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We’ve got a mover and a shaker!

After a bout of the blues, I think I’m ready to start writing again.  So much is going on that I don’t even know where to begin.  First things first, there is a human being in my belly and even though she’s 109 days from her due date, she’s already kicking and punching and somersaulting to get into this world.  And that is a seriously weird feeling that brings me pure joy.  My belly button is no longer round but is pulled into a line.  Almost all of my former tops are now midriffs, which, believe me, is not sexy.  And currently I’m battling a week long cold but I’m scared to take any medication that “not enough information exists” to know whether it is safe or not for the fragile fetus inside of me.  And such begins a lifelong priority switch where I will sacrifice any of my own comfort to protect this little being God has given me.

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We are rearranging furniture and painting rooms and doing way too much research frantically trying to prepare for something that’s impossible to fully prepare for.  We have been graciously given lots of hand-me-downs that keep my head from exploding when I start to think about what we will need.  In fact, this little chick already has 5 pairs of shoes!  Total diva in the womb, folks.

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So I will try to start catching this blog up on the whirlwind that has taken place over the last months, but for now I’m happy just to be breathing it all in as it comes.

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Oh Happy (Adoption) Day!

If I haven’t told you about Kimberly, she became my best friend when I tried to have her baby.  True Story.  Nothing brings people closer like having conversations about my menstrual cycle, her husband’s sperm quality, and a complete strangers eggs.  Anyway, I’m typically not very good at long-distance friendships, but Kimberly and I have shared an experience that most friends have not.  It brought heartache and pain, but it also led to a deep friendship and adoration for the fierce, beautiful, and compassionate woman that is now my BFF.

On Wednesday, I had the honor of witnessing Kimberly and her husband Chris adopt the most precious boy in the world, my godson Carter.

It was a happy ending to what previously had been a long string of disappointments. I’ve known for a long time what amazing parents Kimberly and Chris would be, so it was indescribable to see their hopes finally come to fruition.

 Here we are outside the courtroom post-adoption with Carter’s loving and beyond-excited family, including his grandparents and cute-as-pie cousins.   Of course, Carter is decked out in coat and tie.  Here’s the little ball of adorableness:

And here he is reading with his Uncle Davison:

This week I’ve been feeling extremely blessed.  Yesterday, we worked in our sad, sad yard to try to make it somewhat presentable.  Landscapers and gardeners we are not.  But I was out there in the beautiful weather working until my muscles were sore with my husband and my mother.  My mom was down on the ground, digging and planting.  This time last year, she lived three hours away.  This time last month, she was in the hospital having a six hour surgery.  And yesterday she was out there laughing and playing in the dirt with us.  Davison’s parents joined us for dinner that night and then we had a ping pong tournament in our garage with all three of our parents.  (Day bought a ping pong table yesterday for $40 at a garage sale across the street while I was still in bed asleep.)  And to top it all off, this week I finally got to see one of the couples I love most in this world officially become parents.  I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking of how my cup runneth over.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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Blossom

Today I decided to bring some of the spring that’s outside my home…..

 

 

Inside my home:

 

Seeing those pretty blooms on my table was almost as sweet as coming home to mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies today.

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My Stairs–Updated

So it kept bugging me that my stairs looked a little off-balance, so I added a little something to “center” them on the 3rd step.

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Also, these stairs got featured on Home Stories A to Z!!!  How cool is that?  I’m famous. 🙂

To see the whole stair makeover process, click here.  Also, linking up here:

HookingupwithHoH

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She get it from her mama.

Any craftiness I have comes from my mother, I believe.  She loves to create.  So when we couldn’t find a cute, affordable yellow bedskirt for her bed, she decided to create one.  Behold:

(P.S. Sorry for these crazy pictures, that little chandy casts some ridiculous looking shadows.  Next time I will try to remember that.)

Of course, I have no before pictures because we started this project around midnight, but imagine that where the Ikea duvet ended, you could see a boxspring mattress and some metal feet sticking out.  It was like catching a glimpse of someone in hospital gown from behind–there was stuff hanging out that you just weren’t supposed to see.  Being the dirt cheap thrifty chicks that we are, we took 3 yards of inexpensive yellow hobby lobby fabric and made a go of it.  We roughly followed this tutorial (the coral one) that I found on Pinterest, with a few exceptions:  1. We wanted a little less permanency, so we attached our fabric to an old fitted sheet instead of directly to the boxsprings.  2. Since mom’s bed frame has ugly metal feet, we needed the skirt to go all the way to the floor, so we had to adjust to that as well.

First, we cut the fabric into the strips we needed, leaving the finished side to the floor as much as possible to minimize the amount of sewing needed.  Here are the strips laid out on top of the sheet.  We didn’t have enough uncut yardage to go all the way across the front so we had to put an extra seam there.

The next steps are kinda fuzzy because I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning, mom had finished it.  Doesn’t she know tutorials require step-by-step photos?  Amateur.  🙂  From what she told me, she used some hemming tape to attach it, and when that ran out, resorted to hot glue, because who’s going to be looking under her mattress except for the four people who read my blog?  Here’s a close up of the corner.

And here’s the final product….not bad for about 12 bucks.

The one thing mom mentioned as a “you live, you learn” moment was that when she measured the material, she didn’t account for the weight of the mattress that lays on top.  Therefore, the skirt “drags” the floor a little more than she wanted.  I think she did a fantastic job.  Also, her birthday is tomorrow so show her some love!

Stay tuned for the headboard makeover, coming soon!

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White Chicken Chili

One of my new favorite recipes.  It may not look appetizing, but it is delicious.  Spicy, flavorful, comforting (and somewhat healthy?) …..everything you could want in a food, except for looks.  Wah-Wahmp.  Something sad about a plate of colorless food.

Anyway, the recipe is here.  We sub one real deal jalapeno pepper for the canned stuff (and it’s plenty spicy, but not over the top).  We add an extra can of beans to make two hearty meals for three people (half Northern, half navy–the beans not the people).  We take away one can of chicken broth.  Otherwise, you get soup, not chili.  To recap:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 21 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 34 (15 ounce) cans white beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Here are the instructions.
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm.

 Yummmmmmmm.  If you like it go tell ChaCha.
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31 year old me

Who I am at 31 years of age:

Disclaimer: I'm not actually 31 in this picture. I'm 30 years, 11 months, but it's the most recent one I got.

I am changing, still.  I have become more introverted.  It is difficult for me to start up conversations and to keep up small talk.  I am still my biggest critic.  My lack of self confidence often holds me back.  However, I am growing more comfortable in my skin.  I know my strengths and weaknesses.  I am not afraid to admit when I don’t know the answer.  I still catch myself thinking, “wonder what so and so will think if I do/wear/buy this,” but now I respond with “what does it matter as long as I like it?”  Once I know someone, I am an open book.  I have an extremely difficult time keeping secrets about my life.

I am fully aware that some people do not get a fair shake at life.  We do not have equality of opportunity.  Life isn’t fair.  I grow more sensitive to this fact everyday.  It is impossible for me not to put myself in someone else’s shoes when I hear their story.  My empathy for strangers knows no bounds.  It often floods my emotions.

I am a survivor of depression.  It is always lurking, staying as close as my shadow.  Some days I hate myself.  Some days I think the world would be better without me.  However, the attacks are much less frequent and less severe than they used to be.  I credit my husband for the stability he brought to my life.  I struggle with anxiety.  I worry about things unlikely to happen and constantly prepare strategies to deal with these imaginary situations.

I love to write; I love to create.  I love color.  I am a little quirky.  I like my showers too hot, too much pepper on my food, and I am way too intense when I play games.  I do not like to wear socks or the sound of fingernails on fabric. I end telephone calls, as well as text message and email conversations, awkwardly and abruptly.

I am loved.  My life is full of amazing people who are happy when I succeed and grieve with me when I am mourning.  I am also madly in love–this is not an exaggeration.  My life is beautiful.

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Christmas loot

So I wanted to share two of my favorite gifts that I racked up at Christmas.

First, my buddy Lynne found two vintage owls for sale at a craft show and gave them a makeover with some gold spray paint.

Aren’t they absolutely delightful?

And second, my husband absolutely knocked my socks off with a print by Casey O’Connell.  I totally have a crush on every piece of art this woman produces.  And I’m not the only one, because her paintings sell for like 2 gees flat (“no need to worry, my accountant handles that’—Biggie, anyone?  anyone??).  Anyway, my sweet lovin got on her email list and when a limited edition print came up in April, he hurried up and bought it.  It was more than he should have spent on me, cause we are pretty cheap with gifts around here, but he did it anyway and hid it until Christmas.  I was totally surprised and madly in love–with the print and my wonderful soulmate.

Here it is on my dining room wall, which does not do it justice.

 Here it is on Casey’s website.

Since she doesn’t sell all of her prints at the same time, I don’t know which ones will be available next, but I definitely have my eyes on this onethis onethis one, and this one.

My new gifts have got me really itchin to paint the dining room.  More on that to come.  🙂

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I’m baaaaack.

Apparently my husband stifles my creativity, since the last time I blogged for fun was prior to our marriage. Or maybe his overwhelming amount of innate creativity intimidates me so I stopped trying. As I type, he is downstairs pounding away on the piano, making the song up as he goes. He was a music major in college so I shouldn’t feel so bad, but it’s safe to say there are only two areas where I can outshine him musically—dance and rap. Oh yeaaah.

He’s got mad rhythm (his primary instrument is the drums) but when I first met him, he refused to dance with me. He was so self-conscious. When he realized that was going to be a deal-breaker for me, he sucked it up and broke out some moves. He can hold his own and now he loves it. Just don’t let him try the arm wave (I had to use google to find out the name of that 80s move.) And he still can’t shake the booty like me. Mostly because I grew up listening to rap and hip hop and he grew up listening to Creed. Hehe. Poor soul.
Anyway, with this blog, I’m vowing to break out of my creative rut. (Cue Diana Ross-“I’m Coming Out,” or for you younger folks, it’s the song Puff Daddy, Mase, and Biggie sampled in “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” or for you even younger folks (as I glare at you), T.I. also did a remake, which I knew nothing about until I googled it just now. And in case there was any question which one of the three is my favorite, I will give you a hint: Only one features the greatest rapper of all time, the late, great, Notorious B.I.G. But I digress…) I’m going to try to start blogging on a regular basis because I love to write and it helps me process things. It also is a great way for me to capture memories to look back on in the future. I turned 30 on Wednesday so I’m expecting my memory to go at anytime.
Speaking of my 30s, I have BIG plans. In no particular order, I want to start a family, make a budget and stick to it while simultaneously paying off our car and education debt, make my home beautiful, become BFFs with God all over again, and change the world. I want to make sure I’m living life to the fullest and not sitting on my butt watching it pass me by. And that will be easier if I have this blog to hold me accountable. So here we go….please keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times.
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