baby room: installment #2

Today we assembled the crib from Pottery Barn.  The room is almost complete.

The wall accessories are leftover from Okey’s office.  I think they work perfectly with the new arrangement, and we didn’t have to move them even an inch!

The queen anne chair is there temporarily as a place holder for the rocking chair.  To the right of the crib we are going to put the diaper changing station.  We are going to look for an unfinished piece and will either stain it to match the rocking chair or perhaps yellow to add a little color to the room.

The corduroy fabric is removable if I need to clean a stain.  (Although one would have to tear the whole crib apart to get to it.)

There are still a million more things to be done and accessories to be bought, but as the approval process nears and the prospect of a baby entering our lives at any moment becomes real, it’s great knowing that we have this amazing room ready.


baby room: installment #1

“What theme have you picked for the baby’s room?” my mother-in-law inquired a couple of months ago.  I was embarrassed to say I hadn’t given much thought to it.  I hadn’t wanted to get too emotionally invested until we were actually approved by the adoption agency.  But she was right, we were getting closer to the approval stage and we should start planning.  At her urging, we went online to look at baby room designs at Babies’R’Us.   I narrowed it down to elephants, frogs and robots.  Maybe birds.

Okey and I have bird and frog tchotchkes throughout our home, so we thought that would be the simplest thing to decorate with.  However, birds do not really hold a personal meaning to us.  Conversely, frogs are too personal to me. Robots are likewise personal to the computer engineer that is my husband.  My mother added, they are not gender neutral.  (I begged to disagree, but I did remove them from consideration.)  So that left us with elephants.

The more we thought about elephants, I knew that this was something that would work wonderfully.  I grew up reading and watching Babar (whose story has kept up with the times having been printed, televised and internetted — yes, I know I made up a word).  Elephants are intelligent and have a wonderful memory.  Plus, the gestational period of an elephant is 22 months.  We have been waiting a long time to start our family, so that fact just made elephants perfect for our future child.

Last Saturday, Okey and I went in search of our inspiration piece.  We found this receiving blanket set at Target and fell in love with it!  (It has elephants and frogs!)

I am worried that the colors are masculine, but we are embracing the green, yellow, and brown.  The walls for the baby room will be Valspar’s Meadow Wind (second paint card from the left).  We have not specified the gender for our future child which is why we’re trying to keep everything neutral.

As you can see here, my loving Okey has been busy priming and painting.  We should be able to start assembling the crib tomorrow.  I cannot wait to assemble this amazing crib which was a gift from Okey’s parents.  (Do you get the feeling they want more grandchildren?)


celebrating the one year anniversary of my turning 29

Today I turned the infamous thirty.  And it wasn’t bad, not bad at all.

I saw two wonderful friends, Ferb and Cherokee, this morning.  I had a good half-day at work.  Then I ate too much at lunch and still had bread pudding for dessert.  I came home and played on my ukulele.  I laughed at my goof of a dog.  I ate pepperoni rolls for dinner and opened up a Magic Hat #9 that I got for my birthday.  Then I got the phone call that my husband (who’s been gone on business since Monday) will be home tonight for my birthday…  That’ll be the best part of my birthday.

beyond exhausted

Yesterday I was called into the office to help with my boss on a huge project.  I arrived at 6:30 p.m. to be a fresh pair of eyes.   The eyes struggled to stay fresh as the clock’s hour hand kept making its rotations.  Twelve full rotations later (that would be 6:30 a.m.), the project was done, finished, complete!  I came home and crashed into my bed only to awaken five hours later.  Once awake at noon, I decided to stay awake so that I can actually fall asleep tonight.  I knitted a little bit, read some more about open adoption, ran some errands with Okey, and now I am working on completing the last of our adoption papers… the autobiography.  I am excited that we are so close to completing all of the requirements.  This plus a tax form are the last things we need to submit prior to approval (i.e., the waiting list)!  We are in the homestretch.

my kind of brown

One year ago today, Jenna and I found ourselves at the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, CA.  I ordered their flight of samples and was very impressed with what was brought out to me.  The Downtown Brown was a good ale, and stood out from everything else on the table that day.  So, in memory of my amazing road trip last year which started this blog, and in honor of of the gold medal it earned at the San Diego International Beer Festival & Competition last month, I raise my pint glass filled with Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown to you, my readers.

I think that the Downtown Beer is my favourite all-around beer because of the sentimental value that I have attached to it.  The Lost Coast Brewery was the first craft brewery I ever visited.  This was the first sample flight of beer I ever ordered by myself.  I was with a non-drinker, so I was left to my own devices to determine what beers I liked without anyone jumping in and giving his (valuable and sound) opinion.  (I love you, dear!)  And, it was such an amazing vacation.

Are there any drinks or foods that you enjoy simply because of your first enounter with it?  Please share. 

about marji

There is a seven year difference between me and my closest sibling, Marji. I grew up looking up to her… until I was in middle school when due to our height differences, I had to look down to her. <insert canned laughter>

Well, actually, I still do look up to her…  If it weren’t for Marji, I wouldn’t be here today.  Seriously.  She saved my life on at least three occasions.

The first time she saved my life was at the beach near our house in Florida. As a little toddler, she carried me on her shoulders as we walking from the sand bar back to the beach. She stepped on a sand shark, and she controlled her urge to scream knowing that if she did so I would panic. She did a great job, that is, until she took a step and landed on the same shark again. As she had correctly predicted, panic ensued.  Despite it all, she kept me above the water until my kicking and thrashing subsided.

A few years and a few moves later, when we first moved to West Virginia, we had the great joy of being home alone together. I took this opportunity to go to my parents’ room to watch their television, eat candy, and jump on their bed. It was a lot of fun until a piece of candy lodged itself in my throat. Marji was there for me and successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver.  (And I have not once since then jumped on my parents’ bed while chewing candy and watching their television.)

I grew up in a mill town, and it was common to have semi trucks roll through Main Street. But for some strange reason, as I was crossing the street on the way to the community center one day, I froze in the crosswalk as the large truck was coming towards me. I must have been perplexed as to why it wasn’t slowing down as I was obviously standing in the crosswalk. Thankfully, my dear sister took no time to pull me out of harm’s way and onto the sidewalk.

If it weren’t for Marji, I also wouldn’t be the person I am today. She has always been independent and very social. She encouraged me to take part in a foreign exchange program. If it weren’t for her, I would never have gone to France.

She has had a good heart and loves the Lord.  She has been a wonderful mentor to me.  I love her so much, and I am so glad to have her in my life not only as a sister but as a best friend.  And I am so honored to have stood by her side on her wedding day.

To be very honest, it was hard the first time I met Mero realizing that I had to share my sister with him.  That she wouldn’t be my partner in board games anymore.  That she wouldn’t be texting me first anymore.  That she wouldn’t be sitting next to me in restaurants anymore.  (I’d like to admit I was exaggerating, but that was all true.)

However, I am just so thrilled that she found her soul-mate, and now she is married to him!  (This wedding was the primary reason I have been absent from WordPress for so long.)  I cannot wait for the next chapter in their lives as Mr. and Mrs.

For anyone that is curious, the photographer’s wedding pictures can be found here.

my cherry-lime flavored watermelon jell-o mould

About a year ago when I started to really get into knitting, I went to my television’s DVR menu to search for any and every knitting show to record. That’s how I discovered Brett Bara, the host of Knit and Crochet Now.  Then, through the powers of the Internet, I found her crafty blog and started following her tweets.  And this, my friends, is how I discovered how to make a really cool Jell-o mould.

Here’s Brett’s inspiring video:

Here’s my finished project as a result of that video:

Brett uses sour cream to create the cool looking solid layers.  Being improvisational as I am (i.e., lazy), I used yoghurt instead with excellent results!  I used just plain yoghurt for the bottom of the cherry (red) layer.  And I actually had blended lime yoghurt in my fridge which paired really well with the lime Jell-o packet.  (I couldn’t have planned this out any better… had I actually done any planning!)

Brett also uses a bundt pan which is super duper cool looking.  Being improvisational as I am (i.e., cheap), I used just a plain mixing bowl to achieve (nearly) the same success!

(Additionally, I used Crisco instead of Pam for the same un-sticking affect, and that was me being truly improvisational.)

This watermelon looking Jell-o mould was a real success at my Fourth of July gathering. I will definitely make this again for my next party and perhaps I will adhere to the recipe a little better.

PS  Make sure to head over to Brett’s blog and check out her amazing bubbly Jell-o moulds.  I haven’t seen her post a recipe for those yet, so I may just have to improvise that one altogether!