Friday, January 30, 2009

The Lovebug

When I was little, one of my very first loves was my adored stuffed animal collection. It started with three- a dog, a lamb, and a bunny- each of which received a lot of love at an early age. The group changed over the years, sometimes losing animals, but more often gaining.

By the time I graduated high school, I would guess I had somewhere between 10 to 15 stuffed animals. Some sat on bookshelves, some above windows, and a select few had the privilege of residing on my bed.

There was only one stuffed animal, however, that made the transition from infant to child to teenager with me and was always greeted with the exact same amount of love and adoration.

Her name was Le Mutt, creatively because that is what her tag had said, and she wore thick, lavender yarn ribbons at the place where her head met her soft, floppy ears. She was an oatmeal color with nubby fur, yellow-brown eyes and a brown thread nose. Her size was perfect for holding tightly while I slept; yes, not only was she a privileged resident of my bed, but she was the one with whom I chose to cuddle every night.

The years were not kind to Le Mutt, but she aged with much dignity as one would expect from a lovely French lady. She developed mange as areas of her fur were rubbed bare from my loving hands. Repeatedly being hugged and carried by her neck led to a migration of stuffing, both further down into her abdomen area and out of a teeny hole that developed in the place a trach would go.

Her neck grew thin and could no longer support the weight of her head, so she then remained in a permanent slump. Le Mutt even developed cataracts in later years, as her brown eyes glazed over with a hint of a whitish-grey.

By the time she left for college with me, Le Mutt was not in the best shape of her life, yet she accepted our move with the greatest of ease. I was especially thankful for her during my first few nights in my freshman dorm, as I tried to adjust to my new and strange surroundings. When I got sick for the first time that year and felt at a loss without my parents, Le Mutt was a strong and comforting reminder of home .

Le Mutt watched me grow from an infant to a young girl and then from a young girl to a young woman. She absorbed her fair share of tears over the years as in that time she saw three major moves, friends come and go, crushes come and go, and witnessed my heartbreak a few times. Le Mutt also read with me, studied with me, and kept me company under the covers on nights when when I was scared.

Le Mutt now lives safely on a shelf in my room at my parent's home, out of reach of a pup who one day discovered her and tried to claim Le Mutt for her own. She watches over things for me, and I hope that someday another child will find love and solace in her arms.

Do you have a Le Mutt in your life? Was it an animal, a blanket, something else? Is your loved object still a part of your life, stored away somewhere for safe keeping, or now only a memory?

To see more sweet lovebugs and larger versions of these photos, head here to the blog of the always amazing husband-and-wife team, Our Labor of Love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Love Actually

Said quite perfectly...

Season of Love

Love and hearts. Hearts and love. Yesterday's post was just the beginning.

nataliej's flickr

Even though the years I have celebrated Valentine's Day with a special someone are far outnumbered by the ones I've celebrated without, I have always adored the holiday.

Yes, it is a Hallmark holiday. Yes, it is over-commercialized. Yes, it is often marked with some horribly cheesy gifts. Yes, yes, yes.

Yet it is a holiday that ultimately celebrates love, and, I believe that is something we can always celebrate. Our love for our families. Our love for our friends. Maybe even our love for a special someone.

Sure, we don't, or shouldn't, need a holiday to tell us to do this. But a day that is put aside solely for celebrating love? Perfect. For there is no such thing as having too much love, nor can we acknowledge our loves too much.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words of Love

Perhaps it's because I am a doodler by nature, but I completely fell for these wedding programs featured last week on Once Wed.

The bride, Courtney of Flush Designs, made these covers with copies of some of the love notes she and her husband had exchanged during their 10 years of dating. How very very sweet and so very personal. Had I been a guest at their wedding, this is a memento I would've been certain to save!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Curtain Call

A few years ago, a slight obsession started brewing. It happened gradually, so much so, it took me a while to realize that it always lingered in the back of my mind as I dreamed of redecorating E's and my bedroom.

It started when this space was featured in Domino...

Then this one came along...

As I glanced at this photo and thought on the other, I began to entertain the idea of curtaining off our bed.

There was something so appealing about imagining the curtains drawn, enclosing us in a cloth cocoon where we could shut out the world and escape the daily stresses of life.

Envisioning the cocoon almost felt like picturing a grown-up version of a fort, a thing we've made a time or two on lazy Saturday afternoons- sheets strung above our bed- transforming the space into a secret hideaway perfect for napping, laughing and feeling a bit like kids.

I could also picture the curtains pulled back, exposing the bed to the rest of the room, yet still creating a cozy nook where evening reading and breakfast in bed would be equally welcomed.

Open. Closed.

Cozy nook. Secret fort.

I decided that whenever I next revamped our bedroom, perhaps even when we moved to another house, this idea was one I would keep at the forefront of my mind.

And, with that, a small obsession was born.

My collection of images has grown slowly, gradually, and, over the past few months, as I've contemplated a new and future home for E and I, a good number of images have joined the collection.

The images I've saved aren't all exactly like the ones that first ignited my infatuation.

Some are looser interpretations, cordoning off an entire section of the room, and others envelop the bed even more with the addition of canopies above.

While the collection differs in style, some suiting us more than others, the images are all saved to serve as my reminder.

Undoubtedly like many of you, what I fancy in design waxes and wanes at whim. Sometimes it changes with the seasons, sometimes it changes only as earth completes an orbit of the sun, and sometimes what I fancy lingers much longer.

When the time comes for me to finally decorate a new space for us, where will my interest lie?

Will I turn to these images for inspiration or will I find my final inspiration somewhere else?

Tom Scheerer

That question will surely not be answered until a new space is actually tangible in our lives...

And, until then, I am quite content with secret forts built on lazy Saturday afternoons.