Friday, January 25, 2008

Day Two: Sedona, AZ

I took over 200 pictures, it's so hard to limit myself to four per day, but here are the winners from day 2:

On Saturday we had the day off. My only work obligation was to arrive at a party back at the Boulders at 7pm. We figured that this was plenty of time to take the 2-hour ride up to Sedona to see the legendary red rocks.

This was Jerm's favorite rock formation, I'm not sure why?? :-)

The distressed look on my husband's face had little to do with the fact that he was riding through the mountains on a fellow named "Duke" and everything to do with the woman from NYC who talked incessantly throughout the 45 minute bus ride to the ranch, the 1 hour horseback adventure, and the 45 minute bus ride back to downtown Sedona. She sat directly behind him on all accounts -talking and talking, and talking. Notice that she is in full riding gear (English, not Western - we learned a lot that trip, but the biggest lesson of all, was not to position ourselves next to 65 year old NYers).

No, it's not a cloud - apparently there are no clouds in AZ, but the moon does seem to make an early appearance.

Purple mountains! Even the ride back to Scottsdale was beautiful - this was just anytown, AZ - it seemed like the entire 2-hour ride to and from Sedona was littered with beautiful mountain views.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day One: Scottsdale, AZ

It was a crisp fall day in Arizona....
I wasn't aware that Arizona got down to 37 degrees, but that's what the temp on the car said when we arrived. Jerms and I took advantage of the fact that my HR team meeting was going to be held in Scottsdale in January at an exclusive resort (that we couldn't otherwise afford). We flew out last Thursday. On Friday, the temperature soared to 62 degrees and Jerms golfed while I attended a team meeting. After our team meeting (which lasted approximately 1 hour), we went on a jeep excursion through the desert...

Three words to describe this popular tourist event: Dusty, bumpy, chilly

Here's my awesome team. I love these women!

Here are our tour guides - husband and wife duo. The woman is half Indian, the man is half pirate. Both were armed, both were scary.

Later that evening we enjoyed a cook-out under the stars - it was really nicely done. The Boulders is no joke. Fire-pit, smores with square marshmallows - need I say more?
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Open House: House of Bethesda

Last week, you may have noticed these flyers posted and then taken down, then posted again, then taken down again. I was trying to show them to April, and this was the easiest way.

A few Fridays ago, I received a somewhat frantic call from Jerm's Auntie April saying that they needed "someone creative" to help them with a flyer for their open house. They said that they had tried to make one, but it was "beyond horrific". I asked her to send me the horrific one and I would try to make something for them.

When I opened the horrific flyer, I realized that it was basically a white peice of paper with the information typed in 20pt ariel font, dramatically (sarcastic) centered on the page. It wasn't even worthy of the title "horrific", because being horrific implies that someone tried to be creative, but wound up with a disasterous mess. It was clear that no one tried anything creative on the horrific flyer, unless you consider centered text creative, which I'm sure you don't.

Anyway, here are the two that I came up with using Word. I like the top one better, but I think April liked the bottom one better (she dug the watermark of the house). I'm not sure which one they ended up going with - but if you're in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, feel free to stop by! All are welcome!

Which one do you like better?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Observations from the Field: Worst Jobs Edition

A few weeks ago I brought the kids to Chuck E Cheese. The kids had a great time playing games and collecting tickets. Collecting tickets is a major component of the Chuck E Cheese experience. This is because at the end of the CEC adventure, the children cash their tickets in for "prizes" (aka liter). All the the prizes we have ever gotten from CEC have gone directly from car to trash. Which makes me wonder why picking them out is such an amazingly difficult task. I have spent less time buying a vehicle.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Being Avery

Avery has had some good ones lately, here are two that I want to capture for the record:

AM: I have to write a third grade sentence
Mom: Well, what’s a third grade sentence
AM: It’s an immature adult sentence.

Mom: What do you think about being biracial?
AM: It’s going swellingly well

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

1st Day with New Camera!

Despite my repeated instruction for no anniversary gift this year, Jerms handed me a sweet new camera on Saturday (yes, he's two weeks early). He has never been a good listener in that regard.

On Saturday night I sat up in bed reading through the instruction manual until my eyeballs turned to stone. Then I took a couple pictures of the closest thing to me (the books on my nightstand, which was no fun because the room was pretty dark). Honestly, I couldn't wait to snap some pictures, and the sound of the camera clicking held me over until morning.

Amelle is always a willing subject. Of course it was Sunday morning and her hair was a mess, so I threw my hat and scarf on her and prodded her out onto the back porch. My goal was to take a picture with a blurry background. Yay me! I still have to figure out how to "use" natural lighting. Actually I still have to figure out a lot of things.

Avery is so goofy, he isn't as good of a "subject" as Amelle. He's always trying to make goofy faces, and even his "regular" faces look forced and unnatural.

Amaya is also tricky, if she's not making her "cheese face", she's moving at a speed faster than light, so she's tricky to catch. Here she is with her friend for the day, "Michael" (the dinosaur).

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She's Gonna Blow!

Audra took these really awesome pregnancy shots of Wendy yesterday...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Years Resolution

This morning I finally made my New Years Resolution! My 2008 New Years Resolution is…(drum roll please)….to buy and wear more striped (or otherwise enjoyable) socks.

Yes, I believe that I may be able to accomplish this in the upcoming year.

As I got dressed this morning, I found myself searching through my sock drawer, then the clean clothes pile, then the dirty clothes pile…for my favorite pair of socks. They’re primarily brown, but striped with pink, white, and blue stripes (sounds freakier than they actually are). Oh, for the record, I wasn’t going to wear them out of the dirty clothes bin, I was just going to prioritize my wash loads so that I could have them once they were clean. Anyway – as I searched for my favorite socks, I bypassed several other pairs, some argyles, some flowery ones, but then it dawned on me – all this trouble for my favorite socks, I should just get more socks that I really like.

That’s when the idea became my 2008 New Years Resolution (for the record, I am still within the 2 week window for resolution setting).

When I finally found my socks (after the 2nd pass through the clean clothes pile), I noticed that they were “thinning” as I put them on. This was a reminder that these socks had been worn far more than the two others that I bought at the same time. It was also a reminder of their finite life span.

Later this afternoon, I noticed an odd sensation near the toe of my right foot – a coolness, if you will. I intuitively knew what this sensation was, but I pushed off my croc to confirm. To my chagrin, two of my toes peeked out from a small opening at the tip of my beloved socks. I contemplated sewing it, then I went out for a pedicure.

I know it's not profound, but it is do-able. I’ll let you know how this works out for me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Found: Me

I have a confession. Writing my book has had a profound impact on my life. I don’t think it was actually the process of writing it as much as it was the completing of it. I say this because “the change” didn’t take root until I licked the envelope and sailed it off to a small Maine publishing company (this symbolized completion for me, though there is still much work to be done).

Anyway, back to me. It’s like a part of my soul has been revived or a part of my very being has been rediscovered. I feel like I’ve brushed off “what I’ve become” and am now sorting through “who I am”.

Don’t get all excited, you probably won’t notice the change. Most of what is going on is happening on the inside, though I am thinking of shaving my head. Just kidding.

I don’t know how else to describe it, but there is a ten-year old little girl who lives inside of me who has a perspective to give (yes, apparently she’s opinionated just like I am). When I was in the 6th grade I had an internal voice that narrated my life as though I was telling a story. I vividly remember walking home from school one day and hearing that little voice in my head say, “as she walked through the woods…” – and it would literally go on and on describing my every move. When my moves were lame, that voice would add in some adventure. Sometimes that voice would move me to a quiet place to write a poem. Until recently, I thought this was normal.

Anyway, I have been so utterly preoccupied with the notion that I actually love to write. I think about it all the time, there are so many stories to be told, so many words to be put together! It’s titillating! (is that a dirty word? If so, I don’t mean it to be). I’m going to leave it there because if it’s dirty – it’s going to give someone a laugh that I used it). I actually just laughed, which has made this whole thing worth it.

Sidetracked again. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know what was going on in my world. I have been reading through some of my childhood favorites and am about to read some new children’s literature. It’s kind of funny to be amongst adults and admit that you’re reading “Blubber”, by Judy Blume. ….Not that impressive amongst the intellectual types – but WHO CARES!

I just read “Mandy” by Julia Andrews Edwards and it was so wonderful! I remember carrying that book around like it was my lifesource when I was a kid…and it was probably more enjoyable this time around! (as a side note, I have noticed that children’s literature can contain naughty words: “Damnit” was found in “Mandy”, and so far in “Blubber”, I have run across “Damn” and “Bitch” – yeah – can you believe it – and she wasn’t talking about a female dog!) As a side, side-note, I got Blubber off of the shelf designated for 7-12 year olds at Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

'Tis the season...

Here is a great tool to help you select a presidential candidate who you are most compatible with:

I ended up with Fred Thompson, I don't even know who he is...I have to do some research! Jerms ended up with Huckabee - I think he was disappointed that he didn't get Obama - unfortunately "Black" wasn't one of the choices...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Prose from the Dead

Here’s a little number I stumbled across this morning (thank you Chuck Swindoll). This poem was written in 1875 by William Earnest Henley, and is entitled Invictus. Henley was crippled, and this poem was written from a hospital bed:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Odd poem for me to blog, huh? But it speaks to me because I know that feeling. I remember thinking that I was the captain of not only my soul, but the entire universe.

Here’s one that was written by a Dorethea Day, called Conquered that speaks to how I feel today:

Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be,
For Christ - the Conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under the rule which men call chance,
My head, with joy, is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears,
That Life with Him and His the Aid,
That, spite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and will keep me unafraid.

I have no fear though straight the gate:
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate!
Christ is the Captain of my soul!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

For the record, water & oil truly don't mix

What do you get when you leave a toddler unsupervised for 20 minutes with Vaseline?
The result is not good. These clothes were thrown away. My duvet is permanently stained, my nightstand table is permanently shined, and my new down comforter....(I bite my finger here... I can't go on...too painful).
It must be something about the Moore kids and non-water-soluable products. We have a photo someplace of toddler Avery smeared with Eucerin Cream (he at least had the sense to take all his clothes off) - he smeared his body and the wall (Nancy - weren't you & Seth around for that one?); Amelle smeared with sparkles (what else would you expect?), and now Amaya with Vaseline.
(For historical documentation purposes, this event actually occurred on December 26th, I'm just behind on blogging!)
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

This one didn't get unwrapped...

After a day filled with unwrapping gifts, Amaya thought "just maybe...". She lifted Auntie Wendy's shirt to see if maybe she was hiding a toy under there, but soon found out that the gift she is hiding won't be ready until February!
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Enough Already

Seriously. When I say that we’ve had more snow storms this year than I can count, I am dead serious. Okay, well…it’s not that I can’t count to 12 (or whatever the number is), it’s that I can’t remember the number – let’s just say it’s been several snowfalls. In fact, the snow storms seem to come in pairs, like twins, only colder. CNN tells me that NH broke a record for most snow dropped in December – 44.5 inches (since 1876), and Portland hit 37.7 inches – our zip code is probably somewhere in between those two figures. Of course, my brother can probably tell you exactly what’s in his yard at any given moment, as he is an avid weather-watcher and snow aficionado.

Seriously though, that’s almost four feet. It’s outrageous! Granted, it’s beautiful and fun for the children to frolic in, but it’s starting to interfere with my life. You can’t make plans because you never know when school is going to be cancelled or when the weather is going to cause your commute home to take 5 hours (poor Dirt).

I have to laugh when I think back a year - being on the beach last January, laughing at “mother nature” for her clement days – wishing, wanting, hoping, and indeed praying for snow. All that talk of global warming – where is that talk now? Al Gore, come to Maine and show me the hole in the ozone that is going to fry me like a French Fry!