Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going to give thanks.

This afternoon my little family and I will be heading down to Las Vegas to celebrate Thanksgiving with Nick's family. In spite of the hours and hours of driving, I am really looking forward to a little time away with my boys.

I have to say that since Nick and I got married Thanksgiving has become my favourite adopted/American holiday. It wasn't until I became part of an extended family that I love that I really understood what the holiday is all about. It's not as much about eating yourself sick, watching football and getting up at 3 AM to go bargain shopping, as it is about simply being with your family and loved ones. Of course the food is undeniably a big part of it, but the more I see my mother-in-law (and this year my sister-in-law) plan and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for weeks in advance, the more I recognize it as an expression of love for their family. All that work is to create a special and memorable time, and I am so thankful for the people in my life who value that.

Similarly, I see that same love in all the millions of people currently milling around the country through blizzards and TSA scans, trying to get home for the holidays. I admire the sacrifices that families are willing to make to spend a few days with each other. That's a holiday that I can get behind. :)

I've been pretty remiss in my blogging lately (thank you for noticing! You love me! You really love me!), but I will be back December 1st with a whole slew of Christmassy posts up my sleeve. I'll see you then!

*Image, Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mindy Gledhill

We bought this album last night, and I can't stop listening to it. It's fair to say that while I love the entire album, this song just shatters my heart every time:

It just captures the bittersweetness of motherhood so, so well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project Service Project, November: Librivox

OK, I think my week of moping has to be officially over now! Of course it's still hard to deal with my dad being so seriously sick, but I think he'd be among the first people to tell you that you can't just sit down and give up on everything. You've just got to keep going, and more importantly, you've got to look for joy anywhere you can find it. So that's what we'll be doing!

One tried-and-true, no-fail source of joy is service. Helping other people not only makes me happy, it also helps me put my own life and worries into perspective, and forget myself for a little while.

This month I am going to be volunteering with Librivox, an organization working to provide free audio recordings of every book in the public domain. It's not a life-or-death project, but it's one that I believe in. I think that everyone should have access to great literature, regardless of health or financial situation. Librivox makes is working to make this possible.

What I think makes Librivox so unique is that the organization relies on volunteers to do the legwork, so all the recording, proof-listening and cataloging is done by volunteers from their homes all over the world. As it turns out, Librivox only has one recording in Norwegian, so I'm going to be helping them with that. Hopefully I can soon post a link so you can hear my reading!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I got nothin'.

Friends, it looks like it's going to be at quiet week for Project Project. For whatever reason, be it my dad's illness, or being conjoined with an inconsolable teething baby, I'm in a bit of slump right now. I'm just not really feeling it. I'll be back once I'm a bit more on top of things again.

Until then, go check out these guys (actually, mostly girls) who are absolutely on top of it:

  • Tana is writing a novel this month for NaNoWriMo.
  • Erin is posting daily at The Insulin Crowd to raise awareness about diabetes.
  • Reagan has a seriously adorable daughter at Regan's Blob. I read about Reagan and Piper every day!
  • Get Crafty with One Pretty Thing. Actually, thousands of pretty things. Your eyes may very well bleed from the cute.
  • Pearl is hilarious and has attachment issues with her cell phone.
  • Josh is in trouble for talking about his "p-ness" in front of a group of church ladies.
  • Party Perfect is filled with all the inspiration you will ever need for your next party. Consider your eyeballs warned.

PS, if you know of a man who blogs about anything other than technology, science, politics or sports, let me know! My blog roll is seriously skewed.

Image borrowed here. No, the kitten doesn't have anything to do with this post, other than that everyone needs more kittens.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Week: The End

Sorry this post is a bit late, my mind has been elsewhere for the last couple of days.

In spite of a rocky start, we had a really great weekend with Nick's mom and dad. Our nephews, Luke and Rylan, were also in town to spend Halloween with Grandma and Grandpa, and we really enjoyed being able to spend some time with them, especially seeing as they are about to move across the country.

Here's how we got our Halloween on this year:

First we carved pumpkins (Luke and Grandpa action-shot),

while Grandma baked cookies. Which I didn't take this photo of because I was too busy shoveling them in my face.

Then the boys got dressed and ready to go trick or treating. Luke is a mail man (not a postal worker!), Rylan is Batman, and Espen is a lion. Nick is essentially a photo prop (but a very handsome one).

Oh, what's that, you wanted a better look at Espen? Well... OK!

Here's where things got a little crazy: My in-laws live in a very popular neighborhood for trick or treating, and so people were quite literally out in the thousands. We probably handed out about 900 pieces of candy, and one neighbor estimated that they had 1300 people come to their door. It was nuts. Nick's mom opened the door to the first trick or treaters at 5:30 PM, and didn't close it until we ran out of candy at 8 PM.

But we braved the crowds anyway, and headed out into the streets. This photo might give you a clue as to why this neighborhood gets hit so hard. Some of the houses just get really into it!

And that was essentially it for us. We went back in, put a very tired and grateful Espen to bed and then watched Luke and Rylan sort through their candy. Sunday was offically Halloween, but we spent that going to church, playing board games with the family, and then driving back.

Halloween was a lot different this year than it has been before, but in a good way. Nick and I got into the whole dressing up thing, because we HAD TO have one for Espen. I essentially decided a year ago that he was going to be a lion, and so we had to find the right costume (with the all-essential loopy mane!) to make my dreams come true. It just occurred to me that Espen had a Halloween costume picked out before we had settled on a name for him! :)

Trick or treating was fun too, because we enjoyed seeing Espen's experiencing something so new and different. It really wasn't about the candy for us, and the closest Espen got to all of that was holding a ring pop that his cousin gave him. This year the holidays had a real family focus for us, and that is something that I would like to keep up in years to come.

Oh, you wanted one more photo of Espen before we go? One of him wearing Norwegian mittens? Well, you're in luck: