Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Encouraged To Enjoy

I'm having one of those slow mornings where I can't believe that I get to stay home and be a mom.  To an actual baby.  To Burl.

I'm relishing it all:  The poop that came after I put on a fresh diaper.  The tugging at my shorts while I make breakfast.  The comfort after tears.  The playing trucks while emptying the dishwasher.


That was the one that really got me this morning.  That was the moment that I thought to myself, "He's only little once.  He won't be "in my way" forever.  He won't be driving his truck across the dishwasher while I try to empty it.  Get the camera.  Remember this moment."


And I try.  I try to remember.  To enjoy.  To be slow.  To soak it up.  Here's what helps me:  When people talk about what remembering what it's like to have babies and how they enjoyed those little baby moments.  

For example, the Nester tries to get her boys to still play with Legos.
My neighbor tells me how lucky I am to have a baby.
I read things about how it changes.  How I go from bottles, to sippie cups, to sodas.  How the toys go from baby toys to big boy toys.  How looking back at the baby times, and it was really great!


And their joy and their remembering helps me have joy and helps me slow to remember.  

The "it goes by so fast" or the "enjoy it while you can" or the "next thing you know..." comments don't do me much good.  Those comments sound like they need a finger wagging in my face to go with them.  And, I for one, do not like finger-wagging comments.


So, let's all enjoy and talk about enjoying what we have to enjoy.  Because that is a great thing.  To enjoy what we have and share it with others.  

It makes the world go 'round.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Throwing A Celebration

Two things to learn from this post:

1. How to celebrate a birthday.
2. How to host a dinner.


1.  One thing that I've taught John in the 9 years that I've known him is how to have a birthday.  He's quite found of my birth-week/month philosophy.  We don't stop at a fun trip.  We celebrate all week long.  Lots of talk about the birthday.  Lots of thinking about what would be fun to eat.  Lots of getting your way.  Lots of focus on how great it is to have a birthday.  Lots and lots of excitement.  



Last night we had our birthday crew friends {minus one family and their strep germs} over for dinner.  John chose the menu: John's favorite pizza, a hearty salad, strawberry custard pies {family secret recipe}, and the Yellow Cake with Candied Lemons and Pistachios that he wanted from Real Simple.



2. About having people over...
I'm pretty used to having people in and out of our house, but I have some standards for having people over for dinner: things like, getting the camping gear out off the dining room table and clearing the kitchen counter of dishes.  

Yesterday, I felt sluggish and I was running slightly behind.



I had two things that helped me chill out:

1. I read this post about a hospitality hater who fell in love with hospitality.  Even though I'm pretty calm about having people over, it was great for me to read.  Everyone should read it.

2. I used the iPod.  During Burl's nap, I got so much cleaning done while getting my groove on.  {Warning: too much dancing can distract from cleaning.  Wait a minute-is there really such a thing as "too much dancing."}

All in all, it's about John and making him feel special and loved and celebrated!  By that smile I know that mission accomplished.  Happy 30th, John!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Red River Gorge

What else to do for a 30th birthday than go climbing at one of the top 5 climbing spots IN THE WHOLE WORLD?  Nothin' else.  That's what I'm saying.



 For John's Valentine's gift a few years ago, I took him to the local climbing gym.  Joseph met us there and "showed" us how to climb.  John was hooked.  Then Joseph went to Korea for a year and left John hanging.  (Pun intended.)  When he got home, they climbed.  And climbed.  And climbed.



John joined the local rock climbing gym.  He climbs outside whenever he can.  He loves it.  So a weekend at The Red River Gorge, Kentucky was a perfect trip for his birthday.  It was fun.  I'm talking Top Notch Fun.



 We spent a lot of time in Muir Valley.  We looked for good, dry routes.  We watched Joseph flirt with some girls.  We hiked.

"Let's go to the shaded side of the valley.  It won't be as hot."
{Hike up said side.}
"Oh...this is way to grimy {code for wet}.  Let's go to the sunny side."
"You mean, down this and up the other side of the valley?"
"Yeah."
"Oh.  Ok.  I'm cool with that."



Since I wasn't climbing, I just followed along.  Trying not to slow them down.  They kept asking/reminding me/making it known to everyone that I had a baby.  

"You ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine guys.  You don't have to baby me."
"Yeah, but you DO have a baby in you."


My favorite hike was the hike out of Mire Valley.  A couple minutes into the hike and the thunderstorm came.  Thunder, thunder, and lots of lots of rain.  Our hike was about 30 minutes.  Everything was drenched. 

I loved.every.minute.of.it.  I will always remember that hike.  When will I ever get caught in a thunderstorm during a beautiful hike again?  It was adventure to the max! 


After the storm, we went to Miguel's, a local pizza place and rock climber headquarters.  Dry clothes.  Awesome pizza.  Prime people watching.  It was great. 


Then, back to our campsite.  Let me say one thing:  I LOVE CAMPING.  We did the car camping version.  The one where I bring an air mattress, sheets, and a down comforter.  Say what you will about whether that's "real camping" or not.  I don't care.  John and I are fully prepared to live in tents and become park rangers.  It was incredible.  


Despite the fact that the weather made for poor climbing conditions, we had a great time!  Wonderful!  Now we're wondering where can we camp next time?

Happy birthday, John!  Youmyfavorite!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Love Greenery

This past weekend I went camping.  {More on that later.}  I spent a lot of time following two rock climbers around The Red River Gorge.  One of my favorite things about the weekend was all the greenery. Here is one of the artsy fartsy pictures that I took:



I fell in love, especially, with the wild ferns growing everywhere.  There is something about ferns that I love.  Now that I'm home, all I can think about is greenery in my house.  

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 There is something about having a little mother nature in a house that makes it feel finished.  Loved.  Cared for.  That might sound a little cheesy, but deal with it.  That's one thing that I love about my aunt Margaret's house.  She always has greenery in her rooms.  


Greenery is mixed in with books, laid on tables, found in unexpected places.  It adds something.

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One of my favorite homes is Melanie's home from Pretties and Posies.  {She has taken a break from blogging, but you can still take a look HERE.}




This might be a stretch, but here are my thoughts when I see greenery in a home:



1. They took the extra effort to decorate.
2.  They took the extra effort to water and nurture said plant{s}.
3. They are intentional.  A great thing to be.  Having a living plant says that your decorating, your home, and your life is intentional.
4. They like the outdoors and they want more of it in their lives. 


If I want to keep things easy and effortless, then I might keep the greenery outside.  I do like easy and effortless.  But, I think that I want a little of God's creation blooming all around me.  I'm going to need to get some plants.  And ASAP.

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

When Emily from Jones Design Company did a post about her cute living room, the first thing that I noticed was her greenery.


Bookshelves. Tables. Hiding a computer monitor.  It's all good.  {And maybe artificial, but *pretty* artificial.  There's a difference.}


If she can keep greenery in her home with three boys and a baby girl, then I can do it too, right?  I've kept Burl alive and somewhat unharmed.  Somewhat.


I'm going to do it.  Skip the flowers that are $$$ and die quickly.  I'm going for plants.  So, please, send me your suggestions.  I'm not great at keeping things alive, so I need all the tips that I can get.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guy Work

For the past several weeks, I've been living in a boys' world.  Not that I've ever been able to live in a girls' world-I've just never been exposed to this much guy work and guy dirt at one time in my life.



Chainsaws, army cranes, dumpb trucks, diggers, etc.  To be quite honest, I don't even know the names of all the machines that have been parked at my house the past several weeks.


My father-in-law has adopted this as his project.  I'm not sure that he intended to do that, but he has.  He's called in friends, friends of friends', and slowly but surely, they are getting rid of the big oak that fell about a month ago.  



We've seen a lot of action.  A lot.  Men show up to work every morning and put on a good show for Burl.


We all know how much Burl loves a good show.



Every morning, sometimes before breakfast, we have our outside playtime.  Burl gets to see his Granddaddy, some other fellows, and machines at work.


Then, Burl gets to work.  I wish I knew what he was thinking.  He is so busy playing out there.  Sticks. Rocks. Mud clumps. Dirt. Water. Buckets.  He stays busy.





And he stays dirty.  Very, very dirty.  


When it's time to go inside, he goes to the window.  He's not missing a thing.



This is his dream come true.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Week's Menu

This menu is a little late and a little short due to an awesome trip.  More on that later.

Also, I think that I will be serving spaghetti once a week for a while because I can't get enough.  oh pregnancy.  

{Barefoot Contessa's Kitchen}

Spaghetti
Turkey and Sprout Sandwiches with Thyme Corn
Tilapia with Lemon Caper & White Wine Reduction (thank you, cooking club!), Rice Pilaf, Asparagus 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fabric Notecards

Looky, looky.  I found FABRIC NOTECARDS on Etsy.  Say What!?!


I can't get over that this is a concept and I haven't tried it yet.  I'm about to.  Let's get this weekend started off right with a little combo of my favorite things:  Stationary+Cute Fabric+Craft Project.  


To buy {me some}, go to The Paper Nest Co.  $18 for a set of 10.  Not too bad.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How To Make A Changing Pad

Yesterday I talked about my new found love for making a little somethin' somethin' for baby showers.  Today, I'm going to attempt to give a little tutorial on how to make The Changing Pad.

It's called the Changing Pad, but it could also be used as a burp cloth.  And, it involves quilting batting, so it's basically a quilt.  So, I'm like a quilter now.  Fancy.


I don't have a picture of the whole thing-but here's what it is.  Flannel on one side.  Cute fabric on the other.  Batting in the middle for a little cushion.


Here is what you'll need:
A 22x12" rectangle of each: fabric, batting, flannel
scissors
pins (optional)
sewing machine

I chose the 22x12" size because that means I can get six pieces out of one yard of 45" fabric.  
It makes sense.  I tried it.


1. Take your rectangles of batting, fabric, and flannel and line them together.
Pin them to stay in place-if you're a pinning kind of gal-and I am.

They need to be in this order:
batting
fabric (printed side facing soft flannel)
flannel (softer side facing fabric)

Hope that makes sense.


2. Sew around the edges.  Get as close to the edges as possible, but make sure the sewing machine goes through all three pieces.  This is muy importante. 

Also, leave a 3-4 inch opening somewhere on the edge.  
We gonna turn that mother out in just a minute.


3. Remove pins.  Snip edges (if needed) and trim those corners.


4. Turn that mother out.  Flip the entire thing through the opening that was made.  It's going to be flipped so the batting will be on the inside and the soft side of the flannel and the pretty side of the fabric will be hanging outside.  

Hope that makes sense.  Try practicing  and figuring it if you need to.  If my friends and I could get it (with a few calls to Julie), then I'm sure anyone can get it.


5. Tuck in the opening.  Ironing helps.  But not necessary.


6a. Sew around the edge.  Get it real close or leave a bit of a gap.  Whatever ya fancy.


6b. (optional step) Sew two lines down the changing pad.  I like to leave a 2" space from the top and the bottom and a 2" inch space from the sides.

And Wa-La.  There you have it.  A little tutorial on how to make a very cute changing pad.  That I don't have a picture of.  Sorry about that.  

Happy Showering and Gifting!
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