Verses to Remember

From birth I have relied on you; You brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

Psalm 71:6

Monday, March 15, 2010

I am . . . BACK!

I am... blessed.

I think... it's been way too long since I last blogged! A quick recap: In the last few weeks, I have traveled to Coos Bay for my nephew's 1st birthday, to Grants Pass to help my parents pick up my elderly grandparents for an extended visit, my husband flew to DC for a week-long business trip/conference, I have repainted my entire dining room, tried to get a job (nannying), found out my MIL's multiple myeloma (cancer of the blood and bone, similar to leukemia) is back, had Easter dinner with my husband's family, and lastly, got the good news that the cancer is most likely localized and will only require radiation treatments as opposed to chemo. Whew. So, as you can see, I have been busy, but that is no excuse for neglecting you, my happy bloggy community!

I should... be painting. The walls are DONE (ever painted over wallpaper? Don't.) but I've got a chair rail to finish. And then a door frame. And a door. And. . .

I dream.... of being a mom. Enough said.

I want... more days of sunshine! We've been having typical Oregon Spring weather-sunny one minute, thunder storms and hail the next... I'm ready for a bit more consistent sunshine!

I know... Jesus loves me. For the Bible tells me so.

I don't like... waiting. I've done a lot of it, and I don't think it really gets any easier. Right now we are waiting for more test results for my mother-in-law, as well as waiting for me to get pregnant, and neither of them are very fun.

I smell...
coffee :) Mmmmm. Tell me, why is it that no one has perfected a "freshly brewing coffee" air freshener? I'd be all over that.

I hear...
frogs. That might seem all nice and charming to you city folk but when you live out in the country, especially near water, the frogs can get SO loud that you have to turn up the tv to drown them out, and they can even wake you up in the middle of the night. Frog leg soup, anyone?

I fear... not being able to get pregnant. And ants. I have nightmares about them.

I usually... talk. Just ask my family.

I search...
for new recipes. I'm tired of having the same thing for dinner every week, but it's not always easy to find things that my picky hubs likes (or thinks he will like, since if he doesn't think he is going to like it, there is really nothing I can do to persuade his taste buds). Some of our new favorites: trout (courtesy of my husband's mad fishing skills), chinese chicken salad (a la applebees), and green chile chicken enchiladas.

I miss....
my 2 yr old nephew Caden. I always have love seeing him but the last time was just the most fun. He is growing up so quickly and I adore his sweet little personality (as he would say, "because you are my best friend!") I also miss being able to walk to a coffee shop from home.

I always... kiss my husband goodnight. We received a plaque for our wedding with our names painted on it, and in front of our names it says Always Kiss Me Goodnight. It hangs above our bed and we've certainly taken it to heart. (Thanks Christy!)

I regret... not painting our living room & dining room trim white sooner. It's made SUCH a difference! I just love the crisp white and it has made the rooms feel much brighter. Yay!

I wonder... how my latest baking endeavor will turn out? A fudge brownie crust covered with a chocolate hazelnut swirled cheesecake filling and topped with our very own fresh roasted and chopped hazelnuts. It's cooling now and I cannot wait to try it! The spatula I licked was a very delicious preview. If it is wonderful, I might bring some to the baby shower I'm helping with this afternoon. . . maybe :)

I crave... power. No, not really, it just sounded good :) Something I really do crave is creamsicles. Not only are they delicious but they are the perfect for springtime! I know, random.

I remember... when my friend Emily said she was never going to have children. She couldn't imagine having little ones of her own and swore it would not happen. Now she is pregnant with little one #4 and could not be happier! Silly, silly girl. Miss you Em!

I need... to finish the laundry. Is it just me or is laundry one of those things that is NEVER finished? I love that feeling of accomplishment that comes after finishing ALL the dirty laundry... but I do NOT love the sense of defeat that comes shortly after when the nice, empty laundry basket is half full again before the day is even over... I can remember actually telling my husband to put his dirty clothes in the bathroom so that I could go to bed in a room with NO dirty laundry. . . *sigh*

I forget...
what it is like to not have high-speed internet, or much less an internet connection at all! How is it that something has changed our lives so completely, yet it was non-existent 20 years ago? How long has it been since you've used a real phone book, a dictionary, a map, or the newspaper to look up movie listings? I forget what it was like to NOT be dependent on the internet for pretty darn close to everything!

I feel...
grown up. Some days, anyway. Other days I cannot believe that I am almost 30 years old. Thirty. That's like the age of the people in Seinfeld, and Mad About You. Thirty. I thought I would have a whole gaggle of kids and more than a few gray hairs by the time I was thirty. Not that I would
only be a mommy to my 2 yr old puppy, and still be asked if I had graduated yet. (Yes, that really happened just a few months ago. And she did not mean from college.)

I can...
WALK! Praise God! This may not seem like a huge feat to some of you, but it is one that I do not take for granted any longer. Being unable to put any weight through my left leg for over 4 months, not even able to put my foot flat on the ground, has made me so completely grateful that I am now recovered enough to be able to walk. Unassisted. Without crutches. You don't know how much you take for granted until you can no longer do so!

I can't...
make rolls from scratch. I have tried many times, and each time there is some different problem. The entire situation stresses me out so much that if there are roll-making-items out on the kitchen counter my husband knows not to say a word. I blame it on our oven, our drafty kitchen, the weather, the humidity...but I'm trying to face the fact that me and dinner rolls just are not made to be. At least not at this stage in my life. I'm hoping that once I have kids I will be endowed with that magical roll-making-ability that all old-fashioned mothers seem to have. But until then. . . Rhodes are good enough for me!

I am happy...
that in 2 months my hubs and I will have been married for THREE WHOLE YEARS! Crazy. But crazy good!

I lose... at Rummykub. It's a fabulous game with little tiles kind of like dominoes, but its played sort of like Gin Rummy is with cards. You have to get runs or 3-of-a-kind, and whoever plays all their tiles first wins. I have been playing this game for years with my family, and I taught this game to my husband, happy that I might be able to actually win a game against him (not the case with most other games we play). However, it did not take my engineer-minded, photographic-memory husband long to figure out how to beat me at it. Grrr. Now each game can take well over an hour, and most of them end with me accusing him of cheating. . . which he doesn't (usually!) do, but he allows me to accuse him because he knows it helps me save just a little bit of my dignity, after losing yet again. That's what I get for picking a smart one, I guess.

I sing....
in the car. Lately I've been loving Chris Tomlin's praise songs and whenever I'm in the car alone I turn them up and sing along. It never fails to lift my mood and put my worries in perspective... even if it's only for a ten minute drive to town.

I listen... to tv shows while I paint. I don't usually pick those with a difficult plot because I only pay about 50% attention, but I enjoy having something to listen to to keep my mind from wondering if this is the 4th or 5th coat of white paint. Current favorites include American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and the Amazing Race. Apparently I enjoy the competition aspect :) And a bonus with this season of Amazing Race, the contestants are so "amazingly" blockheaded that whenever I watch it I end up feeling so very intelligent! Gotta love that!

I shop... at Target. Pretty much only at Target. But where else can you find string cheese, an Easter dress and painting tape? I kinda love it. I am, however, NOT a fan of Target pharmacy. I have tried 3 times now, and not once have they gotten any part of the order correct. They tell me it will be ready at X o' clock, so I drive the 20 min to get there and is it ready? Nah. They say it's going to be $X amount, but then when it's ready, its much more. So, sadly, I will not be adding "pick up Rx" to the growing list of things I can do while at my friendly local Target.

I eat... Frosted Mini-Wheats bite-size cereal. Dry. Sans milk. Out of the box, even. Yes, they are a bit dry at first, and they can be a tad bit hard to swallow, but for some odd reason I really enjoy them! So much so that I often have a baggie of them in my purse or in my car, or even on my nightstand. My husband, who has some of the oddest eating habits around, likes to make fun of me for my odd choices, but I do not mind. I choose to take the high road. With my baggie of cereal :)

I love... All of YOU! Thanks for hanging in there with me over these last few crazy weeks, and I will do my best to not leave you all hanging for so long again. I hope you are enjoying the first days of Spring, and that you have a lovely weekend. Go enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Take care!

Friday, March 12, 2010

TGI Friday!!

Yes, it's that time again! TGI Friday, Spring Edition!

Trusting-that God knows the future, and will let me know what I need to know, when I need to know it. Sometimes I worry that I am missing something; that there was a step I was supposed to take or a fork in the road that I might have missed, but I need to trust that not only will God not tell me things I don't need to know, He will tell me the things I do need to know. If I am listening to Him and tuned in to His direction, He will guide me and give me enough light to see the next step along our path- whether it's the next job to apply for or the timing for a trip.

Grateful-for SO many things! That SPRING is coming, that I am finally making some progress on projects around my home, and for my Wonderful HUSBAND who has been doing so many sweet little things for me lately "just because."

(Like what, you ask? Well, he installed ALL of the baseboards I painted last weekend in one fell swoop, he has brought home flowers for me 3 times in the last month, AND after I mentioned that his mom had found some pretty pink branches
around the farm to put in her house, he went out and cut a bunch to surprise me, including some with bright yellow flowers and adorable little white flowers. Just cause he thought I'd like them. SO sweet!)

Now when I look around my house I'm not only thrilled by my new baseboards, or happy that spring is almost here, I am also reminded of how lucky I am to have a hub who loves me as much as mine does!

Inspired- by a couple of home decor blogs I've been reading lately: both Our Suburban Cottage and It's the little things that make a house a home have me inspired for some springtime updating with lots of bright & airy rooms, white cottage decor, and making the best of what you've got to work with (such as vanity lights from the 70's and unattractive laminate countertops!). Go ahead and check them out--and then check back here for updates on the projects I'll be taking on! Some likely possibilities: kitchen cabinet makeovers & a new window seat!

Favorite-dessert lately is . . . drumroll please. . . tapioca pudding! Don't judge me. It's a delicious, sweet creamy treat, already portion-controlled (unless you eat two of them ...which of course I would never do!), and it just reminds me of being a kid! Now what's so wrong about that? And in case you need to be reminded -- no, tapioca pearls are NOT fish eggs or fish eyes or whatever your big brother told you they were, they are completely natural and yummy. So there. :)

Random-I have always enjoyed scrapbooking, stamping and card-making... and I have quite a collection of supplies to prove it! However I often find that it's just not that fun to work on cards or scrapbooks by myself. Well lately I've rekindled this hobby by helping my MIL out with a project she's working on.

Together we've gone shopping for supplies, coordinated ribbons and papers, and done the trial & error that's always necessary when deciding on the best possibly layouts. And I must say, we are a pretty good team, because the final product that we've come up with has been really adorable!

I'll see if I can take a few photos of the final product to show y'all (we aren't there yet)
, but let me just say that they are some of the CUTEST baby (girl) shower invitations you've ever seen! And it is most certainly inspiring me to get out my supplies and put them to good use!

Interested-in how to get back my previously well-mannered, easy-going, social-butterfly of a puppy! That dog seems to be AWOL and in her place is a neurotic, hyper-sensitive, bark-at-everything, friends-with-no-one, naughty puppy! I am having to spend most of my days scolding her for growling ferociously at the heater vents (?!), barking at every (even imagined!) sound she hears, and sneaking around in order to avoid the mysterious other-dog-in-the-mirror.

Dreaming- of going camping!! Because of an unfortunately-located tree, last year's camping season was cut quite short. I have since put in lots of time, and lots of work, recovering from the interaction with said tree, and I am really looking forward to this summer. Camping, grilling, fishing, going for long walks, heck, just sitting outside NOT in a wheelchair. It's going to be good!

Admiring- my newly painted and installed WHITE baseboards!! And my current project, white-painted door and window frames! Already these small changes are making SUGH a difference in my large living/dining room.

We have wood floors, dark wood and brown leather furniture, a dark wood-paneled wall with a brick red fireplace, wine colored walls in the DR half, and latte colored walls in the LR (yes, I know, pictures are worth a thousand words. However I'm preparing a dramatic before and after post for this project, so I can't give the punchline away ahead of time! Patience, people!). If you can try to imagine it, it's a pretty dark picture.

Before this project, there was NO bright white in these rooms to balance all the dark. The baseboards themselves have made a big difference, and I am already LOVING the white door frame. They both bring a nice breath of calm and cheer to the rooms, like a happy spring breeze. . . Okay, so maybe I'm over-exaggerating the effect of a little white paint (or a lot of white paint!), but if you were in my shoes you would understand. It is exactly what these rooms needed and I really, truly love it. *sigh*

- I'm going to finally get a rug for my living room!! I've been wanting a rug for our living room floor for just about forever. Or at least since we moved in and refinished our floors :) However big rugs are not only expensive, it is also difficult to find a style that both the hub and I like. Well a couple weeks ago a good friend of mine (you know who you are, T!) mentioned on Facebook that she was bringing home a new rug she bought at Costco.

So of course I had to get the details (price, size, all that good stuff), and trot on off to my favorite warehouse store to check it out. And lo and behold, I found one I really liked! And even more amazing, the hub liked it too! (He didn't love it, and he made sure I knew it wasn't his absolute perfect dream rug, but hey, if he liked it at all I figured we're making progress here!) So we took a few days to think about it. . . and we still like it, so-- we're going to get it this weekend! I'm really very excited.

Now don't get me wrong-- I love LOVE hardwood floors, but I've learned that I also really love having something soft and warm under my feet, especially when it's drafty (and especially for the future when we have little ones here, with as often as they and their tiny feet are on the floor!). I also really like light and color and coziness, which are three things our living room does not currently have an abundance of (see above). So based on all that, I'm thrilled we have hardwood floors (that my brand new husband and I sanded and refinished ourselves, when we very first moved into our house!!), and I'll be even more thrilled when we've balanced all that wood out with a little bit of softness and warmth. Like our new rug will provide. Yay!

I hope you all have had a great week, and are making some fun plans for the weekend, even if it's only trying to work out in the yard between rain showers! Spring is on it's way, trust me! Until next time--take care!