Tuesday, December 30, 2008


mr. arganbright and i both have dreams.
not like, driving down the interstate and your brakes go out (one of his recurring dreams) or clenching your teeth so hard they start crumbling and breaking and you can't stop (one of mine).

but: goals...aspirations...desires...callings.
sometimes we feel so trapped in life. we don't know how to move toward our dreams. we're just shuffling along, trying to keep up with the flow.

at thanksgiving we spent some time with family members who've served in military service. two of them have actually been deployed in the past 5 years or so. one is just beginning his service. one spent twenty years in full-time service for the marines and another served in vietnam. they talked about the benefits they receive and the sacrifices they've made.
the conversation really got into our heads. we started seriously researching whether this would be an option for our family. it would help us reach some of our goals financially. it would provide mr. arganbright the opportunity to continue his education and maybe get a job he's really gifted for.
after a few weeks of examining all of our options, we decided to go for it and mr. arganbright joined the national guard.

we've received a variety of responses to this decision. many insulting, some supportive... i think most people just don't know much about it, so they ask questions or make statements that seem rude, when it's really just ignorance. his integrity as a husband and a father has been questioned by some. i think that hurts me more than it hurts him. he answers calmly, respects their opinions. i want to cry and defend him till i'm breathless. i may be a little naive, but we aren't walking into this with our eyes closed. we truly believe this is the best opportunity we have to achieve our dreams. will it be hard when seth is gone for four months of training? yes. is it scary to think about the possibility of deployment? yes. will we have to move? no. will he be gone a lot? about 30 hours a month and two weeks in the summer. will he make much money? not much, but the $20,000 signing bonus will help, and the money he'll receive for school will be nice, and the $400/month we'll save on insurance is great. from the beginning, i have had a sense of peace about this decision. this is something we are doing together. as a family. for our family.

mr. arganbright wouldn't tell you this, but i will:
when he went to take his entrance exam, he wanted to do well because your score determines what kind of opportunities you will be eligible for throughout your career. just to make it in, you have to get a 50. if you want a better job, you need a 75. seth was hoping to get a 110 because you can get specialized training and a really good job.
he scored 134 out of 136. amazing. his recruiters had never even seen a score that high.
that simple number helps brings me peace and confidence that we are doing the right thing.


with all the new toys piper got for christmas,
i needed a day to organize everything she has.
that day was yesterday.
now i want to paint something cute on the stark white walls.

some of you are probably thinking "that's organized?!"

enjoying her new slide from "nonny" and "dad-dad"

Monday, December 29, 2008


a christmas darling i received from my bestest e.
i can't wait to put my lovelies in there!


this year, i suggested that mr. arganbright not buy me any presents for christmas because i found this little lady (on SALE) on black friday and immediately brought her home to live happily ever after.

well, we all know men don't listen...but in this case i'm lucky he didn't!
he made me open this on christmas eve (he's like these guys, can't keep a suprise for nothin'):

then, on christmas day i received this!

and these from my parents!

and this from my sister!

what fantastic gifts! i think santa's been reading my blog!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


i am one lucky girl.

a wonderful family.

a dreamy husband.

a beautiful daughter.

and a tiny bit of love, growing inside.

what a happy new year to come.

Monday, December 15, 2008


today's like, half over, but it's already been one of the most frustrating kid-watching days ever. two days a week i watch two other kids, e and e. mondays from 8-5 and thursdays from 12-5.
for some reason, today piper and the big e have either been picking at each other (ex: hitting, stealing toys, screaming, crying, etc.) or getting into mischief (ex: drawing on chairs, crumbling lunch into bitty pieces, emptying cabinets) all. day. long.
meanwhile, little e likes to be held a lot, so it can be very difficult to wrangle two toddlers while holding a baby. i've definitely lost my cool a couple times (see chair-drawing incident).
big e and little e were both ready for a nap (finally) so after they went down i was changing piper's diaper and as she was fighting me (again) i was thinking about how sweet and lovely she was as a baby and how feisty she is now and i said, "i don't know what happened to you."
as soon as the words left my mouth, i had this flash of shad helmstetter's voice saying how powerful our words are. how, essentially, each of us has a computer within and all of our lives, people are typing words into that computer. positive or negative, they shape us into the person we will become and how we perceive ourselves.
i realized, i am already shaping piper into the woman she will become. i only have five years with her to myself before she will go off to school and have others constantly typing into her little computer. the thought scared me and i wondered how many times i've already "typed" negativity, insecurity, or shame into her.
i need to be in control of my words, even when i'm angry, frustrated, and exhausted. i want to speak words of inspiration, admiration, and affirmation in truth and in love to piper.

this is my reminder.


last week mr. arganbright cleared out this strange space in our hallway. i turned it into a makeshift shoe closet! complete with bare-bulb lighting, nasty green carpet, and a mirror!!!

this little area is above the stairs leading to the basement

flats on the rack, boots on the shelf, sneaks & heels on the floor

pluuus, two bins full of sandals & flip-flops

judge all you want, at least now they're organized.

Friday, December 12, 2008


hanging out in the bathroom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


another to do list:
-find something to eat for breakfast DONE
-finally mail jeans i sold on ebay like a month ago DONE-whew!
-organize something DONE-see above post
-make the bulletin DONE
-watch e and e from noon-5 (that's not a tv show, they're children) DONE
-plan a date with mr. arganbright DONE-ish
-get some groceries DONE-yum!
-clean something DONE-vaccumed
-print and fold bulletins DONE
-go on date with mr. arganbright DONE-thai!
-work from 8-noon DONE
at work:
-buy gift for secret santa DONE
-return boots and maybe pants DONE and DONE
-try not to get annoyed at crazy christmas shoppers not-DONE
-find ugly christmas sweaters at goodwill DONE
-make appetizer (any ideas?!) DIDN'T-but there was plenty!
-caroling/ugly christmas sweater party @ 5:30 DONE-fun!
-go out to the farm & chop down a tree!
-biggest loser finale on tuesday, don't forget! awesomely DONE
(i don't actually watch the whole season, but every year i love to watch the last couple of episodes. a.may.zing)
-finish christmas shopping (mom a, dad a, jon, DONE, mimi, jessie, toni, grandpa willie)
-ask desiree about coat

Monday, December 08, 2008


yesterday, mr. arganbright and i threw together a
welcome winter party. we invited some of our dearest dears: the joes, miss k & mr. t, and sarah b.

after caravanning out to the wild country of adel, we bundled up and took a walk through the snowy woods pulling piper on a sled!

later, we warmed by the fire, made soup and other goodies, enjoyed good grape and grain, played games, and laughed a lot. it was the perfect welcome to winter.


another von maur clearance room miracle

heel no!
snakeskin? studs? sexy?
yes, yes, yes!


at the art festival this past summer, i was introduced to miss k and mr. t. since then, mr. arganbright and i have gotten to know them better and they've become great friends. they are talented, intelligent, witty, artists and visionaries. plus, they live in this gorgeous place in sherman hill!
mr. arganbright and i with miss k, mr. t, and the friends who introduced us, the joes
anyway, point of post:
katie gave us this a.may.zing. housewarming gift yesterday

isn't it fantastic? if you want one, you should contact her via thinkdig or curds & whey.

Monday, December 01, 2008


last week i was checking out joel dewberry's website and noticed it had a "fresh ideas" link.
it featured different projects using his fabric. at the bottom it said,
submit any of your "fresh ideas" to info@joeldewberry.com.
i sent a quick e-mail with some of these pictures

i just received this...

I really enjoyed seeing your recent creations. The chairs have such beautiful shapes and your fabric choices seem to complement them very nicely. I am delighted to hear you will be featured on design*sponge. It is a wonderful blog and Grace is such a genuine and talented style seeker.
I would love to add these images to my "fresh ideas" page! I will post them on my next web site upload.
Thank you.

Joel Dewberry Textile Designer

from joel himself! what a darling!
i am honored and excited.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


today is thanksgiving, so here are some things i am thankful for:
this babe

this day

this family

pretty simple.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


i know "eat" isn't really one of my categories. but...can we talk about how these are
The Most Delicious Crackers Ever ?

mr. arganbright discovered these on a man-trip to colorado. you may not consider hors d'oeuvres crackers to be the most manly fare for a man-trip (unless maybe you were dared to eat an entire box, pound a beer, and then crush the can on your forehead in less than 60 seconds), but who am i to judge?

i initially scoffed, "cheese melts? blech."

but they are amaaaaayzing: a little garlic-y, with poppy seeds and some kind of melted cheese on top! maybe mozzarella, i don't know. i don't need to know.

they are the perfect cracker. buy them. today.


did this really happen yesterday in the von maur clearance room?

*pinch, pinch

oh yeah, baby. i'm not dreamin'!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


i've been lusting after this dress from urban outfitters, but not ready to cough up the cash, so i've been searching forever21, h&m, and ebay for an affordable alternative. then at target i found this little lady for $9:

however, tags are still on because i tried to wear it out on friday night but i changed. i'm not sure it's The One. may be a little too big and shapeless. even with a belt. it doesn't have to be perfect, but this may be a little too far from the original darling.
me trying to "make it work" tim gunn style on friday night

may i beg you to ignore this ridiculous pose (and expression)? mr. a was quite the happy-snapper as i was putting tights on. sorry! i have zero photography skills and, paired with an ancient camera, all the pictures i take are pretty bad. thus, the lack of "wear" posts. i would like to do more, but until we get a decent camera (maybe for christmas) it's gonna be limited.

by the way...
after endless outfit attempts on friday, i ended up going with an old stand-by: jeans, cowboy boots, an old v-neck t-shirt, and a funky necklace. i wasn't thrilled with it because it's something i'd wear any day and i wanted to wear something kind of "special." BUT later that night a gay guy told me i looked "faaaabulous!"
so, i guess it wasn't so bad after all!

Friday, November 21, 2008


my latest movie obsession. it is a mustmust see. there are parts that may be a little scary, but otherwise i think it's apropriate for families. it is possibly the most beautiful (visually, and maybe otherwise) movie i have ever seen. it's magical and wonderful. like a way-less scary version of pan's labyrinth (chad&manda) and way better!!!
this little girl is soooo darling, you just want to squeeze and smooch her.
and this guy doesn't hurt to look at either. ha!
i was going to add the trailer, but i think it gives too much away. just trust me and rent it, tonight! i should add it to my christmas list...
just noticed the R rating. guess not as apropriate for kids as i remember. but you should still watch it!


why is it that babies are sooo sweet and cuddly when they're sick?!
i hate to admit this, but i LOVE it! i'm sad piper is sick, but all she's done today is take little naps and sat/laid in my lap. it's so dear.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


what do you think is the proper etiquette in this situation:

we listed our fridge on craigslist. offered free LOCAL shipping. had a few people interested, but all fell through. then received an offer for less than we listed it. after agreeing, we also found out that they're not really local (but expect delivery). since then, i've received at least two other inquiries on the fridge. both of whom offered full price and are local.

can we back out of the original deal?


i think i finally figured out how to enable comments!

Friday, November 14, 2008


inspired by this friend and this friend,
here are a few of our christmas wishes....


mr. arganbright:


we might also like gift certificates here, here, and maybe here.
and these are some gifts that i want to

all courtesy of the ever-wonderful-world of etsy!