Monday, December 20, 2010

So what happened....

From the age of about twelve to sixteen I used to keep a journal pretty regularly, and when (much to my chagrin) I go back and re-read them I find that a typical entry is just a retelling of the days events. Rarely did I really delve into any "deep thoughts". Instead, it was usually pretty pointed and frankly pretty boring. Sure, there are some entries in there that I would prefer to take to my grave, but for the most part my diaries are not the stuff that great literary or autobiographical magic is made on.

In fact I would often get behind in my journaling, because you know life as a seventh grader is stressful, and instead of just going with the flow and realizing that my journal was my private space to write any way I wanted to, I felt tied to the structure and expectations I set for myself about writing an entry every single day. As a result I was often playing catch up and trying to recall events from days even weeks prior. Many of my entries looked like this:

                  March 17th

                         Nothing interesting happened today


Over the years I have given myself more freedom when it comes to my journal writing, now I try to be present when I write and not feel as though my journal is a vessel to record history but rather a creative outlet for me to express myself. While this is all very freeing its also made me a very lazy writer. The journal I am currently writing in has entries from 2006, and I am only about halfway through. Half of a year will transpire between entries sometimes, and while I don't want to punish myself, I do think that there has got to be a happy medium between setting an unrealistic expectation about writing everyday, and basically not writing at all.

What that medium is remains to be seen, but in a nod to my adolescent self I will recount a few of the things that happened between July 10th and right now (give or take a few days).

-I finally got a new day job and now work for these lovely folks. It's a totally new environment for me full of really quirky interesting people and I never would have been hired had I not known someone on the inside.

-I now make my bed every single day. I never did this before but the day I moved back to Chicago I started this morning ritual and now I feel as if I cannot truly begin the day until the bed is made. Strange. But true.

-I have been on an organizing rampage since my return and frequently spend weekend evenings taking everything out of cupboards and rearranging them. This may make me old and boring, but I drink wine while I organize so I think that ups the coolness factor.

-And speaking of getting older, I turned 28 recently, but I still get called into audition for roles that 16 year olds could play so there!

-I raised money for, produced, and acted in a play that I fell in love with almost two years ago. It was a unique experience for me that was met with many different emotions and reactions from myself and others. However, I am very glad I got to see it come to life and very thankful to all who made it possible. Oh and I took my shirt off and donned a orange polka-dotted bra onstage.

-Jürgen and I have managed to see each other once a month at least. So far he has always come to me, I have yet to go back to New York. People wonder how we do this, but I have to say I think its incredibly cool that we get to be married but still pursue our dreams in the places that make the most sense to us. I recommend it highly.

-A major motion picture has been filming in Chicago and for some reason I managed to nab a day player role in it. I got to so a scene with this actor, and I wore a yellow plastic hazmat suit and very little makeup. I am certain the scene will never make it to the big screen, but a girl can dream can't she?

-I am currently in a bit of a "what am I doing with my life" phase. But I actually kind of like it. I feel as though all this questioning will only lead to great things.

-I do not miss New York at all, and it's almost as if it never even happened. Eight months of my life and it seems like a dream. A distant memory. It's so strange to me that I can feel so removed from a situation that had such a profound affect on me in so many ways, but maybe that was the point.

 And...that just about covers it. 

I am thinking a lot about this blog and what I want it to be going forward. If you have any thoughts about things you liked from past entries or things you would like to hear about please let me know, I swear I am very receptive to such opinions! In the meantime I am going to work on marrying my rigid adolescent self with my somewhat jaded older self. There can be great freedom within structure, you just have to strike the right balance.

Wow, when I write that it makes it sound so easy....

As I search for balance I do hope that everyone is having a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmastime is here...

How did it become December? Seriously, who allowed that to happen?

Even though each passing year seems to go by faster than the last, I do love the month of December. The holiday lights that flicker up and down my street. The chance to eat rich and sweet foods and feel totally justified in doing so (the calories don't count because they were consumed at a dinner party right?).  Buying loved ones gifts that you know will make them happy. I even told some friends of mine the other day "I don't mind the snow in December. Any other month it pisses me off but during December I am fine with it." It feels as if it should be snowing, it just makes the lights on the trees shine brighter and peoples homes feel warmer.

This time of year is also steeped in tradition and while I consider myself rather non-traditional in many ways, there is something about holiday time rituals which I have no desire to ever let go.  Now that I am a married lady its also fun to learn about Jürgen's family traditions and to think about ways to create our own as the years go by.

A tradition my family has kept for years has been the annual Christmas card photo. There certainly were times growing up when my brother and I protested getting our photos taken, and there have definitely been years where creative ideas evaded us, but having a yearly holiday photo card is an amazing way to document a families growth, and I am so thankful that my parents have been steadfast in their commitment to mailing them out year after year.

It was my intention to start this tradition for our new family last year, however a few things happened which made life difficult and well we just didn't get around to it. However this year I have vowed that we would get organized enough to send out holiday cards to those we know and love.

I had not yet decided how I was going to go about getting our holiday cards together "when what to my wondering eyes should appear" but this incredible deal from Shutterfly!

Being a bit of a Shutterfly novice (I am ashamed to say) I had no idea how many incredible holiday card choices they have! Any color, any theme, I assure you they've got you covered.  You could spend hours upon hours (and I am not ashamed to admit it, I did!) perusing their site to find your perfect card, not to mention all kinds of other cool photo inspired gifts (personalized calendars, beautifully bound photo books and so much more).  I am officially a Shutterfly convert!

It took me quite a while but I am down to these three holiday card layouts.

I love the simplicity of it, plus I am a fool for anything that is deep blue!

This is so festive and gives you a great opportunity to add a bunch of photos from throughout the year. It's a little "photo retrospective" all in one adorable holiday card!

They call this one "vintage snowflakes" which i just love. It's unique and offers multiple options for how many photos you want to use.

It's hard to pick just one! What do you think? Do you have a favorite? Cast your vote now!

I cannot wait to start the holiday card tradition this year and for the years to follow.  It's such a great way to spread holiday cheer to family and friends both near and far!

The holiday cards have already started hitting my mailbox this year and I am just so thankful to have so many incredible people in my life, especially during the holidays! If you are still unsure what to do for your holiday card just go to Shutterfly, it's super easy to use and they have so many incredible options!

Happy Holiday Card sending to all!

P.S- Once I get the holiday card situation under control, next project will be creating a massive wedding album. 

Dusting off the cobwebs....


Um, hi.

My name is Blair. I used to write a blog (on a semi-regular basis at least).  Some people even told me they enjoyed reading it, and I actually enjoyed writing it. But then I stopped writing for no good reason other than I just got kind of busy.

It's a lame excuse to be sure.

In all honestly it's a little scary to come back here. When I first felt inspired to write this blog I had quite the story to tell. Blogging was a bit of an escape from some unpleasant life events and a means to cope with all of the change. Now I sort of wonder what do I really want to write about? What story do I have to tell?

It would be easy to just stop and let the blog fade into the background, but I find myself at a bit of a crossroads and I think this little space of mine may just be the perfect place to regain some focus, and allow for some creative discovery.  Plus, winter has come and comfortably settled into Chicago which means I will be spending many housebound nights by my lonesome. What a perfect setting to open a bottle of wine and do a little writing? It will warm the soul I have no doubt.

So I am back. Ready to return to writing and seeing what comes. I have no idea what I plan to say but I feel ok about that for now, and I look forward to new stories unfolding along the way.