.:. in and out of season .:.

.:.that local coffeehouse vibe, and that homey feeling.:. February 20, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 3:18 pm

we had a fun staff meeting today.  we tasted, learned and talked about the new Via QuickBrew coffee that Starbucks has… honestly, I was REALLY impressed.  It is far better than your typical instant coffee… FAR.  And, I don’t know, it comes in these little packets, and dissolves so well you don’t even need a spoon – – for hot OR cold water.  great for camping, road trips, airplanes….  there’s my plug.

i’m sitting here by the window with coffee.  diane – one of my fellow baristas – is strumming her guitar and singing tracy chapman, and all of the comfy chairs and tables are full of people… it is a really cool vibe in here right now, and I love it.  

we talked about developing a ‘vision’ statement… and how we want it to be themed around words like ‘local’ and ‘neighborhood’… because it feels like that to us, just under the huge corporate title of Starbucks.  That we can just sit here and pass the guitar back and forth and look at the children’s artwork on the walls, and one of our regulars can play a little too… and that woman can sit with her baby and feed him his bottle by the fireplace.  it is so nice and cozy.


the other day when i was feeling so creative, i sat down with this shadowbox frame my mom gave me a year ago, and then wandered around collecting things from boxes and envelopes scattered around our apartment for small things to put in it…




here is the finished product:  


i sewed our names onto that card with the Emerson quote on it.  That ring is a ring my grandma gave me that I wore constantly that Nat used as an example for my engagement ring.  The pennies are squished from those machines.  We collect them everywhere we go – Grand Canyon, White Sands, The City Museum in St. Louis, etc… Patagonia sticker because if we had to pick one brand, that would be it.  Our save-the-date cards, the piano “iou” he gave me for Christmas, and a seashell from Mexico… just, trinkets, you know.  i like it.  

and a few more photos of lately from a museum date, drive downtown, valentines day, and my newly organized jewelry box…




um, conceited? February 19, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 4:19 pm

so i went from feeling a little blog-boring to feeling a little blog-barfing out words ALL THE TIME.  Suddenly, I have more things to say.  


just now, I went for the first little jog outside all winter.  nothing impressive – one mile – but I SLIPPED really bad on the ice.  

because i was admiring the fact that my hair is in a “really cute ponytail stage”

…in my shadow.


pride –> fall.  hands-on learning in action, folks.  that’s the way to do it.



Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 6:00 am

i am clearly undecided on a good blog theme.  i don’t really love any of them, and am considering switching to typepad or blogspot. 

also, i don’t know how to change the time… WordPress is telling me that it’s 6:00:34 am, and that is just not true.  It is noon!


.:.well.:. February 18, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 5:07 am


(February 18th, 2009)  

(Erin English’s birthday!)




(or may possibly consume.)

because i’m  feeling the creative itch.  and am going to clear off my “craft table” that is in the middle of our dining/living room, place my sewing machine, markers, paper, crafting doo-dads upon it, and get to it. 



i’m going to listen to:



and drink


and, in the back of my mind, as I am looking out the windows at the rain, wish that I was doing this, and having a picnic:


with this guy


who I adore.


be alive today!


.:.skulk.:. February 17, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 12:54 pm

I overslept during my nap AGAIN today… and was late to babysit Laila and Christopher, and felt horrible.  How does the alarm not work at the worst times??  Or… how does my brain shut off completely and not realize what it’s doing at the worst times?? Boo. 

I had an interesting would-be romantic experience at work on Monday.  An older man – maybe 40s – came in and, while I was getting his coffee, asked me how my Valentines Day was.  I said, “ohhh, it was so great!  we went out for thai food downtown and i got these beautiful earrings……how was yours?”   [With a new tone and look in his eyes]: “Oh.  Mine was really good.”  Me: “Yeah?”  “Yeah.  My Valentines Days are always good.  [intense eye contact filled with plenty of suggesting] I’m older, so I know how a lady likes to be treated.”  he finished with what I believe was meant to be a seductive stare.  If I were writing a novel I would say, ‘Her eyes narrowed and gazing at him with a mixture of disdain and humor she said very calmly, “Huh.  Well, I am married.  So, I guess I know how I like to be treated.'”   Which seemed to sort of disappoint him, because he grunted and took his coffee and skulked off.  

“Did you just say ‘skulk’?”  “We’re not going to just ‘skulk’ off…”?  That’s from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I saw 12 times in the theater.  NO EXAGGERATION. 

So, anyway.  That was interesting… and, a little disconcerting.  And I felt a bit empowered at my sassiness, because I HATE being flirted with or whistled at or just… made to feel like that, and it usually makes me sputter and look like an idiot when confronted with it face to face in that way… but for some reason my mind was sharp at 6am.  Or maybe my usual reservations were still asleep.



As far as everything else goes, all of my lists and schedules that I made last week have served a good purpose in keeping my motivated and ‘on task’.  Nat and I went to a coffee shop on Sunday afternoon to have a “business meeting” (play Phase 10 and talk about the logistical parts of our lives.) and made a few new lists, and talked about different goals and ideas that we have for us.  It was nice.  I like business meetings with him.   Alaska dreaming needs to become Alaska looking-into-more-seriously pretty soon here, and I am excited to see what comes of that.  

althoughsometimesidreadit…thecoldandthewinter… andithink…couldn’twechooseHawaiiinstead???


and….lastly, i wish to never be separated from a piano again.  


hope you are having a wonderful week!


to catch the trade winds in my sails February 13, 2009

Filed under: goals,inspiration,wisdom — Ellen @ 7:53 pm

“the things you fear

are undefeatable

not by their nature

but by your approach.”


let us throw off the things that hinder us

the sin that so easily entangles

and let us run

with perseverance

the race marked out for us…


This week i have been bouncing back and forth between three books: Harry Potter 5, and two poetry books, one by Jewel, the other by Ruth Bell Graham.  I have also been going back to a book I read feverishly before Nat and I were married – “Disciplines of a Godly Woman.”  I can feel that my spirit is hungry for growth and learning and is not content to just sit quietly and muddle through the days ( sometimes I catch myself in a pattern of doing that).  So, I’ve been reading.  

I AM FEELING SO INSPIRED… I want to share it, and yell about it and talk about it.  And I want to hide it in my heart and hold it quietly close to me and not share it with anyone but Nat, and hope that others find their own dreams.

Because that is the thing, you see.  I think for a long time I have not been dreaming my own dreams.  I have allowed myself to compare me to others.  To desire things because so-and-so has them, and they look good.  To stop myself from doing exactly what I know in the very depths of my soul that God created me to do – because I am insecure, and because I compare, and look at others, and decide that just this – just me – just now, is not quite enough.

And it’s so sneaky.  This is such a tiny, quiet part of me that I am rarely honest with because there are ways that I don’t compare, ways that I feel content and grateful and that this is enough – even if it is less than, or different than, others.  I know that everyone has this comparison complex, to some degree – it is not just my battle – and I know that you understand these feelings.  I want to break away from them!  

Say I admire in someone else… oh, where to start…. their articulate manner of speaking.  By all means I can strive to be more articulate in my own speech.  This is not bad.  But let’s say I admire in (or on) someone else their clothing, or their hair or their perfect teeth or their love of something that I think makes them a cool person… Do I put energy, thought, time into trying to make myself become more things that they are and more interested in what they are interested in and look more like them because I know how cool it makes them?   YES.  Should I? NO.  This is what I want to stop stop stop

Perhaps a little bit this was brought on by the piano, because I sit there and feel perfectly comfortable and free and happy and creative and worshipful… and it’s good.  And I think to myself, “What have I been DOING all this time when it hasn’t been MUSIC?”  What have I been trying to BE??



How about a photo of some oatmeal bread?img_5204



…you will have your music…:.

Filed under: inspiration,life in general,Nat — Ellen @ 12:26 am

Today was a very, very normal morning of work for me – opening shift, the usual relaxed beginning and then the rush hour and then all of a sudden it’s time to go home.  Normal.  Imagine, as best as you can, my surprise and and heart-stopping, breath-ceasing shock when I opened the door of our apartment and saw this:




….. Yes.  Yes.

My husband, Nat – maybe you’ve heard me talk about him – has the most beautiful heart and soul in the whole world.  I am more astonished by that than by the fact that there is a piano sitting right here next to me, that I played for a total of 6 hours today, and that it wasn’t here when I woke up this morning.  



because I know you read this I want to tell you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for telling Nat about your piano, and giving it to me!!!  I found some sheet music in the bench – a white binder full of songs, and also a beginner/intermediate book of Romantic Impressionist songs, both of which I loved and played through because I can’t find any of my music… I’ll hang on to them and let me know if you need them!  And again… thank you!!  And come to Chicago again soon so we can play another duet. 

I will write more about this later and have some more pictures I wanted to share, but I have to go pick up Mr. Nathaniel and we’re going to the mall for what he thinks is mutual secret shopping.  Little does he know that I already went there two days ago and got a few hefty surprises myself.  Muahahaha.