26 December 2008
And so, without further ado:
Raechel’s Favorite Things of 2008
1. Toms – Toms are new to the Myers family, but we’ve loved them from the get-go. They are traditional, Argentian shoes, made with all kinds of colors and fabrics, and recently, made small enough for little feet too. The cool thing abou Toms is that, for every pair you buy, a pair is given to a needy child as well. Ryan and Oliver each scored a pair of Toms for Christmas this year, and they’re very handsome (the shoes and the boys!)
2. Anthropologie – Made famous for it’s unique fashions, original home décor and always surprising found objects, Anthropologie is definitely on the pricey side but a fun treat, even just for browsing.
3. Automoblox – I know, I talk about these things all the time, but I just can’t get tired of them! They’re pretty to look at, excellent exercise for two-year-old fine motor skills, and recently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Don’t tell Oliver, but there may be some full-sized Automoblox in his near future!
4. The Parish Cookbook (a.k.a. “Saints Bearing Casseroles”) – You can read all about it here if you like! This is a compilation of over 400 recipes from the awesome homemakers in our little Parish and was created to raise funds for our new building. Worth every bit of the $20! (Let me know if you’d like one!)
5. Monsters – Who knew that monsters would be such a big deal in the close of the year? I guess I’d say it all started with the revival of Ice Bat, a gift to newborn Oliver from the Cases on a visit through town. Since then, he’s been reading “Leonardo, the Terrible Monster” by Mo Willems and has recently developed a real fervor for a shop on Etsy.com that hand-makes monster shirts. All of Oliver’s monsters are friendly, though he occasionally informs us (complete with sign language) that he is “SCARED!” of the monsters, but still wants to tell them, “Hi, monster!” What a kook!
6. Mice – Like monsters, mice have surfaced as a recent favorite. You all by now have met Mr. Mouse, have you not? He remains the original mouse in Oliver’s life. Christmas, however, has threatened his position as favored mouse with the arrival of Reepicheep (near and dear to our hearts since the story Dr. Grant shared about Reepicheep at Evie’s memorial service) and three little, soft mice from Auntie Rebecca and Uncle Caleb. Fear not, Mr. Mouse, you’re not going anywhere!
(And apparently, when you get new mice, the best thing to do is put them right in your pants!)
8. The Stendig Wall Calendar – It’s huge! (4'x3') And, it’s based on the design by Massimo Vignelli in 1966. Recognized as a contemporary classic, the original is on permanent display in New York's Museum of Modern Art. My Mom ordered one for Ryan’s home office this year for Christmas. I’m sure you’ll see plenty of it in 2009 since we take so many photos of Oliver playing in that room.
10. Rock Climbing – We love it! It’s such a great way to go out and be active together. I’m chomping at the bit now to use the new harness and shoes Ryan and Rebecca gave me for Christmas!
11. Charlie Brown Christmas – Well, it’s been a favorite anyway. Now, it’s just more of a fixture. We’ve managed to keep Oliver from nearly all television (even the occasional Sesame Street) this December and only allowed him a once (and sometimes twice) daily viewing of this holiday favorite. He loves to make Snoopy’s funny noises right along with him. I guess it could be much worse! J
12. McCreary’s Irish Pub – Fish and chips, anyone? Or, in my case, Bunratty (chicken strips & chips) anyone? The pub has been a big part of 2008, as it was in 2007 as well. It’s not a place to go if you want to be alone – we always run into people we know when we go, even people we haven’t seen in years and who live states away – the whole world seems to converge on McCreary’s Irish Pub downtown Franklin!
13. Blogging - Goodbye, Facebook, you’ve been a faithful friend and now I’m moving on. I took up the blogging habit in June this year and have loved the sub-culture I’ve discovered. My two current faves?
a. A complete stranger who loves Jesus, has four children 3 and under, and whose newborn just survived and was cured of a prenatal, fatal heart condition.
b. My witty, crazy, God-fearing, husband loving, baby making, vampire love saga reading, simple life living, college roommate, Christine.
14. Signing Time – We’ve been watching and learning with Alex and Leah all year and, as a result, I have a toddler who can sign more than most adults (including his mother!). This is a cool, educational video series that we borrow one-by-one from our local library that teaches ASL to children. Want to know how to sign turtle, donkey or silly? Check them out!
15. Etsy.com – This is the online place to go if you love interesting, unique, totally awesome hand made things! You can also have your own shop on Etsy to sell the cool things you make with all your spare time. Oliver is a particular fan, as I said, of the “monster shirts” shop.
16. Chi – This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I don’t actually have straight hair. I wish I did. This is where the flat iron called Chi comes in. Dare I venture to say (in the words of Katy Snow) that this is the single most “change-your-life” product of 2008? “Girl, it will change your life”.
17. Pottery Barn/Benjamin Moore color swatches – They’re free! Just stop in to Pottery Barn, ask them for this season’s swatches, and you go home with a book of approximately 20 2”x3” swatches of tried and true colors that Pottery Barn recommends. It’s been a life-saver at our house, and since I’ve been “stopping in” since 2006, I’ve got quite a collection now!
18. Parish – We love our church! We are so grateful to God for our awesome covenant community and the impact it has made on our lives in 2008.
19. GPS – This, too, will change your lives, folks! Have you seen this surprising list of the top 25 endangered species? Add reading maps (and getting lost!) to the list! We scored a free Garmin gps mid-November this year, and it’s so wonderful to not have to worry about printing directions or getting lost (or finding particular food stops on the go) anymore! What will it be like for Oliver to grow up never knowing life without it? Wild. Absolutely wild.
20. Peppermint Mocha – I just had my first cup of coffee this year. Yes, of my life. Given, it was such a fru-fru cup of coffee it was more like a glorified hot chocolate, but I did it, nonetheless. Props to Starbucks for the “short peppermint mocha twist with peppermint whip”!
21. Garage & Consignment sales – Thanks to the early spring and late fall we enjoy in middle Tennessee, we also reap the benefits of a 9-month-long garage sale and consignment season. Talk about sub-cultures, Rebecca and I may be the ring leaders of this one. Beginning in March and ending in October, we are faithful to be up and out of the house before 7:00 every Saturday morning. As a result, we have been able to clothe our families and furnish our homes for “pennies on the dollar” as my Mom calls it! Seriously, folks, we rarely buy new clothes – especially not for Oliver. And, our home is outfitted with at least 50% “one man’s junk”!
22. Grandma Tillie’s Christmas Cookies – I don’t actually know Grandma Tillie, but I thank her profusely for her Christmas cookie recipe. And G.T., wherever and whomever you are, I hope you don’t mind if I share this phenomenal recipe with my friends here: (Okay, I'm having trouble posting the recipe here. Click here for the recipe).
23. Ethiopia – I love Ethiopia because somewhere in that African country, whether yet born or unborn, exist my two sweet nephews whom we hope to meet and make ours sometime in 2009. Rebecca and Caleb, we thank you for and support you in your deep passion for the orphans of Ethiopia.
24. 2007 Moscato Frizante – My all-time favorite wine. Hands down. Get out of my way!
25. Franklin, TN – If there were a Franklin city song, I’d be singing it now! We love this little city. We love the downtown, we love the landscape, but really, we just adore the people.