Monday, March 30, 2009

She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Onesie...

Awwww...Isn't she cute??? This is Jocelyn Elizabeth Larsen modeling her new yellow polka dot dress from her Auntie Kristine. Just like me, she is the 'first baby girl Larsen'. We're generational soul mates. She's just about 3 months old (Born Feb 2nd) and is just a doll. This past weekend I got to see her for a second time via the wonders of the internet on iChat. I know it's not like seeing her in person but it is so wonderful to see her 'in action'.

Can't wait to meet her in person! Soon Joss, soon...Auntie K sends lots of love!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pictures + Words = MAGIC!

I love children's books. They are like little accessible works of art. Originally I am drawn to the illustrations. Some graphic with crisp lines and bold colors, others hand illustrated with soft lines and flowy watercolor. The art is always so endearing to me. Then the title and story line captivate me. Children's stories always take you to a safe happy place. As a child you read and imagine you're part of the story, you're a character, or you're empowered to be whatever you want to be. As an adult you read and are transported back to childhood. Such a magical place.

It is such a craft to write and/or illustrate children's books. I'm not sure most people appreciate it like I do. True, the 'Mona Lisa', is quintessentially what people think of as 'real' art and classic works like 'Pride and Prejudice' may be on the forefront of peoples' minds when they think of 'literature', but I hold children's books in high regard. There is just something awe-inspiring about a little bound book with fanciful images and perfectly timed stories that can capture (and keep!) the attention of young little minds.

Today Google honors one of the all-time greats, Eric Carle. It is the 40th anniversary of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. It has sold more than 29 million copies, is published in 47 languages and sells somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. I ask you - who doesn't know the story of the Hungry Caterpillar? Not only do I remember the story - a little caterpillar that ate and ate, turned into a beautiful butterfly and spread it's wings to fly - but I remember being mesmerized by the illustration. The depth of patterns, the vibrant yet soft colors, and the layered textures had me touching the pages trying to feel the artwork as my mother read the story. Oh, and let's not forget the holes in the pages! That caterpillar was REALLY eating that book!

Now, I'm sure that prints of 'Mona Lisa' and copies of 'Pride and Prejudice' have equally impressive selling statistics, but there is something about capturing the imagination of a child, that lasts into adulthood, that is impressive beyond comprehension.

Brilliant art is all around, sometimes it just takes the magic of childhood to discover it...and appreciate it. I encourage everyone to have their own collection of children's picture books stashed away on the shelf. Novels are a great escape, as are trips to the museum of fine art, but there is no greater escape than turning the pages of a picture book. What else can so simply put a smile on your face, give you hope and bring back childhood memories???

Happy anniversary Hungry Caterpillar...and many more...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Daylight Savings!

It's here! DST! I love Daylight Savings Time. Granted, losing an hour is sort of a drag but I'll gladly cash in an hour of sleep to have longer evenings. For me, DST is not just about 'time', it's about Spring - warm weather, more outside time, more dinners on the deck, dogs snoring in the sunlight, reading a book in the crisp clean air and basically not having to come and go under the cover of darkness (nothing worse than going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark!).

This morning, the day before actual DST, I woke up at 6am. Not many Saturdays am I up at 6am! Sleeping in has become such a luxury in my mind that at first I just wanted to go back to sleep. Since I have to take Athena to swim therapy, I decided to just get going on my day. And...I have to's actually kind of nice to be up and around early. Something about a calm, quiet, warm morning that is very energizing. I know I'll be tired later today, but I'm just getting a head start on the DST transition. ;-)

I decided to look into the origins of Daylight Savings Time on Wiki...figures it was a golfer who first conceptualized the formal DST we know today. The prominent English builder and outdoorsman William Willett conceived DST in 1905 during a pre-breakfast ride, when he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer day. An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. Growing up with a father who was on the course swinging by 7am every weekend, it makes perfect sense!

Getting up early has it's advantages. I feel like I've gotten a lot more out of my day and feel more productive. Now with the evenings longer, I can sleep in and not feel guilty! Yeah DST!

Here's to socializing with neighbors in the street after work, long evening walks, dinners on the grill and longer days to enjoy the good things in life! Hope you find lots of fun ways to use your extra daylight hours!