(Not Pictured:
the tortoise that laid 8 white, round eggs into a hole in the ground on our walk today,
my crazy growing-out-phase hair,
our old washer, sink and lawnmower on the treelawn,
the tasty chicken, pepper jack, pesto and tomato sandwiches we ate yesterday,
and Lucy running through the sprinkler this muggy morning)
Happy Memorial Day!


Getting it Down on Paper
I have always loved sketching floor plans (and I got lots of practice in college as an interior design major). There's something about putting things in order, creating the right configuration for the needs of the occupants, putting it all on paper, that is very satisfying. This isn't my dream house, nor do I plan on building my own home anytime soon, it just felt good to draw a floor plan. (Don't look too closely....it's very rough and not well-designed).
1:06 PM
Wanna join me for lunch?
If you can't make it, just go here for Candace's awesome stir fry recipe, and while you're eating it, you can read how Mary Ann feeds her family tasty, fresh, and healthy meals. I'm inspired by these ladies.
Sulphur Springs


Strawberry Shortcake on White
Simple pleasures are the best. I gave my new white 11" pasta plates their first whirl with some strawberry shortcake. I swear things taste better when they're pretty. And now I'm off to put some clean white sheets on our guest bed, because, guess what? We're getting company tonight!


Lucy's First Year
I finally got around to making a video of Lucy's first year. I did one for Finn in time for his first birthday, but somehow Lucy's got away from me. Maybe I'll actually make Miles' before he turns two this October.

Go here to view.

And a big THANKS to Lauren for the music. Isn't she great?
And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon

My latest fetish: dishes. I am of the opinion that, like linens, all dishes should be white. I haven't bought any dishes since we've been married (6 years), so I figured it was time to replace the broken or misplaced glasses and dishes. I've been driving around Cleveland like a mad-woman, going to lots of restaurant supply stores and overstock china stores. It's been so fun. Now, I have to face my dirty house and undone laundry. It was so fun while it lasted though. Question: do you think 10 or 12 place settings is ideal?


Reasons Why
Still in the fog of those "pregnancy hormones" and feeling weighed down with the items on my plate, I felt particularly in sync with the day-long rain and gloomy skies. As if the weather illustrated my mood entirely. I dropped our van off at a mechanic's shop and Finn, fresh from preschool, and I started our 2+ mile walk home, in the rain. He was wearing water shoes and Batman socks. I had on Travis' red rain poncho and my running shoes. I knew it was going to take us a while, but I needed the exercise (when you can't drive to the gym, this is the next best thing). We held hands and walked slowly at first because Finn had "cold feet." He jumped in puddles and his sweatpants progressively got wetter until they were sagging and completely soaked. He pulled little yellow plastic flags from chemically-treated lawns, giving me a bouquet of them to hold. He walked along an elbow-high rock wall, then stood at the curb next to a big puddle so cars could splash water on him as they drove by. Unlike me, with destination programmed in the entire time, he was immersed in the journey. He wasn't thinking about length of travel time, avoiding puddles so as not to get wet, or what he was going to eat when he got home. I was. As I watched him fully-engaged in his world of puddles and wetness, I was overcome with love for this boy. He is who I want to become. He had no idea he was teaching me to be less concerned about the destination and more involved in the journey. "And a little child shall lead them..."



I bought a canvas at the thrift store a while back, thinking someday I would paint something on it. Well, that day came. Or, should I say, days. I've been working on this for the past several, after the kids go to bed. At one point yesterday I almost decided to bag the whole thing, but then after some more desperate strokes, I actually liked it better than before the whole apply-plaster-then-sand-it-then-paint-over-it-disaster.

I was inspired by the napkin in this photo from May's Real Simple.


Embracing Thirty

{taken this morning}

{this morning too: 21 weeks along}

{in February: unannounced baby in utero, photo courtesy Justin Hackworth}

On my 30th Birthday,
30 Things I Want to do This Year:

  1. Play guitar more with Travis.
  2. Play guitar more, period.
  3. Learn flower arranging.
  4. Deliver my fourth baby successfully.
  5. Go to Palmyra, New York
  6. Get matching white children's plates and dishes
  7. Get back in running shape after having baby in September
  8. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy this time (live in the moment)
  9. Update my Facebook picture
  10. Make videos of my kids
  11. Go to the Cleveland art museums

  12. Find another cool store in the area like Hollo's Papercraft

  13. Apply sunscreen

  14. Go to Toronto, Canada

  15. Eat at B Spot Burgers

  16. Paint Lucy's fingernails more often

  17. Sell advent calendars at Christmas

  18. Find another favorite author

  19. Get new recipes (a continual quest)

  20. Get rid of plantar warts on my left foot

  21. Keep sane while Travis studies for and takes boards in December

  22. Eat more beans

  23. Find an outdoor firepit and have fires in the backyard in the Summer

  24. Grow my hair out

  25. Trust my instincts

  26. Borrow more movies from the library

  27. Continue going to the temple regularly

  28. Find new blogs of interest

  29. Expand my container collection

  30. Wear my retainer at least every other night

  31. (for good measure) Have more faith


Everyday Ordinary
It's one of those ordinary, plain-jane Wednesdays. I'm a little, shall we say, testy: finding myself annoyed at the way Finn smacks while eating the frosting off his cinnamon roll, frustrated that I've had to unclog my toilet for the second time today, and irritated at a very mobile toddler and his getting-into-everything antics. When I feel this way, it seems like I always feel this way. (The same is true when life seems ideal, btw). I'm blaming it on the pregnancy hormones (pronounced: hor-mone-ees like on My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Napping usually helps, as does a project. I believe in project therapy. Even though I tried getting into a project (cleaning out my craft room) and aforementioned toddler impeded my efforts, I think with Travis home this afternoon I should be able to pick up where I left off. Sometimes nothing satisfies and that's just part of life. And then, almost instantaneously, an idea, or a conversation, or a snippet of something pretty will puncture my reserve of positivity and it will trickle out until it is flowing again and things are once again bright. And then, the cycle continues...


New-to-Me Frames

After searching thrift stores last week for a couple ornate frames and not finding anything, I found myself in Archaelogy Antiques, haggling with Leonard about the price of frames.

"But these are 100-year-old Victorian frames," he combatted with my low offers, "You just can't find good old frames in thrift stores."

And, as you can see, we came together on an agreeable price and I have my frames, he has his cash. I particularly like the contrast of this one in the bathroom, with the sleek modern versus elaborate look. I don't mind the chips and dings. I think they give pieces character (and consequently a better price!) I had a piece of glass cut for $3 at a local glass store for one of the frames, plus some hanging hardware for $1, so this little project didn't cost very much. Leonard said to send my friends his way.... He has basements full of cool stuff!


Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mother's Day!
Chocolate? Check.
Wild kids? Check.
Sublimely happy? Check.


Just Thoughts

The question remains:
Do I fret and stir to create order out of the chaos,
Because the order brings peace,
A place to sit and finally rest?
Or, is the chaos,
with it's minute-to-minute threat of disorder,
a bright spot,
because it holds the hopeful possibility of calm?


First Cones of the Season

Finn dancing while eating his cone.

Lucy, post-nap, trying to fenagle the last drippy portion into her mouth.

Miles is just excited her got to have what the older kids were having, and he completely destroyed his cone in the process of enjoying it.



I find about every 3-4 months I get sick of my living room wall and so I change things up. Keeping the mirror, I decided to keep with the oval/round theme.

Several of the things in this grouping I found in my basement, and then I got some additional things at the thrift store this weekend for a couple dollars. Nothing like a cheap thrill.

I love this little thrifted blue-green-gold frame and this Justin Hackworth portrait of my parents.

I repainted the frame on this alphabet print (from white to blue-green) and it really makes the letters pop more. I got the little Degas dancer picture at the thrift store after I told Lucy I would find her a ballerina picture to put on her wall. I love finding just what I'm looking for at thrift stores! And, thanks to my artist sister Emily for providing us with yet another amazing piece, I hung the lady in glasses on Lucy's wall too. Lucy said at first that she didn't like it, but I convinced her that it was cool because the lady was wearing lipstick. Argument over.
A Better Look
Whitney asked to see a better picture of the display, so here it is.


We threw a Farewell Social yesterday for all the families leaving our ward this Spring and Summer (with so many graduating students, we always have alot of turnaround).

The menu (all in sack lunches):

Turkey and cheddar sandwiches on kaiser buns (with little packets of mayo and mustard) or
peanut butter and jelly

Patterson's apples

Bag of chips

Homemade chocolate chip cookie

It was alot of fun to get together and eat after church meetings. I think we might have to make this a regular event!


The Life Within

We had "the ultrasound" yesterday and found out we're having a.....BOY! Another boy. Oh, boy! We are excited.

And, along with the news of the "it" being a "boy," we also learned this little guy has a perfectly healthy body, except for his kidneys. It's nothing too serious, and we won't really know alot until he's born (they don't even start really using their kidneys until they're born), but for now it looks like one of his kidneys has cysts in it and the other one has more fluid than is normal at this stage. They're going to keep doing ultrasounds every 4-6 weeks to monitor the little guy's progress and this will give us a better idea of what to expect when he's born.

I was initially pretty surprised and am still getting used to the idea that I am now in the "high-risk pregnancy" category. When you have three perfectly healthy pregnancies, you just expect the fourth one will follow suit. From what I know right now, this is not life-threatening and the baby should eventually be completely healthy. But, there's always that little chance of something going wrong. I have decided no matter how hard it may be, I am going to try and have faith in the future, faith in God's ability to control everything, and faith that I can be happy even in the face of the unknown.

So, that's the news! I hope you all have a great weekend!