Dressember Eve

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:34 PM


Remember, remember, last year's Dressember?

It's happening again, people. Some of my newer followers from Effortless Anthropologie (yes, there are entire blogs devoted to My Favorite Store, and yes, I read some of them. You either think I am even cooler now than I was 5 minutes ago, or you have closed this tab) will be glad to know that the entire month of December, I will be blogging my outfits darn near every day.

Dressember is about rediscovering and reinventing the items in your closet, embracing femininity and creativity, and hoisting yourself out of the Schlump Slump, should you happen to feel you are lodged in one.

Sound fun?

(I'll give you a hint: it IS fun.)

If you want to join in, grab a frock (official word is "dresses only" - I say if a skirt is way out of your comfortable rut already, then it's good enough for me) and link your blog post or Flickr or Tumblr or whatever the blue blazes people are using nowadays to post photos in the comments.

If I get enough interest, maybe I will even do a Sweet Spontaneous Dressember Reader Roundup on Fridays or something.

I haven't really thought it through that far.

Just ditch your jeans, and climb aboard!

Doll Junkie

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 8:48 PM


I'm all done.

Well, almost. I still have to do a few buttons and buttonholes, a snap or two, and a couple of grosgrain bows. Finishing touches.

But all told, I have made two dresses (with bloomers), two footed rompers, two hats, two jackets, and two knit jogging suits (let the record show that I am never EVER sewing with furry, shiny, slippery synthetic knit fabric EVER AGAIN. Soooooo many cuss words.)

As I plowed through the Fuzzy Yellow Beast this afternoon, I could feel my sewing mojo slipping away. It's been so fun, but I'm ready to hit the pause button. I have spent every free moment working on this stuff for the last two weeks, striking while the iron was hot, as it were - and it's a good thing too, because Christmas is December 25th whether my mojo fizzles out or not.

I've done enough that I can take a break for a little while - perhaps to tend to this publication more regularly, or to chase the fruit flies out of my filthy neglected kitchen - and still have time to finish everything up in time for Santa to put it under the tree.

(Who am I kidding? There's no way I'm letting that nice fat man take credit for all my hard work!)


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM


David is out of town until tomorrow.

Iris has a terrible, nasty cough that just won't leave her alone.

Looks like somebody is going to be (not) sleeping on the couch tonight.

Sparkly Friday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM


I never, ever go shopping on Black Friday if I can help it.

I didn't mean to go today, exactly...

...but somehow I did end up with these shoes. For me.

(Don't worry, I didn't pay nearly that much).

I think I'm going to wear them to the grocery store tomorrow, because they are just that awesome.

What's your weakness? Sparkle? Color? Ruffles? Feathers? Bows?

*raises hand five times*


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM


"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world.

Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst.

And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain...

...and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life."

- American Beauty


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM


Remember how I said "you can do anything, but you can't do everything"?

Right now, I am making doll clothes for my girls for Christmas. I have three more outfits to make, and then I think I will be done. There may not be much blogging happening until next week, unless one of my small people does something especially hilarious, picturesque, or life-endangering.

Anyone else in a crafting frenzy?

What I've learned from running, part 1

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7:12 PM


I say part one, because I only started 6 months ago. I am sure there is much, much more to learn. But on my long run on Tuesday, I had a few bullet points float up to the top of the pile.

It doesn't matter if you run. It doesn't matter if you never leave your couch, or your office, or your pajamas. Apply to any aspect of your life, it all works.

1. You can't do everything.

I have been loving yoga for the last 3 years. LOVE. Can't get enough. But while I'm focusing on running, no matter how much I love yoga, I can't do it 6 days a week. Usually 2. Someone very, very wise once said "You can do anything. You can't do everything." We can love lots of awesome things, but we can't make them all first priority all the time. A season to every thing.

2. Be open to obstacles.

I used to think it would be way more fun to run if I didn't have to push a kid in a stroller while I did it. But I actually find that I run better when I have Iris with me, because it forces me to run a bit slower, and much steadier. I can go farther, I enjoy it more, and it's more sustainable. Sometimes things that we think will hinder us actually make us better. Give it a chance.

3. Equip yourself.

If your feet hurt, get better shoes. If you're overheating, get smaller clothes. :) Make sure you have what you need to meet your goals, and to do it joyfully. It doesn't matter your budget, you can get what you need. (I find tons of great workout clothes at Goodwill.) You just need to allow yourself to take care of yourself. You are important, and it's okay to make room in your life for the things that feed your soul.

More than okay.

4. It's okay to be uncomfortable for awhile.

I did not learn this dancing, probably because I was so young. I did learn it having two babies at home in my bathtub, though, and I have learned it again and again running. Some things that are good things, worthy things, are painful in the moment.

You won't die. No one ever died from being uncomfortable. Keep going.

That stitch in your side, or pain in your ribs, or ache in your leg? You can stop or you can press on - either way, it will pass in a minute or two. Might as well keep going.

5. If you have the mojo, DON'T STOP!

Once you find a groove, a stride - do not allow yourself to be sidetracked. It is much, much harder to start again than to just keep going. Ride the wave you caught.

6. If it's not working, drop it like a hot potato.

I don't care how awesome everybody else says it is - if it's not serving you, throw it overboard and don't look back. You can't fake running. In the end, you can't fake life. At some point, the truth will out and you just need to do what works for you - otherwise, you can't keep moving forward.

7. Finish with inward honor.

There is not an award or a medal waiting for us at the end of every run, or every race, or every stage or moment in our lives. But if we are lucky, there will be someone we love at the finish line, screaming our name, arms open, waiting to welcome us.

And that, my friends, is pretty friggin fantastic.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM


Your motivation running post is once again delayed - this time, by my fanciful, capricious, mysterious, impulsive, confounding middle child.

And her scissors.

I think the rest blew all around the cul-de-sac.

You see, this afternoon, Eve needed some scissors for a perfectly harmless project. She couldn't find them, because Devlin hoards them all, but I happened to have a seen a pair in the back seat of the van that morning, so I sent her out to retrieve them.

(Also, scissors in my car? We can revisit that later, I suppose.)

When she returned, I was at my sewing machine with my back to the garage door. She came in and proceeded to putter about, humming to herself.

Then I heard a sniffle.

"Mom, I did something really bad".

I stopped, afraid to turn around.

But I did anyway...

...and beheld the most pitiful sight that I ever did see: my Eve, whose beautiful blonde locks I had trimmed just that weekend, with her braids lopped straight across the bottom (except for the piece on her right side that she missed).

And a more wretched, sorrowful countenance you never laid eyes on. (As sad as it was to see her like this, I was secretly delighted at her quick change of heart. If I'm lucky, this will be the only time I write a post like this).

So we trimmed off the errant bit, revoked scissor privileges from all children until further notice (yes, Devlin, even you - if you put the darn things away when you were done, this probably wouldn't have happened!), and I hugged her and told her how proud I was for owning up to her misdeed, even though she knew it was wrong and she knew I wouldn't be happy.

(Please, karma, repay me this Good Mothering Moment when this child is a teenager and does something much more serious than cut her own hair).

Apparently, Eve's "friend" at school, who is not in her class, and whose name she does not know, but who "smiles at me every day at lunch, so she must be my friend!" had her hair cut last week, and Eve has been pining for a windblown short cut ever since. It seems my waiting period had grown tiresome to her.

Family pictures are this weekend, for both sides, and I don't know if I want to send her in front of the camera with short hair like she wants, a hairstyle so radically different from the flowing-locks girl I have always known.

I'm sure I'll get used to it in a couple of days. But seriously, I just got done grieving Iris's lost tooth. Can I just have one quiet month here with no sudden changes in the appearance of my beautiful children?

Who's in charge around here, anyway?!

"Little" Detour

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 8:06 PM


I have a post all ready for you. I wrote it in my head this morning on my long run.

(It's about running).

But you'll have to wait until tomorrow for it, because today, I am kind of addicted to sewing little doll clothes.

Santa, baby!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 6:20 PM


Dear Amazon.com,

Last night, while I was perusing your vast collection of potential Christmas gifts, I saw a new DVD copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 listed for sale at $3.99. I pay twice that for a used copy at Bookman's! I put it in my cart, paid, and just received notice that it has shipped. I triple-checked, but it still seems too good to be true. In any case, I have told the children to look for it in the mail. They know it's coming, so if it shows up and is actually a bomb, or a carton of rotten eggs...well, they have wands. And they know how to use them.

Accio movie!

Mrs. Weasley

* * * * *

Dearest, darling, messy, messy, messy children,

Would it help if implanted a chip in the back of your necks, and then electronically sent you a list of GPS coordinates of every individual item you have strewn about the house, and that I would now like you to pick up and put away?

I'll try anything,


* * * * *

A letter to my carpet:

You are white. There are lots of brown spots. I have been meaning to get out the big steam cleaner, but as a short-term measure, I did some spot-cleaning this weekend. Now, instead of dirty spots, I have very visible "clean spots". And now I really do have to do the whole job properly, because that's just embarrassing.

I'm SO annoyed,


* * * * *
Dear John and Connie, previous residents of this address,

Why the &$*&# ^(#(* %&#($ did you install WHITE CARPETING?



* * * * *

My dearest, darling, whiny whiny whiny children,

You know that thing you are trying to say to me? The thing I have to ask you to repeat 3 times? If you think you need to say it in a barely audible, tiny, whiny, whispering voice, you probably already know what the answer is going to be, and are better off not saying it at all.

(No, you cannot eat cookies and watch Mythbusters in your pajamas, all day, every day).

I love you,


* * * * *

Dear 12-year-old Rachel,

Remember when you were a ballerina, all those years ago? And you were so in awe of the older dancers? Those tall, glamorous, impossibly beautiful, intimidating creatures?

I went to an event this weekend featuring the ballet company of your youth, and I saw those "principal" dancers up close and personal. And I'm here to tell you, 20 years too late, that they are nothing to be scared of. They have zits. And they are tiny! They are little girls, just like you were. Not apprentice-crushing monsters.

It's all gonna work out fine,

30-year-old Rachel

* * * * *

Dear 30-year-old Rachel,

When you get to be a mom, and you have girls in ballet, please don't forget how I felt as a young ballerina all those years ago. I wasn't savvy enough to be one of the cool kids, but I was savvy enough to sense the gap, and feel it very keenly. They may look like little girls, but there is a lot of hidden cruelty happening already. It's not easy to be a teenager, and it's even harder to be a dancer.

P.S. Pay attention to what shoes and leotards the other girls have, and if you can afford them, make sure your daughters have the same. It was important to me, and it will be important to them. Every little bit helps when you're fighting for acceptance.

Never a party girl, always a mouse,

12-year-old Rachel

Little Red Robin Hood

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM


I warn you: do not be fooled by this angelic, peaceful exterior.

Attention, scientist types:

I created a Perpetual Motion Machine.

I would like to claim my winnings now plz.

Guest of Honor

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM



Today was just one of those days.

On paper, it was a FANTASTIC day, and anyone anywhere in the world would count themselves lucky to have that day.

But for whatever reason, I was just kind of crabby.

No big deal, though. Nothing a little family picnic-in-front-of-a-movie-breakfast-for-dinner couldn't cure.

By the way, if you want, you can check out my guest post today at Fun On A Dime. Michelle is a friend of mine from high school, and now she has this really snappy little blog about family activities, crafts, recipes, and just general good times on a budget (and who isn't on a budget, seriously?)

Anyway, it's my first guest post anywhere, so I'm feeling pretty fancy. And it truly is one of my very favorite stories, that I love to share again and again.

Now I'm headed off for a nice hot bath and some quality time with the long-dead Mr. Thomas Hardy.

(Don't worry, I won't let him try any funny business in there. My heart belongs to That Guy I Married.)

The Rock

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 1:49 PM


This post isn't about spanking, or yelling, or any specific discipline method. It's just a story about parents and children that I read today, and it hit me really hard.

It made me really pause, and think, and want to just take a moment and breathe one extra breath so I can decide what I really want to do and say to my children, instead of just reacting, and lashing out from behind the 8-ball (where we always seem to be, yes?)

It was so powerful to me that I wanted to share it, and this seemed like the best forum.

"When I was about twenty years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time.

But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking--the first in his life. And she told him he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, 'Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock you can throw at me.'

All of the sudden a mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. The mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. Because violence begins in the nursery--one can raise children into violence."

~From a peace prize acceptance speech given by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 6:24 PM


Today I ran 4 miles.

I think, just maybe, I might be becoming a runner. Will I feel like one for sure after my 10K? If I do a half marathon? A full one? (I doubt that will ever happen, by the way, so please don't say that's what it will take).

How long does it take you, and what level do you have to attain, before you feel like you're not "pretending" to be something any more?

I'm going to be a millionaire!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 10:26 PM


You guys, you guys.

I always said that I just needed to think of a genius idea and invent something so I could make a million dollars and just have that whole aspect of my life sorted out once and for all.

Tonight, I thought of it.

I have an invention.

Actually, I have an idea. But it's going to be an invention. And no one has made it yet (that I know about), and it is a GREAT one, and I am seriously incredibly excited.

But I can't tell you what it is, because you guys are awesome and all, but I don't trust you not to steal my genius idea.

You can all buy one though, once I make it, because trust me - you don't have this yet. And you need it.

See you Monday!

Little Magics

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 8:25 PM


I didn't mean for the "magic" in the title of this post to be literally magic, like with a wand. I was thinking more along the lines of "the magic of childhood", or "the magic of wide-open perception".

But in my house, it seems that a lot of that all comes back around to wands and whatnot.

Just a few sweet little moments from my last couple of days:

If you were Devlin, and you were reading Harry Potter , and you needed to mark your place, you might just use a wand to do it. I just love his sweet little bed, with all his space paraphernalia, and his book, and his Lambeys...it's just his personality and this moment of his life all wrapped up in one beautiful scene.

And then Eve at her kindergarten Halloween party, at which I was a shepherd/costume repairperson/parent helper. I tied her tie, and took out her braids and fluffed her Hermione hair, and then had to break the news to her that her stick-wand was not allowed in class as it was considered a weapon. (A stick is definitely a weapon in her hands, by the way. That was totally the right call).

I could see her face start to crumple, and turn red, and I knew I had to act fast, or there was going to be Eve-brains all over the ceiling when her head exploded. My mind raced just ahead of hers, and I blurted out "Hermione's wand needed repairs, so it's in Mr. Ollivander's shop until tonight!"

She bit.

Crisis averted.

And tonight, Devlin playing Scrabble with his daddy and me. Let's just say that Dev had some help, and I'm not quite losing. But it's close.

And luckily, Dev wasn't paying too much attention, so we narrowly avoided having to explain the definition of "whore" when David played it for 45 points.