Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Big Red Ball

Have you heard of the RedBall Project? It's a travelling art installation created by artist Kurt Perschke, consisting of - you guessed it - a big red ball. I first encountered the RedBall Project in 2009 when it was displayed as a part of Toronto's annual Luminato art festival. Designed to play with urban space and invoke a sense of wonder in passersby, it has crossed borders and cultures worldwide from Abu Dhabi to Sydney to Portland and beyond... And this week, it landed in Leuven.

It was blown up in the main entryway of our little park (which is also a main pedestrian thoroughfare to cut through town and my route home from the grocery store). Since I was in no rush on my way home from running some errands, I lingered around watching people's reactions. There was some confusion and bewilderment... but mostly, there were smiles. This ridiculously oversized red ball stuck in the brick archway between the street and the park looked so whimsical, magical and absurd, that people couldn't help but smile. Which, in my opinion, makes the project a success.

My favorite reaction was by an old, squat man in a tweed jacket. He looked at the ball, then at my huge belly, then back at the ball and then pointing at my belly he laughed, saying "You have big ball, too!" He must've chuckled all the way home. It's a shame Didzette is due before Halloween - I could've put on a red shirt and had the perfect costume!

"Through the magnetic, playful, and charismatic nature of the RedBall the work is able to access the imagination imbedded in all of us. On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to imagine what if."
- Kurt Perschke

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Pops!

Happy Birthday to the man who taught me how to ride a bike... then taught me how to get really, really drunk on a bike during our traditional family Tour de Bars bike rides. To the man who would take me out on dates to dinner and movies long before I was old enough to date... and showed me exactly the type of man I want to spend the rest of my life with (Didz is eerily similar to my dad in a lot of ways). To the man who bought me my first real camera, and instilled in me a love of photography. To the man who encourages me to be the very best version of myself that I can possibly be, and is always up for an evening of beers (or tequila) and Bruce in the basement bar.

In a couple months, when he comes to Belgium to meet his granddaughter, I promise to make him this cake - the perfect marriage of two of his favorite things: Guinness and chocolate. And we'll eat, and drink and celebrate... but for now, I'll toast to him from afar with my glass of water and send all my love across the world.

Ilgiausiu Metu!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Perfect Sunday

early morning pancakes.
an afternoon stroll.
warm sunshine.
a stop for tea.
(and profiteroles).
cooking dinner together.
slurping spaghetti.
(and meatballs).
a pink sunset.
curling up to watch a movie.
a kiss goodnight.

a perfect sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Signs of Fall

Sometime last week, my facebook newsfeed was inundated with declarations of the arrival of fall: "It's officially fall! Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are back at Starbucks!" It seemed like every one of my (lady) friends posted about their first PSL of the season... It made me laugh, especially since many of those declarations came from friends in warm weather towns, where seasons (like fall and winter) don't really exist.

Fall has found us here in Belgium, too, but without a Starbucks in sight I've had to use other clues to deduce it's arrival:

1. After a sleepy summer, the town is alive and bustling again with the return of all the University students buzzing by on their bicycles rushing to class. The energy and noise and crowded streets are invigorating - though I've already almost been mauled by packs of bicyclists speeding WAY too fast and not paying attention to pedestrians.

2. Socks and Scarves. I opened my sock drawer for the first time in months yesterday... Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to put on socks when you're nearly 9 months pregnant??

3. The crazy carnival is back... Just like last year, the main town square has transformed into a completely wacky carnival complete with games, rides, and screaming children hopped up on sweets running wild like banshees.

Yes, friends, it's fall...

...enjoy a Pumpkin Spiced Latte for me, I'll be snacking on some escargots from Hamburger City :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am ready.

It's been quiet around here... I've reached a point in my pregnancy where, honestly, I'm pretty much over it. I'm done feeling tired and achy and emotional. I'm tired of the insomnia and needing a crane to lift me out of bed. I haven't been cooking much and my long walks around town have been getting shorter and shorter - though I could tell you all the best benches to rest on and which cafes have the cleanest bathrooms. We are SO ready to welcome this little babette into the world, and with each passing day the eagerness increases. I mean, we're not ready ready (is anyone ever really ready for a baby?). We have no pristinely decorated nursery for her and we haven't purchased a single baby book (Didz thinks we can just "wing it"), but we are super excited to get this next chapter in our lives started.

So, dear Didzette, I know you still have a few weeks to go... but your daddy and I are ready whenever you are.

... and we have super cute little lamb slippers waiting for you :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

My favorite thing

Sometimes he leaves me sleeping in the morning, quietly sneaks out of the house, and then comes home with almond croissants and fresh strawberries from the market...

He's my favorite.