Look at the heavens and see; and behold the clouds -- they are higher than you.
- Job 35:5 (NAS)

The directness of this simple truth cuts straight to the heart. We had some bad news this past week, and I'm holding onto that verse as a reminder of the perspective I want to have as we brace ourselves for the unknown.

a little postscript: As I write this, I am just now remembering that I took the above cloud photos from my living room floor on a rare, fluffy afternoon. Fittingly, a powerful storm arrived just shortly after.

"may you stay forever young..."

While I'm on the subject of bibliomania, here are pictures of Isaac's birth announcements. They marry my love for all things related to books with my fondness for bits of nostalgic paper goods.

birth announcement

photos by suann of simplesong design

I hired Suann of simplesong design, one of my absolute favorite bloggers and letterpress designers, to create the old-school library card design. Her attention to detail was spot on, right down to the perfectly sized card holder and hand-stamped birth date. To finish them off, I used a little red paper clip to attach a small black-and-white photo of Isaac (not pictured).

I can't even tell you how much I ADORE them. Seriously.

Quote on the card is a line from Bob Dylan's song, Forever Young.

book recommendation: bibliomania


"He loved a book because it was a book; he loved its odor, its form, its title. What he loved in a manuscript was its old illegible date, the bizarre and strange Gothic characters, the heavy gilding which loaded its drawings. It was its pages covered with dust -- dust of which he breathed the sweet and tender perfume with delight." -Excerpt from Bibliomania, by Gustave Flaubert

I like to read but, oh, I love books. Gustave Flaubert's Bibliomania, a slim volume that I found while rooting through the stacks at a book fair a few years ago, speaks to me perfectly. It's the based-on-a-true-story of Giacomo, a bookseller whose passion for books drives him to the brink of insanity. It is funny and dark and even has a little twist at the end. It's full of little gems that will warm the heart of any true bibliophile. If you are a lover of books, this is definitely one you want to have in your library.

P.S. So sorry for the quiet blog! Things have been busy around here - mostly just trying to keep up with my child, who, once he learned how to pull himself up, determined that EVERY OBJECT IN OUR HOME was placed there for his own personal climbing pleasure. (Stack of folded towels? Clearly a jungle gym, duh. Vacuum cleaner? Rock climbing wall, obviously. Computer cords? Rope ladder, of course.) Oh, and did I mention that he recently got two razor-sharp teeth? And that I'm still breastfeeding? And he's very aggressive? Sigh. This too shall pass, right?

I've also been challenging myself to take more pictures, and experimenting with new ways to display them -- like the square crop and the diptych, both of which I'm absolutely loving (seen above).

[Photos by me, taken August 2009]

strangers / lovers

A couple days ago, my mom gave me a copy of a local wedding magazine she'd found that had published a few photos from my wedding. Apparently our photographer had submitted them; it was odd to see them on public display after existing solely in our personal album for so many years. There, under the table of contents, was my handsome groom affectionately kissing my cheek, my eyes closed in a state of euphoric contentment.

Yesterday, a friend brought over a stack of old photos from our college days. I stopped when I saw a photo of my husband that I hadn't seen in years. I remembered the precise moment it was captured. He was a little bit leaner, a little bit blonder, taking the first steps on the joint path we'd happily, almost recklessly, set ourselves on.

Today, while Isaac napped, I pulled out the photo album that holds the pictures from our honeymoon. Quietly, over my lunch of leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, I thumbed through the pages, my eyes flickering over the unbelievably tan, skinny, well-rested versions of ourselves. I lingered on a photo of his reflection in a window.

Tonight, I recalled and re-read some writings he'd penned about me. They are silly yet poignant. They make me think of myself in a warm light.

I feel something tugging, something searching. I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for.
A finger pressing a tender spot. A callus, softened.
A small ache, just a little.

A peace offering from the past, soothing my baby-frazzled nerves and encouraging me to extend more grace, more love, more affection to the man who, upon reflection, hasn't let the stresses and challenges of grown-up life change him as much as I sometimes think it has.

A couple years ago, I wrote a little something to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the day I met my husband. I'm reproducing it here, for posterity and because I love revisiting that night, a night that quite literally changed my life. [Apologies to those of you who may have read this already.]

Originally written August 1, 2007

You wore a maroon-and-gold striped shirt that fit snug against your well-defined, well-tanned chest and arm muscles. I might have noticed that first, if it wasn't for the shock of platinum blond hair that stood out conspicuously from your head like a red door on a white house. It was obviously unnatural, but strangely appealing.

I wore a plain white top with faded blue jeans and black wedge-heeled sandals, the ones I picked out specifically because they added three inches to my short frame. I had no jewelry on, except for a small iridescent blue flower toe ring on my right foot. My hair was the darkest brown, and I wore it long and straight.

I stretched out my hand expectantly to meet yours. Your handshake was confident, your smile was magnetic, and your eyes danced with a mischievous sparkle.

We walked into the restaurant and out of the hot summer night, strangers.


You wore the maroon-and-gold striped shirt.

I laughed when I saw that you had put it on. It is faded now, but the cotton still clings to your chest in the nicest way. Do you remember, a few months ago, when you tossed the shirt into the giveaway pile? I protested on grounds of sentimental value, and then hung it back up in your closet.

I wore a plain white top with faded blue jeans, but my wedge heels have long since been retired. I put on a pair of generic flip flops, but fished out the tiny blue toe ring from the bottom of my jewelry box -- you know I haven't worn it in years -- and slipped it onto my right foot. I pranced into the bathroom where you were getting ready and wiggled my toes at you. You laughed, and then reached for me.

We are nerds, you said with a kiss. I know, I replied with a hug.

I love us, you said.

I stretched out my hand across the table and slipped you a small, celebratory card. Five years ago today, everything changed and nothing changed. Your smile is still my magnet, it connects me to you in inexplicable ways. Your confidence is still my rock, I am anchored and grounded by your calm. Your youthful spirit is still my joy, I discover happiness and laughter with you every day.

We walked out of the restaurant and into the hot summer night, lovers.


"Silence is very important. The silence between the notes are as important as the notes themselves." - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

and the winner is...

Katie, who said: My lovely thing for today, as cheesy as it may be, is my husband. He is so kind and optimistic, and I learn so much from being around him! I am truly blessed.

Email me at marisawritesblog [at] gmail [dot] com so I can get the moleskine journal out to you!

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to say hello and share your inspiring thoughts. I truly enjoyed reading about the things that make your life lovely!