Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Blog Round-Up

Last January I found myself Fighting the Good Fight. February brought my loyal husband's birthday. He had been working hard to get fit and lose weight since that summer and was well on his way to his now svelte and strong figure. March gave way to the 1 year anniversary of HB08. It was an important milestone for me, because I had subconsciously given myself a year to recover.

The Eve of my 30th birthday video was a popular post. I enjoyed making it, even surprised myself by some of the content. I was much more content with my 30th birthday then my 29th. I feel that my birthday was a turning point, now I was ready to take another year to get to a good place again, find myself again.

In May I wrote this post for a friend who started on a similar journey as I had the year before, and it was nice to sit and write about the immediate past, to see it there in black and white.

This year also brought a shift in parenting. My girls are growing up, and with that brought a new approach to parenting, I am still reading up on a variety of parenting texts, trying to learn about raising children, as opposed to babies.

A highlight of our year was my brother coming home.

With my 30th birthday came the opportunity to try on my new age

This year had its share of financial challenges, and so I had to be really creative this summer with FREE adventures around the city. We ended up having an Awesome Summer, even though I had to take them to the pool.

Besides the kids starting school this fall, a highlight for me was when I Ran 5 miles 6 weeks before I broke my foot. I miss running. I started running little by little this past summer, right after I gave up coke, and I noticed it helped me to fight the demons a lot, and stay happier longer.

My hope is to start running again this next summer, I fear it will take about that long to trust the old 5th metatarsal again.

I was really proud of all the scarves knitted and gathered for Lovescarf project this year. I felt particularly supported by the community of women that I am a part of here in NYC. I also got the chance to deliver the scarves knitted in Chicagoland, and that was a great experience.

Please forgive the stream-of-consciousness nature of this post. I gathered my favorite posts from the past year to put in one final 2009 post. Thanks for reading, showing interest, commenting. I have always enjoyed writing, and of course an audience.

I have experienced some of my most difficult struggles in 2008 and worked really hard to heal and reset in 2009. Although I value the live-and-in-color human beings near and far that are supporting, loving and praying for me, the blog has also become a place of respite for me when things are not looking up. I appreciate you readers. Thank you for gracing my small bit of cyber space and riding along with me. May you have a blessed and peaceful 2010.

December Loves

Pretending to be a snail and then changing to a bird, making a nest and laying eggs in it....
Insisting I turn down the radio so that you could sing Jingle Bells with your own lyrics: "Seven, seven, seven, seven, seven, seven....."
When Princess & the Frog started, exclaiming: "oh mom! What about my glasses?" been to too many 3-D movies lately
Counting to one hundred in the car, and everybody joining in.
Mom, church is boring.
Mom, I don't love God.
I looked at her.
Mom, do you want to know why I don't love God?
I paused. Then I said: why?
Because, God has a mustache AND a beard.
Wrapping your head around your best friend moving to Africa of all places. Seeing a piece of your heart that I haven't seen before.

Being so excited to spend your money on ....books!
Wanting to play games all day on Saturday, in lieu of Saturday morning cartoons.
Laughing out loud while reading Geronimo Stilton books
Asking you to stir the ground beef and giving you a tip on how to do it, your reply: "Mom, I am like a professional at this, I've done it twice already."
You-singing The Beatles Rock Band. The dancing, moving the mic from left to right hand BEHIND your back, and jumping during the breaks!
Waking up at 4:30 AM on Christmas morning. You crazy girl
Answering this question: Who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe? My, that was a surprise!

Reporting on all the Christmas miracles
Fully committing to our dance video
Asking Phoebe how Star of the Week was going and Lolly answering: good.
Trying to find the RIGHT white paint.
Wiping off everybody's windshield in the parking lot during the snow storm.
Running 5 miles on Christmas morning.
Planning our new family room together...that was fun.
Going to see The Blind Side, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes in 1 week.
You crying during Blind Side, more than me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lessons Learned.

I am hoping that I learned much more then just this, but here's a list of a few lessons that I learned in 30th year on the planet.


How to distort an object in photoshop.

Meat, onion soup mix, and a crockpot are a good combination.

Pomegranates are hard to seed.

Stages of Grief.

Increase and decrease while knitting.

Sticking a dryer-sheet in your pocket helps keep your hair from going all crazy staticky wonky.

Lottie is a nickname for Charlotte (thank you Princess & the Frog).

You can play the violin in 5 different positions.

The existence of matte nail polish.

The superior nature of ACETONE remover to NON ACETONE remover.

You can break your foot walking.

I can run 5 miles straight.

Stages of Healing.

My first impression is often "intimidating."

How to make the best turkey gravy.

Magic of Oxyclean. I knew about it, but didn't test it until this year.

Running bleach through the washer does help with the mildew/mold build-up.

I like sci-fi.

Prayer, scripture-study and exercise: My URGENT IMPORTANTS.

Cream Soda is a good substitute for COCA-COLA. Okay, I know it's still sugar, but at least it's not caffeine, I'm weaning slowly.

I can survive NOT visiting Anthropologie for months at a time.

One can receive semi-permanent/permanent nerve damage from a filling procedure.

Learned to knit a self-designed Boot Cozy.

Therapy should not wait.

I should not speak unless with my professionally trained voice.

Perfect red lipstick: nars, red lizard.

My iphone is essential, like oxygen.

New friends are hard to make, but worth the time invested.

I feel my empathy and intention has improved this year...not sure if that counts as a lesson, but I've improved maybe a centimeter.

I look best in short hair and shades of blue clothing.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My aunt made us Santa-balls every year for Christmas when we were growing up, and my bro and sis STILL get them. I made something similar for Phoebe's birthday this past spring.

I took a few photos whilst they opened theirs this year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Coco Christmas

My sister Coco was the recipient of a few of my favorite gifts this year. I read a recent blog post of hers and was inspired to commission this necklace for her. I also saw an Edward action figure at Babies R Us of all places and knew she had to have it.

And Coco gave me my fave Bath and Body Works aromatherapy and some awesome temporary tatts, that I was unable to remove completely before singing in church on Sunday. Whoops.

The girls made homemade photo frames for Coco and others, and we vampirized ourselves in honor of Twilight.

Of course there were a ton of great gifts this year, to mention a few: blurb books, anthro swag, gift cards (loaded kindle and iphone!), and lots of good times, memories and food.

Etsy note:

My girls loved these robes and these purses and these upcycled drawing boooks from etsy, I mean, handmade by Santa's Elves.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I freaked out my dog Chloe this past summer by trying to take her portrait.

Naturally, since Mom bought her a pink Santa suit for the holidays, it was time for another portrait session. I got her in place in front of the tree and my mom held her there until I was ready, then quickly let go. I got myself in position, laying down on the floor on my belly, so that I could get a good angle.

I got one shot and then she ran on my back and settled in for a nap.

I tried again later and she kept running into my lap like a scared baby. Yes, I'm dissappointed that my dog doesn't love the camera like others of my loved ones, but I didn't try to train her as a model until much later in life, so I guess I can't blame her.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Report

I am watching the pilot of Charlie's Angels (I got the entire season 1 on DVD from Santa) while I upload pix and properly picnik them. The rest of the Posse is standing in front of me playing Rock Band-Beatles. Lolly just rocked out Here Comes the Sun, having never heard it before. 59%! I was pretty impressed. Phoebz is rocking Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It's cracking me up that my kids know Beatles tunes better than me.

I just realized that the decade is ending. Not sure where I've been. And so to honor the Christmases since we were officially a family, I put together my fave shots since 2002. Only 364 more days 'til we do it again.

Christmas Passed

The random photo picker has picked these gems to share on Christmas day. Today!

I am not sure which is correct: past or passed. But I liked PASSED for this post...kind of feels like it literally JUST passed me by. And I will feel that way tonight too, when it is all over.

From L to R:

1. We took a cruise on Dec. 14th, 2003. Saddam Hussein had been captured that day and it was snowing. A lot. We boarded a cruise ship for our first and maybe our last cruise ever. The best stop of the whole cruise was Disney World. Here we are in front of the giant tree. We tried to make the best of the rest of the cruise.

2 & 3. These pix were taken at the same Christmas Eve in 2004. 3 generations of Andersons and 4 generations of Forsgrens. My Grandpa BJ has since passed away. We miss him. Brother Sam is the only grandson (of 7) to carry on BJ's name. Big shoes to fill son.

4. On her second Christmas, little Phoebz concentrates on all her stocking stuffers. I love her nightgown, reminiscent of the LANZ nightgowns my mom used to dress my sister and I in every Christmas eve when we were little. In fact, I think this is a Lanz nightgown on her too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 12

One of my favorite songs to perform during the holidays is O Holy Night. I particularly enjoy the 2nd verse. The lyrics vary depending on which recording you listen to, but below are my preferred lyrics:

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, with glowing hearts, by his cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, here came the wisemen from orient land.
The king of kings lay thus in lowly manger, in all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness, no stranger.
Behold, your king, before the lowly bend.

Behold your king, your king. Before Him, bend.

Please enjoy the 2nd verse, sung by me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So glad I popped the snow pants in the bag. Uncle Sam was a good sport.

What we're up to...

Friends, pay attention, there is a dog who loves me. She even gave up her fur for me a decade ago, when she heard I was allergic.

Day 11

I was looking through some photos and came across this photo of me on my first Christmas. I can't think of a Christmas that I did not enjoy to the fullest! #30 is right around the corner. Does it EVER get old?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 10

It wouldn't be Christmas at my house without the Motab playing. Try the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Holiday Station on Pandora.


Where exactly did these babies go?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 9

New on the ipod this season. Jo Stafford.

I'm in LOVE with the album cover, and I love her arrangments. There are a few songs that are new to me too, like By the Fireside.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 8

Jib Jab's Elf Snowball fight never gets old, and our friend Whitney helps us with Girls vs. Boy. Sorry Honey.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Live from New York...

It's Saturday Night.

I have been so busy trying to get it all together before we leave for our Christmas brouhaha that I haven't done a lot of live, up-to-date posting, instead letting 12-days-of-Posse-Christmas rule.

Even though I should be heading to bed at this very second, I would like to take a moment to do a little reporting.

Item 1: Cheery Disposition
I have been pretty cheery today. The girls and I made several homemade gifts while Jason put together our latest addition to the family-room remodel of 2009. We had a few parking miracles as we had to get some last-minute items for the food tonight and the projects.

Item 2: Rosy Cheeks
It started snowing today. A lot. The girls found themselves out playing in it and brought back cold hands and very pink cheeks. We rarely get snow like this in NYC before Christmas, so it was fun!

Item 3: Play Games, all sorts
We had our church party tonight. We danced, made gingerbread houses, ornaments and sat on Santa's lap. We also wore our ugly Christmas sweaters (and won best-dressed family award), which the girls insist are not ugly but, their FAVORITE!

Item 4: You must be kind
We had a lot of reminders about being kind today, as we are all feeling a bit cooped up, and ready to be on with our vacation already.

I have more than 2.5 days of STUFF to do and not enough time to do it, because I booked a job on Monday. Hurray! It's a little print job for Babies R Us, and I am not wrangling, which will be a nice break.

Here are the cupcake stands that we worked on today for teacher gifts:

Day 7

Yes, the foot has brought me down this season. I have seen a small percentage of holiday sites that I normally see this time of year. It's bad. I'm going through withdrawal in a major way. The only thing that has kept me going is the remodel-the-family-room project, else I might have gone insane this Christmas.

So here is my pathetic offering of sites I have seen this season:

If I worked in a tiny MTA booth, I would totally decorate it.

I passed by Bloomingdales on my way to pick up my click n ship at the Container Store. I saw a lot of glitter and took a quick pic.

And then I sat in Barnes and Noble for an hour talking to an old friend and hearing Christmas carols coming from below, and on my way out saw Bob and Luis from Sesame Street. They had been giving a little concert. It was sweet to see all ages of fans enjoying the humble offering from some old favorites. 40 years, woot to Sesame!

That's it. I haven't seen one giant tree, no department store windows, not a single Santa Claus, no Rock Center, nothing. Which means, I've got to HIT IT next year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 6

Our 2009 Postcard:

And when you flip it over:

"...Fear not: for, behold, I bring
you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people. For
unto you is born this day in the
city of David a Saviour, which is
Christ the Lord."
~Luke 2:10-11

What the critics are saying:

" the most adorable, clever card (even though I haven't seen anyone else's yet). L-O-V-E it! Laughed out loud when we got it--its funny and yet very dear at the same time."

"I received your card! It was so unique as usual! I loved it! Is that photo shop or grams house? "

"Got your Christmas card today...LOVE IT!!! Very very cute!"

"got your card and it is perhaps the most amazing holiday greeting i have ever received. i need more glass in my life!! :) "

"LOVE the Christmas are too good"

"your card was way original and quirky and fun"

"really sweet and clever."

I guess one would not write an email and tell me that they hate it. right? but I haven't ever received so much feedback from a card, so I think it's good. I have no idea whose living room this is, I got the image from a google search, and the professional photos of our family were taken by Rachel Gundersen, who is a very talented photographer in the Chicagoland area, you must hire her, I can give you her info....just email me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 5

This song is ringing in my ear this season. Now I want to see the movie.

Song for the Hopeful

People with hope have a special prayer
a louder drum, a brighter flare
This is a song for the hopeful
May god hear it sung

People with faith are the lucky kind
They'll be the ones, with peace of mind

This is a song for the faithful
May god hear it sung

Theres a song, for the doubtful
Theres a song, for the lost
Theres a song, for the desert barron but crossed

But for those who are strong of spirit
Maybe they dont need to hear it
But still a song for them
A simple song for them

Nothing can shade a seasoned soul
Its all the loss that makes it whole
This is a song for the hopeful
May god hear it sung

Theres a song for the doubtful
Theres a song for the lost
Theres a song for the desert barron but crossed

But for those who are strong of spirit
Maybe they dont need to hear it

But still a song for them
A simple song for them

Well nothing can shade a seasoned soul
It's all the loss that makes it whole
This is a song for the hopeful

This is a song for the faithful
This is a song for the hopeful
May god hear it sung
May god hear it sung
May god hear it sung

Thanks Harry and Kim.

Still....a song for them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 4

Originally, I had planned on recording a little CD for our family Christmas card this year. After our first recording session of Lolly pretty much not cooperating, I scratched the idea for this year. One day, I know, it will work! We did get one take with Lolly in and out and a few giggles because of her typical antics. It's not perfect, but for one take, it's not too bad. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 3

Even though my canon rebel is dying a slow death, I managed to get a few shots in for the Holidays! If I were not quirky and random and weird (all beloved traits those closest and dearest to me have called me more than a few times), then this would probably be my Christmas card this year:

I got the dresses LAST year after Christmas from Janie and Jack. Classic with a little edge. Love the grey silk and the dark red pleats underneath. I also got this year's Christmas PJs during the after-Christmas sale. I'm thinking I'm going to try for that again this year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 2

The scarves have been collected! I am so proud of NY. Ya'll stepped up this year and we collected 57 scarves! I am expecting a box in the mail this week that I hope arrives before delivery! Hurray for the Lovescarf Project.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 1

To kick off the 12 Days of Posse Christmas, we begin with a dance!

My sister has put together a dance montage to a Christmas song two years in a row now. This video has brought our family many smiles this season:

And a little present for you sister:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Deck the Halls

I had to learn a descant to Deck the Halls with Phoebe for her Music Theory Homework. I kept singing the wrong note for LA...but I did my best.

I have to say, even I'm pretty impressed that she can sing this against the descant. If you listen closely you will hear Lolly chiming in with her version of Deck the Halls, from down the hall, and in the bathroom while taking a bath.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Third Person Thursday

On Tuesday she decided to try going out without her car. She got dropped off with Phoebe at her school and then her friend dropped Lolly off at her school.

At 8:45 the publishing party began. She got settled in to listen to her daughter's book and heard that there was a fire drill scheduled for 9 AM. She decided she would not be participating.

She was forced too.

She wishes she had thought fast enough to either A. take the elevator down at 8:55 before it was turned off or B. hide in the corner so that when the maintenance man checked he wouldn't be lying when he said the floor was clear.

She had had a dark moment the night before feeling quite sorry for herself and her state, so it was easy for the tears to creep up her eyeballs as she slowly trudged down 3 flights of stairs with the entire middle school behind her, one of which exclaimed: "Who is NOT walking?"

She breathed, gathered herself, and took the elevator back up 2 minutes later once the ridiculous drill was over.

When parents asked her how she was doing, her answer was: "Depressed and Suicidal." She found that to be a conversation-stopper. Whoops.

She then made it to her doctors appointment by bus and foot and 2 hours later (the exam took all of 4 minutes) realized she had no time to go home and get the car for the afternoon pick-ups, but had to subway it the rest of the afternoon. She made it slowly and carefully down all stairs since 2 sets of handy elevators were out of service. Really?

She forgot at one point that she was slower then usual and had to work hard to get off the train at one stop. A passenger trying to get on the train rammed right into her foot after doing a PSYCH stop and let her go by him. She exclaimed: Excuse me Sir!

She approached the day on-foot with trepidation but quickly realized that this was just what she needed. She had missed the fuel that the city gives her. She filled up a bit of her tank walking about the city and riding the public transportation. She felt like maybe she could get through another day. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I have a little quirk about me. I enjoy bodily symmetry. For example, when I have a hang-nail on a nail on one hand, I start playing with the opposite nail so that there is the same feeling on both sides.

When I get a massage and the masseuse does one side at a time, I really have to concentrate on NOT letting this bother me, and WAITING patiently for my body to be even again.

Even is the term I use, not symmetrical. I know no body is symmetrical, but I want all parts to be even. When I watch a story about amputees and the phantom feelings or pain, I KNOW without having experienced it, what that must be like. I really sympathize with this issue.

This does not apply to my hair unless I am wearing it parted down the middle (which I did for many years in high school), or putting it ALL back in a braid or ponytail (back in the long hair days), then the part has to be straight. down. the middle.

It does apply to cold. I have to have both gloves on, both ears covered, everything evenly warm.

I can carry a purse, but I feel more balanced with a backpack on both shoulders.

I also have a habit of punching my quad muscles. If I punch one, then I have to punch the other. Usually it's 3 or 4 times per quad. A few people have been brave enough to ask me about that behavior. I can only explain it like this: I'm breaking up built-up acid? I'm not sure what it is, but it has to be even. Punch left, punch right, preferably at the same time.

Thankfully I can turn this off when necessary, like at the masseuse, or when I get that hangnail. I have to admit though, I am getting weary of flipping my EVEN switch. See, I am completely thrown off by having only one working foot. My spine feels wonky, my calves are completely and extremely NOT even, and the crutches! It's just madness. My poor right foot is starting to get achy in the big toe and heel from the stress of doing it all.

Despite my sort-of-good efforts, I am gaining weight evenly. And evenly freaking out about the fact that all my right shoes are now MORE WORN then my left.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009


Help me make up for missing my friends birthday, and please wish her a happy birthday here.

Stock Strikes: One Tree Hill

This image certainly gets around...

Now the question, did One Tree Hill's props department make those brochures or is it really out there?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Love Scarf Update

There is just a week left to finish knitting scarves for the NYC Love Scarf Project. While I was away, I got the chance to be there when the Chicago Love-scarfers delivered 113 scarves to the Edward Cancer Center. It was so great to finally see a delivery!

The center is warm with it's beautiful wood floors, and a large room full of windows overlooking a pond, where patients can sit and look outdoors while receiving their treatments. It had a sense of calm and peace there that I have not experienced at any medical facility, through my own medical experiences or my mother-in-laws cancer experiences. I felt the scarves were in good hands and would be appreciated by anyone who received the gift.

I have one last scarf to finish up this week and then I will be organizing all that I have received for delivery on the if you want to knit one for this year, it's your last chance this week! Thanks.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


The prayer breakfast went really well on Thursday!

After a restless sleep, worrying I would miss my 4:30 alarm, I stretched for a long while to combat the constant charlie-horse pain on my left calf. I also popped a handful of advil. The combination worked wonders on my pain, which stayed quiet until about 2 PM.

If you live in the area, you can see a re-broadcast of the event on Naperville Community Television, it's called 2009 Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.

I got several comments on the boot cozy:
"Did you know your shoes don't match?"
"Very festive cast!"
and from an older gentlemen who looked least likely to know: "Nice cozy!"
"Did you make that?"

In other events, I have been enjoying the first snow of the season, napping, and eating!

Just so you know, it's a big sacrifice to post this blog. The midwesterners have much slower internet.

Friday, December 04, 2009

While I'm away...

For your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Third Person Thursday

Before the injury, she passed a sign at her subway stop daily. It is for an album featuring:

Mary J Blige
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Muppets....among others.

She thought: "What's not to love?"

It stopped her in her tracks every time she passed it. She is definitely buying it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Today I'm leaving on a jetplane, all by myself. Let's hope there is absolutely NOTHING to blog about.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Please Leave a Comment!

Let us begin with a moment of silence for the outfit that got good reviews from twitter. I was going to wear the belt inside out so that it wasn't so shiny, and I ordered a different pair of shoes to switch out for the ivory ones:

But now that we have a turn of events, the options have changed. I kept the new red shoes --- maybe next Christmas?--but returned the above outfit, because sometimes I just don't need the reminder.

Now here are the options:
Same outfit, but belt and shoes are switching out, and I think I have this skirt on backwards but since it's challenging to get dressed at all, I did not retake the photos. Also, everything needs a good iron.

Here is the detail on the tights, I tried on the original red shoes, to show how ridiculous the knees look at different heights, as well as the angle of the skirt, (never mind trying to balance while singing), and then for those of you questioning the boot cozy, a pic with just the naked aircast.
I am pretty sure I know which outfit I want to wear, but here are a few random options that I just tried on for good luck:
Reminder, this is for an early-morning concert, The Mayor's Prayer Breakfast. I am singing sacred Christmas music while specatators enjoy breakfast foods. This will be my third time appearing and last time I wore a black pencil skirt with a cream blouse and a red/gold printed vest with black heels. (I think.)

When leaving feedback:
black pencil skirt
black velvet cropped pant
long black skirt
plaid skirt
green-striped blouse
flower belt
gold belt
red belt
gold flat shoe
black ruffle flat shoe

I know it's a lot of black, but hey, I'm in mourning.

I am partial to the very first option. The flower belt I found on black friday, and it reminded me of nie, who remains a big inspiration for me. And the brown color in the ribbon matches exactly with the pantent leather on the gold flat (also a black friday find!)

Apologies for the meh quality of these photos.