Wednesday, October 5, 2011

with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

Listening To: After the Storm by Mumford & Sons
Line Obsession: “I closed my eyes, put my right hand on top of the book, and passed it lightly across the cover. It was cool and smooth like a stone from the bottom of the brook, and it stilled me. A whole other world is inside there, I thought to myself, and that's where I want to be.” - from Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan

Hey beauties (& beastlies). I've been camera-happy lately, collecting loads of pictures that will mostly disappear into the abyss of my computer unless I blog them. LUCKY YOU. ; ) I have decided to call this extravaganza of photography: 

pictures that = happymaking. 
Here goes!

Comfy Jeans + Mary Janes.
So, these shoes? I get that they're not everybody's thing. But they are so my thing. I adore them. I got a sick coupon to DSW a few weeks ago, but didn't know if I would ever use it. And then I saw these. These shoes managed to sway me. Suede me. Zing! They're suede Mary Janes with a bow on the side. Girly? Most extremely so. But the suede totally makes them tough. (... right?) I'm also wearing my favorite jeans in this picture. And I'm also bouncing up on my toes. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take a picture of your shoes with PhotoBooth? It involves lots of long strides and toe-bounces. (If suede-bows are your thang too, here's where you'll find 'em.)

Snuggly Dogs + Sunny Days. 

Biscuit and I have been making up for all the stank-hot summer days when she couldn't go out and play. She loves to be outside. She chases the ball. She chases her shadow. She rolls in the dirt. She pounces into my lap and licks my cheek. Mostly, she lifts her little fuzzy face toward the sunlight and sniff-sniff-sniffs like she just can't get enough of it. It's the sweetest. Face to the sun = a good way to spend a day.

Messy Hair + Hoodie Weather.

The same stylist has cut my hair twice now, so I can officially confirm that she's boss. The Boss of Locks. BossLocks. That sounds like a viking, yes? But she doesn't look like a viking. She just looks like a cool 20something. (Where was I going with this? ...Hair!)

During our first encounter, I told her that I liked for my hair to look messy but still polished. I like bedhead. But not too much bedhead. Classy bedhead. Bohemian Bedhead. But not, like, Bohemian-stank. More like Bohemian-steeze. Or something.

And I also told her that I wanted volume, "but not like a Bon Jovi Shackle-My-Heart bouffant." What does all that even mean? I have no idea. But she knew. She cut my bangs at a slant and sliced in some long layers and bam. No round brushes. No flat irons or curling irons. It's pretty sweet. Here's the kicker {better sitch yerself down for this one} the haircut only costs $25. I don't think I've ever paid that little for a haircut. Not in the city. Not in the boondocks. I'm baffled by it. So if you live in Chattanooga, or you go to Lee University (because I know at least a few of you fine folks are from Lee - woo!), and you're looking for a stylist, you should go visit the hair boss. Just don't book her solid because occasionally I need a trim. Her name is Bethany Gann and she works at Beke Salon in Cleveland, TN. She's a crazy-talented girl and, besides that, she's a truly rad person. (PS - I don't get any free shampoo or anything for sending you there. I just think she's cool.)

This + This. I'm not sure why they go together. But they totally do.
Mountains + Woods  + Water + Kaleidoscope Snow. 

Vacation pictures from Washington and Oregon. Best. Vacation. Ever. Sigh.

Flowers + Fall. 

My city had a major drought toward the end of this summer. The rains finally fell; it was a roar and a downpour and a deluge. For days, the rain was a constant silver curtain out my window. More warm weather followed that. And so I guess the seasons got confused and now ... things are blooming again. It's the wildest thing: the leaves have rusted edges, but the branches have springtime blooms. The pear trees are blooming. The crepe myrtles are blooming. The roses, which typically go paper-crinkly this time of year, are mega-watt- BLOOMING. Blooming when you are not supposed to bloom? Blooming when it is not expected? I love that so much I can barely stand it.

Something about all the blooming reminds me of Jenny Han's novel Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream which is, technically, a book for kids. So you can pretend you're buying it for your little sibs, the kids you babysit, your classroom, etc., if you want. But make sure you get to keep it to yourself for a while, because it's lovely. Clara Lee, the spunky little protag, has a dream that her grandfather dies. She's frantic over this, of course. But her grandfather tells her that, in Korea, dreams about death mean that new beginnings and good luck are on the way. I. Love. That. I love new beginnings that come when you don't expect them.

"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert. Be present. I'm about to do something brand new. It's bursting out. Don't you see it?" (Isaiah 43:19 The Message)

Bloom on, brave souls. Bloom on.

Hogwarts + Me + The Fam. 

So this picture is a rerun. But it is timely because most of my fam is taking a mini-trip to the Harry Potter theme park this weekend. SO STOKED. Have you ever seen National Lampoons movies? Our family trips are very similar to that. They are very loud. Also, funny (but sometimes funny more in retrospect than in the moment). I'm told a luau will be involved ( ... ?) Get ready, Orlando!

Backyards + Blankets + Paperback Books.

Favorite Nooks + Records + Heathcliff. 

My dad built a stand for my record player with shelves for records, books, pictures, and various other wonderfuls. I'm wild about it (all three pics are glimpses of the wonderfuls). My dad's work is always so strong and sturdy; he builds bookshelves and steps and rails and record holders. Stuff that helps me get where I need to go. Stuff that keeps my stories and daydreams safe. {The pics: 1. I love every single song on Tapestry. 2. The card stuck to the mirror is called a silhouhead. 3. That's the cover of the 1943 Fritz Eichenberg Wuthering Heights; the Christmas present from my parents that caused lots of squealing. They gave me both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and the illustrations are insane. I wish Random House would reissue them. Not for me, because I already have them. I just think every Bronte fangirl should have them.}

Also making me happy .... 

These lyrics in Mumford & Sons "After the Storm." I listened to this song over and over on Tuesday. While I drove and while I wrote and when I fell asleep.  I sat in my car, in the parking lot, listening to the song play out.  I was in a remembering way. (Tuesday was my grandmother's birthday. I miss her a bunch.)

"There will come a time you'll see
with no more tears
and love will not break your heart
and dismiss your fears
get over your hill and see what you find there
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair." - M & S

This quote from Nina Garcia in the October issue of Marie Claire ...
"I've never understood haunted houses. Why anyone would choose to step into a scary situation is beyond me. But this year, in prepping my sons for Halloween, it occurred to me that fashion plays upon those same emotions we experience during a haunting. Only it's the unexpected looks that jump out, make your heart race, and leave an indelible impression on your sartorial dreams." - Nina Garcia

Love that. I think all great art (I hate dropping the a-word because it sounds so snooty, but you know what I mean) is that way. I adore books and paintings and stories and songs and pictures and dances and quilts and clothes that stir me up, that make me react (don't you love it when your heart latches on to something before your brain even understands why?). I like to be haunted that way. And I think it's a fine goal to hope your work haunts someone that way, to strive to make something that lasts. (Keep blooming, brave souls. Keep blooming.)

The story in this song:

And you. No doubt about that. You people have a knack for making my day. Thanks for taking the time to say hello. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for reading along. As The Golden Girls would say, thank you for being a friend. :) I feel so crazy-blessed to be part of this little community. Wish we could all travel to Hogwarts together this weekend. We could duel! 

Do holler down in the comments if you've been to Harry Potter World (or whatever it's called). I would love to know some must-see, must-do stuff! Is the Butter Beer outta this world? Did your wand really pick you? Did you play Quidditch and eat chocolate frogs?! I am so excited! I'll let you know how it all goes down.

What's making your Fall days particularly fabulous?


  1. I think Mary Janes (in general, but especially yours!) are adorable. I've loved them ever since I saw Penelope for the first time.

    I am sooo jealous that you're going to the Harry Potter theme park! My family is going on vacation to Florida the week after next, but we're going down to the Keys and unfortunately won't be able to stop at HP land. We were in Disney World a few years ago, but that was before the park was finished. I hear it's ridiculously awesome! :) Again, very jealous.

    I knew that I remembered you mentioning the Fritz Eichenberg Bronte books here before. :) I just found a copy of the Jane Eyre edition at the thrift store the other day and it is one of my best finds ever! The illustrations are gorgeous. Now I accidentally-on purpose own 4 copies of Jane Eyre.

    Lovely post, as usual. :) And thanks again for introducing me to the Civil Wars. And the Avett Brothers. And Eisley.

    My fall days are fabulous because after a big setback I finally get to start working on my quilt again. And I'm getting the hang of knitting in the round so I can make a pair of wrist warmers. And I'm loving rewatching classic Disney movies (fall makes me strangely nostalgic), seeing some new 30s Jean Harlow movies, and being addicted to Lark Rise to Candleford.


  2. Just wanted to say: I think you're putting a love for The Civil Wars in me ;)
    I'm super stoked because I think we'll actually be having some non-dreary fall weather this week! I live in Pennsylvania and we've only had record amounts of rain, back to back storms, and depressing, cold autumn days. But I see sunshine for the first time in a few days! Yay!

  3. the tips and the tricks to harry potter world.
    i didn't tey butterbeer. because i hate butterscotch. but if you do want it you can get it at the three bommsticks, you don't have to wait in a line at a cart. of course i went in the summer when there was always a line in the hundred degree weather, but...that's also why i didn't go to ollivanders, i was afraid it'd be a little kiddish, it's not even someone that looks like ollivander but some acne covered 20 dude that helps you find your wand and when i went the wait in line was like three hours. SO...i settled (well not really settled) for ron's wand. and i love it. you can also buy wands that aren't the characters in shops rather than having to have it 'choose' you. the ride (there's three, but only one can be called THE ride)is awesome. i don't like rides but it was crazy epic. all the stores are a ball and it totally feels like magic. have an rockin' awesome time. great pictures!

  4. So I wasn't going to say anything about all things Harry Potter because I don't really know much about it. Please, don't shun me :) But then I saw the word Quidditch and I remembered something that I think you would find really cool. I'm in brass choir at college (it's just like what it sounds like, a bunch of brass players playing music) and one of the songs we will be performing is Quidditch. Like the actual song that plays in the movie. So, I don't know if that means anything to you, but I thought I would just mention it.

    As always, Biscuit is adorable!!
    Have a great week!


  5. Your Lee U shoutout just made my day :) I'm currently a senior there (scary thought) and just happen to be in need of a haircut soon, so...thanks for the recommendation!

    Also. I love the blooming analogy as well as that verse. So relevant to where I am right now. "After the Storm" is one of my favorite M&S songs, and those lyrics are the best.

    Anyway, I am super excited about fall being here (even if it does feel more like spring right now...but whatever, it's gorgeous. Can't complain about that)! There's so many little things about it that never fail to make my heart happy :) (which, coincidentally enough, I just blogged about myself)

  6. just wanted to comment bc your record+book nook sounds awesome and i wish i had one! jane eyre is one of my favorites ever. and i love that viktor+rolf scent too! :)

  7. I absolutely love my copy of Wuthering Heights like that. I got it this summer at a used bookstore in Michigan in pretty good condition. And the illustrations are wonderful!

  8. Love love love the shoes and the cute jeans. Also really love the Civil Wars song choice (my favorite of theirs), the silhouhead card (they sell them at a bookstore close to my house. Love them) and the Bronte books!!!! They look fantastic! :)

    I especially love the fact that you are going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Be prepared to spend the entire day there. Go to the Owlery, Honeydukes and the Pub! The place is darn amazing. I miss it alot. And the wait for the ride inside the castle is COMPLETELY worth it!!!! :) the "students" all talk in accents and you get an amazing tour and fantastic ride inside the castle. Do go. You will love it!!! So excited for you to go and experience it. Every Potterphile must go. ;)

    Have fun!!! Take tons of pictures!!!