Monday, February 28, 2011

Hydrangea Monday



It was a great weekend.
It's now a fast Monday.
But everything goes better with pink hydrangeas.
I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Message to China: The Verdict is Big

Hi Becca. I hope everything in the land of China is well. Since you went on your free-travel break we haven't heard much from you. That could have something to do with the fact that you were on trains and living in hostels. It could also have something to do with the fact that you've met a very nice boy and are, as they say, twitterpated. But that's OK. He does sound pretty adorable.


So as I turn to the right...

... and turn to the left, you can see the verdict is one word. Big. Jane isn't leaving me much room to breathe these days. I have rib flare. I'm not sleeping. I waddle like a duck. But on the upside, total strangers are really super duper nice. The woman at the sandwich shop gave me an extra cookie with my takeout order. A mechanic checked my car for free even though he was trying to close for the night. So there are positives.


I took these pictures in the morning.

Matt is the big lump under the bedding.

I tried my best to get him to come out and say hi, but it was a no-go.

He mumbled, "Why must all this happen at 7 am?"

I responded, "Because you love Rebecca, wave hello."

"I don't love her, she smells bad," he grunted without moving a muscle.

But he didn't mean it. You always smell good. He loves you.

And I love you.

There is a giant hole in my life without you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doily Stencil Art Project Done, Decoded

I actually finished a project for the nursery.


Until now it's been a room stacked with 100 unfinished ideas. Now it's a room with one finished idea, and 99 others waiting in line, but let's not dwell on that.

I used a paper doily (purchased in the baking section of Micheal's) and a black magic marker. Holding the doily firmly in place, I colored it completely on top of another piece of paper and then outlined it.

Then I took the "stencil" and put it in an overhead projector (borrowed courtesy of my artist mom). These things are fantastic. Seriously. You could go crazy with them. I had to resist the urge to trace a gigantic doily on my living room wall.

I outlined the entire thing on a large blank canvas (also from Michael's). It did feel a bit like drawing hundreds of misshapen Rorschach tests. But that's half the fun.

"Look Matt, this one is a chicken!"
"No wait, this one is my first grade teacher's nose!"
"This one is DEFINITELY Meryl Streep's profile."


After everything was traced off, I put on a movie, settled into a comfy chair, and filled all the shapes in with a black magic marker. Afterward (when the ink was thoroughly dry), I took a good artist eraser and cleaned up all the pencil smudges.



The last step was the easiest, but somehow took the longest. I traced the letter J in the center, colored it in with an aqua permanent marker, and outlined it in black. Done. Finito. I love it.

Now moving on to project #98, this thrift lamp I bought for $12. We can do better than this I think. Oh yes. We can.
For other doily-project inspiration, be sure to check out:

Meg's fun paint doily paint project.

Ashley Ann's doily canvas bag (actually my jumping off point for this project):

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shower Time

Have you ever had people throw you a party so wonderful it makes you tear up just thinking about it? Well we did. And when I say we, I mean Matt and me. But he didn't tear up. He's a manly man. And not full of pregnancy hormones. He did smile a lot.

Matt's coworkers threw us perhaps the cutest baby shower I've ever attended. Everyone gave us their favorite children's book, so you know I was in heaven.

There was more delicious food than we could eat.

And yummy punch. Don't worry, I had water with lemon.

But I made up for it by eating cupcakes. And cookies. And Sarabeth's fantastic salsa. It was a wonderful night and a great group of friends. We are blessed. Thank you Dani, Christine, Natalie, Erin and everyone else!



Friday, February 18, 2011

It Makes the World Go Round



My mission today?


To find a foot-long coney dog topped with slaw.


And eat it in ten seconds flat.


Oh, it's happening.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

No Fighting, Baby In Utero


The nursery is a disaster. We cleaned the closet out, a process that normally would have reduced us to a skirmish about who had too much stuff, who wasn't organized, basically a bonanza of finger-pointing. But not this time. Why? Because we have company.


Me: "Matt... seriously. Why do you have all these old boxes in the top of the closet? It's just stupid."


Matt *hushed whisper*: "Don't say stupid. Jane can hear what we say now."


Me *hushed whisper*: "Sorry. Can you please throw these boxes away?"


Matt *hushed whisper*: "No problem."


Apparently our key to peace is a third party with a pair of keen ears, baking in utero.


Here's the jumping off point for the room. I SWORE I was going to be practical and decorate a gender neutral room. I SWORE I was not going to use any fabrics with flowers.


I lied.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Year of the Spider

Best birthday present ever.
From Dad & Mom.
Handcrafted spider pendant.

Rebecca & Rachel have variations of this necklace too.
Apparently 31 will be the year of the spider.
A cheerful gray and green arachnid.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand


Thanks to Trish over at TLC Book Tours, I was invited to do a book tour for Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
Folks. I liked this book. The storyline centers on a retired major, living a quiet existence in his quaint cottage in rural England. He becomes friends, and then more, with the village shop keeper Mrs. Ali. He's upper crust English. She's a dignified, well read Pakistani widow. People frown. They fall in love anyway. You get the idea.

While it's a modern setting, you still get a very Jane Austen'ish feeling when reading this book. Adorable cottage? Gardens with herbs? Slow country life? Refined characters who drink tea? Romance? Sign me up. It has everything you'd want from an English countryside romance.

I did notice that the characters seem, at times, over the top. Obviously Englishmen aren't all up-tight Pakistani hating snoots. And of course all Americans don't hop across the pond and make great big buffoons out of themselves at rural country clubs. But it sure is a heck of a lot of fun to read about. That's what writers get to do. It's called creative license.

For instance, my neighbors might have this conversation:

"Linda, did you have a chance to clean up after the dogs? It smells like poop in the backyard."

"No Wilbur, I didn't have time to do that."


But this is how I would write it:


"Hey Linda, did you forget to rake all the dog poop out of the backyard? I durn near buried my foot in Rover's crap piles."


"Well sorryyyyy Wilbur, but I just got done cleaning your tobaccy stains off the couch and didn't have time to deal with your huntin' dog's backyard feces."

See what I mean? Creative licence. Try it sometime. It can make a gray, boring afternoon suddenly colorful and worth living. But, I digress.

So kudos to Helen Simonson. It's a delightful book. The English village is enticing, the characters are full and colorful, and Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali are adorable. I highly recommend this book.

Curtains and Snowballs

We have curtains in the nursery. It feels like a giant milestone, but that's probably because I'm moving at a sloth's pace these days. Thanks to my wonderful seamstress mother-in-law they look wonderful.

video

And this is what we did during our winter storm. We threw snowballs for Mabel. She considered it a mind blowing concept, mostly because she labored under the delusion that they were catchable. But who am I to point fingers and laugh at another living creature's lack of mental prowess? After all, I consider random shoes lying on the side of the freeway one of life's greatest mysteries.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let Them Eat Lobster

We're celebrating the weekend with Matt's super-duper lobster/mushroom/creamy sauce/Italian meal. Nope it doesn't have a name. And he doesn't use a recipe. But I'll try and pin him down about it. It is fantastic.


And then there will be more nursery organizing. And dress admiring. And ice cream eating. Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and marachino cherries. It's the only way to follow up Matt's lobster pasta.

Have a good one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jade Problems

Anyone out there know anything about Jade plants? Mine has grown longish, redish sprouts. I believe the word is "leggy" but it gets plenty of sun each day. I'm stumped. If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears.


In other news, my sweet sister-in-law sent Jane a baby present.
Sigh. Adorable.
Scratch that.
Big sigh. Super adorable.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

31

I watched the streetlights flicker yesterday evening as the sun went down. It was my last day to be 30 years old. I remember last year so clearly. It was a beautiful snow day. And this year, ironically enough, it's going to snow again.



I don't know about you, but not too long ago there was a period in my life where it felt like nothing would ever change. In my later 20's it felt like life was stuck in one gear. An unchanging career. An unchanging schedule. An unchanging future. It was not a good feeling.

But it wasn't true. Life is always changing. Sometimes it moves fast, sometimes incredibly slow. But we're always moving forward. We're never cemented to a fixed point.

For the past few years I've had a verse pinned to the front of my computer.

"And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought."
Is 58:11

Some days that verse made sense. Other days it made me want to kick a hole in the wall. But it was true nevertheless. God satisfies us in the droughts. Because the droughts are where we find Him. And the droughts don't last forever.

After several years of praying and feeling rooted to one, unchanging spot, I turned 30. And then the earth seemed to tilt off its axis. I suddenly had more change than I could have ever imagined.

The book.
The BHG contest.
Rebecca left for China.
Rachel got married.
My father retired.
Matt started a fun side project.
But most importantly, we found out we were going to be parents.

And while I know other droughts lay ahead, and that there will once again be times where I feel the hum-drum, unchanging weight of life press down, I also know there are times when prayers get answered. When the sun shines down, warms our arms and reminds us that it won't always be winter. That God cares.

I will always remember my 30th year as the year God answered my prayer for change. And I'm very thankful to turn 31.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mabel Interrupted


This weekend I discovered that a magic marker + paper doily = really easy nursery project.


I also discovered that my big belly is becoming harder to maneuver around.

Especially when it comes to sitting on the ground with an overhead projector and tracing said doily pattern on a big canvas.


Mabel didn't care for any part of this project. In fact, she thought it interrupted her weekend schedule. Her strategy for voicing her displeasure? Positioning her body directly in front of the project. And licking the lens of the overhead projector.

So needless to say, Mabel Interrupted turned into Liz's Project Interrupted.



But it's getting there. And Mabel is slowly forgiving me for ignoring her.

Maybe I can nab a few minutes to finish it later today.
I need a dog-sitter.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tiny

Tiny glass animals from my childhood.
Tiny progress in the nursery.
Tiny snowflakes on the car windshield.
Tiny baby foot kicking my ribs.
Not-so-tiny smile on my face.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Inspiration, With a Side of Coleslaw, Envy and Puppies

New craving: coleslaw. And just let me say, cabbage is not the smartest choice for me right now. It's causing a deep conflict within my soul. And bowels. Too much info? Moving on.


Do you ever find a house online that makes you so inspired you instantly want to redo your entire home? And then kick a puppy? No? No one? Perhaps that's just me and my big bushel basket full of hormones. Anyway. This house is awesome. So is Kelly Rae. Enjoy.



Also enviable? This necklace. I. Love.

P.S. Just kidding about the puppy thing. But not the coleslaw. Yum. And ow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Also...


Nursery Planning


To be totally honest, I thought I'd have my "stuff" a lot more together than I do. I mean, we're on a serious countdown to babytown, and the nursery looks like a Hallmark store on the day after Christmas. Trashed. Stacked. Helter Skelter.

Also, and perhaps even more alarming, I have no master plan. I didn't make a design board. I didn't save magazines. I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants, and it shows. So that's my mission now. Nursery planning. Mostly so I won't be embarrassed to blog about it someday in the future.

Then I found these platters at a local flea market and snatched them up (cheap, $10 for two). They were not part of the plan, but at least I'm sticking to a consistent color scheme. Maybe.


I'm also dipping my toe into an art project of sorts. It's a rough idea at this point. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Girl Town


I grew up in Girl Town.
My cousins and I were immersed in the land of Strawberry Shortcake.
But on the flip side, our favorite game was pretending we were Ghostbusters.

Over the years, I'd forgotten about Girl Town.
Until I allowed myself a trip to the little girl clothes section at Target.
It would appear I'm venturing into some well known territory.

So I bought Jane a few outfits.
And next weekend I'll buy her a Leggo set.
Just to even things out.