scenes from the district of columbia.

brunch at founding fathers:

just down the hill from allison’s house, before you enter the free national zoo:

 

hot, hot afternoon in georgetown that consisted of getting our nails done, buying treats to enjoy later, and a little (unsuccessful) shopping:

 

and…because i’m just so cool:

 

i just get silly when i’m surrounded by tourists taking “nice pictures”

fasching.

i recently received new pictures from some very special friends of mine. maren is german and celebrates fasching (or carnival)  with her husband, jonathan and sweet little boy, malte – even here in bloomington! this year they dressed as a fox family for their fasching celebration! malte makes one adorable fox, if i do say so myself!

find a fox mask for your little here!

and a fox mask for yourself here!

building a great 2012.

i do not like resolutions. they are a set up. a conspiracy. they disappoint and ruin self worth. they allow me to make excuses and justify when i could be laughing, creating, enjoying. i decided several years ago to nix the resolution come new years eve. instead i like to inspire myself, challenge, even. this is different from a resolution because i’m not promising anything to myself…i’m not setting a concrete outcome that i can’t or won’t meet. that’s no way to start a new year!! not for this girl anyway.

last year my bff {hi allison!} participated in a lovely tradition with friends: they lit candles inside of  paper lanterns and let them fly into the new year full of whispered wishes, resolutions, goals, dreams, etc. every person has their own idea about what the new year could bring and how they hope to find it. allison shared with me that she whispered “back to basics” into her lantern. she had her own personal ideas about what this meant for her. to me it meant something else altogether. i was forced to slow down (correction: STOP) last year around this time. i had been laid up with back trouble and was looking miserably at another surgery come march. i was absolutely devastated with my current situation. everything i wanted and tried to do hurt me. everything i had planned was dashed. i was left with laying on the couch all day, everyday. this may sound glorious, but it is only glorious when you have been working hard and as a reward you get to spend a lazy day on the couch. anyway, for me back to basics was a way for me to organize my thoughts, feelings, hopes, goals, wants, plans, etc. i focused on “when i’m better”. those days were long and torturous, but i did so much sketching and dreaming too! that time was when opposite of far really came to life! i started this blog and shared my plans. little dolls came to life on my sketch book pages, i opened my etsy shop, applied for a show in june (my first with opposite of far, i was willing myself to be “better” by then), and i started making plans to get more involved in my local art community. for me back to basics was just the mantra i needed to not only get me through the dark days of being stuck inside, but it helped me look forward, reach out and develop what i really wanted! and looking back…i found it! i did it! i am happy, healthy, successful, and fulfilled!

so that brings me to 2012~ what is my mantra this year? allison and i have discussed a few options.

allison came across this one:

hello 2012 calendar by blush face

and i found this one:

believe – wall art by seed and sprout

then i checked my e-mail and allison had written about the book she is currently reading the elegance of the hedgehog. allison wrote:  “…and there was a part where the little girl starts thinking… (in so many words and butchered by me) that its so easy to tear something down. So easy to quickly forget or move past or not see good in something. Or maybe just to crash through life or something. But its much harder to build. But building is where all the beauty is, where all the good things about humanity come from. So the girl decides to make an effort to build.” {now i need to read this book too!}

i love that.

building is where all the beauty is, where all the good things about humanity come from”

so in 2012 i will focus on building. focus on enjoying the building, not the finished product. process over product (that is the mantra of every quality preschool teacher i have ever known…maybe we should all look back to childhood!) i think the believe wall art really fits with this sentiment too, so i will be incorporating both into my new year! what are your resolutions, considerations, mantras, plans, goals, etc for 2012?? please share!

and for some musical inspiration, please enjoy this video!

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my aunt ann shared with me her daily mantra recently. she finds her mantra brings her daily unexpected gifts- she believes “putting it out there, in the universe” and really, truly believing is quite powerful!

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{another great message i saw today on instagram via hulaseventy‘s pic of a gorgeous piece of graffiti: trust your struggle

if you are on instagram check out her pic}

this pic found here…hmm…apparently this phrase is popular among the prison crowd. well, still a good message, no?!

we built this city.

i have been away. i have missed this little piece of online community. where have i been?  i joined my good friend angela and her two littles, lola  and max, to visit the very special allison in washington dc. we had a wonderful and exhausting trip. dc is a place i truly love to visit. it is so….patriotic. i love that everything is free. allison reminded me it’s all free because WE own it! how cool is that?! here are some pics to make you feel like you were there with us, enjoying every {good} moment!

day 1- travel day

flight #1 – from indy to atlanta, flight #2- from atlanta to dc

come on airtran….you really think this is the most efficient way to get people from indiana to dc? really?

lola totally owned indy airport at 5 am!

lola enjoying the view

sunset over atlanta

ang & max at the atlanta airport

metro station at the airport

lola passed out & loaded with luggage at the metro station

day 2- first cab ride + the national aquarium

(the only thing we had to pay admission to see…and the only thing totally not worth paying for!)

rainy day cab ride

washington monument through the rainy cab window

“feeshy, feeeeeshy!!!” (this became lola’s new favorite phrase)

jellyfish

sea anemone

albino alligator being fed mice…i suppose this part was worth the $10 admission

{and kitty…let’s not forget kitty!}

lola really loved kitty…kitty mostly loved lola too

so…kitty used to be mine…then after an unfortunate turn of events i entrusted her to allison & greg and couldn’t bear to separate them once i was back on my feet…i still miss my little kitty a lot but love visiting with her! plus, she’s not a big fan of dogs…so she’s way happier with alli!

day 3- first (awake) metro ride+ smithsonian national museum of natural history + washington monument

the washington dc metro is an amazing thing

ang & max on the metro

(well, some of us were awake!)

giraffe, what are you up to?

how cool is this guy!

whoa! watch out for that….ahhhhh!

cutest little dc tourist-ever!

well…close second maybe!

day 4- georgetown shopping day *fail*

(apparently 2 year old’s aren’t big fans of crowded city shopping…who knew!)

in alli’s eyes

before the shopping we had smiles!

and squirrels!

after “shopping”, a much needed beer

day 5- the national zoo- only a few blocks from allison’s house

alli lives on harvard street. which is funny because she went to harvard.

rock creek park, on the way to the zoo

all of us.

super cool amazon display where lola got her fill of “feeeeshies!!”

me & allison at the zoo

“ready, set…..”

pandas are awesome. that is all.

day 6- yummy french breakfast + eastern market + playground break + lincoln memorial + wwII memorial

yummy cappuccino at le pain quotidien

lola devouring her parisian ham & gruyere cheese omlette

lil bro lovin’

“wowa ‘n tess”

lola found her genius at eastern market

chillin’ at the park

a truly beautiful monument

the man

the girl knows how to strike a pose!

wwII wall

day 7- headed home

chatting with daddy before we catch our flight

busy tarmac

toes

clouds over indy

and home. home sweet home.

i missed this guy

and this little guy

and this gal

and even frankie too

it is good to be home. and mike and i are already planning a trip to dc together!

busy me.

i am in the midst of making, processing, and sending almost 30 mask orders!

i. am. very. busy.

but all this business is making me feel very accomplished and so very happy. but also quite frazzled and a little out of touch. today i was running around like someone had pushed the fast-forward button. then i took a break to play with little lola, and i began to breathe again. i laughed and put my feet in her sandbox, slowly walked through the leaves, read books about babies, sang songs about doggies and soaked up all her sweetness! kids are oh so good for reminding us to slow down and enjoy the little moments. listening to the way she currently says “bottle” (like she’s french) and laughs real, hard belly laughs at silly games we make up just re-fuels me… and it makes me stop and breath it all in right now- because in a few days she will say “bottle” differently and she will laugh at different games. so, for a few hours today i left my crazy busy house, i put the internet away and just played with my little friend.

there will be more of that- taking breaks to play. i need to remember that balance i speak so highly of!