Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Super-Duper Lady

I was wearing big Audrey Hepburn sunglasses on top my head--you know, the kind that were in style a year ago--and Dominic announced to me, "Mommy, you look like a super-duper lady."  I wasn't surprised that my ever-observant son noticed my sunglasses, but I was more than a little curious at how he knew about Hollywood glamour with its super-duper ladies in their stylish, and often garish, accessories.  To my delight, he was warming up to tell me about these super-duper ladies.

"You know, you know...they're..." he said, stammering as he tried to vocalize exactly what he was thinking.  "Like the ones...the ones who have fire in their feet.  It comes out of their legs!  And they're super powerful.  And really cool.  And they shoot like rockets way up to the sky.  That' when they have their glasses on.  But then, when they take off their glasses and power down...then they turn into a regular lady, like you."

Didn't you know? Obviously, that's what a super-duper lady is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Washed by Water

I had a very special addition to my Holy Week this year.  On Monday, in Colorado Springs, I was privileged to be witness to Samuel Philip Good's baptism.  This is my college roommate's first child--a beautiful baby boy with a perfectly shaped head and cute blue eyes.  
Proud parents Zach and Laurel holding Samuel 
at St. Mary's Cathedral in Colorado Springs.
 Samuel and godmother
Samuel Philip Good -- 4 weeks old.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Mattress Adventure

Matt and I have been living with hand-me-down mattresses since we got married--soon to be five years!  In fact, our first bed and mattress were Matt's childhood set.  A full size bed with a ten-year-old mattress.  It was a bit small, but it worked for two poor, newly-weds.  It was sold during our massive possession purge to another poor, newly-wed couple.  At least I hope they were wed.

Moving to York, with my in-laws, landed us with their beautiful king size bed--an oriental with two-toned wood.  Wow. It was amazing. King size was amazing.  "Matt, where are you?"  I can't find you! Oh well,  I'll just enjoy my own space.  The mattress, on the other hand, was not so amazing.  Just an old, firm mattress that made my back hurt every morning when I woke up.

Next up was our 450 square foot, furnished Italian flat provided us with two institutional twin beds (read: no box spring, just a firm european mattress made up with two flat sheets and a wool blanket) that could be pushed together to make a "matrimonial".  The  crack, which opened of its own accord, did not prove to be very comfortable.

After returning to York and making morning back stretches a part of my routine again, we made a firm resolution that our first purchase for the new home would be an awesome mattress set.  Even if we had to skimp on the bedroom furniture to make it happen, we would splurge on the mattresses.

I'd been half-heartedly researching mattresses, looking through deals, and trying to make sense of the ridiculous nomenclature that changed for every retail store and brand.  I had no idea how to compare them and it was a purchase that we couldn't afford to get wrong.  Craigslist to the rescue.  An advertisement for Sealy Posturepedic pillowtop mattresses brand new, in plastic.  For sale because they had been staged in model homes and were no longer needed.  Delivery available.  Hmm...on a whim, I picked up on the phone and called.  I would have been skeptical about it, but when Jeff answered, he was just so nice and sounded so trustworthy.  My bargain instincts told me this was worth the risk.  And really, the risk was actually pretty low.  The delivery guys would bring two (of my choice) mattresses, picking from plush, ultra plush, pillowtop, and something else, we'd be free to try them out and buy one with cash if we liked it.  if we didn't like either we paid them $15 for their time and they were on their way.  They would come in two days between 9-11am.  And two guys showed up at 9:05am with two mattresses for us to try, on our driveway.  Aside from feeling very sheepish at lounging on two mattress in the shared condo driveway, it went well.  I clearly like the pillowtop over the regular one.  A bit of google research showed that they were top of the line mattresses, so I decided to be impulsive for once and take the risk.  So they hauled it upstairs, we forked over $550 in cash, and that easy, we made our first purchase for our new home--an ultra plush euro pillowtop mattress set.

We'll be sleeping on it tonight.  I'll let you know if it was a mistake or not...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home Style (not fries)

It is astonishingly paralyzing to attempt to create a home style from scratch.  Since we have been freed from owning a house or any furnishings for the last 3 years, we are blessed and cursed with the chance to really pick what we want.  But where do we begin?  I think it would actually be easier if we had to work around a few existing pieces.

After taking a dizzying walk through Ashley Furniture, Wolf Furniture, Budget Furniture, and some other furniture store, I feel even more at an impasse.  Formal?  Country?  Transitional? (what does that even mean?!) Real wood or paint something?  So, following the style quiz suggestions from, a great blog about high style, low cost DIY home projects, I took the Ikea style quiz and the quiz.  These suggest that I'm "country (50%) and wine country style (50%), another labeled my style as "bohemian casual".  Labels aside, both descriptions suggested that I love a cozy, comfortable house and that is exactly right.

We want our new home to be a welcoming respite for us and our friends.  A place to hang-out and make memories.  A place where our furnishings and spaces serve us, not us them.  Easy-care and comfortable, but not slouchy or frumpy.  Oh, and lots of pops color.  That is what we want. Whatever that is.

Now, how we achieve that is the big question.  My vision is neutral (not white!--maybe green or light brown), plump sofas.  Colorful, patterned drapes that are not geometric or modern looking but not country florals.  And brightly colored, fun accents like pillows, books, pictures, and souvenirs from our travels.  A serviceable coffee table in a warm wood.  Something that screams, "Put your feet up!"  End tables a plenty to hold those steaming cups of tea and freshly brewed mugs of coffee.  And lights everywhere.  Light pouring in the windows, light from the end tables, and maybe even some recessed lights.  Darkness is depressing.  I want cozy, but light.  Is that too much to ask?

It seems like a tall order as we begin thinking of how to accomplish this.  I guess we'll just have to be patient.  Little by little and layer by layer, we'll get there.  We'll prioritize our needs.  1) a bed for us with an awesome mattress and a dresser  2) a bed for Dominic and dressers for the kids.  3) couches for guests.  4) couches for family room. 5) coffee tables, end tables 6) lamps 7) storage solutions 8) rugs 9) accessories.  And paint, that'll go in there somewhere.  Probably after step 4, before 5.  But it's all a process that will take time.

And did I mention that we're not above taking used furniture off your hands? :)