Archive for the ‘Family’ Category


Wedding update!

February 17, 2011

So my sister’s big day is rapidly approaching – less than 2 days! I am so sorry that I haven’t posted anything more yet on here. I didn’t want to post anything that other people had not yet seen. There will be tons of pics after this weekend of all the flowers that will be at the wedding (made by yours truly!), but here’s a little something I made for them that I gave my sister at her sprinkle (it was a small shower – cute, right?).

Clay Ring Plate

Clay Ring Plate

I made them a personalized ring plate that they can use during the ceremony! Since they won’t be having a ring bearer, the rings can be tied to this plate with the ribbon and left up at the ceremony table until they need them. Then, after the wedding, they could display it by either hanging it with the same ribbon or using a plate hanger. Yay! In the back, I carved “Made with love by N.Hall.” I’m really happy with how it came out. I love working with clay! I want to start making little knick knack type things soon with it. If you have any suggestions or would be interested in ordering something, leave me a comment with your email address and I will get back to you ASAP.

In case you haven’t seen other clay creations of mine, here are two presents I’ve given Jesse. On the left is Sebastian the Ibis, mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes. And on the right is the clay version of Jesse and I that I gave him at our rehearsal dinner.

Two of my clay creations

Two of my clay creations

I can’t wait to share more wedding stuff with you. Here’s wishing the happy couple a wonderful day on Saturday!


No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth…

January 11, 2011

…I’ve just been completely immersed in wedding land and had a bunch of work for my last graduate class. My sister is getting married in about a month and a week, and I’m taking on a number of major tasks for the big day.

Thankfully, it’s winter intersession, so I don’t have any grad school work. I need to try to get a huge chunk of stuff done before my new class starts the last week of January. I also just got another freelance video gig, which will add some more stress and time consumption into the mix. But it’ll also be a lot of fun. I worked with these guys last year for their promos and, well… just look at the outtakes from last year’s shoot.

It’s gonna be a good time. Looking forward to it!

WARNING: If you will be attending the wedding and do not wish to see any details ahead of time, then DO NOT continue reading!

The largest role I’m playing (besides matron of honor, of course) is that of faux florist. I’m making the centerpieces, bouquets, bouts, corsages and favors with ribbon roses. Check out my uber simple site to see examples of previous work. I really need to update and jazz that up. You know, when I have free time. HA! What’s that!?

The favors are done, so that’s one thing off the list. Here are a few of them to show you (courtesy of my terrible camera phone):

Silver/Gray Favor Roses

Silver/Gray Favor Roses

I won’t reveal any more details as far as how these will become favors, but for now just know that the various shades of silver & gray are directly related to their purpose.

I’ll show some more details in subsequent posts to keep you coming back for more. But for now, I’ll leave you with the logo I made them for their Save the Dates. I put a watermark on it so no one would steal it, so disregard the “a hallsmark design” part.

Wedding Logo!

Wedding Logo!

Let’s break that down for those of you who don’t know the happy couple. The test tube represents my sister, who is a chemistry teacher. The wrench is for her fiancee, who is a steamfitter. And the apple plays a dual role – it represents both teachers and the steamfitters! Gotta love when that works out!

I’ll check back in soon with more details, and hope to have some additional posts up in the next few days. Until then, have a great day and if you’re going to be affected by the upcoming nor’easter, be safe!


Polygamy, TV style

September 27, 2010

So here’s a new show on TLC this season called “Sister Wives” – have you heard of it? In case you haven’t, please allow me to give you a brief synopsis.

The Brown family consists of husband Kody, his three wives (Meri, Janelle and Christine) and their 12 children, plus one more on the way.

Take a second to digest that.

Now add to the mix that on the first episode, Kody tells the wives that he wants to marry another woman and take in her 3 children.


When I first saw promos for this show, many thoughts ran through my head. Who came up with this show idea? Was there a demand for insight into the polygamist lifestyle? Or did the good folks at TLC just want to continue their exploration of unique family dynamics, as seen in shows such as “Little People, Big World” and “Kate plus 8?” Who is the target audience for this show? And most importantly, would it last?

I knew I would have to check it out, and thankfully I caught the replay very late Sunday night of the series premiere. I’m still watching it now as I write this post.

To say that their attitudes and lifestyle intrigue me is a dramatic understatement. Obviously, I don’t understand how they feel. They’ve all grown up in polygamist families, making the decision to be involved in this family structure a no-brainer for them. They see nothing wrong with sharing their husband, raising each other’s children and being open to adding new women to the family.

I would love to hear from someone familiar with plural marriage. Why do these women want to be involved with a man who clearly has a roaming eye? Don’t they want a husband of their own? How do they handle the news that a new wife is being added to the family? Are the women allowed to have multiple husbands, or is it only the men who are allowed this privilege? I know I could look up articles and information online about polygamy, plural marriages and sister wives, but I would rather hear from a real person.

I’m not sure yet if I will plan to watch new episodes or just catch them as I notice them in the channel listings, but I do think I would watch it again. I hope to gain more insight into these women and hope to stop viewing the husband as a total dirtbag (sorry, Kody, but that’s my gut reaction).

I’d also like to hear from you, the readers. What do you think about all this? Is this a show you might watch? Why, or why not? I look forward to your input, and perhaps a spirited debate!

UPDATE 9/28/10 – According to this article (this one too), the Brown family is being investigated by Lehi (Utah) police for possible charges of felony bigamy. Updates will follow as I read more.


At a loss

May 29, 2010

Yes, I know I said that I would write more frequently. Trust me, there were many good reasons for this delay.

On Sunday, May 23, my 79-year-old granny (my father’s mother) passed away after a brave battle that began with uterine cancer. Later that same day, my husband’s grandmother (also 79) passed away. Needless to say, this has been a very difficult week.

Monday night we drove to the NY-PA border so that we would be at his grandmother’s funeral Tuesday morning. After spending the day with his family, we then headed down to Queens, NY, to prepare for the next two days of wake and services for my grandmother. We returned to CT yesterday afternoon, and I am completely, emotionally drained.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to make my head spin, I also started a new graduate class this past Monday. I’ve done nothing for the class yet and will have to catch up on a week’s worth of stuff in 2 days. Thank goodness for the long weekend.

I hope to have a more positive post up either later today or tomorrow regarding one good thing that happened this week. It was over two years in the making, and is something that I am so happy to be able to do.

Until then, I’m off to try to recollect my thoughts and begin my grad class. Deep breath in… And big exhale… Here I go.


Officially HD (almost)

March 9, 2010

Nearly two weeks and no posts? What’s going on with me?! I am so sorry, blogosphere. I do hope you’ll accept my apology. I wish I could say that I’ve just been ridiculously busy and that’s why I didn’t post, but it really wouldn’t be true. The way I see it, I have a relationship with my readers (however few of you are out there), and I don’t want to spoil that with lies. I was neglectful, I apologize, and I hope to never let the posts fall for that long again.

Okay, enough apologies. On with the post!

This past weekend, Jesse and I moved forward into the great world of HD! Our fabulous new entertainment center (purchased here) and awesome 41″ TV (from here) have moved us light-years ahead of where we were three weeks ago when our TV pooped out on us. That’s right – we’ve been tube-less since Valentine’s Day, and I was starting to go crazy! It’s sad to realize how much I actually depended on the TV. I thought I was pretty good since most shows I watch online. But I was really at a loss.

We knew that we would make the upgrade whenever our old TV was finished, so this was a long time coming. And thankfully, we had a ton of gift certificates from the wedding that we had saved for this exact reason. So ever though it was a good chunk of change, it was one we had planned for and which was lessened greatly by the generosity of family and friends. Thanks, everyone!

As we await our HDMI cables (which should be arriving in the mail shortly from here), we currently have 720 HD loveliness. Soon, however, we will be full 1080! Honestly, I have no idea what that all means, but I do know that it will be even more awesome than it already is. Stellar!

Jesse also went for the DVR, despite my initial protest. How foolish I was! DVR is incredible! And being able to rewind live TV shows? Mind boggling and fantastic! (Can you tell I was TV deprived?)

While we don’t have a Bluray player – have you seen the cost of those things? – our current DVD/VCR combo up-converts, so our standard def VHS and DVDs will look even spiffier on the new widescreen. Hooha! 

Before I close, I’d like to give a huge shoutout to my faboo husband. Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Have you joined the HD revolution? If you have, what were your initial thoughts when you did? If you haven’t, can you share why?


Child tracking devices?

January 27, 2010

The mother of one of my elementary school friends has worked for a pretty wealthy family for quite a long time. Through that family, she got a dog named Holly that I wasn’t even really afraid of. (Did I mention my fear of dogs yet? Well, there that is.) I was fascinated by Holly because not only was she a very well-behaved, beautiful dog — sorry I don’t know breeds — but she was also pretty tech-savvy. Holly had something like puppy LoJack installed by her tail.

If you felt near her rear, you could feel a rather small computer chip that used GPS technology to track her down if she was ever stolen or ran away. At the time, it was unheard of and I thought that as long as it didn’t hurt the dogs then it was a really great idea. Now it is more commonly used, and has helped many sad pet owners to happily reunite with their furry friends.

The idea of embedding computer chips into humans has been around for some time. It was referenced in the 1995 film Johnny Mnemonic (Johnny was a data courier, with the information stored in a brain chip) and more recently in the television show Fringe (Walter Bishop implants a tracking chip into his neck so his son Peter can find him if he wanders off). A current Google search reveals more than a million results for articles, blog entries, etc., related to making this practice more common.

Why, you might ask, would I bring this random idea up? I read a piece recently discussing the pros and cons of using GPS technology to keep tabs on children (leaving a tracking device in their bag or something, not embedded in their skin).

Personally, I am not thrilled with this idea. Of course, I can understand parents’ fears about their child getting abducted, abused or worse. I watch SVU; I know what’s out there. But while it could provide some peace of mind in that sense, there are so many other things that could happen to kids that a GPS could never detect.

Really, my biggest issue with the whole kiddy GPS thing is that you are taking away your child’s privacy. A kindergarten student doesn’t need much alone time, and their parents or guardians should keep tabs on them. But as that child with a chip in their backpack grows up, they will know that they are being monitored. They may feel that they aren’t trusted, or that they need to act or live a certain way because they are being watched. It could dramatically affect their personality and inhibit them in a way that a lack of GPS technology wouldn’t. 

As I said, I do see both the benefits and the downsides to monitoring children in this way. However, I am definitely more con than pro.

What do you think about this technology? Would you ever consider planting a tracking device on your child?


Bursting with GLEE!

January 12, 2010


Glee logo



Yes, this post will talk about the fabulous TV show Glee, among other things. How awesome is this show, seriously? I am so excited to hear that Fox gave the official go ahead for season two. Yay! Even cooler is that they are holding audition to get 3 new cast members. Check out the details at the show’s official site.

When I first heard about the show, I was skeptical. I didn’t watch it until Jesse and my friend/coworker Dana told me I needed to get onboard. So I sat down and watched the first 3 episodes online (which is, by the way, pretty much the only way I watch TV). The first one didn’t wow me, but I saw potential. With every new episode I watched, I was pulled deeper and deeper into William McKinley High. I love it!

You already knew of my love for musical theater, so this just brings that love into my home. I can’t wait for it to come back from hiatus in April! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend either renting season 1, volume 1 (road to sectionals) or watching it online. These are talented folks, and it’s a wonderfully fun, sweet, emotional, adorable show. Give it a shot.

I am also gleeful because just a short while ago I saw the rough cut of a segment of our wedding video! Yay! These guys are truly fabulous, and I’m so glad we decided to go with them. They are also QU grads and friends of mine, and it was great to see friendly faces on our special day. I look forward to seeing what else they have in store for us, as well as the gorgeous pictures that are sure to come from our incredible photographer. 😀

Do you have any thoughts on Glee? Who is your favorite character? (I’m torn – I love a bunch of them!)