Saturday, January 21, 2012

Act 2; Scene 26: Fabric-y Flower-y Wreath

I finally, FINALLY finished my fabric flower wreath project.

The flowers and the wreath have been sitting on my bookshelf for months as I tried to find a spare minute to think about how to arrange them.

Well, yesterday was that day. Slowly but surely I WILL do more DIY! 

I think it brings a lot to our kind of sorry apartment door:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Act 2; Scene 25: Packing Lunches

I have so many memories of sitting at the counter and watching my mom pack my dad's work lunch. My dad usually had kind of strange work hours, and often it would be right after our own lunch that my mom would take down the giant blue lunch box (really, it looked more like something you could pack a small family picnic in) and get to work slicing home made bread (also another wonderful childhood memory) and packing all sorts of things in sandwich baggies and tupperware. Occasionally I even got to help bag things or help make a sandwich. That was a big deal--no one makes sandwiches as good as my mom, at least according to my dad, so it was a special day when I got to help with the actual sandwich.

I also have many memories of my dad coming home late from work, and asking my mom if she was trying to starve him. Since he had only had a sandwich piled high, a yogurt, a banana, some chips, some cookies, some carrot sticks, and some peanuts. He couldn't survive on just that!!! Mom would find a way to pack even more of a picnic into that giant lunch bag of his.

You know how moms tend to get really busy? Well, sometimes my mom would be busy and wait until the last-ish minute to make my dad's lunch to take to work. That of course made my dad a little nervous, especially because anything less than a giant lunch box caused him severe hunger at work.

I remember one of those busy mom days, sitting at the bar watching my mom fly around gathering lunch items. I said to my dad, "Dad, why don't you just make your own lunch?" thinking that my mom might join in with me on that note. My mom just said, "Well, your dad and I kind of have a deal. He goes to work for us every day, and I make his lunch." And that was that.

I don't know if they ever thought of it as a "deal," or if they even had ever discussed it like that before. And I don't know if my mom knew how much that little sentence impacted me. From then on I saw lunch-making in my house a little differently. I saw my mom and my dad working together. I saw my mom serving my dad so that he wouldn't "starve" at work--so that he would have an awesome meal every day that he had to go to a job he hated. I saw lunch making as something very special.

The idea of making lunch being a most special service was only amplified when I got married. When I was student teaching, I would leave at 6:30am to catch the morning bus, and often wouldn't get home till around 9pm at night. During that semester, Robert got up at about 6 every morning to make my lunch for me and make sure I got out of the door with everything I needed. At first I used to feel guilty about him packing my lunch every day, but as this continued I viewed it as one of the most special things of the day--opening my lunch box to see what was there, and being so grateful every lunch hour for Robert's kind service.

Now that I am the one mostly at home, I get to pack Robert's lunch every day. It is still amazing to me how wonderful it feels to be able to provide that little service for him. On the occasional day that he has to pack his own lunch for whatever reason, I feel jipped and sad that I couldn't do it for him, even though, in his own words he's "a big boy" and can take care of himself. And in the mornings when I am rushing around busily trying to get everything ready to leave in time and he is already done, he doesn't ask about making his lunch or try to usurp it. He knows we have a deal. And he accepts.

I hope that someday I get to say to my "tween-age" kids "Well, your dad and I have a deal. He goes to work for us, and I make his lunch." And I hope that they can catch the packing lunch bug from me like I did from my mom. :-)

Happy packing!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Act 2; Scene 24: Kalua Pork on a Sunday

The other week, Robert was saying he sure would like a meaty Sunday meal. 

Well, I took that to heart and decided to try Kalua pork for today's "glamorous" and "meaty" meal. 

Last night we rubbed sea salt all over the pork loin (well, Robert did that part--that kind of makes me sick) and then poured the Mesquite marinade on it and stuck it in the crock pot to slowly simmer for the whole 16 hours it was supposed to take. And then we went to bed.

And it almost killed me.

All night long I lay awake with the smell of rawish meat and Mesquite marinade permeating our apartment. I almost threw up a couple of times. But mostly I just lay there nauseous trying to cover my nose with the sheets or put my face in to Robert's back or anything that would help me keep that smell away! What was I thinking? Kalua pork?!?!? I wasn't sure if I'd be alive to eat it the next day, if I could eat it at all.

Robert woke up and said "Mmmmm it smells good!"


Fortunately, with a little breakfast and a trip to church to air out my nostrils, I was feeling much better by lunch time, and it was smelling better every minute. I am happy to report that the dinner was a success. The meat just fell apart when we took it out, and was so juicy and succulent. We ate it with some brown rice on toasted tortillas with lime juice. Delicious! I was so happy that it tasted good and I felt like eating it. That is very good considering we have a ton left over. 

I really should have taken a picture of our delicious pork, but I didn't. I know the blog has been sadly lacking pictures lately. So how about this picture I took of us today lounging after stake conference:

If you look really close, you can see the strange rash that has been showing up around my eyes lately. Thankfully my glasses hide it pretty well. But isn't my man a stud?!?!

Here are few more pictures to look at--my Broadway Bound kids (5-7 year olds) at the December performance. They are pretty awesome!

I just love how Jacob seems to be looking right at us, mid-kick!
That's about it from here. Apparently our baby is about the size of an apple this week. I am told that I shouldn't be sick or queasy any more at this point (15 weeks--almost 16). I am looking forward to that coming true. Come on, little apple...no more messing around! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Act 2; Scene 23: A New Year with New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

I just love the idea of a brand new start with fresh goals and looking back at accomplishments. I was taking a look at last year's post here and thinking back on how I did with completing my goals. Although not perfect, I think I did better at being on time or early to anything I needed to be at. I am happy that I have read more books for pleasure during 2011 than I have since I started college. I would still like to spend more time each day pondering. Our family goal also went well--there were only a few mornings all year that we missed our family morning prayer.

As I reflected over the past year and pondered about what I want this year's resolutions to be, I realized what a huge thing is happening to us this year. We are about to embark on the biggest, longest, most life-altering adventure of our lives: parenthood. And yes, a million trillion people have done this but nonetheless, this is a big, BIG deal. As soon as you have a little person of your own that you are responsible to care for and pay for and clean up after and raise, you are officially an adult. Really? Sometimes I still feel like I'm 16 years old. 

I told Robert that now is the time to think about things we want to do as parents. And thus ensued a car ride to the airport of me spilling all of the ideas and traits whether big or small that I want to be a part of our parenting. I figure I'd better get cracking at turning into the kind of person I want to be as a mother :-). So here are a few New Year resolutions for this crazy, event-packed year:

1. Less complaining, more gratitude

2. Make more lunches and dinners

3. Keep up the weekly exercise

4. Take time each day to ponder

And our family goal this year is to go on a vacation--once where we actually have to travel somewhere--just as our own little family. Before or after the little one arrives. 

Happy New Year Resolution Making!