Thursday, October 21, 2010

Xavier Cross...October 21st 2010

Here, the trio of pregnant ladies (Heather, Kristen, and myself) act like stereotypical pregnant ladies and fan ourselves despite it being perfectly temperate.
Last night at about midnight, my phone buzzed. (I am on baby watch for a couple of people and have college aged girls with drama that I mentor so this is not in and of itself something that would make me gasp and bolt awake. Thank Heavens!)It was a text from my friend Heather. (Heather is the pregnant lady on the far left, also in grey)"We are in the hosp. and staying...looks like it's baby time!"
We have known Xavier was on his way for about a week now, she's been dilating and effacing and contracting and if nothing happened by Monday it was induction for her. I was overjoyed to see my friend spared the scourge of Pitocin, I was also overjoyed to have Baby X finally here...
See Xavier is a baby I feel very close to, he and the Bean would have been just about a week apart in age. When we lost the Bean, Heather took me aside and said "I wanted to tell you before we tell anyone else, because I am selfishly just heartbroken that you lost the baby, I was so excited to pregnant with you" This woman has been completely unselfish with her growing belly, with herself and her time. While I mourned for the Bean she made sure that I connected with Xavier, feeling his kicks and not laughing at me for assuming X had a special guardian angel in our Bean. She comforted me and spent time with me and was an amazing friend, despite having a a not quite 1 year old at home and working full time!
I am so thrilled to be able to go see them today, to meet the little boy who got to know my Bean before I ever got to. To meet the little boy who spent the latter half of his gestation bouncing in between his mama's lungs and bladder. The little boy who is his brother's Irish Twin (they are a year and a week or so apart! Holy Moly!). The boy who gave me such comfort in an incredibly hard time.

A million congratulations to Heather and Cody and Caden, and welcome welcome to Earth Xavier Cross...we are so glad you're here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Morning Music

(same guy who did "Millionaire")

(Luke used to sing this song to me in the was so lovely to see it live a couple weeks ago and dance together to it)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not so Terribly Hungry Tuesday

I have a sink full of dirty dishes and a whole mess of laundry and I just polished off the leftover mac and cheese we had for dinner last week that was in the fridge AND Colin is having a stereotypical toddler food day wherein all he wants is peanut butter bread, plain spaghetti noodles, and pieces of green apples (oh and cookies, always with the cookies). SO you'll forgive me if foodstuffs don't sound appealing currently:

However Dessert in the form of pumpkin pear crumble always sounds delicious.

Do you think I could convince the suddenly picky eater that combining breakfast and dinner in the form of spaghetti with bacon and eggs would be a marvelous option?

There are a ton of options for the lovely peaches Luke found for me at the grocery store, all available here from Farmyard a CSA and food sustainability program (I discovered them when doing research for my new major, I start school in September 2011!) that operates here in Phoenix.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Myself, Ohio, July 2006

Some days I put the people in their places at the table,
bend their legs at the knees,
if they come with that feature,
and fix them into the tiny wooden chairs.

All afternoon they face one another,
the man in the brown suit,
the woman in the blue dress,
perfectly motionless, perfectly behaved.

But other days, I am the one
who is lifted up by the ribs,
then lowered into the dining room of a dollhouse
to sit with the others at the long table.

Very funny,
but how would you like it
if you never knew from one day to the next
if you were going to spend it

striding around like a vivid god,
your shoulders in the clouds,
or sitting down there amidst the wallpaper,
staring straight ahead with your little plastic face?

Some Days by Billy Collins

Moday distractions....

Colin enjoys a superman swing, October 2010

Dear God, it's Monday again already? oy. vey. I am going to have 2 children before I know it. This morning I am cheating on my healthy eating by having cream in my coffee and a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie for breakfast...mmmm. It tastes like fall, and with our temperatures FINALLY dropping into the low 80s it feels like it! How are you celebrating this GORGEOUS season?

WE are baking pumpkin bread with the pumpkin mash we made last week.

I am really looking forward to the release of this book. Just in time for Thanksgiving, an opportunity to develop a simple sweet tradition of faith and gratefulness.

Meanwhile, my burgeoning belly is making it hard for me to tie my shoes. These lovely ballet slippers might make things easier AND more fashionable!

A sweet card if you're moving across country! Or even down the road... (via the ever fabulous Hither and Thither)

I want to hang this (or maybe a local version of it? oh! project idea!) in the boys room...LOVE IT.

Can I have a shopping spree in here?

And speaking of Mad Men...

LOVE this dress

Beautiful fall style

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Worn. Out.

photo by sister in law Julie, Luke and Me laying in the tall grass, November 2009

why the heck did yesterday feel like it was a week long? Was it the fact that the dog dragged a used pull up out of the trash and chewed it on the front rug making my living room smell like a port-a-potty? Was it the fact that I was frantically rushing around making last minute prep for a baby shower I'm hosting today? Was it the fact that my internal son (as I have been calling him) kept up the cramping experience all day? Was it the fact that I was late for my father's birthday party and had to greet a ton of people I didn't know all whilst corralling my 3 year old? Or all of the above?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15th, 11:30 am

Lately I have kept second guessing my math in regards to where I am in my pregnancy. "24 weeks" I say confidently, "6 months?! You're so tiny!" And then I have to do a quick recalculation because I think "6 MONTHS? That means I only have 3 left? WAIT! SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE." But it is right. I am 24 weeks along and that means I have been pregnant for 6 months, and on some days I will tell you that yes. It feels like it, some days I will say "oh. shit. I have a baby coming in 3 months. Thaaaaaat's not gonna work for me." And as for the tiny comments, oh I love that. I really do. I like to pretend that I am all cute belly and no rapidly expanding hindquarters (so rapid, in fact, that my ALL my pants stopped fitting. OVERNIGHT.)

Colin has realized that yes, indeed a baby is coming (denial! He's so like his mother!) and has refused most opportunities to try parenting a stuffed animal with me. So much for my master plan of teaching the kid to change diapers! Luckily he is coming more and more into his own personality and that personality is amazing and hilarious and oh so good. He's a smart kid and will let you know it. He has realized that EVERYONE was once a baby or a kid like him and does not fail to remind you of that. He is beginning to shed his shy side, which makes me rejoice and get incredibly nervous all at once. I was not a shy kid by any means but I was lacking a bit in "da soshul skills", a wry comment made me seem snotty, an attempt to connect made me seem...odd. I never felt truly at home amongst my peers until i hit college. My son is showing tremendous adaptability that I took 18 years to learn. I think it will be an incredibly interesting thing parent him and figure what to do with a kid who has all the makings of a popular kid!

Babylove is growing, growing, growing, stretching right into my lungs. SISTER MERCY am I ever carrying high! I go in for another ultrasound to check the location of my placenta this week, and to get some stats on him. Week 24 has brought with it some strange pains and pressure heretofore unfelt. Nothing alarming but certainly something I am watching closely.

All in all I am astounded that we are almost there. I have been doing a little nesting (but not to much, we are planning a move a couple months after the baby arrives) and trying to figure out who I have loaned my slings to over the last couple of years so I can get them back! :) Do you have one?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

cracking me up this morning...

A Picky Eater Taxonomy


Simple Woman's Daybook thoughts FOR TODAY
Outside my a clear blue sky, heralding warmer temperatures. sigh.
I am thinking...that 2% milk in my tea is not the same as cream
I am thankful for...the sight of my little boy and my husband walking outside together
From the kitchen...I can smell the last of the chewy granola bars
I am of the last pairs of pants that fit me...and I still have 4 months to go!
I am creating...a whole little person!
I am going...a little stir crazy with the amount my husband has to work lately
I am reading...The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
I am hoping...for a good, productive day
I am hearing...the dulcet tones of Curious George
Around the a lot of laundry that needs to be done
One of my favorite things...Earl Grey Tea
A few plans for the rest of the week...Baby shower for Heather, Dad's birthday party, staff meeting for the 5One, worship night on Friday...whew
Here is picture or thought I am sharing...Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Terribly Hungry Tuesday

(I know, I know, you didn't see this till Thursday, I'm working on getting a posting schedule down.)

Colin enjoying pineapple ice cream at the Dole Plantation in Oahu, August 2010

Tuesday nights Luke works late, generally we go to my mother's place in downtown Phoenix and have dinner with her, but on the nights we are not feeling well or if she's out of town, I like to gather recipes to try out when my non-adventurous eater husband is out!

Baked Lemon Pasta from The Pioneer Woman

Extra Crispy Tossed Potatoes from The Kitchn

Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese from Serious Eats

Mark Bittman's Pad Thai

Velvety Broccoli and Feta Pasta from The Kitchn

Saag Paneer from The Hungry Engineer

Spicy Coconut Noodles from Real Simple

Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons from Smitten Kitchen


Monday, October 11, 2010

Real Life Halloween Decorations

we had some ants decide to come live with us. I hated them so I decided to massacre them with a visit from our ecofriendly, church hookup ($50 off!), all natural exterminators! WHEE!
A tall thin gentleman around 50 or so came over and spread around some ant bait and sprayed our walls, he reminded me a of an older stretched out version of my husband as he explained the natural processes that went into making this non-toxic to animals and kiddos, safe for the environment, pesticide and bait. He explained how the dozen or so crickets I keep catching and releasing are more than just good luck they have been taking out a fire ant colony that sprang up in our neighbors yard that was encroaching on ours! I asked if he was going to spray inside and he said that even though it's not harmful to little ones and animals he would rather not add another layer of chemicals to our house and that since the ants were coming from outside once the outside ants were taken care of the inside ones would just disappear! He praised my use of cinnamon over our doorways and in our windowsills, "that's how my grandmother kept ants out of the pantry!" I totally loved him.

And then it happened.

He was taking a look under our patio furniture ("no one goes to hang out back in Arizona most of the summer, now is the time to check for spiders and other stuff") for the usual culprits and called me outside. He pointed at two round yellowish things stuck underneath a patio chair.
"Those are black widow egg sacs"
"oh that's nothing. There's mama!" He said calmly, pointing across the patio at a largeish black spider (a word of warning if you are squeamish, that's a link to a picture of what our spider looked like exactly, turns out not all black widows tell tale red mark is totally obvious...the more you know!) he had swept aside with his sweepy tool. "I used a fairly toxic spray on her and on the egg area, keep the little guy and the puppy dog inside for a while, I hope you don't mind"
"Are you kidding? Thank you. Couldn't you just stomp her with your boot?"
"Nah, she'll be gone in a minute or so"
And sure enough she was already curling up and rolling around.
I am not ashamed to say I cheered a little.
I'm sure this makes me a terrible Christian. Cheering as a living thing was poisoned and died in front of me...but I won't lie. I'm fine with it.

Thanks especially to our exterminator, who came highly recommended. You were mighty smart Bob and I am glad you insisted on checking the furniture out back. (he found some egg sacs in front as well and some juvenile widows but no sign of "mama" he sprayed and put bait down there too. Check your patios Arizonans!)

Monday Inspiration

photo via flickr user Canonsnapper

Today I am tackling a myriad of little fall cleaning projects around the house, including but not limited to: mopping all my floors, cleaning my windows, and taking our outgrown/never worn/never will wear clothes to the Goodwill down the street! Whew. It's possible I have begun nesting! Meanwhile, as I sip my coffee and enjoy my impromptu cinnamon rolls, let me share these lovely links with you!

More kitchn inspiration! These will be served at a baby shower potluck I am throwing for a friend....

Yesterday on 10/10/10 there were a lot of marvelous things to be found on the web, including this compilation of Top 10 lists!

This urban explorer photoset is spooky enough to get anyone in a Halloween-y mood!

Cute AND handy?!? WANT. (via the ever fabulous Hither and Thither)

Loving? Anything with buttons up the side

I am going to be needing some good winter clothes soon, at 23 weeks my shirts all sort of gap up a little over the belly. How about these gorgeous options?

And of course, fall brings the ever ongoing search for a new pair of glasses!

Out local swap is coming is sure to be chalk full of awesomeness!

What is fall bringing to you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Of late (Colin's point of view)

I handed Colin my camera to take pictures of his day is what he came up with. Not a bad eye!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


(an exercise on appreciating the simple things and posting with regularity!)(A million thanks to A Simple Woman's Daybook for organizing this!)

Outside my a lawn that needs some mowing!
I am thinking...that it might not be to hot to make some bread
I am thankful for...cooler mornings!
From the knead bread in the oven
I am crazy patterned housedress
I am creating...a whole little person! (no crafts today)
I am church for my Bible Study later
I am reading...the 4th novel in the Outlander series
I am hoping...that the cool weather lasts!
I am hearing...Colin building rocket ships
Around the house...are various and sundry messes to be tidied
One of my favorite this cup of coffee right here!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Jack Johnson concert Sunday night! That trumps any other plans... :)
Here is picture or thought I am sharing...My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”- Psalm 62:1

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Of Late...

Since we got to "enjoy" our summer until yesterday I thought I'd let you know what's been keeping us busy in the 100 degree weather. We have gone dragon slaying wearing very little in the way of clothing (except for Daddy's work boots), we have gotten jelly beans for using the potty, we have ridden our bikes with our "best best friend" Romie (also Colin's cousin, or whatever relation it is when your best best friend is my cousins son), when it got to hot to ride (about 5 minutes later) we played in the hose, we have gone to the park and dug cooling off holes "just wike WIONS do dis! In da WILD!", we have been Superman on the swings...
and then the storm came in. It brought a 12 degree drop in temperature, hail, 5 inches of rain, and insane winds that took down a 60 year old tree in my father's front yard. It was awesome.

p.s. I should add that while it was an awesome storm (indeed in the most traditional sense!) it did a LOT of damage to property around the Valley, golf ball sized hail tends to dent one's vehicles. We have several friends that are dealing with a rather unpleasant aftermath of our weather change. For them, I am truly sorry. That sucks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The last week I have been participating in a 30 day encouragement challenge. It's Christian based and geared toward encouraging ones husband but truly it's good practice for anyone in a committed relationship. For 30 days I say nothing negative about or to my husband (that's his handsome mug up there), and at the end of the 30 days a new habit is formed, one wherein I speak kindly and not sarcastically (oy vey with the sarcasm), one where I seek to build up my partner and not criticize, one where I take a moment every day and appreciate the myriad little things the man I married does for me...
It is in this vein that I write a little tribute to Husband Mine today...our little love story.

Mine is not a real love story. Not in that breathless, rapid falling sort of way that a real Hollywood romance is. Mine is an accidental love story, a story that is still being written, still being sung. It is sometimes predictable, sometimes joyful, sometimes raw and wretched, and every so often, if I’m very lucky, it is a story that takes my breath away. It is a story that, without fail, makes me grin and cry a little and feel generally good about the world. It is the story of my marriage after all,and it should make me feel at least a little something.
I met my husband, like so many before and since, in college. I met him before I met anyone else on the massive campus that comprises Arizona State University. It was my freshman year and I had, just 4 months earlier, moved away from home, bought my first car, and escaped my horrible terrible abusive high school relationship (I was about 6 months out from that debacle). Luke was (and is) a solid man. All broad shoulders and rumbling deep voice. I was feeling a bit untethered my freshman year of college and so his firm grip on the earth was appealing. He was (and is) incredibly brilliant, grasping concepts seemingly instantaneously and conveying the knowledge effortlessly and clearly. A born teacher, so meeting him outside the class I was struggling with was kismet. But Luke was (and is) not so good with the ladies. Or people in general, really. Oh dear me, he was abrupt and dismissive. He was sarcastic and blunt. He was downright rude sometimes. And that’s where I came in. I was (and am-sort of)a thin woman who was cursed with the worst eyesight ever. At 18, I was unusual looking enough to be thought of as attractive by a specific sort of fellow. The kind of fellow like him, a sucker for that “librarian” look. I was (and am) a little neurotic but patient. It was (and is) a particular goal of mine to empathize with as many people as I could. And that fumbling grace was appealing to him…So we became friends.
Initially, ours was a friendship of convenience and fortitude. We were able, almost immediately, to talk about everything and anything; to understand each other and when things weren’t communicated clearly we could hash it out with aplomb. We were each difficult to deal with at times, but no one could call me on my bullshit like he could and no one could cut through the withering sarcasm he dished out like I could. We not only tolerated each other, but enjoyed the challenge. Time passed. We exchanged Christmas presents, he helped me move several times. We had the same major (theatre) so we worked together often. We ran in the same circle of friends.
After a long while I met a man whom I was very much in love with but who never seemed to be as in love with me – though he could fake it marvelously. We dated for many years. We lived in a series of small but tidily decorated apartments. We got two cats. And a fish. We got together and broke up innumerable times.Through our breakups, moves, and pet purchases, I would go to the pub with Luke, once a week or so. We would have a beer or two. We would eat dinner. We would talk and talk about everything and anything. We understood each other and when things weren’t communicated we hashed it out with aplomb. We were still difficult to deal with at times, but we loved each other as much as two people could. We just never talked about it. We more than tolerated each other, we enjoyed the challenge and each other’s company. To his credit, Luke never told me outright how much he hated my boyfriend. He was nothing but complimentary and sweet. He was helpful and compassionate when we broke up and faked a genuine happiness for me when we got back together.
When I was 23 I moved to London. It was a beautiful, perfect choice. A beautiful perfect city. My off again, on again boyfriend came to visit. He proposed to me in a characteristically over the top flamboyant way. I said yes. And I called my mother, my sister and Luke, in that order. After the slightest hesitation, he said “Congratulations darling.”
I chose to ignore the hesitation. I chose to ignore the doubt in my mind. The other kisses I stole. The other kisses HE stole. I chose to marry my first husband because that’s what I thought I wanted to do. Why does anyone continue in a doomed relationship? I wanted to be a blushing bride. Even though I was crushingly unhappy.
I planned a simple wedding and picked a beautiful dress. I found a photographer and picked out bridesmaid dresses. I chose to ignore the cheating. I chose to ignore the incessant fighting. I wrote vows that ended: “I promise to love you as much as I can, for as long as I can.” I chose to ignore the prophetic tone.
On the day of “my first wedding” (SPOILER!) I fought with my fiancee. I drank to much to early. I looked out over the crush of friends and family during the ceremony and my heart fell because my best friend Luke was not out there.(He came late. I wonder why...) I danced and ate and didn’t have that great of a time. We went home early.
Months passed and it did not get easier or better. In fact it got worse and worse, on all fronts. My ex was in a terrible car accident that totaled my car, my grandmother died on Christmas morning, my parents got a divorce, and my other grandmother, my Nana, the woman who helped raise me, went off dialysis and began the horrifying slow process of death by kidney failure.
Through it all I was losing my mind. And my ex ignored it. All of it. Any of it that didn’t directly make his life better or easier…At the lowest point (3 weeks after my beloved Nana died in bed, while I was in her kitchen) I sat on my bed, having not left my house in 2 days, I heard the razor whispering to me from the sink.I called my therapist. She asked me to call someone and have them take me to the State Mental Hospital. I was terrified and I called Luke he came to my house, and when I told him I did not want to be committed he took me to the movies.We sat in the dark of an empty movie theatre. He bought me popcorn and a huge soda and sat beside me. He asked me no questions, he let me rest my head on his shoulder. When the credits rolled he said “now what?” I asked him to take me home and he said all right. He said that this movie theatre never had people at it and we could come anytime we wanted and give them some business.And that made me smile. Really smile. For the first time in months.
In April, my ex left me. A week later he called to tell me he slept with someone else. Someone “amazing”. I asked for a divorce. He was surprised. Unsurprisingly. A month after beginning the long slow process of divorce, I sat by my pool with Luke. We talked about everything and anything the way we always did. He asked why, after all these years, and so many other people kissed, the two of us had never kissed. He said it curiously and matter of factly, as though the two of us being romantic in any way should have been the most natural thing in the world.
And because of that I leaned over and kissed him. And it was exactly the way it should be when you’re kissing your best friend of almost 7 years, someone who understands you better than anyone else, someone who grins at your faults and calls you on your crap, someone who has pieced you back together a million times over.It was like sparklers and chocolate cake and the best song you’ve ever heard. You know, like that.
I wish I could tell you we dated for years and years and he proposed in a gorgeous beautiful way and we had a huge white wedding and we settled down in an amazing home and had 2.5 kids and were blissful always.But of course, it didn’t happen like that. When my husband, Luke proposed to me, we were sitting on a couch, and I was 4 months pregnant (an event that is a story in and of itself!). He looked at me, and he smiled that lovely slow grin of his and said “Babe, I have loved you from the moment I met you. Marry me.” I said yes. And I called my mother and my sister. In that order.
We got married on Valentine’s Day. At a courthouse. I didn’t even wear white. And we made dinner for ourselves at our little 2 bedroom house in Mesa, Arizona. We had our first child on April 15th 2007. He looked (and looks) exactly like his father. We are expecting our second son on February 4th 2011.
I wish I could tell you it’s all romance and making up for lost time over here.But of course, it’s not. We have days when all we can seem to do is bicker, when all we do is the laundry. We have days when a short kiss in the kitchen is the only romance I’ve seen in weeks. And the only non nagging he’s gotten in days is a question about work.
And we have a lot of days where looking at him makes me grin wider and laugh louder and feel better than I have ever before. There are days when he looks at me and says “I’m so lucky I got you”. There are nights when our fingers lace together and everything in my life seems to have turned out exactly the way I have always wanted it.
My story is still being written, still being sung. But I can tell you this: A lot of people tell you they married their best friend. That they had no idea until they married their partner what real friendship was. A lot of people tell you: “It’s always better when we’re together”. A lot of people tell you that they are the luckiest sons of bitches on the face of the earth.
And I’m here to tell you that I did marry my best friend, and I knew it, that we are and always have been better when we’re together and that I, am the luckiest bitch on the face of the earth...

all pictures by the lovely Julie Prothro, November 2009

After the Rainstorm Applesauce

me, June 2010, contemplating recipes in my friend Mel's gourmet kitchen

(adapted from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen)

4 medium sized apples, any type (I used granny smith and gala) peeled, cored and quartered (or if you're using what how have leftover from making apple tarts, cut into wee pieces)

the juice of one small rather limp lemon

coupla shakes of cinnamon, maybe a wee bit of nutmeg? go crazy.

coupla sprinkles of sugar (brown sugar always tastes lovely with the granny smith, just sayin')

1 cup and a little bit of water.

dump the whole mess in a pot. bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce your heat to a simmer and let the delicious fall smells permeate your house for about 30 minutes. Mash the apple mush up and serve hot with a little bit of cream. Or package it up and serve it cold for snacks.

Feel virtuous because YOUR 3 year old isn't eating all that sugar in pre-packaged store bought applesauce. Snort at yourself as he plays with his cars he got from a McDonalds run yesterday.

Welcome Fall!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Inspiration...random links edition

photo taken by my beautiful sister-in-law, Julie...Luke, Meg, and Colin, Austin, TX, November 2009

I discovered this mama-to-be's gorgeous blog through her most recent post: a beautiful baby announcement!

Dear Bluebird Vintage Household - you guys are so stinkin' stylish and awesome! I need to get some fashion tips!

In an ongoing effort to do my hair new and interesting ways I am learning how to make this braid...she's got lots of fabulous hair tutorial videos!

These are just so lovely!

I know a lot of babywearing mama's prefer a ring sling but I love a wrap (and given a choice prefer them!), and these are simple and pretty

Maybe I'll whip these up one morning...maybe.

Is there anything Filth Wizardry CAN'T DO? so cute!

I think that these boots are the perfect option for my winter wardrobe. But can I get them already broken in?

Also on my list for my winter wardrobe? One of these, this amazingly cute skirt, and possibly this FABULOUS coal if you please.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Morning Music...newly discovered edition

These sisters have been singing and playing together since they were tiny little gals! If you have seen the marvelous movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" they played the singing daughters of the lead character.

Home to You The Peasall Sisters

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