Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{tower view}

The other night, after the babies went to bed, I painted a quick new piece that has been stuck in my brain for a while. Tangled is my new favorite Disney movie and I cannot get enough of it. It's whimsical, beautiful, romantic, adventurous, and the soundtrack makes me laugh and cry and twirl around.

My favorite thing about the movie is how Rapunzel has a creative brain. She paints! There are no words for the way I felt when I saw the movie for the first time. Her sweet, awkward ways make me laugh and I related so much to her barefoot, messy-haired, clumsy self. Bonus: her lisp makes me laugh. I just love her. I swear, I make that same face she makes when I step back and look at my painting. I love it.

So one of my favorite scenes is when she is painting this picture on the one free piece of space in her tower: above the fireplace. She paints the view that she has from her tower window of the hills beyond and the lights floating above it. The floating lights are actually lanterns that her parents release every year on her birthday, hoping she will see them and follow the lights home. (genius!) She knows in her heart that she was meant for more than her little tower. She dreams of something more. She yearns for it. And so she paints that longing.

Rapunzel's style of painting is so whimsical. It reflects the Disney animators style from the Sleeping Beauty era, which is technically categorized as Rococo oil painting styling. They drew a lot of their inspiration from an 18th century oil painting entitled The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard. It's a really ethereal piece and they imagined Rapunzel swinging around on her great golden hair and they just ran with the idea. I think it's perfect and lovely. I can't get enough of the art in this movie.

So Wesley had seen me start the painting. He saw the blues and the greens meeting together and said he wished he could paint my canvas too (he was somewhat frustrated that I wouldn't allow him to) and then he went to bed before I got much further. When he awoke the next morning and bounced into the kitchen, he saw my finished piece and simply exploded with excitement.

I love the way it turned out. Drippy and emotional and simple. It reminds me to never be silent. To never be complacent. It's my tower view and it's beautiful.

What do you think? Close resemblance to hers, but still my own. (this pictures don't do the details justice, I promise! Camera phone captures)
Hers & Mine

So here's to not waiting 18 years before letting our lives begin. No amount of evil Mother Gothels can keep us from the adventures that lay before us. And no silly little towers, either.

"I could go running and racing and dancing and chasing and leaping and bounding, hair flying, heart pounding and splashing and reeling and finally feeling that now's when my life begins!"--Rapunzel

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{made for this}

I used to become frustrated in the era I was born in. Why, oh, why couldn't I have been born at the beginning of the 20th century? Or in the Victorian age? My swoony self thought the 90's to be dull and full of ugly fashion (except of course when I went through the knee-high, plaid skirt Clueless phase....oh and the flowered doc martin phase.....oh and the grunge look.....eeek!) I was disappointed that my brain didn't fit in well with the rest of the world. I was mooning over the Twelve Dancing Princess and reading fairy tales when I was teenager, not sneaking out with boys or getting into trouble (too much). I wasn't interested in the norm. I was reading C.S. Lewis and Robin McKinley and dreaming of adventure and passion and creativity. My friend, Steven, introduced me to some beautiful poetry and stories of valor and excitement and I followed his beautiful writing throughout my whole childhood (and continue to do so in adulthood even though we are states apart and married and old with bills and car payments and life) But some of his stories and writings are still some of my favorites (and I often believed that he, too, belonged in another time period)

But times have changed. The world is passionate about creativity. About connection on a higher, beautiful, brighter level. Technology has made it that way for us.

It's sometimes surprising to me that teenagers today don't remember the days before a computer, cell phone, or ipad. I remember the first day, in 1995, when my dad brought home our first computer. We plugged it in in our little living room. We turned it on and listened to the hum as it began to work it's magic. America Online became my new best friend and it introduced me to internet pen pals (before it was scandalous and scary as it is today). My dad taught me how to send an "e-mail" and I quickly invented a new handle for myself. (It has changed many times over the years).

Then I was in 6th grade when my dad got his first cell phone.

I was in 12th grade when I bought MY first cell phone.

Times have changed.
And I think....would I still want to live in the Victorian age? Or even the early 20th century? When it took days to get a few hours south of your town. I probably would have died in childbirth, looking at the two deliveries that I've had.

I was born in this age for a reason.
I don't know what for. My emotional, swoony side believes it's to tell stories. Ohhh, I'll never be a published author or even well known with my writing, but the relationships that I have built and continue to cultivate are the best arenas for storytelling.

I love to share in the triumphs and to clasp hands through the struggles. To be a participant in someone's story is a joyous gift. My little blue house is passionate about the relationships that we have. Near or far.

I really didn't intend for this post to be about relationships, but we were created for this. And I'm thankful for my kinsmen. You know who you are and I love you.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Live! from the Sultan's Palace

Yep. That's what my son called the State Capital. "The Sultan's Palace" which translates into "We watch too much Disney" which also translates into "We need to get our rears to Disney World already!!"

We really have too much fun.

Anyways. The point is, we just spent a few whirlwind days at our state's capital, visiting friends, eating delicious food, getting know the drill. The cute husband had some training downtown with fellow environmental nerds (or whatever it is he does) while the boys and I ran around and had fun.

I'd love to stay and chat, but I gotta go to bed. Traveling is so fun, but there's nothing like being home, back to our little blue house.

So, here's a picture for you to look at. (Taken off the top of some random parking garage.) And yes, this image came straight from my camera, minus the watermark. It was a gorgeous night!!

Peace out!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

{Sweet 16}

It has been 16 days since I last posted on here.
What has happened since then?

New Mexico, 2012
  • I renamed my blog
  • I traveled by plane to the mountains of New Mexico with family and friends
  • I destroyed my house packing for said trip
  • I discovered that I really love casseroles
  • I bought 5 new books
  • I read one of those books until 5 in the morning
  • I have since re-read that book because it's just THAT good
  • I drooled over these TOMS several times over
  • I bought a domain name for this blog
  • I was horribly sick and went to an urgent care clinic for some serious medication
  • My firstborn (while shouting "All You gotta do is Juuuuuump!") busted his knee and chipped a tooth
  • My second-born son grew a few more teeth
  • My husband snowboarded
  • My husband became sore
  • I received a PayDay for Valentines Day....and I ate it immediately :)
  • My house is still destroyed from post-vacation unpacking extravaganza
  • We had book club at the Burrow Thursday and it was amazing
  • My good friend received news that she is in relapse and will continue to battle Lymphoma(SUCKS) at MD Anderson this week
  • I read about bravery and realized I need to step up my game
  • I saw a crow the size of a dog while in New Mexico
  • I stayed up until 3 in the morning catching up on Once Upon a Time, and a few other shows we watch with my cute husband.
  • I smiled and cried and laughed a lot

I want to share so much. I feel like my heart is so full and my head has so many things sloshing around inside it, but for the moment, I shall leave you with a quote that has been lingering in my brain.

 "The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it." --Thucydides

I miss you all. I hope to have a nice conversation and a cup of tea with you soon.

xo, jade

Friday, February 03, 2012

{beauty and the beast}

The book, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast is, hands down, my favorite book of all time. It was published in 1978 by Robin McKinley (one of my favorite fantasy authors). Most of the RM books that I've read have all been so beautiful and lyrical and entertaining.

It's funny, though. Because to some people, I can see where it would be so boring. It's all written in Beauty's perspective, beginning with her family's terrible financial ruin in the city (after some unexpected storms take out her father's ships) to their move to the northern part of the country where wizards and dragons and mystical creatures are said to inhabit the forests. And it continues on to this beautiful telling of how she and the Beast come to know one another and the resulting fairy tale we all know and love.

But truly, if ever I am sick. If ever I am frustrated or sad or needing some companionship, this is one of the books at the top of my list that I turn to.

Beauty is clumsy. Not extraordinary in her beauty. Can be judgmental (though she is so kind and honorable, one hardly thinks to judge her). She is hardworking, determined. So resilient. And she's brave.

I feel as though she is my friend. Or at the very least, the things that dance through her mind are my own thoughts.

And while the story is very familiar, there are some differences in the book than the versions many of you may have read.

One thing that has not changed though: the rose still plays a magical part. Different, maybe. But the Beast and his affection for roses is present. Beauty and her awe of the magic that inhabits Beast's roses is still there. And the beautiful symbol of romantic, pure love is still there.

So obviously, me being the swoony, dreamy, I <3 the Beast t-shirt wearing fool that I am, adores roses. I carried a full, blooming bouquet of them in my wedding, I keep fresh cut roses in my house constantly. I doodle them aimlessly like I did when I was 13. I love roses. And my adoring husband planted some for me in our backyard a few years ago as a gift for mother's day.

They have had a riotous winter, because of our extremely mild temperatures and my pruning them more consistently. Plus we've had more dampness than we've had in quite a while too. So they are just exploding with life and joy and love and color and my heart just swells at the sight of them.

Wesley loves to pick them with me. Two nights ago we took a basket out and picked a big bouquet of the roses for our kitchen table. The fragrance that rolls off them is so wonderful and fresh. It's one of those nostalgic scents that takes you back a decade or so to some long forgotten memory.

I can't honestly remember an exact moment when I began to love roses. It may have been the first time I saw Beauty and the Beast. Or it may have been when I read this book when I was a young girl. I cannot tell you honestly. But I can say that my affection for these symbolic blooms has not waned in all my life. I think that I shall be an old lady, pruning her roses, smiling fondly at the conversation and companionship that existed between Beauty and her sweet Beast.

I look forward to teaching my children the lessons that I have learned from Beauty and the Beast. Wesley has seen the movie and is impressed by the Beast's courage and strength, but mostly he likes the singing and the talking candlesticks and clocks. :) His imagination is not very far different from my own.

We shall see what sort of personality Spencer develops in the way of imagination. So far, he seems to me a very mathematical, scientific sort of child. He's still tiny, though, so we'll just wait and see what sort of personality will bloom. He also just thinks its fun to rip the petals off the flowers and see the wind catch them. So much for stopping and smelling the roses. :)

I'm thankful for a husband who indulges my love of flowers. Sometimes I will catch him outside smelling my roses, only to have him look up with his eyes bright with pride and excitement. He will ask me often, did you see your roses? did you see that big one? did you smell the roses today?

Yes, we are a silly, rose-sniffing family. And I love it.