Friday, April 30, 2010

New 'Do and a New Attitude

Well guys....I did it!  I took your advice, handed my hairstylist a picture and didn't look back!

I'd like to be all coy and demure but seriously? I love it, and I think it looks pretty good. 

I needed this.  It seems trivial and vain, but with everything thats been happening lately I have been feeling a little blue.  I know that we are still in a pretty sticky situation, this week the reality that we may never make it back into our house really hit me hard, and I just needed some kind of kick in the pants to remind me that there is joy all around me.  All I have to do is remember to look.  Whether it's a flattering haircut, or a tiny cabby hat on my little guy...

....it's out there. 

And I'm on the hunt for the little joys.  What brings you joy these days?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just a Trim

I have been operating under the assumption that I am getting a haircut next tuesday, but last night I realized that is actually TOMORROW. 

I have been waffling between several hair styles for a while now, and I just cannot make up my mind. I need a change, my hair has looked more or less the same since I was 15, but I am scared of a bad 'do.  I'd love to go short, but I have the unique ability to look just like Prince William when my hair is short.  This is not ideal.

This is what my hair looks like right now (I'm in the center)...

...meh.  It's okay, but after 10 years any hairstyle gets old.

Instead of my usual standby of simply hopping up in the chair and chirping "Just a trim, please", I'd like to go into this with a game plan.  And for that I need your help.  Here are a couple of option I thought might work with my hair.

We will call them 1, 2 and 3, from left to right. 

I don't like to spend a ton of time getting ready, so the third one might be out.  I just don't see myself taking the time to curl my hair regularly.  I don't have to wear my glasses all the time, can you even wear glasses and have bangs?  Or does that start to look like you are hiding behind a mask of some sort?

So...what do you think? 1, 2, 3, or just a trim?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Here's to...

...dressing your boy in an embroidered white shirt and calling him 'Panama Jack'.

...dressing YOURSELF in an embroidered white shirt, red beaded necklaces, and pretending you're in Mexico (hopefully with a margarita!).

...cousins!

...wearing your baby to the park and hearing his giggle as you slowly make your way down the slide for the very first time.

...knowing that even though things with the house have taken a downward spiral, and it's been over a month since we have been home, things will be okay. 

I can't go into details anymore on the house, suffice it to say, signed agreements have been broken and plans have been derailed.  I have to remind myself daily that this is not as bad as it could be.  We have a loving family who have offered help, encouragement, and cheer thoughout this situation.  We have our health, we have our love, and we have our baby.

When I am feeling discouraged (which happens more often than I like to admit), I need only look to the mood-ring eyes of my infant son, and the heaviness lifts a little bit.  I kiss his squishy cheeks, and it lifts a little more. 

I hear his little chuckle and my heart sings.

We WILL get home.  We will. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Excuse Us...

Apparently the plague hit York County over the last week.  Well..okay, maybe not the plague, but we were the unfortunate recipients of a nasty stomach bug that viciously made it's rounds through our family since last Thursday.

It was bad.  REAL BAD.

Thankfully, Jack managed to avoid it, although I will say..it is MUCH harder to be sick and still be 'mommy'.   Yet another thing I have realized my mom did for us for so many years with a smile on her face...

Thanks Mom, for never letting us see you puke.

That there saying has the potential to be the next great Hallmark card, I tell ya!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bruce the Blue Spruce

Back when Matt and I were still dating, we agreed that when we had a child, we would plant a tree for them.  So that as they grew, they could see 'their' tree grow as well.  We hoped they would learn to take care of and nurture a living thing, while also learning to be good stewards of this beautiful world that we are blessed with.
Then we had Jack, and we got caught up in a whirling vortex of diapers, spit-up, and baby toes, so until this weekend, we had completely forgotten about that conversation we had so long ago.

 However, in celebration of Earth Day, my mom and I went to a local nursery for lunch and some plant browsing.  The displays there are really very stunning, and the herbs...heaven to my nose!

We also picked up a seedling for my little one.  A blue spruce seedling, a seedling we lovingly referred to as 'Bruce' to be exact.  (Arborday.com tells me that this is a very hardy tree, which is good because...well...do you remember what I did to that poor cactus?)

We waited impatiently for Matt to come home, then he and I (and Jack) transferred Bruce the Blue Spruce into his very own terracotta pot.  In time we will plant him in the ground, but with all of this hub-bub about the house, we don't want to plant him somewhere that we are unable to care for him.  He's too little to be all alone at the house, he might get cold! (Maybe I'm transferring a little bit of this new mothering thing onto the tree?).

In a small, possibly weird way, I felt that we were starting him off on the right foot.  Jack, that is.  That yeah, maybe we will do a thing or two the right way. 

And look! For the very first time in his life, my son has gotten real, honest to goodness, dirt under his fingernails.  I am so proud.

No really, I am!

Did you celebrate Earth Day this year?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wishes

This time of year always evokes memories of childhood, when the dandelions sprout their magical white tips, each tiny seed with the potential to bring dreams to life.  Memories flood back so quickly, and I remember hopefully making wishes in the warm spring sunshine.

The innocent wishes of a child with so few cares, who still knew how to dream big.  A girl who believed her life would mimic the books she carried with her in her black canvas bookbag.  Who hunched over with scraped knees and plucked each snowy frond, deliberately blowing the seeds in her own front yard, even though she knew she wasn't supposed to spread the magical little weed.

I want to be an astronaut.   I want to fall in love...to have 12 children...to be a cowboy...to write a book.  I wish I had a puppy...a horse....a goldfish.  I wish...I wish...

Eventually those childhood dreams morphed into new adult realities. 

I can't be an astonaut I'm afraid of heights...I did fall in love, but we can't afford 12 children...I don't have a story to tell...no one needs cowboys in Pennsylvania...got the puppy but the goldfish died, and you can't keep a horse in the basement.  I can't....I won't...

We accept these realities, because what else can we do?  But we make a mental note to teach our children to reach down with chubby fingers, and deposit their dreams on tiny magical seeds that drift off into unknown worlds. 

We want to tell them  'dream big my little one, dream with abandon, and hold tight to those dreams...because time will quickly march on and try to wrest them from your grasp.'

Or maybe, just maybe, someone will eat them.


Chomp!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

News.

This post is pretty much all business...I've got good news and bad news.

The Bad News: We heard back on the mold tests in our house.  The air itself tested positive for 5 different kinds of mold, the levels were exteremly high, high enough to cause arsenic poisening.  I thank God every day that my son is healthy.  That we are all healthy.  The kitchen is the worst, which we knew.  It needs to be completely replaced.  The rest of the house, and all the contents all need to be treated, we still don't know exactly what this will entail.  The thought of someone going through all the contents of my home is so invasive and disturbing.  I feel...violated?  Is that weird? 

All of the insulation needs to be removed a replaced, as it is impossible to clean the mold spores out of fiberglass insulation.
The property group that sold our home is currently reviewing the test results, and they have final say as to whether or not they approve the cost of making the home they sold us liveable. 

The Good News: The seller just updated his facebook page with pictures of his new Lamborghini. 

In case you were wondering? Yes, I am a little bitter right now.  That's hard to see when you know that your home is hanging in the balance for a fraction of that cost.

**People have asked us why we didn't sue, and honestly?  We didn't want to sue.  We just want the problem fixed, we feel that that is what we deserve.  We didn't (and still don't) want to ruin their business, or to be awarded their money. That's really NOT how we are, that's not what drives us.  We just want to go home.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

He...

...is five and a half months old. 

...is rolling over like an old pro.


...is sitting all by himself.


...is eating fruits and veggies.


...is the best part of my day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Toes

"I'd like to remember
I'd like to know all you are
I'd like to know everything
You'll be

Where will you go?
What will you do?
When the world's right in front of you.

When I think of how slowly
Life passes by
Then I blink and you're growing
no longer a child"

                        -Plumb 'Blink'

More and more I find myself in complete awe when I stare at Jack's feet.  I kiss his tiny toes as I marvel at their perfection and try to remember the feel of them thumping about in my womb.

Just knowing that it was THOSE little feet dancing a rumba against my ribs is a thought that never fails to put a smile on  my face.

Where will those feet take him?  What marvels will he see on the road he chooses to walk? 

Will he have to stumble a few times like I did before he learns who he is meant to be?
Will he be dead-set and determined to follow one road like his Daddy?


Sometimes I think I would like to freeze time right now, to always keep this perfect little boy at five months old, so I never forget the way he grabs my face and smiles in the morning.  The future is unknown and a little bit scary sometimes, but then I remember how exciting the future can be, and I know all I can do is guide him on the right road, and be there to love on him when he strays from that path.

Friday, April 9, 2010

THAT Cake

When Matt requested "Heaven and Hell" cake for his birthday, I gamely agreed, thinking that it would inevitably involve a box of mix, a few eggs, and maybe some vegetable oil.  But noooooo this cake was angel food cake(from scratch), devils food cake(from scratch), peanut butter mousse(homemade) and chocolate ganache(also homemade). 

Initially I didn't even want to try...I mean...the toughest recipe I have ever tried involved pork chops. Pork chops that even the dog refused to eat.  That does NOT bode well for a recipe involving ganache, whatever that is. 

But Matt specifically requested THIS particular cake, and since I knew that this was not going to be one of the best birthdays (due to our basement living), I wanted to at least give it a try.  So I spread out my ingredients, opened my laptop, and away we went!

The Angel Food Cake went ok...I had a few hang-ups...

Problem 1: Egg whites refusing to "form stiff white peaks".  After beating them for 20 minutes my mom instructs me to give up and try again. 

Problem 2:  Eggs white still being unruly.  Decide to use them anyway.  Went through all 18 eggs.

After that cake came out of the oven, I started working on the Devils Food Cake.  This recipe called for a cup of coffee and THANK GOODNESS my mom was in the room to stop me from adding a cup of coffee grounds to the batter.  As I measured the grounds I told her "I guess they'll dissolve or something".

Thats right...a cup of coffee grounds...my family has begun to call me Amelia Bedelia. Oh dear.

I also needed two eggs for this recipe but...oops! I already used all the eggs...so I used leftover yolks...that's okay right?  RIGHT?

Next up, the Peanut Butter Mousse!  The only real hang-up here was that as I was mixing the mousse the mixer began sparking and smoking.

If there is one thing I know from my kitchen experience it is that smoke=bad.

Mom?  I owe you one(1) new mixer.  Um...sorry?

Moving on...CHOCOLATE GANACHE!  Since this is pretty much just chocolate and cream, I mastered it! 

Icing this bad boy was no easy feat, and I'm fairly certain any real foodie wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole, but you know what?

Matt loved it, so I consider it a huge success. 

Next year he is getting Oreos.  With a cup of milk if I'm feeling ambitious.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Laugh

I've come to learn that sometimes you just have to laugh, sometimes this gets me written off as stoic, heartless, and uncaring.  The truth is I just don't like to cry.  I don't like the way I feel when my emotions get out of control, and it isn't hard to me to find the funny in things when others might find the sad. 

FOR EXAMPLE...

Last night I was making Matt's birthday cake (which deserves it's own post, trust me, this thing is a monster involving mousse, ganache, and two different cakes made from scratch!!) and I found myself out of several ingredients.  It was around 9:30 in the evening, but I knew that if I didn't go to the store then, I probably wouldn't get a chance to go the next day, and the cake would inevitably be unfinished.  As I prepared to go I could not find my keys ANYWHERE.  I even searched through the trash (ew) thinking that maybe I had thrown them away.  After several minutes of frantic searching, I checked my car.

Bingo.

I threw the car in reverse, backed down the driveway, and THUNK!

Matt's truck. 

I HIT MY HUSBANDS TRUCK. 

I can't help but think that's funny!  Matt...well...he doesn't think it's quite so funny.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

House Update

Well...we had our mold inspection.  Ed from E.H.C. came to our house, took air samples, and checked various places for mold, or rather he checked the severity of the mold in our home.  We should know by the end of the week just how bad it is, but he was able to tell us that even though the results of the test will be in this week, work will not be started for about a month.  A MONTH.

I was prepared to hear that it might take a month to get our home back in order, or even a little longer, but I wasn't really expecting to hear that nothing would begin for another month.  Frankly?  That sucks.

Wanna know something else really cool?  There were three sheets of something that were left in our basement, they are pretty big so we haven't been able to get rid of them, and we thought they really weren't hurting anything.  The inspector took one look at it, said "We'll have to get rid of that too...that's asbestos."

Ugh.

I'm getting tired of ending my posts on a negative note, so I'd like to thank Vanessa Rogers for leaving this quote for me...I've been trying to reflect on it when I get down because once again my shoe is pushed under the furnace or my underwear seem to have gone missing somewhere in the storage boxes. 

"The cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy."
 - Neil A. Maxwell

Monday, April 5, 2010

What A Birthday

1. Today is Matt's birthday! Happy birthday sweetheart! To celebrate, he had a dentist appointment this morning.  Crazy huh?

2. Today is also the day of our mold inspection.  Your prayers would be appreciated! On some level I am still hoping to hear the inspector say "Mold? What mold?  This place is spotless!" but I'm fairly sure that is wishful thinking.

3. Jack officially has his first fever.  He is doing all right, mostly he is just sleepy. 

4. This post is kind of a downer, no?  Sorry...hopefully this picture makes up for all the bad news lately! Jack and Emerson were lookin' pretty sharp for church yesterday!  My sister and I have a tendency to show up somewhere wearing matching outfits without talking about it beforehand, and it appears that we have translated that into our children's clothing as well ( our husbands matched as well, but they refused to sit together in front of the flower bed).

5. While this is certainly not the birthday I would like for Matt, I'm going to attempt to make it a good one...he has requested a cake called "Heaven and Hell" so that is what he shall have!  I hope...wish me luck...we all know that I am KIND of a disaster in the kitchen. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sneek Peek

This weekend is shaping up to be all kinds of busy, but I wanted to leave you with a sneak peek of a certain someone's Easter basket.

Tonight we will be dying Easter Eggs for family night.   Did you know that for Christians the Easter Egg is meant to be a symbol of the resurrection of Christ?  They were traditionally died red to symbolize the blood of Christ, the hard shell symbolizes the tomb, and cracking the sucker open is to remind us that Christ rose within that tomb.  I don't know about you, but remembering the history and representation of these traditions helps to ground me and make me to remember that this weekend is about so much more than chocolate and a fuzzy rabbit.

We will be heading to church on Friday for the Good Friday service, then up to Matt's parents for the day on Saturday. 

Easter Sunday promises to be a good day with church in the morning, lunch at my Mom's, then dinner at my Dads.  Can you say  HONEY GLAZED HAM??

How will you be celebrating Easter this year?

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