Galileo was a smart guy

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Print can be found here. 

A good metaphor for life, isn't it? We know we will face scary and disheartening and painful things, but we face those challenges because we love this life God has given us, and it is worth it. Each day we have is a gift. Lord, help me use the time you give me wisely, and to be a positive influence to those around me, and to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. Amen.

The sledding trio

There's a neat hill in our neighborhood that is kind of perfect for sledding, and with all the snow we've had this year and the cold temperatures, the snow is sticking around. My mom took the girls sledding there one day since it's right by her house, so I took a cue from her and took all three of them the next day as the sun was beginning to set. I froze my behind off, and sat out the last ten minutes in the car, but the kids had a blast. Ben is all about speed and recklessness, preferring to go down on his knees and catching as much air as possible. I am always warning him and this or that, and it makes me feel like a grandma. Mila loves the bump at the bottom as well, but she's always safely on her butt. Olivia, however...she probably loved sitting around on the snow and rolling down the hill more than the tubing part. :)

I'm glad we're able to get out a lot this year to enjoy this snowy, snowy winter we're having. Except that my coats won't button, but that's a whole other story! We're heading to the mountains this weekend for the McCall Winter Festival for more winter festivities, and I'm just hoping I don't turn into an icicle by the time it's all over.


Vintage books

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We love books at our house. The kids get so bummed out when we have to hurry bedtime up and skip reading a book--it's their favorite part of going to bed. And I'm so glad all three of them love books. I think it's such a good thing to love and it will serve them well all through school and throughout their lives. Ben is always reading a book, or two, or three at a time, as if one book can't wait for the other to get read first. I loved reading as a kid, being able to pick up a book and enter a completely different world than the one you're sitting in. It's like a movie plays in your mind and you get to control what everyone and everything looks like. It's pretty magical.

We have plenty of contemporary books that we love, but I have a special spot in my heart for vintage books. I think it's the illustrations that get me, the way everything is really colorful and whimsical. Today's books have definitely lost some of that whimsy. I have a collection of vintage books in Olivia's room that I don't really read to the kids (we have plenty of other books to choose from that we read) because some of them are fragile. I don't know what I'm saving them for, but I love them. Here are a few of them--trust me, there are lots more! :)

Lovely, aren't they? I've been finding some of them laying around the house or around Olivia's room, so I guess she's starting to take an interest in them now. Those illustrations are pretty great...


Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this weekend to begin! I kind of live for Saturday and Sunday these days, and Friday is one of the hardest days of the week for me, so I'm glad today is over and done with. It was a good Friday, don't get me wrong, but I'm tired and the weight of the week seems to be sitting on my shoulders by the end of it all. I tend to get melancholy and then it all goes downhill from there. :)

Here are a few shots of B and Ben baking apple tarts together on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Scenes like this make me a happy woman, seeing my boys spending time together and spending it in the kitchen of all places! I feel very connected as a family when we spend the day like this, with nowhere to rush off to and no problems to try to solve. I'm so thankful for each memory we get to make as a family, and I hope my kids grow up and remember their childhoods fondly.


Staying inside because outside it's 10 degrees

I almost forgot I had a blog this past week...almost. I've been MIA because blogging takes up so much of my time that sometimes I just need to step away from the computer and get some other things done. It has felt good to get a break, but I figure if I want anyone to still be reading this little blog when I decide to reappear, I better get back to it!

We have been inside a lot lately, avoiding the bitter cold that's outside and staying out of stores to keep the budget down. :) I've been trying to take it easy this month as I mentioned earlier, catching up on some magazines and getting a few hours of reading in. Seeing movies I haven't been able to see over the busy busy holidays. Seeing friends every once in a while, which is so hard to do when my husband is always working and I don't have a babysitter. I'm so thankful I have such a hardworking husband, however, and that he has work, unlike many others right now.

Winter is the best time for lounging around and reading, so I figure why not indulge right now. B and I have also become obsessed with this show called White Collar that we watch on Netflix, and we seriously watched three seasons of it in less than three weeks. We're excited to start season four tonight. We found the fourth season on Amazon streaming, so we'll get to try out their service for the first time. The plot lines and actors in that show are spot-on, and even though it's the FBI, they have a lot of fun doing what they do. I love a smart show with lots of witty humor. And Mozzy is the best, hands down.

The kids have been having friends over, playing lots of board games because that's Mila's favorite thing to do right now, coloring and painting like always, Ben has started indoor soccer on Saturdays which he loves, and we even made it out to the library the other day. We ran into some friends who were there for story time, so we stayed too and the girls loved it. I used to take the kids to story time in the morning when they were really little, but once we got started with preschool, I figured that won't work for us anymore. I completely forgot that they have evening hours too. Whoops. Sometimes my brain just short circuits on me and I can't connect one thing to another. It's all the kids' fault, I say. I used to have the best memory around before I had kids. And I used to sleep like a baby, but those days are long gone now. :)

We were going home from preschool the other day, and Mila was talking about what direction we're driving in and which way all the other directions are. She would repeat "never eat soggy waffles" to remind herself which direction was where, and they were arguing about which way was north. Then Olivia goes, "That way is north (ahead of us), but Mila says that way is soggy waffles (;pointing behind us)." Ha ha ha! The mind of a four-year-old...


Two new layouts

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The last piece of our puzzle. I mean, you never know, but I feel like our family is complete. This little girl is going to be so doted on when she arrives! I color-coordinated all my papers on this one to complement the black and white of the ultrasound picture, dotted some ink on there, and stamped some arrows with my new Kelly Purkey stamps. I went into the doctor's office that day not expecting to see my little sweet pea, but my midwife wanted to make sure there was just one, so she did a quick 30-second ultrasound to check. No twins for us.

This was a quick layout I did for my own album because I wanted to get those Instaxes off my desk and onto a layout. B and I took a very quick trip to Seattle last July, and we drove separate cars on the way there, which was kind of fun. We left late Friday night, drove 8 hours on barely any sleep, and left for home Sunday morning. Still fun though!

My resolutions for 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's a pretty long list of resolutions, but for someone who loves to make lists, this was pretty pared down for me. I'm sure I could go on and on, but these twelve sum up a lot of the goals I have for this year. Many of them aren't an end goal in themselves but more of a process, getting better at doing something every day or week or whatever. Just making time for this or that.

1. I want to focus on eating healthy, remembering to take my vitamin, preventing heartburn, staying active, and giving this baby the best chance at healthy development I can. Currently two Zantac 150s a day are not cutting it for the constant burning in my esophagus. I may get prescription strength ones next time I see my doctor.

2. This one's going to take a lot of sweat, but I am determined! After all, I have a whole year. :)

3. I am still reading War and Peace and have 9 more books picked out after that.

4. I find myself staying inside the house, just me and the kids, more often than I'd like. I want to work on getting out and seeing friends more, being more available for things.

5. I've been doing good with this one for 5-6 weeks now, so I'm confident I can keep it up. When my belly gets too big for me to be jumping around in front of the TV, hopefully it'll be a little warmer outside so I can take walks when the kids are in school.

6. I have been horrible at keeping the bathrooms clean, and I vow to fix that this year! The upstairs bathrooms get especially neglected because company usually doesn't use those, so I get lazy and avoid cleaning them. Don't laugh.

7. Since I became pregnant, I have loved falling asleep on the couch at night (for many reasons) but that means I stumble to bed a few hours in and skip washing my face and brushing my teeth. I'm not proud, but I'll admit it. No more!

8. I would love to be able to see a few cities this year that have been on my list. I'm itching to do some exploring and eat at some delicious restaurants, something that's still rare here in Boise.

9. I've gotten a good start, and I would love to make scrapbooking more of a regular habit like it used to be.

10. I feel so guilty when I find rotten vegetables, or worse, let meat go bad in the fridge. I also want to get more creative with using up ingredients that are left over from a recipe in something new. I think this will save us a lot of money on groceries each month.

11. This one's self-explanatory. I need more peace of mind this year.

12. My Etsy shop is tiny and I don't work on it regularly. I want to start thrifting again and see where it can go, and if I decide it's not something I want to continue, it'll be time to close it. One door closes, another opens...

What are some resolutions you've made this year? Is there anything I'm missing? ;)


In the kitchen lately

My wonderful husband has taken an interest in cooking with me the past several weeks (when he's home, that is, which is rare, but still--I'll take it). Last weekend we made a Ukrainian dish called shuba together, so he now has that recipe under his belt. He also surprised me with fresh, homemade mushroom soup on Saturday night when I got home from a day doing whatever I wanted. I was so blissfully happy, though it's such a small thing, just because I've always told him I dream about the day he cooks something for me from scratch. Not frying eggs or heating up leftovers, but really cooking. And he pulled it off. He called my mom and just did it. Amazing. He earned lots of points with me this weekend for sure (we joke about a point system that we redeem in different ways..ahem). Oh, he also made two French apple tarts for company we were having on Sunday evening. That's the only dessert he makes, but I love it!

The weekend before that we made another Ukrainian dish, plov, together Sunday after church. Let me just say, Sunday has improved for me as a day of the week by leaps and bounds recently. Our church services used to be at 1 o'clock, and it split the day up so that we didn't get to do much in the morning since church was coming up, and it didn't feel like we had an evening either because we'd come home at 4 o'clock starving and cranky. We had to skip lunch (and naptime when the kids were younger) and it was almost evening by the time you turned around. Now that we have moved into our new church, our services are at 11 in the morning. I am loooving it. We come home, the sun is still shining bright, and we have all day stretched before us to get things done in the house, spend good family time together, cook, or have friends over in the evening. There is plenty of time to make plans. I am so much happier on Sundays now! I have to add, I am a very cranky person when I get hungry. I don't have the energy to make a meal when I'm starving but I get crankier by the minute as my blood sugar dips. It's kind of funny sometimes. B knows to watch out for it, and if I snap at him and he knows I'm hungry, he'll say, "It's okay, I know you don't mean, have some food."

Anyway, I have enjoyed this change in our routine, but I am still pretty uninspired in the kitchen lately. And eating way too few vegetables as well. Always going back to the same old recipes and same old foods. Thus I am bulking up my recipe binder with lots of new chicken dishes and want to try a few new things that are, well, very new to me (like Asian dumplings). I also visited the Donna Hay website yesterday and picked these six recipes to try soon:

1. artichoke and feta tarts with tomato salad 2. baked mushroom bacon and spinach risotto 3. asparagus and ricotta tarts 4. baked garlic mushrooms 5. char-grilled lemon spinach feta pizzas 6. chicken and roasted zucchini fettuccine 

I guess Donna is like Martha Stewart here in the US? Except that she's in Australia, and I'm going to have to convert every ingredient from grams to cups before I can attempt any of these. That's okay, let the cooking begin!


We have snow

We've had lots of snow this year, so the kids can't complain that we barely saw snow like they did last year. Other years we'd have to go to the mountains to see some, but this year the snow came to us! Last week was an especially snowy week and it's been so cold this week that even the snow on the roads has had a hard time melting. It just accumulates every time it comes down because it's freezing outside! Frankly I'm tired of the snowy driveway and the snowy drive to school, but the kids are sure enjoying it. Their favorite thing is to build little hills in the yard to sled off of.

 Ben is enjoying the white world while making a snow angel.

No eating!

Oh, Olivia, Olivia. She came outside because the others were so excited about getting out there, then stands there completely unimpressed by all the snow. This girl's favorite thing is to sigh like an old lady, hunching her shoulders and everything. She even closes her eyes for effect, as if the burden of the world is just too much for her to bear. I had to get her started playing in the snow because she was about to go in two minutes after she came out!

Laying in the snow is the best, especially when the snow is still falling. This boy loves snow!

I got her to smile!

Mila is obsessed with shoveling, and she will stay outside even as it's getting dark and insanely cold and shovel away to her heart's content. I love that she is so active and doesn't shy away from being physical at all. It's time to get another shovel, though, so she and Ben can stop fighting about who's turn it is. Not kidding. I found Olivia's little garden shovel and she got to work as well and miraculously didn't go inside. :)

Check out her 'big smile' on the right. The minute she sees I'm taking pictures of her, Olivia will stand and pose with a perfect little smile on her face. It's hard to get a good candid shot of her because of it, but I sure get lots of cute poses! Then, as I click away, her smile gets toothier and toothier until she's not smiling anymore but grimacing. Ha ha!


One of my faves

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I have been enjoying catching up on Hilda Grahnat's blog this morning. I have come away with two things 1) a strong desire to get up, leave town, and go explore somewhere new and 2) take better pictures. My goodness, she has some beautiful photos on her blog! Hilda lives in Norway and is known (in my mind) for her food shots and her apartment shots of all her retro treasures. She is always buying cool new things at flea markets, and putting them together in artful ways in her apartment. Her subject matter and the way she frames photos are really interesting, whether they're shots of her friends, her food, or somewhere out in nature. It's nice when a photographer stays true to themselves and their style no matter what they're shooting. I thought I'd share some of her photos with you today.

Hilda, you make me want to be better at everything it seems--home decor, photography, getting out of this house and actually seeing something every once in a while, and having more adventures with friends. Hope this new year brings me all of that and more. :)