Tillman clan weekend

This past weekend, we traveled to Southern Pines and Chapel Hill to celebrate Granddad’s 80th birthday.

Granddad / Abby Farson Pratt

He is a gem! We love any excuse to get to see him.

With Guion and his second cousins and their wives.
With Guion and his second cousins and their wives.

I like this Tillman clan (my mother-in-law’s family); they are such genial, polite, formal people. They also know how to have a good time at a luncheon!

Favorite party moment: Granddad’s sister, after we all listened to a series of moving and sincere toasts, looks around the room and shouts at her ride: “I would like to leave now!” 50 points for Big Jane. A woman who knows what she wants.

Back in the Pines, our weekend was spent watching the dogs and taking them on long, leisurely walks. So relaxing.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ve been thinking lately about friends (and family) who emulate great style and who have taught me what little I know about dress. I was also thinking about how I would define their personal style. Taking a stab at it:

Grace (Aztec ghetto meets bohemian grunge)
Jonathan (urban woodsman art collector)
Catherine (risk-taking French sophisticate)
Stephanie (late 1950s, early 1960s painter and travel writer)

They have all taught me a lot, from simple observation.

Hanging with Joseph

Grace has always had panache, even as a child. She would change her clothes five, six times a day. Mom finally got tired of fighting her on it, and one morning, six-year-old Grace came to church in a 101 Dalmatians bathing suit, snakeskin cowboy boots, and a tutu.

It still amazes (and infuriates) me how she has this innate ability to pick out great clothes. She shops primarily at thrift stores, and she can pick out every single designer item in what looks to me to be a pile of worthless junk. For example, she recently gave me some of her clothes, including a Proenza Schouler skirt and a vintage Laura Ashley dress (hilarious in its cuteness), which fit me perfectly. HOW DOES SHE DO IT. I don’t know. I do not have that gift. I wish that I did.

In the meantime, I am continuing on my recent journey to study style, fashion, fit, and fabric, and I am even starting to dress like a grown-ass woman. Advice always welcome.

This past week, in four photos

Guion’s final poetry reading.

On Wednesday night, Guion–who is extremely sexy–gave his final poetry reading at UVA. It is hard to believe that we’ve been here two years and that he’s already finished his coursework for his MFA. He did a wonderful job, as always, and we had a beautiful evening in the gardens celebrating these five great poets:

The graduating poetry MFAs: Melissa, Guion, Marielle, Juliana, and Austin.

I am so very proud of him!

With my accomplished husband.

Saturday afternoon, we celebrated Leah’s 1st birthday at the park! Watching a baby have her first taste of chocolate is a glorious, intense experience.

The Montgomery family at Leah’s 1st birthday party.

More photos from the MFA readings and Leah’s birthday on my Flickr.

This is our last full week in our beloved Belmontonia, so I will be thoroughly consumed by the task of packing and preparing to move. My posting here will be a little more sparse than usual. But I still love you. If you’re looking for something sweet to read, you should check out Granddad’s memories of his mother’s German shepherd. OK. Talk to you again soon.

Monday Snax

Chillin' on the couch with Windy!
Happy birthday, Granddad! He looks very much at home in his chair, which is now taking residence in our house.

We had a lovely weekend with Guion’s parents and his grandfather, aka Granddad; they came up to celebrate my confirmation at Christ Church and Granddad’s birthday! We had such a great time squiring them around town, eating tons of amazing food, and exchanging stories and memories. Brother Win was greatly missed, of course. Wish they could only have stuck around longer!

Snax with roasted kale and butternut squash, because, believe me, this week’s Snax are super-delicious and good for your heart:

With Love from Chitwan. To my heart’s relief, Grace is alive and finally well in Chitwan, Nepal! Read about her adventures and go see how totally adorable she looks on a bicycle by a rice paddy. (Como Say What?)

In Which There’s a Girl in New York City Who Calls Herself a the Human Trampoline. A thoughtful reflection on and celebration of the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s magnum opus, “Graceland.” Who doesn’t love that album? (This Recording)

Proust Questionnaire: Tina Fey. One of my all-time favorite women answers the classic questions from one of my all-time favorite authors. What do I have to do to become BFFs with this woman? (Vanity Fair)

A Guide to Crying in Public. As you know, I cry in public often, so I found this especially helpful. Retreat! (The Hairpin)

Big Laughs, Cheap Grace. Thank you, Rob Hays, for finding the words for my dislike of “Modern Family.” Thanks for finding the words when I could not. It is entertaining, but perhaps that is all one can say. (The Curator)

How Dancers Prepare Their Pointe Shoes.  I had no idea this process was so involved! (Behind Ballet)

Iceland Part 1: Roadside Horses and Geysir. Here is a Law of the Universe: If anyone on the Interwebs posts photos of Icelandic ponies, I shall immediately repost photos of said ponies. This law is immutable and shall remain unbroken for the duration of time. (Kris Atomic)

Here’s Another Thing Julianne Moore Will Ruin. FOR REAL. (Best Week Ever)

Dog-Friendly Paris: Doggy Etiquette in the City of Lights. Kelsey and Grace regaled me with stories of the impeccably well-behaved and countless pooches in Paris. I’m not one for big city living, but this account of Paris is tempting! (HIP Paris)

Origami Animals. Origanimals. My dad had a client who once made me an intricate Japanese beetle out of a $5 bill. He would have liked these paper animals. I like them, too; they look like they want to be friends. (Miss Moss)

The Desktop Wallpaper Project. I change my desktop image every Monday on my work computer, and my Mac desktop rotates every 15 minutes, so I guess you could say I’m a bit of a stickler for change. It makes me happy to have a new, pretty image on my computer. If you are like this, check out this site. A collection of beautiful, graphic designer-friendly desktop wallpapers! Artist Michael Cina’s work (around page 7) is my favorite. (The Fox Is Black)

Is Ulysses Overrated? Now I feel a little bit better about giving it only spot no. 7 in my top 10 books of 2010. This guy from Slate thinks it’s a crock and not worth all of the hype. He says there’s only one chapter worth reading. (Slate)

Happiest States According to Twitter. As far as useless and unreliable maps go, this one may rank quite high, but I like its findings. According to a mood map of Twitter, the top three happiest states are: 1) Tennessee, 2) Colorado, and 3) North Carolina. I like it! I can definitely attest to Colorado and NC making that cut. (Daily Intel)

I Am Only 6, But I Think I Can Do This Job. KIDS! Killing me again with cuteness! Application letter from 6-year-old Andrew Scott, who applied for the position of Director of the National Railway Museum. What is it with little boys and trains? It will never fail to make my heart melt. (Letters of Note)