a new year

New Years is such a nice holiday--what could possibly be more encouraging than a bright new year?  I am constantly trying to be a better person and ultimately the person I want to be, and New Years brings this pursuit into full focus.

"Life isn't about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself." -George Bernard Shaw

This is a quote to literally live by.  Too many people I think, waste time trying to figure out who they are, instead of simply striving to be who they want to be.

I want to be the kind of person who is self-sufficent.  I will boycott buying clothes this year and sew up my own.

I want to be the kind of person that is charitable, all year around.  I will grow my hair out long to donate to Locks of Love and continue to try to contribute more to my community. 

I want to be the kind of person who takes each moment as it happens, and lets it go as it passes. I will try not to dwell in the past, however sweet it was--it only takes up space that should be full of the present.

And as always, I hope to simplify, simplify, simplify.

How 'bout you?

Sherlock Holmes

I LOVE MYSTERIES.  In fact, just yesterday I bought a book of detective stories.  As a Nancy Drew-reading fourth grader raised on Scooby Doo, I used to desperately want to be a detective.  Sometimes this old desire creeps up on me....as in every other day.  So naturally, I loved Sherlock Holmes.  It was very witty and made you think, as a good detective story should.  Plus, who doesn't love a reckless protagonist?

I'm in the right place

Christmas always leaves me feeling content and full.  Full, not only in the cookies way (although I will certainly attest to this being true as well), but in the most important way--of life.  There is nothing I love more than watching the Christmas specials with my dad while he strums Christmas tunes on his guitar, there is nothing I love more than singing Christmas songs at church with my great grandma who is always either a chorus ahead or behind of the congregation and doesn't mind one bit, there is nothing I love more than seeing family I see every Sunday one more day than usual and seeing family I rarely get the chance to spend time with during the most wonderful time of the year, there is nothing I love more than visiting my dad at his fire station on Christmas day and reading the paper movie reviews while listening to him and his crew tease each other, there is nothing I love more than hearing and sharing stories with homemade cookies, fudge, and mac n' cheese nearby, there is nothing I love more than the drive home in the dark, with nothing to think about but dreams, and nodding off...to sleep. 

There is nothing I love more than Christmas.

Happy Christmas!

 Today I had the gang over for brunch.

Domenico, Phoebs (I embroidered that barrette for her! I am proud), and Rachel

Rylee + Eric, ya know, doing the cute couple thing.

Erin in her new accessories that went perfectly with her outfit, Quinn, and Kate--with her new Snape wand replica (nerdiest Christmas gift I have ever given)

Nathan in his new snowsuit, knit tie, and sunglasses

Thanks to Kate, I now have a miniature harmonica necklace to annoy people with forever! Yes!

I think we make a nice bunch.

Happy 2nd birthday, ol' bloggy blog

I just realized (after adding an archive just now) that I have been doing this blog for two years (yesterday)!  What a crazy thing.  Thank you, thank you  for all the nice feedback--it is nice to know more than two people read the nonsense I send forth into the blogosphere.

The picture--me, back in 2007 (at Mount Vernon), when no one "followed" me.  Yes! Plus 948234798 for blog pun.


J'ai aimé bien!  C'est un film rigolo, pensif, et unique.  Je le verrais encore!

Okay, I couldn't resist attempting to blog en français, just this once.  I probably made 57 grammar mistakes. Yes, in just three sentences.  It's possible.  But hey, I have to use my 3.5 years of stuttering French for something.

P.S. Amélie totally made me long for my short hair again... Ugh. This happens at the drop of a hat. I have to think about someone with pretty long hair to stop me from going to a pair of scissors... My mom would kill me.

picture by Kate this past March

The Royal Tenenbaums

It has always really embarressed me that I hadn't seen The Royal Tenenbaums.  Ever since a night a couple of years ago at Olive + Ivy when Nicole and one of her friends configured a list of movies I must see and it was on the top of the list, I have unsuccessfully caught it on one of our multiple movie channels to record.

Finally, today, I got my chance.  We dropped by Blockbuster and I hunted it down.  At last.  And when I say hunt down, I mean foolishly scramble the aisles, my eyes darting everywhere--because in result of said movie channels, I am not so agile in the art of renting movies.

But my attempts beared fruitful--I even found Amelie, another movie I remember to be on the list and another movie I am sad to say I haven't seen.

BUT THIS WILL CHANGE.  One down (The Royal Tenenbaums), one to go (Amelie). 

And yes, I loved it.  So, so, so much.

life is so good

Need proof?

Watching 98347293 movies, because I CAN

Spending time with Kate thrifting and Christmas shopping (or in my case, buying little boys clothes...)

Wrapping presents like a wannabe Martha Stewart

Listening to the Singers & Swing music channel while making myself pasta

Eating pasta while reading Nylon

Decorating my room with Christmas lights, while listening to Iron & Wine

Listening to free music while blogging


lovely branches

Tonight we got our tree! As much as a crazy environmental nut I sometimes can be, I love myself a real-live Christmas tree and the process of picking one out (which usually involves us loving the first one we see, then taking 20 minutes to scope out all the other prospects until finally deciding to go with the first one after all). The smell is something that can't be beat--although I have caught whiff (literally) of pine-scented ornaments for fake trees. That's pretty cool, if you usually go the plastic route.

Our Christmas trees are always jam-packed with ornaments of Christmases past. Homemade ones, along with my grandma Hatos' traditional yearly rounds of Hallmark picks scatter every branch, some branches even holding two or three ornaments to my parents' dismay--apparently too many ornaments is "tacky". I don't care; I always love our Christmas trees.

This year for my Hallmark ornament, I went the Harry Potter route! This may be accounted for by my extreme anticipation this July for Half Blood Prince to come out.  Yes, we choose our Christmas ornaments in July when the Hallmark Christmas ornament catalog comes out, because we are THAT HARDCORE.  I love Christmas.

the glee finale was tonight

What am I going to do at 8 on Wednesday nights now? Homework?

gingerbread house-decorating

Mine, on the left, took a pretty gnarly fall to the kitchen floor.  (Thankfully I was able to perform some reconstructive surgery and all is well again with his gingerbread limbs.)

j'aime bien la blogotheque

don't we look snazzy?

Last night was Winter Formal. Dances have always been pleasantly awkward for me--I have watched way too many John Hughes movies not to appreciate high school for what it is--but this year it was actually a really nice situation! Nathan and I, along with our friends Erin and Domenico (who are going on 3 years in a couple of days--sheesh they make me feel old) went to this awesome Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. Yum! We definitely need to go back there sometime. Then we inspected all the Asian goodies at the Asian market next door. They must have thought we were pretty crazy to be grocery shopping in our fancy threads, but it's all good because now I know where to go if I ever need a two foot-long bag of seaweed. The dance itself is always a culture shock of songs I have never heard of and dance moves I really wish I didn't know about, but they played a couple of decent songs and I got to do the twist. So life is good.