Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Finished Product

I've had several people ask me along the way what Baby O's room looks like, so I thought I would finally post some pictures. First let me start off by saying how thankful I am to the people who helped get this room ready...Scott's uncle Mike did the painting, my dad and Scott put up the chair railing, and then my dad helped hang some very tricky shelves. I had a vision of how I wanted this room to look and I am pleased to say that it has exceeded all my hopes and dreams. So, here's a few before and work-in-progress pictures followed by the finished project.

This is the awesome bedding my mom made.

So there you have it. I love, love, love my little man's room...and I can't wait for him to get here. My due date is March 25th, so the countdown is officially on now. Woo Hoo!!

Friday, February 26, 2010


I had a post all lined up for today. It had the whole package - top ten list, self-deprecation, and a little inspiration, all rolled up into one for a funny Friday read. But when I sat down at my computer this morning and popped up one of my favorite blogs for a quick peek to start my focus shifted.

I read a lot of blogs...less than I used to...but still, a lot. I tend to gravitate toward Tumblr, because the posts are short and I like to pop in for a little stress relief throughout my busy days. Blogs that are heavy on the reading suck me in, but I just don't have time for that business during the course of the work week. Georgie Girl is one of my favorites, for various reasons (you should see her adorable dog Winston). She's an Australian living in New York and she's currently pregnant with her first child. Here's the post that got my wheels turning:

It's not fair

A little break in my regular schedule of ‘happy’ posts:

Last night on my second trip to the bathroom I started crafting a blog post in my head to whinge about how awful the constant need to pee is. About two sentences in, I stopped. I remembered the stories that I have stumbled across this past week and realized I was the luckiest person in the entire world. I have no right to whinge about peeing three times a night. I have no right to whinge about ANYTHING.

The stories I read involved a woman my age giving birth to her daughter and realizing she has down’s syndrome, another woman’s baby dying in utero at 38 weeks due to a knotted umbilical cord, and the story of a 2 1/2 year old who will likely die very soon after a long battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

Every one of these stories had me in floods of tears. I was crying for the people behind the stories, I was crying at the unfairness of it all and I was crying from worry about my own unborn child (reading these stories as a 35 week pregnant woman was exceptionally difficult).

I’m struggling to understand why this stuff happens. I truly hate the phrase ’it’s not fair’ but you know what? It really isn’t fair.

I recently started reading two of the blogs that she is referencing in her post. The first is Enjoying the Small Things. The post about sweet Nella's birth is here, and I cannot recommend reading it enough. Though I will warn you, it had me weeping by the end. Another story she referenced was that of Layla Grace, a precious 2 year old girl who is fighting through the end stages of neuroblastoma after a sudden relapse. Frankly, that one is almost too heartbreaking to read. Another blog that I read is NieNie Dialogues, a blog written by Stephanie Nielson, a young mother of four who survived a horrible plane crash in 2008, but was burned over 80% of her body and is now managing a life of recovery balanced with being the normal mom of 4 little ones. She is nothing short of amazing. Beyond bloggers I've never met, there are so many people who I do know who have made it through things I cannot even fathom, and come out on the other side with such grace and such thankfulness for the little things in life.

I read these things and find that the perspective they give is so necessary. I am so unbelievably lucky to have normal, ordinary days full of work stress and conflict and challenge. We all battle trials and disappointments, and even the lesser ones do matter, but it's so vital to remember how blessed we are when we are not suffering through life's darkest moments.

I had lunch with sweet Staci this week, and she did something that just blew me away. She had a gift for me, well, for Max & Milo to be exact. When I pulled the tissue paper from the bag, I found the most beautiful quilt. All I could say was "No you didn't" over and over, so profound, right? You see, our talented Staci makes quilts as gifts for new babies, and this group of friends has had no shortage of new babies in recent years! With the two babies on the way, we're going on 8 now! I love each one of my friend-nieces and friend-nephews just as much as you can possibly imagine - they bring me such joy. And of course, this means lots of baby showers and excitement and gift giving, and I love every minute of it. But what my sweet friend thought about recently is that maybe that was something that was a little hard for me, not having children yet, and not knowing if they're on the horizon or not. And though it's not something I allow myself too much time to dwell on, she was right. Her gift just meant the world to me. It was such a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to be so loved and cared about by such amazing friends. Even when my life feels is so full.

I was reminded of that again reading Georgina's blog this morning. Life has so many really big heart-wrenching obstacles for so many people, and the little normal moments that pass unnoticed are really some of the most amazing things we have. Do your best not to miss those today...but go a little further than that...don't miss the opportunities to make a difference to someone who's dealing with the harder moments. I can't think of a more important opportunity in life than to touch the heart of someone who is hurting (however great or small), and lighten their load a bit, even if it's just for a moment.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jesus Killed My Finger

This happened a few months ago, but it's something that has really stuck with me.  Aidan (now 5) came to me one day and had cut his fingernail on something.  I don't even remember how he did it, but it was the kind that goes up and down, and it was down into his nail bed a good bit.  Ouch!  I told him that we should pray and ask Jesus to heal his fingernail, so we did.  The very next day, he came into the kitchen proclaiming, "Jesus killed my finger!"  It took me a minute to realize he was saying that Jesus had healed his finger, not killed his finger.  Sadly, I thought he must have been looking at the wrong finger, so I took a look for myself.  Nope - he was right.  Jesus had healed his finger.  First of all, I absolutely love that God revealed His healing power to Aidan... and to me!  Second of all, why didn't I really believe God would heal Aidan's finger?  I saw a sign in a shop recently that said, "Faith is not believing God can.  Faith is believing God will."  I definitely believed that God could heal Aidan's finger, but I wasn't really convinced that He would.  And boy did He show me!

Now back to that sign... "Faith is not believing God can.  Faith is believing God will."  What are your thoughts on that?  I mean, sometimes we pray for things and God says no.  And He does that because that's what is best for us.  So is faith believing that God will do exactly what we're asking, or is it believing that God will do what is absolutely best for us, even if it's not giving us exactly what we were asking for?  That wouldn't have sounded as good on the sign, though.  :)  Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Blogger just lost a really long post I was almost done with. That makes me sad. I’ll try to re-create it, but I’m really annoyed right now!!!

Okay, so last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, which is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Growing up in the Baptist church, I was never really exposed to the Liturgical calendar. I’m sure some Baptist churches follow it, but I was never aware of it in any of the churches I attended (perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention). The point is that the church Adam and I attend now follows the Liturgical calendar throughout the year, and it’s been neat learning about the different seasons and their meanings.

I guess I’ll digress for a moment and talk a little bit about our church. Since Adam and I moved to Austin in 2005, we have been part of a startup church or "church plant" called Immanuel. Immanuel is a non-denominational church, but it has its roots in the Church of Christ. It started with three couples, our pastors (Kester and Rachel), the Jerkins (Nathan and Melissa), and us. Now we have approximately 30 members. Smaller groups meet in peoples’ homes on Sundays for "house church" - which is basically Bible study, dinner, and Communion - then we all come together to worship on Wednesdays. The idea is that the house churches will stay pretty small to encourage participation and fellowship, so any time a house church regularly has 15-20 people attending from week to week, that group will "birth" (weird term, I know, but it’s better than "split") another house church. So, what started out as one house church is now three, and that number will hopefully just keep growing, Lord willing! Being a part of this church has been quite illuminating for Adam and me. Neither of us ever felt a particular "calling" to the ministry, but we knew when we moved here that we wanted to be more involved in our next church – we wanted to be more than weekly attendees. So we started visiting the larger, more traditional congregations in the area. Meanwhile, Adam got hired at BookPeople and soon befriended Kester - another (if not the only other) employee who was a believer. As we got to know Kester and Rachel better, they told us that they had moved to Austin from North Carolina to start a church. We basically told them we admired their goal and wished them luck! Sure, we wanted to be MORE involved in church, but helping START a church seemed like too big a leap. Eventually, though, we recognized that God was asking us to do this, so we committed to one year on the "core team" to help get things started. It was an amazing time of growth and learning that we are so thankful for. We have since stepped down from any leadership role, but this church continues to be a wonderfully meaningful part of our lives!

As I mentioned at the beginning, until a few years ago I didn’t really know anything about Lent, or Advent, or Epiphany, etc. Honestly, I’m still learning, and I don’t profess to be any kind of Biblical scholar or expert. As our pastor put it, Lent is a time when you give something up, something that you will miss and will be difficult to go without (i.e. TV, meat, caffeine, Facebook, etc.); the absence of this something creates a void, which leaves more room to be filled with God's Spirit and to bring some fulfillment and blessing into the lives of others. I also like how this website puts it: "It is done as a discipline for learning self-control, to free our minds from the chase after material things, to tell ourselves 'no' and make it stick; to identify with Christ's sufferings, and remember what the true pleasures are for followers of Christ; as an act of sorrow over our wrongdoings and our state of sin. Sometimes we don't notice how certain things we do have gained power over us and dictate our actions. In Lent fasts, we discover these things and give them up so that God can be in charge." In the act of giving something up, we open up opportunities for God to bless us and for us to bless others, so by taking something away from your life, you are actually adding something to it.

I admit that my past participation in this season has been lukewarm; I guess I'm still working on allowing it to resonate in my own life. Two years ago I gave up checking at work every morning and I fasted for the three days before Easter; last year I couldn’t even think of anything to give up…Perez’s site was blocked by our IT department, and I was pregnant so I couldn’t fast. This year I’m determined to put forth more of an effort. I'm starting with something relatively simple – sweets (that I can’t seem to get enough of lately!) - and praying that God will illuminate additional possibilities as Lent continues. I ask for your prayers in that and will pray that all of our blog followers will be blessed during this season!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bachelor

The Bachelor is a genius show. You watch once and it hooks you! The drama the intrigue. A real life soap opera. I hear so many people say I am not going to watch another season and yet when the new season starts they can't stay away.

Chris Harrison is an awesome host. He is quite humorous at times. He is from Dallas, TX and has been married to his wife for 16 years.

Now some seasons have definitely been better then others. This season with Jake has had quite a bit of drama. With one of the girls having a relationship with someone from The Bachelor staff. Everyone hating Vienna (I don't like her either) and Ally having to leave for work reasons.

So now it is down to two girls Vienna and Tenley. And I am hoping Jake picks Tenley!

Who do you think he is going to pick?


Thursday, February 18, 2010


My hubby and I went to the NBA All-star game for Valentine's this year. It was a fun night to do something different, and have a grown up night out (Allie spent the night at Randy's parents). As I was sitting there watching Usher, Alicia Keys, Shakira and, of course, the players all perform during the event I found myself underwhelmed...
I thought that the shows were great, and the playing was fine...but I just started thinking- what makes these people so great? At the end of the day, singer's sing and basketball players can put a ball in a basket.
I can't say that I have ever really been a "star struck" kind of person about anyone, really- I guess it is because I always think about how our humanness connects us...let me translate...all of our poop still stinks-doesn't matter who you are! (even the president)...we just all have different things we are made to do...During the show, I was reminded of how perception is what many famous people rely on from day to day, but really who are they? How do they feel at the end of the day when they are laying there in bed about to fall asleep? And of course, this isn't exclusive to famous people- it's to all the end of the day what is it all about? Everything will lose its luster at some point, right? I am not sure where I am even heading with this blog, this may just be a "journey w/o a destination" entry...
Of course, I find hope in knowing that Christ is what it comes down to- not everyone knows or believes that, but once you come to know HIM and find purpose in HIM- you can't deny the power of that in your life.

Maybe I'll have something a little lighter to discuss by next week...Stace

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As you look at this picture, be sure to hum the Olympics theme song - I really wanted to add it to my post, but I couldn't figure out how. Bummer.

Aren't the Olympics great? I'm a big fan. The patriotism! The athleticism! The joy and the agony! Such emotion at every turn. I love the back-stories, too - those profiles of the various athletes/teams that make you so much more invested in their success or failure. Being something of a perfectionist myself (and often struggling with somewhat crippling stage fright/performance anxiety), I can't help but sympathize with the men and women who mess up. They've been practicing and preparing for four years (if not longer), and you know they've done that skate routine or ski run perfectly a hundred times and they couldn't be more ready, yet when it really matters and the pressure is on, it doesn't come together. How frustrating that must be!!! Like the story of the snowboarder, Lindsey Jacobellis, who had the gold medal in her pocket 4 years ago and then fell trying to do a simple board grab on the last jump and ended up in 2nd place. Not the end of the world, to be sure, and she handled her disappointment gracefully, but man oh man, it still had to hurt.

Now that I'm a mom, I tend to look at things through this new filter - my mom filter. Obviously, all of these athletes are somebody's child, and at some point all of these kids decided to pursue a sport and follow a dream. Some of the sports are dangerous and require the athletes to push their bodies to the absolute limit. I know Ash isn't going to literally wake up tomorrow and want to be a downhill skier, but I can't help but think how nervous I would be if he chose something like that as his life dream! Or, more accurately, if God put that desire and leading in his heart. And I guess I just answered my own question. I pray each day that as Asher grows up he will devote his life to God, discover the unique gifts and talents that God gives him, and use them to His glory, so if God leads Asher to be a downhill skier, or a dirtbike racer, or a UFC octagon cagefighter, I'll have the peace of mind that I've placed my child's welfare in God's hands. I can tell already that's easier said than done!

In the meantime, I can enjoy watching all the talented participants in the 2010 Olympiad and revel in the way this friendly competition unites so many countries and nations. Such a cool thing!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Ok so I just got back from a wonderful visit to Texas! Reagan got to hang out with both sets of grandparents! We got to hang out with my neice, Aubrey, my sister and brother-in-law. And we got to celebrate the soon to be arrival of my neice Allyson and Cassandra's baby HaKeem (Mary's name for Baby O)! I got to eat lots of Mexican food including Joe T's with the best friends a girl could have! So all in all it was a great 10 days. Up until I tried to get home! The Dallas area got almost a foot of snow last Thursday. This is totally unheard of and was a record! So this made for difficulty getting home! I was scheduled to fly out at 2:35, but found out my flight was delayed til 6pm. So I decided to head to the airport about 3pm. We were walking out the door when Southwest calls and says my flight is leaving at 3:30. Um what? It was going to take an hour to get to the airport. So on the way I called Southwest and changed my flight to the one leaving at 8:50, but was going to try and fly stand by on the 5:40 flight. Got to the airport to find out the 5:40 flight was canceled. So we went to the gate to wait to 8:50. About 7:00p the gate agent tells me the flight is canceled and so she booked me on a flight for Friday. So I called my parents to come get us and the proceeded to Baggage Claim to get my bags. But when I got there it was in major chaos! Bags everywhere from everywhere. There were at least 200 people in line at the BC office. They even called Dallas police in to help with the angry customers. Definitely not Southwest's shining moment. Mim and dad got there about 8 and we got Reagan in the car and mom tried to help me find my bags. At 9pm I gave up and left. So we had to stop at Walmart to get pajamas etc... Finally was in bed a little after 10:30. Friday the first 2 flights were canceled, but we got on the 12:05 flight and finally got St. Louis about 2:45pm. It was so great to be home! I had missed my husband so much!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

La Bella is not so bella.

So Scott and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day and our anniversary (on the 16th) last night at this little Italian food place called La Bella in Bedford. Usually hole-in-the-wall places like that are pretty good on several levels but not this place. We were definitely disappointed, and here's why. I made reservations earlier in the week through the website of the man who plays the piano at La Bella. I wasn't too concerned about it because shortly after I received a confirmation telephone call from a man at the actual restaurant...he confirmed the date and time and gave me additional information about the restaurant. So Scott and I got all dressed up and headed to La Bella last night...I even wore pantyhose and high heels people! I'm way too pregnant to wear either of those right now. Anyways, so the first disappointment came when we walked in, gave our name, and were then told that they didn't have us down. They weren't too terribly busy and had several open tables but somehow we received the small table at the very front of the close to the front door that I could feel a draft every time the door opened. And so much for a candlelight dinner either...every other table had a nice candle on it but not ours. We actually took one of the candles on the 'hostess' stand and put it on our big deal since we were literally seated right behind the stand and just had to reach up and grab it. The next problem we encountered was the very S-L-O-W service. It took FOREVER for a waiter to finally take our drink order...and we weren't alone either...the table right next to us was having the same problems. I really wish I had timed how long it took everything to come out...from our drinks, appetizer, salads, and eventually our meal. What was really sad was that people who came in after us actually finished eating and left before we did. Our "reservation" was for 7:00 pm and in most cases we would have been done probably no later than 8:30, however we got out of there a little before 10:00 pm. THREE HOURS PEOPLE...THREE HOURS IN PANTYHOSE! (sigh) So that gives you a little idea of how slow the service really was last night. The entertainment was semi-decent...the piano man did a good job for the most part, though it was pretty comical when he would noticeably mess up. Scott and I enjoyed naming that tune though. This place was also a lawsuit waiting to happen...I went to the ladies room and there was water all over the floor. You could tell that they knew there was a problem because there was also a mop in the bathroom. After some investigating I determined that the water was coming from underneath the toilet bowl, so every time someone flushed water would seep out the bottom. Lovely. As for the food, nothing was spectacular, especially for the price. The evening was definitely not what I was hoping for...we totally should have gone to Cafe Italia for our hole-in-the-wall romantic dinner. So I pretty much was not impressed with La Bella. Now I know (and as we learned a long time ago) and knowing is half the battle.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Even in the details...

...God cares!
I was reminded just this week about how God cares about even small details of our lives. My growing little girl, Allie, once was again in need of some more pajamas because she has officially outgrown all but 2 pairs of her pj', I was going to need to find her some more. So I needed to find 4-5 sets of pj's ideally, since I do wash just once a week for her that would cover her for a week- oh yeah, and we only had $30 in our budget this month for extra clothes for it had to be in that price range.

So, I had planned on going to a resale store to look, but decided to stop at Target to see if I could find anything...I did find a set of 2 pj's for $14.99- and put that in my basket. I thought that was a pretty decent price and maybe I could get a few more things at the resale store...then I turned the corner to another rack of random clothes with a big 30% off sign at the top of the I started digging through the rack and came across a set of 2 pj's (the same type of set of pj's I had already put in my basket)...I thought, 30% off is better than what I had picked up so I took the $14.99 set out and put the other set in my basket- and I checked the price tag to make sure it was, in fact, discounted...only to see that the pj's were for $3.47. Wow, I took a double take to make sure, but that was the right price- so I looked back on the rack and found the only other pair of 18month pj's left(with a different design) for the same there they were 4 pairs of pj's for my sweet girl- and for just $ little budget for her could handle that! So, I continued to shop a little- and came across some lined different colored khaki pants on sale for boys for just $ I was able to get our baby boy on the way, Chase, 4 pairs of pants(2-6month and 2- 9month) for just $12.00 bucks. As soon, as I found all of these things I couldn't help but start singing out loud to the Lord kin the middle of Target- Oh praise him, He is holy(a worship song) was such a great reminder of how much God loves me and knows what we need and wants to provide for those needs.

This one-income thing has been challenging at times, but I feel like the past 9 months since I resigned as a teacher to be "a stay at home wife/mom" has taught me so much about how creatively God provides for us. Which, in reality, He has been providing the whole time(even when we had 2 incomes), but sometime having access to extra expendible income can make you lose sight of that supernatural provision...I have come to realize that whatever the Lord places before us(or in our bank account) I am to be a good steward of it...I am thankful for the lessons learned this past year and find myself waiting expectantly for God's next provision for us...makes life fun!

PS- this is just the iceberg of stories of how God has provided a specific need/want for us...too many to blog about today...maybe in the future!

"Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life, more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:25-27

Blessings, Staci

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My friends are random, and so am I.

You know, I can wink pretty well with my left eye, but try to get me to wink with my right eye, and I have to make this awful face to make it happen.  Just thought you would like to know that.

Alright, now on to more randomness.

All of us girls were able to hang out this last weekend, because Beth and Erica were in town to celebrate Baby O at Cassandra's baby shower.  It's so rare that we are all together, and it was so much fun.  Here are some very random thoughts and tidbits about us gals...

We all LOVE Joe T. Garcia's.  But really, who doesn't?  We all LOVE to laugh, and sometimes it's at the most inappropriate and ridiculous things.  That makes it even more fun.  We LOVE the LORD and strive to glorify Him in all we do, as individuals and as a group.  And although we have many things in common, there are so many differences within the group.  And I love that.

A couple of years ago, we got to go on an overnight excursion to Canton.  It was so fun to be around one another for longer than the length of a meal!  During our shopping time at Canton, we discovered that Erica and I are all about the "junk"/older part, while Mary, Beth, and Cassandra are much more into the crafty/new things.  Staci was at home making a baby (this was a couple of years ago), so I'm curious where she would have spent more time.  Staci?  And this brings something to mind... Hey Mary, have you ever hung that fruits of the spirit wall decor thing?  It's only been two years.  ;)

In high school, we (Hillary, Beth, Erica, and I) loved making videos.  Yes, they were on Hillary's parents' giant VHS video camera.  Funny to think about.  Anyway, we would make videos anywhere and everywhere.  One night after Kroger closed, we decided to make a video of ourselves pretending we were a marching band in the parking lot.  I have no idea why.  Mary didn't so much enjoy any of these excursions, but she always ended up with us anyway.  I suppose she thought it was better than sitting at home with her parents.  Well, Beth was always very good at narrating the videos, and her narrations were always quite detailed.  For example, "We're at the Kroger grocery store parking lot in Bedford, Texas."  I guess since we had kept Mary out past her grandma bedtime, she had a short fuse that night.  She got quite irritated at Beth's detailed narrations and Mary's "irritations" are distinctly audible on that blessed VHS tape.  :)  If I can ever figure out how to get those clips on my computer, I'll definitely share.  Lucky Mary!  Differences and all, we had some of the best times... and still do!  Okay, I really have no idea where that story popped into my head from, because I wasn't even thinking about it when I started this post.  Anyway...

Beth - Ah, Beth.  Beth's laugh can truly make a girl feel like she is the funniest of comedians.  I love it!

Staci - Staci has an amazing gift of asking just the right question to get a better glimpse into your soul.  It's a beautiful thing, really.  She also has some serious potty humor.

Erica - She's steady.  It takes a whole lot to rock her, and she always has a good outlook on things.

Mary - Well, I've already told you a lot about Mary in a recent post, but I will add that she would be the most likely out of all of us to be found at a bakery.  Mmmmm, cupcakes!

Cassandra - If Cassandra sets her mind to do something, she'll make it happen (i.e. boycotting Exxon/Mobil for YEARS).  :)  She's a take charge kind of gal.

I am so thankful for this group of friends.  What a blessing!

Mary made this awesome bib for Baby O.  She's been calling him HaKeem for a while now, but we're pretty sure that's not what Scott and Cassandra are going to use.  But maybe...   :)

My friends are funny!

Monday, February 8, 2010

What do we deserve?

The other night at over dinner we were discussing the topic of entitlement. People that feel they are entitled to something. And so I decided to blog about it.

Where does this feeling they we are owed something or deserve something come from? I believe out of pure selfishness. Now I am not saying that I am free from feeling this. Pretty much everyone on this earth has that feeling and thought at some point in life. But I am constantly hearing the phrase "Well I deserve happiness. God wants me to be happy." And this statement just isn't truth. No where in scripture does it say that God wants us to be happy. God wants us to be Holy! Now God is good and loving and wants what is best for us. And what is best at times may be something that does makes us happy, but sometimes it may be something that makes us unhappy. The point is how we take what God gives us. Do we take it and choose to be angry and depressed, or do we take it with thankfulness. That God allowed this trial to take place in our life to bring us closer to Him and to make us and mold us to be more like Christ.

If anyone was ever entitled to something it was Christ. He deserved glory and honor and praise. But instead he took on flesh, came to this earth, lived a sinless life, yet paid the penalty of our sin and died on the cross.

So the question is. What do we deserve? We deserve death! But the good news is that Christ overcame death at the cross!

Happiness doesn't come from people, relationships or things. True happiness is an all surpassing joy that comes from the fact that Jesus Christ died for us and rose from the dead and we now can spend eternity with God in Heaven.

(by the way, the word happiness is only used 1 time in the Bible, and the word Holiness is used 50 times).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Amazing Cucumber

My weekend was super-busy (but lots of fun), and I'm just too tired to concentrate on anything right, here's some "useful" cucumber information:

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. (b/c there's nothing like a good cucumber to replace a refreshing Dr Pepper!)

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!! (WOW)

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber sliced rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. (because everyone has a cucumber handy to do this, right?)

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Good luck...and let me know if you try any of these.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Rosa,

I can't tell you how excited I am about your arrival! When I first saw that you were coming to town, I must admit, I squealed in delight. I called everyone I knew and told them the news, I could barely contain myself! I feared for my waistline, but I knew we could work it out somehow. After all, we go way back.  

Since that day I've been dreaming of your burritos...with just the right amount of melty gooey cheese, beans of the perfect consistency, and a fresh doughy tortilla. Once a week or so, I'll find myself wondering if you've finally made your arrival - only to be disappointed as I drive past to find nothing but an empty shell of a building. This is why we need to talk Rosa. You see, you're taking a really long time to get here. I keep putting off my diet, thinking "Rosa will be here soon, just wait one more week".  That's not working out so well for me. I finally caved one day and drove all the way to Highland Village to get a sneak preview of what was to come...but it only made me wish for you more.

The signs say you're coming soon...but I'm beginning to lose hope. Please don't delay your arrival any longer. Mama needs a good burrito.

Gastrointestinally yours,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I love homemade stuff. I love getting gifts that someone made with their own two hands. I also love to make things for people. I just wish I were better at it. I'm a fairly decent crochet-er, and I own a sewing machine, so some of the tools are there, and the interest level is definitely high. I guess it's mostly a time issue, but there's also the inspiration element. I'm not so great at coming up with crafty ideas - I'm more of a copycat. That's OK, right?

Anyway, the other day I bought a baby gift for a good friend on - a reclaimed wool animal puppet that is so super cute. It also looks super easy to make, and bam! I was struck with inspiration! So I hopped on to to see what kind of crafty instructional books I could find for stuff like this and boy, the selection is overwhelming!!! I could definitely get carried away! Just look at some of these titles -- Paper Puppet Palooza: Techniques for Making Moveable Art Figures and Paper Dolls by Norma V. Toraya, Tasty Crochet: A Pantry Full of Patterns for 33 Tasty Treats by Rose Langlitz, Amigurumi Two!: Crocheted Toys for Me and You and Baby Too by Ana Paula Rimoli, Make Your Own Stupid Sock Creatures, Stray Sock Sewing: Making One of a Kind Creatures from Socks.

So earlier this evening, I took advantage of the fact that my hubby works part-time at one of the coolest independent bookstores in the world, BookPeople, and perused their selection of craft books. I found and purchased (with the wonderful employee discount) two of the titles I had been eyeing on Amazon: Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-Off Socks and Gloves by Miyako Kanamori, and Baby Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo. I can hardly wait to get started! I'll be sure to post pictures of the results. (And fair warning to my friends with kids/kids on the way, don't be surprised if a cast-off sock animal makes its way to your house someday soon!)