the best husbands make you homemade brownies when you're sad, and bring you one while you're watching movies in bed. <3

home sweet home

Today was a very, very trying day at work. For my new readers, I am a high school English teacher, teaching four sections of 10th graders and one section of 12th graders. I normally love my job, and rarely have discipline problems or any reason to dislike my work day. Today though, was one of those rare horrible days. I don't want to get into it (those of you who saw my tweets earlier, before I erased them, know a bit of what happened). I just feel like it may be a bit unethical/unprofessional to discuss child-related issues in a public forum. Hence the deleted tweets. Just know that a student said horrible things to me and the situation escalated (not by my own doing), and it was just a bad, bad day. Luckily I am at home now, but tomorrow I will have to deal with all of this with the administration and child. I am very proud of myself with how I handled it, and so are the other adults who witnessed it, so that's a plus. My head hurts though, from the crying I did (not in front of the student mind you!), and my heart hurts that someone could be that cruel. Regardless though, I was upset at the time, and when it escalated further after school I was more upset, but I refuse to let it affect me anymore. I came home to a huge hug from Hank and mac and cheese cooked by my darling. What could be better? So now I'm just trying to shake it off and get back to my happy self. I will say that I although I do love my job because I don't deal with things like this a lot, I recognize that some instructors do deal with situations like this quite frequently. So my hats off to them! Teaching can be a trying, tough profession that wears on you emotionally.

So. In other news, Hank leaves for a very, very small tour this Thursday. I was going to go along but decided to be responsible and not take off so many days during my Senior's presentations. Besides, a certain best friend's birthday trip is coming up and I need to use days then. We get ten days off per year, in addition to all the paid time for holidays (it's a pretty sweet deal), and the days roll over. Some veteran teachers have hundreds! I personally like to use them all every year. ha. So anyway, I'm sad he's leaving but he'll have a blast. Friday I am having a girly sleepover with Suki, and then Saturday it's shopping with Shirley and dinner with her, Alana and Erin. Sunday is family day, and Nanny's birthday. I'm so excited to see all of my friends and have some good, solid hangout time. It's also nice to stay busy when Hank is gone. When he gets home there are going to be lots of changes taking place and I'm very very excited about all of them. It's so great to open new chapters in life, and to be able to look with optimism at the future. And that's where we are...it's a great place to be!

As for right now, I am going to be a lazy little thing and continue to rest in bed. I may watch a movie or I may nap. It sounds silly but I am emotionally exhausted and need a little break. Gym later for sure though.

Happy Monday, everyone. xo

old photo of my dear friend Andrea and me

She just uploaded this photo and it brought back many happy memories. :)

A real update coming later tonight!

xo

The Tattoosday Book Review: 7 Tattoos


First and foremost, let me clear something up: 7 Tattoos by Peter Trachtenberg is a memoir and is not a book about tattoos. Oh, there are tattoos within, and stories about them and how they were obtained. But tattoos help form the context of the story within, and the ink is often secondary to the action at hand.

7 Tattoos is a riveting narrative, "a memoir in the flesh," about the author's inner struggles with his identity and the world around him. His tattoos form the structure of the book, serving as chapters around which Trachtenberg's life revolves.

Imagine a first tattoo: assuming that it wasn't inked on the fly, everyone's first tattoo comes with context. On Tattoosday, I try and tell the story behind the tattoo. But even I know that I am only scratching the surface of the narrative skin.

Each of the author's seven tattoos serves as a focal point out of which a life chapter spins.

From a tribal piece that is inspired by the ink of Southeast Asia (and subsequent trips there) to tattoos that mark chapters in a life punctuated by drug addiction and strained parental relationships, we are given a warts-and-all tour of Trachtenberg's life. As important as the tattoos may seem, they are really just sign-posts with memories in the ink.

Ultimately, 7 Tattoos is about relationships - Trachtenberg's relationships with women, his father, his mother and, ultimately, himself.

He is a writer and his skills show throughout as he describes tattoos with admirable simplicity:
"The tattoo Slam had given me was a drawing of a wrench placed diagonally between two gears. She'd rendered the spinner with punctilious thoroughness, down to the highlights on the chrome-plated shaft, while leaving the gears black silhouettes, and she'd unified the composition by framing wrench and gears with a red triangle that sat athwart my deltoid."
This passage describes the tattoo with political undertones, in a chapter entitled "I Keep the Red Flag Flying". He does a remarkable job taking a 1992 tattoo and narrating back twenty years earlier to 1972. Again, the tattoo anchors the chapter and is the glue that holds it together.

Trachtenberg has skillfully built a personal history around seven works of art. It doesn't matter where they were inked or if any of them are "good" or not. Each piece is a jumping-off point that elevates the memoir above the standard personal history.

7 Tattoos was recommended to me last Spring when I was interviewing poets and writers for my Tattooed Poets Project. I wish I could remember who suggested I read it, because I would love to thank them.

The tattoos in the book are not at center stage, yet they manage to grab a hold of the imagination throughout as we are carried along by the story of Trachtenberg's life. It's an experience I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in good writing, with a penchant for ink.


Saturday, day and night

I spent the majority of the day today relaxing and doing errands. I got a lot accomplished and I feel great about it. My wonderful friend Adria was also in town today from Los Angeles, so we had a fun time hanging out for awhile this evening! She came over and we chit chatted for a bit, and then her, Hank and I walked over to the light parade. In our usual small town fashion it wasn't the fanciest parade, but it was definitely cute and festive! After we got sick of standing around in the cold we went over and got dinner at Hugo's. Delicious!

In other news, I am heading to bed now. I'm so proud of myself, as it's only 12:30am! I've been going to bed well past 2am lately and that is something I definitely do not want to get in the habit of doing. Yuck. I really prefer to go to bed early and get up early! Tomorrow morning the gym opens at 9am and my plan is to be there when the doors open. Goodnight everyone!

Here are the few photos from this evening!

LA and Prescott

Hank, Adie and me!

Light Parade, the only photo that turned out from the parade, oops!

my bowl of beans! YUM
Hugo's- my delicious bowl 'o beans and veggies

Hugo's- tamale plate

yes, this is a snowman made out of popcorn! :)
Yes this is a popcorn ball snowman!

homemade treats!

checking out some exploding candy!

Not quite there yet...

but WHEN we do have babies, THIS is the baby bag I will have. Marc Jacobs initially released this a long while back and it sold out, and it has been sold out, so this re-release has made me very happy! I just spotted it at Neiman's and then had to search around online for some more info. Annnd, I may or may have just purchased it for future mama self. ;)

*Special note: MOM, I swear I'm not pregnant...I can just imagine the phone calls after this post!

from bag fetish:

"This Marc by Marc Jacobs tote can be used either as a Baby Bag, or a chic tote. Available in White or Black leather, this Convertible Baby Bag Tote comes with a washable vinyl lining and a logo changing mat so that it's more convenient for you to change your baby's diapers in style, where ever you may be. You, lucky babies, you! If I were a baby, I'd definitely love to be changed on a MJ changing mat! After targeting the 'tweens' market, with Dakota Fanning as Marc Jacobs's new muse, perhaps Marc Jacobs is targeting babies now, by trying to cultivate brand loyalty since birth?"

photo originally from Neiman Marcus, I just put it into this little two photo frame. :)

Here's the link to NM too- it comes in a caramel as well.

THE perfect baby bag...

Happy Saturday!

I'm spending my morning doing projects around the house, so I decided to make a little playlist of some perfect Saturday songs. I use itunes, but I went ahead and duplicated the playlist on Project Playlist so all of you could enjoy it too!



I hope your Saturday is wonderful. We will be out and about this evening partaking holiday festivities, so I am super excited! Happy weekend!




Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Cody's Eagle Braves the Storm

On the day after Thanksgiving, I was passing through Penn Station and I spotted this tattoo:


This depiction of an eagle flying through a storm belongs to Cody, who was in town visiting from Key West, Florida.


This symbol of strength and courage enduring the dangers of a powerful storm is fitting, as Cody began work on the piece as a tribute to his father, serving in the Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

Cody has already had three sittings for this wonderful tattoo, and is close to finishing it with "Tattoo" Mike Haugh at Key West Tattoo Company.

Thanks to Cody for sharing this great tattoo! We look forward to seeing the final product!

Nails, nails, nails

Here's OPI's "Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow" in action. I took a million photos but none captured the green color of the polish. It's super dark, but definitely green, which doesn't really show up in pictures!

OPI's "Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow"

Thank goodness it's Friday

First of all, thanks so much for all of the comments on my last post...it's nice to know that a lot of other people feel the same way! I really, really appreciate all of the super thoughtful responses. I'm definitely not going to stop blogging any time soon- so many of my far away friends and family read this blog and it would be a shame to close off this wonderful form of communication. Besides, I enjoy it way too much! And plus, once we start having children I am absolutely going to use this blog to document every little bit of that new chapter in our lives. It's such a great creative outlet and I love it too much to stop! So I am definitely here to stay, I just had been questioning things...and I'm sure I always will, but that's the way life goes.

Today was a perfect, perfect day. Hank and I lounged around in bed until 10am or so (so insane for me to sleep in that late!) and it was so relaxing and much-needed. Once we got up he had to run to HOTW's practice space to get their merch so he could do a shirt count before their webstore's Black Friday sale began. In the meantime I made myself a delicious breakfast and caught up on some reading. When Hank got home we proceeded to be even lazier and watch The Biggest Loser for hours! We watched the most recent episode and then the previous player update episode. I must have cried about ten times during that one- it was so emotional! Once we decided to get up and at 'em, we headed to Target to get our Christmas stuff. We usually don't do a big tree, and sometimes no tree at all, but this year we decided to actually decorate and pick up a bigger tree. We ended up getting one that was on sale at Target for Black Friday- usually $60 and we got it for $25, not bad! Hank and I are kind of weird- I've mentioned this before, but we both really don't like cluttery things that don't match or knick-knacky things. I definitely think other people's trees with handmade and fun ornaments are adorable, and I seriously admire other people's cute stuff so much, but for some reason I really gravitate towards the opposite end of the spectrum in my own little bubble. I grew up in a house where we had so many different ornaments for every occasion- ones we'd made for my parents, gifts from my Mom's students, random Hallmark ones, etc...and I always loved it. But in our own house we aren't into that whatsoever. Hank grew up in a home where they've always had 15 foot insane trees decorated all one color and perfect. I'm happy he still likes that look and doesn't want to do the opposite of what he always had. I realize that when we have kids we'll probably have to get over our tendencies and stray away from our love of a simply decorated tree, but maybe we can let the kids have their own crazy trees in their rooms! haha. But really, I'm getting ahead of myself here. So anyway we got the tree, picked up some other random things, went to Micheal's to pick up some frames for new prints, then Barnes and Noble to get some new reading material. I didn't get anything (other than a million titles to request from the library!) but Hank picked out The End of Faith by Sam Harris. It looks really interesting and he's excited to read it. After our mini-Christmas shopping excursion we came home and set everything up! I'm definitely excited for the holiday season and I love that our tree is up and looking good. Stoked. So that was our night! As soon as I finish this I am heading to the gym and then spending the night reading and relaxing! Tomorrow Prescott is having a light parade downtown so we will be enjoying that festivity with some friends and hopefully mugs of hot chocolate! I hope all of you had a great Friday.

Photos from this evening:

putting on the tree skirt
putting on the tree skirt

ornament

cutie

not posing at all, I swear ;)

putting our little star on

single thumbs up? hah

us <3

Thoughts on blogging

So, I just spent about twenty minutes looking through a lot of my past blogs. In my strange little head I had somehow convinced myself that I had gained an awful lot of weight and I suppose I was looking for reassurance that either I had or hadn't...so I decided to look through a million photos. It got me thinking about this whole process. I'm definitely not a public person in my "real" life...I'm not one to spill the beans about anything, outside of my circle of close friends. I'm not even one to make a new friend that I truly let into my world without really beginning to trust that person. So it's interesting to me that I am so public in this process. I love documenting my life; I love being able to look back on every entry and see Hank and I grow (hopefully not fatter though, as I had thought earlier this evening! hah!), and to read our story on this computer screen. I often get self-conscious though, because the blogging process is really an extremely self-centered kind of thing. And I don't say that in a negative way at all- I love blogging- but I just sometimes feel very funny doing it. Kind of like, here's a picture of me, here's a photo of my feet! Here's a picture of a dress I love, my dog, my closet, a rant about my hair, a paragraph about my job, more photos of my face, me me me! And it makes me uncomfortable when I step outside of myself and look in at times. At the same time though, it's my blog. It's my space to do with as I please. But like I mentioned before, putting my life out there is a little unnerving. I love sharing it with all of you, but every once in awhile I am hit with this feeling like, "oh my gosh my life is so public, this is weird!" It makes me ask myself, why am I doing this? Why do we blog? Why do you blog?

For me, it's because I love documenting my life. I love reading other people's blogs about their own story, and I like adding to that blogging melting pot. I'm a writer by nature, and I love taking photos, so it's nice to have an avenue to just kind of empty out my head, either about my feelings or simply about my day. It's neat to get support and feedback from people who may or may not have gone through very similar things. So, that's why I blog. To record our life in a safe place and to have a little creative outlet. And with that said, I'd love to know your thoughts on this- do you ever feel weird being so public? Why do you blog?

my Thanksgiving feet!


Thanksgiving feet!, originally uploaded by daniellehampton.

I love TB Revas, they are seriously the comfiest shoes ever.

handsome, sleepy husband: post-Thanksgiving!

Today's festivities

Today was a great day! I woke up early and made Hank cinnamon rolls, and I love that he woke up to the house smelling so delicious! We spent the morning watching the parade and then Hank watched some football, and in the afternoon we headed over to Hank's Mom's to celebrate our second Thanksgiving. It was such a fun day filled with great food and family. I didn't take too many photos, as I was busy most of the day, but here are the few I took. I hope all of you had a fabulous time!

our house, leaving to head over to Hank's Mom's
heading over to Hank's Mom's

Hank, super tired! Mid yawn ;)
tired boy!

GJ and Uncle Don

It was such a pretty sunshiney day!
sunshiney day

before the kitchen got crazy!
before the madness!

setting up the table
the setup

Hank's tofurkey
Tofurkey

spinach, mmm
spinach...mmm

my sis-in-law Brooke and me :)
sister in laws!

Hank and his sister
brother/sister

she loves her Dad!
she loves her Dad

front yard 2

seriously SO sunny out...even though it was cold
soo sunny out!

the whole table
the whole table

Happy Thanksgiving! :)
Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Gratitude

Although I try and practice gratitude everyday, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to be reminded of all we really are thankful for. So, with that said, here is a small list of all of the things I am most thankful for.

And in the spirit of Chelsea'slast blog post, I also would love to thank all of you wonderful people for continuously visiting my blog and being a part of my internet world! Somehow this little blog has grown so much over the past few months, and I appreciate it all of you taking the time to read what I have to say. :)

First and foremost, I am thankful for my husband Hank. There are not really any words I can even say to will be able to encompass the depth of my feelings or appreciation for this wonderful man. I'm so, so grateful for his love and kindness, and our marriage.

<3

my beautiful hubby- I love this photo

my love

I also cannot say enough how blessed I feel to have the family I do! We have been through thick and thin together, and we are as close as can be. I love you guys.

seriously so amusing

all of us

nanny and me dancing

Lauren

my husband and in-laws

auntie brookie and madeline

0221


I am also extremely grateful for my girlfriends. Over the years I've kind of figured out who those true friends are (isn't being an adult wonderful?) and I've managed to surround myself with some of the most lovely women. So thank you girls, for your friendship, you know who you are! I thought about posting photos of all of my ladies but I started going through my flickr and got overwhelmed and decided to just say a little thank you! haha.

One big, huge thankful kiss has to go to the main lady pup in my life, my darling daug-ter Madeline. She is the best friend and such a model of unconditional love. I adore her. Thank you Madeline for being the sunshine in my day, everyday.

happy 1st birthday madeline!

I am also thankful for dresses, the color yellow, movies on instant play via Netflix, great penpals, the internet and all its glory, green apples and peanut butter, english muffins, comfortable flats, having a job I love, all of the opportunities that are being presented to us, the next month or two and our total excited-ness about it, dark chocolate, my students who make me laugh everyday, coming home to puppy kisses, long hair, phone calls and letters from far away friends, reality television, Icebreakers sour mints, our beautiful town of Prescott, our lovely home, having a sister who is my best friend, textured tights, wool dresses, peter pan collars, bows, rasberries...and um, I think I could keep going and going so I am just going to stop! Maybe one day I will make a crazy long list.

SO. Thank you so much to all of you, friends near and far, for making a positive impact in my life. It is YOU who make my life worth living. Here's to another year of gratitude!