Monday, April 30, 2012

Malaise Killers

Here was my entirely too moody, sad-sack, White Whine Facebook post from last Tuesday afternoon:

"I think I've diagnosed myself with "adult malaise." Causes include mortgage payments, too few vacation days, too many spreadsheets, not enough tropical drinks with umbrellas and the realization that I'm closer to 40 than 30. Side effects include whining, excessive overuse of the word "blah" and repetitive listening to both Kings of Sad Bastard Music: Mr. Morrissey and Mr. Oberst."

So I undertook some serious research to find a potential cure for my own adult malaise illness and came up with a varied list of potential treatments. This is just in the hypothesis and active research phase, so consult your doctor before attempting these remedies. They may or may not be effective for your condition, particularly if you're lactose intolerant. Used singularly or in combination, they have proven effective for me to date, with little relapse:

  • Eating pizza and cheese bread sitting on the floor with the box open in front of me and no plate and no calorie counting.
  • Sitting on the deck while drinking a huge iced coffee until the mosquitoes came out and started feasting on my sweet fleshy arms.
  • Reading amusingly witty YA fiction and feeling 16 again, albeit it briefly.
  • Planning two vacations, one long weekend to Chicago in the summer and one full week on the coast of Maine in the fall.
  • Dreaming of cottages on the ocean, lobster boats, long walks and maybe even some kayaking, and certainly plenty of reading, cooking and lounging.
  • No chores.
  • No phone calls with energy demons, otherwise known as anyone "high maintenance" or anyone who talks 95% more than they listen.
  • No adult decisions beyond which cottage do we want and can we handle a double bed versus a queen for a week.
  • Then the viewing of the movie Young Adult, which reinforced all the reasons that I am a mature adult 95% of the time. All the reasons. (And it was an awful, awful movie, so avoid it at all costs. I hated most of it and I'm not sure why we finished it, if maybe only to see Charlize Theron's character receive her long overdue comeuppance, which she never did. Bummer.)

What works for you? Bourbon? St. John's Wort? Some guy named John whose last name you never found out? Videos of corgi puppies climbing down stairs?




Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the Land of 9 Foot Tall Women

Can I just say, Tom Corbin is charming. Tom Corbin is attractive in that rugged way of men who work with their hands everyday, a casual, comfortable physicality. And most of all Tom Corbin is talented. But why am I talking about some guy named Tom Corbin? Well, Tom Corbin is the Kansas City based bronze sculptor and painter that Joe and I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend. What are we doing hobnobbing with bronze sculptors on some random Saturday afternoon? See that's the best part, we were just out supporting one of our favorite nonprofits, and not having to go to some boring dinner to do it.

Above standard size

Corbin Bronzes

Actually one of the perks of my job, working with twenty to thirty different nonprofits in Kansas City, is the wide range of events and fundraisers that our staff gets invited to. It's a delightful treat, sometimes we go, sometimes we don't, and then sometimes we attend and then work these events ourselves and get to help our clients in a really hands on kind of way, which is great. And this event is actually both.

One of my favorite clients, and one of my favorite annual events just happens to be Gift of Life's Go See Do KC event. Gift of Life's mission is to build awareness around the critical need for organ and tissue donation and provide assistance to transplant patients, their families and living donors. They do an excellent job at this. (I've signed my organ donor card/driver's license, have you? Come on, get signing! What are you going to do with those parts anyway?)

Girl in the circle

Gift of Life throws one of the most unusual and fun events that I've ever had the pleasure of working or attending around these parts. Galas and dinners and silent auctions are nice and all, but they seem to blur together in a haze of open bars, tepid wine and dry chicken breast. Gift of Life takes fundraising events somewhere else entirely. All over the city, in fact. They have the party and the food and the auction at the end of the day, but before that, you get to choose a tour of some fabulous place or business or site in Kansas City. Tours of Boulevard Brewery, behind the scenes curator directed tours of art museums, private concerts, wine tastings, Christopher Elbow artisanal chocolate tours, even tours of the brand new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.


Gift of Life's Go See Do KC event is just that, a private insider's guide to some of the hidden and not so hidden gems of Kansas City. It's affordable, it's fun and it's your ticket to see inside the world of art, food, wine, and other delights. I've volunteered to work at the big party after the tours for the last five years. I've toured private homes with world class art collections. I've taken cooking classes. I've gotten all the secret dish on local museums, and this year, Joe and I had the pleasure of touring the Corbin Bronze Studio, Tom Corbin's gallery and studio space, located inside a two story old fire station in Kansas City, Kansas. And it was one of the best tours of the last five years.


Mr. Corbin gave all of us the run of the place for an hour. The first half hour we wandered around his small outdoor sculpture garden, looking at bald bronze men in inter-tubes and swim trucks, five foot tall bronze poodles and other beautiful pieces scattered around the grounds, and we wandered around the second story of this historic old building, a former firehouse, complete with working firemen's pole, you know for those quick dramatic exits.

Wax molds

Mr. Corbin's work is scattered through room after white painted room. Paintings and bronze sculptures share the space. Lots of beautiful works portraying his wife and daughter, the poodles, and the lanky, curvaceous female figures that he has become known for. After taking in all of the work, Mr. Corbin gave us a short presentation and talked about how he got into bronze art in the first place. He spoke about his first years in sculpting, starting his business, the first big successes he had with designing and selling high end accessories like tables and other furniture pieces. His clientele includes such luminaries as Nicole Kidman and Jack Nicholson. But even we could afford one of his pieces. (ok, one of his mini sculptures, ok, maybe one of his books, but still, that's real art right there.)

Work in progress

Beyond his prodigious talent, he just seemed like a very down-to-earth and modest person. We stood in his studio and had the chance to see the lost wax bronze casting process in it's early stages. He was working on a commission of this large, nearly 9 foot tall female sculpture. Her clay covered frame dominated the room. She looked like she could have been breathing, standing right there, looming over us with her strong, but somehow delicate stature.  Mr. Corbin let us take photos, he walked us through the process, and showed us the behind the scenes little details, like the six crockpots, lined up and filled with clay, the Dixie cups he cuts down to use to split the sculptures in two before they are sent off to be cast in bronze, or the wall of small portraits that he painted over several years.
Such a fascinating peek inside the world of an artist and not something you get to see everyday. Selfishly it was an just excellent afternoon, with the side benefit that it actually helped to support an important cause at the same time. I appreciate so much that Mr. Corbin shared his time and his space, and allowed us to linger, ask questions, invade his privacy, and admire his work. I might have to start saving up for my own mini Corbin sculpture.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinterest, I Wish I Could Quit You

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Remember that douchey high school boy/girlfriend that you constantly fought with at lunch only to frantically make out with him/her right after school? Yeah, Pinterest is that guy. I can't get enough. I can't stand him, and yet I find myself drawn back in. But instead of the draw of chapped lips and the exciting chance of getting felt up, Pinterest draws me in with the possibilities. The constant flow of gorgeous photos, and amazing extravagant meals, shoes I can't afford and would never actually wear, mason jars filled peonies grown in my own raised garden bed built with recycled railroad ties, handcrafted sugar cookies iced and cut to look like Star Wars characters or The Royal Tennebaum siblings, wedding centerpieces wrapped with twinkly lights, kid friendly crafts made out of old t-shirts or buckets of yarn, and architecturally ridiculous libraries and on and on and on. I get sucked into the options, the ideas, the illusion.

I use it in bursts. Hours spent pinning all of these ideas. These future plans. These perfectly decorated rooms filled with light and art and books. These elaborate recipes that I will serve at dinner parties worthy of Truman Capote or Martha Stewart with strange black and white only themes. Things I will likely never bake or eat or paint or whip up or invite you to. And then I shut myself off. I take a deep breath. I pull myself away. I stop myself and I ignore Pinterest for weeks at a time. I go on with my life. I date other websites. But, but, but....then it calls me back, somehow it draws me in again. I need a new recipe. Or a gift idea for a friend, or I feel like losing three hours of my evening to wishes and dreams.

Except occasionally, let me say this again, occasionally, I actually make a few things I've pinned on the arguably irritating and alluring Pinterest. Oh, these pinned items are all the reasonable and completely do-able ideas. Those things that take at most 3 hours and supplies can be procured at the grocery store or Lowe's. They tend to be less exciting to pin. But they are more likely to actually happen. I actually do them. So here is a brief collection of things I've actually made, when madly in love with Pinterest, and not ignoring it because it talked to another girl. (I may have taken this douchey boy/girlfriend metaphor too far.)

Bacon sage chicken

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders - Sage, bacon, chicken, that's it. Ok, salt and pepper, but that's all. Served along with roasted Brussel sprouts (cooked with a little of the bacon fat) this was delicious and juicy and super easy to whip up on a week night.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Lemon Garlic Spaghetti - Another tasty weeknight meal, which of course Pinterest brought to me just when I was craving pasta. I tweaked it a bit. I roasted the pine nuts because roasted nuts always taste better. I added white wine to the sauce because I had some and I add shrimp, because much like bacon, shrimp is always invited to the party. I want to eat this right now. It was even better the next day all cold from the fridge for lunch. (See what I mean? All of these things are easy.)

Fish Tacos with Tangy Slaw
Fish Tacos - We had a couple of ripe avocados and some random Tilapia fillets that had been hanging out in the freezer for almost too long. Pinterest to the rescue. The tangy cabbage slaw, scallions, lime, and cilantro made these light and delicious and tasty on a very random 85 degree day in April. They tasted like summer. They reminded me of the fish tacos we had when we visited friends in San Diego a few years ago. Again, week night easy. And paired with a Dark and Stormy, I could almost trick myself into thinking it was Friday instead of a Tuesday.


Baby Signage - My adorable niece was baptized a couple of months ago. But what kind of baptism gift do you get for the baby who has everything? I perused my sister in law's Pinterest boards, like some crafty stalker, and settled on this adorable photo name sign. Spray paint, a piece of wood from Lowe's, some picture frames, and little photo letter editing from the husband, and we got this sweet little present. (I cannot find the link to this craft, but I think you can figure out how to make it without my help. Lowe's was really nice by the way, they gave me a piece of scrap board, gave it two cuts and only charged me a quarter. Thanks, Lowe's!)

Pinterest Inspired Perpetual Daily Diary

Perpetual Calendar/Journal - I cannot maintain a real journal. I only feel compelled to write in my journal when troubled or cranky or working through a problem, leaving my journal entries to only reflect the turmoil and struggles of my life. So this perpetual calendar idea was perfect. Capture just a quick glimpse of the day, everyday, for years, and watch your life stack up, all pretty and simple and special, even the small stuff, like tonight's entry "worked late, grilled salmon for dinner, week 4 of Couch to 5K and blogging, not a bad Thursday." I love this thing, and an actual use for all the vintage postcards I have.

Pinterest Scallions

SCALLIONS FOREVER! I will never buy scallions again. Ok, I probably will, but how cool is it that you can regrow green onions as long as you keep the white rooty looking part and leave it in water with plenty of sun? Pinterest, you won me back again with scallions. Not flowers, not candy, not a romantic date, scallions.

So have you been won over by the charms of pinning yet or are you resisting the urge? Are you making out in the back seat with Pinterest at least once a week like me or is it everyday, you harlot?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Omaha, Somewhere in Middle America


I write about visiting Omaha all the time. It feels like my second hometown and it is Joe's original hometown. It seems like we are there every six to eight weeks. But somehow time vanished, and we realized we hadn't been up in 2012 at all. So we remedied that a couple of weeks ago.


We missed our friends and family there. It had been too long. So we came up for two days of meals spent with people who make us laugh. People who draw on walls. People who loved having their first ride in a convertible. People who still find bathroom humor fresh and funny. People we love to spend time with.




Looking at these gorgeous photos that Joe took that weekend got me all sentimental and sappy. I promise I've kept the Nicholas Sparks style treacle to a minimum. And there isn't a whole blog post here that I haven't written before, nothing amazing or unique or dramatic happened on our visit. This post, it turns out, which was supposed to be about Omaha, is really just about friends. It's about how those little easy dinners and lunches and evenings spent with friends can zip by. We talk and play outside with the kids and catch up. And then the time has passed. The evening or the meal is over and we add that to our memory of times spent with the people we like, the people who get us, and make us laugh. And while those individual evenings and lunches and hours spent together eventually blur into each other over the years, they build up and create something more lasting. They create and sustain our friendships.  



Since this blog is essentially a digital scrapbook of moments and thoughts and times I don't want to forget, I wanted to share these photos that Joe took of our friends that weekend. I wanted to say how important my friendships are, in all their varied sizes and shapes and lengths and intimacy levels. People say that family is what's most important, that blood is the binding factor in our lives, and this is mostly true. But the people you choose to have in your life are equally as important. Those people, to me, are a different kind of family. I verge into Sparks territory here, but it's the truth.

I often take for granted the tribe of friends that Joe and I have strung together across the world. Not everyone has that blessing.  From those friends whose kitchen tables we sit at almost weekly over pizza and too much wine, to those friends we haven't even met in person yet, there is something of significant value in these relationships. Something different with each one, but something that makes me a smarter, funnier, more compassionate person with each one. So I wanted to tell you, thank you, friend, for being in my life. Thank you for being exactly who you are, because I need you.  

So I leave you to look at cute pictures of cute kids doing cute stuff. They are our friends too. And they have the best fart jokes. They have the most delightful giggles. They do a pretty darn good job at Draw Something. And they can even correct us on our pronunciation of "edamame."






isa and edamame

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lost and Found: Less Scary Than You'd Think

Blogher's Book Club is back, and I've joined in the fun once again. Except this one was less fun and more of a challenge, scary even. This time around I had the chance to read Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life by Geneen Roth. Geneen Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah touted Women Food and God, but her new book chronicles the lessons learned when she and her husband lost more than $1 million to Bernie Madoff's enormous Ponzi scheme. ( As usual, I was compensated for this review, but the opinions expressed here are all mine. And I'm just putting that money in my very safe savings account.)

I was scared to read this book. That's a silly thing to say about a short little memoir self-help book. But that's the truth. Part of the reason I wanted to read it was for exactly that reason, because I was scared. Scared of the feelings, thoughts, and questions it would bring to the surface regarding my beliefs and relationship with money. And scared of my judgments and biases about self help books in general. I read the first few pages of the book and struggled to silence this whiny, judgmental voice in my head that kept demeaning the author and questioning her motives and decisions, even before I got very far into her story. "What idiot would give Bernie Madoff all their money and not even pay off their mortgage first? "She's just writing this book to make back her money." "Why is some depressed rich lady's story of any consequence to me?" All of these unfair assumptions and judgments clouded my opinion. But I acknowledged my biases, my defense mechanisms that seemed to think that ridiculing this scary book and devaluing it's message would somehow insulate me from having to think too much about this uncomfortable money topic. So I ignored the voices and keep reading.

And it worked. The defensive voice slowly disappeared. I acknowledged my own blunt jealousy, (I don't even have $1 million to lose,) and realized that if I did have that much money, I have no idea if I would have invested with Madoff. Lots of smart people did. Lots of them.  And then she got me. Roth won me over with this simple line:

 "In this moment, sufficiency could not be denied."  

After losing all of her savings, fearing losing her home, fearing having to move in with friends, fearing the loss of all of her possessions, Roth made an astonishingly simple realization. In this moment, she had enough. She was ok, she was sufficient. She had always felt the striving for more, better, perfect, the striving that so many of us feel in this culture. And she realized: 

"In this moment, when I began paying attention to what I did have instead of what I didn't, there was a constant unavoidable display of gorgeousness everywhere, anywhere."

And she had me. I suddenly felt brave and powerful and unafraid to examine my own beliefs. Unafraid to figure out how to change them. While I didn't relate to everything that Roth talks about, I'm not a compulsive shopper and we are more conservative with how we invest and spend our money, once I set aside my judgments of Roth, I found so many perfect little ideas, phrases, and quotes that moved me. These made me think differently about myself, my money and my choices. So what I thought was going to be a preachy, silly book that would make me feel guilty, and then boss me around about my money, turned into something completely different. It's an honest, often painfully honest, look into one woman's relationship with money, food and fear. And I learned there is a lot to admire about Geneen Roth, who has deep reserves of strength and a cunning self awareness. And frankly I learned more about myself than I expected to from this slight self help book.  I could quote many powerful lines from this book, but I'll share these two that have resonated with me the most:

"We're all muddling around doing our imperfect best, trying to hide or improve or figure out ways to be safe, special, loved, because the alternative - exposing the dark side of our feelings, our beliefs, our impulses - feels like throwing ourselves out of a plane without a parachute."

"...the very beliefs on which you construct your life are totally, 100 percent of the time, in your head and have nothing to do with reality. If I could believe that we didn't have enough when we did and then lose it and believe that we did have enough- what or where is enough?"

Consider reading this book yourself, and give your own money relationship a serious look, if you haven't already. I think it's worth it to push through the guilt and judgment and fear, uncomfortable emotions so often tied to our beliefs about money, and look at it in a new way. Try it. I'm still processing my thoughts a week after finishing the book. See if you can do it without being a little scared, I dare you! And come over and share your comments at Blogher, there are some fascinating and awkward money conversations going on over here!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Vittles, Two Ways

Help, help, eggs are taking over our refrigerator! They've multiplied like horny bunnies. What to do when you accidentally end up with roughly four dozen eggs in your fridge? First, you might ask, how did we end up with four dozen eggs? No, we aren't planning to egg our neighbors or pull pranks on our enemies (we don't really have any enemies, though if Rick Santorum lived within a 50 mile radius egging his colonial manor would be rather tempting) and no, we didn't have an entire kindergarten class over to dye eggs in our kitchen.

Joe's very generous co-worker Shelly, whom we buy fresh eggs from every couple of weeks, gave us two dozen eggs for free, after we'd already bought a dozen. You can't turn down free farm fresh eggs. Well, you can, but I would mock you for it. Because that's just foolish, what, are you allergic? Anyway, we've had these delicious little protein filled delights sitting in our fridge for a week or two now. They need to be used. And what day does it happen to be today?

Curried Egg Salad

It's Easter! All things aligned and our excess eggs have a purpose. To help us celebrate the holiday with a light and easy Easter dinner for two, after the full on family brunch, we need light and easy. Or what would have been light and easy, until I decided that since we had so many eggs, we might as well make two different egg salad recipes and have some leftovers. So we made two batches.  One a more traditional egg salad that Joe whipped up, adding a little Siracha, because why not? It's Siracha. And then, I whipped up a curried egg salad recipe from Serious Eats.

Traditional plus Siracha Egg Salad
I don't quite know which one I liked better. Joe hates egg white so his recipe chopped the eggs into almost a paste, and then with some mayo, pickle relish, a little chopped onion, Siracha, and garlic powder, his egg salad tasted like how my grandma made egg salad, plus a little kick. Kind of sweet, creamy and perfect between two slices of whole grain toast.

My recipe was tangy and crunchy and slightly spicy, with chopped apple, mustard, curry powder, lime juice, onion and lots of cilantro. Oh, it was good, with slightly chunkier pieces of egg, less creamy and more savory, with a very strong curry flavor, which I love. Dinner was perfect.

We each sampled the two egg salads, plus some cottage cheese and a few leftover roasted sweet potatoes, it was yummy and perfect as we sat on the couch, with a cool spring breeze blowing through the open windows and a documentary about the Titanic on the television. It was a great way to end the weekend. Except for the fact that my house now smells like a deviled egg factory. But you'll get used to it, and we'll probably sleep with the windows open tonight. So Happy Easter, hope you had a wonderful day full of family, friends and a tasty nosh or two.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fairy Godmother

I'm probably not the first person you think of when you think "religiously pious" or "devout Christian." More like "book nerd" or "sarcastic blabber mouth." And with good reason. I was raised Methodist, baptized and confirmed at the same church, which is still just a couple of miles from my home now, but I don't go to church regularly. I don't have a strong religious connection or a church home. I don't have a desire to go to church often. I haven't set foot in that church of my childhood since I was fourteen. But I'm a Christian by any basic definition of the word. We attend at Christmas. Nothing is more beautiful than the candlelit Silent Night at the end. I still sing along loudly to most of the hymns, always slightly off key, and the Lord's Prayer is permanently burned into my brain. I even won a bookmark in 6th grade Sunday School for being able to recite all the books of the Bible in proper order. Impressive, yes? But in general, I'm more of a spiritual person. I have beliefs, but the only appeal of church is the sense of community, peace and the music. I'd still rather sleep in on Sundays. Maybe when we have a kid we'll attend more often.


But I'm a good person. Oh, maybe gossipy, and I procrastinate now and then. I can be bossy and judgmental. I've cursed a couple times today.  But on all the biggies: the adultery, the murdering, the respecting one's elders, I've not even dabbled. I'm good and generally quite well behaved, in fact a fairly decent role model it turns out. So I was really honored when my sister and brother-in-law Katy and Jim asked me to be my niece Tierney's godparent. I wouldn't call Jim and Katy particularly religious either. But they want to raise their children with a strong sense of right and wrong, a community for support and a sense of belonging in this world. They are great parents and they attend a lovely Catholic church in Madison, WI. And so Joe and I headed up to Madison last month to attend Tierney's baptism.



A huge contingent of family: Joe's parents, grandparents, Aunt Suzy and her boyfriend Steve, Joe and I and Joe's youngest brother Jon, all descended upon Madison to celebrate Tierney, hang out with Jim and Katy, Tierney's big brothers Connor and Jack, and generally fill up the days with family and chaos as we tend to do when we take over Jim and Katy's lives for the weekend!


Connor is currently obsessed with bungee cords and as we walked into Jim and Katy's house on Friday night, we found Aunt Suzy and her boyfriend, the very patient and kid friendly Steve, sitting very very closely together on the they weren't making out, Connor had bungeed them together. Joe and I received this same treatment when Connor woke us up the next morning and attempted to bungee us to the bed. It was adorable. And not particularly well executed. So Jim gave him some lessons. He's improving. And that is a little scary.


Here's Miss Tierney, the sweetest, smiley little charmer with those chubby baby wrists and shining blue eyes. She's a delight and starting to crawl. She's almost eight months old and somehow just gets more adorable every time we see her. That has to stop eventually, right? There's a cute limit isn't there?


We spent the weekend either running around playing with the kids or eating. It was perfect. Though Joe and I did sneak away for a quick lunch with some great internet friends, the lovely Amy and her husband John. Amy and I have connected through shared friends on Facebook, our mutual book nerdery and blogging, so it was wonderful to actually meet her and Jon in person. We had a delicious lunch at Graze in downtown Madison and wished we'd had more time to hang out. Again, the magic of the internet for bringing people together. But we had to get back to the clan!




Sunday was the baptism at Jim and Katy's church, officiated by Father Mike, who also officiated at Jim and Katy's wedding, and baptized Jack and Connor. Father Mike is so down to earth, friendly and so able to communicate clearly the meaning of the scripture in modern language, and helped clarify the message of the baptism readings. He is a wonderful part of Jim and Katy's family's life and almost makes me wish I was Catholic.


Joe's family, his grandmother's side, has baptized their babies in this delicate embroidered christening gown for almost 80 years, countless babies over several generations. Tierney looked beautiful and it's such a warm and important family tradition, sweet babies wrapped in this nearly paper thin confection that hardly shows any wear and tear even over all of these years. Tierney also wore a small pearl necklace from Katy's family that five of us tried to un-knot right before the service. Katy got it, I think. It will be a wonderful keepsake for Tierney, but she better keep her mom around to keep it un-knotted.


Uncle Chris, Katy's older brother was Tierney's other godparent, and made the best criss-cross sound effects when his turn came to place a cross on Tierney's forehead. It was awesome and I laughed in church. It was Chris' fault though.






After the baptism, we all headed back to Jim and Katy's house for the party. Katy's Aunt Bonnie is an amazing cook, and she, along with Katy and her mom Mary Jo, whipped up some delightful treats. Dips, and chicken salad, seafood, and some of the most amazing cake I've ever eaten, filled with fresh berries.




We played with the kids, shared a tasty meal, opened presents, got attacked by vicious towel bears, watched Tierney scoot backwards and almost forwards, and just enjoyed celebrating Tierney and celebrating the fact that we get to be a part of her extended family.
I'm just happy to be a part of the whole thing.



Joe and I watched an episode of the sitcom Up All Night the other day where Maya Rudolph's young Oprah type character thinks she is the godmother to Christina's Applegate's daughter. She shows up at the child's first birthday party, decked out in a super glittery sparkly disco ball of a silver dress, and brings with her a disturbing oil painting portrait of the child in historic royal garb. It's a hideous portrait and an insane move for a godmother, and I promise right now to never commission a creepy portrait of Miss Tierney. Though I already kind of want to buy her a pony. That's much more reasonable than a hideous oil painting, right?

I'm thrilled to be a part of Tierney's life and get to watch her grow up. I hope she feels like she can talk to me about anything, you know when she actually starts talking, ask me questions, share her hopes and fears and that I can be another person in the long list of people guaranteed to love this girl unconditionally. I take this role seriously, no matter how much I may joke. And I promise, no oil portraits. Promise. But I can't promise on the pony.


99% of the photos in this post are courtesy of the nearly perfect Joe Sands, of course.