Monday, December 31, 2012

I Grew Out My Hair

Not only did I spend the year growing a human (aka being pregnant), I also grew out my hair.  Again.  There are several bloggers out there who have recently done posts on how to do this.  I just let my hair grow.  For the first couple of months, I took scissors and trimmed the back myself to keep it from looking rather mullet-y.  Other than, I just let it do it's thing.

There you have it!  A whole year's worth of growth crammed into one blog post.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Two Years

I can't believe it, but we've now been in our house for two whole years!  While a complicated pregnancy had prevented us from doing the remodels we'd hoped to do this year, we have grown to love this house more and more.  Noah's room (paint and bookcase) and the kitchen had major changes made, but other than that, everything pretty much still looks like it did last year.  Well, and the nursery, which you are forbidden to see until after our little one arrives. 

Home, sweet home!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Conversations with Blair::Noah Edition

Blair:  Noah?   Noah....Noah.....Noah.....Noah.....Noah....Noah....Noooaaahhhh!

Noah:  What, honey?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Boy and His Hat

The Crud has hit.  Blair had it last week.  Noah and I have it this week.

So, we went to the doctor.

I insisted he wear a hat.

He chose mine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

That Night

It wasn't silent.  It wasn't calm.  Or clean.  Or easy.  Young girl.  Dirty cave full of moldy straw and animals.  Their noise, her noise.  

Young girl.  No midwife.  No familiar female face for advice.  Just the knowledge that she was chosen.

Then the noise of a baby.  It was beautiful.  It was sweet.  

God entered the world in an unusual, beautiful, humble way.  

Please take the next two weeks and focus on this beauty.  Let it fill your mind and heart in preparation for Christmas morn.  Remember the Child that came for you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Comfort in a Bowl

Also known as:  Homemade Soup

I love love love soup in the winter, and homemade soup just can't be beat.  Soup is the perfect quick meal when you need one, and I love to pair it with either my mama's cornbread or my mama's quick muffins.  If you think about it in time, soup can be put in the crockpot (to be smelled all day!) or it can be quickly boiled on the stove.  Now, while I do keep a couple of cans of chicken noodle on hand for those rare times when Blair and myself are both sick enough to not feel like cooking, I really really prefer homemade.  

Homemade soup does take a little more of your time, but it is so good.  It's easier if you keep these ingredients on hand like we do (no trip to the store), but if you plan in advance you can pick things up with your weekly groceries.  Here's what I threw together last week on a whim (meaning I forgot about planning for supper until the last hour). 

Whatcha Got Noodle Soup

3-4 cups chicken (vegetable) broth this depends on how soupy you like your soup.  Also, I pull mine from the freezer because I refuse to buy broth, but Swanson does still work.

1 (large) carrot stick, peeled and thinly sliced scrapings and end pieces go into a bag in the freezer to use in making more broth (because I deplete my supply rather quickly in the winter).

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced the ends of this also get frozen for later stock-making

3 ears of corn already cooked and cut off cob Leftovers from Sunday lunch.  This came from my parents' garden, but you could also use a couple of cans of corn

1 1/2 cups (?) of zipper peas these were also leftovers (and from our garden), no idea how much I used.  Any kind of pea or bean would work

2 finely chopped dried tomatoes store-bought ones work, too, if you don't have any in the freezer.  Oven-drying tomatoes is actually a great way to easily preserve that excess of tomatoes you may have in the summer.

1 TBS dried parsley

Dash of salt

However much pepper you want

About 1 TBS bacon grease totally optional.  This was saved from the last time I cooked bacon.  I keep it in a Mason jar in the fridge.  I promise it's not gross.

Pasta  this is up to you.  Whatever kind you want.  However much you want.  I used spaghetti.  I used about as much as when I make spaghetti for two people, but broke it into two-inch pieces.  

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Leave alone for about an hour, or until the carrots and celery are tender.   (Or, put it all in your crockpot and let cook all day.)  At some point during this process, cook your pasta.  When your veggies are done, drain the pasta and add it to the soup.  Bring back to a boil, turn off burner, and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Now, enjoy your comfort in a bowl.  

This is easily customizable for whatever you have on hand or like to eat.  

Quick Muffins

Makes 6

1 c All Purpose Flour

1/2 TBS baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. mayo

Preheat oven to 425.  Stir all ingredients until smooth.  Pour into greased muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  

** You can use self rising flour for this, just leave out the baking powder and salt if you do.  You can also double the recipe for 12.**

Friday, December 7, 2012

Simple, Beautiful, Small::His Room

This is the only decoration I put in Mr. Noah's room.  A simple white tree with red-and-white felt garland I stitched up at the machine.  He's thrilled.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Simple, Beautiful, Small::The Jesse Tree

Humble and gentle, the Jesse Tree is a simple reminder that God has always loved us, and, even from the very beginning, had a plan to save His children.  Twigs and hand stitched ornaments are a daily reminder during the month of December of the One who was born to free us from the bondage of sin.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Knitting

Here's a little taste of some of the knitting that's been going on here lately:

Leftover wool from a sweater I made for myself.  It's so thick and soft.

Leftover organic cotton from a wrap I made for Noah when he was a baby.  A little fuzzy, but oh-so cozy.

Navy blue acrylic from a project I started and never finished.

 Someone's sweet fingers pulled my needles out of this sleeve.  It's a good thing I don't mind picking up stitches.

Light green cotton purchased by my mother-in-law.

The overcast day didn't do this yarn justice.  It's a lovely blue/gray, and I can't wait to knit it up.

Knitting for little ones is so much fun.  You can start a sweater in an afternoon and be done with it by the next evening.  They simply fly off of the needles, and it's a good thing, too, because I still have several things to make before the end of January.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Blessing

Blair helped Noah lead the prayer before supper the other night.  Here's how that went:

Blair:   Dear Jesus,

Noah:  Dear Jesus,

Blair:   We love you

Noah:  We love you

Blair:   Thank you for the food

Noah:  Thank you for the food

Blair:   Thank you for Mommy and Daddy

Noah:  Thank you for Mommy and Daddy

Blair:   Thank you for everyone else who is in our family

Noah:  ...ok

Blair:   Amen

Noah:  Amen

Thursday, November 29, 2012

His Tree

When Blair and I first got married, we didn't really have room for a large tree, so we got a little three-foot fake one to put in the corner each year.  Last year I dragged it out and let Noah use it as "his tree." Last night, he and his daddy set it up.

Right now, it just has the little paper bird ornaments on it that I made last season, but I think over the next few days, Noah and I may make some more to go on it.  He's so pleased.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Surrounded by Projects

There's been much knitting, crocheting, and crafting in general here over the last few weeks.  Most of it is for Christmas, so pictures of those goodies will have to wait until after they've been opened (and hopefully enjoyed) by their recipients.  However, I bound this off the needles last night, and couldn't wait to show you.  The pattern is from here, and is just a bit fiddly (it has been translated into English), but if you've ever done any sweater knitting, all you have to do is follow your instinct.

This is for our little one, and I used a super soft alpaca that I bought several years ago.  I've been hanging on to it (and moving around the country with it) waiting for just the right project.  I finally found it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Day After Thanksgiving

 While I appreciate the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday, it's the day after that I really look forward to.  Not for the sales or the shopping (we make most of the gifts we give), but for the decorating.  I don't do a full-out blitz because I enjoy putting up little touches here and there throughout the month of December, but putting up the Christmas tree is my favorite family tradition.  Pulling down the boxes and trying to remember where everything is may be a hassle (I still haven't found my extra Advent candles), but there's something about turning on my favorite Christmas music, setting up the tree, pulling out the ornaments, and plugging in those lights for the first time of the season that fills me with joy.  I wait with happy anticipation for weeks, knowing that the Advent Season is almost here.  

This year, I finally made the Jesse Tree ornaments I've been planning for the last three Christmases.  All those hours of cutting and hand stitching will be enjoyed one day at a time, as we go through the Scripture with Noah, pointing the way to the birth of Christ, and I chose to give that gift the day after Thanksgiving because of the significance of that day to me. 

Hopefully, when my children are older, they will regard the day after Thanksgiving with the same love that I do.  I want them to have happy memories of putting the tree up after supper and drinking cocoa, but most importantly, beginning the journey to The Manger.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Conversations with Blair: What do you know?

Me:  When's All State octet testing?

Blair:  January 26.

Me:  HAAAAhahahahahahaha!  I hope you make it there!

Blair:  Why? (total panic) What do you know??

Me:  I know we have a baby due four days after that...

Blair:  Oh.  I know that (looking totally relieved).  I thought you had prior knowledge of some apocalyptic event or bad weather or something.  I haven't forgotten we're having a baby.

And today's post is brought to you by this completely unrelated photo:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekending: Chugging Along

Between two late evening rehearsals and being out of town for three days, Noah and I only got to see Blair once this week.  By Friday, we were more than tired of being cooped up in the house together and were looking at each other like this:

Fortunately, Friday was a beautiful day and allowed for some great playtime outside.