I’ve Been Noticing That You . . .

10.28.10

TRINITY
Trinity + Gizmo
We’ve been noticing that you wake up every morning thinking something is wrong (“Oh, my back hurts!” or “I think I’m sick”). At least that’s what Dad tells me, since he’s usually the one who wakes you. But then he sends you off to shower, and somehow you always come out just fine. Maybe it’s really just the waking up part that unsettles you? :)

I’ve been noticing that you . . .

  • Want friends who don’t gossip, use inappropriate language, or get catty.
  • Want to shave your legs, start wearing makeup, and do other things that you’re still too young for.

* * *

BLAKE
Blake
We’ve been noticing that you start most every sentence with, “I just realized . . .” You’ll even start two or three sentences within a single conversation that way. We’re glad you’re realizing so much all the time. :)

I’ve been noticing that you . . .

  • Have gotten so independent, heading to the school wrestling matches and basketball games with no idea whether your friends will be there.
  • Ask me how I’m doing all the time, or about the progress or results of something I’m working on. That makes me very happy.

* * *

AIDEN
Aiden
We’ve been noticing how much you love oragami. You love to find music and viral video mash-ups, or music with cool graphic animations on YouTube.

I’ve been noticing . . .

  • That we let you get away with not cleaning and doing your jobs or reading.
  • That you’re still a sweet little mama’s boy. You still need to make sure I know that you think I’m beautiful. You still tell me you have a crush on me and refer to me as “The Cutie.” You still want me to snuggle you to sleep at night. But you’re getting better about letting other people sit next to me at meal time.

* * *

NOELL & IZ
Lunch at the Pita Jungle.
We’ve been noticing that we are constantly asking each other questions like, “Are you excited to . . . (fill in the blank with whatever is next on the agenda)?” It occurred to me how comical it is when you asked me if I was excited to do something on my task list that was especially mundane. I guess we’re the type of people to generate enthusiasm about even our everyday life. But really, it was you started the, “Are you excited to…” questions. And you do it the most. ;)

I’ve been noticing that . . .

  • We go out for wine or a beer once or twice a week.
  • That much of our sense of humor together is in making up hilarious and outrageous scenarios, as if they might happen. And in taking common phrases people use for serious, deep, or sacred events and apply them to the most mundane activities. “Let’s go do this thing we call, ‘Picking up the kids from school.’”

I’ve been noticing these little things — little things that came sneaking into our lives recently, and will soon go sneaking away.

Taking Life Seriously

10.24.10

Taking Life Seriously

My Farmer’s Market is NOT Better Than Your Farmer’s Market

10.21.10

Mesa Farmer's Market
I go to my local farmer’s market all the time. So I talk about it a lot, on twitter and on my blogs. One thing that amazes me is a certain response I get: “I wish my area had a good farmer’s market.”

And worse: “If I were as lucky to have as good a farmer’s market as you, I would go, too.”

I’ve seen pictures of beautiful farmer’s markets around the internet. Or, at least ONE beautiful farmer’s market. And, at least, it seemed to LOOK beautiful in the pictures.

Which is one of my points with this blog post — pictures glorify reality.

I remember the first time I went to my local market. My friend, Adrianne, told me about it and invited me to go with her. I had visions of beautiful flower vendors and rows of tables with stunning baskets of perfectly arranged produce. I’ve seen pictures online. That’s what a “good” farmer’s market looks like. Right?

Wrong.

A good farmer’s market is an existing farmer’s market.

When I first arrived at my local market, I was disappointed. Our market is tiny. It has two short rows of vendor tables along a sidewalk. It doesn’t even span the length of the parking lot on the side of it. My first thought was, “This is it?”

But guess what? It has fresh local produce! And believe me, fresh local non-genetically altered produce is pure awesomeness. So, if you have fresh locally grown produce at your market, and nothing else, then you have a good farmer’s market.

Izzy and I make the twenty minute drive to our market about every other Friday for just three vendors:

  • produce farmer
  • hummus vendor
  • vegan tamale vendor

I got over the fact that our produce vendor is under an ugly green tent that discolors photos in an ugly way. I don’t fret that our produce sits in banged up florescent yellow bins instead of gorgeously displayed baskets — which I now realize look better in pictures than in reality.
Mesa Farmer's Market
On the other hand, I do enjoy the chit-chat and joking we do with the farm family we’ve gotten to know over the past year. I definitely enjoy the fresh local foods. I like being a part of my community.

If you’re waiting around for “good” to come — any kind of good — you’re probably just missing it. Because of the internet, we see great-looking pictures of other people’s lives where the ugly and the clutter is missing, and we compare that to the unedited view of our own environment.

Ugly is everywhere. Mundane is everywhere. But beauty is everywhere, too. Beauty that is unique to an area’s personality, that isn’t the manufactured big-box beauty we’ve learned to expect, only shows herself to those who look for her.

I don’t have a “good” farmer’s market. Except that I do. Because any farmer’s market — by its very nature — is good, even if it’s not the gorgeous one we’ve seen in pictures.

If you think your city or town doesn’t have a good market, please rethink that. Go visit your market. Is there naturally grown produce?

Yes?

You’re so lucky — you have a good farmer’s market!

Music Monday: When Your Instruments Get Stolen…

10.18.10

This video is reason alone to fall in love with this brand new New York band — Atomic Tom — who recorded their first album in an apartment-turned-music studio until the endeavor got shut down by the police for loudness. They finished their record, but then their instruments were stolen this month. Watch this video, and then tell me you wouldn’t have loved to have been on this subway . . .

A Regular Snack . . .

10.06.10

Snack Time

. . . from the Mesa Farmer’s Market on Fridays.

They are so much more flavorful than the non-organic shipped-from-who-knows-where cherry and grape tomatoes you get at the regular grocery stores. It’s like they’re a totally different food.

Sniffing the Threat and Standing Guard

09.23.10

On Guard

Sept. 22, 2010
The morning’s overcast sky, leftover from last night’s thunderstorm, distressed Gatsby. We almost never have rain-threatening skies and Gatsby was sure something was wrong.

I opened the back door for him so he could take one of his usual outdoor treks. He loves being outside and he spends most of the morning in the backyard.

This morning, though, he stood at the door, just his nose hanging out, as he tried to sniff the answers to the situation. Then he would look at me and vocalize a Scooby-like concern. At one point his agitation sent him running into the living room and back to the door as he grunted and growled.

Finally, Blake took him outside. This gave Gatsby the courage to fulfill what he considers to be his duty to our pack — he stood sentinel on a patio chair where he could better investigate the possible threat.
On Guard

Usually he watches our airway for birds, chasing and barking at them when they trespass into our territory. This morning, it was just the clouds he intended on protecting us from.

On Guard

If you eat at Rubio’s today you can help Trinity…

08.19.10

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This is a plea to family and friends in the east valley in Phoenix! :)

Trinity got accepted onto her dance studio’s company team this year! Rubio’s Mexican Grill is going to donate 20% of your meal cost toward Trinity’s dance expenses if you go with her name and flyer today. The donated funds will go into an account for Trinity to help pay for costumes, travel, class fees, etc.

Wanna help out by eating lunch or dinner there today? You need to know two important things:

* Please print and take this flyer and put “Trinity Hyman” on it. She won’t get credit without the flyer and her name.

* Please go to one of these three locations:

Mesa – US 60 & Signal Butte Rd
1804 S. Signal Butte Road, Mesa, AZ 85209

Mesa – Baseline & Power
6736 E. Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 85206

Gilbert – Power & Ray
4770 E. Ray Road Ste. 106, Gilbert, AZ 85296

They have take-out too!

Thanks so much for your help and support!

Hugs,
Noell + Izzy + Trinity

Music Monday: Shine On

08.16.10

My favorite song, when I was three, was called Shine On. I learned it in the children’s program in church. I really loved to sing it out, especially the line, “Shine on, shine on bright and clear!”
Childhood Photo - Me at 3.
They must have noticed my passion because one day the music leader invited me to come to the front and sing it to all the kids. I was definitely up for the task. She carried me on her right hip with one arm supporting me (can you believe I remember this?). She held a microphone to my mouth with her other hand — although it’s possible I just imagined that microphone into a false memory — and I sang to everyone that they should definitely shine on.

To be truthful, I think I was singing to them that I, myself would continue to shine on.
Me at 3.

Anyway, the Kooks have given me a modern, updated song to Shine On to. And my new song makes me feel at least as happy. Have a listen . . .

More San Diego Beach Pictures

08.13.10

Of 114 photos, I found my 13 favorites. I shared five of those in yesterday’s post.

Here are the other eight . . .

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No-Plan Vacations: Why On-the-Fly is Easier Than Ever

08.12.10

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It didn’t matter that my parents are both planners (Dad would go nuts if I still hadn’t booked my Christmas flight home from college by the March before), living for the moment is at my core. Eighteen years of nurture did not overcome nature in this respect.

To make things even better (not worse), I married someone who is the same way.
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Sometimes things get frantic (like when we realize the concert we assumed would start at 8:00 actually starts at 5), but mostly it’s just fun. It works for both of us. (And yes, we grabbed the keys and made it to the concert before the doors opened. We’re flexible like that).

For example, I knew I had to get myself to the beach this summer and introduce it to our kids. San Diego is only a seven hour drive away. When the kids got out of school in May I let Izzy know it was my biggest wish for our summer break, and he agreed we should make sure we fit it in somewhere. Where, exactly? Well, that didn’t matter. We’d find a weekend.

So after we packed the first summer month with work video and audio recordings, after we filled July with a visit to my family in Missouri and my daughter’s dance company rehearsals, we ran into our first commitment-free weekend last week.

Let’s go!

And this is how Izzy and I do things. We pulled up Google Maps and jumped on the route it gave us to the entire city of San Diego, since we didn’t have a hotel yet. No time for hotel booking!

We drove until we landed at a beach. We jumped out, put leashes on the dogs, and we all ran to the water. The kids were so ecstatic (goal achieved) that we let them go in with their clothes and all. The rush of waves weirded the dogs out, but the rest of us loved it.

We played until we were freezing and starving. And then, at about seven pm, we called a couple hotel chains and they told us what they had available around the city. We found one that wasn’t too far out of our price range and booked it. It took ten minutes of being quiet in the car while Izzy made two calls.

Tech & Spontaneity

Smart phones, Yelp, Google Maps, Google, and Evernote all make it easy for us spontaneous-types to be ourselves.

  • Suddenly hungry and need a vegan restaurant in San Diego? Yelp “vegan,” pick a promising option, and clip the other options to your Evernote for the next meals.
  • Need to know how to get to that hotel you just called from the who-knows-what beach you landed on? Google Maps knows how to get there, even if you don’t. And when you find the boogie-board rental place on the way to said beach, drop a pin at your current map location to find your way back. No need to write down addresses or directions, or anything at all.
  • Have a couple hours to play before it’s time to drive home? Google “fun free things to do in San Diego” and find people just dying to share the possibilities with you. I did this during our drive from Phoenix, just in case we needed a non-beach activity, and clipped the two most interesting ideas to my Evernote. They were waiting for us when we found that extra two hours.

Here’s what we did before driving back home to Arizona . . .
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Izzy and I pack life in. We’re always doing stuff we love and that doesn’t leave much time for planning. We plan a menu of a few meals every week, and I plan upcoming episode topics for work. And that’s about as much planning as we can stand. We know what our interests are and we just make them happen. I’ve found that very little planning is actually necessary.

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We may not get great hotel deals this way, but instead of calling ahead or getting online to do price comparisons, we’re working and making money, or doing something else that is awesome and fun.

So who cares about missing the deals? Not me.

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