Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a baby boy...

"What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of!"

Yes. This means that the little one kicking in my tummy, the little one whose heartbeat brings me joy, the little one who is my baby, is indeed a boy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

recycled t-shirt dress

I have the sweetest friend, Disney, and not only does she create the most adorable items to furnish her home and dress herself and daughter with, she also has a blog, Ruffles & Stuff, where she posts tutorials, pictures, and inspires others to be creative, frugal, feminine and beautiful. I read her blog regularly and was inspired by her post on a simple dress she made for her daughter.

Mine is very different as I didn't have a Gerber onesie that wasn't completely stained, so I used a fuchsia thermal shirt that seemed to have shrunk, a pair of white sweats that were too short and a light pink stretch cotton tee that Stephen never wore. I also used an elephant applique that was on a 3-6 month tee of Jovie's that managed to get terrible banana stains around the neckline. I used the existing hem on the pink tee to make easy sleeves. I used the existing collar on the thermal to make for an easy body and left the skirt un-hemmed. I stitched it all together and voila! Within 2 hours Pear has her favorite, most comfortable, warm dress that cost me $0.00! Here are some pictures:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas!

For a family who loves eating, baking, shopping, cooking, presents, decorating, crafts, hot chocolate, lattes, bundling up in the cold, reminiscing old times and gathering with family and friends, could there possibly be a more wonderful time of the year?

To say that we like food is an understatement. We love food! In our spare time, Stephen and I enjoy baking: a decadent chocolate cake with a creamy milk chocolate frosting or vanilla bean croissants (my new favorite) which take 3 days for the entire process. Stephen bakes Danish puff at least once a month and it makes it easier for Pear to go to bed if she knows she gets to partake in Danish puff in the morning. Stephen cooks up good food of all different ethnicities. He has a knack for melding herbs, spices and pairings within a meal. I don't especially enjoy Asian food, so any time I'm gone, that's what he makes for himself and the girls. I prefer to cook Italian, French, Mexican and of course American dishes. Stephen does all of these as well, (and usually better than I do, although he would never admit to it.) The bottom line is- we love food. We love having people over for meals. We love including our girls in the process of making food. We even enjoy watching geeky shows like Iron Chef America! The love for baking doesn't cease in this home. And we see this love for buttery goodness being passed down to the next generation. If you haven't been around Jovie recently- her cheeks do not lie. Her world revolves around food, especially sweet food. The excitement and joy seen on her face as a cookie appears in the room is enough to make everyone in the room stop and watch her enjoy the delectable bite she is about to take. Although Pear ingests half the quantity that Jovie does and is much more picky about the types of food she eats, her sweet tooth is almost as big and her desire to be in the kitchen baking, cooking and cleaning is very evident. It is a very familiar sight to see Pear pushing a chair up to the counter to help wash potatoes, make daddy a latte, mix a batch of cookies, frost a cupcake, salt the meat, smell the herbs, unload the dishwasher or whatever else we may be doing.

It's amazing to me that we've been in Olympia for 1 1/2 years now. Our duplex and the gift of owning a home continues to be a huge blessing, while at times causing us much grief. That may sound worse than it actually is. I guess a better way to put it is this: every time we start a new project or remodel another room, I begin to hear Pear saying words she normally wouldn't say. Words or phrases like: "piece of junk" or "freakin' dane-it". Stephen has done an amazing job remodeling, especially given the fact that he constantly has a little helper or two that he so graciously welcomes. Over the summer, he gutted our bathroom. Let's just say it was disgusting and now it is gorgeous, probably the nicest room in our house! We now have a nice front yard and an entry way with nice pavers. Our kitchen is halfway complete and we hope have it finished by spring. And the list goes on. The life of a homeowner!

Did I mention that Pear is a princess? If I didn't, take note. You may call her Pear or you may call her Princess Pear. If you mistake her for anyone else such as stinker, googly bear, pumpkin, cupcake, monkey, etc., you will get one of two things: a glare and short retort, "I'm not _____ I'm a pwincess!" or a devastated child that cries as if you are trying to shatter her beliefs and tell her that she might not be a princess, "but I thought I was a pwincess." And Pear seems to have it figured out, if she is a princess, Jovie is also a princess. Although we can get away with calling Jovie other endearing names, we will often hear the same remarks if Pear is in her complete princess mode, "but mom, Jovie is a pwincess, not a chunky monkey!"

Either I have been eating far too many doughnuts or I have a baby growing in my tummy! I think the latter to be true for two reasons: One- there isn't a good doughnut shop within a 15 minute radius. And two- I can feel the kicking of little feet right now. We are 18 weeks along and due May 13, 2010. We find out whether we'll have a little boy or a little girl on December 23rd.

Stephen and I are so blessed. We are happily married. We have 2 children (Pear will be 3 in February and Jovie just turned 1) and another on the way. We own a home (the rent from the other unit in our duplex sure does help out with the mortgage!). We upgraded Stephen's junky VW Jetta to a new Toyota van. Stephen has a great job as an Enterprise Technology Architect for DSHS. We have good health. We have wonderful parents, siblings, family and friends. As you may have guessed, having food on the table isn't a problem in this home. We have a God whose grace is sufficient and who sent his son as a baby so that we can be saved. And that same God chose us to be HIS children. Could we ask for anything more? I certainly don't think so but as the years go by the list just gets longer and longer.

Merry Christmas and may you too be blessed in Christ!

Paige, Stephen, Pear, Jovie, and baby.

A note from Stephen:

As I was reading Paige’s letter above, I kept wanting to interject my highlights and thoughts. So instead of mucking about in her sentences, I decided to throw in my notes as an addendum. Paige really did highlight the 3 major areas of our life: kids, food, and our house. Outside of that set, there were several activities that I would like to call attention to. I went on a fantastic backpacking trip in May with 12 good friends. We hiked to Toleak Point and camped on the beach. The weather was sunny in the low eighties with no wind, I had to keep reminding myself that I was sitting on a beach, on the Pacific Ocean, in Washington State, and I wasn’t wearing a parka and mittens or being pelted in the face with sand. It really was a special trip. If you want to see pictures of the trip you can visit my blog Secondly, THE highlight of the year for me was going to Maui for 5 days in November with Paige. We left the kids with Paige’s parents, and did nothing but snorkel and lay on the beach the whole trip. I now see why people go to Hawaii.


Thanks to Michelle at Candid Reflections for the wonderful photographs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cookie Party!

As I love to bake and Pear loves to be creative with frosting, I thought it only fitting to have a cookie party with the girls (my sisters). On Friday Taffi, Libbi, and Aspen came over for a morning of fun. I made the dough the night before and it was waiting for us in the refrigerator so when the girls came they just got to do the fun part- cutting out the fun Christmas shapes and decorating. We took a lunch break while the cookies were baking and enjoyed macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets and watermelon while watching Elf. We had a lot of fun!

Aspen was so sweet and made a cookie for each of her family members and took them home perfectly arranged on a plate. When they arrived home, they took in Taffi's and Libbi's plates in the house first and came back out to the car to get Aspen's but it seems that the wild peacocks beat her to them. Poor thing. The peacocks ate everyone of her perfectly frosted, perfectly arranged, cookies.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

men wore the pants

Check out this Dockers Man-ifesto. Bold but good and far too true.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Starbucks inspired yarn ball wreath:

Last year, Starbucks decorated their coffee shops with wreaths made of yarn balls. I loved it! How hard could it be? Styrofoam balls wrapped with yarn, a few floral pins and hot glue to stick them together and some cardboard as a base. I've been working on it in my spare time the last couple of days and here's the finished product:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Imagination vs. Reality

I imagine having dinner sitting on the table, the girls sitting patiently, Stephen walking through the door and greeting us and we have a wonderful dinner.
Real life situation: I'm scrambling with dinner, Pear is chanting "I'm hungry", Jovie's rubbing olive oil across the ENTIRE kitchen floor, Stephen walks through the door and greets us only to receive a harry eyeball from me, an "I'm hungry" from Pear and Jovie wants to give daddy a hug with her oiled hands but he's in his nice dress slacks.

During the girls' nap time I clean the kitchen, organize the toys in the family room, fold all of the laundry and am refreshed as the girls awake from their naps and we read a couple of our favorite children's books.
Real life situation: I get the dishes done. I fold most of the clothes Pear and Jovie wake up happy. They then decide that the freshly folded laundry is the perfect pile of leaves to jump in. I frantically try to put them away before they are all messed up only to come back to another pile of scattered "leaves" every trip back from the closet. 1 hour later- done. We didn't get to read those books. I'm not quite feeling completely rejuvenated.

Saturday morning arrives and we sleep until a leisurely hour, perhaps 6:00 am isn't too high of an expectation. We get ready and leave for a morning in Seattle at our favorite bakery, Cafe Besalu. Pear and Jovie enjoy their pastries and allow Stephen and myself to enjoy ours. We sip our coffee and cocoa and leave with a feeling of great satisfaction and there couldn't possibly be a happier family out there!
Real life situation: Jovie sleeps terribly. She decides that 4:00 am is a better hour to wake. We rush to get ready. Leave the house just a few minutes later than estimated and arrive at Besalu just in time to enjoy fresh quiche, pastries and cookies. Upon receiving our goodies, Jovie decides it's time to have a bowel movement. (For those of you who do not know Jovie, this is a HUGE ordeal.) I take my screaming child into the restroom to allow her a little privacy and 20 minutes later, cleaned, changed and much relieved, we return to our cold cocoa and finish our pastries. It could have been worse but let's just say upon leaving, I hardly felt I'd sat down and wasn't feeling ready to face the rest of the day.

I sit down to write a blog post. The girls play and I'm able to complete my writing within 30 minutes. I move on to do other things all while the girls play happily together.
Real life situation: I sat down 2 weeks ago to write this post. Pear and Jovie had a tizzy over a toy that I should have bought 2 of but only bought 1 and within minutes Jovie is crying on my lap. Once she stops crying, she begins banging on the keyboard. I then give up trying to write a post and move on to the next task. This repeats itself over the following days until I finally get the post done. (You'd think I might decide to give up blogging or decide to only do it during nap time. I guess maybe I'm crazy.)

The bottom line is, being married, having kids, serving God, living life- it isn't always a bowl full of cherries. In fact I often feel it's more like poop (you'd be surprised how literal this is for me at this point). But the fact of the matter is, for some strange reason I find satisfaction amongst the chaos. I enjoy these girls. I love my husband. And I revere God. At the end of the day as I'm laying in bed, I don't think of how terrible my day was. What comes to my mind makes me smile; I think about how I called Pear a stinker and in a devastated state she responded, "I'm not a stinker, I'm a pwincess." Or the way that Jovie lit up as I read Animal Sounds (currently her favorite book) and tried to repeat the animal sounds which in all actuality all sounded the same "uh-uh-uh". I think about how Stephen treasures me and saves a kiss for me before he leaves for work, when he comes home for lunch and again in the evening. I serve a great God who blessed me with a beautiful family. I take comfort in James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.