Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sassy Shoe Thursday: Shoes You Should Own, Part IV

Last week we discussed rain boots. In keeping with the boot theme, but broadening it's versatility, this week's Shoes You Should Own...


Knee-High Boots


"That's a very broad term. I wonder to what, specifically, she is referring."

Ah-HA! Let's take a closer look at the subject. Every woman should own a versatile pair of tall boots. Just think of the magic they create:

*Worn with this past summer's flowy dresses and a cardigan slung across your shoulders they carry a warm weather wardrobe into the fall and early winter. For the more fashion forward, this can also be done with opaque tights under shorts.

*Capris instantly become a winter clothing staple, since tall boots make them seasonally appropriate and keep your legs toasty.

*Wear jeans OVER them and they instantly become another heel.

*Wear jeans tucked INTO them and you've made a statement. **This comes with a quite large word of caution, which I'll get to in a minute.**

*They give a totally different look to any skirts or dresses in your wardrobe that you've become accustomed to wearing with the same pair of heels over... and over... and over. That demure pencil skirt you pair with Mary-Jane's for business casual? But it with boots, tights, and a kickin' belt and you've got business funky.

Knee-High Boots ROCK!!! Right now is the perfect time to buy them, too, since stores are clearancing out their winter stock for spring and summer. Good deals abound! (My favorite shoe website is already lowering prices.) However, you need to follow some guidelines when embracing this over-the-calf option.

1.) When finding the right boot, beware of construction. Although there are some AWEsome (the root word of that is "awe," which I love) low-cost options out there, make sure they don't look cheap. One straight up indicator of low quality boots is the transition at the ankle. You know when the foot-part is stiff and holds its shape, but there's that seam and the shaft of the boot is all shiny, thin, and unshapely? Yes. That's what I'm talking about.

2.) When purchasing your boots, keep in mind HOW they'll be worn. Under dresses/skirts? They need to be pretty fitted to your calf (something the majority of us have an issue with and I'll address in a minute), which means they'll probably have some stretch to them.



However, if you're going to wear them OVER jeans, they're going to need more substantial construction so as to hold their shape.



There are boots that can do double duty (such as my favorites above), but keep in mind that to fit over your jeans they're going to be a bit bigger in the calves. Then when worn with dresses/skirts you can camouflage a bit of a gap by wearing tights the same color as the boot, or go for a heavier legging altogether.

At this point I'm going to address a horrible, awful fashion faux pas I am seeing more and more often: wearing stretchy boots OVER your jeans. No! This is a huge NO! IF, and only if, your jeans are suctioned on to you and you can't see ANY lumps in the shaft of the boot then this might be acceptable. But a good rule of thumb is: if you can see the lumps, there's no love. I have witnessed this on too many occasions over the past few months. Ever since wearing boots over pants came to America around four years ago (they've done it in Europe for decades), women have wanted to join in but weren't sure how. This is NOT the way to do it! So look in the mirror and remember, if you see lumps those boots are not meant to be worn over pants.

On the opposite end of things, if you're wearing your pants OVER your boots, seeing the line of the top of the shaft is a big no-no. Make sure the boots are tight enough and your pants loose enough that you don't get that tell-tale bump.

3.) Consider the heel. If it's a thick, block heel it may be weighing you down and giving off a more hefty appearance than you're going for. There's such a variety in heel type out there now that there's no excuse for the huge, square 3"x3"x3" type anymore. And if you're worried about balance but still want a slimmer look, more updated look, go for a sculpted wedge.

4.) So many of us have issues with the circumference of our calves that we give up looking for fitted boots altogether. For me, they're always too big and I feel like I should be carrying around For Whom the Bell Tolls as the boot swings back and forth on my Darn-It-I'm-Not-Anorexic leg. But for many girls it's the opposite, and they give up looking because they can't ever get the zipper up. I will say this once and for all: it's not us, it's the boot!!!

DuoBoots.com has come up with a wonderful solution to our woes. I know I've blogged about them before, but they deserve another mention in this post. Their boots come in CALF SIZES!!! That's right. You can be sure these boots will fit snug to whatever size legs you're blessed with. They're a tad more money than most of us tend to pay, but for a boot that fits right it just may be worth it. They've gotten wonderful reviews, and I would just say that if you do go this route, get a timeless, classic style so they're more of an investment. And, on that note...

5.) Don't shy away from those wild boots you love but would never be caught dead in! We all need adventure, and black and brown are good for everyday... but if the price is right, why not have some fun? They don't have to be a wardrobe staple or an Everyday Boot. Just call them your Sometimes Boots. Case in point (I wore them Sunday with my striped capris):



And for the days when I want to wear them but I'm not feeling so daring they still work, sans lumps.



A couple of tips when looking for the perfect boot:

*Boots with zippers are more likely to fit snuggly around your ankle than pull on boots. Pull-on's are nice, but have to have enough room for your foot to get down into the bottom so sometimes they're a bit bulky in that area.

*Don't be afraid to for boots with a little character! Buckles, scrunched leather, some top-stiching. Details make the difference!

*Wear fun knee-high socks under your boots. Your feet stay toasty, and if you have a problem with the shaft falling down slightly this can help alleviate it. I always feel mischievous when I'm looking all nice and put together on the outside but am wearing my red and pink striped socks!

If you have any boot questions, please don't hesitate to ask! If you find that you've been guilty of one or more of the no-no's in this post, find an honest and stylish friend and ask her advice! Us girls should be for each other. And, as always, if you need shoe help, I'd be happy to! (Vonnie, you're a tad far away. But I sure wouldn't mind visiting you! We'll live near each other again at some point.)

Happy Shoe Shopping!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes

I just HAD to pass along this article on the top 25 biggest decorating mistakes! I'm #22, #9, and #5 (but not NEARLY as bad as the picture they show, and only because curtains can be so darn expensive and it's always hard to find the just "right" ones). I've also been #1... but they were from a distance! No one could tell they were dusty and had cobwebs! (Except when the morning sun shone in our top window in Denver.) I actually still have them sitting in a box in our garage. This makes me want to emotionally move on from my attachment.

What numbers are you?
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits

*Upon opening my bedroom blinds the other day I realized the cobweb at the end of my bed is STILL THERE! Sheesh. Don't I read my own blog posts?

*I have let down a fellow blogger by not following through with a Pay-It-Forward post I promised to do. Kat, I am so sorry. I always remember when I'm away from the computer, but forget when I'm sitting in front of it. I know the contest is over, but I'm still going to do it. I AM! This week. Hold me to it readers, okay?

*I have a fun bunch of women that meets at my house on Tuesday mornings. While having a conversation about red shoes and what options are currently available I realized I have WAY too much knowledge about this subject. It was scary how I could tell you what red shoe was available where in Santa Maria and for what price. Scary.

*But if my shoe knowledge saves even one woman's footwear wardrobe, then it's worth it.

*I should be catching a few zzzzzz's right now before the kids get home from school and chaos ensues.

*I have two boxes of cute, matching picture frames that I have yet to hang. One of the problems is I'm not sure where to hang them. The other is I can't decide WHICH photos to put in. I just need to do it. Hold me to this one, too, alright? They need to get off my closet floor and onto my walls.

*Costco muffins are horrible for you, but also easy to justify because they're a muffin. I mean, how awful can a muffin be? Wait. Don't answer that.

*I want a Roomba. Seriously. Do you know how much time one of those would save me? And, while we're at it, let's get me a Scooba, too.

*I should have taken a nap. Too late.
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Penguins and Tears

Tonight was Family Night, and we watched March of the Penguins with the kids. It was good. And sad. And happy.

"Okay, kids! Up to bed!" The boys hopped up and ran off, but Brit just remained with her head in my lap.

I heard a sniff.

"Brit?"
No answer.
"Brit? Are you crying?"
The sobs started and her whole body quaked with emotion.

After a while she rose and went upstairs.

A few minutes later found me sitting on the side of her bed, pulling back her blanket to reveal a tear soaked face upon her pillow.

"Sister Bear, what was so sad? Was it the movie?"
"Yes."
"But why was it so sad?"
"The baby penguins died."
"I know some did, but there were lots that lived, too."
"But they died."
"But if the big penguins never took that trip, we wouldn't have any penguins at all. Don't you think it's better to have lots of penguins and lose a few than to have no penguins at all?"
"But why didn't the big penguins protect the little ones that died?"

More tears.

"Brit, I know it's sad. It IS. But, parts of it were happy, too. Happy and sad go together. You can't have one without the other. If we didn't have sad we wouldn't ever truly have happy."

The tears slowly stopped.

I realized my words transcended penguins.

"It's not bad that you're crying. It's good. It means you have a tender heart."
"What's a tender heart?"
"It's when you're heart is sensitive to things that are going on around you."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that you'll be able to tell when someone is hurting and you'll want to help them, which is good."
"Really?"
"Yes. Do you know who else has a tender heart?"
"Who?"
"Your mother."

Finally, a smile.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Still

We create so much extra heartache with our worry and fear in seemingly dire circumstances. "Why am I here? What is God doing? I don't understand. Why is this happening?" We see no way out and think there must not be one.

But, listen...

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

He already has an amazing plan in place.

Our memories blur. We only truly see right now. He sees before and after, past and future, where you have been and where you WILL BE.

You are here so He can show His amazing plan through your circumstances. Those which seem impossible to you are what He will show His glory through... you need only to be still.

"Fight for me, and I will remain still."
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Colorado in California

Yesterday the kids and I descended the stairs shortly after 7am, just like every other school morning. It had been raining all night, and a glance out the sliding glass door revealed a drenched... well... a drenched everything. Music to my Oregonian heart. But as my eyes looked beyond the concrete wall at the back of our minuscule backyard and began to focus on the hills in the distance, I gasped with delight. "Kids! Kids! Look! Look at the hills!"

Sure enough, God saw it fit to bring a little bit of Colorado to California yesterday morning. Snow. Glorious snow. There were eerily dark clouds to the north, and more moving up from the south. But for a few minutes a break in the sky revealed the white capped tips, just long enough for me to snap a picture.



No sooner did I place the camera back in its pouch when another batch of low lying clouds rolled over and the snow was hidden from view. All day yesterday I kept looking, watching. More clouds. I wanted Nate to see, too. Nothing.

I love the rain. Wonderful, beautiful rainy days. But, the snow? I think God sent that just to say, "See? I haven't forgotten. I love you."
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sassy Shoe Thursday: Shoes You Should Own, Part III

In honor of the glorious rain pouring down on us for the past few days (my Oregonian heart is dancing for joy!) I have a special, practical, and oh-so-fun SST post. HOWEVER! There is a twist to it... *cue daunting music here*... I DO NOT OWN a pair of the shoes I am saying every woman should have in her wardrobe!!!

The Rain Boot

Yes, that's true. There is a style of shoe that does not grace my foot... yet. Living on the fair-weathered Central Coast, I seldom have need of such a thing. But when it rains here it does poor. Seeing as how baseball season is coming, and 8am games are often met with mud beneath the bleachers, it would behoove me greatly to acquire a pair.

This season has seen the revival of the rain boot! Mucks. Galoshes. Wellies. Whatever your name preference, they all keep your feet nice and dry in... well... not always in style, but always with flair. The colors! The designs! The matching umbrellas! Waterproof footwear has never seen such a heyday.

So, as I always recommend, go to endless.com, click on boots, click on waterproof, and take your pick!

I think I may go for some of these on the days I'm embracing my English ancestry.

I could lead worship in some of these, but only if I have a rockin' electric strapped to my front.

And for those down right girlie days? Polka dots are SUCH a good answer.


Be assured, as soon as I have some of this fashionable every-woman-must-own footwear in my wardrobe I'll let you know!!! And if anyone so desires to help out with the issue, I wear a size 7 1/2. *wink, wink*
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Keep On

I really want to change the world. I kind of have this motto that "if I can change MY world, then I can change THE world." (It's even on my myspace page, so it must be official.) And I really believe that. I really, truly do.

But last night I found myself crying silent tears because so often it looks like I'm affecting something for the better, showing someone Truth. It looks like they're going to grab a hold of it... maybe they actually do...

...and then let go.

I know I'm not responsible for other people's problems... it's not that I think I am. But, I see a better way. I know Truth. There is FREEDOM to be found! A full life to live! There's so much excitement when a friend is finding that freedom, throwing off a life that hinders. But the grief that grips my heart when they slip back is almost crippling.

If I'm not meant to change the world, then why do I have this unquenchable desire to do exactly that? I often wish I could callous my heart, not care so much, not reach out so much... but I can't help it.

I love people. I love to shine light where there is none. I love helping others learn to shine their light brighter. So I'll keep shining, I'll keep trying, I'll keep loving, I'll keep giving.

Even if it doesn't make a difference everywhere, I've got to be making a difference somewhere.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's getting closer.

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Sassy Shoe Thursday: Shoes You Should Own, Part II

So many readers joined in on the amazing powers of the red shoe last week! If you still don't have a pair in your closet, call me. I'll come help. Even if it's via texting and cell phone photos. I'll help. Please. Let me.

This week: The Sassy But Versatile Black Heel.

Now, many women own black heels. Maybe you have a go-to pair that sits in your closet. In a pinch you run in, grab them, and run out. But, here's my question...

Do you LOVE them? Yes, I understand they might be a wardrobe staple, a necessary item... but do you LOVE them??? If you run in to the closet to grab them and think, "Oh, yay!" then the answer is yes. If you run in to grab them and don't think anything... or think, "this will do," then the answer is NO! And something MUST be done!

The key to a black heel (and really any shoe) is to find one that has some unique qualities, some fun detail. A shoe does not have to be plain to be versatile!

For example:



Notice the curved heel? It's a little hard to see, but the heel has a bit of a sassy attitude. And the little strap across the toe that holds a somewhat demure pendant. These are details that make the shoe speak for itself. These can be worn with nearly any outfit and not only look appropriate, but shout "I am the perfect shoe for this!" You NEVER want a shoe to look like you simply settled for it.

Likewise, the quintessential perfect black heel that I lost tragically two years ago was perfect because, although it was a regular, pointy 3 1/2 incher... it was faux snake skin. All in the details. (I would like to take a moment to point out that this is not about heel height, although both of my examples are over three inches. You can find fun, detailed, versatile shoes in a myriad of heel options. No excuses!)

If you look in your closet and find yourself uninspired by your black heels... if your go-to black pair are a matte finish with a squared block heel and rounded wide toe, you need to go shopping. (Case in point.) And, when you do, don't look at a shoe and say, "I could never wear that." YES YOU CAN!!! Don't short yourself on the cute ones because you don't think they fit you. This is about liberation, girls! Liberation from the so-so shoes we think we should be fine with. You were made for AMAZING shoes! You were made for the sculpted heel and pinstripe detailing! You were made for the slingback peeptoe and red nail polish! Don't sell yourself short because you've fallen into the "I'm not a vibrant woman" trap. If the shoe speaks to you... WEAR IT!!! (Just make sure the price doesn't speak too much your husband.)

Now, although I do have other black shoes, I would not put them into the "Sassy But Versatile" category. These are the only ones under that title. When you have a pair that speaks to you AND works with everything, you only need one. (Notice I didn't say "want." I said "need.")

If you're struggling, go NOW to endless.com (Negative $5 shipping! Free returns!) Go to women's shoes. Select pumps. Select black. Select your size. Marvel at the beauty before you. Need help? Call me. Don't have my number? Leave a comment asking for it.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sweeter Than This

Silence. The sound of a passing truck. The hum of the refrigerator. A saw somewhere in the distance. But in my house, silence.

The kids have gone back to school. Sing with me (and the angels) now, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" Yesterday as they disappeared around the corner on their way to the school bus I could barely contain the smile that danced around the corners of my mouth. In fact, I distinctly remember skipping as I went back into the house. Yes. Yes, there was skipping involved.

A few days prior my amazing friend Tammy said her son wanted a play date with Ian... on the 15th. "What? Why the 15th?" I said. Then it dawned on me. "Tammy, you're awesome!!!!!"

After she picked Ian up the house was silent. Pure silence. Just my breathing... and the passing truck, and the refrigerator, and the distant saw. It was the sound of pure beauty. And you know what I did? Well, after returning some important emails. In that pure silence, do you know what I did? Well, after handling some urgent phone calls. Just for me? Purely for me? I sat on the couch... in the middle of the morning... drinking a Coke and eating pistachios and chocolate... and I watched... Grey's... Anatomy.

Ha-HA! Yes!!! I sat and watched TV during the DAY!!! I felt so lavish and wild! Throwing caution to the wind! TV! During the day!

And do you know what was even better? (I knew this would happen, but it sure was fun to actually experience it, sitting on my couch, watching TV during the day.) I turned on my TiVo'd show and got to hear my friend Katie's song Sweeter Than This play during the opening scenes! It was so cool to sit there, watching one of the most popular shows in America, and hear Katie's music. Alone. With the volume turned up just as stinking high as I darn well pleased. And my Coke sitting on the table. And no one asking for a drink of it. And not having to share my chocolate. And no one spilling my pistachio shells. And the heat turned up so I finally wasn't chilly in my own house.

The sound of pure beauty.

If you missed last Thursday's episode (because you're out of date and don't have a DVR, or because you don't watch Grey's Anatomy), you can go here and watch it online. At least watch the first minute and forty-five seconds or so. Or at least check out Katie's myspace page.

Now, as my second day-without-children-home (save for Ian) comes to a close, I am reminded that I don't accomplish nearly as much as I always hope for while they're at school. I have a to-do list a mile long (Really. It's a mile. You haven't seen it.), and have not even made a dent. I tend to think "when the kids are back in school, then I'll get ______ done." However, it might not have anything to do with the kids being at school or at home, and everything to do with my poor time management skills.

But lower decibels have got to help somehow.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Cobwebs

If I look above me (right now, right where I sit), I can see a cobweb. A dusty cobweb. A large, dusty cobweb. Not the acceptable kind of cobweb, but an old, haunted house kind... and it's in my kitchen... in plain sight. Well, plain sight if you're sitting in the corner at the computer and the morning sunlight is pouring in the window, but you get my drift.

I'm thinking "I should just run and get the duster really quick." And I continue to sit here. When people come over sometimes I remember the cobweb. Then it sticks in my head while they're here, but I can't very well run and get the duster at that point! They might see the cobweb and then KNOW, indeed, Angela has cobwebs. OR if they already see it, and if I acknowledge it's there by going to get it, they will know that I know and haven't taken care of it before now. But, if they see it and I don't acknowledge it, then they'll think maybe I don't know it exists, so I couldn't have taken care of it. (When, in fact, it has existed for a very long time.) Then the guest will leave and I'll forget about the cobweb, only remembering I have this problem when I'm either sitting at the computer or the next guest comes over. (It's a very old cobweb.)

It makes me wonder what other cobwebs are around? I know there used to be one in our bedroom. You could only see it in the right light, when the sun was fully shining in the windows. It was just a "one string" cobweb that went from the wall to the end poster on my side of the bed. (That freaks me out. A spider was on our bed. Our bed. He was on MY BED, on MY SIDE. Yes, I know this happens, but I try to stay in "Angela World" where spiders should never be on my bed, on me, in my clothes, or touching anything that I would ever touch.) There's also a large cobweb in the laundry room. I'm in there so stinking often you think I would have taken care of it. I always think "I'll run and get the duster," and then don't come back until the next load needs to go in... sans duster.

There are some cobwebs in my attitude. I know they're there, and when they're able to be seen by other people I realize they should be dealt with. But when they're not directly exposed I forget and let them sit. Then they get dusty, and the next time I see them they're even worse.

My time management has some pretty large cobwebs. I see those ones often, but the time it would take to clean them out seems overwhelming. So I tell myself that I'll "go get the duster" in a week, a month... next year. But I never do.

My relationship with God has some cobwebs. They've built up in a few areas of my life that I don't always want to discuss. Places where he prods my heart, and I know I should deal with it, but it's not really TOO bad. Is it? The cobwebs are okay for now. Aren't they? I'd rather live with the discomfort than go through the pain of "getting the duster." But, growth and maturity require truth. Real relationships require us to be real ourselves. In every area. Cobwebs and all. God desires real relationship with me. If I choose to leave the cobwebs, He can still use me... but if I choose to clean them out, oh how much clearer and beautiful that relationship will be!

"Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart." Psalm 26:2 (NAS)

"Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I'm fit inside and out." Psalm 26:2 (The Message)

Maybe what David was trying to say was, "God, look for cobwebs. Show me where they are so I can clear them out!"

The danger is when we become so used to the cobwebs they become a part of us, a part of who we are. A certain way of thinking is "just me. That's just who I am." We forget it may be a dusty, dirty way of thinking that's only there because we've neglected to clean it out. How we do things is "just our personality." Is it? Is it really? Or is it something that could be done a much healthier way, but we don't want to take the time to change it? We no longer see the cobwebs, and when someone lovingly points them out, we take offense. "That's me. That's how I do things. How dare you suggest anything different."

I don't EVER want to be blind to the cobwebs... in my house or in my heart... I think I'll go get the duster...
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Friday, January 11, 2008

ARRRGGGG!!!

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything movie came out today. We're so excited! Our house has long been a pirate-y one, even before those from the Caribbean set sail on the silver screen. And Relient K's song has played literally on a weekly basis over our stereo system since it was introduced years ago on the Veggie Rocks cd. (A cd, by the way, that every Veggie-loving household should own. I think Nate has actually listened to it more than the kids.)

Go to the site to find theater listings near you. Take your kids to the site and watch the trailer, or the music video, or play games, or... or...

Although everyone might not have a water buffalo (my other favorite song on that cd), nearly everyone will be able to make it to the theater to support healthy kids' entertainment! Even us. The we-hardly-ever-take-our-family-to-the-theater family.

Arg!
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sassy Shoe Thursday: Shoes You Should Own, Part I

I've blogged on every pair of shoes I own. Given, for most of them you need to visit my archives at my previous blogging site, because I still have yet to transfer them here. And believe me, when I come into possession of a new pair of footwear I will be sure to do an original Sassy-style post. However, my procurement of such items has slowed greatly over the course of the past year. (By necessity, not choice. I assure you.) I have at times scanned the reaches of the internet to bring you the wacky and/or creative, but such posts aren't in the everyday interest of normal people like you and me. (Well, YOU'RE normal. I guess my normalcy could be considered up for debate.) Us down-to-earth gals (I just used the word "gals") are looking for something we can relate to, something that could jump off the computer screen and instantly better our lives.

So, without further hesitation, I bring you... (Drum roll, please. Drum roll!)


Shoes You Should Own, Part I

Not too long ago a friend mentioned how she had an extensive shoe wardrobe, but every pair was either black or brown. It wasn't that she was inTENTionally filling her closet with these colors, they just matched everything. It was practical. Practical was good. Not necessarily exciting, but practical. Sensible.

Here's where I propose the first pair of Shoes You Should Own: red ones!!! Now, I will give you great liberty here. Some of us are more prone to Crocs than Stilettos. The point is not the TYPE of shoe, but the freedom that comes in wearing RED! (Well, maybe the point is SOMEwhat the type. After all, I'm trying to help you spice up your shoe personality here.)

There's something about slipping red shoes on your feet. Instant confidence. Instant freedom. Instant sexy. That I-feel-bloated-today outfit you put on occasionally? It can make a different statement with RED shoes. (In some religions, red shoes were a sign of a "wayward woman." Hee-hee.)

But, don't take my word for it. Go. Buy yourself a pair of red shoes. Not the first ones you see, but ones that catch your eye. Ones that call out to you. Ones that are unlike the other pairs in your closet. RED, red. See for yourself. Because it's something that, although I've tried to describe it, can't truly be put into words.

Red shoes, good for all that ails you.

And, for good measure, a photographic list of the red shoes in my closet:









One thing I DON'T have, mind you, are some great red boots. I may need to go steal Emmy's.

(Extra credit to those who can point out the movie quote in this post and name its source!)
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Our Anitquated Tooth Fairy

Monday night Brittney finally lost one of her front teeth that has been dangling by a thread for the past week.

Tuesday Morning...

Me: "So? Did the Tooth Fairy come last night?"

Brit: "Yeah. But, I really wanted a dollar or something. I'm tired of only getting quarters."

Me: "Well, that's what our Tooth Fairy gives. If you're not thankful for the quarter she could give you nothing."

Brit: "Emily said her Tooth Fairy gives her a twenty dollar bill, or a hundred dollar bill, or something like that."

Me: "Well, maybe you should move to Emily's house and have Emily's Tooth Fairy."

Brit: "Mmmooooommmm."

Me: "Our Tooth Fairy has always given quarters and will always give quarters."


Seriously. At 25 cents per tooth, multiplied by 20 baby teeth per child, multiplied by four children, that's $20.00 for all of our kids' teeth over the span of their youth. Now, if our lovingly antiquated Tooth Fairy paid, say, $1.00 per tooth the total amount jumps to $20.00 per child, $80.00 total for all four. For some reason I doubt that any sane Tooth Fairy in this blessed country actually pays $20.00 per tooth, but if she for some odd reason DID, that would be $400.00 per child, and with four children it would come to $1600.00.

After some internet research, however, I've found there are some pretty wealthy tooth fairies out there. Supposedly, the going rate right now is $1.00 per tooth, but that's quickly moving to $2.00. There were a whole lot that do $5.00 per tooth, and many give $10.00 to $20.00 for the first tooth and less for the rest. I guess I didn't realize Tooth Fairies were subject to inflation. If so, does that mean Ian (fourth-born) should, in Tooth Fairy land, get more for his teeth than Taylor (first-born) did for his?

25 cents was good enough for my parents. It was good enough for me. Darn it, it will be good enough for my children. You other Tooth Fairies do what you want, but ours is sticking to her (and his) guns. She could get really darn antiquated and give out shiny pennies.

"Look, Mom! I got a whole shiny penny under my pillow!"

"Oh, how wonderful, sweetie. Why don't you run down to the corner store and buy some penny candy with your treasure? Don't forget your bonnet! And lace up your boots! I wouldn't want your petticoat getting caught in the grommets."
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Evolution of a Photograph

It can't ever be "point and shoot" with us, with our family. I used to blame this on the kids. However, while scrolling through our recent photos I came across this series. Blatant proof that the problem begins with the parents. Adjusting. Gum chewing. Talking. Husband doing things wife doesn't want in photo. Laughing. Next time I get frustrated with my kids for the "perfect photo op" slipping by, maybe I should pause and remember from whom they came.







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Friday, January 4, 2008

The Last Battle

If you've ever had a glance at my sidebar, you know I love Narnia. The kids and I have slowly made our way through the stories on CD, finally finishing up The Last Battle just this morning on our way to gymnastics. As we were hearing the final strands weave together, the end of a beautiful tapestry, I realized something.

As a child, The Last Battle was never my favorite. I knew it was about a new beginning, a story that could never be told in this lifetime, but I was sad to say goodbye to the old Narnia. The one I still, even as an adult, like to imagine exists. In high school it was still hard to grasp the end. There is an end. I know it leads to a beginning, but it's still an end.

However, nearing the end of listening to this story over the course of the past couple months (we only do so when all four kids and I are in the car, without Nate, who's never been too much for radio theater), there came over me such excitement, such anticipation. My eyes watered with tears. I realized there was a smile on my face so big that my cheeks began to hurt. My heart ached with the desire for my children to understand. For those who grasp the truth, it's not an end at all!

And yet such sadness, too. The dwarfs could have paradise. It's right there at their fingertips! And yet they stay in their own prison, blatantly choosing blindness to what's around them. Paraphrasing, they're so afraid to be taken in that they can't be taken out! I know so many people like this, have so many friends dear to me who live in this in-between state... too afraid that they'll be duped to let themselves believe the truth, even if it's sitting right in their laps. In pushing everything else away, they push away the one thing that was sent to save them!

But for those that do believe, there is such a passion for life! A zest! We are not living for this world! We are not living for the things of this world. We are living for something so much greater. In a very earthly way, it's easy to fear the end. What about those closest to me? To grieve for others' grief. To grieve for those who won't ever take hold of the truth... who choose to stay in that prison.

There will come a day when we will move beyond the Shadow-Lands and really see. Really taste. Really feel. But while we're here we need to do everything we can -- Everything. We. Can. -- to draw others with us. The Great Commission. Each and every day.

I'm so beyond-words-excited.

And if all this confuses you to no end, go and read. Go and listen. Go and believe.

"The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."
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