Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful...

I probably won't be blogging tomorrow since it will only be a matter of time before the tryptophan (you know, the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy... NO, I am not hooked on perscription meds) kicks in, and I'm sure I won't be getting a whole lot of anything done besides hanging out with family and reflecting on what I am thankful for, which is necessary from time to time.
We are all headed over to my parents house tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner and I have been assigned to mashed potato duty (probably because I make the BEST mashed potatoes you've EVER had in your ENTIRE life), as well as making the pumpkin pies, which is what I'm doing right now...The real pies are in the oven but this is the little pan full of the extra "batter" that wouldn't fit into the pie crusts. I remember my mom making pumpkin pies when we were little and we had these little glass custard dishes she's pour the extra batter into. The pie itself was always off limits to be used for whatever special occasion it was baked for but it was always a mad dash to the kitchen to see who could get the most bites of the tiny extra "pie". Well, I'm making 4 pies so my extras really probably could have filled a 5th crust, which I do not have, so the smallest casserole dish will have to suffice. I was wondering, is there such a color as "unbaked pumpkin pie batter"? If so, it's one of my favorites.

As far as being thankful is concerned, I feel like I don't even know where to start...

- I am so very thankful for God and the ability to know Him. I shutter to think of where I would be or what my life would be like without Him.

- Family of course. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with the people that surround me in my life - especially the one I'm married to, the ones I carried around for 9 months and birthed, the ones who raised me, and the ones I grew up with. No one is perfect but they are all perfect for me.

- Friends - I won't name names for fear of leaving someone out but, I will say that I am continually blown away by God's goodness in this area of my life. Some friends are just that - friends - people who you enjoy, who you talk with and share with and who's company you enjoy, whether it be in person or from afar... yet others are much more, so much so that the word "friend" does not seem to do your relationship justice. I am thankful for ALL my friends but there is a separate and special welling of my heart (and eyes at times) when I think of those with whom my life is so connected.

- Art and the creativity... I know people are made different, and perhaps if I were made to be left-brained and enjoyed order and predictability and math, that would be ok... but that is indeed NOT how I was made and for that I am thankful - oh MAN do I hate math... just ask my mom :) (NO offense meant to those of you who are left-brained - WE NEED YOU!!!!!)

- Health... it only takes a few days of being sick with your kids for good health to shoot right up towards the top of your "thankfulness list". :)

- Starbucks

- Poppy jasper

- Dark chocolate

- Super fine Sharpies

...I know there is a TON more I could list but I should probably stop there for now. :)

On an unrelated topic, some of you who are particularly savvy within the blogoshphere may begin to put this together but, without giving too much away, I wanted to tell you that I will be embarking on a SUPER exciting collaborative endeavor with one of my VERY dearest friends and I cannot wait till we have enough of it worked out that I can share it with you! Till then, mum's the word! ;)

I hope and pray that you all have blessed and WONDERFUL Thanksgiving celebrations, filled with rest and reflection, family and friends, and plenty of stuffing your faces with pie. :)

Thankfully,
Emily

Monday, November 24, 2008

On the mend...

When the inhabitants of your home are sick, it's strange how time almost seems to stand still... or draaag by at the very least. I feel like it's been FOREVER since I've been able to do anything more than just lay on the couch, with the occasional jumping up to clean up somebody's puke. Today is the first day that I feel like everyone is really starting to feel better. We've eaten, we've kept it down, and we've painted fingernails. Things are lookin' up.FINALLY,
Emily

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sick day...

Last Saturday night I was awakened by the sound of Sophie crying and crying. I went downstairs to investigate only to find that she had gotten sick and was quite covered in, well, you know. My husband and I made an agreement early on in our adventure of parenthood: He deals with blood, I deal with vomit. But of course, it's nights like last Saturday night that make me re-think my position. Regardless, it needed to be dealt with so I was up, giving a crying, shivering 2 year old a bath at 1:30 in the morning, and then up 5 more times, 2 of which resulted in the changing of sheets and jammies AGAIN.
After that night, she really seemed to be on the mend and with the passing of a few days, I was positive the rest of us were in the clear, save for a few runny noses. Well, apparently I was mistaken as this morning as Lillie and Isabel were getting ready for school, I hear Lillie shouting up to me "MOOOOM! ISABEL'S PUKING!!!!". I stayed home today with the 2 younger girls (normally I teach art at my kids' school on Fridays so Isabel and Sophie stay at my parent's house) and it turns out it was good that I was able to stay home as it seems I'm not feelin the greatest now :(To top it all off, my mom brought Lillie home and informed me that they had tried to go to a movie but had to leave early when Lillie threw up in the theatre bathroom.UGH. I HATE BEING SICK. I never thought I'd say this but it's probably a good thing Gabe's been out of town this week. Hopefully he'll side-step the bug.

Goin' on 4.5 hours since anyone has puked...
Emily

UPDATE: As of about 10 minutes after I posted this, the "puke-free" count had to start over...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scarf it up...

So, it may already be apparent but, just in case it isn't, I thought I'd let you know that I am a scarf girl through and through. The above photo is the bulk of my collection (the ones I wear most often, and/or didn't give away to people or my kids). I wear scarves as OFTEN as possible and think of them as articles of clothing, rather than just an accessory to be used in conjunction with a winter coat. I think my love of Fall may be due in part to my aforementioned scarf obsession... nothing unhealthy though...right???



Here's a pic of me modeling the most recent addition to my collection, a two-toned circle scarf (this pic doesn't do it justice but I would describe the colors as sort of brick red right above the perfect shade of peanut-butter) I purchased from Miss Rachel of "rachelfixed" of etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6179869). Miss Rachel has facilitated my first experience with the "circle scarf" and I'm wondering how I ever managed before this discovery. Oy Vay. :)

I'm seriously considering wearing my new scarf to bed as I heard it's supposed to be 8 degrees tonight - that's right... 8. I've already cranked up the space heater and I just may need a quick cup of tea before I hit the sack.

ch-ch-chill-ily,
Emily

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #10"...


This is a shot of the couch in my basement as it looked Wednesday afternoon. (PLEASE pay no attention to the color and style of the couch itself - beggers can't be choosers when they're just starting out and someone offers them their entire old livingroom set for FREE. I think I'll add "New livingroom set" to my list right below "Dishwasher").
After posting about dishes last week, I figure it only makes sense to move on to laundry this week :) I don't mind doing laundry, but I feel (like many other things I guess) that it's one of those things that I can never EVER finish... just as soon as everything is clean and folded, I've got 3 more full hamper bags waiting for me. Ugh. Such is a day in the life of a "Domestic Goddess" I suppose... I just keep wondering when the day will come when I will ACTUALLY get to lay back and eat bon-bon's all day like my brother thinks I do.

Happily,
Emily

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sweet...

We had ice cream RIGHT before bed last night. Why you ask??? Because we lost ANOTHER tooth, that's why! (well, Lillie lost the tooth, but she shared the ice cream) :)Happily,
Emily

Monday, November 17, 2008

BREATHE...

I don't really want to get too much into the details of the Holiday Boutique I took part in this past Friday other than to say that it didn't quite go as well as I had hoped (compared to the amount of preparation involved prior to attending). It's hard to put your stuff (which may as well be yourSELF) out there, only to see people flock to the "direct sales jewelry girl's" table. I'm sorry if my pieces are a bit more expensive than that stuff but... no... I'm not sorry. Each and every piece I create is made from start to finish by my very own hands, from the initial saw cuts to the final polish, and if I don't value what I do, no one else will either. I may not have had a particularly "fruitful" day on Friday but I got to get out of the house, I got to spend the day with my mom (ALWAYS a good thing) and hopefully, some of the business cards I gave out will turn into future orders (though I'm not expecting to hear back from the 3 year old who I gave a card to in order to distract her from grabbing anything and everything she could get her hands on) :)

I did end up selling a few pieces and if any of those lovely ladies happen to be reading this post, THANK YOU!!! You have no idea how much you have warmed my heart!!! It's one thing to love what I do but when I see someone else loves it too, there's just no describing how that makes me feel!

Here are some pics from the show... rockin it like we do...

A common pose believe it or not...

Left side of the table...

Right side...

Me and my mama (you'd never guess she's a Grandma would ya!?)... she wore the pieces my dad had me make for her for Valentines Day (necklace, ring and a bracelet hiding under her hand). She was a SPECTACULAR model...

Happily,
Emily

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick update...

This will be a super short post as I have MUCH to do before tomorrow but...

I just returned from visiting the hospital. I wasn't able to go see Blake but I talked to his parents for a while and they are doing MUCH better than they were a few days ago, mostly due to the fact that Blake is doing much better... Still a long ways to go but making strides every day... a more complete update to come...

Also, as soon as I finish typing this, I'll be tying up all the loose ends and getting everything ready for the Holiday Boutique I'll be attending tomorrow! Lost of work-from-home ladies getting together to show off their wares... I'll write afterward with pics and full details...

Chiao for now!

Happily,
Emily

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #9"...

This is a shot of my kitchen sink. I hate doing dishes. If someone were to ask me what my very least favorite household chore was, before they would even be able to finish their sentence I would blurt out "DISHES! No question". I think the reason I detest it so much is because when Gabe and I were first married, we lived in a tiny apartment with a tiny kitchen. With it just being the two of us, we didn't use that many dishes, but as I had not developed the aversion to walking by a sink full of dishes, I had no problem watching half the sink pile up, then the other half, then the surrounding counter space, till we would literally get to the point that there were NO clean dishes left in the cupboards, thus making dish-washing necessary. Since I would let it get to that point, it would always turn into like a 3 hour dish-washing marathon, at the end of which I was soaking wet, I had a kink in my back from having to stand for so long, bent over ever so slightly to achieve a proper dish-washing position, and with a kitchen table (and counters) full of sopping wet dishes (like I was gonna take the time to TOWEL dry them all!). An experience just as horrific as it was traumatizing. Now, I can hear you asking already - "Emily, why didn't you just use the dishwasher???" well, I did, on occasion, but it was a crappy apartment dishwasher that left nasty (and PERMANENT) hard water stains all over my deep cobalt dishes and lovely new silverware. Now, picture the above scenario repeating itself every few weeks for the first 2 years of my married life and you'll understand how deep these scars really are, however self-inflicted they may be... I decided early on that I would NEVER want to live ANYWHERE that did not have a dishwasher that was in proper working order.
After the apartment (which was out on the East Coast), we had just had little Lillie and we decided to move back home to the midwest, and instead of jumping right into a house of our own, we thought it would be a good idea to rent for a while first. We heard about a little house that was owned by a friend of the family and we were told all about it before going to check it out. Size sounded great. Price sounded great. Location sounded great. Gabe had all but made up his mind that this would be the place for us. We went to take the official tour and sign the papers and just as we were finishing and getting ready to sign the papers, I suddenly had a sinking feeling... "I know I walked through the kitchen but I don't remember seeing a dishwasher!"... I RAN back into the kitchen and sure enough, I was right. AHHHH!!! "It's ok Em" I say to myself "this is only temporary till we find a house of our own that will absolutely POSITIVELY have a dishwasher..."
We lived in that house for only about 8 months, during which time I found out I was pregnant with Isabel - SURPRISE!... We started looking at houses off and on while we were renting and Gabe and I were having a hard time agreeing on any houses we both really liked. I'll put it this way, I wanted a cozy old farmhouse with tins of charm and hardwood floors. He wanted a single-level ranch house with no fixing-up required. (FYI: Being pregnant and house-hunting don't mix well.) Long story short (or at least not as long) we found our house. Gabe seemed thrilled, I liked the big master bed/bath. We decided to go for it. We were looking through the house one last time while contemplating our offer and upon final inspection of the kitchen, I couldn't help but be struck by one minor detail I hadn't noticed before... NO DISHWASHER!!!!!! WHAT THE?!!???? WHO the HECK tries to sell a house these days without a DISHWASHER?!???? I actually remember crying about it (though I'm sure the pregnant thing may have had something to do with that).
So, here I am, almost 6 years later, STILL no dishwasher, and I have FINALLY trained myself to do the dishes as often as possible. With 3 kids, who would eat just as much food as you put in front of them and then some, I could LITERALLY do dishes anywhere from 2 to 6 times A DAY... though, a few of those kids who eat so much, have almost reached "dish-washing height"...

Happily,
Emily

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you...

(photo courtesy of arlingtoncemerery.org)

There are no words to express how thankful we are for the sacrifices you have made and continue to make to this day, in the name of freedom and its preservation. You have protected and preserved, fought and given of yourselves in a way many others would not be strong enough to. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Emily

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please pray...

I debated whether to post this on my blog or not but I finally decided that the more people who can be praying about this, the better...

(Photo courtesy of the Sioux City Journal)

On Saturday morning, my cousin Blake was in a terrible car accident along with 4 fellow high school wrestlers and their coach. They were in the black SUV shown in the picture above and were hit by a minivan who's driver did not survive. Here is a link to the story that was in the local paper for the details...

http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2008/11/09/news/top/e70e9b1032a4325e862574fc00117b42.txt

I am posting this because I believe in the power of prayer and that God is still in the miracle-working business today, just as he was when His son Jesus walked the earth. I believe it's a miracle in itself that Blake survived the crash to begin with and I KNOW that if God is able to preserve someone's life, then healing their body is not beyond the realm of possibility.

We are praying for you Blake and I KNOW you will recover.

Emily

Ladybug picnic...

...right here on my porch apparently! These pics were taken the other day before we had snow and temps dropped down into the teens overnight (which apparently caused these tiny dotted buggies to migrate INTO our house). These little guys masquarade around as cute little ladybugs but in actuality, they are Japanese beetles, and they bite. They are ALL OVER the place around here as they were brought in to eat the bugs that go after the soybean crops. Funny though as there are no soybeans at my house...


I noticed this little guy just as I was getting the last of the birthday cookies packed up into zip-loc bags. I told you they are everywhere. Don't worry, Rex (our German Shepherd) got this one. Apparently his begging was not in vain.Happily,
Emily

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A little this, a little that...

We had our first snow of the year yesterday and after going from 73 dergees one day to 32 the next, it's really got me thinking, What do I like about cold weather???

In no particular order...

1. Not having to shave my armpits quite so frequently.

2. Going to Starbucks and ordering a hot drink, and not getting that "WHAT the???" look from the barista and several people in line behind you like the look you got when you ordered the same thing on the hottest day of the august.

3. Scarves.

... I'm sure there will be more but those are 3 that popped into my mind at the moment.

Also, I would like to dedicate the rest of this post to my father. "Yes Dad, I am capable of being domestic" (cookies for Isabel to take to school on her birthday)...

All the proper tools...


Frosting and sprinkles...


The final product...


He wanted one bad...

Happily,
Emily

Friday, November 7, 2008

My middle-little lady's turnin 5...

Just a few days old...

She picked the pose and you can blame Uncle Matt for teaching her this one...

Oh, my dear sweet Isabel, where do I start??? If my three little women were a little sandwich cookie, you'd be the perfect little smidgen of cream in the center. You never cease to amaze me with your spunk and creativity, and I am so thankful for the sensitivity that God has blessed you with, a measure of compassion well beyond your years. My heart wells at the very thought of you. You need so many hugs and kisses and I count it the highest of privileges to be the one to fill that need - soak them all up little bug.

Happy 5th birthday little lady. I love you sooooo much and I hope you know just how very much you mean to me.

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #8...

This weeks post is a shot of the wall in my bathroom right above the loo. (Yes Mom, I know the pictures are crooked. I've tried to straighten them multiple times but for some reason, they just keep ending up all wonky). I think the thing that sticks out the most to me in this photo (and really, generally, every time I walk into the bathroom) is just how much I dislike the fact that my bathroom is so stark white. This would explain the second photo...

...the paint swatches I've stuck next to the door to help me decide on the perfect shade of green... and of course, referencing a certain prior blog post of mine, where it was discussed that a certain someone had been forbidden to pick out paint colors on her own after a certain "red basement fiasco", rest assured that the certain someone will be asking her hubby for 3 or 4 "pre-approved" color options to choose from before heading off to purchase paint, just to be safe. ;)

Happily,
Emily

PS Guess who was the VERY FIRST customer to get to try a new holiday flavor from her local Starbucks in a festive red holiday cup the night before they were even supposed to start serving said holiday flavors to the general public??? THIS gal, that's who.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gimme a "V"...

For some reason my precinct doesn't feel it necessary to provide it's constituents with "I Voted Today!" stickers but you know, whatev. I don't need a sticker to validate what privilege it is for me to exercise my precious right to vote as an American citizen. As I walked out of my polling place, I must admit that for a moment, I felt as if I could cry - not out of sadness or fear, but out of thankfulness and pride. I am an American and I cannot begin to explain to you how proud it makes me to be a member of this great Nation. Voting is the least I can do.

So proud,
Emily

UPDATE: Look what my honey brought home for me after he voted this evening... :) He loves me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When you give a boy a costume...

Growing up, my family didn't really celebrate Halloween per say, but every year, our church would have a party where kids could dress up in happy costumes (no goblins and such), play games, eat hot dogs, and get tons of candy. We went as kids, and now, its so fun to get my kids dressed up and have their turn to party! This year, the party was held the Wed prior to Halloween and, since we don't really get into the "trick-or-treating" thing, and my brother Chris had his little girl Halloween night, my mom decided to have a little party at her house to give "the cousins" (the collective term my niece uses to refer to herself and my girls) a chance to dress up again, make mini pizzas, watch the new Tinkerbell movie, and of course, get more candy. Here are the lovely ladies in their respective costumes...
Lillie: "Princess"
Isabel: "Lion"
Tennaiah: "Butterfly fairy princess"
Sophie: "Skunk" or "Little stinker" as she is lovingly referred to at times...





Now, all that said, if you know anything about my family, you'd know that we love each other to pieces, but tend to give each other a hard time any chance we get. Now, for this next picture to make sense, I'll give you a bit of a back story... There are 4 of us kids: Me (the oldest), my brother Chris (2 years younger than me), and then my Brother Matt and Sister Allison (twins, 2 years younger than Chris). I'd say that of our 2 parents, mom is the one that has a measure of creativity she has a lovely alto singing voice and you should see some of the cakes she's made and decorated in the past - gorgeous and DELICIOUS. Dad on the other hand, not so much. Even though we didn't come from an overly "artsy" family, all 4 of us have our areas of artistic strengths and talents - I make jewelry and I love to draw and sing. Chris is the page designer and main graphic artist for our local news paper, and has a spectacular eye for detail and design, as well as a proficient musician, playing the drums and the bass. Matt is a painter and is venturing out into actually getting paid for the large scale religious art he creates, as well as an accomplished drummer. And Allison? Well, Allison is a dancer. Now, I know as soon as any of my family members read this (namely Chris and Matthew), they are automatically going to assume that I am making fun of her in some way, or trying to belittle her talents when I most certainly am not. She is extremely talented, especially in the area of tap-dancing, and can smile with the best of them. She can hardly keep her feet from tapping on a daily basis and, though she's not doing anything with it these days, she should be. She still has all her dance outfits and tap shoes from back-in-the-day, and often takes them out to reminisce over them.
Having explained the back-story, I jump forward in time to This past Friday night. All the little girls were dressed up and Chris and I decided that we needed some costumes for ourselves. I donned an orange wind-breaker and an old telephone and instantly became my grandmother repeating her signature telephone greeting "Hallooo-Hallooo! (you'd have to actually hear it, and know my grandma for that to really make much sense). Chris found the hat from an old tiger costume from our childhood and was... a tiger. Matt informed me that he was going to need help getting ready before Allison arrived, which instantly intrigued me. I asked "What are you dressing up as?" and he just smiled and said "Allison". I went upstairs to help him get dressed and as you can imagine, I was laughing so hard I was crying by the time he was ready. I tried to compose myself but all it took was to hear him tapping down the stairs to re-ignite the hilarity. The following are a few shots of the resulting shenanigans - you may want to avert your eyes...


Still laughin' and cryin' about it...
Emily