Showing posts from September, 2011

New fall decoration

The other day when I was searching on pinterest for a tutorial to make a button tree - one of those styrofoam cones covered in buttons - I stumbled on this beautiful thing:

Source: via Shereen on Pinterest
Although I did start my other button tree project tonight (not finished yet, so no photos) I decided that it would be much easier and quicker to make one of these, but use fall-colored buttons instead. I stuck the wire onto a foam base and covered it with moss.

I really love how it turned out. I also love that I had almost everything I needed to make this project already. (So I had to buy the foam base and moss, but I had a huge box of buttons and plenty of floral wire). I love that this is a fun button-stash busting project (much like the other button tree I am working on).  I am already envisioning a winter-inspired version using white and silver beads that look like snow. I can't wait.

Chalk Art

Judah and I play outside every day. Many days we play outside both in the morning and again in the afternoon. One of his favorite activities is to play with chalk. He will pick it up, draw a line or two, and then throw the chalk at me (we are working on the throwing) like he wants me to draw something. Even though I love to craft, I have never been big on drawing. But I do get tired of drawing little cars and sailboats - two of my better, easily-drawn items. I got a bit ambitious the other day:

My King Kong leaves something to be desired, but I was pleased. And since Jeff also gets the task of drawing things for Judah with the chalk, next we have a chalk outline Jeff did of Lucy the other night, which just sort of cracks me up. Good times.

I'm getting the feeling our kid is going to turn out a little weird.

Two videos.

For whatever reason I just haven't felt like I had much to say or write over the last few days. So instead of a deep, philosophical conversation you will get cute video. Because my boy is cute. First up, here he is using a spoon. He is getting much more independent (which is usually fun to see) and LOVES to use the spoon himself.

Here, he just discovered the joy that is dipping french fries in.... honey mustard. Because that's what we had at our table. He doesn't seem to understand that you then eat the fry, but he'll get it eventually...

First ever pinterest fail.

I've had some great successes making recipes I've found on pinterest. For instance, a few weeks ago I made homemade crock pot tikka masala that seriously tasted exactly like what I used to order when I lived in a city where I could frequent an Indian restaurant. I can't believe I didn't post about when I made it.

Anyway.... So today I saw this recipe on pinterest for flourless chocolate cookies. They looked easy and delicious, and I liked that I had some egg whites on hand I could use up:

Source: via Aubrey on Pinterest
Beautiful, right?
Here's what mine looked like:

Umm... not quite the same.  I'm not sure what I did wrong, but the directions left something to be desired. They were still crunchy and chocolately, but not quite the beautiful, round, crackly-topped things of the photo. Oh well.

Anyone else out there with any fantastic pinterest successes or fails?

Exciting happenings....

These are not that exciting for anyone unless you happen to live in Greenwood, but this past week there opened BOTH a T.J. Maxx AND a Hobby Lobby.

I don't have to tell you how excited I am. The T.J. Maxx is seriously one of the nicest ones that I've been in. It has been so long since I've been in one, I had forgotten how much different stuff they have. I was excited to pick up a cute butter dish (I had been on the prowl for one for a while), some coconut flour (looked interesting), and another locking tongs to use in the kitchen.

And then there was Hobby Lobby..... My creative/crafty sense was on overdrive. Aisles and aisles of beautiful craft supplies and fabric. We already have an excellent fabric store in town, but it's nice to get a little bigger selection to choose from. And the ribbon! The ribbon selection was awesome. I picked up a wreath form and some styrofoam trees, thinking I'd make a book wreath like this or maybe like this. I'd really like to make …


Tonight Judah took all the stuff out of "his" cabinet - i.e. the one he is allowed to play in - and tried to climb in and close the door behind him.

He just didn't quite fit.

Jeff's Birthday

Jeff turned 34 this past week. Since I was working on his actual birthday, we did a little celebration on Sunday. The food didn't quite measure up to last year's party - it had been a loooong week - but we all still enjoyed the hotdogs and potato salad. (Especially me - since my mom made the delicious potato salad and hot dogs are easy to cook!)

 Jeff requested cupcakes again this year, and although initially he thought he might like the same flavor as last year, he also said he wanted cupcakes that were both frosted AND filled. Knowing Jeff's love of all things chocolate and peanut butter, I used this recipe for chocolate peanut butter cake, and took the ganache that is supposed to go on top and piped it into the cupcakes as a filling. Yum. Everyone really loved the cupcakes. Especially Judah.

 After dinner we all had fun playing bubbles in the driveway.

Happy Birthday, my dear husband.


Almost 18 months ago, my dad called me on the phone, crying. A good, honorable, upstanding man--one I had known since kindergarten-- had just been convicted of a very terrible crime. I was stunned. I was sitting in the parking lot of Office Depot, listening to my father tell me that he had actually been convicted. The fact that he had even been accused was shock enough, and although I knew his trial was ongoing, I had forgotten that it was the last day and that a verdict was forthcoming. As Dad told me, I just couldn't believe it. Ted was going to jail. He had taken me tubing, taught me Sunday School, and we had gone on family vacations together.

I often do not understand God's ways. Over the years I have seen many things happen that push my faith in knowing that God is good. All the time. This was another trial that I didn't understand. Many, many people have been praying for months and months that justice would finally be done.

Today, word finally came that it was. The …


I have a sweet boy.

I love that he has started to try to give us kisses. He'll come over when I'm sitting on the floor, lean in with his attempt at puckered lips, and lay one on me.

He has recently really gotten into signing "thank you."  I had tried to teach him this sign a while ago, but it wasn't really working, so a few weeks ago I started using it again with him. Every time I give him something now, he'll sign it and give me a big grin. Especially if it's something like a cookie.

Judah really loves when I sing to him. Basically every night since he was a few months old I sing him a hymn as I'm about to put him to bed. Sometimes when I am rocking Judah before I lay him down, he'll point at my lips and grunt, which I take as an invitation to sing to him. It can be funny sometimes, because he seems to have preferences as to what he likes to hear and sometimes will shake his head "no" with certain songs. He definitely doesn't like t…

Becoming reformed.

I grew up in the Wesleyan church, which is a little odd considering that I'm now married to a Presbyterian pastor. I only bring it up because I was poking around the ol' internet recently and came across some interesting blog posts discussing people's different disagreements with reformed theology, and it got me thinking. I used to have these same thoughts about reformed theology. What was it that changed my mind?

I want to say, first of all, that I am incredibly grateful and thankful for the denomination I grew up in. Even though I don't really agree with all their theology, Wesleyans love Jesus and believe that what the bible says is true. I was surrounded by a church family that loved me and prayed for me and that is a blessing that has shaped who I am. I also don't mean for this to become some sort of argument or proof text battle. I only want to explain how I got here.

I remember once in college when the pastor of the baptist church I attended gave an illustra…


Friday afternoon, I dropped Judah off with my mom and drove away for the weekend. It's the first time I've left him anywhere, except for the one or two overnight calls I had while finishing up residency. I was a little emotional about it when I dropped him off, but after that we all were fine. As I was saying goodbye to him, I gave him a few rounds of kisses until he actually moved my hands off his car seat, like he was trying to shoo me away.

Judah had a blast with my parents, and I enjoyed a most excellent ultrasound CME and getting to catch up with a few college friends. Jeff came down for the first night, but since he knows almost no one in Columbia and it's not quite as nice to visit as say, Boston, he decided to spend the rest of the weekend home alone since I would be busy pretty much all day with class. The class I took was wonderful and got me even more excited (if that were possible) about using ultrasound to help diagnose and treat disease. Although I currently …

Ten years ago.

Ten years ago I was a senior in college, enjoying a snooze-in since my first class didn't start until 11. I woke up to the sound of my roommate yelling something at the TV. I got up to see the towers burning and watched in horror as they fell.

Today, oddly enough, I was actually in almost the exact same physical spot as I was ten years ago. I'm back in the town where I went to college taking a class for a few days. During my lunch break I wanted to go and sit somewhere to enjoy the nice weather, so I picked up some take out sushi from a grocery store and went to oldest part of USC's campus. As I was sitting there, I realized what day it was and found it very odd that even though I have only been back to campus once or twice since I left, here I was, sitting a mere 100 feet from the apartment where I was that awful day.

I actually ended up skipping my first class that day. I just felt so unsettled that I didn't want to go, and the upper level advanced Spanish literatur…

Good Recipes

1. I've mentioned before my favorite salmon recipe. I just made it again tonight, and wow! It was really fantastic. Seriously, you should make this salmon. Soon.

2. I served it with some roasted potatoes I made using a Barefoot Contessa recipe, a new recipe that will be  getting a lot of use. I love recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and use ingredients that I usually have around. In case you want to make extra delicious potatoes, here it is:
      2.5 lbs red potatoes (I used white)
      2 yellow onions (I used one big vidalia)
      3 T. olive oil
      2 T. whole grain mustard (I used dijon)
      2 t. kosher salt
      1/2 t. pepper

Chop the onions and the potatoes into chunks and put on baking sheet. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Bake at 425 for 50 min (I think mine baked a little quicker).They should be brown and toasted.

3. Anyone else out there love iced coffee? This summer has been the summer of the iced coffee…

When "The Question" Bothers Me.

Through our time of dealing with infertility, I have gotten better and better at not being bothered when people ask me about having more children. I realize that they don't mean any harm; it's a natural and common question to ask someone with a child. Most people I meet have no idea of my history and have no way of knowing that even a seemingly innocuous question can sometimes make me sad. So I have just made a decision that that particular question is not going to bother me.

Recently, though, I was asked that question by someone who knows something of our struggle, with whom I have shared some of our trials, and who I thought understood where we were. Although I am honestly never surprised when I get this question anymore, this time it came as a jolt. I quickly gave my standard answer (We'll see, we'd love more, blah, blah....), but I think my smile faltered more than normal. This is not a close friend or even someone I'd say knows me well, so maybe she forgot? M…

A Few Judah things...

People, we have more speech.

I've decided that he's been talking more than I realize, I just don't pay close enough attention. This week I realized he's been saying "up" for a little while. I didn't realize, though, because it comes out like "buh." Today, I was thinking he said a more distinct "up," so he must realize that for his dense mommy to pick it up, he's got to be articulate. In addition to the word that means "doggy" (diggy or gigi) he also maybe says something slightly different when he points to a cat, although I'm not sure how to write it. He asks for "wa-wa" more and occasionally a banana "na-na."

A few days ago I handed Judah to Jeff because I was going somewhere (to work, maybe?). I leaned in to kiss Jeff and Judah leaned towards me and kind of smacked his lips. He was trying to give me a kiss. Totally unasked for. I melted.

He has started shaking his head "no" a lot more…

The saga of our roof or Why you should never hire Ideal Development Concepts.

I was reading Megan's blog today and could totally commiserate with her about her recent customer service woes. I then realized that I never really posted anything about it here, and now that the whole thing is settled, I thought I'd fill everyone in about how the whole thing went down.

Back in June, a strong thunderstorm knocked down a tree in our yard such that it side-swiped our roof and knocked off our gutter. Since we were all home at the time, we were thankful it wasn't a more direct hit and that there wasn't more damage.
This is what the damage looked like. Not too bad, but just bad enough that we were told that essentially the entire front half of our roof would need to be replaced. Mostly because there would be almost no way that they would be able to match the exact shade of green in our current shingles. Our insurance company quickly sent out an adjuster and approved the repair. They suggested a company called Ideal Development Concepts that they said they ha…