Thursday, January 31, 2013


I'm staying quite busy this week between work, life, and workshops and School of Ministry really kicking off tomorrow. (Yay!) That means lots of random writing projects and tying up lose ends for projects.

Here are a few things I'm currently interested in, doing, learning about, excited about, supporting, etc:

Creating yearbooks for my students. Since we're a small private school we don't do the normal yearbooks. I like what we do even better! Each month we make one craft as a class that incorporates the student's picture and put them all together in a book that literally keeps track of the student's growth and crafts or the year. I think it's such a clever way to preserve the art that would otherwise be easily lost.

Reading this blog. It's amazing to me how open and encouraging Bekah is about post-baby bodies. (Something I may or may not have been thinking about a bit these days....;) haha)

Craving cinnamon rolls!! B keeps encouraging me to make them too, despite a lack of time to bake this week, but I did find this recipe that I really want to try, and these ones which B has already tried and said were delicious!

Liking Doterra Essential Oils. I've recently been a skeptic of lots of things all natural since reading this book (which I highly suggest to anyone getting in to alternative medicines, very helpful for pros and cons), but I've been doing my research on this locally based company, and they seem pretty legit! I went to a class this week to learn more about them, purchased a book on pregnancy and essential oils to see if I could use them during labor in any way (since I guess I should start thinking about this stuff), and planned a class that I'm hosting at my house (if anyone if interested in coming, let me know!)  I got the Wild Orange oil at the class, and I'm interested in trying it in my natural cleaning supplies.

Watching this beautiful and moving video. Cry not to cry while watching!

So happy this is my Friday! I'm going to curl up with a book for the rest of the evening and hopefully see my hubby at some point. ;) Thursday are the busiest day of our week, and I honestly hate them, but I'm learning to find ways to keep myself busy during Thursday nights. Tonight that included working out and putting together yearbooks. God's providing lots of grace and energy to stay caught up on work during this second half of my pregnancy. I'm very thankful for productivity. :)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A mind awake & thoughts on creativity as a job.

Yes, I'm typing this before it's even 5 a.m. I'm not one of those people who is only artistic after the sun goes down, as well as everyone else in the house. I'm just the opposite. My heart and brain seem to be the most optimistic BEFORE the sun comes up (these long, dark wintery days at least). So I was laying in bed this morning around 3:30 a.m. with thoughts like these...

"Oh, I could go get that bookshelf packed up to finish up the little one's room. I could also probably get a few good hours of reading those three different books in: I'd like to know more about essential oils in pregnancy...or I could always get in an extra early morning workout. Hmmm...what about coffee? It's kind of early to eat. I'd just have to have a second breakfast. What's that, baby? Second breakfast is ok with you? Dad's already at work? You're right. I should get up and do some creative work too!!" :)

And that's how it happened. As it usually does. And here I am on the couch, in a flannel quilt, curled up with my laptop writing this. As far back as I can remember, I've pretty much always been a morning person. B and I are also pretty big homebodies, which I am very thankful for. I'm thankful my husband likes and prefers being in our home, with me. So by seven thirty most nights we're usually curled up together catching up on a favorite T.V. show, reading, or (like last night) already asleep. haha I know being pregnant and tired all the time just adds to my lack of ability to stay up past 9 p.m.

But really. This is when I'm most creative. Usually 4 a.m. until noon. And then, sadly, my energy quickly starts to drop and there's just nothing I can do about this. As long as I get up and just write, read, work, organize, whatever for those 8 hours before the afternoon, I don't feel so bad about only having energy to do some laundry and cooking in the afternoon. It would be worse if I just stayed in bed until 8 or so like a normal person, because I still wouldn't have energy in the afternoon. My body just hasn't worked that way for some time now...I think my early mornings working at Starbucks messed that up. haha

I can get a whole set of poems, catch up on journal entries, write a blog, read my Bible and work on my prayer journal, get caught up on my own for fun reading, and plan dinner all before everyone else in the world wakes up. Yes, I'm one of those annoyingly happy people in the morning that B graciously has learned to deal with and usually just laugh at if her rolls over to find me wide eyed and starring at him at 7:30. But the funny thing is that because of my high energy levels in the mornings, and the early afternoon gloom that sets in, I really like to stick to my morning routine and work, so I HATE being out of the house before 10 a.m. most days. I just know I'm losing work time. haha How weird is that?

Anyways, on to other creative thoughts. Picture a whale spouting out all that water as you read this next part. It was something I was thinking about for a while the other day, and it all just kind of came out in one big breath like a whale's watery exhales. (Is that what they're even doing when that happens?) And this is still along the lines of creativity and work, so that's why I'm including it here.

"Being creative is a JOB.

A creative writer or artist is always on the clock. 

One place you can’t take commonplaces is in the shower. And unfortunately that’s where all the creative brainstorming took place today since it’s the only down time I seem to have this week. So here I am, trying to write this before my hair is even dry so I don’t forget everything I’m thinking.

Being creative really is a job. Or at least it feels that way this week. I have multiple things lined up to do each day this week, on top of a regular job, staying homeward focused, being a wifey, and staying “'reative.' I would tell you each and every thing I have on my to-do list just to make my point, but I’m trying to grumble. I truly enjoy being busy (aside from the sleepless zombie-fog I’ve been in the last few weeks). The point is simply that I’m realizing what  ajob staying and being creative is in and of itself.

I get paid to teach three year olds about Jesus, their letters, numbers, and doing arts and crafts. This job is a blessing, and I do it two days a week, on the clock from 7:30-3:30. I’m also picking up a job writing a grant for a new charter school (one of the many things on my to do list this week). Those are the things God has chosen to put in my life to help supply part of our needs at this time.

My list of unpaid jobs, ones that I think are just as meaningful and make just as much of an impact as teaching kids about Jesus can, is even longer. When I picked the Creative Writing program for my bachelor’s I KNEW I wasn’t picking it for the money. Ha! Are you kidding me? I’ve FINALLY landed my first PAID writing job where I get to do what I want to do (aside from the newspaper I worked for) and I haven’t even been able to write anything yet because the people I’m writing about are always in and out of town or country. Needless to say, I’m not in this creative business for the money. I’ve spent a lot of time asking God to use this degree and the gifts He’s given me for His glory. He has opened some awesome doors for editing with Calvary Chapel’s website, writing for Calvary Chapel magazine, editorial writing for various Christian blogs, being part of a team starting up a creative arts ministry and blog for our church, among many other things I’ve been blessed to do and add to my writing resume. I still to this day would give up blogging, being an 'artist,' any of my creative habits or projects, in a heartbeat if He asked me to. One of my favorite quotes I heard from Jesse Bryan, one of the previous art directors of Mars Hill Church, and it totally sums up how I feel about my creative call. He said, “Being an artist is NOT a higher calling than being a Christian.” To be honest, its harder for me to be creative than to not be creative since I would rather deny that God made me this way than accept it and integrate it into my life. It is so much harder to work out being the creative person I'm learning God really has made me to be in order to relate to Him and His world in a better way. It would be easier for me to go through this life ignoring any creative impulse, than acting on it, because acting on creativity turns into a job. It’s a hard thing to learn how to worship the Creator and not my creations. But God’s grace is always sufficient.

That being the case, my creative habits and life often get put on the back burner because Jesus, my ministry at home, church family, grocery shopping, next month’s school crafts, and everything else you could think of comes first.This being my first full year graduated and out of college, I’ve really had to learn to stay creatively motivated without professors, grades, and workshop friends keeping me accountable. Now I’m the one facilitating workshops, encouraging others to write and stay creative, only just managing to learn how to do so myself.

So, what do you do when you’re creative juices are completely shut down do to the looming to-do list: blog posts for The Incarnate, meet with Jesus, grow a baby in my womb, lesson plans for work, lessons plans for our first creative workshops of the semester, grow a baby in my womb,  networking to organize open mics, meet with Jesus, make dinner, meet with Jesus, meeting and exhorting brothers and sisters, grow a baby in my womb, accomplish any writing jobs I’m being paid to do, meet with Jesus, clean the bathroom…all these beings things I LOVE and WANT to do.

God has called me to be prudent and use the gifts and talents He’s given me in order to be a good steward of them. So what do I do?

Make a plan. I need to get a calendar. Make a schedule. There are so many tiny, yet necessary things that need to get done for creative writing, networking for a ministry, running part of a site, and continuing on with normal life. Simply remembering to upload a new blog post is something that needs to go on the to-do list this week. This whole process of staying organized with your creative life is a topic I am just starting to dig in to, so I’m sure you guys will hear much, much more about it in the future.  Or there any creative calendars that have worked for you guys? If so, what are they? Any other thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated!!"
Now that that's all out there in the open, I hope some of you stayed with me through this long post! ;) My tummy is officially growling at 5:20, so it's time to go start the coffee! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quick Stove Top Granola: No Oven Required

If you're anything like me, you always end up burning the granola that needs to be baked in the oven. There is that tiny window of time that consists of mere seconds were it goes from being just crunchy enough, to black and smelly. I don't think I have ever NOT burned a granola recipe, and I've tried many. I LOVE granola. After some experimenting and much taste testing on B's part, here is my solution: Stove Top Granola. It's so, so quick. I can make about one batch in ten to fifteen minutes.

Quick Granola: No Oven Required 

This recipe makes a little less than two cups of granola, which is all I like to keep around for lack of storage space in our kitchen.  

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

1 ¼ cup quick cooking oats

¼ tablespoon group cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter (use vegan butter if you have some on hand)

1/8 cup honey

1 tablespoon maple syrup (add extra honey if you don’t have this one hand)

1/8 cup brown sugar

½ sliced almonds

¼ craisins (any dried fruit you have on hand would work)

Heat oil in pan on stove top and add oats and cinnamon. Keep on medium heat for about ten minutes or so, stirring constantly so you don’t burn them. You want them slightly toasted (this is where you can go very, very wrong and end up with that burned taste in all of the granola). I’d even say it’s better not to get them toasted at all than to over toast. So when you’re ready, transfer this oat mixture to another plate. Now add butter, honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar in the pan. Once mixture looks caramelized, reduce heat and add the oats back in the pan. You want to keep the heat on low so it doesn’t harden too quickly and you can still stir the mixture around while adding the rest of the ingredients. You may now add the almonds and dried fruit. I ALWAYS have craisins on hand, but some other things I like to add include flax seeds, wheat germ, coconut, and chia seeds. The seeds don’t always stay in the mixture very well and end up being quite messy, so I didn’t add them this time. Once mixed well, move granola to cookie sheet or large plate to allow to cool. Enjoy with some yogurt!!

I recently read in a magazine than cranberry juice and yogurt help keep high blood pressure down. These are two things I have as part of my breakfast routine almost every single day. I love mixing this granola with any yogurt for some extra protein and crunch! Yum yum! What are some things you guys like to try in your granola?

Happy cooking!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Laugh with me.

So, I did the first assignment for Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I know these are quite terrible, but the author encourages you to keep a portfolio to watch as you gain some skill in sketching.

This is my makeshift sketch pad. I didn't even have any number two pencils laying around when I went to start this yesterday! So I had to borrow some from a friend this morning! Ha! Today's assignments were to do a self-portrait, a sketch of someone from memory, and a sketch of your hand. Once I sat down in front of that mirror I just couldn't bring myself to start. All of the sudden the blinds looked so dirty and I felt like I had to get up and clean them, and I needed to throw in another load of laundry, maybe get water boiling for dinner....ANYTHING but sit and try and sketch this silly thing. So I'm sitting there just looking at myself and laughing at the mirrior, thinking, "There is no way I can take myself serious enough to actually do a self-portrait." But alas, I started and giggled through basically the whole thing. And that's when I realized that most of creativity is about having fun anyways, so I decided to enjoy myself and the goofy ape-like picture I was drawing. Feel free to laugh along with me as you look at these. Don't worry. It won't hurt my feelings. ;)

And if you can't read it in the picture, I titled this first one...

"1st terrible self-portrait".

This looks nothing like my Gramma. All I kept thinking while drawing these first two was, "We look like apes! We look like apes!"

This last one was the only slighty decent one.

Anyways, I hope you guys got a few laughs out of those like I did. I found myself being very shy with the pencil, wanting to only use very light strokes. I guess I thought that makes it look better despite a complete lack of skill on my part. I'll have to keep you updated on the drawing I can fit in to my somewhat spare time.

I'm super excited to make this for dinner, then B and I are going to bundle up and head to Grounds for Coffee for a poetry and music night. Sipping on a warm chai sounds yummy for this pregnant momma. I was skyping my mom the other day and realized I'm getting a little chubby pregnant face. Ohhhh the joys of giving birth to children. haha And I'm only just starting to learn. ;) Hope ya'll have a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

The air quality seems to be particularly terrible this week. From reading around the internet I've gathered that the inversion is now considered a state of emergency and pregnant ladies should not go outside. So, after my field trip and grocery shopping today, I will be staying inside. B usually has long meetings Thursday nights, so I like to keep myself busy. While I have plenty of work to get caught up on, I also have a few books I picked up at the library yesterday that I want to dig in to.

I often complain about wishing a could at least have a tiny talent for sketching. Words are one thing, but I've always been a bit stupified when it comes to articulating visual images on paper. One of the gals in my creative workshop told me about this book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Since the workshop is starting up again soon I figured I'd better expand my horizons of creative dabblings. I picked it up yesterday and I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm supposed to keep a folder with all my attempts to complete the exercises from the book. If I get the courage, and this actually works, I'll have to share my new found talent with you guys. ;) I'm hoping this works so I can incorporate it into the workshop somehow, since I like it to include all forms of art.
Wish me luck! ;) 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Commonplacing & Nonsense Writing Part 1: The Commonplace

There is a tiny writer in me that comes out every once in a while, either against my will, or with much kicking and screaming involved. I know, those two are total opposites and don't make sense together, but it's just what happens. It's the love hate relationship of any writer. (And by the way, I don't be any means claim to be a grammarian, but a tiny writer, so if you find misplaced commas or sentences that don't make sense, just know I'm not losing sleep over it. haha)

Anyways, with my creative workshops starting up again soon, and the School of Worship Arts that starts this next week, I wanted to set aside some time to be creative and write. And since I've made several comments about commonplace books and nonsense writing, I thought I'd share with you this time.

"First we read, then we write." -Emerson

This is a book, quote, and philosophy of writing that I hold to. The simple idea is that any reading we do in magazines, dictionaries, letters, fictional stories, theological books, the Bible, or anything at all, we can react to with our experinces and thoughts, resulting in our own notes. Little notes taken in the side margins of books or any body of writing is called marginalia. That's where I got the name for this blog: my notes in the margins of life, from a (hopefully) renewed mindset. You can pick up almost any book on our many bookshelves and know immediately if I've read it or not by scanning through the pages and looking for notes in the margins. If there are none, than the book has probably never been read by me. haha This is why I don't like borrowing books from people or the library because I can't seem to the break the habit of sprawling ink all over their pages.

The first book I ever remember annotating (taking notes in) was C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. The storyline in this book follows a lot of the book of Matthew from the Bible, so I couldn't help but continually make connections between the plot and characters.

In the above picture you can see my little notebook on top of the bigger one. These are called commonplace books, and many thinkers (great or not-so-great, depending on your opinion) used them to record thoughts, and later organize them into larger bodies of work. Some of these people include Jonathan Edwards, D.L. Moody, Emerson, Pascal, and many, many others. Honestly, most artists or writers of any kind that you look in to probably have a commonplace of some sort. Go pick one up today and start practicing. When I started my creative workshop I brought one for each person in the class to begin using that day.

Things to include in your commonplace:

- grocery lists
- quotes to remember
- thoughts and reactions to things you're reading, movies you're watching, conversations you're having
- creative writing ideas (many of my poems have started as one liners in my commonplace)
- books, essays, or poems to remember to find and read
- phone numbers or addresses to remember
- recipes
- Bible verses
- things God is personally revealing to you
- notes from meetings, sermons, Bible study groups
- interviews (I write articles on the side for various magazines, so this has been helpful)

For the most part, my commonplace is full of my own thoughts and reactions to things, but these are some other ideas to include to help you get started. Here are a few notes quickly taken in my commonplace:

3/22: "'Being an artist is not a higher calling than being a Christian.' I need to remember this!"

3/23: "The person God wants me to be is so much more Christ-like and better than the person I want to be. The person He wants me to be will accomplish so much more than the person I want to be can."

4/2: "'Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.' -V Woolf Reminds me of God creating and bringing the world into creation and order."

10/15: "'Ideas carried out stimulate more ideas.' -The Hidden Art of Homemaking (WOMEN: READ IT) by Schaeffer pg. 49" (I always include page numbers for quick reference if I ever, and often do, include quotes in bigger pieces of writing.)

Whatever your art, photography, writing, painting, gardening, stay-at-home-mom and homemaker, keeping a commonplace will help out your creative process!

In my next post I'll go over what nonsense writing is, and what mine looks like.

Happy reading and writing!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A boyish nature nursery.

You know that when you hardly have the energy to scroll through Pinterest you really are getting sick. :(

Or it could have something to do with the twenty three-year-olds I chased after all day. And the one dramatic bloody nose that resulted in ending the day in chaos. I felt like I was breathing germs in and out all day long.

Despite feeling worn out, I managed to come home and do my new favorite Denise Austin Fit & Firm Pregnancy Workout. I have NEVER enjoyed any form of a workout routine. In high school I was always a runner, so running a few miles a day was my quick workout. I seemed to have developed some pretty bad lower back problems over the past year due to a past job, genetics, and simply living in this fallen body, so I've been ordered from doctors to no longer run. Sad day for me, as I said before, because I HATE workout routines. I've honestly exercised more during this pregnancy than I have since the last high school gym class I was forced to take. So it's really saying something when I say I truly enjoy these workouts, Denise Austin's encouraging voice, and feeling tired and stretched out afterwards. :) Also, I find that she uses VERY comfortable positions for working out all the different parts of your body that could probably very easily be carried over into post-baby workouts. I talked about my other pregnancy work outs that I enjoy in this post.

Now that my tummy is thoroughly filled and I'm wrapped up in several warm blankets in bed to fight off the painful cold chills, I am doing a bit of nursery decor hunting around on Etsy.

I've decided to go with a forestry theme, many neautrals and greens, so I can easily change it up for the next baby or a baby girl. I want to include some botanical prints like this one.

I am a butterfly collector, as in I collect dead butterflies in glass frames. haha Sounds a bit morbid, but I think they are beautiful!! I really love any framed bug. I think I got my love of these from my love of James and the Giant Peach as a kid. Needless to say, I also love this vintage butterfly print.

A gorgeous beetle print.

Maybe a collection of specimen jars and feathers like these.
I'm also going to incorporate forest animals, like owls, foxes, porcupines, and squirrels. Oh my goodness, I really do have so many ideas in my head! I guess I better start picking and choosing as I'm about to head into my third and final trimester with this boy! I just want two things for this baby room: lots of things that I can change up and use again (which is why I'm using neutrals) and I don't want it to look too, too babyish (meaning no mint green or baby blue).
Keep your eye out on some fun things you think I could use in the baby room! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fighting a cold while pregnant...

My parents are on their way back to Colorado Springs right now, and I haven't seemed to be able to pull myself away from the kitchen table for very long this morning. It's probably due to three very busy days in a row, but I'm exhausted and praying I'm not actually succumbing to the cold this season. I've accepted that livable exhaustion is probably going to be the new normal in my life for the next eighteen or so years, but this added sluggishness from the start of a cold is no fun.

 Since I'm pregnant and too tired to look in to what I can take to fight a cold, I've decided to stick with my tried and true remedy: Aztec Sweet chili tea loaded with honey (yes, I know I'm not technically supposed to have this). This spicy, sugary goodness coats your throat well. The last two times I've felt a cold come on I've also squeezed a few oranges by using my favorite fruit juicer, but we didn't have any on hand this morning. I like to think I'm naturally getting tons of vitamin c this way. I'm a semi-all-natural fan (haha) meaning I truly have fun reading up on natural healing methods in my spare time, but I am by no means strict about it. These are just two of the ways I usually fight colds, and so far this season they have worked.

I'm thankful for the awesome maternity clothing sales we scored yesterday! I truly hate the idea of spending so much money on clothes that will only fit for about four months, but just this past week I was realizing how short all my regular shirts were getting, and since my students only talk to me and stare at my belly, I figured it was time to start looking for some deals. And we found some! (Another silly pregnant story: I've been using the rubber band trick to keep some of my regular pants up, but when I went hiking in the cold Friday, I only realized once my butt was half frozen that this trick failed and my pants had fallen down!! HA! Good thing we were in the forest!)

A friend recently told me how comfortable H&M's maternity pants were. It truly has been hard to find any maternity pants for me since I'm petite, and even the smallest ones I found at Gap (see below) make me feel like I have a poopy diaper on sometimes. I do looooove the true denim feel of them though, and the demi panel is my favorite!!

Anyways, I decided to take a peek in H&M to see if I could find any maternity pants. Low and behold, there was an entire two racks full of $10 maternity pants! They were skinnies, and fit so well! They are now my favorite brand of maternity pants I've been able to find so far. I also debated between getting some shirts that were on sale in a bigger size so I can just wear them after pregnancy, or just sticking with the regular maternity shirts that were the same price, but I could only wear for the next few months. After we decided I resembled a boat in the oversized shirts, I stuck with the cute, tailored maternity shirts. My mom also found some great deals on a maternity sweater and smock dresses at Gap (have a mentioned that my mom always seems to be able to smell the hottest deals at soon as we walk into the mall?), which will be much appreciated in this colder than usual Utah winter.

 I love a lot of Gap's matenity clothes because I've found you can just add a belt to the waistline and you can't even tell they are maternity clothes! My closet usually consists of mostly basics and classic styles so that I can wear them season after season, and mix and match the colors that will never go out of style. It truly was hard for me to recently buy a purple belt, when the same one came in olive. I'm trying to do the same with maternity clothes so I can use them again in the future.  
By far my favorite thing that my mom found yesterday was this adorable bib. Love it!
Alright, enough of my ramblings from the weekend! It was such a huge blessing that my family made that quick trip down to see us. God knew ahead of time and cleared B's and my schedule for us. He's sufficient like that! ;)

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11


When we were deciding on starting a family, something I thought about often was how it's God's design for a husband and wife to be blessed and mulitply, and since He loves families and desires for families to grow, He's going to take care of families. I can't express how thankful I am for both sides of our families to come around us in support like they have. God is such a good provider emotionally, spiritually, and physically, and He has reached out to us in love through our families and our extended church family. God is faithful to His plans.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


Hello! We've had quite the busy weekend around here. My parents decided to make a last minute trip to Utah from Colorado. My dad had surgery on his shoulder a few weeks ago, so he was tired of sitting around. My mom is starting a new job, and my brother goes back to school this week, so they decided it would be the last time in a while they could all make the trip. I was so, so excited! :) So we spent yesterday shopping for things for their new place and had dinner. Of course, my mom and I are doing the girly thing and going shopping today. :)

In the midst of our converstions yesterday, I mentioned wanting to find some maternity overalls. Brian's sweet cousin sent me a few, but I think my belly is going to expand a little more than they can hold. Ha! My mom and my husband gave me a strange look last night when I said I really wanted some. Buuuuut...they quicly changed their minds once I showed them these cute overalls! (I know everyone else out there probably thinks I'm crazy too. But I put the ones one that I have to clean the house in the other day and they were SO comfy!)

You can find these cute, green ones here.

My hubby said he wanted me to get them, so I'm pretty sure he likes them now. ;)

Anyways! Off to hang out with my momma! Hope you guys are having a fun weekend!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

It happened.

It totally happened. I fell in love with my little boy today.

I know someone reading this will say, "Well, yeah! You better love that kid!" and I knew I would, but it just hadn't....happened yet. Does this make sense to anyone? When I first found out I was pregnant I had someone actually tell me not to feel bad if I didn't feel love for this baby right away. And he's been (literally) growing on me, but today it's like I realized for the first time how much I really love this kid. (On a side note, I feel bad calling him a kid all the time. My gramma even said, "Lexy, you're not having a goat! You're having a child!" But since we haven't settled on a name yet, there's only so many things to call him!)

I stashed the pictures from yesterday's ultrasound in my book. When I was on my lunch break at work today they happened to fall out on the table when I went to grab my book. I just so happened to glance at one of the profile shots and quickly thought, "Huh, he looks like my brother did when he was a baby." And then it clicked! Just like that! I don't even know how to explain it or why really, but I loved this baby so much more!! I just starred at the picture for the rest of my lunch break, thinking about how he looks like my mom and brother. I think he has their nose. :)

Am I crazy? Or is it amazing to everyone else that our kid is going to carry different traits of both my family and B's family? That is just amazing to me! All in this one little, unique human being. I just can't wait to see all the different parts of the two of us that God has chosen to use to make this little guy! What a blessing!

I had to share this picture (to the left) of him sitting with his hands tucked under his tighs. So silly.

Oh baby!! :)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Journal for Baby

I don't normally like talking about my secret little writing projects, probably just out of fear of being a vulnerable human being and writer, but I wanted to share this one.

The very day I found out I was pregnant with this little one I headed to the book store to find a new journal. I'm still not entirely sure of the point of this specific journal, since I have so many I keep (four that I can think of off the top of my head), but I knew it was for baby.

Most of my writing in this journal focuses on the 'firsts' of this pregnancy: the first time I felt him roll over in my tummy, the first time B said he loved our little boy, the first time he got to feel him kick, how awesome it is to hear my husband pray over our little guy at the dinner table, all those adorable things. I've been reading through the book of Proverbs a lot and really praying through specific areas for this little one, so I've recorded that too. This is also a place where B has recently expressed interest in wanting to share some of his fatherly wisdom, which I know God is equipping him with. So I guess it's a love letter of sorts from mom and dad to baby, toddler, youth, and eventually the adult that's growing in my womb. I plan to do one of these for each of my kids and give them as gifts at some point in their life. We also want to get them each a bottle of wine from the year they were born to give to them on their 21st birthday. We got that brilliant idea from a couple we know who does the same thing.

I also plan on keeping a family commonplace of sorts. I'll do a more in depth post on what commonplaces are and how to keep them. But my plan for this family journal is to be a manna book, a place where we can keep track and look back on the ways God has shown Himself to us or provided for us as a family. This is something the kids can contribute to as well. It's also going to be a place to keep track of all those funny things little kids say, as well as drawings or any other creative efforts they feel they want to share.

I first got this idea in my American literature class in college. My professor was huge on commonplace books and keeping notes, which is where I developed my love of the same practices. He shared a book with us, Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa, which is a short journal Nathaniel Hawthorne kept for two weeks as he looked over his little boy while his wife was away. I immediately ordered a copy and have since included it in my list of favorites. It has many sweet observations about little boys by a father, hilarious conversations that make no sense, and many other parenting moments captured on paper.

I can't resist sharing this tiny quote from little Julian, complete with a boyish lisp and all, showing what the Bible calls faith like a child:

"'I'm tired of all sings, and want to slip into God.'" pg. x

If only I could remember the constant art of slipping into God in the midst of all the crazy things of this earthly life. Adorable. Little Julian is adorable.

I figured I'd better do a baby bump update since we did the big 3D ultra sound today. All went well. My calculations say I'm at 22 weeks, but everything else is saying 21 I'm sticking with mommy's intuition. ;) Again, this baby proved to be very chill, like his daddy. I've unfortunately continued to stay in much pain throughout the night despite my attempts to make myself comfortable and going in to see the doctor last minute yesterday. I found out today that's because I'm carrying very low. He should have moved up by now, but the little cutie has found himself a comfy spot and he's not moving. He was sucking his thumb at one point, and at another point he looked like a little person just sitting in a chair. Usually you see babies with their hands up by their face or head, but he was just sitting with his under his thigh. So funny! I hope it's normal that some parents laugh through the whole ultrasound because that's why I was doing today. I love seeing the personality in this little guy already! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Exhausted & daydreaming

I believe it's somewhere between 8 and 11 degrees outside, which is why I'm inside with a PB&J, and a creamy tea latte that B made.

I've been showing B some of the stuff I'm learning about photo editing through online tutorials.

I'm pretty exhausted after several nights of not sleeping due to a growing belly. I'm not at all a side sleeper, so not being able to sleep on my back is so uncomfortable, to the point that I've just ben laying awake all night with an upset stomach and an aching tummy. Blah.

Anyways, enough of that prego-talk. I've mustered enough energy to do my two favorite things around the house: laundry and cooking. Yes, laundry truly is one of my favorite things to do. And since its so cold out, I think this weather calls for many blankets, bowls of chicken noodle soup, and grilled cheese for the rest of the day, so I'm slowly preparing some homemade soup.

Meanwhile, all the icicles, single digits, and frozen over car windows have caused me to daydream about summer time. One, because I'll have met this little baby boy who is in my womb by then and will be able to cuddle him. And two, I can sit on my porch in a summer dress and my favorite summer shoes!

I am a HUGE lover of clogs. Clogs for all seasons: summer, fall, spring, and winter. I bought these J-41 Jasper clogs two summers ago to take with me on our honeymoon. I wanted something that I could wear casually with shorts at the beach, or dress up with a sundress. I'm not sure I will ever be converted back to flipflops. I wear these all summer long. They make you feel pretty when you're in the garden pulling weeds and half covered in dirt. ;)

These are some sweet Moheda boots. They makes lots of adorable clogs for all seasons. These seem to be their boot version for the winter. There is a giveaway going on over at Tales of a Young Mama, so maybe I could score these to make it through the rest of this ridiculous winter. ;)
I hope everyone out there reading is staying warm! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow Day: Round Two

Even though the sun is out and it looks beautiful outside, I don't have the energy just yet to bundle up and go push all the snow off my car. So I'm staying inside for yet another day. 
I'm very particular about my morning routine. Coffee with half and half, Bible, notebook, prayer journal, bagel, cream cheese, prenatal vitamin, water, and Greek yogurt with chia seeds. Every morning. I love breakfast. :) Anyways, after all that is done, this is usually the pile of books and notebooks left on the table between B and I. I love this routine soooo much that I would rather have to get up two hours earlier if I have somewhere to be in the morning, and not feel rushed through my routine, than have to skip it.
What else do you do on a snow day? My mom and I were talking yesterday about how never in the seven or so years that I have lived here has there been a snow day. And never when we lived in Alaska and walked to school in the 20 below temps, along side moose (yes, this is true) did we ever have a snow day. And never in the harsh Pennsylvania winters did we have snow days. But now I've had two in a row, and I'm starting to not know what to do with myself.
So here is my list of things I've decided to do on this snowy day (after my morning routine, of course):
Pregnant Pilates: Ha! I have loooved these! A friend told me she did them through her whole pregnancy, and I figured I may as well do something to keep me in shape. I am so not good at working out, and I've honestly worked out more being pregnant than I have in a few years. But still, I don't do it as much as I should. Today, however, I did!
Clean the stove top: Boring housewife things like this usually include lots of white vinegar and baking soda to scrub off that boiled over alfredo sauce from last night.
Make Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies: I don't like carrot cake, but B does. So I wanted to make him a healthy, vegan snack. He isn't home yet, so I still don't know what the verdict is. ;) I did brave making my own ground flax for the first time for these though. Cleaning my coffee grinder to do it always seemed like such a hassle, but after trying at failing at grinding the flax seed in the food processor, I had to clean it. It actually wasn't too bad.


Once B gets home from work I'm going to see if he'll take me out to one of my favorite coffee shops in Ogden, Kaffe Mercantile. A littel birdy told me they are doing free scones with all their drinks this month, so I guesssss I could bundle up in a giant sweater for that. I also plan to get two nonsense pages (I'll explain these more later) written, and hopefully a poem will develop out of that. Then I plan to come home, light some candles, and cook up some dinner for us and some friends!  
I hope everyone else out there is enjoying their Saturday! :)

Friday, January 11, 2013


It always amazes me how much of homebodies B and I really are...

For Christmas, B wrapped up a journal we keep for each other, with a piece of twine and had a little note in it about packing my bags for an overnight stay. After cooking breakfast Monday morning (more biggest craving these days), making his lunch, and questioning him several times on why he wasn't in his work clothes yet ("I just want to look sexy for breakfast"), he finally said, "You should go get ready." He then explained that he had the next two days cleared off for the both of us, found a substitute teacher for me, and had a short, but sweet list of things we could go do in SLC.

I think I cried three times before leaving the house. I was so thankful for my husband who, after a few rotten days of watching bme be self absorbed, was being so nice to me. So yes, I cried three times. :)

Anyways, I was sufficiently *cherished* by my husband on Monday and Tuesday. I probably even cried some more on the way to SLC. I'm going to blame it on all the pregnancy hormones. I cannot believe the wave of emotions that has come over me in the last few months and caused me to lay my head on the dinner table and just sob, usually for no specific reason at all.

In case anyone out there is wondering where two breakfast, book, coffee loving nerds like to hang out in the city here's out list of stops:

The Salt Lake City Public Library : Had to hit up Salt Lake City Roasting Co. on the way in to find a comfy seat to hunker down in for a few. My pregnant drink and food of choice was a white chocolate steamer and a cheese stick. Ha!

 Anyways, after much reading and writing, I decided to meander down to the adorable shops in the library, and lost my keys somewhere along the way (the only set of Volvo keys we had...oh well).

The Armstrong Mansion: This was our main destination for the evening. We've stayed here once before and really loved it. Each room is theme decorated after all the months in the year. My sweet, sweet B got us the February, complete with a spiral staircase that leads up to a jetted tub overlooking the city.

Everyone is going to think we're pretty lame, but we really read in bed and looked at blogs for the next three hours, waiting for our tummies to get hungry enough to head out in the cold again. But with an awesome staircase like that, who would want to leave the room?

On a side note, their breakfasts at this place are delicious! B and I seriously are breakfast lovers. I think we spent most of our honeymoon breakfasting. Almond cinnamon rolls, homemade granola, and cream cheese stuffed French toast are just a few of our favs that they serve here.

The Bayou: We hit up my first ever bar!! Haha Being pregnant and barely 21 means I drank a few sweet teas and ate some wings while watching my hubby enjoy a snobby beer.

Bruges: Gourmet waffles stuffed with pearl sugar and topped with buttery cream? Yes, you will most likely find us hanging out around this place!

The Rose Est.: Besides Starbucks, this is really one of the only coffee shops in the city we loved hanging out at all day, and believe me, we've searched and searched for coffee shops to hang around in the city. We spent the better part of Tuesday morning sipping americanos and, you guessed it, reading!

The Beehive Tea Room: You better believe we didn't leave SLC without stopping at my all time favorite tea room. Lilac tea, spinach and artichoke crescent sandwiches, and wild rice soup are both of our usuals. We sipped and nibbled between the turning of pages. :)

All this considered, I was prompted to write a somewhat somber note in my Commonplae after returning home from our mini vacation. Here it is:

1/9: "It's amazing to me how often Solomon's words ring true from Ecclesiastes. This week on our getaway, even with a spiral staircase leading up to a hot tub in a room that cost a few hundred dollars for the night, after an intimate day with my husband, after a full tummy and treats to indulge in, being warm, provided for, and in a comfy bed, my thoughts in the middle of that luxurious night still turned to, 'Is this really all these is to life?' Endless coffee shops, meals, and lounging around still resulted in, 'All is vanity!' Having 'my hearts desires' on this earth was and is vanity!"  

Some may think that note depressing, or maybe even insulting to my husband who planned this lovely suprise. But rest assured, I shared my feelings with him on the drive home and he agreed. It shouldn't be so shocking that he agreed. Our hearts desires cannot be sated in earthly things. It's not that either of us were ungrateful for one last desired getaway before baby arrives, but we just don't put our full hope in those things. I'm grateful for reality checkes like this, and the hope I have in Christ that moves me out of panic and confusion when the fleetingness of life is realized, and into trust and hope in truth.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:2+3

Needless to say, we were both very happy to be home in our little dollhouse. And now thanks to the snowstorm it looks like we will be happy and homebound for a few more days.