of children.

So, here's that pearl; valuables, when added excessively upon lose value. Unchecked quantity may diminish quality.

It wasn't the toys that made those once-upon-a-timers content. It was the not having.
I don't know these people; The Loveland's. But we've crossed paths somehow in the blogging world, and this family is golden. Mrs. Loveland posted an explanation of how she survives in their current living-situation; she and her husband plus three young boys (with a fourth baby coming) sharing a one-room apartment over a garage. And they are so happy. Inspiring.

In the realm of grown-up toys, houses are king, so far as I'm concerned. I used to think that my boys each needed their own rooms plus a playroom. That we needed a guest room- no- guest HOUSE. Now I want two houses. With a connecting walkway or something. Huge yard. Red brick. Kids, room to run. Must. Have. Horse-stable. Wait-wait-wait.

That's what happens in an unchecked mind like mine.

Real contentment happens in a bridled heart.

Over the past year I have waved goodbye to my mansion and welcomed into my soul a small cottage to treasure. Is my cottage a wooden toy? Perhaps. But I like to think that I will hold it the way my grandmother must have held a cherished porcelain doll in her youth. I want to be happy with less. Because it's the not having everything that makes a something worth anything.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One for the road

Here's a happy song to kick off your Saturday, with some ridiculous dancing to encourage some silliness. Enjoy, and have a beautiful weekend.

Friday, March 26, 2010

pixie dust.

"Why can't you fly now, mother?"
"Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way."
"Why do they forget the way?"
"Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless that can fly."
"All children, except one, grow up.
They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother.
I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, 'Oh, why can't you remain like this forever!'
This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up.
You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end." (Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie)
Iggy soared through a museum, delighting older patrons who, I think, remember what it felt like to fly but can't figure out how to do it again. The octopus wished he could be as free as my passing little one, and followed him from side-to-side in the tank.
A crowd quickly gathered to witness the lump of creature that had been hiding under a rock all morning come out to play with the boy who could fly.
"I am old, Peter. I am ever so much more than twenty. I grew up long ago."
"You promised not to!"
"I couldn't help it."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the princess and the pea.

As I reflected upon my Monday morning post about doing dishes, I realized that although some parts of my job are less than royal, there is no reason why I couldn't add a little glamour to my days.

Even Cinderella got to go to a ball after the chores were done.
I found a great story in a magazine yesterday that made me so excited about living life that I just have to share a bit of it...
A woman expressed, "Last summer I complained to a friend that I was exhausted, having no fun, living like an automaton. Nonsympathetically, she countered 'What do you think this is? A dress rehearsal? This is your life, Carol. Fix it.' I expected a pat and a kind word. Instead, I got a splash of reality square in the face. She was, of course, right. I wasn't giving my life value, so I didn't feel it had value."
How inspiring, no? After realizing, as I was doing the dishes, that I wanted a little more sparkle in my life, and reminding myself that this is not a dress rehearsal, this is the real deal, I decided to have a ball.
Dancing, decorations, delicious treats.
In attendance we had princess and princes. Queens. Jesters. And even one Pirate King.
We curtsied and bowed to one another.
We lived a dream evening with family and friends.
Following our hearts with the ones we love.
I can say I've lived as a princess. And Fitz can say he's lived as a pea.
Now is the time.

party tricks 101.

Set up a photo-booth! It's always a big hit. Young kids love to make silly faces at cameras. Teenagers like any excuse to squeeze really tight next to their crush of the week. And everyone else needs the opportunity to cut loose and be ridiculous.
This is how I do it...

1. Set up a booth. A small closet or even a box works.
2. Set a camera on a tripod and adjust it so the top of the booth takes up the whole picture area.
3. Either set it up on a remote or have someone stand and push the shutter button.

4. Take 4 images at a time, with NO RE-DOs. It makes it more authentic.
5. Use a template to put them together later in photoshop (or some similar program). I made my own template but I found a simple one that you can download here.
6. Share them through email, blogs, or facebook and it will cut out any printing costs for your party favors!

I've done photobooths at family gatherings, church activities, get-togethers with old friends, and with my kids on rainy days.

Enjoy the resulting silliness!

(I've posted all the photo strips from our family night here.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

motivation for a monday morning.

"Your attitude will say to your children, 'I am only a housewife' or it will convey, 'Homemaking is the highest, most noble profession to which a woman might aspire.'" -Ezra Taft Benson

I'm going to look those dishes right in the eye and say, "I'm a tough woman. Doing you may not be glamorous. At all. But by-golly, it's my job and I'm good at it."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Call me Sophie

I've gotten so many questions regarding my twisty-hair-styles, so I thought I'd tell and show you a little about how they're done. I made this little video for two purposes:

1. To show you how I do my hair.
2. To introduce you to the most lovely song you've ever heard! "Sophie Roux" by Lady Danville

You love Lady Danville now, don't you.

OK so, try twisting your hair and using bobby pins to hold it in place. Add headbands and clips for spice.

It would be totally hard to explain exactly what I'm doing. You'll just have to try it.

Tip: Don't pick a hairstyle and try to make it exact. Instead, see what you can create. I promise it will be a lot less frustrating. I can never make the same exact style twice.

I would LOVE to see your hairdo masterpieces, so if you're playing around and you make one you like, take a picture and send it to me! ( I may just post a few!

my two cents.

Oh, I love to give my opinion about things. Who doesn't, really? Like all the award-show-dress-opinion posts. I didn't do one because I don't even have a TV so I didn't watch. But darned if I didn't want to put in my two cents about dresses I knew nothing about.

Answering questions makes me feel like a fancy psychologist. Only I've just attended the school of life, nothing legit.
That is why I posting this. To thank you for all of the questions I've been getting from you through my formspring account. You can click this following little picture to ask me anonymous questions and/or read my responses to the questions I've already answered.
Thanks again for your thought-provoking questions.

Much love,
Megan Marie

Thursday, March 18, 2010

close to home.

One thing I adore our move home is the renewed proximity to my siblings. Blocks away, really.

My how the boys reap the benefits of close family. They've got crazy uncles to toss them about.
And sweet aunties and one girly cousin to teach them to get along with ladies who aren't their mom (to keep them from turning out like this).
My brother Joe and his amazing wife Brie treated us to a swim party at the Kroc Center here in town.
All the cuteness coming from their darling baby is almost too much to handle!
They played until their lips turned blue. Iggy then sat on a chair and scowled at the water for making him wet.
While Sparky pleaded for five-more-minutes.
And we escaped the facility, each kid in one piece, which was no small feat.
Oh heavens, how we love our family. Thanks Aunty Brie and Uncle Joey, for a splendid afternoon.