Monday, January 31, 2011

happy birthday, Grams!!

Untitled from Jocelyn Kirk on Vimeo.


Happy Birthday, Grams! Happy Birthday, Grams!
Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!! We love you! We miss you! Come play with us soon!

Love,
the happiest girl

+ her niece, Reese! =)

p.s. please excuse my obnoxious high-pitched voice...

much-to-celebrate-monday.

It's Monday again... and Reese + I are doing all kinds of celebrating around here... again!
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We are celebrating the beginning of a new week + the brink of a new month + all the possibilities that both of those fresh starts hold... starting with a fresh cup o'coffee, fresh crisp linen, fresh coat of pink paint on my nails + a fresh bouquet of flowers.
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We are celebrating a very, special birthday... our favourite lady is turning another year younger today + in her honour, we are bakin' cupcakes + rockin' out to Pandora's Justin Timberlake Station... who is lucky enough to share his bday with the dimepiece I call Grams--who has been bringin' sexy back since 1942!! ...
... all while, simultaneously celebrating the highly anticipated arrival of a new, tiny cousin whose predicted birth day is this week!
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We are celebrating my acceptance in to a graduate program + the discovery of the perfect red lipstick + finding the courage to rock it... must come along with the territory of being a master! oooo... I can't wait for all the other super powers I'll acquire... I hope shapeshifting, XRAY vision, time travel + waterbreathing are in the mix!
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We are celebrating my upcoming weekend adventure by packing all the eclectic "pieces" of my {mismatched} wardrobe in to the rose-patterned, purpley suitcase Santa Claus brought me... to do a little soul searching in the nation's capitol with the girl who has been my best friend since the beginning of time... + by that, I mean middle school age when you found out who your real friends were by taking note of who had stuck by your Limitedtootrainingbraclad side at the end of your awkward stage... Hanson t-shirts, jnco jeans, tin lunch boxes + all, this girl has been next to me through everything! MALYTAB

aaand... i'll be soaking up every second of it as this might be my last sporadic road trip in which I get to galavant to some random corner of the Earth + entirely "let go" for a weekend + immerse myself completely in the wonderful little lives of those I love... and cling tight to them... and borrow their hearts... and relish in laughter... and spin in circles... and ride unicorns... and smile at their surreality.

before I have to re-enter that world they call real...

... but I'm okay with it. I've mended, enough. I'm celebrating. I'm refreshed... + good gracious, this carpe- diem-culture-loving-can't-sit-still-craver-of-change-creativist is ready.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

much-to-celebrate-monday.

Today, Reese + I celebrated. We celebrated the simple things.
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We celebrated the beautiful "fall-like weather" by the lake. We celebrated that we slept through the night + consequently, were all smiles today. =)
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We celebrated that I found out that I had indeed won tickets to ELLEN. We celebrated that we were both dressed before noon.
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We celebrated another day together, just her + I + those big, squishy lips.

vintage is the new {new}.

A wonderful quality about Knoxville is its close proximity to awesome people, cool places + all things fabulous! To my heart's delight, I hopped in my car on Friday + made the two-hour drive to spend this past weekend in a really rad city {Nashville} with some of the best people {Jess, Seth + Liz} and we did some pretty {damn}fabulous things together!

Top of the list: a vintage market.
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I was rather skeptic when Jess said we were going to a "flea market". We spent the whole morning eating a yummy peanut butter & banana bagel + sipping the most delectable lattes + shopping in the cutest boutiques {although our shopping mostly consisted of us taking pictures of handmade items we would like to make ourselves!} in an adorable part of NashVegas called Hillsboro Village + I just couldn't get excited to go walk around in the cold at a "flea market"...
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Jess kept assuring me that it really shouldn't be called a "flea market" in the traditional, Florida sense of the word where I was once forced to blend smoothies every weekend for a brief period in my life when my mom decided she was going to moonlight on the weekends as a smoothie kiosk owner... now that I'm rehashing it, maybe I haven't fully recovered from that traumatizing experience?

I digress.
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We arrived + I immediately starting swooning over every random table I laid my eyes on!! It was simply fantastic! I'm pretty positive if I had more than $8 cash and a house {of my own} to decorate, I would have bought one of everything!! There was old cameras + clawfoot tubs + distressed furniture + vintage jewelry + this amazing metal peacock in all its metal plumage glory that if I thought I could safely strap to the top of my car to get it to where I'm going (still have not a clue where that be, for anyone who is concerned), I would have snatched it up in a {feathery} heartbeat!
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It was such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon perusing through bins of beads + mason jars + old telephones + (re)discovering all the treasures that remind me of my days playing the piano in Grandma Kramer's basement!!

Vintage is the new {new}.

Seriously, google it. Find a fancy flea market in your area. (That includes you, random but awesome reader from Russia!) You won't find anywhere else where you get to pose with sequined mannequins  in one tent + kiss J.F.K. in the next!! I bet my new-old Handy Hanna Hair Dryer you won't regret it! =)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Document in photographs.

One of the fragments on my list of resolutions is to document in photographs. I have so much time right now to delve in to a little-hobby-turned-passion of mine and I'm excited to get started!! I've downloaded a {free} 30-day trial of both photoshop and lightroom... and while I currently cannot do anything on either one of them, I fully plan to use the next month in my "time off" to figure out how... and lucky-be-me, I have the perfect model to practice new camera settings/angles/etc with. I have the name imagined of my onedayphotographybusiness (thank you, Carly!)... now all I need is the portfolio, client base, word of mouth + ability to edit.

I plan to take at least one picture everyday as a part of Flickr365. Here is my life in photographs from last week:

01.08.11. Sky Blue Water
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01.09.11.
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01.10.11 Snow Day!!!
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01.11.11.
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01.12.11. Sisterly teeth love!
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01.13.11. Eskimo Kisses.
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01.14.11. Spice, sugar + everything nice a baby in a bumbo?
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01.15.11. tummy time.
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tying my heart strings in knots...

Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

tuggin' on my heart strings...

Speaking of things that tug on my heart strings...

My favourite song being sung by a 6-year-old, her dad + an acoustic guitar! so adorbz!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

enjoying the small things.

Is there a sound in this world more beautiful than a heartbeat?

Its like an audible fingerprint, so unique to each person, as the blood flows and loops and swishes through every individual's anatomy... at one's own pace + strength...

Its the first sign of life; the most important assessment I can make as I listen to the little hearts of the tiniest babies race on... a pitter-patter of an irregular beat trying to find its rhythm in this world.

It was the last noise I would hear... that time of day after the world had calmed + the sun had set + the room was still... I would lay my head down on {his} chest to hear the soothing sound of a strong, slow, steady, athletic beat with a loud lub-dub, lub-dub... a consistent cadence lulling me in to a blissful sleep.

Perhaps, it's {what I miss the absolute most}. Perhaps, I should have insisted on sleeping on the left side?

It is impossible to have a heart as fickle as mine + not incur a few scars along the way. Some run deeper than others but I see each one as a cautionary cicatrix serving as little reminders... making me stronger. teaching me a lesson. becoming a part of who I am.

The silver lining to bearing a wide, open heart is the ability to uncover the beauty in the breakdown, the failures + flip sides... by loving all the little details... blind to the stoic eye. I feel the world, see the world through the window of my heart. It is why watching videos like rinah's sends shiveries down my spine. It is why I get oh-my-golly-giddy for give-aways like this one. It is why my eyes fill up + over with tears finding a love like theirs. It is why witnessing miracles like Gideon gives me goosebumps down to my toes. The rarest obscurities make my heart well enormously...

... if you are {still reading} + wondering where I am going with this, I swear I have a point, a marvelous one at that..

A couple of months ago, I came across a blog that touched my heart, tremendously. One where I couldn't stop reading... and wiping away tears... and reading more. I wanted to know every detail, all the fine ones that send a surge of mixed happy/sad~ness straight. through. my. heart.

Her name is Kelle Hampton + her daughter, the tiny accompaniment who has made a huge impact on this world, is Nella Cordelia... doesn't that name just exude earth-shattering, world-changing, empowerment?...

As Kelle tells the story of her life through meaningful words + photographs, I cannot help myself from {virtually} befriending her. She lives in my hometown and as she spends her days at the beaches I grew up on + raids the $1 aisle at Target like I always did, she is leaving an incredible handprint on this world. She has taken a scary and sometimes devastating diagnosis + turned it in to a beautiful blessing. She is the kind of mom that I aspire to be someday, spending every moment of everyday expanding the imagination of her children through tea parties + crafts + playing dress-up. She is enjoying the small things in the most {extra}ordinary way.



Being a neonatal nurse (*I've written those four words so many times recently... in its brief absence, I have realized just how much my career is a big part of who I am.*), I have encountered parents in the Hampton's situation... finding out their child isn't perfect in the way society would define it. Often they are in my unit because they have complications that are associated with Down Syndrome (duodenal atresia, heart defects) but it never ceases to amaze me how the parents see right past their new baby's floppy limbs + almond eyes; all they see is love... and what could be more perfect than that?

Kelle is making a big difference for a cause she has grown passionate about... like I strive to do for prematurity... and my goodness, her story has empowered me to step up my fight a notch or two... In the same way that Nella's extra "magical chromosome" has rocked her own little world, Kelle is touching hearts around the world bringing awareness + beauty to Down Syndrome and as the one year anniversary approaches, she is raising all kinds of money with her ONEder Fund + planning a celebration that I'm sure will be spectacular.

On Saturday, I'll secretly be celebrating with them. Happy first birthday, Nella!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UT vs. UF

Last night, Creed, Kara + I went to the basketball game... A house divided, UT (Creed's alma mater!) played their biggest rival... UF (my beloved alma mater!)! The gators won (naturally!) in overtime which made for a really exciting game with such a close score the entire time... It was weird not seeing them play in the O'Dome with the dazzlers dancing and the band playing You Can Call Me Al but I was still so excited to get to see my boys play!! =)
Today, this article about our coach Billy Donovan kept popping up on blogs I frequent... so sad! In my profession, I deal with a lot of families who lose babies and my heart breaks for every one of them every time! =(


P.S. Can we talk about how much the SEC dominates football? 5 years in a row we have brought home a national championship!! Okay, end of conversation. That status update I saw on my news feed is really the extent that I am informed about it... but it's still pretty awesome!? =)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Cream: A {tutorial}.

I'm not sure how I managed to live in the coldest place in the world (that's you, Winnipeg!) for an entire year and never make snow cream... albeit I never went outside... but I hadn't even so much as heard of it until it snowed A LOT here the other day (and pretty much every other one of the fifty states too... jokes on you, global warming!) + the first thing Creed asked to do on his Snow Day was to "make snow cream!"

It is so scrumptious, I just had to share the recipe with all my family in Manitoba (who have had waaay more snow than we do permanently since November...) because they are missing out on some sweet Southern Comfort!

Ingredients: 
One heaping bowl of freshly fallen snow... experts at allrecipes.com suggest a gallon!
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1 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract + 2 cups of milk.
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Directions:
1. Collect freshly fallen snow that has been untouched by shoes, birds or any other contaminating object.
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2. Pour sugar into a big {empty} bowl.
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3. Mix in vanilla + milk.
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(I know... our bowl isn't empty but we actually forgot to add milk at first...cooking: not my forte)
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4. Start adding spoonfuls of snow.
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5. Mix + add more snow until desired consistency has been reached.
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which requires lots of taste-testing....
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(Now I know why people tell me I look seventeen.)
5. Serve in your favourite ice cream bowl and Enjoy!
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** and if you want to get real crazy with your snow cream, add chocolate syrup to make a new flavor!*

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I never thought I would be posting a recipe on my blog but in conjunction with my new year's resolutions, I think its the perfect first recipe for my recipe book... and by that I mean all blog posts labeled "Julia Child Style" from here on out...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!!

I woke up today to the world outside my window covered in a glistening blanket of snow. 
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When it snows in Knoxville, the entire town stops so it was much to my delight that Kara + Creed were home + able to enjoy the day, too.
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We bundled up Reese and headed down to the hill (pronounced "he-eel" here in the South!). 
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We used a pool raft as our sled so Creed could catch "sick air" and I could lounge in the snow... 
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Then the neighbour came out decked out in a lovely camo/bright orange combo with a quad, rope and an inner tube... you want me to do what??
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Before I could even process what was happening (in which case I would have politely declined), I was inhaling exhaust + doing donuts...
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Afterwards, he informed me that earlier that morning he had his five-year-old granddaughter going twice as fast. Extreme sports never were my thang. 
What with the weather and all, Creed + I were able to indulge in a very seasonal tasty treat! 
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I'm excited to post my very first blog tutorial tomorrow on how to make the delicious snack that is in our cups!!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

resonating resolutions.

I've tried to write a post... this post...  so many times in the last week highlighting all the ways in which I was going to make 2011 the best year yet. A detailed compilation of all the resolutions I would be making to ensure that I accomplished many great things in the next 365 days. I imagined it to include a plethora of life-changing endeavors, like it usually does. I would adorn my scrap paper with doodles and squiggles and glitter... my, how I love when things shimmer! It would have little, square boxes to check off marking the completion of said mini victories and a reward... a sweet, sweet reward. This lovely hand-drawn list would turn into a beautiful outline of how I was going to change the world... or at least my little world... in this next chapter...

...But as the clock struck midnight on the eve of this incredible, new beginning,  I found myself lost on a checkered dance floor drowning in a sea of sweaty strangers... clutching a cup of spirits garnished with some sort of citrus... in a pair of heels that were slowly breaking each one of the bones in my feet... wondering how this girlalwaysonthevergeofananxietyattack was going to find the courage to keep calm and carry on during this fresh start...

... and as I moved out to the veranda to watch an amazing display of fireworks burst into the night sky above me, I didn't feel the sense of relief I had hoped seeing the last year {proverbially} spontaneously combust and fizzle out in to the harbour...

... then a wave of unbearable angst came over me and penetrated every feeble cell in my body...

... for it was at that moment that it hit me: I have absolutely no idea what this year has in store for me.

I couldn't make a list if I tried. I don't have a clue where I'll be. Or what I'll be doing. I don't even have a forwarding address. What am I doing with my life? Who quits their job, or more so entire life, without not so much as an immediate plan? Never. do. that. again. My nerves couldn't handle it a second time around... for they are shot; shot dead. I hate not knowing exactly what's next. I am a goal-setter. I am "the girl with a plan"...

... I have felt an enormous pressure to figure out my plan right this instant. To know exactly where I'm going, what I'll be doing and the outfit I'll be wearing when I arrive... Making brilliant resolutions has resonated in the back of my mind all week... and as I begin to panic quietly next to the window at Starbucks while unassuming patrons peacefully sip their lattes next to me... I've realize that the only one applying pressure is me. My oyster, the world,  does not require that I know right now... It will wait for me as I carefully decide what path to take next...

... and in actuality, almost unknowingly, I have been making progress everyday towards finding my way again. Slowly, I am piecing my heart back together. I am finding strength and reclaiming my independence. I am crying less and smiling spontaneously. I am recognizing the beauty in the small stuff, again and applying purpose to each day as they pass, so fleetingly. It's already eight days in to the new year and I've made huge strides {on a small scale} to finding out what amazing things are in store for me this year... starting with those resolutions. They aren't anything concrete, in fact I couldn't even think of them in whole sentences but here are the few things I intend to accomplish no matter where I am or what I am doing...

My {Fragmented} Toast to Twenty-Eleven:

Set an intention, daily. Incorporate red lipstick into my wardrobe. Live greener. Giggle lots. Learn to sew. Stay informed. Organize my life. Avidly read. Scatter optimism. Play nice. Document through photographs. Eat balanced. Write the novel inside my soul. Create. Learn to blow my hair dry like a professional. Do more yoga. Travel to South America. Run. Embrace freckles. Cosset a puppy. Master my career. Be frugal. Learn to cook, Julia Child style. Apply purpose. K.I.T. Drink more water. Blog, religiously. Host {swirly} parties. Dwell on the positive. Do more, meaningfully. Love. Love. Love.

Cheers.

01.07.11 positively electric fire.

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01.06.11 baby blues.

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01.05.11 bear-y scented bath.

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Bath time is her most favourite time of the day.
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