June 24, 2011

a good morning.

R had to get up a little earlier this morning for work, so I decided to get up with him instead of lounging around with Liv in our jammies (what our mornings usually consist of!).  Normally she wakes up around 7 or 7:30; today she chose 6AM. I decided to let her talk and play in her crib while I squeezed in a little me-time with my Bible and a cup of tea in the backyard.

Two neighbors catty-corner to us were also up early, and they greeted each other good morning while one worked in her garden and the other hung some laundry, their white hair glowing in the morning sun. I don't think either of them saw me, and it was nice to just be in my own space and see them in theirs. It felt so... 1950s-ish...and midwestern. Quiet. Peaceful.

Gotta love how lovely morning light is...

...and this is the kind of morning picture I don't mind taking :)

A quick update on the garden: Things are thriving! Our yellow pear, and two big beef tomato plants are growing like weeds...

And our pepper plants are doing well too. I thought I had lost all of them after our last snow. What a relief!

And the squash and cucumbers are working on their first pair of true leaves. Can't wait to see these puppies in another couple of months! I thinned them after taking this picture down to two each... Hope they have enough room.

As for the rest of today, I'm hoping to finish organizing our desk and moving some things out of little Bug's room that won't belong come November.  I'm sure Liv will want to play outside--it's the only thing she's wanted to do the last couple of days!  The rest of the weekend will be spent catching up on housework, yardwork, maybe a movie. What are your weekend plans? Any good summer movie recommendations?

June 21, 2011

on washing dogs.

It's a lot tougher to wash a dog when you're 5 months preggo, but it had to be done--Dex reeeeked. He enjoyed a morning romping around the dog park with pal Rogue this morning, and even went swimming.  Good ole dog days of summer...

Hangin' outside to dry... Look at how gray he is already! And he just turned 3! I'm pretty sure most of that is Olivia-induced, even though she's pretty gentle with him and vice versa... Liv can say "Dexter" clearly now, and will even say "gentle" or "good boy" when she pets him. I'm sure the grayness is sure to get worse when baby #2 comes along.

Speaking of which, we find out next Wednesday if we're having a boy or a girl... we can't wait...!

June 19, 2011

the big 3-0.

We celebrated Raul's 30th (!) birthday yesterday, which was a blast. It was a semi-surprise party; R didn't know about it until the morning of, and I didn't tell him who was coming or how many people there'd be--it was fun to see him light up when old friends came through the door to celebrate.

I kept the decorations simple--I made a banner with some paper from my stash (can you tell I only had one piece of red left? :).

I did buy the silver stars, tissue paper, and balloons. I used this pattern from Martha Stewart for the tissue pom poms--they were a little more tricky to make than I thought they'd be! I actually had to you tube some how-to's as my first couple looked way lame. Turns out I was taking "puffing" the tissue way too seriously. Would recommend these for parties as they are way fun, and fairly cheap to make.

As an ode to R's engineer/inner geek, I ordered a Star Trek cake.

And I printed up this photo for the front of the card I gave him... Sorry to totally dork out on you, but both of us chuckled when we read it. Oh, Spock. (NOTE: I think I enjoyed watching the first season of Star Trek with R because his mind is quite logical, a la Spock... it just rings true somehow....)

Anyway, it was our first large BBQ, and turned out to be a lot of fun--it took the intimidation out of having so many peeps over, something we're not used to! Good food, good friends & family, beautiful weather... As I told R, why not try something new to begin a new decade, right?

June 14, 2011

thought for the day:

We quickly enough feel and weigh what we suffer at the hands of others, but we mind not what others suffer from us...

We reprehend small things in others, and pass over greater matters in ourselves...

God alone is everlasting, and of infinite greatness, filling all creatures; the soul's solace, and the true joy of the heart. (emphasis mine)

-"of the consideration of one's self"
The Imitation of Christ, A. Kempis

June 11, 2011

organizing and house talk.

I love inspiration photos. I included some in previous posts, but wanted to include some more that I'm oohing and ahhing over.  I'm still keen on making 2011 an organizational year; it's been a lot more slow going than I thought it would be. Wait, who am I fooling?

It's now June; halfway through the year (!). I should have half of my house organized by now, right? Riiiight... let me show you what I've been thinking about.


To make room for the new baby bug, we've moved our office (primarily our desk, laptop, printer, and a couch) from the second bedroom down into our living room. This room was basically empty, except for Dex's kennel... it's been great to make it functional! We loved the idea of having the computer centralizied, especially as Liv and Bug get older and have homework to do. For now, R will often bring work home and hang in there, and I'll plop on the couch with a book. It's nice together time without actually being together-together.

Anyway, I liked this picture because we don't have any bookshelves near our desk. I'd like to put up wall shelves to house our books, which are all now in the second bedroom on built-ins. I would put books in every room if I could...


Labeled cubbies? How cute is that. I'll keep my eyes peeled at Savers or garage sales for something like this...Would be easy to paint and fill with fun things, either for bathroom items or playthings for Liv or Bug. (I guess the baby's official name is "Bug" now...)


I love a) the color of this little system and b) all of the little squares that are just big enough for a pair of earrings or a bracelet. Would be easy to make with small boxes for a more mis-matchy look (which I also like). And it's nicely tucked away. I have some necklaces and earrings out on my dresser top displayed, but sometimes I think it'd be nice to just have a vase of flowers there and everything else put away. Especially as I don't own or wear a lot of jewelery! The drawer it would all go into is a complete mess right now... it looks more like it belongs to a teenager than an almost 30-year-old. Oops.

I remember going through my mom's jewelry and makeup drawers as a little girl, and they were emmaculately organized. Maybe that's why it was so fun to go through them? ;)


So my friend Tess is awesome about framing all sorts of fun and meaningful little pictures and artwork... whether it's hand-drawn, from a magazine, postcards, tickets, you name it. It's like her own personal museum, all in monochromatic frames she's picked up along the way. It's so fun to look at her walls and ask her about everything, because everything has a story, of course, and she's a fun storyteller. This picture reminded me of her.

I don't know if the whole wall-o-frames thing is a trend that will fizzle out, but it's one I gravitate toward constantly. I'd love something like this over my family room couch, but seeing as the wall behind that couch is all mirrored (yes, thank you 1977), no can do. I'm hatching a plan to do something similar to this up our stairway, and I'm slowly stowing away frames bought on sale, at thrift stores, or ones my folks don't want anymore that I'll paint black.

Alrighty then--so there's a little more fuel for the organizing fire!

June 8, 2011


Isn't this what summer evenings should look like?

June 4, 2011


Not much beats meeting up with your oldest, dearest friend for some lunch and a playdate with your little ones. Liv and I had a blast with Leanne, Mason, & little Emma. It's really hard to imagine that this time next year, we'll be wrangling four of them...oh me!

Mason is looking more and more like such a little boy, and less like a toddler! I can't believe it. He says "Olivia" very well, and called me "Aunt Minns." I love that. :)

June 3, 2011

summer reading.

I have really fallen off the book bandwagon this past year. And in the last few years, I've found I've hopped from the fiction cart to the non-fiction cart--which is funny, because R now is the one with the fiction bug, mostly reading classics to catch up on good ole literature and culture. (I still haven't read Catcher in the Rye or Crime and Punishment. I know, I know.)

I fired up my library queue again last week, renting 500 Days of Summer...cute....I snagged that and the Potting Shed Papers, by Charles Elliott. I don't really know why I like this book so much... it's been a few years since I first read it, and the writing style is a little pretentious and uppity. But I think I like it because I remember reading it in our little apartment when we were first married, and I was trying to grow a million of the wrong things on our west-facing deck, thinking I knew something about gardening. So maybe I was feeling a little pretentious and understanding of Mr. Elliott... until all of my plants (yes, all) fried one nice summer day. To a crisp. R was actually able to revive one, and it now sits on the coffee table in our living room.

Reading this book now, humbled and tepidly starting my gardening adventures over in our raised beds, I don't relate at all. But it's been a nice memory to thumb through the chapters when I can't sleep. I wish I had a green thumb!

Now I'm reading Radical, by David Platt. I'm only on the third chapter, and already it's been super thought-provoking.  I tend to shy away from the plasticity of Christianity (WWJD bracelets and the like--no offense if you wear them, of course), and reading Platt's thoughts on the differences between the American church and the underground church around the world is fascinating. We are indeed cushioned here--so how do we peel ourselves away from what's purely comfortable and familiar, and do what's Biblical? I'm excited to read more about how he is incorporating Biblical truths into his multi-thousand-member church (can't be easy), and already I'm feeling challenged. Very easy-to-read writing style as well.

I have a few fiction titles on my side table too, but I'm going to get through these first... hopefully soon. What are you reading lately? Any recommendations?