Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Halfway There

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I was working full steam on my thesis, which I finished today (HOORAY!!).

I left New Zealand on June 15th, 6 weeks ago today. Which means that I am halfway through my time in the states. Some days I think "Halfway already? I'm going to miss everyone so much when I leave". But for the past few days it's been more like "Only half way?". It's actually quite unfair that my brain can be homesick for two different places depending on which one I'm actually i at the moment. A piece of advice for all you travelers out there: Don't get engaged and then leave for three months. It's no good. Here's what's waiting for me across the Pacific. Makes me want to run out and buy a plane ticket.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Uncle Ned Would Be Proud

No paniers or bob trailer yet. We're saving those for her third birthday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in D.C.

We brought Annie and Tilda to the monuments yesterday. Annie approves of Washington.And then shows us what she thinks of Lincoln.
I wonder what this means for her future in politics.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wedding blogging

I've joined a wedding website called WeddingBee and have been posting a bit over there. Since I have been a little delinquent about filling in the details of our engagement (!), I thought this story would be a good start:

Mr. Veggie Farmer Finds the Perfect Eco Ring

Mr. Veggie Farmer is good at many things. Ok, he's so good at so many things that it can drive (Soon-to-be) Mrs. Veggie Farmer a bit mad. But the one thing that he lacks is good common sense about fashion. His style might be best described as "Functional Salvation Army" (but that's why I love him, right?).

You might say that Mr. Veggie's proposal was a bit of a surprise for both of us. So much of a surprise that the day he popped the question he hadn't bought an engagement ring yet. Riding bikes back to our house (Soon-to-be) Mrs. Veggie found herself wearing a big smile and the ring from the key chain of our bike lock.

We are simple folks who like simple things, but even Mr. Veggie Farmer could see that we needed a slightly more suitable engagement ring. The only criteria we had was that we wanted something ethically and environmentally sound. I also wanted something that I could wear every day without worrying about getting bits of compost stuck in it, or snagging it on a chicken feather as I put the girls back in the coop.

He wanted to go out himself and find something special, but in my mind all I could think about was the aforementioned affliction that Mr. Veggie has when it comes to fashion. Is there a tactful way to say "That flourescent orange rock may be eco, but it doesn't go with my eyes?".

Luckily we live in a town full of artists with several jewelry boutiques. We decided ride down to town together, and then split up to see what we found. We went into stores that were right next to each other and five minutes later Mr. Veggie came to find me. He had found the perfect ring. I was skeptical, to say the least, but when I saw what he had found I knew it was perfect. Of course I still had to go to every other boutique in town to see what they had to offer, but he was right. He had found the perfect ring in five minutes (how did he do that?).

My ring is made by Ash Hilton from Nelson, NZ, which is about 300 miles from where we live in Raglan, New Zealand. He crafts the jewelry himself using ethical metal that he has either reclaimed and melted down or mined himself from the black sand beaches on the South Island. Nelson was drawn to a silver ring etched with a design of wind-blown grasses because it reminded him of the spot where he proposed(cute!). I loved the silver, but that particular ring was a bit too big for me. Because Ash is a somewhat local artist, we easily could have had him make us that ring in my size, but we were on a bit of a time crunch since I was travelling home to see my family in just three days and wanted to have the ring before I left. Also, I was more drawn to another ring that had trees etched into it. And so without further ado here is my ring:

Things we learned about buying a green ring:

- Finding a local artist not only reduces the carbon footprint of your ring, but can help remind you of a special place.

- Ethical metal does not have to be expensive.

- A diamond doesn't make an engagement ring. Although we ended opting for no stone at all, we thought about having a greenstone ring (a locally-available and culturally significant stone in NZ).

- And finally, Mr. Veggie Farmer does have some fashion sense! He was just waiting until the right time to let it show.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How did she do it?

I have now spent two weeks with my nieces and while I am enjoying every minute of it, I am also completely and utterly exhausted. It makes me wonder. When Kristen and I were Tilda and Annie's age the year was 1982. My mom was a mere 23 years old. She took care of us, had an at-home day care business, and managed to look so stylish (in a throwback Jane Fonda/ Farrah Fawcett kind of way). Our team of caretakers varies from 2-7 people on any given day and I still need a nap to keep up with Annie. There are only two possibilities here. Either my mom has super powers, or we were incredibly angelic babies. I'll leave with with one final picture of make-up covered two-year-old Kristen to let you decide that one for yourselves.