Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Wonder of Christmas

I asked God a few weeks ago for the wonder of the Christmas season. That I may understand the birth of his Son in a new, deeper way. I don't know why he didn't just give it to me right then so I could have been more worshipful these last few weeks! Hah. Perhaps it would have been pearls given to the swine. But today, in the middle of a tight work deadline, the middle of the day in the middle of the week, my eyes are stinging and my heart is in my throat as I ponder the prophesied Savior born in Bethlehem. This place of worship came to me out of thin air when I listened to this "song," and hasn't left me yet. It's a place of wonder in my heart that only God can plant. I asked, and he gave…today. 11:30 a.m., December 14. I would not have guessed my heart was ready today.

I can ask. Seek. Knock. But who am I to predict or suggest that God will show up or I will experience Him at the time I ask Him to? We are so limited to time and space, but friends, God is not. I may knock, and weeks later he comes to the door. I do not understand His perfect timing.

God is a mystery, and I am captivated beyond imagination.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Phone Photo Madness

Here are a few unrelated assortment of photos from my phone that I gave up trying to upload through its wireless capabilities and just plugged the darn thing into a computer so I could finally share them.

I love his purple eye lids and golden hair.

This belongs in this blog. :)

Comstock Park. Another Saturday of fun with Mommy. It was almost too cold to be out here, but there were piles of leaves everywhere that we couldn't pass up!

Oliver's first season of SoccerTots is about to end so I had to snap a photo. He's the one in brown on the right. Go Oliver!

This is from way back this year when warm weather was familiar. I have a self-taught chef for a husband. Here is some of his grilled handiwork.

Benjamin's first flight! This was on our way to Illinois to visit my family. He was a bit squirmy, but we were prepared with toys, snacks and books. Could have been a lot worse.

This blog could have been saved for the end of the year as a recap of 2011!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saturday At It's Best

I had a weekend alone with Oliver and Benjamin because Shane went hunting.

It was entirely what I needed. I played "stay-at-home mom" and did everything I wanted to do with my kids. Here are some moments from our Saturday together.

We started the morning watching Mr. Rogers. It was Oliver's first time seeing the show and he really loved it; probably even more than I did as a kid. The rest of the weekend he wanted to wear button or zip-up shirts like Mr. Rogers, and wear shoes with laces. :)
Mister Rogers

I had time to just do simple household chores that normally feel like a burden on a weeknight. I enjoy doing laundry. Especially when I don't have to. But who takes a picture of their laundry? I do.

Our next activity was taking a trip to the neighborhood library! Sounds normal, but I haven't been to the library in a couple of years. It was exciting to browse with my little boys and pick out a pile of goodies. Being the first time to the library with both Oliver and Benjamin, it was fun to watch how they both enjoyed it differently. Oliver quietly wandered around the aisles picking out books and putting them back, and helped me carry the load when it got too heavy. Benjamin thought the library was a maze or playground and he ran up and down aisles pulling everything off shelves squealing loudly when he saw I was chasing him.
Oliver at the Library

I took this photo in the library parking lot through my rainy windshield. I am just struck by the vibrant colors of fall right now. I feel like my eyes are huge just taking in the beauty of it.
autumn leaves

From the library we went to the Rosauers/Huckleberry's store near our house. I let Oliver ride in the car cart and just slowly walked around giving myself time to remember all the things I always forget to buy. Light bulbs, baby snacks, tissues, tupperware. Then we ate some macaroni and cheese at the cafe in the store and called that lunch before heading home. (I took a photo on my phone but can't get it to upload for some lame reason. I know the's a lame phone.)

While Benjamin took a nap, I seized the opportunity to roast a pound of Yemen coffee beans. I bet you've never tried Yemen coffee before! :) When they reach the desired level of roasting I have to run outside with the colander of beans to let them cool because a) the smoke is so intense and b) the chaff from the beans gets everywhere.
Coffee Cooling

Oliver Peeks

Dinosaur Book

After Benjamin woke up we played with sticks in the yard and played in the hammock. The boys would laugh when a big gust of wind would throw leaves all over us. I was having too much fun to take any pictures.

I made this for dinner. I thought it was pretty tasty, but the boys didn't think so. C'mon, kids!
Bean burritos

After dinner Oliver asked if we could go to the bookstore. Hastings is only 4 blocks away, and I wasn't worn out yet, so I agreed. I let them run around and play with the toys. Oliver brought his own leftover birthday money so he could buy something small. He picked these out.
T-Rex and Raccoon
The T-Rex is for himself, and the raccoon he bought for Benjamin.

When evening came we read all of our library books.
Library Books

Little Bug

Oliver stayed up late with me to watch the 2nd Harry Potter movie then fell asleep on the sofa chair. Carrying him to bed was the perfect way to end my day. I think we'd all agree that a sleeping child is a taste of true peace.

It was like a vacation day for me. I've been needing that kind of Saturday for a long time.

And I took a picture of myself to prove I was really there. Ha. Ha.
Fall Sweater

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Of One Kind and Another

Some hours burst with inspiration to the point I feel quite immobilized.

And again it started with coffee…
Followed by a string of really great blog posts from strangers who appreciate art and beauty. My Avett Brothers Pandora station helped too.

What do you feel when you are overwhelmingly inspired? I feel like sharing. It's most unsatisfying to see something beautiful when you're the only one who sees it. It's such a natural tendency in us to want to share experiences and emotion. So, I call someone, or blog about it, or just write it down so that there's at least a possibility I can share it later.

When this kind of inspiration comes over me I panic a bit because I know how fleeting it is. It's a gift and I want to be a good steward, ya know?

My first urge is to be productive and squeeze every bit of juice I have into something that will somehow be profitable. I have an addiction to being productive and often feel a moment should never be wasted. But as I get older I'm working on just enjoying or letting it be. To sit still and savor. I realize that moments are intrinsically valuable and don't need to be productive in order for it to be worth something. I see a great need in myself to let go of productivity. I'm sure it's useful and makes me a great employee and teammate. But not always a good mom or wife or friend. Just be.

*     *     *     *     *     a few hours later     *     *     *     *     *

The fleeting moment did pass. Inspiration of one kind left and another arrived. A very different kind. I went downtown with the UGM writer and my office roomie, Barb, to take photos of this homeless couple she interviewed over the weekend. Sammy and Amber are young and have lost all rights to their children. Their childhood pasts aren't pretty at all. They use meth to numb their pain. It was so good to be down there talking to people. But it was hard. Their story is tragic; their plight not very hopeful. I did get some photos, although it was awkward and they were nervous and I rushed the process. So not very many turned out. I hope I have at least one I can use for our next newsletter. Barb and I left feeling a lot of despair for them and for homelessness in our community as a whole. It's a lot to carry. It's a huge story that needs told on a regular basis. But we don't have a perfect solution. UGM can be a solution for some people, but many who are on the streets won't or can't be helped. But maybe we can help others see the homeless as people like you and me. Barb shared a link with me about a photo project on homelessness in San Diego and I was inspired by what the photographer said:

"I think that making that connection is the first step. Then hopefully more people will put pressure on our city leaders, more people will volunteer, more people will donate to some of the great service providers in the city."
"…it was clear that we have to listen to individual stories if we're to understand homelessness in our community."
 So, I'm re-inspired to be a part of a movement in Spokane that is helping the homeless. Pain can be inspiring, and I experienced that today. I'm inspired to help Barb tell their story and I hope I can do it justice. I'm praying a lot because I'm scared out of my mind that I won't do it right and I don't feel worthy to communicate such an important message that is so close to God's heart. I know a little how Moses felt when God said:

"And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the 
way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the 
Israelites out of Egypt.

But Moses said to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring 
the Israelites out of Egypt?'"

And this is how God responded: "I will be with you."

I wrote a poem (kind of) to express my experience in some way. I used some of what Sammy said today and some of my own thoughts when I put myself in his worn-out shoes.


Look at me.
I'm under a bridge, but I'm not hiding.
I don't trust nobody, but I'll face ya.
I'll look ya in the eye.

At least for a few seconds.

"Don't wear your house shoes in the yard."
Ya never know when you'll have to run.
Every day is a bad day and I'm scared to go to sleep.

I don't wanna take your money.
But I need a place to stay. A place to clean up every day and shave so I can go to work.

I wear out a pair of socks a day. I need socks.
My feet hurt.

At least I have her. We're all each other has.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coffee Cata-List

A list spurred by thankfulness.
  1. Mary Beth. For spontaneously buying me a bag of Thomas Hammer coffee beans. Local. Freshly roasted. Deelish. You inspired this blog (hence the awesome title to this post).
  2. Northwest weather. I was made for it.
  3. Sons that love waking up and are all smiles in the morning. We need that in our family.
  4. Friendships that, in their own way, withstand time and distance. Particularly thinking of my high school clan: Stephanie, Lindsay and Norman. Miss you girls.
  5. The nearness of fall.
  6.   .....Always satisfying.
  7. The huge, awkward grocery cart with the plastic car attached to the front. Oliver's joy makes it worth it. And it's nice passing another parent who sacrificed their dignity for the same cause, I don't feel so ridiculous.
  8. Skype. Making it so you don't seem so far way.
  9. BBQ sandwich and blackberries to get me through the afternoon. I love the kitchen staff where I work. They're alway surprising us with food when we most need it. One thing this place is good at is hospitality.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Plum Worn Out

Too sleepy to finish his plum.

11 months...whaaat?

This is crazy. Benjamin is almost 1 year old! Life has moved so fast this last year I'm almost falling out of my chair. He's a strong walker and climber. Our predictions from the womb are holding true. We figured this boy would be a go-getter with lots of energy. He doesn't have much desire for learning words and reading books. There are too many other things to do! Like learn to climb up on couches and beds, bang on Dad's djembe, find a way to sneak into the bathroom and splash in the toilet (not a joke). I'm not saying he doesn't care about communicating. He LOVES to tell you what he thinks. You WILL hear his side of the story. You might not understand, but you'll know he cares. He is the loudest when he knows you aren't listening. He is probably going to be one of those tantrum-throwing 2-year-olds. So, I need to start working on showing him that I am listening and I do understand how it feels. It's tragic when you want to play with sharp, pointy pencils and no one will let you. Poor guy.

I'm wondering if Benjamin will be a good artist though. I handed him a crayon when Oliver and I were drawing pictures and instead of holding it in a fist like most babies do, he turns the crayon around and holds it like a paintbrush and start scribbling away. Made Shane and I exclaim proudly.

This last month Benjamin has started taking a liking to brushing his teeth. That took us by surprise. He sees  us doing it and wants to join in the fun. He's pretty good at it, but needs more than 2 teeth if he wants to spend 5 whole minutes scrubbing.

It sure is fun to see how children can look and act so differently. Makes me want another one just to see what else our genes can come up with! Haha. ...I'm not in any hurry though. I'm enjoying not having any baby fat. This isn't likely to last forever.

Cleaning House

Do you ever notice a change of seasons in your life and you don't know how it started or why it's happening so suddenly? That's what this last week has seemed like to me. Someone must be praying for us. No, we haven't bought a house, I haven't changed jobs, and there have been no family emergencies. Shane and I are seeing chaos in our house slowly being turned to order. It's exactly something I asked God for not more than three weeks ago. Everything was (and still is, actually) really messy both physically and internally for our family. Shane and I both realized we needed to make some big changes about ourselves and trusted that those changes would carry over into our household. It's hard to change old habits. It's hard to face junk in yourself and admit that you're hurting more than yourself, but your spouse and children with those habits.

Shane lead the way and started training for a triathlon. He's been swimming across lakes and running miles on a foot that was broken in four places a year and a half ago. It hurts, but not enough to make him stop. I'm amazed at his sudden motivation and diligence. I need to get in shape too but am at a serious loss at how to start and when on Earth I'll possibly find time. So I signed up to get an online personal health coach through one of my work benefits (I am blessed to have such a great job!). Baby steps, right? She has some good suggestions and I'm excited to try them.

We've been slowly removing processed sugars from our diet. We're not Nazis about it yet, but it's making a difference. Now I just need to be better about avoiding them at work (people just love to donate pastries and chocolate to this place). I did stop buying coffee creamers and now just use palm sugar and cream. And fruit replaced sugar on our cereal. Baby steps.

Last Saturday morning Shane spotted a HUGE wolf spider in our living room. It ran away at lightning speed and as Shane was searching in corners he noticed another spider. And another. And another. In a state of school-girl frenzy we tore our living room apart and ended up killing about 12 spiders, big and small in our living room. Talk about a motivator for cleaning every corner of the house! We ended up clearing the entire living room of furniture, books and decorations, swept and mopped the floors, dusted and separated out every item we really didn't need to give to thrift stores. The biggest accomplishment of all was finally removing our television. Bad habit: GONE. Thank you, vampire spider, for being the catalyst to life change. Our entryway is still crowded with some random misplaced items, so the chaos isn't gone. But we are suddenly motivated to tackle every room in the house the same way. This Saturday: kitchen and bedrooms. This is what I prayed for! Order in our house!

There have been other beautiful examples of answers to this prayer. Shane is designing his own method of teaching Oliver to draw letters in Adobe Illustrator, and it's really clicking for Oliver (with a little help from Goldfish snacks). Shane and I have taken some big steps in our relationship as well. We've also added some weekly one-on-one time to our calendar.

Something is happening. It's difficult right now because we're impatient to be out of our mess and living in a clean home and healthy lifestyle. But some things don't happen fast, especially if you're going to be thorough and do the job well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

10 months, yo.

Leaps and bounds this past month!

Benjamin is now walking. But only in straight lines. :)
He has two beautiful bottom teeth!
He's getting even LOUDER.
He can clap, wave and say "haaaa" (hi).
His hair is getting much lighter and even curly in the back.
His diet is consisting of more table food and water.
He is more clingy and shies away from other people.
We started leaving him in the nursery at church and he has a really great time it seems. He's just way too loud for the church service!
If you say, "I'm gonna get you!" He squeals and crawls in the other direction.
He dances every time he hears a beat.
Benjamin celebrated his first Fourth of July. We don't have pictures of the ground fireworks we played with, but here he is that same weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Benjamin is 9 months!

This little booger wants to grow up. He's toothless, but already standing up on his own without holding onto anything. Yesterday he took his first step! It was just one, and we'll let you know when walking really begins. We noticed he doesn't learn for the sake of learning or reward, but progresses when he's having fun. I'm not even sure he realizes he's learning to walk. He doesn't respond as much as Oliver did to our praise and excitement. He's just having fun and doing his own thing. Confident, independent, vocal. He cries and yells for just about everything, but I don't think it's an emotional thing. He just wants you to know what he thinks. He wants to be heard and gets over it once you acknowledge his point.

We're having a lot of fun with Benjamin. He has added a whole new personality to our home. We're exhausted, but very much in love with God's gift of family.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ali is 25!

     Little sister. She's more than a sister as most sisters are. Ali and I, almost 2 years apart used to be inseparable.

People used to think we were twins. We both loved horses and pretty clothes, had huge imaginations and loved to play house. Being a mom was our ultimate dream. Especially if it included a handsome hero and horses. We were great at being inspired and joining in on each other's excitement about something. Being so close in age and so similar we were quite competitive with one another and had a pretty roller coaster love/war relationship. In high school we strove for independence and stole the other's cute clothes and makeup. I think we each admired the other in some way but still wanted to be our own person. There was a lot of yelling and blaming and bitterness.

Somehow we came out of young adulthood with a deep love and respect for each other. And it's exciting to grow up with her and start families. We both have changed so much in the last 3-4 years because of how our roles have changed in life. We are living that dream of motherhood and realizing who we really are inside. And when I think of Ali Shea, I think of strength. Passion. She has this deep well of love and forgiveness that is hard to find in people. She owns very little but feels very rich. She is a giver like my dad, an optimist like my mom and holds zero expectations on others. If you ever have met her you will most likely smile within the first 20 seconds of being with her. Her smile and humor are contagious. I have NEVER met anyone so comfortable in her own skin around complete strangers even. I am always impressed by how real she is and how irresistible it is to laugh when I'm around her. What a gift God has given you, Ali. You will change more lives than you realize by pouring out of yourself all that amazingness stuffed inside! Happy Birthday, Ali Shea.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Happy 23rd Birthday, Evan! Wish we could hang out all the time and get to know each other all over again. So much has happened since I left for college, got married, moved to Washington, launched a career, had some babies. Who are you now? What are your passions? What are you learning? I miss you, Evan. You mean so much to me and I'm horrible at saying so. I'm horrible at actually showing it. I'm so proud of you. You learned and exceeded in music faster than I ever could. At about the time you were in high school I noticed how naturally you lead others just by being true to who you are. I love how you honestly pursue God and seek truth. And something I think everyone sees and appreciates is that you love and are affectionate without reservation. I  may not know entirely who you are these days, but these things I do know.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

There is No Meantime

It’s the 8-month mark for Benjamin! Can you believe it? Life is drastically changing since he has started crawling. We’re finally getting that sense of, “Wow, this is way different than having just one,” that everyone warned us about. Poor Shane has basically given up on house chores. So, don’t be offended if we don’t invite you over for the next 6 months or so. Benjamin is desperately wanting to walk and we’re wondering if he’ll be ready for his first steps in the next couple of months. He pulls himself up with one hand now and tests himself by letting go. But his upper body is just too big for his chubby legs to hold, I think.

Oliver grew a few inches I think. And he learned to hit a baseball (plastic) without the tee this month. We’ve found that he does better when he’s not under pressure. He has terrific natural instincts and is very physically capable…except when everyone is watching him or you ask him to do it. Then he buckles and suddenly can’t perform. Shane says he was/is the same way. It’s wonderful to realize more about yourself by watching your kid. It sure helps you know how to respond and encourage them the right way. I love how humble Oliver is, and if he doesn’t want to perform he doesn’t have to. I don't blame him. I just hope he gains more confidence in himself and realizes he is gifted and has much to offer the world.

I feel like a lot has happened in one month. I started to write in my journal every Saturday to recap the week, because I think there are some important events in life I too soon forget. Every week is so different and it’s neat to see how life progresses in small events.

This week was especially intense. Our friend, Emad, from church is a refugee from Iraq and has lived in the U.S. for a couple years now. He gave a young man a ride home from a 7-Eleven on Monday. When he stopped the car the guy attacked Emad with an iron bar and hit him over the head several times. Emad got out of the car and the guy ran after him hitting him some more until onlookers scared him away. He was able to give a report of the incident but then later lost his memory.  It was strange visiting him in the hospital and he not recognize us. He didn’t even remember his own son who is Oliver’s age. Thankfully the blows did not break his skull and he’s slowly starting to remember some things. Please say a prayer for him. He has been through a lot as it is since coming to the States.

 Our friend, Amy, got hit and run over by a truck at a crosswalk downtown on Tuesday. I believe she is still in the hospital, but amazingly did not have any broken bones or internal bleeding. She is in a lot of pain and her wounds and the trauma will take months to heal. She has come so far in recovery in the past few days. Everyone is amazed by her strength and heart through all of this.

The strange thing is that Emad and Amy are friends. Amy and her husband, Brent, started the non-profit in Spokane that helps refugees called Global Neighborhood. It’s so strange to have two friends go through completely different traumatic events in two days time.

(Brent and Emad)
My problems seem so small that’s it’s ridiculous to even mention that I’m burnt out from work and freelancing and being a mom and wife. I am completely exhausted. I really want to help Shane clean the house this weekend...but not really. Today we’re going to check out this house we’re interested in that’s about 40 minutes away (are we crazy?). Then we might do more thrift store shopping (I wish Global Neighborhood Thrift was open!). Then we have a house-warming party this afternoon for some friends. I think we’re skipping church tomorrow to have a day of no activity and rest. We considered a trip to Shane’s home for his dad’s birthday, but that would probably just exhaust us more.

I wish I had more time to blog because there are some fun things I’d like to share and wish I could write more than just updates like this. But life is intense these days and I don’t feel like sharing frivolous things when life isn’t frivolous. It’s amazing and changing and hard.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Benjamin is 7 months. Oliver is taller.

Benjamin's physical and mental growth was significant this month. He's really starting to become his own person. Not only did he learn to scoot around on his belly (he's trying so hard to get his legs under him so he can crawl!), but he's learning to eat solids as well (that crazy tongue gets in the way sometimes). One significant change is that when I leave for work he cries and when I come home he gets so excited and yells and reaches for me. That feels amazing. He missed me! He has been sleeping in our bed a lot at night which I actually love sinse I'm away from him during the day. A couple days ago he learned that he can make a new noise. This might be hard to explain...He moves his arm up and down over his mouth while he yells so he makes a Native American war call sound. Haha. We started doing it to him first because he yells so much and he seemed to like it. And now he can do it by himself! Isn't it funny how the small things are easy to get excited about with babies? It's an amazing process to watch them learn and try new things.

One thing we always have to be on our toes about now is keeping small objects and paper out of his way since he is officially mobile. He manages to get hold of pieces of paper and completely shred them. He's like a puppy. He drools all over everything, chews on stuff, is really noisy, gets excited when you walk in the door and prefers to sleep in your bed as opposed to his own. :) But what puppy can make an Indian war call, right??

I'm not sure you can count "Dada" as a first word when he's been saying it for a couple months now. It's more like "D" was his first consonant he mastered. I'm working on "Mama." He mostly yells. And makes that "pbpbpbpbpbpbpbpb" sound with his lips. It's cutest when you catch him talking quietly to himself while he's playing. I wonder what he's pretending. :)

Oliver is changing as well. He's growing so tall that we had to dish out for some new clothes this month. Both grandmas helped out in this department not knowing it was the perfect time! Oliver is a very serious young man and his feelings get hurt pretty easily. It's a hard balance to be firm with a child during a melt down but still express understanding and show grace because he's still so little. He deeply loves Benjamin and makes him laugh easily by jumping on the bed and running crazy around the house. You can tell Benjamin wants to run and jump with him when he gets so excited and squeals. They'll be a cute pair when Ben finds his legs. Oliver sometimes has a hard time sharing toys. He doesn't like all the drool I think. He has learned he is no longer the center of attention and handles it like a big boy.  I hate having to say, "I'm sorry I can't play, I'm feeding Benjamin. But I will play when I'm done." I so want him to know that I love being with him and he is just as important. I suppose sharing and sacrifice is a good lesson for all children to learn at an early age. It's just extra hard to tell what's going on in Oliver's head because he doesn't often express it.

Oliver, our introverted, intellectual, grown-up little boy.
Benjamin, our loud, social, ball of energy and giggles.
They're meant to be together.

Short story: Oliver has been playing with my French phrase and dictionary pocketbook a lot. He opened it up the other day (upside-down) and said,

"I'll read you a story.
God died.
Then God is alive!
Then God went into the water with the fish and the whales and the sharks!
The end."

Well, that's a new angle of the Easter story if I've ever heard one!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Benjamin - 6 months

I have a 6 month old. Half a year old, Benjamin! He's a chunky little boy with plenty of personality to share. I'm so glad he's a whole different kind of person than Oliver. It makes it interesting to do this whole baby thing again but have completely different results. I love Oliver's shy, quiet, observant and calm way. He's like a pleasant bowl of warm soup on a chilly day. Benjamin is a little more spicey. He's like a flavorful grilled shish kabob. Funny way to talk about my children I suppose. Hehe. Benjamin is our little extrovert and fully engages with people, books, artwork, photographs, the outdoors, toys, you name it. It's very energizing to say the least. And sometimes quite exhausting.

New tricks:

  • He's sitting up on his own now. Sort of. It's dangerous to leave him on his own because when he does fall over he can't catch himself. Ouch.
  • He says Dadadadadadadada a lot and is learning lots of new vowels and consonants.
  • He grabs for the bottle and freaks out in desperation when he sees one.
  • He's not that interested in eating solids right now (except for a juicy plum Oliver decided to share with him the other day). But he's gaining plenty of rolls with just breast milk. He does watch us eat and drink with intense interest.
  • He's scooting around a bit on his tummy.
  • He is finally starting to show an interest in walking. When you hold his hands he takes steps. Oliver did that from about 3 months old but Benjamin is just now starting to try it.
  • He sticks out his unusually long tongue. All. The. Time.

What a boy. He's so hilarious. We love you, Benjamin. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Art in the Raw

Inspired by some new Christmas gifts I'm making an effort to nurture my relationship with art. I started with a new pen and ink set and a scrap piece of paper. I did a quick drawing of my old friend, Spiderman, from memory. He has a few quirks and strange anatomical mishaps, but it was fun to draw him again. He used to be my character of choice in high school and college.

 And my next endeavor will be a revisit to a favorite medium, watercolor.
 And with a little creative fuel, I might muster up something for the walls...or next year Christmas gifts! Thanks, Amanda, for the French press! It's a lot harder to be satisfied with the office's coffee now.