Monday, June 29, 2009

a quick mosaic

not my best work by far, but i wanted to make something up quickly so here it is. i shall improve upon this another time!

quick mosaic

Sunday, June 28, 2009

these are the flowers in my neighborhood

as i drive erik to daycare in the morning and then head to my lab, i have been noticing some of the really beautiful flowers on our street and around our neighborhood. i don't know a whole lot about flowers, but i was amazed by the variety of different types of lilies i see around greenfield.

these are our "wedding lilies." they came from the bulbs that my mom bought as favors for our wedding in 2001. at the time we didn't have a yard (we were living at our apartment in budd lake), so peter's aunt and her now husband the chief (who are amazing gardeners) collected lots of these bulbs and planted them, and gave us some plants when we bought our house on shore road in green township. and then they moved with us here :)


these ones are in our front yard, and i haven't seen any others like them nearby:


here are some others:










that's a lot of lilies, eh? you might think that lilies are my favorite flowers, but they're not. actually i am not sure which i like the best. i can appreciate the beauty of all flowers, but i really like these ones, called sneezeweed a lot:



these ones are a pretty close second:




here are some of my other favorites:








pretty purple
(loved these little purple flowers too!)


flowers and phipps



that's probably flower overload, but i love them all! please feel free to check out the whole set on my flickr page.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

sneak preview

while erik was napping today, i went out and took photos around the neighborhood and over at the gardens in front of phipps conservatory. i didn't get a chance to process/upload all of them yet, but here's one for you to enjoy!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

peonies, the most pointless flowers ever

we have two peony bushes in our front "yard" that i cut to the ground last fall but came back this spring with a vengeance. they produce truly beautiful flowers, but they're so delicate and their beauty is so fleeting. before our first trip to kentucky over memorial day weekend, our peonies were on the verge of blooming. it was so imminent that by the evening before we left, a single, over exuberant blossom had opened up on one of the bushes. although the light was already a little low, i snuck outside with my camera and captured a couple of pictures of it.


my first peony

here is a photo i had taken of the bud earlier in the afternoon just before it opened:


by the time we returned home from our trip, our peonies lay in ruin. they had blown their wad of gorgeousness while we were gone and the giant colorful blossoms had given way to flaccid lumps of bruised brown petals upon which a variety of insects were feasting. but there was still hope! a few of the under achieving late bloomers were still at the peak of their awesomeness, and with gratitude after the long trip back from louisville, i faithfully took my camera out to photograph them. i carefully peeled back the detritus to get some really pretty shots. but alas! shortly thereafter as i was trying to upload these pictures to my computer, my compact flash card somehow became corrupted and my photographs were irretrievably lost. ARGH!

another daisy ...

... and i am sure more will soon follow! maybe some non-daisies as well. or maybe i will make a mosaic.


Monday, June 22, 2009

life and death (part 2)

i've been meaning to get back to my blog about our trip back to kentucky for grams's funeral for awhile now. it was obviously a very draining and emotional time for the whole family. i am so fortunate to have such a loving and supportive extended family, especially my cousin ellen and her husband patrick who took such good care of us during both of our trips to louisville in the last month. ellen is such an awesome person ... i really can't say enough good things about her. she opened her home not only to erik, but to all of my brothers' children as well and arranged to have babysitters there all day so that we could spend time at the funeral home without having to worry about them. in addition to ellen's three girls, the two high school students watched erik plus my three neices and two nephews for more than eight hours. and during the other two days, patrick's mom gayle took care of erik and my youngest niece maggie in addition to her three grandaughters. it was really good to have the time to visit with the rest of the family and grieve knowing that erik was comfortable and happy.

the funeral itself was a very nice ceremony. i am not a particularly spiritual person and don't usually attend church, but religion was an integral part of grams's life and i was grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the mass. all of her grandchildren and their spouses had some role in the funeral, which i thought was such a great idea. my cousin ricky delivered the most beautiful eulogy for grams. he did an amazing job and i can't imagine that anyone else could have said anything more loving, eloquent, and completely truthful. grams would have been honored. having known grams and her equally deep devotion to her family and her faith has made me a better person. even though we lived far apart for my entire life, i will still miss her terribly. ellen and her sister karen put together collages of grams with our family that were displayed at the funeral home and they were such a joy to look at. they also created a slide show that was played at the funeral home with photos of grams throughout her long and eventful life. here are some of the pictures:



so beautiful
grams on her wedding day

i love this one - grams and pop with their three children joe (my dad), nancy, and jim
my dad's family

uncle jim, aunt nancy, grams, pop, and dad


after the funeral on saturday, we went back to the holifield house and slept. i think we all felt a little better after that. and then most all of the family ended up back at the church for their picnic. it was actually a really good way to have some fun and spend some happy time together. i think the kids really loved it. these are the only photographs i took this weekend:

erik in the moon bounce


my cousin karen's daughter caitlin (so cute!)


karen and her son collin

ellen and her three girls, mara, tessa, and emma

tessa and maggie

my cousin robin's daughter (and fellow decemberists fan) anja

ready. aim. fire!



the next day we drove back to pittsburgh. it has never felt so good to be home.