In Hawaii

Friday, June 15, 2012

So I am a hot mess. I mean, I already knew that, but now everyone will too. We're in Hawaii right now, enjoying our vacation. I just sat down at the computer to get a couple posts up. Then I realized I don't have Photoshop on my computer. Then one of those ohhh... moments happened.

My computer has been really slow and having all kinds of problems for months now, and no matter what I did to it, the issues were still there. Blogging was becoming way too time-consuming and super frustrating. Finally, two days before our trip, I got everything erased and got the whole thing redone so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. 

Well, I got busy, and forgot I didn't put my programs back on. I have many of these kinds of moments where I don't connect one thing to another in my mind, so it really isn't a big surprise to me. It just means I can't even resize my photos to put them on the web, blogging for 9 more days.

Oh well, more time on the beach, I guess. I'll post when I get back.


My Etsy Store

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm sure you've noticed that shop button on my sidebar by now, but I haven't discussed it much (okay, not at all) on the blog yet. Let me explain. I have this little store of vintage housewares and vintage kid's clothes that I started not too long ago, but I didn't have time for it after a while. I let it gather dust. But I don't want to let it go, so I'm bringing it back! And I will find time for it, dang it!

When I find a neat vintage item that I don't really need, it's hard to just leave it there. This way I can give it a new home. I have already listed a few new items, and I will be listing more in the next several days--first housewares, then kid's clothes--so be on the lookout. You can find my store on Etsy through the button to the right. I'm excited to get this ball rolling again!


Happy Birthday to My Other Half

Monday was B's birthday, and since it was a Monday and since I was tired from the weekend, it was pretty low-key. First I made him breakfast in bed, then when he left for work, Olivia and I baked a chocolate cake for him from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook. That girl sure loves to bake with me! I ran out of time while making it, so I put it together before the layers were completely cool and firm. Not a good idea--the cake got all lopsided and weird. That's what happens when you don't have enough patience. Then we went out for a delicious late dinner, just the three of us, to celebrate.

I love you, hon, and I hope your day was special! I'm so glad to be married to you, you are really the best.  And you get better every year, as a husband, as a father, and as a man of God.  If I didn't have you, who else would consider scratching my back a requirement instead of a choice? Who else would surprise me with a big cup of coffee when I've had a hard day? Or tell me everything is going to be okay when I'm PMSing? :) No one, that's who.  Happy birthday, babe!!


Baby Shower

Friday, June 8, 2012

I had so much fun getting ready for this baby shower! The planner in me was all excited to plan every last detail, but the worrier in me put a damper on things, especially the closer the party date got. I have irrational fears of not being able to get things done, and the guests arrive, and I have no party. I think I need some more self-confidence.

I have tons of vintage linens, so I picked some coordinating ones for the tables that would look nice with the pinks, mint green, oranges, and yellows.  The dessert table got a lovely yellow rose one. I got my milkglass collection out, as well as some brass items. I love milkglass and I love brass. They really match to anything. I borrowed matryoshkas from my sister to add to my collection, and we were good to go. I decided I had spent enough on party decorations, so the flowers were from my mom's garden.

I feel kind of bad that Natalia had to bake this beautiful tart for her own shower, but hey, she offered! Isn't it gorgeous? The cookie recipe is here if anyone is interested. My grandma always bakes these for us when we visit; they are so traditional Ukrainian, and I can't get enough of them. I usually bake them without sprinkles, but this time I wanted to be extra fancy. Thanks, Natasha, for the recipe.
I forgot to take pictures of these poufs over the dessert table, which were hung in a cluster with fringe streamers. So no pictures of fringe streamers--boo. These poufs hung behind Natalia's seat of honor when she opened her gifts. I also had Mexican banners hung all around the room.
I love these matryoshki. They almost look rustic, and so simple and cute. I wish they were mine.
We had grilled chicken, grilled bratwurst, salmon, baby potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, broccoli cranberry salad, and the very traditional Ukrainian cabbage salad.
I also forgot to take pictures of dessert, when we were having crepes. I think I was too tired by then to think straight. I snapped this of my friend Tanya having seconds after everyone went home. We had strawberries, blueberries, banana, Nutella, rosehip jam, blackberry jam, strawberry jam, walnuts, almonds, and powdered sugar for toppings. And my mom made the crepes.
My gift to the baby girl I will soon get to meet!
The happy couple on the left; me, Natalia, my mom, and Noah and Olivia on the right.
One or two people went home early, but I think we got most of them here.

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us. I hope it was a good time!


One on One Time

I have realized that when you have one child, it seems so hard and stressful, and there seems to be so much to do. When you have three, all that multiplies. But when you go back to only one, it bcomes a piece of cake. I wish I realized how easy it really was when I only had Ben, and let myself relax a little more. But hindsight is always 20/20 vision, isn't it?

When it's just me and Olivia, I don't have three different opinions on what we should do that day or what we should eat. And no one argues about what TV show to watch. And if I'm busy doing something for Olivia, I'm not interrupted by someone else needing my help. I can completely focus on her. Kind of interesting to go backwards like that and get a new perspective. The biggest difference with the kids being gone is how quiet the house became; it definitely took some getting used to. 

I'm so glad to have had this time with Olivia, though. It was a great opportunity. And I'm pretty sure she soaked it all up.


The Bigs are Back

I swear Ben and Mila left on vacation with their grandparents just a day or two ago, and it's been nine days, and now they're back. I got to pick them up at the airport today. All I can say is, that was fast!

I'm glad they made it back home safe and sound, and they didn't fall over a ledge looking at Niagara Falls, or fall off a boat into the water at Thousand Islands. I often just pretend that I have it all together and that I give all my worries over to God, but the truth is, sometimes the best I can do is try. When I find myself imaging the worst-case scenario, I say a prayer in my head for God to keep them safe, and try to leave it at that.  I wonder if all mothers are like that, though, to some degree. 

Before Ben and Mila left, we did some last-minute shopping and then I sent them off with a stomach full of Smashburger. 

They are still half-asleep here from waking up for an early flight.
It was Mila's first time flying, and I am happy to report that she loved the flight, and wasn't scared at all. She is such a brave one, that girl. Or at least adventurous.

I have to say, it was a pretty good reunion.


Memorial Day at the Park

Our day at the park started out with us sleeping in (of course), taking hours and hours to get out of the house (of course), a run to the store, then to the bank, and then we were finally ready for the main event. Life with children and a husband who works way too late into the night. We ate some cheeseburgers, hung out with friends from church, and the kids even got to fish with their grandparents. Hopefully next year we'll show up before 1pm. 

Later I pawned them off on my mom so I could go shopping.  :)

Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yes, I may be over a week behind with this, but I forgive myself, so hopefully you'll forgive me too. I have lost track of time over the last couple weeks, and I've been a bad blogger. Shame on me. But I still want to share what we've been up to. 

We had a family date night on Saturday. We tried out a new coffee shop that popped up near us recently (I can't keep up with all the ways this city is changing lately!), and headed to Home Depot to get some gardening things. Of course B told me exactly which drill he'd like me to buy him. Next time I have $375 laying around, I'll be sure to grab one for him.

On Sunday we had dinner at my parents' house, which is always exciting, and then spent a good chunk of the day at the lake on Monday with our church. I even got some shopping done later that day for the kids' upcoming trip to New York with their grandparents.  Solid weekend down in the books.

Yes, we made them share an Italian soda, being the thrifty parents that we are.  :) All we had to do was promise them some much more economical cones later on.

I don't look very amused, do I? B and I were talking.

I'll save the other pictures for another post.  This blogging thing takes some time, and I have a women's fellowship meeting I have to get ready for.