party time


 got the constellations up!

The last few days we've had fun hanging out, playing lego star wars and finishing all our baby preparations. We're trying to be in a state of constant readiness (constant vigilance!!). I have been put back on low/no activity so that kind of added a boring-ness to our vacation but we are trying to make the most of it anyway. Dave doesn't go back to work until Wednesday and we've loved having a week and half to just hang out!

We're going over to another couple's house for new year's eve celebrations and hope you all have a great new year's eve!

it's SANTA!


We had a great Christmas and you hope all did too! On Christmas Eve we made graham cracker gingerbread houses (and ate a lot of candy) and watched Elf. On Christmas, Dave and I got up about two hours before everyone else and very patiently waited in the living room for everyone else to come down. For breakfast we tried this monkey bread that Dave made and I think we started a new tradition! It was really good. 

That afternoon we chatted with family and had fun opening/playing with some new things.We felt very spoiled. Dave got some great new biking gear which he loves. 

We had a delicious Christmas dinner and later that evening we had some pie. I made a coconut key lime pie and we made a chocolate caramel pie. They turned out pretty good, but not quite as good as I had hoped. Especially the chocolate caramel, because we apparently destabilized the cream and it wouldn't whip up for anything. There was no caramel taste to it but I tried it anyway (a nice soupy cream) because I didn't ruin two batches of caramel just to not even try it. Oh well. Chocolate cream filling is still good any day of the week, if you ask me!



a gray portland christmas

We are spending the holiday in portland this year and have enjoyed the above-freezing temperatures (though we did get some snow (=white rain) last week). It didn't even rain today...just cloudy and a happy kind of gray mixed with pretty evergreens.

We are spending the night at Dave's parents, which means Dave can still wake up at 3 am and peek at what Santa gave him.

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas (and a white one, if you want it!)

Taken last week when we had snow. 

a portland baby


When we got back from Utah, we started doing more official prep for baby: ordering a crib, car seat, stroller and other things. The two weeks following Thanksgiving were exciting as far as mail goes. We are trying to keep our baby gear on the minimal side, but you know, there are some little essentials. (my new bff is my target debit card.)

I also am working on my list of things to finish making before the end of December. This included crib sheets, since not only are mini crib sheets expensive, why not make your own? Besides the math involved (ugh), it wasn't hard at all. Except, of course, picking out fabric. There are a ton of cute fabrics out there, but I opted to go with JoAnn's flannel for 60% off...so my selection was more limited (but the sheets were less than $5 each!). I did find three fabrics that I liked best (not girly/super baby-y is really hard to find there) and totally not on purpose they are super portland/urban-y. BUT no birds. (but I will admit, my fourth choice did have birds on it. oh boy.)

But we are almost done with all this prep and hopefully we'll head into January with nothing to worry about except, you know, having a baby to care for. Five weeks, people.


p.s. thank you for all your sweet comments on the previous post. you guys are the best.

the thoughts of december

I've spent the last week or so thinking about the year mark. I don't have anything really new to add to the thoughts I've had over the last year, which you can find scattered throughout the year, in all their honest and aching glory.

I am grateful for the little space I have to write out my thoughts, as it has helped tremendously. I hope that these thoughts aren't taken to mean that our life is one big sad fest and also that if I blog tomorrow about something completely happy that I don't really mean any of it. That's life, you know? And while I aim to mostly share the good and happy things, there do exist times of reflection and sorrow and whatever else makes it on here. So thanks for reading both!

I think things sometimes feel the same, just not as sharp or all-encompassing. Although I can say that the bitterness has decreased significantly. But there is still sorrow, still pieces of a broken heart and still an ache for understanding. There is also peace, some kind of understanding that is both significant and not exactly what we'd prefer and there is love.

There was Wednesday, which took me back to that Wednesday, the longest Wednesday of our life. Where the time passed so quickly and so slowly and in the long hours we sometimes felt like the only two people in the world. And then there was Thursday, when I sat in the hospital room alone (dave went to get the car) and demanded to myself that I make it to the car before starting to cry again. Which I did, and not one second too soon. There was that stupid pamphlet they give you on grieving the loss of a child, which we could not even look at without crying. and oh, the crying.

Later that afternoon we went to target and there was the absolute ridiculousness of walking around target the day after I had a baby and had to leave it, buying whatever we bought like it was any other day. I mean, I think we bought prizes for a work Christmas party for crying out loud. You would have thought we would have bought real tissues, but that was something we never did think of over those next few weeks.

This past Friday was the actual date but it wasn't a day that was any different from any other day, really. There are still days I realize that I still don't have room in my soul for certain things. Which I know sounds so vague but I don't know exactly how to explain it. I think I asked Dave a few months ago if we wanted to do anything for the date. But I mean, what do people do? We never talked about it further and Friday was so busy that it wasn't until the very end of the day that I wondered if we ought to have done something, because if we didn't, who would? But the day just ended knowing that lucy knows we love her, tears and a heartfelt prayer. 

And really, it could be any Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Monday or Tuesday that takes me back to that week a year ago. I guess it's just unreal that it's been so long and yet it still seems like yesterday sometimes.

So it's the same, just not as close to the surface most days. So yes, time helps, but sometimes, not really. I recognize that it has dulled the pain and makes life seem almost the same as before, but it does not answer the questions, it does not replace the life lost, the dreams unrealized, nor does it make you forget.

But there are other things besides time. There is a gospel plan so amazing and miraculous that you can almost forget your questions and heartache because you know that all will be made whole. This past year has given me an unshakable knowledge that things will be made whole. So even in the struggle, there is always, always peace.

I recently re-read Paul's beautiful sermon in Romans 8.

"for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

what shall we then say to these things? if God before us, who can be against us?

who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, no principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This month, especially, we are so, so grateful to be where we are, preparing for a new baby. (even with issues that have gone along with it) Last year the thought of having to start over for another baby and going through pregnancy again was almost more than I could handle. And while the year was long sometimes, it's almost over and we are so thankful for baby boy. It's unbelievably lucky. and thank you to all of you for your support all throughout this year. I could never express how much it means and how much it has carried us. We found ourselves in the hospital again on December 14th, but for a much better reason than last year: we were taking an infant care class. we are now parenting pros!

Sometimes I don't know where we stand in the group of those who lost babies. Not quite a miscarriage, not quite a stillbirth, not expected nor dreaded, not a loss after a few days or months, not a loss after years. just a loss. but not "just" anything, because it consumed my entire soul. and my heart aches for all who have experienced it, both recently and not, because it's the absolute worst.

And while sometimes, in all honesty, the words of others mean nothing, the thoughts of healing ahead mean nothing, the "gift" of empathy you supposedly have means absolutely nothing, the reason we celebrate Christmas means everything. Celebrating the Savior, who gives love and peace freely, who saves us and makes it possible for us to be with our loved ones again, and who is always, always there.

christmas-y

I really enjoy the few weeks before Christmas. I love picking out presents for people (though sometimes I want to buy ALL THE THINGS and have a hard time narrowing down my choices), wrapping them and, this year, getting them shipped off. I, at least, am having fun scheming (in a good way), crafting, crocheting, sewing, online shopping and packaging for the holiday.

We're trying to add in some Christmas-y activities to our weeks and though we'll have to wait until next year to wander around downtown and see the lights/city Christmas trees, we've found a few things to do. Next on my list is to try the salted caramel hot chocolate from starbucks. yes, so classy.

On Sunday we dug out the Christmas cookie cutters and made some sugar cookies for the families Dave visits in our church. He slopped some frosting on and I practiced my glace icing skillz. (not quite glace sugar cookies from four years ago here, where I also really weirdly talk about imaginary children?)

A few of them looked pretty good! But Dave took them before I could get a picture (tragic) but just know they looked NOTHING like those I linked to above.  


Any Christmas baking in your near-immediate future? there are so many great holiday recipes I want to try...but I'm thinking of picking one a week to try.

christmas tree



      

Two Saturdays ago we walked down a few blocks to a little tree lot and picked out a Christmas tree. I don't think my family has ever had a real tree before, so it was a new experience. We picked one out, Dave carried it home, we strung some lights, picked out our favorite ornaments and now we each comment at least once a night how much we love our little tree. It's a perfect fit for the little corner in our apartment. And the microwave next to it is just so charming, don't you think?  

It's not our first Christmas tree (but our fourth!) but the first one we've owned and that was bigger than 3 feet. So, we're feeling pretty fancy.

a little too pink, perhaps.

We had some friends come over for dinner this week and I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try out the last recipe in the our best bites calendar: a chocolate peppermint mousse cake.

I used this cake recipe (it really is the best) and filled it with a delicious peppermint mousse (though note to self: don't use frozen cream because the texture is weird) and topped it with a dark chocolate ganache and peppermint bark pieces. It was pretty good.

I made 6" cakes (since there were only four of us), so I got four out of the recipe. I saved two and make a cake for the freezer--for an unknown but impending birthday. You'll just have to stay tuned to see it.

Yes, I made a cake for a new baby's birthday. I think it's kind of a cute little tradition (you know, like birthdays?) to start. Or weird? I don't know. More cake for me.

I don't know if it's because they were smaller, but I didn't have any cake mishaps I normally do (sinking, way too round, bottom sticking to the pan, etcetera). A Christmas miracle!

Now, go make some chocolate cake!

orange rolls

Here they are! A yummy tradition in Dave's family and now mine (where they are a sought-after novelty).

This recipe requires some advance planning, as they take about a day to make. However, I imagine you could get away with less than a day if you really wanted. The fridge time makes them a dream to roll out. I want to try making these more like cinnamon rolls sometime by adding a glaze (maybe with a tsp or two of orange juice?). Because who doesn't like things drizzled in glaze? 

 

Orange rolls 
makes approximately 36 rolls

2 packages yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup warm water

Combine and let yeast soften for 10 minutes. 

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup warm water

Mix together in a sauce pan and heat until the shortening melts or slightly before. 

3 eggs, beaten
yeast mixture
shortening mixture
4 1/2 cups flour

Combine together to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Cover and let raise double. Knock dough down, cover, and put in fridge overnight. (This is where you could try a few hours instead.)

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
zest from two oranges

Mix together. 

Roll out half the dough into a rectangle and spread with half of the filling. Roll up like a log and cut into one-inch sections. Place in muffin tins. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let raise double. 

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove from tins immediately. 


if you try them, let me know how you like them!  

oh, that's sconesey-cider

We had a little get-together with some friends the day before we left Utah. We had a great time and loved seeing those who were able to stop by (missed those who couldn't!) and hope everyone had fun. 

I wanted to do a hot chocolate/apple cider bar, and here is what we came up with. (I want to say something about how these pictures were taken in low light and with little to no artistic direction, but that's acting like you've come to expect something else??)

 

hot chocolate on a stick, apple cider, pumpkin donut bites, petite vanilla bean scones, and biscotti (next time I want to try this kind)

i regret nothing


A tradition my family has is a new year's eve fondue. I've rarely heard about the same kind of fondue, because it's not your typical chocolate or cheese fondue. My parents were nice enough to have a version of the festivities while we were there.

The fondue is basically a bunch of meat fondued in oil! I realize that may sound kind of gross/weird? But we've done it forever and you know what? Meat fried in oil is delicious. Especially dipped in butter/other sauces after.

So you know, it's a once-a-year thing (maybe twice) and it's a fun tradition. We have a great spread, including little smokies (and Katie, what kind of party is it without little smokies?), homemade fries, spinach/artichoke dip and plenty of other deliciousness.

And then we all eat! This year my stomach is much smaller/more squished than usual. I knew this going in and tried to adjust my intake accordingly. It did not work. My brother-in-law, Colby, didn't try to adjust at all and then we both ended up curled up on the couch, groaning.

However, I still managed to eat some cherry pie for dessert a while later.

What do you think? How does that sound?

let's start with the pies.



We are back from our trip to Utah and we had such a good time. We really enjoyed seeing family and friends and eating so much good food. We had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's family and then drove up to spend the night at my dad's parent's house. We skipped the black friday shopping (dave and I, much to his delight) but met everyone for lunch. We also had about three more Thanksgiving dinners with the leftovers and, you know, yum. 

My parents asked if I'd make a banana cream pie and I was excited to try this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers. I made one from crisco last year and it was really good. But...I can't resist Mel's recipes. They are both delicious vanilla custard over bananas so you can't really go wrong. I did love Mel's crust though, a graham cracker/traditional pie crust hybrid. Dave made the crust and we were all super impressed! His first time making a pie crust from scratch was a total success. (I'm jealous)

I'd say it was a hit, but almost no one in my family likes bananas. My dad (the requester of banana cream pie), Dave, my grandpa and I all enjoyed it though. Definitely a recipe to keep! There were plenty of pies to choose from and it was a delicious dinner too. My dad got a new smoker grill and that turkey was excellent. We also had fresh turkey at my grandparent's house and that turkey (seriously, just days old) was sooo good. We also made some orange rolls and I can't believe I haven't shared that recipe yet because they are delicious and anxiously awaited each year :)

I also brought along some treats I grabbed from Trader Joe's (their Christmas treat aisle is too much. can't wait to go back). The peppermint joe-joe's were definitely a hit.

Well anyway, this isn't a food journal so I'll end my talkings about food. We hope you all had a delicious Thanksgiving. Try anything really good you'd like to share?


life is too short for margarine.

This weekend was pretty low-key and filled with some of our favorite foods. cookies (again) and breadsticks. The breadsticks were good but I wish I had put more butter on the pan. (Meaning I put less on than called for in the first place) Oh well, we ate the whole pan in record time anyway.

Sunday night we were hanging out...Dave playing star wars angry birds and I was clicking through a few pins on pinterest like "what to pack in your hospital bag" and blah blah blah and then I was reading some funny posts on alphamom about weeks 31-40 (not like I don't already know all of this/have read it before/why is there so much information out there??) and then I was like, "Dave, we are having a baby in two months."

"like, TWO MONTHS." And he was like, "yeah, I was thinking about that last night."

Usually it's like yay! two months! can't wait! baby!

but last night it was like OH MY GOSH IT'S ONLY TWO MONTHS FROM NOW AND THEN THEY JUST GIVE YOU THIS BABY YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR, NO QUESTIONS ASKED EXCEPT "DO YOU HAVE A CAR SEAT?" WHICH WE DO NOT!

Okay, so it wasn't quite as dramatic as all caps makes it seem but still, I think it's the first time we thought "woah. this is totally happening." And we have definite plans for baby saturday, as we like to call the first of December, which is only two weeks away. And then we'll be more officially prepared and such.

Two months is both a long time and a short time and I think with the holidays it will seem to go by as fast as we'd like it to.

Oh and we also leave for Utah tomorrow and that was another thing like OH MY GOSH WE LEAVE IN TWO DAYS AND WE HAVE TO PACK SO MUCH STUFF AND I HAVE TO FINISH SIXTEEN THINGS BEFORE WE LEAVE!! So you know, WHAT AM I DOING ON THE COMPUTER??

So anyway, there you go. We aren't as crazy as you may think. happy monday!

30 weeks

And crazy, only 10 weeks left! And for all we know, it could be even less than that (but we hope not). But it seems we just need to make it until Christmas and then it will be so close we can't even believe it. Sometimes we can't believe it and are so excited and grateful for this rumbly little baby (that is how I can think to describe his activities these days).


These are a bit blurry (well the second one is something we'll consider "artsy") but oh well. 

and p.s. lest you too sweetly think the lighting is alll glow...I'm pretty sure it's just the reflection of a cloudy day. ha!

dave kind of rocked it on saturday.

saturday afternoon looked like this: 
yes, that is cereal on the window sill. 

We recently rearranged our room only to find that as the weather grew colder, water would form on our windows while we showered. One of our windows was blocked and we thought that we could get by with just the one window cracked to dry it out but...no. So we (and when I say we, I mean Dave), once again, moved everything around for our final arrangement. And it's our favorite out of all of our arrangements, so that is good because we have no other options! It makes our room more roomy (ha) and anyway, now we can not have moldy windows. 

So you know how there are all those "baking rules"? I've seen some blog posts on all the correct techniques and I do try to remember them. Dave wanted some plain old chocolate cookies on Saturday and so he whipped some up. The funny part was he didn't follow a single baking rule. cold butter and eggs. whipped the batter within an inch of its life. didn't add any other type of chips than milk chocolate (I requested some white chocolate and got completely shot down). scooped the flour. and they were delicious, fluffy and tasted perfect. so, go figure. and maybe go easy on all the rules sometimes? 

I shouldn't be surprised though as Dave has always impressed me with his baking

Oh, and remember how I tried those crazy date/nut bars? I tried a few more recipes over the last two weeks and they were even better than the first. thin mint, chocolate cookie dough and peanut butter dough. And I kid you not, the thin mint ones tasted completely like minty fudge (I added, without thinking about 1/2 tsp mint!). And the dough ones really seem like you're eating cookie dough. Weird but awesome. Dave even took a bite of the thin mint ones and didn't hate them. ha! 

and last but not least, thanks for all your comments on my dressing kids post! It was fun to read them and I just have to clear up that I do the cute carter jammies with animals on the bum/feet. I mean, who doesn't like those??

speaking of dressing kids...

I've been thinking about this for a while as I've been looking at little boy clothes that I love. I might end up dressing our kid like a hipster/trendster/a grown up? Here's the thing: Dave and I are not hipsters. Dave especially. So why would we dress our kid in clothes that we (especially Dave) wouldn't necessarily wear?

I have no reason except "because it's cute". I am not the biggest fan of traditional baby clothes with cheesy sayings ("daddy's little man") and cartoon pictures and such. I like simple (like stripes) and good colors. So...enter in clothes that make you look like you're dressing your kid like a grown hipster or something. I've read some funny things around the web making fun of parents who do that (or you know, honest toddler on twitter). And while I see why it's funny, I just think the clothes are so cute that I just want to do it anyway, just not go overboard. Plus the kid will live in portland, so it won't be like he's totally out of place....

1, 2, 3 (h&m, no longer available), 4, 5

And isn't that part of the fun of having a baby? You get to dress them for a few years? Why not pick clothes you like? (or, if we were having a girl, all the clothes I wish I had??) Even though Dave would never wear colored jeans...I still love these little mustard jeans on one of our favorite babies, Noah (and, hello, how gorgeous is Amy??). So I don't try to dress Dave but...hopefully we can come to agreement on dressing our baby. I mean, basically, I would pick clothes that I would wear (that sounds weird, since I'm not a boy) or that I would like to see on Dave, even if he wouldn't wear it. Ha. What's wrong with a classy-dressed baby? 

Oh well. Last month I accidentally bought us matching clothes. I wouldn't have us wear matching clothes on purpose, but I can't guarantee that wouldn't happen. 


what are your thoughts on dressing babies? is there a difference in dressing kids and adults? 

and how cute is this romper? and where did the word "romper" come from??

p.s. don't think our baby still won't be wearing things like this

dye all the things!

The other day I mentioned attempting a project with no previous experience. We needed a new shower curtain and I wanted to get a nice striped one (of course). I love this one, but I didn't want to pay $40. So, enter the possibility of making my own striped one and meh, seemed too much trouble. Then I thought about an ombre one. And hey, I could just dye a white fabric shower curtain. I planned out how I would tape off our tub, use our big trash can, and somehow dye like four yards of fabric with no problem, blah blah. Then I got to Target and this one (can't find online) was just $5 more than the white one and when I factored in the dye and time and almost guaranteed disaster, I just bought it (after of course, spending 20 minutes wishing I had 16 showers for all their pretty curtains. oh boy). It's striped, ombre-ish, and gray. win. 



But I still wanted to try some fabric dyeing. I bought some cream gauze/musliny fabric (for a swaddle blanket) a few months ago and haven't gotten around to dyeing it. So I bought some teal dye and spent a few hours dying things. 

I think the dye made this gorgeous blue and I love how most of the things turned out (at the end, I didn't want to "waste" the bucket of dye so I tried to two-tone dye a white hanes tshirt and a white apron. They both turned out one shade of blah blue (not pictured)). BUT, here is what did turn out: 

ombre gauze blanket (top)
ombre flour sack towel (bottom left)
ombre onesie (obviously)
an attempt at a two-toned towel, but just is one color (right)

so that is a lot of ombre no? I love the trend (what can I say? I don't like all trends but I do enjoy following a few of them, ha). Also, it's like a bonus. You get to see a few different shades on just one thing. It just seems more fun.


I'm not sure why the two-toned didn't work out. For the ombre, I would dunk the whole thing in the dye for a little bit (a minute or two), and then pull out a bit, leave the rest in for longer (15-20 minutes, maybe?) swishing it around, and then continue until it was all dyed. I used these tips and they worked great. And I believe nothing ended up unintentionally blue. 

Dave thinks that the onsie is too girly, mostly, I think, because of the gradient (but not the blanket, interestingly). I'm not totally sure I agree, but I just love the onesie. For the record though, I don't believe (and I don't think Dave does either) that boys wearing more girly colors, you know, makes a boy any less a boy or something*. However, neither of us would necessarily choose to dress a boy in girly colors (but if our four-year-old kid like loves pink or something...who cares?). It's an interesting culture thing and I'm not trying to say any one thing about it...just that it's interesting to think about cultural labels and whether or not they make sense, but then observing that you/others follow them because, well, that is culture.

Ok, random tangent aside, fabric dyeing is fun and you should try it. 

*in a women's health class, my teacher used an example of a dad who wouldn't dress his boy in a pink onesie because it would (I can't remember the exact phrasing) like decrease his masculinity/power/something and she was like...so you would dress your daughter in something that can decrease power/something? I am not saying you need to dress boys in pink, but I think you shouldn't not do it because it's inferior or something. And ok, I don't really know what I'm trying to say. I have no extreme views on this. it is just interesting. 

a classy knock off?


On Monday we went to a little burger place on 23rd (the cool street in Portland, if you remember) called Little Big Burger. Basically, it's Portland's somewhat classier (but less classic?) version of In-n-Out, complete with red/white decor. 

We liked that we got to choose from a cheese list (goat cheese on a hamburger = yum) but missed in-n-outs better burger toppings. lbb truffle fries though, they beat the pants off in-n-out's (dave loved the chili powder ketchup and I loved the pre-made fry sauce!). Overall though, they are about equal as far as price, quality and taste. We'd eat at either place in a heartbeat. 

Then we walked a half a block down to salt & straw and split some salted caramel ice cream. I really wanted to try the apple cider ice cream, but we missed it by...3 days. sad. Then I remembered that I have an ice cream maker and so I will be attempting that soon. 

little hoodie



We don't have any of the big baby stuff yet (crib, stroller, car seat) but we (ok, I) do love our growing pile of baby clothes. so cute. Anyway, we decided we can wait to see what black friday/cyber monday has to offer us and then the weekend after thanksgiving is d-day. And by d-day I mean the day that we get everything we have left on our list. 

I have a few projects that I want to do and realized that hey, I'd better get a move on. Two and a half months is a longish time, but at the rate I finish things/do them correctly...better safe than sorry. And by sorry I mean it's not done before baby arrives and you know, oh well. 

But yesterday I made this little sweatshirt and I can't believe it actually turned out. I am still figuring out my serger but I used it to finish most of the seams. It's not perfect, but I enjoyed making it. it seemed daunting (most complex thing I've made) but it was so small that it seemed more manageable.

One of my favorite sewing blogs is MADE. I love her attitude for sewing and try to remember that, as she says, "What’s the worse than can happen?  Your machine munches it up into a bazillion ruffles and you have to toss it in the can?  Yea, that kind of sucks.  But really it’s just fabric." (source--and great post on sewing with knits) I do hate when things don't work, but hey, it's all worth something even it ends up being practice.

I definitely need to remember this more since my attitude with projects is to pick something I want to do and do it, regardless of previous experience/practice. Most things I attempt without any foundation of skills. Headboard, wall canvas, embroidery...I figure why waste my time practicing when I just want to end up with one specific results?

Which explains what I'll be doing this afternoon, as I attempt another one of those "maybe I just should start smaller" projects. stay tuned.

weeks

i think what best explains our somewhat decreasing worry as the weeks go on is that 1. each week means better statistics if something were to happen and 2. as my high-risk doctor said, "babies just don't fall out at 28 weeks." Perhaps a sort of irreverent humor, but really, it is reassuring that we would definitely know if something was up, as opposed to 10 weeks ago. 

Which of course is weird because last year we definitely had things to worry about, but we didn't know (and the doctors didn't either) that it was actually going to lead to delivery. So now, it would take longer (or maybe not) but we'd catch it right away. Eh, we're of course just hoping that we don't find ourselves in that situation.

the things of november.

I was preregistering for the hospital last week and I used their little month calendar to find my due date, I only had to go through two months to get there. Granted, I'm due at the end of January, but still...only two full months left! Ideally. Two more months and the year will be over while we're at it, which, thank goodness. While a few good things have happened over the last two years, they just have not been my favorite and I'm ready for 2013.

October was great for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorites is during the first week, my good friend Heather was up (or down?) from another part of Oregon for the afternoon for her internship. We live in a pretty convenient part of town and she came over and we walked down to a thai place a few blocks away (celebrating that my activity ban had been lifted) and had lunch. And oh, man, was it good to see her! We had such a good time talking and eating delicious food and I am so glad she took some time to have lunch with me. I realized after the fact that besides family (which of course are my friends...), hers was the first truly friendly face I had seen since April. Don't get me wrong, people in our ward are friendly and nice and whatever, but goodness. I miss my friends! The ones with history and memories and people who know me...I don't know why it seems to be so much harder to make friends when you get older, or if it's just me (or the fact that I haven't been to relief society for 2 months because of the whole bed rest thing (though the four months before that didn't do much)) or what. And it's not that bad because Dave is fun to be around (good thing, eh?) and I'm glad that his awesome family lives close. But these past few months would have been so much nicer with some friendly faces. So, friendly faces, when will you be moving to portland?

We are going to Utah over Thanksgiving (save any unexpected complications) and I can't wait! I feel like it will sustain another 6 months of no friends. haha, joking. Though I'm excited to have a baby because, while at first they are you know, pretty selfish as far as friends go, baby will be a constant friend. Hmm, I wonder if that sounds more or less pathetic than the previous paragraph...

Anyway, I miss writing essay-style blog posts but these days I feel like I only have one subject to write on and I feel that it would get old fast. I do have some thoughts on pregnancy and such, but part of me feels like what I could say would just be another cliche, trite post that you could read on any other pregnant person's blog, and I don't want to come off that way. But I haven't posted that much about things lately, so here's a little bit on what is going on these days and I hope it isn't too cliche/trite for you:

I'm almost 29 weeks which is so exciting. Every week is a little victory for us. Last week I had what is hopefully (and I say hopefully because while we love ultrasounds, they wouldn't do another one unless it was because I had worrisome symptoms, which we hope to avoid) my last ultrasound. It's a little sad, because we've definitely gotten used to seeing our baby every 1-2 weeks for the last...3.5 months. It's been so nice to have that reassurance. Though our bank account will probably be glad we are done with that part of my medical care! We will miss it though, and our growing collection of random body part pictures. As he gets bigger/more stubborn, they can't always get a good picture but they try to find something...last week we got a picture of his quite impressive bicep. The tech tried to get him to change positions and he started kicking her and it was pretty funny. Once week we saw him yawn which was really cute. But the data collected from the ultrasounds have been mostly positive. Even when there are changes, they haven't been enough to worry the doctors about, so, we just try to ignore it.

We feel like we've been waiting 10 years to get out of the 20s. And we're almost there! We know that life brings its own set of risks and complications, but man. We really hate that unless someone has an ultrasound wand on my stomach it's hard to know that things are really okay. And we just like to know. We're just dying for him to be here, full-term, already. And what expecting parents aren't, we know. But really.

And I mean, besides the whole risk of pre-term labor thing and the often constant worry about the state of things, things are great! (haha) I've had a great pregnancy otherwise. If you pick up any book on pregnancy, you'll read how there are like 1559 new symptoms each month that could happen to any given pregnant lady and it just gets ridiculous. Lucky for me, I've avoided most of them so far. There are a few things that are different but meh, I just don't care.

I feel like I'm in a weird place. After 20 weeks, I felt like this was my first pregnancy, but before that it was my second. Medically speaking of course, it's my second but everything past 20 weeks is new to me (save the end of pregnancy, I totally know what happens there) and I know it sounds silly, but I welcome this half with welcome arms. It's also weird because I feel like it's deja vu a little bit. I'm way further along than last year, but the time I remember most about last pregnancy was oct-dec. So it's like the same but very different, and a little sad.

I loved October because it was when I went from "that is probably a baby bump with the right shirt" to a real little bump. Even some weird group of kids at target pointed not as conspicuously as they though and whispered, not as quiet as they thought, "awe, she's pregnant! she's gonna have a baby"...which we just smirked at and hoped they weren't on anything because they were probably like 15. BUT anyway.

We've also loved how October was full of increasing amounts of baby kicks and movements. It's our favorite part. In the last two or three weeks we love to feel a joint (never can tell what body part it actually is) and follow him as he moves it around. He never leaves it against me for very long. He doesn't like to share his (my) space OR he gets freaked about by these weird people always trying to touch him. ha.

I get up to go the bathroom once or three times a night and baby is quiet. I get back into bed and it's always like 3...2...1...baby dance party! No matter the time, I love it and can't not stay awake for it (and sometimes you just can't sleep with that going on). It's something we've looked forward to for a long time and an experience we cherish (can't think of a less cheesy word??)

So there you go. 11 weeks and 3 days left! And we honestly hope he takes every single one of them. (we just also wish that time would speed up while he's at it). Thanks for all the support and love over the last few months (and year). thanks for reading!

one doodle that can't be undid, homeskillet.


for our trunk-or-treat party this year, we went as juno and the adorable paulie bleeker. I was relieved that four people got it with out us saying anything (dave's iconic-yet-disappointingly-long shorts? my orange-striped belly?). So, it was a success. I now want to watch the movie again since it's been a few years. And all the pictures we took were at night with terrible lighting so forgive the obvious filter edit. 


happy halloween!

by the way...

These (in post below) were absolutely delicious--a perfect pairing of flavors. I would highly recommend you make them ASAP. They didn't make it a full 24 hours.

latest adventures in cooking

The last two weeks I think I've done the best at using all our produce from our CSA. I liked doing the CSA, but I can't decide if I want to do it again. We tried our almost hardest to make sure we used everything, but every week there were some carrots or lettuce that went to waste. I was able to freeze most of what we didn't use and I felt bad when I forgot to freeze it in time. But, oh well. We used almost all of it every week and the past two week or so have been especially yummy. I loved when we started getting more wintery/late fall produce like onions and potatoes (not only because they last longer, ha). But here are some things we've made with our farm produce that has been especially good.

roasted potatoes with brussel sprouts & bacon: turns out, we don't really like brussel sprouts that much. but the potatoes with bacon were yummy

pizza with kale, butternut squash, bacon and smoked mozzarella: this was high on my list after having a  similar (and life-changing) pizza at pizzeria 712 earlier this year. It was delicious.

artichoke, kale and ricotta pie: I realized as we were eating this it was just a fancy baked omelette but it was great! I even (after the same trepidation as Katie) made my own ricotta which was easy and actually worked.

roasted sweet corn and tomato soup: so delicious and easy.

I also made pear fruit leather which was a great way to use up all our pears.

I also wanted to make something seasonal and found a pumpkin banana bread that looked delicious. Ignoring EVERYTHING IN MY BRAIN I went ahead and made it. 40 minutes after it was supposed to be done, it was still almost completely gooey in the center. So I just gave up and dumped it out. ugh! Seriously, seriously, seriously, I can't make banana bread for the life of me (if you're new, a quick search through the archives will confirm this).  And WHY didn't I turn the bread into muffins? I don't know, since that is the only thing that works for me. I'm sure the recipe is fine. Since this happens in every oven I bake in, I'm starting to suspect my pan? So for the 5th time, seriously, I'm swearing off produce bread. MUFFINS ONLY.

And the last thing I tried that was quite new was these homemade larabars. Now, I have never actually had a larabar before. I'm not into protein/energy bars (or whatever they are) but I am into healthy snacking (since I'm hungry all the time). And I don't know, these intrigued me because of how few ingredients there were. So I tried it. And I like them! I've never even had a date before but I think they turned out great.

I should tell you that Dave refuses to even try a bite because he thinks they smell terrible. haha. I don't think they smell bad but they do taste/smell like something I can't describe. Well, they probably just taste like dates, nuts and cocoa powder, because that is what is in them. And with the dates I bought at trader joe's and bulk nuts from fred meyers, they are pretty cheap! I want to try some mint chocolate ones next.

Last but certainly not least, these cupcakes just came out of the oven and smell so wonderful. Going to add this frosting and we will have ourselves a little fall party tonight as we put together the rest of our costume.

Any new recipes you've tried or one of these you'd want to try?

if at first you don't succeed...



Not much is going on these days. Same old same old (but with an increasing amount of baby karate/dance parties, which is really fun!). I did make something for our halloween costumes (what? we're dressing up? and it's NOT from the office?) the other day. 

I was going to buy the item needed (shorts) but I couldn't find the color and in a price I wanted to pay for a halloween costume so Dave suggested making them. Oh, right. So I found some fabric that would work and it was only $4! I used this tutorial and felt totally awesome. I was making shorts! What! I used a pair of Dave's as a pattern and while I did a normal job, I didn't care too much if they weren't perfect because they would only be worn once. But I proudly finished the hem and waited for Dave to come home. I knew they would be perfect. 

He tried them on and they were a bit too tight. They fit, but you would never actually wear them during an athletic activity. I was so disappointed! I mean, I didn't expect him to actually wear them, but I wanted them to fit! I used a pair of his shorts, shouldn't they fit? I think anyone would notice from the picture above I should have added a few more inches to the waist, since it was to be cinched in. And turns out, Dave was thinking of a different length/style (though he was the one who said he didn't want to wear shorty shorts, so I obliged, psh). Ah well. The length is easily fixed (though I wish I would have just waited for him to come home to finish them). And they will totally work for our costume (which will be awesome, just you wait). 

But that is the problem I have with sewing. I am so impatient and hate practicing. So it shouldn't be a surprise when I try something new and it doesn't work out as well as I hoped. I'm terrible at cutting out patterns, so pieces always end up being too short or the seams don't line up, etc. It's frustrating (and ridiculous), but I think easily fixable if I just tried a little harder. Ha! Even when I'm not using a pattern and just have to measure a square, I can't do it right. 

A week or two ago I used a dress at goodwill to make a skirt and when that didn't quite work out, I tried making a shirt. I was proud of the pin tucks (I'd never done those before) but the finished product was a shirt that was really blah. I wouldn't have bought it (unless, of course, it had turned out the way it had supposed to, maybe), so I was annoyed I'd spent time making it and now I guess I'll have to find something smaller to make out of it (a baby skirt or two?). Kind of a waste, but I guess it's all practice?

There are a few more projects I have in mind for the future and while I believe I have the sewing skills needed, I just need to have the patience to do it right the first time. onward!

And, on that note, thanks to everyone who has been a guinea pig recipient of something I have made since I started sewing a few years ago and I hope that if I did give you something, it hasn't fallen apart by now. (seriously) Or if you never use it, that's okay...it was still practice!

go bold or go home.

This past weekend Dave and I made a headboard. I've been thinking about it since the summer but we never got around to it. We moved our bed to maximize bedroom space and now it's against the window. It's a little weird but since the window spans the whole wall, it's almost like it's just against another wall. With a window ledge to lean against. So I pushed this project to the front of the line.  

We mostly followed this tutorial. I'm definitely a fan of just following someone else's instructions. Dave did the measurements and building. I picked the fabric, made a billion buttons and helped with the tufting. I didn't do much, really. There were a few headboard tutorials I've seen but I liked this one because it had the side wings. Not as fancy as carved wings, but I still think it looks classy. 

And yes, it's mustard yellow! I was telling Dave that our room has too many blues/greens. I love the colors, but it's very blah because it's all so similar. I was thinking we should get some new sheets or something to liven it up. At the fabric store, I, as a joke, asked Dave if we should do a mustard headboard, while looking through the linen fabric. Then I found a gray that I thought would be good. 

To my surprise, Dave said "sure". He said, "you want color, so do it!" So, I did. I love the color (though it is still taking some getting used to. It's a big piece of furniture we just added!). I think that yellow goes with most colors and if we totally hate it in a few years, it wasn't too expensive to make. 

However, I can't emphasize enough how little Dave cares about things like this. Colors, matching, design/fashion "rules"...he just absolutely could not care less. And I'm lucky to sometimes get an opinion from him about anything. He always looks sharp for work though. He has pretty good taste for not caring that much. 

So hate it, love it, whatever. We got some new color in our room. What do you think? 






salt & straw


Tonight we went to Salt & Straw for some ice cream. We wanted to go Friday, but we realized as we drove down 23rd on a Friday night at 8:00 that it wasn't our best idea. It's still new (I think) and the line was out the door. We live super close so we decided to come back on a weekday. 

It was a much better plan. No line! They have some really interesting flavor combinations and Dave won in the fancy department. He tried honey balsamic strawberry with black pepper and I tried the portland harvested caramel apple. WHICH WAS THE BEST CARAMEL. all yummy and homemadey. And a delicious, subtle apple taste. Dave's was pretty good too. You could totally taste the balsamic vinegar, which made for a surprising taste. I was happy with a few bites but Dave ate it all! They have a few other flavors I'm really wanting to try. (like the apple cider and double vanilla). So come to Portland for some ice cream! 

VERTICAL SPACE

Ever since we moved in, I knew that we would, and hopefully in the near future, need to rearrange a bit to fit a crib and other baby stuff. That mindset made me always feel like things were incomplete, but there was nothing I could do until things were pretty sure/known. And even when we did have a timeline of sorts, we didn't immediately start moving everything around. But starting last week or so, we have started moving things around to their permanent (unless we think of something else) place. 

I've been thinking (or obsessing?) a little bit the past few weeks about how we can fit everything without making it seem ridiculously crowded or going overboard with organizational products, which can be needlessly expensive/clutter-y in their own way. We have a pretty roomy closet that will double as a baby room (remember that nursery = a wall) and while I'm not worried so much about things fitting, I'm just worried how we get to things fitting, looking good, and being efficient. 

Yes, I'm weird and have way too much time on my hands, but we already knew that. My favorite solution is to utilize vertical space as we try to find a good arrangement. It's included some purging (always good) which has also given us a bit more space. Dave's (and mostly mine) usual answer to a lack of space is that you have too many things. My solutions this time include shelves, lots of shelves. SHELVE ALL THE THINGS! 

On Saturday we did some rearranging in our living area (kitchen/living room combined, if you remember from our little tour. though basically nothing looks like that anymore) because we got a new couch!! It finally came and we love it. It is perhaps a bit too big for this apartment, but we don't care that much because almost no one sees it and we won't be here forever. Plus, we love it. The ottoman also has plenty of storage, which is great. Anyway, things are flipped all around and totally different than they were before and it's growing on us. Someday it will be awesome to have a bigger place, but I like our little space for now. And as long as we have this couch, I'm in no hurry. Ha! 

So it's a process. The other night I was annoyed that houses are just made up of rooms full of furniture. It was probably more that I was sick of our furniture/ that we were trying to fit so many pieces into one room. 

and here is our new couch, in all it's new glory. and weird spots because that is how the fabric was rubbed (you know how that goes)


the latest. spoiler: it's good.

the good news: I'm free, sort of.

This week I had an appointment with a perinatologist (specialist in high-risk pregnancies) and my doctor. Based on the last month of data, we've determined that I don't need to be on bed rest anymore. Sweet! Of course, things can always change, but that is where we are today. It's almost funny how not concerned (I shouldn't say that, of course the perinatologist took everything seriously) the high-risk doctor was, but, I'm a low-risk high-risk, if you will. Though, Dave and I would rather err on the side of extra cautious, no doubt, so I'll still have plenty of resting in my future. (still waiting for the new couch. fingers crossed we get it this weekend)

My doctor still advised me not to work and since I missed all the deadlines for school, that isn't really an option now (lame timing, but...what can I do?). So...my life will be almost as boring, but I don't have to worry as much as the angle at which I am sitting, how long I've been up, etc. And life can get a little more exciting with trips to the store, leisurely walks and other normal activities. And the same projects, books and tv shows to pass the days. so, wait, what's changed?

But really, we are so glad that things continue to look good! We'll be breathing easier in October, hopefully.

A huge thanks to all who made September so great! Phone calls, texts, book recommendations, exciting mail and project feedback all made the difference. I find it a small victory that there wasn't a day I was bored to tears. I can't say what will happen in the next four months (mmm, I swear it was four months a month ago, but nope, it's still four months) but at least my projects can expand back into sewing and other things.

So still call or text me anytime because I'll probably still be sitting on the couch.

go t-wolves!

I found this project that I started a year and half ago, probably, and finally finished it! All I needed to do was sew the sides and the casing/hem at the bottom. But I guess that takes awhile? And I can tell this was probably my first time ever sewing with knits, but oh well. I think it will still look cute on a little baby, who will be representing the time a moose wandered onto my high school campus. 

constellation project


I finished my constellation project and, thanks to my amateur photography skills (and "basic edit" on picmonkey), you can see! 

As I mentioned before, I was partial to the constellations that were framed in the embroidery frame. I used these as my inspiration.

These are for the nursery. And when I say nursery, I mean wall, and the wall is white. So the white frames weren't my favorite. When I finished the embroidery, Dave stained the hoops a few shades darker and I love how they turned out. 

It was really fun to explore the different constellations and learn their names. There are, obviously, a lot to choose from. I ended up choosing ones that are all in the same area (North American sky) because I figured it would be more fun to learn constellations that I (and baby someday) could actually see in the sky. Maybe I'll add more to the collection someday.

Another thing I learned is that since the constellation illustrations are interpretive, there are often more than one illustration per constellation. This made it even harder to choose an orientation, but it was fun to see the different pictures. The main example was the constellation Hercules. They have an illustration from at least four different perspectives! I ended up using an iPhone app to find the orientation that matched my perspective (ok, I'm weird).

 

Ursa major, Hercules, Draco/Ursa minor, Pegasus and Orion. 

weirdly related: favorite show + dream hair cut.


After finding myself with a sort-of terrible hair cut, I keep thinking of what I will have done to fix it in November when we fly to Utah. I love having short hair, but sometimes miss long hair. I hate the part where you're growing it out, especially since it takes me 3 years and you get that awkward-ish middle part. 

BUT. Rashida Jones. I absolutely love this shoulder-length hair style. Of course, her flawless hair has absolutely nothing to do with mine, but I can dream. I'm wondering if my hair will grow enough to do something like this. 

And who doesn't love Rashida? I didn't like her character on the office (well, duh) but I LOVE her on parks and recreation. I just love that show, period. I think it's my very favorite. (or tied with the office--but I think lately we like parks and rec a teeny bit more)

Ok, end commercial. But if you want to watch the best episode, you want to watch "the fight". 


yarn and other things.


As you could probably predict, a lot of my postings in the next few months will be limited to the exciting life on the bed/couch. In the two weeks I've been on bed rest, though, I have to say that I haven't yet been super bored. I've resigned myself to my fate (for lack of a more positive phrase) and I think that motivates me to continually be finding things to do. 

Indeed, a few days ago I lamented at the end of the day that I hadn't gotten to do everything I had wanted. Then I realized that four months is a long time and I'm sure there will plenty of time for everything. Ha! 

The other day Dave and I spent a combined 6-7 hours trying to untangle the middle section (the guts, if you will) of a skein of yarn. Uh, yeah. RIDICULOUS. I am pretty sure it came that way, but I'm sure I also had something to do with it (or so Dave asserts). Dave has much more patience for that than I do, and he kindly worked on it when he got home and we watched a movie. We still ended up cutting a small chunk off, but seriously. I would have been really annoyed that I spend an entire afternoon on it, but hey, I'm not going anywhere. I untangled while listening to John Lithgow's book, Drama, which I am really, really enjoying. He does the reading, which add so much to it. It's interesting and subtly hilarious. 

I completed a few little projects with a list of plenty more. I'm trying to use up all the yarn I have (though I still had Dave get me three new skeins) before doing some bigger things (not that I will be doing anything super big). I finished the embroidery for my constellation project, and I'm now waiting for Dave to stain the embroidery hoops. (The picture above isn't a finished project). 

I also made a few hats. I made the monster one for Calvin, finishing just in time to send it along with my in-laws when they went to visit. I found some patterns and stitches that I've never used and tried this lacy one and puffy one (using chunky yarn/bigger hook to make it bigger than preemie size). I really like them. I also learned the star stitch and then made up a little headband from it because I love the stitch. 

Dave's sister and three of my really good friends are all expecting a baby in the month after our baby is due. (yay!) So basically, I'm planning on making a bunch of baby things and then dividing them up? Whether they want it or not, haha. And I will probably be a bit sad to part with the girl things, but I can always make more in the future :) 

Unrelated, but still awesome: we bought a new couch! Not because of the bed rest thing, but great timing, yes?  We've been saving for months and dreaming for years of this. We won't get it for a few weeks, but it gives us something to look forward to, at least. 

Other things I'm looking forward to include getting all the things I've ordered online, like this box of gorgeous thread. Not sure when I'll be using it, but...something to look forward to.