Thursday, October 30, 2008

dear hubby:

Wow, I love you so much. I can honestly say that I've never had as much fun with anyone as I have with you. You're amazing. And thanks for letting me help with your fantastic Halloween costume, you look so handsome!

And I really love that you let me make devil horns out of your hair and then take your picture:

And I even love that you take pictures (five of them) of our dishes in the dish drainer, because you "thought it was interesting one night"...

Baby, you're the best husband I've ever had. Thank you for being fantastic.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

dear daddy:

I hate that I miss you so much, and that I think about you all the time. I hate that I haven't been able to get rid of your memory like I want to and that a part of me still wants to see you and get a bear hug from you and sit on your lap and be your little girl again. And I hate you, for what you did to my family, and for being such a selfish and manipulative asshole. I hate you for never saying you were sorry. I hate you for so many reasons, and yet I miss my daddy all the time. I resent the fact that I was allowed to know you, and wish that you would have been removed from my life before I was able to grow up and make memories of you. I wish that that the memories I did have were horrible memories so that it would be easier to hate you now. I wish you would have tried harder to explain yourself and change my mind, instead of letting me run away. I wish you wouldn't have been so forceful and confrontational when you did try to see me, because you just scared me away. Sometimes I wish that you would have died, so I could just mourn the loss and move on, because for some reason it's so much harder this way. I wish I didn't care that you weren't there to dance with me at my wedding, and that you'll never see my children. I wish you hadn't screwed mom up so badly. I'm tired of crying over you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

dear babies (again):

Good morning- it's me again. You're all doing such a great job, I just wanted to say thank you for everything. It makes me so happy to look outside and see green instead of brown, and life instead of emptiness. You're awesome.

And to prove that you really are working hard- I've taken some more photos of you to chart your growth. If you were standing against a door jamb you would have gotten a pencil mark a whole inch higher! Nice work.

This is almost the same angle as this shot before. You've been filled in with a few more friends, and you look beautiful. The purples and the pinks are really popping against all that brown bark.

And then there's you. Little patch of ground cover that I am so anxiously awaiting to fill in so I can plop myself down and read a book on you. Hurry up, already! You're definitely coming along, but I'm so ready for you to be full and fluffy. I'm seriously considering buying a few more and filling in your holes right now so I can enjoy that spot at least once before fall is in full swing.

For comparison, here's what you looked like in July. Like I said, good job.

And then there are my friends in the garden plots. The lettuce was abundant, but a person can only eat so much lettuce at a time. Too bad we weren't smart enough to plant you in waves. You did great though, and now we know for next year. I wish that your buddies the zucchini would take a cue and get to growing now. there are a couple of cucumbers that look amazing, but that zucchini won't push past the flower phase. Hopefully you're on the way! Here's your big brother the cuke for a little inspiration:

Can you ever live up to his greatness?

I hope you all make it through the winter and live to give me a beautiful yard next summer too. It's been a pleasure cultivating you and I appreciate you every day for making my world a little nicer to look at.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

dear lulu:

Good lord, woman. You are not allowed to watch Tori & Dean, Home Sweet Hollywood ever again. I know you're bored and sad because your love is out of town, but seriously! Get it together.

Watching any more of that show, and not finding it completely repulsive, will lead to nothing but self-loathing and regret. You don't need television to provide that.

I'm praying for you.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

dear ma nature:

Hey lady- great job on the Pacific Northwest. I don't think I say it often enough, so thanks! I just love waking up to a view like this:

And it just took one day of beautiful sun shining on my strawbabies to make them much happier. I appreciate it!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

dear babies:

Hi- it's me. You know, the lady who takes care of you and waters you every day and occasionally wanders around telling you how beautiful you are and asking you to hurry up and grow. I've been putting a lot of work into you lately, and I really hope you'll show some appreciation and grow up big and strong like I keep suggesting.

Aerial view: still far too much brown out there for my taste.

What do you say? Maybe take a tip from your friends the hens and chicks and go crazy! Spread around like wildfire! Sprawl! See:

They know how it's done. Can't even keep 'em in a pot. And they've even sprung up in the rock wall all on their own. Crafty little plants, they are.

In case you can't tell by how much you've been seeing me lately, taking care of you has been a surprisingly pleasant hobby for me. I've never been that interested in gardening until this year when I discovered just how satisfying it can be. Weeding really speaks to the OCD control-freak side of me, and I find that I can spend hours ridding the yard of every little intruder without even realizing the day is flying by. I even bought a gardening hat to protect my delicate prematurely-wrinkly old-lady skin. I knew it was over for me when I actually wore the hat outside of the yard the other day and went to the store in it. I guess that makes it official. I'm either "a gardener" or I've just totally lost all shame in my old age.

So anyway, I've taken some pictures of you so I can watch how much you grow. Just like a kindergartener on the first day of school, I'm capturing your awkward smallness now, so I can look back in a little while and marvel at how mature you've become. I imagine that I'll be so proud of you in a few months. Unless you die- and then I'm just going to be pissed.

Clockwise from lower left: Catmint, Limemound Spirea, Kentucky Colonel Mint, Lemon Thyme, Hebe, and a couple varieties of Heather.

My precious patch of ground cover. Hurry up and fill in! You will be my cozy spot to lay out and relax in the midst of all the bark and cement that surrounds.

We're farmers too! Good job lettuce. So far you've been a tasty shrimp louie and made us some delightful lettuce wraps. Yum! Now get your friends the zucchini on board. It's their turn to shine.

My precious little strawbabies. I can't wait to have you stain my fingers red!

Anyway, thanks garden. You're all right.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

dear curious friends:

I understand that you're a bit confused. It is kind of weird that we're running away and getting married alone. Most people want their friends and family near them and supporting them on one of the most important days of their life. I get that. I see how what we're doing might seem a little odd to you.

We live in Seattle. All of our friends and family, save a couple of each of our relatives in the Carolinas, are in Seattle. We've never even been to Louisiana nor do we know a soul there. Why on earth did we choose Louisiana? It's the first question out of everyone's mouth as soon as we say, "No, no one's family lives there".

For me, there are plenty of reasons for us to decide to do it this way. Some are financial, some are emotional, some are practical, and some are maybe just selfish, I suppose.

As someone close to us was kind enough to point out- maybe I want to do it this way because I "don't have a dad to pay for the wedding". Well, how intuitive of you! (and maybe a little tactless...) Yes, it's traditional for a bride's father to foot the bill for her wedding. Yes, I imagine that if I were to call my father after over 10 years of silence he might object a little to writing me a check. But no, that's not the only reason that I don't want to have a big shindig. Plenty of couples pay for their own day, and if it was important enough to me to want all that, I would have been saving and found a way to fund it on my own, despite my lack of paternal support.

One major objection that Mr. Lulu and I have to a big traditional wedding is all the excess. Tons of paper waste, tons of stuff to buy that will only be used one day for a little while, and just generally a lot of stuff that we don't need to consume in order to be happily married. I think that the whole wedding industry feeds on everyone's need to have just the right things in order to have a perfect wedding day, and I just don't want to get sucked into all that. And I would. Believe me, given the chance, I would. By limiting our guest list and minimizing our event, we automatically cut down on the impact that our wedding will have. For us, that's something important.

Of course we also have the all-too-common issue that is a by-product of being kids of dysfunctional families. We both have divorced parents and our fair share of general familial strife. Having a traditional wedding typically means having the whole batch of them participating in a multi-day affair and cooperating to pull off the execution of said affair with limited stress and tears. Personally, I'd just rather not.

Our wedding day is about us, and about us being comfortable and happy and embarking on a new life together that is meaningful and exciting. It's not about us trying to make sure that everyone else is comfortable and happy and worrying about who's going to sit next to who and if we invite this person will someone else feel weird and oh my god what if mom loses it and who's going to walk me down the aisle and what about the father-daughter dance and who should we have be our best man/maid of honor and everything else. It stresses me out just thinking about it and we're not even having to make any of those decisions! Maybe for us eloping is a little bit like avoidance, but that's fine with me. Some of these things are worth avoiding, in my humble opinion.

And then, of course, there's the fact that the perfect wedding deserves an awesome honeymoon! Mr. Lulu and I are still kind of in the "getting started" phase of our lives and careers and excess cash just isn't something we have a ton of. By combining our wedding and honeymoon into what the trendy wedding websites dub the "weddingmoon" we're saving ourselves a bundle and getting an amazing experience too. Plus, Louisiana is somewhere that I've always wanted to visit. I'm not really sure where it comes from, I guess I just have a fascination with the culture and everything about the South. I have a really romantic vision of what the lower half of our country is all about, and have thought that I belonged in Savannah, Georgia ever since I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It seems to me that the food and the music and the general environment in New Orleans will make our time there one to treasure forever. And isn't that what our wedding should be? Just a really great time and a lot of wonderful memories? Sign me up.

As a completely unexpected bonus, planning our wedding this way has been delightfully easy. I started out with a wedding checklist I found on The Knot and quickly discovered that only about a quarter of their recommendations for planning even applied to us. Once we settled on a location and booked our rooms, everything else on our short to-do list was quick and easy to take care of. Because I think I have ultimately grown into a fairly self-aware person, I understand that perfection and control are very important to me. If I had to host a full-on wedding for all of my closest friends and family members instead of the little cocktail party reception we're choosing, I know I would lose my mind in the details. I'm the bridezilla who would be on her hands and knees combing the carpet into place and obsessing over every detail of all the outfits and the food and every other little thing that I could find to obsess about until I made myself and my husband-to-be crazy. Instead, I get to spend a beautiful Tuesday morning hanging out with the man I love letting a photographer follow us around the grounds of a historic plantation and, oh yeah- squeeze in ten minutes to actually do the ceremony. No fanfare, no crazy relatives- just an intimate moment when we can declare our devotion and promise to love each other forever followed by a lazy afternoon basking in the glow of our own genius. It seems like it will be really easy and great, and it will be. Right? Can't see why not.

Looking forward to our adventure!


Friday, May 23, 2008

dear sir:

You are an idiot. It took you over a year to fully reveal your idiocy to me, but oh boy- you finally did it! Nice work. Now I can tell my predecessor with full confidence that she was right.

Toothpaste For Dinner


Monday, May 19, 2008

dear rob & lean:

Oh my gosh, thank you! Mr. Lulu's ring is beautiful and it fits perfectly.

We had a difficult time finding a ring for him that we really loved. Everything out there in the big jewelry stores was either too boring or too jewel-encrusted or just not quite right in some other way. The simple lines of this band combined with the exotic wood inlay made it seem just perfect for us. Mr. Lulu wanted something unique and something kind of organic, and we love that it came from real people and not a nameless production line somewhere out of the country. That's probably our favorite part.

In fact, when I ripped open the envelope I found the cute little pouch with the ring, a business card, and a yellow post-it note. I squealed when I saw the post-it. "See- this is what Etsy is all about. Real people! Hand-written notes!" I think Mr. Lulu would have been more confused by the excitement that little yellow paper had caused me if he wouldn't have been so busy drooling over his new ring.

Added bonus: the engraving on the inside. I'm a loving and understanding wifey and I want to make sure that Mr. Lulu never has an chance to forget our anniversary. I had the ring engraved "NOLA ♥ 08.05.08". You're welcome.

Thank you so much Rob & Leighanne, we're thrilled!


Friday, May 16, 2008

dear abercrombie:

Hey. Just one question- How the hell do you do that?

It's impossible to walk down the block I work on (which features an Abercrombie and Fitch on one corner) without being assaulted by the smell of you. It's like walking through the perfume section at a department store except it always smells exactly the same. I guess it must be the Abercrombie signature scent, but since I haven't set foot inside in a decade or so, I don't know if it's actually something you sell or if it's just part of the whole image thing.

Actually, I would really love to know the mechanics of the whole thing. Sometimes I imagine a giant fan right inside the door that one of the foxy young models employees has to spritz with eau de jailbait every half hour or so. Other times I get a mental image of a giant bubble machine, like you might see mounted to the ceiling of a theater or a concert hall. Only instead of blowing bubbles, this thing just shoots perfume into the air. Constantly.

I have a headache just thinking about it.


dear sweets:

Hey love! Just wanted to say thank you. You take me to the nicest places!

Honestly though, it was a great adventure. I've never been to a real junkyard before! The only thing that would have made it better is if there were a few rotweilers or pitbulls with ropes tied to their necks lunging at us as we snuck by and then if we had just happened to have a raw steak in our pocket to placate them with...

I think we ended up with some good finds though! And thanks for crawling around in those nasty old cars doing the actual harvesting. If I would have known that was what we were in for I would have dressed a little more appropriately for the occasion.

And I do wish there had been someone around to take a touristy picture of us in front of this pile:

You can take me out anytime!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

dear family:

Hi. Please stop asking me to mediate your lives. Mom, I don't know what Sister meant by her message. But I have an idea: perhaps you should CALL HER AND ASK!

I really don't understand how fully mature and grown people can be so incapable of functional adult interaction. I know that there are yucky things in our past that have made it difficult for all of us to learn to express themselves, and we each have a fair bit of emotional scarring. I get that. And I am by no means suggesting that we sweep everything under the rug and pretend like nothing happened. Please, go ahead and admit that things have happened and for crying out loud have a conversation about it. Preferably one that doesn't involve vomiting or slamming the phone down or fleeing the scene, but even if that's not possible it's better than nothing. Better than this.


dear earth:

Hello! To show our appreciation for what a great planet and home you are, Mr. Lulu and I have tried to make some simple changes in our life over the last year or so in hopes that you will somehow benefit. One thing that we did recently was install a clothesline.

I am already in the habit of air drying many of our clothes, and we have one of those three-layer accordian-type mesh drying racks. The problem with that is that it only really holds three sweaters. I tend to just stack them up but then they take twice as long to dry.

Initially, I asked Mr. Lulu to install my drying line in the back yard. Then I remembered that wait- we live in Seattle! Needless to day, that was written off as a completely idiotic idea. Sure- it would be great in July and August, but unfortunately, I have to do laundry all year long.

So after a little convincing that a drying line was still a good idea, Mr. Lulu agreed to install it for me inside! In the laundry room! The cement floor and the floor drain will ensure that any drips won't be damaging to anything, and there's very little chance that our freshly laundered clothing will be rained on. Success!

Here's my new line:

The only problem is that I'm such a munchkin I can't reach the lines to hang anything without a stool. That's where this guy is going to come in handy! And so cute! Can't wait. Totally reminds me of the library in elementary school! Only the ones there were boring black or grey, not cute red.

Anyway Earth, we're doing what we can. Baby steps. With any luck, we'll cut down on the number of times we have to run the dryer and that will not only save you a little, but it might just save us a bit too.


Monday, May 12, 2008

dear mom:

Hi Mama. Yesterday was Mother's Day and I'm so glad we were able to share it with you. I hope you enjoyed brunch. I know it was a little stressful for you to meet the in-laws for the first time, but I think everyone had a nice day.

Of course, thanks to the mild anxiety and unbridled perfectionism that I'm fairly certain that I inherited from you; I was awake at 6 am thinking about all the things that still needed to be done before you arrived at 11. And of course, I got out of bed and started doing those things (as quietly as possible so as not to wake Mr. Lulu and give him yet another reason to find me slightly insane and therefore not marriage material). The lack of sleep was all worth it though, because by the time he got out of bed I woke him up a couple of hours later I had a table that would have made Martha proud, quiche and pecan caramel sticky buns in progress, and just a little bit of crazy left to spare.

Thankfully, Mr. Lulu is as patient as they come, and he always knows what I need to hear. Sometimes it's a gentle reminder to "slow down, breathe" and sometimes it's just a well-timed "love you". With his support and the hostessing finesse that you taught me, I think we were able to pull off a pretty good day.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the bacon and asparagus quiche, and the POG mimosas were delicious! Michelle was right- once you go POG, you'll never go back! And thanks to this book, which I love, and some freakishly lucky timing, we had fresh hot pecan caramel sticky buns just in time for brunch-dessert, and they were wonderful!

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know that I'm so grateful for the relationship that we share. I think it's taken a long time for us to achieve the level of closeness that we finally have, and I know we still have a long way to go, but it's really wonderful to have you in my life.

I know that I was a spoiled brat of a child, and I've spent many years alternating between taking you for granted and lacking the patience to spend any time getting to know you. I think now I'm finally old enough to understand you and appreciate you for who you are. It's also obvious that I'm becoming more and more like you every day, and I have to say- I don't mind that one bit. I'm incredibly lucky and I hope you know how much I love you.

Thanks for everything Mom, you're an amazing woman. Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 2, 2008

dear doug:

Hello you crazy fresco artist! I want to thank you for the lovely piece you gave me last night at the Art Walk. I suspect that you were slightly intoxicated or perhaps under the influence of some fabulous narcotic, but I appreciate the gesture nonetheless. As far as my $90 check, which you promised merely to frame and hang in your studio and not cash- I'm still not sure that I believe you, but no matter. The story and the art are worth every penny.

In case you've forgotten, here's the piece that you wrapped up for me:

You even signed the back, which I'm sure will contribute loads to its value in a few years.

Thanks again Doug- you're a talented man and a generous soul.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

dear ross:

Hello Ross Dress for Less! I'm writing in an effort to come to terms with my love/hate relationship with you and your kind. In principle, I despise stores like yours, but I am drawn to the concept of saving bundles of money on the brands I love. For this reason, I continue to pass through your doors once or twice a year only to grow frustrated once again because I am far too impatient to shop the way you must in order to leave satisfied.

Today I found myself sucked into the bowels of your mammoth interior, hoping to fill my void with still more shoes that I don't need. And for once- success! A lovely pair of black patent leather sling back peep toe pumps will be gracing the shelves of my closet tonight. Smuggled home, of course, in my voluminous tote designed to hide such purchases from Mr. Lulu until they're sufficiently aged enough to say "oh these things? I've had them for months."

So thanks Ross, I guess you're not so bad after all.


**update: don't attempt to sneak things into your home unless you're well versed in the practice! the night i bought these shoes i decided to wear them home from work and smuggle my old shoes in the tote. unfortunately, we went straight to a friend's dinner party where i proceeded to ingest my body weight in red wine. by the time we were ready to go, i had my shiny new shoes in my hand and was insisting to mr. lulu that i needed to find my shoes before we left. of course i'm convinced that i wasn't really out of my mind intoxicated- i was simply looking for my OTHER shoes- the ones i left that morning wearing.**

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

dear internets:

Hello dear internets!

I'm writing to say thank you. Thank you for providing me endless inspiration, limitless knowledge, and hours of entertainment when I should be doing something else. I am truly grateful.


Friday, April 4, 2008

dear green lake jewelry works:

Hello you wonderfully talented artisans! Oh my lord, you guys are amazing. I know you technically didn't make my ring since it's a family heirloom that has been in Mr. Lulu's family for generations, but you made it mine. And I love that we were able to take some diamonds from my mom's ring (which were in her mom's ring) and add them in. It makes it such a lovely representation of the blending of families and histories that are part of what make a marriage so special.

I don't even care that the first time you called me to tell me that my ring was ready, we drove out there and found that it really wasn't. An extra day didn't kill me, and it was totally worth the wait. My ring is beautiful and it carries so much history along with it- I know that I'm really fortunate.

I have always liked the idea of an antique ring, I love thinking that the ring on my finger made another woman feel cherished and special too. I always assumed that these women would be strangers and I would never know their stories, but luckily that's not the case! Mr. Lulu's paternal great-grandmother was the first to wear my ring, then his grandmother, then his mother, now me. I'm a part of a strong family history now, which means a lot to me since my own sometimes seems a bit muddled and lost.

Here it is again- isn't it gorgeous?!?


Monday, March 31, 2008

dear mr. lulu:

Hi sweets! Wow, I still can't believe you really want to marry me! Are you sure you don't need to spend some more time with my mom before you fully commit to that?

I can't wait for our adventure in Louisiana this summer. We're going to have the best time exploring and going to jazz clubs and eating all kinds of good food. There's going to be muffaletta, and shrimp, and gumbo, and maybe even alligator. And hurricanes (hopefully just the drinks, not the natural disaster), and sazerac, and did I mention the food? My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Oak Alley is beautiful, and I'm so excited to spend our wedding day there! I've always suspected that I have a misunderstood Southern belle hiding inside this tough Northern exterior, so I expect that this will be just like coming home.

Anyway, love, I'm really glad that we've decided to elope. Planning a big fancy wedding would make me crazy for sure, and I think this is much more romantic anyway.

Looking forward to a long and happy life with you!


Monday, March 24, 2008

dear world:

Hello all! I'm excited to announce that Mr. Lulu and I have decided to take the plunge! We've been having the marriage talk off and on for awhile, and I guess all my whining and constant pleading finally wore him down, because he asked for the family ring yesterday (IN THE MIDDLE OF EASTER DINNER). He's not really one for subtlety, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. His mom, on the other hand, did appear to be a bit shocked, and she looked like she might cry when we told her that we didn't want anyone at the wedding.

See, one of the things that has been a sticking point in the whole marriage negotiation is that the mere thought of gathering all of our family members into one room for an extended period of time and expecting us to enjoy ourselves sounds like an impossible task. We started warming to the idea of eloping a few months ago, and there was even talk at one point of flying to New Zealand to do the deed.

Sadly, logic butted in and reminded us that we probably can't afford to leave the state, much less the country, any time soon. Until, that is, Mr. Lulu realized that he had enough Alaska Airline frequent flyer miles to get us somewhere after all and offered me a vacation. Like the little devil that I can be, I turned my vacation into a wedding/honeymoon, and our plans were born.

Louisiana here we come!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

dear kodak:

Hello giant camera conglomerate! Thanks for being lame and not including a case with the new camera that Mr. Lulu got for Christmas. Your oversight gave me the opportunity to flex my sewing muscles again, and I have to admit- I'm a little sore.

It didn't go too badly, and thanks to the awesome tutorials on U-Handblog we were able to figure out how to give it a flat bottom so it looks much more professional than it would have if I had just made a pathetic little pouch like I was thinking of.

I don't love it, and I think it would be way cooler in felt like these ones, but it's better than nothing for now. And Mr. Lulu thinks I'm brilliant, so that's always a plus.

Thanks again!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

dear lulu:

Yeah, yeah, resolutions are kind of lame, and they're usually not a great way to initiate change in one's life, but it doesn't stop me from making some every year!

So here's your list for '08 so far:

-Do some blogging. (Check!)
-Make more of an effort with your friends. You're terrible at calling. I know you want to see them, you're just lazy. Promise you'll try harder this year!
-Make more stuff. It's time to finally try your hand at resin, and letterpress, and I know you have a million sewing projects in mind, plus unfinished knitting to do... the list goes on. Get to work.
-Get out of debt. No more excuses. Think of all that money you can free up by not continuing to pay for all that useless crap you bought last year!
-Figure out what to do with your life already. School, job, life in general. I understand that you've been having a hard time figuring out where you fit, but you turn 28 this year- it's time.
-Get off your butt and get some exercise. This is definitely the old stand-by. Looks like you might have found an extra 15 pounds this winter. Maybe you should put an ad on Craigslist or something in case anyone lost theirs...

Good luck!