Anna’s Nest

Farewell Philly...

4 June 12

In about 2 weeks, on Tuesday January 19, we will move from Philadelphia to Seattle.

Philadelphia – we will miss you so much! Especially all the friends that made it so warm for our family! Thanks for welcoming us, and for the great memories you are sending us away with!

I’ll do a more thoughtful post soon with milestone pictures of our kids while we were here, and some of the things we are looking forward to about Seattle, WA!

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My Love Goes With You

9 September 10

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of our first child, Sarah Grace Marie. (I talk about that a bit here.) To commemorate it, I thought I’d post this song (so beautifully sung by the Innocence Mission on their album of lullabies, Now The Day Is Over that always makes me think of her.

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James B. Warren

13 June 10

Two weeks ago yesterday we got a new addition to our family!
James Baden

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Letting go (*sniff*)

17 May 10

So, it’s not even 10:30 yet, and the laundry is going, the dishwasher is emptied, our breakfast dishes are washed, and I even took some time to attach our new hose to the spigot and give the garden a little watering! Also, I’m dressed!

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Did I Made a Mess?

11 May 10

I really love that finger wag. Sorry about my delinquent posting! I really, really want to write more, and hopefully will at a point very near in the future. In the meantime, please enjoy the awesomeness of Bridget!

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Dear Blog,

16 February 10

Are you still there? I seem to be able to make out a thick layer of dust somewhere back in the dim recesses of my mind, but nothing more than a vague shape…

Okay, so it’s been a little while. Maybe a big while. Maybe I have a lot to catch up…

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Fabulous Simple Skirt Tutorial

7 July 09

I started making a skirt this past weekend, hoping it would be ready in time for me to wear it for July 4th festivities. I used a fabric that I’ve had in my stash for awhile, from one of my favorite fabric designers, the Alexander Henry “Pink Zinnia”…

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Always My Baby

1 July 09

Bridget turned eighteen months old yesterday. It’s tradition that on half-birthdays (we call them “Appreciation Days”) the celebrated person gets to choose the meal, so I picked some of Bridget’s favorite foods. Thus, she feasted on steamed carrots, rice, a fried egg with the yolk broken, and pizza. She actually only ate a couple bites of the pizza – that was more for Brian and me…

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Etsy Yart Sale 2009

13 June 09

And other exciting things – for instance, I’ve been working on some new items for the shop, and just last night finished the listing process for a new print/painting (praint?) Presenting…dum da da DUM…The Cat And The Fiddle!
The Cat and the Fiddle

ALSO, as if that weren’t enough, I am also participating in the 2009 Etsy Yart Sale ….

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Greek Dancer

22 May 09

Holding a piece of pita bread and dancing to the music. Maybe not as exotic as my title suggests, but way cuter.

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Farm Girls

21 March 09

Feeding the Chickens
Bridget and I recently returned from a visit to my parent’s house in Arkansas. My parents both grew up as farm kids in Missouri, and that upbringing/culture still runs strong in their blood. Their house is a paradise for a kid Bridget’s age – like living at a petting zoo!

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21 February 09

Hi guys! So sorry for the neglect. I’ve been in a blogging funk. It seems like there’s either nothing to say or, more often, there’s too much to say and my brain “shorts out” from all the options.


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14 January 09


Haha! No, I didn’t sneeze. CPSIA stands for “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act”, a law passed by Congress that is intended to give the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) the authority it needs to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US (like the “lead in toys” panics over toys imported from large manufacturers in China last year). This is a very good goal.

However, in addition to providing consumers with protection from large manufacturers, this law also penalizes the smaller manufacturers who have already earned the trust of the public…

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Unfinished Business

10 January 09

Team Warren Christmas Card
A Happy New Year to you! I took a rather long Christmas break (longer than anticipated, anyhow), but now I’m back! Yay! Aaaand I have some things to say – things I wanted to say before Christmas, but was a little preoccupied with sanity-keeping…

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Merry Christmas!

22 December 08

I’m going to take a leetle break this week to celebrate the holidays with the cutest almost-one-year-old ever…
A very merry first Christmas

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And The Winner Is...

18 December 08

Dum da da dum….

Rachael ! Congratulations, Rachael! I’ll be contacting you today :u)

Actually, we’re really all winners, every one of us! But only Rachael gets the trees. Sorry, that’s just how it works.

Well, this has been a ton of fun for me – I love give-aways! A lot of work, but very rewarding! Hopefully you guys have had fun too. Let’s do this again soon, shall we?

Thanks for playing!

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Gift Tags!

17 December 08

I’m placing this note before the rants and gift tag linkies just in case you aren’t interested in such things :u) Just wanted to remind you all that TOMORROW is the last day to enter in my super-cool giveaway! Okay, that’s all. Carry on.

So, you’ve either made or bought all of your Christmas gifts by now, right? RIGHT!!!! (And of course all of the gifts I am giving are all together, neatly wrapped and stacked and organized alphabetically by content…HAHAHA!) Alright, I may be feeling the crunch a bit. I have no idea…

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Little Tree Giveaway!

11 December 08

Ooooo! I’m such a loser! I totally stood you all up. I promised to have the giveaway ready today, and you can see how that went. On the other hand, it technically is still Thursday, but I doubt any of you are up obsessively checking my website every minute to see if I’ll make the giveaway available.

Better late than never, though (I hope)!
Three Trees

I really did want to post the giveaway first thing this morning – the trees were done and everything. Mostly done, anyhow. I stayed up late last night and finished them (mostly). But, as you can see, the actual giving away…not so much…

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Awesome Crafty Blog!

10 December 08

I found an awesome website today when I was calming down after my panic episode. Paint In My Hair is just an awesome name for a crafty blog, don’t you think? Check out the free tutorials on the far left – no, I meant the other left. Okay, on the right. Anyhow, there are some awesome tutorials. I totally want to make the crate covers, and I think the bookplates would make really cute gifts along with a book or two, or just on their own (it printed out weird on my printer until I printed from Adobe Acrobat, and then everything was dandy – but it looked fine on the screen so perhaps it was just my printer showing me who is boss).

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Deep Breath. Whew.

10 December 08

Oops! Today was supposed to kick off the last giveaway here at Anna’s Nest. I remembered this late last night (actually, early this morning) around the same time that I realized that I don’t have anything to give away! Double oops!

The plan was that I was going to get some more paper goods up in the shop, maybe some Christmas thank-you note cards or something, and had thought I would surely have them completed by today (with all that time, I was positive I would have finished something). But no. I haven’t even started on them. And by “them” I mean “nothing”. So maybe tomorrow? Is okay with you if I postpone the giveaway…

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Thankful [or, Five Kernels of Corn]

6 December 08

Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry I’m so late – it’s been a little crazy here at Casa Warren of late. I thought about skipping straight to Christmas, but that didn’t seem quite right. Also, I have this awesome picture to share.
First Thanksgiving
Bridget enjoyed her first Thanksgiving meal very much indeed. The sweet potato casserole especially, but everything was met with enthusiasm. And after the meal, she had two doting aunts waiting on her hand and foot. Quite a hit.

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Give-away Winners!

5 December 08

That’s right! I had so much fun, and was so stinkin’ overwhelmed by all the fabulous comments, I’ve decided to pick not one, not two, but THREE winners! Yay! I wish I could give you all a little gift!

So, you ready? You sure? …

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Give-Away Day, 2008!

3 December 08

Wow! Would you look at all those comments?! Thanks for all the giveaway love, everyone! Don’t forget to check out my shop, YourNest, for more awesome handmade-by-me stuff! And check back next Wednesday for the last giveaway in my month of giveaways!

Today’s give-away is…
The Mischievous Garden Gnome Hat!
Did those naughty gnomes leave their hats in the garden again?! It looks like maybe this one got caught on the lavendar bush…
Kntted Gnome Hat

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Weeee Have a Winner!

2 December 08

Congratulations, Rheagan! The atmospheric noise favors you! Thanks to everyone else for playing! There are still two weeks of giveaways to go, so don’t give up now!

I’ll announce the next giveaway on Wednesday (Wednesday’s giveaway will be a one-day only thing, so don’t forget to visit and leave a comment!)

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Give-Away Day Number Two!

26 November 08

So, like I said in my last post, I love giving stuff away. It’s just the bestest ever! Now, thanks to Sew,Mama,Sew!, we have our own special day in December just for that, with it’s own button and everything (which of course makes it official)!

Ahm, in addition to the 25th, that is…

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Salt On The Couch

26 November 08

First, let me say that this giveaway thing ROCKS! I love giving stuff away, and I love getting comments on my blog, so I’m pretty much loving this whole thing. I’ll be back tomorrow with my next giveaway, so don’t forget to take some time to make some time in the middle of your Thanksgiving prep to check in!

Things around here have been a leetle bit crazy. About a week ago Bridget started “self weaning”…

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YourNest Giveaway!!!

21 November 08

My first ever giveaway! Hurrah!!! I really wanted to wait until I had 4 items in my shop – for some reason it just didn’t seem official until all of my little “featured” boxes were full.

AND, what’s even cooler (if such a thing is possible), I’m going to do one giveaway a week…

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Unexpected Delays

15 November 08

We seem to have come down with a case of the runny noses around here. This has, for some reason, not been very good either for blogging or crafting. Quite the zapper of time, this nose-wiping business…

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Children's Museum

12 November 08

Bridget is such a social little gal! Whenever we go out and she sees another baby, she gets crazy excited, and I feel a little guilty pang that I don’t let her out more often. Poor thing.

Enter the Children’s Museum. Last week I signed us up for a membership – hopefully it will be a nice social outlet for her, since we don’t go to any other play groups…

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Nesting Bird Tiny Sketchbook!

11 November 08

Check out the new shop item

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Introducing - Anna's Nest!

10 November 08

Welcome to the new website! Change your bookmarks and RSS feeds, everyone! We have a cool new site with a cool new name!

I decided it needed a proper introduction. The post I wrote late last night, although surprisingly coherent…

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9 November 08

Check out the new site re-design! My web development team has been working overtime on this one! (Thank you, Brian!) Check it out, and make sure to stop by my new etsy shop, YourNest!

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Let Me Help You With That

6 November 08

Bridget is now at the stage in her development where she “unpacks” everything. This is, I hear, a very important stage, but which one isn’t…

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6 November 08

We didn’t go trick-or-treating this year, but I did make a little pumpkin outfit for Bridget. We showed it off at a “Fall Festival” at a farm the weekend before Halloween. A great time was had by all!

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24 October 08

Brian and I stayed up late last night filling out our mail-in ballots. We felt so responsible! I really felt like I was prepared, and knew for what I was voting (unlike other years where I got to the voting booth and tried my best to make sense of it all, but came away feeling like I really didn’t). Also, rather than just voting based on what party the candidates have aligned themselves with (this doesn’t seem like a very good judge anymore), I got to see what they really think about things that I care about and make my decision based upon that.

One thing that really made the difference is our newspaper printed a section that listed the ballot issues (with the legal language, as well as a “plainspeak” interpretation), what opponents and supporters of amendments, etc. had to say (some were pretty lame), and what candidates running for election said in response to various questions.

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Seasonal Confessions

14 October 08

First mistake: I bought a big bag of Halloween candy at Costco. “To be prepared,” I told myself. “Who knows if I’ll go to Costco again in between now and then,” I reasoned. Mmmhmm. You go ahead and tell yourself that, Anna. (That was my imaginary sidekick.) Second mistake: I opened it. What else was I to do? It said “Chocolate” on the bag. You can’t expect me to resist that. And I had to make sure they weren’t stale. You understand. They weren’t, just in case you were wondering. Third mistake: Well, this one is kind of ongoing. Hopefully there will be some candy left for the kids on Halloween.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

4 October 08

Happy Birthday to me! Yesterday I turned a year older! One more year of craftiness under my belt! Woo hoo! I had a great birthday, just in case you were wondering. AND I have a birthday surprise for you all! It’s actually not quite ready yet, but SOON! Soon, soon, soon. Maybe even this week! So, stay tuned, folks!

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So Neglected!

18 September 08

You poor things! I am such a neglectful blogger – leaving you stranded for almost a whole month! Inexcusable, really. I do have one, though. An excuse, that is. I’ve been in another state doing an Extreme Home Makeover in preparation for my sister’s wedding! How about that? I was out of town and I didn’t even tell you! More neglect! I have been also been busy NOT neglecting this little gal: Also, I did give you a nice long tutorial to keep you busy while I was gone. You should have lined curtains spilling out of your cupboards by now. Yes? No?! Well, I say you should get to work! I don’t write these tutorials just to remind myself later on how I did something. Well, maybe I do. But hopefully they help you out, too. Hopefully I’ll get right back into the blogging zone! I have tons of fun projects swirling around in this head of mine – now to bring some of them into reality!

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How To Make Lined Curtains

21 August 08

Sewing Lined Curtains
Making your own curtains is easy-peasy, and making lined curtains is just one step up from the plain ol’ kind (and lined curtains last longer, provide a better screen for hot sunlight, and probably have some other benefits I’m not thinking of right now)…

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Now This Is Just Too Cute.

16 August 08

Daddy and Bridget. Too bad they don’t have fun with each other.

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Shameless Plug

15 August 08

For my awesome SIL! She sells gorgeous jewelry on Etsy at knock-your-socks-off (in a good way) prices! Go forth and check it out!

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15 August 08

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Teething = Ugh

13 August 08

I don’t like teething. There. I’ve said it. I recognize that it’s necessary for growth, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. Bridget seems to feel the same way, actually. Although she is handling sleepless nights better than I am. Might have something to do with regular napping. I like the part after the teething, when they are all cut, and everyone gets all excited and happy and sleeps at night. Bridget actually hasn’t been doing so badly with the teething. It really could be much worse. It’s just that I’m a wimp when it comes to sleepless nights and napless days. She’s had one really bad night so far, and has 2 pearly whites to show for it. Yay! Not so bad, as ratios go. More to come – wish us luck!

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The Magic of Feed Readers, or "What is RSS?"

7 August 08

Warning! Technology is discussed below! Most details are probably correct. But no guarantees.

I keep up with a lot of websites. Probably more than your average person. I might be addicted. But I’m not ready to admit it.

There are my faves, which I highlight in the sidebar of my blog, but there are also quite a few others I visit on a semi-regular basis. This is all made possible by a little gadget called RSS , coupled with it’s corresponding program, called a Feed Reader. I don’t understand exactly how it works, but I don’t need to…

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Popcorn Bloomer Giveaway by Grosgrain!

1 August 08

Lookit the sweet little outfit! Grosgrain just amazes me with her fabulous creativity.

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Hundred Pushups Update

29 July 08

Brian is now in week 5 of the Hundred Push-ups challenge. Tonight he did over 160 push-ups (with a few rests in-between). Amazing, huh? Sadly, I had to withdraw myself from the challenge. Constantly lifting and holding my sweet baby, compounded perhaps by the three weeks of push-ups that I did make it through, has caused the wrist of my left hand to be very painful. I think I strained it, and now I’m wearing a thumb splint to help it to heal (thanks for the great advice, Jenny!). Having my thumb encased in a stiff wrap (gets a bit sticky with the summer being all hot and summery and all) isn’t the most comfortable thing I’ve ever experienced, but not wearing it is decidedly uncomfortable. I did make it all the way up to 30 consecutive push-ups before I wimped out, though. From a gal who started out struggling to make it through 1/10th of that, I’d say it’s not bad! And I’m still going to be in a challenge. I’m just making up my own. Who’s for Two Hundred Sit-ups? Anyone? I could make a website… No, seriously, that’s what I’m going for. Actually, crunches. I’ll keep you updated on the progress. Right now I’m on day one of week one. A bit winded, but I’ll make it. Unless something else gives out.

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Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

21 July 08

Let me just say Joss Whedon is a genius. A very funny genius. Did you wonder what the Hollywood writers did during the writer’s strike? I mean, I know they picketed, but I presumed they didn’t do that ALL the time. And I was right! I give to you (dum da da dum) Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! I’m kind of late to this party, but check it out anyway. Sadly, we just missed the free version, but that’s not their fault, and it’s now available on iTunes! After watching it tonight with Brian, my opinion is that it’s totally worth the four bucks to download all three episodes. You’ll not only be investing in 45 minutes of chuckles, you’ll be investing in the development of this too-long ignored, but quite vital film genre – Evil Villain Musical. Oh yeah. Oh, and don’t forget to read The Plan.

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21 July 08

Welcome, visitors from Tip Nut! What an honor to get to be included among so many other awesome crafty projects (combine gardening with crafting, you say?! Be still, my beating heart!) Thanks for the link!

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4 July 08

Brian and I have taken the One Hundred Push-ups challenge. This is a training program aimed at helping you achieve a goal of 100 consecutive push-ups in 6 weeks. I’m on day 2, and OUCH. You shouldn’t mess with muscles. They remember, and they are not the forgiving type. When I did my allotted push-ups for the day today, they burned like crazy, and almost decided to stop working part way through! But I’m going to do this, because I am a big wimp! See, before you start the training you do this test where you see how many good form push-ups you can get through. Humbling though it is, I will admit it. I couldn’t even get through one. I did do one. Actually, I did 3 (5 if you don’t count resting for about a minute). But they were all very bad form. VERY bad form. Think of bad form, and then think worse than that. That was me, but probably even worse. I was a writhing, wobbly mess, straining to get up off the floor in any way possible, who cares if it’s in the rules. Then I changed to “Girl” push-ups (also called knee push-ups), and I did much better. So I’m doing those. I don’t really feel bad about settling for the easier route, because, for one, they’re called “Girl Push-ups” for a reason. Girls just don’t have the same upper-body strength. Secondly, just over six months ago, I pushed a baby out. So, ya know, having done that, I’m not going to worry about a silly form of push-up. I’m secure in my upper body weakness. The important part is that I improve, right?

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30 June 08

Last night Brian and I watched the movie Ghandi). Watching this amazing portrayal of the life of an incredibly peaceful (while at the same time being very forceful and uncompromising) man made me feel a bit inclined to become a pacifist myself.

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Up To

17 June 08

This morning has been very peaceful. Bridget has been taking a nice long nap, and I have been on my computer, enjoying the quiet, happily clicking my way through blogs that I normally have to skim or skip over entirely. A nice lazy morning. Then, about 5 minutes ago I realized what I was doing. Ack! I have diapers to put on the line! The house is a mess! The dishwasher needs to be emptied! I need to pack…iron…my thoughts stumbled over each other and tumbled into a heap. Does that ever happen to you? You have so many thoughts at once that your brain refuses to process them all and so they just get thrown on the “later” pile? All is not lost, though. Bridget continues to nap, and, although I expect her to wake up at any moment, I do have the most important item checked off my mental list/heap. The diapers are in the sunshine, drying off, and although they probably won’t be dry by the time she wakes, I can always use a disposable. I doubt the world will come to an end. In the meantime, as the rest of my list waits, I thought I’d update you on what I’m up to (besides juggling a baby who, as Brian puts it, is becoming “frighteningly mobile” – now rolling over both ways with ease, and grabbing at anything – including my computer keyboard – within her reach). 1. Regular stuff: this is the stuff that is the most boring, but takes up the most of my time. Laundry, cleaning, cooking and the like. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. 2. Summertime activities! Getting together with family and friends, gardening, etc. We have a lot of fun get-togethers coming up, which might make me a little scarcer than usual, blog-wise. 3. This month, a Fabric Swap at Oh, Fransson! Bridget and I took a little field trip to arc, a thrift store, and picked up some nifty vintage-looking sheets. I hope I got the right thing. This is my first swap, and I’m a bit nervous that I’m going to mess it up. But how hard can it be, really? I washed the sheets last night but, even though I hung them on the line all night to dry/air out, they still have that weird thrift-store smell. Ick. I might have to wash them again on hot or something. Anyhow, I’m very excited about the swap, and hope to get my squares cut and sent soon – sometime this week would be nice, but possibly not realistic. Next week? That’s about it. We’re traveling this weekend, so I’m getting ready for that. It’ll be Bridget’s first plane trip, an experience I anticipate with no small amount of trepidation. Any fool-proof techniques, tips, or even just ideas? And now, just because I can’t resist:

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Happy Father's Day

15 June 08

Happy Father’s Day, Honey! You are such an amazing daddy! And I’m so blessed… I love you!

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Deep Breath

13 June 08

I’ve slowly been recuperating from the craziness that was the week leading up to the Big Party (a.k.a. Bridget’s baptism and the reception that followed at our house). It was really cool, and a very meaningful time for us. I hope someday we can explain clearly to her the significance of that event. I have yet to go through my pictures, but here is one from later in the week, when we went to the pool with her Yia Yia (Grandma), who flew into town for the occassion. In other news, Andrea over at Knitty Bitties tried out the Nike + iPod Tutorial that I made a while back. Check out the adorable results of her efforts here. She found a couple of weaknesses with the instructions, so if you had problems with them before, check back – I think they are more clear now. That’s it for now! We continue to be pretty busy, but hopefully I will be more faithful about posting in spite of that! Post a Day in July isn’t nearly as catchy as Post a Day in May, but I would like to at least post every other day. Oh! I almost forgot! On Saturday Bridget is going to her very first birthday party! Her cousin is turning 1 whole year old, and is having a (kiddie) pool party! So you can be looking for some Ultra Adorable pictures of that event.

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Gardening Pictures

2 June 08

I was getting in bed last night and thought, “Oh no! I didn’t do a blog post today!” Then Brian reminded me that it was no longer May, so my commitment actually ended the day before. Thus the Post a Day in May challenge ends. Rather more abruptly and unceremoniously than I planned. I hope to keep up the habit of at least quasi-daily posts, but this promises to be a very crazy week, so bear with me. Next weekend is Bridget’s baptism, and we’re having a reception at our house afterwards, so we’re busy getting the place all spiffied in preparation. There’s nothing like having a bunch of people over to motivate a person to clean! And hang curtains…and frame pictures…you get the idea. This past weekend we did a bunch of yard work. And I got to plant flowers! Hurray! Gardening is one of my hobbies, and since we hadn’t bought plants yet this spring I had a great excuse to go out and purchase some pretties. Thanks to my honey, they didn’t languish in their flimsy plastic pots all weekend – they’re trying out their roots in real live soil! I planted the herbs in the backyard, and the hostas around the north side of the house. Grow, little plants, grow! I bought mostly perennials this year, so hopefully everything stays happy this summer and comes back bigger and better next year!

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Grumpy Pants

31 May 08

Bridget’s been grumpy all day. I don’t think she’s feeling that well – it could be teething, or it could be germies. Whatever it is, it’s not endearing itself to Momma Warren. Making my precious baby cry. In spite of that, and in spite of the fact that she had almost no nap at all (she just wouldn’t stay asleep!) I got all of my plantings done today. That’s right, all. Because my Superman swooped in and rescued me. Brian was a huge help with Bridget today. Times like these when he saves me from pulling my hair out I marvel at how single parents handle it. It’s got to be incredibly difficult – not only does a single parent not have the emotional support of their spouse, but they miss out on the very practical help, like I received today (thank you, honey!). I just feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have been given the gift of such a great guy. And then on top of that I got a great little gal! All that to say our yard is looking pretty spiffy now, thanks to my hunny. I’m super excited about all my new flowers. I’m also very tired, but in a good way. I’ll post pictures tomorrow when the lighting is better.

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30 May 08

This is what treats for Anna look like Mmmm! Flowers and herbs and veggies! Oh My! Bridget was such a trooper, and napped the whole time I was shopping for them. What a gal! Unfortunately, that meant that this afternoon I didn’t have “Mommy Time”, just “Mommy and Bridget Time” (also fun, but with more restricted activities. Which apparently include the current activity of blowing raspberries on my arm. Huh.) I tried to go for it anyhow, but I guess there are only so many ways to chew a ducky before it gets old. Ha! That should totally be on a shirt! Maybe the planting can resume when daddy bear gets home and is doing Bridget cuddles.

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Fridge Box

29 May 08

How cool is this?! Now you can make a fort even if you don’t need to buy a new fridge! Found via RookieMoms

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Amy Butler Lotus Cami Complete

29 May 08

Hurray! My top is all done. Actually, it was done last night, but my hair was funky then, and although it’s still kinda weird I couldn’t wait any longer to show you. I made some changes in the pattern so that I can more easily feed Bridget when I’m wearing it (without the changes I would have had to basically undress every time she needed to nurse). I basically just sewed in two triangles to the front and made it into a kind of pleat. I’m a tad disappointed in how boxy it turned out, but I guess I’d rather it be boxy than not work with breast feeding. If I somehow end up with gobs of time in between now and Bridget’s baptism (the intended debut for the top), maybe I’ll make another less boxy top. Somehow I doubt that will happen though. And I really am pleased with it. I think it will look really nice with my pearl necklace (which is MIA – uh oh!) Ah, the drama of my life continues! :) I should get to bed – Bridget and I are making an appearance at a breakfast in the morning, so no sleeping in super late like I did this morning! Good night, all (or, if you are sensible and reading this in the a.m., Good Morning!)

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29 May 08

(Yes, it’s Thursday morning, and no, I haven’t gone to bed yet so it doesn’t count! I’m still blissfully in Wednesday-land…) Yes, indeed. I am yet again out of thread! This is all that was left. Even the bobbin thread was all gone! Crazy, huh? GOOD THING I’M DONE!!! I kid you not! I’ve been sewing like a madwoman over here, and I’m FINALLY done with my cute little Amy Butler Cami! I’ll post a picture tomorrow when my hair (hopefully) is all done looking funky. G’night, all!

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Memorial Day

27 May 08

Yikes! I got into bed last night and realized that I hadn’t done a single blog post! And I was doing so well… For Memorial Day, we took the babe and went to a cookout some friends of ours were doing (they actually used to be our neighbors – hi, E & B!). It was kind of fun cruising around the old neighborhood. We made so many great memories there. It was an overcast, kind of chilly day, so we spent most of our time holed up inside while a select few braved the elements and brought back grilled goodies. I suppose it was not the typical Memorial Day weather, but the weather this spring hasn’t really been typical in general, so it fits. And the rain was so nice for my garden. Although not so nice for the diapers on my clothesline trying in vain to get dry. The weather is rainy again today. Rainy and chilly, giving me a great excuse to make myself a tasty Hot Chocolate drink. We’re almost out of mix (and I wanted to try something different anyhow), so I just followed (sort of) the directions on the side of the Hershey’s box and mixed sugar and chocolate powder in with milk, but I just did a search and turned up lots of other yummy-looking recipes for hot chocolate. Too bad I’m discovering these at the tail end of Hot Chocolate Season. This might mean I’ll have to make an exception…research, you know, is very important. What’s your favorite all-around beverage (not necessarily hot)? Do you mix it up yourself or is it nicely packaged up for you?

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Bridget + Pool = Cute Awesomeness

25 May 08

Yesterday we brought Bridget for her very first visit to a pool. It was really fun, and we took almost 100 pictures of the event (yeah, we’re a little over the top). Here’s a little sampling (I uploaded some more to my Flickr account).

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Crafting Heroes

24 May 08

Check out this nifty set of interviews with the “success stories” of the crafting world. A little dream of mine is to someday have some kind of crafty side-business – all the more excuse to do what I love, right? These interviews offer encouragement and advice to other with that same dream. Go for it, girls!

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Amy Butler Lotus Cami

23 May 08

So I made some great progress last night on the top. You can see, almost all the parts are sewn on (except sleeves – it’s going to have little cap sleeves), I just need to finish up the edges and sew on a couple extra things. And buttons. Those would be useful. Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I made some great progress. And I was merrily sewing along, trying to ignore how late it was getting, and then… Waugh, waugh, waugh. My trusty thread suddenly and tragically ran out. The end. Actually, I was going to go and pick up some more today, but unfortunately for that plan (and very fortunately for my dirty house and my sanity), Bridget had a really really nice nap this afternoon. Better than she’s had in over a week. So no fabric store for us. But fewer dust bunnies, a clean toilet (one of those things you never really appreciate until you don’t have it), and lots of sanity. A pretty good trade, if you ask me! Since I haven’t actually sewn any outside seams yet, I might be able to just use a different tan color thread and fool everyone into thinking that I used it for the whole project. Except for you. You would know, but you won’t tell, right? It’ll just be our little secret.

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22 May 08

Today’s been kind of a grey day. The sky has been mostly grey, and my activities this afternoon have had a kind of grey feeling to them. That’s not necessarily bad, it just makes my day boring to talk about. It’s a nice velvety color of grey, but it’s still grey. Bridget did take two glorious naps today, which means that the dishes are clean and the house is a little more tidy than it was before. Hooray! And I had one of my favorite lunches – Everything Wraps! Basically tortilla wraps with everything that looks good to me thrown inside – in this case lettuce, ham, Goddess Dressing (I love that stuff!), shredded pepper jack cheese, and thinly sliced apples. Sorry, no pictures – I was going to take a picture at lunch, it looked so pretty, but then I thought, “Anna, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Then later I changed my mind and decided that if you didn’t, you should. Because it was TASTY. This afternoon Bridget and I just kind of hung out – she had a mini-nap in my arms while I bopped around the interweb, she had some poos (which I changed),I did a bit more tidying…so nothing terribly exciting, but all quite good. Sadly, I haven’t made any progress on the shirt project since I blogged about the material :u( Maybe tonight I’ll get to work on it a bit. It is fun, this making my own clothes, but an awfully slow process. Hopefully it will get faster as I get into the groove. I’ll be sure and keep you all updated on the process! In the meantime, I should go cook supper, which promises to be exciting – we’re having ribs! And maybe some broccoli or something on the side. Grey with a touch of Everything Wraps and ribs – I can handle that!

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On the Subject of Entertainment

21 May 08

Bridget is such a delight. I took this picture today with my computer camera, which shows a preview image on the screen. Bridget loved watching the little baby in my computer! I also did computer babysitting for the first time. iTunes has a feature called “Visualizer” which dances colorful shapes and lines over the screen of your computer to the beat of the song you are listening to. It’s very pretty, and slightly hypnotizing. It turns out babies (or Bridget, anyhow) fall very easily under it’s spell. So while Over the Rhine’s Ohio played, Bridget happily sat in her bouncer and stared at my computer screen and the pretty shapes weaving over it while I scurried off to unload the dishwasher and start some laundry. Brilliant, I say! Of course it might be easy to try to take advantage of this and overuse it, but I think I would be too afraid of it losing it’s power. Besides, Bridget is my entertainment, as you can see from the picture above. I can’t go very far for very long without being sucked back to the adorableness of my punkin. And I’m pretty sure she’ll never lose her power over me. Positive, even.

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Making A Top

20 May 08

Since finishing Brian’s bag, I’ve been working on sewing a top for myself. The idea is I’ll wear this to Bridget’s baptism (coming right up in a few weeks!) I had to make a muslin (sewing lingo for making a test copy in cheap fabric before doing the real deal). I had to do this for multiple reasons: not only is this is the first time I’ve used this pattern, but I’m also making some tweaks to the pattern to hopefully make it easier to wear while nursing. Also the only other time I’ve made a fitted top like this was that time (I think I was in high school) when I started making a dress and never finished because I didn’t buy the right zipper. So never. This is my first fitted top. I had so much fun picking out the fabric for this. It calls for two fabrics, so we’re already talking twice the fun! I ended up buying these. Except they don’t look quite so green in real life. With any luck I’ll manage to sew everything right-side up, and if it fits, well that’s just a bonus! :u)

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19 May 08

Do you like Etsy? I really like it. I could spend all afternoon browsing though all the amazing, beautiful, quirky options. And don’t get me started on beautiful and useful. Not only are the items you buy on Etsy original and lovely, but you are supporting independent artists! What a wonderful combination! Etsy is a big and wonderful world. But a little overwhelming, especially if you just want to browse. One thing that I’ve found is a nice way to find stuff that I like is to find one item I like, and then go to that seller’s Favorites. Hopefully they have a lot of things favorited, many of which will be similar in style to their own things. Just a little extra, I found this download on Etsy, today. Free or with a $2 donation. And so many other cute things in that shop. Have fun!

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18 May 08

This has been quite the weekend. So sorry for the silence! A post a day in May, indeed! Well, I promised myself when I decided to take this challenge that I’d give myself a little slack, and I guess this is what slack looks like! :u) Thanks for your understanding! I’ll be back tomorrow (well, technically tomorrow starts in 5 minutes, but later on tomorrow…) to do a real post. For now, some eye candy will have to do:

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Blogs That Make Me Laugh and Friend Blogs

16 May 08

So here are some more blogs. Specifically ones that make me laugh (not that other blogs never do, but these more often than others). Cute Overload A great fix if you’re having a rough day. Loads of cuteness (i.e., Adorable animals in various adorable poses. With captions that make me laugh. What’s not to love?) I visit this pretty much daily (just in case – you never know when you’re in for a rough one, and I intend to be prepared!) Dooce If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, there’s still plenty of space! Dooce (a.k.a. Heather Armstrong) is one of the spear-headers of mommy blogging, and has had a lot of publicity in the past couple of years. She has a very clever way of writing the truth that is so spot-on it just makes you laugh. That and she’s just funny. If talking about poop bothers you, though, it’s probably not for you. There are some other blogs I like to keep up with because they are written by friends (I do have some real live ones, you know!). So I won’t list them all here, because that would just be like a mom going through her baby’s pictures and describing each one in painful detail. I don’t know of any one who would do that, do you? :u) That said, I do want to give plugs to a few. One is my DH’s blog, Be Good Not Bad. Some of his posts are a little over my head, but Brian has a great way of explaining hard to explain/understand techie things, and has some really great things to say too. Another is the blog of an amazing artist friend from college, Vance Reeser. He has several really cool items that he’s selling, including downloads of some neat videos that he animated, as well as prints and original work. And a special he’s currently having on a children’s book he’s writing and illustrating. Pretty nifty, no? I might need to do another post on parenting blogs I sometimes visit – what do you think? Have you had enough of the link-fest? :u)

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Messenger Bag

15 May 08

Here is the messenger bag I made for Brian – FINISHED! (Except for the strap – I’m making a new one as this one is too short for him). Also, some VERY exciting news – for Mother’s Day one of Brian’s gifts to me was a gift certificate to Sew Mama Sew, and the BEAUTIFUL fabric that I bought with that came in the mail today! WOOHOO! It’s packaged so beautifully, I had to take a picture before I tore into it: See the little card they included (in the background)? With some pretty ribbon thrown in for free? And the way they bound up the fabric with a little bow…it’s the little details like that that make me want to order from them over and over again. Oh, and here’s a shot of my little helper. She was thoughtfully holding onto the camera strap for me. Which was great, because in between holding her and holding the camera, how was I supposed to hold the strap? And the strap obviously needed to be held…and maybe gnawed a bit… I took a couple of other photos but forgot to download them to Flickr. So maybe tomorrow for those. With new fabrics to enjoy, I can’t be expected to sit at this desk any longer! G’night!

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Bright Moments

14 May 08

Okay, I guess I missed my window for posting on the 14th. Oops! I haven’t gone to bed yet though, so for me this still feels like Thursday hasn’t started yet. So far this has been a really challenging week for me. Bridget is teething (poor little punkin), and wants to be held pretty much every waking minute, although sometimes she’ll play/chew on her toys for 5 minutes or so while I scramble to wash dishes or move clothes from the washer to the dryer. Sometimes as much as 10, but then she’ll fuss to be picked up. I am ashamed to say that several times I have actually gotten frustrated with her (as if she could help it). It does give me much more compassion for those moms who aren’t blessed with generally happy babies (which Bridget mostly is, even when her mouth is hurting). Today I went for a quick trip to the grocery store. She was in a great mood, with a full belly and a recent nap. As we walked around the store every once in awhile I would focus my attention on her, talking baby talk to her and blowing gently on her face (something we’ve recently discovered that Bridget thinks is hilarious). She loved it, and even in the checkout line, when she was beginning to get fed up with the outing and I wasn’t able to focus on her as much, she entertained everyone in line behind me by making herself cough and then laughing! What a little goof. I need to focus more on the bright times like that rather than the dishes that pile up, or the gobs of other stuff that I can’t do because being a mommy comes first, and the dirt that is piled up all over our floor won’t be hurt by me ignoring it for another day. Overall, those bright moments drastically outweigh (and probably even outnumber) the other not so fun moments. I wonder what I can do to help myself not to get all hung up on the rough patches… Another great thing I’ve been doing (in the evenings after B goes to sleep) is work on the bag for Brian that I mentioned the other day. Doing this has also contributed to other work not getting done, so I can’t really blame Bridget for all of that :u) I’m pretty much done with the bag, except for lengthening the shoulder strap for Brian. Yay! I love that feeling of having finished something that won’t undo itself in the next 8 hours! So I guess, even though it’s been a tough week so far, it really hasn’t been as bad as I made myself think. Go, perspective (and thank you once again, Blog)! I’ll take pictures tomorrow (along with more websites – see yesterday’s post) so you can see the results of the bag for yourself. For now, Good Night, All!

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Crafty Mama Blogs

13 May 08

Visiting other websites is a source of inspiration and often amusement to me. Some of my favorite ones are written by other moms, many of whom actually make a living (or at least part of a living) through their websites [insert applause here]. I think that’s just the coolest thing ever, and I know it has to take a ton of effort on their part. Here are some of my favorite mama blogs that I generally keep up with, for your enjoyment (listed in no particular order): Wee Wonderfuls A very sweet mama blog with a strong crafty spin. Hillary Lang, the author, also sells patterns (there are some freebies which she links to in the sidebar, also). I found out about most of the other crafty mama websites that I visit via this one. Soule Mama Another wonderful mama blog. I believe I found this one through the links in the Wee Wonderfuls sidebar. This one has a strong emphasis on children, and teaching creativity to your younguns. The author, Amanda Soule, has even written a book on the subject, The Creative Family. Sew Mama Sew This is a blog with a much more business-y feel to it, perhaps because it is part of a larger business (just click on “Store” at the top to get to it). They are tutorial central, as well as the home of all kinds of handy advice. Recently they also started a forum for questions, which I haven’t tried yet. Another Notebook Written by a wonderful friend from college. (Hi, Bekah!) She writes frankly about the ups and downs of mothering (sometimes very hard to do – why does it feel sometimes like being a mom is some kind of contest to see who can be the best?). Bekah has some great insights and hilarious stories about her two little girls. Some more recent crafty blogs I’ve been following: Uncommon Grace All Sorts Oh, Fransson! Mayfly And some wonderful blogs written by people who I actually know in “real life”. Who also happen to be moms: Clappy Shoes Scriptus Rural Suburbia Thank you to all of you wonderful ladies who write your stories and other bits of wisdom for the rest of us to learn from you! I’ll post more tomorrow about some of the other websites I visit. Upcoming (hopefully sometime this week) – a post about Feed Readers (the only reason I’m able to keep up with so many websites and also keep my sanity!).

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Sarcastic, Much?

13 May 08

I realized with a start this morning that I didn’t do a post yesterday. Not one! I can’t imagine how that got past me, with all the thumb-twiddling I’ve been doing lately (note the sarcasm). Ah, well. For my penance, I’ll do two posts today. Unless I don’t. In which case you’ll all have to be content with this one. I went to the fabric store yesterday. Yep. Dragged myself in there kicking and screaming (again with the sarcasm). I found some beautiful fabrics on sale. This one, destined for drapes: And this one, intended to enhance the cuteness of a certain baby this summer. Isn’t it nifty? With smocking already all along the top and everything! I also bought some in a more grown-up pattern for myself in a kind of pink paisley. Maybe I’ll make a dress or something for my summer enjoyment. It should be pretty easy – just sew up the sides to make a tube, add some straps made of ribbon or extra material cut off the bottom, and you have yourselves an inexpensive top or dress that cost you minimal effort and time (both critical around here). I also made some more progress last night on Brian’s bag, but not enough for impressive pictures. Soon enough though – maybe one more evening of sewing and I’ll have some nice progress to show you! Have a wonderful day! We’re going with wet and cool here. There was even a chance of snow in the forecast, but I way it’s not happenng. Yeah, those 3 days of warm spring weather were just too much for me, too. Whatever the weather, I encourage you to Rise Above It, and make your own sunshine. Or just enjoy God’s sunshine…or rain…or snow.

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Happy Mother's Day!

11 May 08

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas. And be sure to tell your own mom how much you love and appreciate her.

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Mama's Happy!

10 May 08

I am now convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Bridget is cutting teeth. It’s either that or an amazing coincidence of a bad mood, gnawing on EVERYTHING, and and incredible amounts of saliva. Poor little punkin. In spite of that, she did take a pretty good nap this morning – probably about an hour long – and I got to spend more time gardening. Happy mama! I planted some green beans and set up some poles for them to grow up, and took some pictures of my Coleus plants (which I also thinned out a bit). The highlight of my day, though, was this afternoon when Brian gave me an early Mother’s Day gift – a gift certificate to my favorite online fabric store. Whooeeee!!! Off to pick out some yummy fabrics!

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Sun, Dirt, and Wormies

9 May 08

Bridget made up for her bad day yesterday by taking a nice long nap this morning. I celebrated by using my free time by indulging in one of my favorite pastimes – I put on my trusty green Crocs, and went outside and played in the dirt! There’s something so pleasant to me about the combination of a sunny (but not hot) day, and digging up weeds from the moist dirt. It’s very therapeutic and restful. I’m not sure what the garden will look like this year. My hope is to have corn, tomatoes, and summer squash planted, with some other things added to the mix if I am able (maybe some beans or peppers? I’d like to plant some things that Bridget can enjoy once she starts eating solids, so maybe I’ll go for carrots too). I’ll see though – I’m not going to stress out about it. I’ve already made my first little harvest of the year – some delicious cilantro from a plant last year that went to seed. I used it on top of our fish tacos that we had for dinner – yum! So, if nothing else, at least I’ve gotten cilantro from the garden this year – what more can a gal ask for?

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Being A Mom Is Hard Work

8 May 08

I mean, really Hard Work. I know, people say this all the time, but you can’t really appreciate it for what it is until you’ve experienced it. Bridget was a handful and a half today. Her naps have been terrible lately, and she’s not a happy camper about that fact. Maybe it’s teething, but I don’t approve either. It got to the point where I was ready to scream and pull my hair, but then Bridget thoughtfully did that for me. I had to make some phone calls today, and Bridget fell apart during all of them. In between that, the wimpy napping, and the one-handedness of getting things done (something I’m getting pretty good at, but am very tired of), it was just one crazy day. Fortunately, my Knight in Shining Armor rode up on his white horse at the end of the day and rescued me (awww…thanks Honey!) As much of a trying day as today was, it was so totally worth it. The delighted look on my baby’s face when she sees me, the trusting gaze of her beautiful blue eyes, her infectious shrieks of delight all have an amazing way of putting everything into perspective. I love being a Mom.

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April Flowers Bring...

7 May 08

Is post-posting allowed? You know, posting after the fact? This would have been the post on May 1, had I been so inclined that day. Yes, May 1 it was snowing. Not the wet drippy stuff that you’d expect out of a May snow, either. This stuff was light and fluffy (although it didn’t stick around, and I don’t think it ever stuck to the roads). This week so far the weather has been really nice though, so hopefully this spring is finally deciding to buckle down and be spring.

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How to Make a Zippered Pocket

6 May 08

I’m making a bag for my DH using the adorable Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag by Montessori By Hand. One of the things I’ve learned in the process is how to make a zippered pocket – something I really wanted to learn but was too intimidated (until now) to try. So I’ve put together a little tutorial that just covers this basically simple detail – the perfect touch for your new purse or handbag! Zippered Pocket How-to.pdf

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Mead Making!

5 May 08

Mead is essentially wine made from honey – it is the oldest alcoholic beverage, and is very simple to make. (If you want to learn more about it do a google search – there are multiple very interesting websites dedicated to it). Last year about this time, Brian and I visited our local brewing store. The folks there very kindly set me up with all the equipment I would need to make mead, as well as a sheet with basic recipes. I made 2 batches, both fairly small, one in March and one in August. Since the mead I was making has to sit about a year before it’s really ready (there are faster recipes out there), I put them in a safe spot and kind of forgot about them. Until yesterday. Yesterday we got the tubs out and bottled the yummy stuff (we of course had a couple samples along the way). They both turned out pretty well. One is made with orange blossom honey, lavender tea (for the tannins and extra flavor), as well as some orange zest. The other we made using clover honey and some red plums from the tree in our front yard. What amazed me was how easy the whole process was. Just a little mixing, some boiling, and a lot of waiting, and we had a really yummy drink that we MADE OURSELVES! Quite a feeling of empowerment. Speaking of empowerment, did you know you can make your own ginger ale, or any carbonated beverage for that matter? It would be a great lesson in science, for those with school-age kiddos, or simply a lesson in deliciousness. Or both! :u)

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This Never Happens To You, Right?

4 May 08

So I had a totally awesome blog entry written up, full of cleverness and cute pictures (it’s totally okay with me if you imagine it as awesomer than it was), and then POOF! my laptop turned off. Well, it wasn’t exactly POOF…it was kind of like “Warning! Your battery is super low. Your computer will turn off in a little bit to conserve your memory.” And then POOF 10 minutes later it did exactly that. And guess who hadn’t saved her blog entry? Noooo it wasn’t Bridget! Although she “helped” me write the first entry. Yeah. So I lost it. And it was awesome. Way more awesome than you could ever imagine. Really. I’m not making this up (alright, well maybe I am, but no one will ever know for sure just how awesome the Lost Entry was, so I can go ahead and talk it up as much as I want. Kind of like a modern techie version of the Fish That Got Away). Given the tragic circumstances, I’m just going to give you guys some photos (I’ll try to not make them ALL of Bridget), and call it a day, ‘k? ‘K. Awww yeah. This is one of my favorite photos of Bridget, taken about a month ago when she was coming up on 3 months. This is Bridget and Sarah Grace’s Godmother, Amy, taken on Pascha (the Orthodox Easter). I found out this year that “Pascha” comes from the Hebrew for “Passover”. Just a fun fact there for ya’. And finally, a spot of beauty in the ‘midst of the deserted wasteland that is my garden (well, at least deserted with the exception of a few eccentric volunteer cilantro plants and some timid radishes. And yes, I like to impose human qualities on my plants, much to their dismay). That’s all for today, folks! And just in case you wondered, I have saved this post more often that would be considered normal. Just so ya know. Have an awesome evening!

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A Post a Day in May! (?)

3 May 08

Jenny over at All Sorts (such a fun blog – I highly recommend a visit or two..or more!) is doing a “Post a Day in May” theme. This sounds so fun, and very inspiring, so I’m going to try to do it…however I say this with no little trepidation. Taking care of a baby, along with my other responsibilities…well, it’s just not a recipe for crazy amounts of blogging time (have I lowered your expectations enough yet?). That said, I enjoy a good challenge, and I enjoy blogging, so here I go! Feel free to join the fun!

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Make a Shoe Pouch for Your NIKE + iPod

21 April 08

Did you buy a NIKE + iPod, but do not want to dole out the cash for the special shoes that go with it (the shoes have a special spot to hold the little gadget that tracks your speed)? Have no fear! This little pouch works just as well (loop it around the laces on top of your shoes), and is an ultra-quick sew, too!

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Hi, I'm a "Blogger".

15 April 08

Brian took this photo today. Cutest little blogger I’ve ever seen! Has her little stylus and everything!

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14 April 08

Don’t you love the name of this blog ? I do. And that’s just what I’ll be doing, because the lovely people over at SewMamaSew! drew my name as one of the 10 lucky winners of a “Charm Pack” of simply gorgeous fabrics. Woot! I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for Bridget, and obsessing over what fabric to get, and is this one too expensive, or maybe the pattern of this other would look better, or this third fabric – it’s maybe not so cute, but it’s on sale…yeah you get the idea. Anyhow, no more of that! All those tricksy decisions have been made for me (a good thing – she might have been off to college by the time I finished with my waffling), and I get to dive right into the making of! Hooray! And thank you, SewMamaSew (side note – the blog is attached to a lovely fabric store with oodles of delicious patterns! Go check it out!)

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Before I Go

9 April 08

Maggie over at Mighty Girl made a list of 100 things she would like to do before she dies (if you want to see the list, go to the web page and scroll down – it’s in the sidebar to the left). It got me thinking (as things like that do) what I would like to have done when I die.

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The Jesus Prayer

20 March 08

I don’t write about spiritual things very often here, but I think this is a good time. Frankly, life has been a little overwhelming lately. We have our hands full with a new baby and a new puppy (not a recommended combo, but they’re both great), and keeping up with those two while trying to juggle the other areas of our lives has been a bit nuts. Today I was inspired by a blog post my amazing sister-in-law wrote (and have seen about 3 other similar themes in other unrelated blogs I visit), and reminded that I don’t need to just blindly accept all the overwhelming things that I come across (and get overwhelmed and paralyzed by them). I have tools! My favorite is the Jesus Prayer, a simple, ancient prayer just one sentence long that pretty much encompasses all of the theology I’ll ever need, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Repeating this over and over has an amazing calming, healing effect on me, and I wish I would do it more – not just during Lent or when I’m overwhelmed, but a constant internal repetition – the prayer of the heart.

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Sweet Softness

15 March 08

This morning Brian is gone at a meeting, and Bridget and I are taking it easy.

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Incredible Joys

25 January 08

Thank you all for your congratulations and well-wishes! I am so blessed to have such amazing friends. You are all an incredible joy to me.

Aaand…speaking of incredible joys…

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Bridget Ruth Warren

12 January 08

Bridget was born at 11:55 am on Saturday, December 29th. She weighed 7 lbs, 8 ozs, and was 19.5 inches long – a perfect size, if you ask me.

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Works in Progress

17 December 07

I’ve been getting some requests (from relatives, mostly) for updated pictures of my big baby belly and the baby’s newly painted and furnished room. The baby room in all of it’s creamy yellow glory. We found out we’re having a girl, but a room full of pink is just too much for me. Also (and this probably had a lot more to do with the decision), if perchance the doctors were wrong, or if we would ever in the future want to use the room for a boy, I really don’t want to re-paint. And here’s me, in all my 38 weeks of big-ness. People say that I look great, and I really really appreciate that because that is generally not how I feel. Not that I’m feeling bad – just generally uncomfortable (and wondering just how much bigger I can get!) Suffice it to say that, as wonderful and relatively painless as this pregnancy has been, I’m ready for it to be finished. Which is kind of good I guess, because, from what they tell me, it could be any day now! Whew…now there are just a couple of things I’d like to finish first…

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Gift Tag Link

12 December 07

For all you crafty folks out there, some adorable gift tags for handmade gifts. This year we’re making some (not all) of the Christmas gifts we’re giving, and these tags add the perfect touch! (The blog is also a great source of inspiration for crafty things, so be sure and check it out!)

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Pie for Breakfast

23 November 07

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful and full of family and friends…

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Safe Cleaning

15 November 07

With the arrival of our baby on my mind more and more these days, I have been thinking (among other things) about the health and safety of our home, specifically as it relates to cleaning (you know that fizzing scrubby cleaner you use on the tub? Ever wonder why it hurts your throat to breathe when you use it, or has so many warnings on the label?). Some of you might remember the post I wrote about making your own laundry detergent. This experiment has been an overwhelming success. Our clothes come out of the laundry just as clean as before, the process of making it takes only a little effort, and I can rest easy knowing that not only am I saving money by doing this, I am reducing the impact of our household on the environment. One thing I have enjoyed doing instead of using polluting fabric softeners, especially with sheets and towels, is doing a vinegar rinse in the laundry cycle – just add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to ensure all the soap is rinsed out. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell – it goes away once everything dries. For a special touch, you can add some essential oils to your vinegar rinse – I put a couple dozen or so drops of lavender scent into a gallon jug and use that. When the vinegar smell (not very strong to begin with) goes away, the scent remains. Ah…lavender sheets! I have also been trying my hand at expanding the safety of our cleaning supplies to other realms. I really like the method cleaners that are available now. However, they can be a bit pricey for our generic budget, and aren’t available everywhere. I received a book for my birthday called Clean House, Clean Planet, written by Karen Logan (that last link is to an article written about her and her business, and has some other interesting info too). The book is a wonderful read – it outlines some of the dangers of common household cleaners, and presents some alternatives that you can make yourself out of things that you probably have around already. White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, liquid soap, borax, olive oil and club soda (!) are the main ingredients she says to have on hand. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s so amazing to think of the possibility of getting rid of the scary cleaners, and using only these basic ingredients. Not only are these options healthier, they’re cheaper (also good with a baby on the way!), and they’re a lot kinder to the world in which we live.

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12 November 07

I’ve been making lots of progress lately, both in terms of baby-growing, and in terms of getting ready for the baby to be born. Whew! It’s kind of crazy, but it looks like a couple of months from now we’ll have a baby!

For now, though, she’s stuck inside me…

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How to Make (and Can) Plum Jam

30 September 07

I had the hardest time finding a recipe for plum jam – nothing I found on the internet had anything concrete, and I didn’t have time to search through all my cookbooks or visit the library. So I kind of winged it. Not really – I did find some guidance on a few websites, but I added my own flair to that. Anyhow, seeing that there is apparently such a dearth of plum jam recipes out there, I thought I’d post here about the process.

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20 September 07

This trip was our “final fling” before being thrown into the wonderful-but-irreversible world of babydom. I’ve heard other people refer to trips like this as a “Babymoon”. It’s been very very fun. Perhaps too fun. But I am ready now to return to Clive our cat, and to check on the garden and other plants and see how they fared. Good thing, too, because our flight leaves tomorrow morning!

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Using Sculpey to Make Window Hangings

3 September 07

We have this problem window in our stairway. It looks out into our neighbor’s backyard, and sits at just the wrong height (on our side), so that we feel uncomfortably exposed if we aren’t completely decent when we walk by.

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Growing Green!

11 August 07

It’s surprising how huge of a difference just one month can make when things are growing. Not only has my waist expanded significantly over the past month (I guess I had to start wearing maternity pants sometime), but the garden has come into a growth spurt of its own. Compare:

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20 July 07

Okay, this is simply silly. Out of hand, really. No, I don’t have a really marvelous reason for not posting. There is a silver lining, though! This means that I have lots of wonderful posts saved up for you…I think they might still be swimming around somewhere in my head…

Well, they’ll just have to wait awhile longer…

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

7 April 07

Ingredients for Homemade Laundry Detergent

Who knew laundry detergent was so easy to make? S.O.‘s Homemade Cheap Laundry Soap (follow this link to Modern Cottage for the recipe!)…

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Weekend Garden Progress

2 April 07

Photographs I promised, and photographs you shall have! Before I dive in, though, a little indulgence There. Now don’t we all feel better? I thought so. I spent a quite lot of time this past weekend working very hard in the back yard, and made quite a bit of progress. I spent most of my time digging out gravel and rocks that had been put down in the back yard (yes, I have been quite achey, thanks). The way I see it, gravel is good for saving water and an important aspect of a xeriscape landscape. But not a great idea if you want to grow plants. And kind of ugly if a huge block of the yard is nothing but blue-gray gravel (rather than being used in harmony with plant beds, which can be quite beautiful). I dug out about a 10×10 foot area and planted two lilac bushes in the newly uncovered dirt. These cinderblocks edge the area that used to be covered with gravel. I was resigning myself to dig them out, too, but Brian had the brilliant idea to dig the rocks out of the holes and use them as planters – yay! I found some unexpected treasures in the dirt This is the already cultivated part of the yard. It’s full of weeds right now, but I have seedlings growing indoors, and the weeds shouldn’t be too hard to dig out.

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The New Place

25 March 07

We are entering our fourth week of living in our new house. I’ve definitely been enjoying it – all the extra space is very nice, especially for Brian, who works full-time from home now. I haven’t made as much progress unpacking as I thought I would have made by this time, partly because of extra projects that have cropped up, and partly because when I get home at the end of a day of working at the office, I am simply not motivated to be all industrious. So boxes continue to abound in our house. However, this weekend I made a lot of progress – I finished unpacking and re-organized the kitchen, and I also made some great progress on our yard. Very exciting. I’m very excited about doing our garden this year – with lots of space already cleared for a garden, and pretty good soil as well, we should have some fine veggies this summer. I’m also planning planting some flowers and possibly some ornamental grasses in the front yard, and I bought some lilac bushes (which I hoped didn’t get killed during the move), which I am going to put out too. This is all going to take a lot of work though, and what with trying to unpack everything inside (yes, I’ve accepted that this is going to be a slow progress), and all of the exciting things happening outside, I think that my posts here might be a little more brief for a bit. I’ll try to post pictures of the progress I make in the garden, just to keep you all updated (you can check my Flickr account for photos as well). Have a beautiful week, and happy spring!

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Enough Is Enough!

5 February 07

Ever since Denver had the huge blizzard just before Christmas, we’ve had some kind of substantial snow almost every single week. Actually, I think the stat is that it has snowed every week since then. And now they’re predicting snow again this week! Can you believe it? The nerve. Even when I give the falling snow “The Look”, they persist in falling. Such insensitivity to me and my needs (not to mention the needs of Colorado ranchers, who took a huge hit from that first snow with over 8,000 cattle dying as a result). It’s not that I don’t like snow. I do! It’s just this stuff refuses to melt. Only now, well over a month and several warm sunny days after the blizzard of Dec. 22, has the snow begun to creep back so that I can at least see a few feet of our lawn in back (most of it is still covered in a substantial depth of snow). And the ice. A lot of the snow has been packed down, especially in parking lots and on sidewalks where people haven’t been diligent about shoveling (our backyard sidewalk is a prime example of this right now). Also, when we have a warm day the sun will melt the snow and ice (yay!) but when there isn’t proper drainage, as is often the case when packed snow and ice is involved, the water doesn’t really go away, it just kind of hangs around until nighttime and becomes a sheet of treacherous ice. Ick! So, as I said, I’ve had it. I’m moving away! Not very far away, though. We made an offer on this house (if all goes well, the closing should take place at the end of the month) is in Edgewater, just west of Denver. It’s a neat little community that seems to be headed on an upward path of growth and development. We plan on renting our current house in Englewood out. Somehow I get this feeling that even this move won’t improve my chances of getting good weather…

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Winter Gardening

13 January 07

I guess I’m not really a gardening nut. I just have a few small flower beds and I haven’t even planted a veggie garden yet (although I hope to do that someday soon). But I sure do enjoy my time in the garden. It’s a form of relaxation/exercise that combines many of the things that I enjoy into one hobby. During the winter months, that hobby is dramatically reduced. Dramatically. Toward January/February, I begin to feel quite forlorn. Especially when a couple of feet of snow cover the ground, and I have to put on my hubbies’ big boots just to take veggie scraps out to the compost heap (which I built with my own two hands last fall – thank you very much!). At this time of year, indoor gardening, although not quite as fulfilling as the sink-your-hands-into-the-earth, dirt-under-the-fingernails, get-an-aching-back involvement of the outdoor variety, is definitely a lifesaver, and can do a good job of tiding me over until the next growing season (or at least until I’m growing some seedlings to plant in the spring). Enter (tum ta da tum!) – windowsill herbs! Ali and Brett, my sister-in-law and her hubby, gave me a little windowsill herb kit for my birthday (thanks, guys! I’ll send you a real thank-you note soon!). They bought the cutest windowsill pot set – 3 pots with a shared tray – and sent them along with three garden in a bag herb kits. These things make great gifts! I should know :) You can give them on their own (the bag can act as the “pot”), or with a pretty pot. The bags contain the soil and a packet of seeds, as well as what they call “drainage discs”, which confused me until I realized they were talking about the packing peanuts that were in the bag (since the bags don’t have holes in the bottom, I guess this helps keep the soil from getting soggy if you overwater a bit). In addition to my windowsill garden, my little bonsai tree (Buddie), has helped with the appeasement of my green(ish) thumb. Buddie was also a gift – from my brother and sister-in-law. He likes to be pampered. And since that’s what I like to do, well, I think we have a match! I give Buddie a little spray bath once a week to help him humidify (sometimes more since our house gets so dry in the winter). I also check him once a day or so to make sure that his soil is moist. There isn’t a lot of it so it gets dried out easily. How about you? Do you get antsy for green things during the winter months? How do you cope?

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LonG island

29 December 06

Yup. That’s how they say it here. (Brian spells it “Lawn Guy Land”) We’re at Brian’s dad’s house in New York. We got here Christmas eve, our flight only slightly delayed as the airlines recovered from the blizzard conditions of only a few days before. We’ve been having a really wonderful time. Christmas was, of course, great fun, with gifts and stockings and festive cheer. Yesterday we took the train out to the city, (we were going to go the day before, but waited out of consideration for me and a cold that’s been dragging me down) where we stopped at a couple of specialty shops (something NYC does very well), rode on the subway, saw the huge Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Plaza, had a nice lunch together, and then Brian and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wow! What a banquet for the senses! I’m sure we didn’t see even half of what’s there – just a small percent really (and some of what we did see was skimmed) – but we left feeling as if our eyes had just had the Thanksgiving meal of their lives. The history and the culture that museum contains is so rich it is amazing. We touched the Roman culture section, as well as the Egyptian section, but focused on the American wing, which did not disappoint. There’s something so epic about “Washington Crossing the Delaware”; seeing it in person, as well as other amazing paintings by well-known American artists (John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassett) is an incredible experience. It felt as if we were seeing a bit of the history of our country being written. After the “Met”, we went back toward Penn Station (took a cab partway, and walked the rest). On the way we got to see Times Square at night – we saw it before, but during the day, and at night it’s much more overwhelming. Brian and his dad were making jokes about not having anything to pay attention to, and everything being so drab. Harhar. There were billboards everywhere – and not just regular billboards! Ohhh no! NYC doesn’t do those. At least not in Times Square. If you’ve seen the “countdown” on television you know kind of what I mean. Everywhere you look, there is a screen with some kind of commercial on it. The words “assault to the senses” came to mind. Nothing against Times Square, but maybe it was too much too soon after the huge feast my eyes had at the Met that afternoon. Or maybe it was just too much. Oh! And what they say about New York never sleeping? It’s pretty much true. There seemed to be more people (if that is possible) battling for their spot on the sidewalk during our walk last night that there was during the day. I know some people just love NYC, but I don’t think it’s for me. I suppose I’d get used to it if I had to live here (and I could most definitely get used to living near the Metropolitan Museum and certain wonderful specialty shops with artsy crafty things), but the speed at which everything goes would stress me out, at least at the beginning. I suppose it’s one of those things that people adapt to, but I prefer a slower pace. Long Island is nice that way. It’s well removed from the craziness of the city, yet the city and all the wonderful advantages it holds is only a short train ride away. Still, I like our house and our city. Good ol’ Denver.

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21 November 06

We’re trying to pull everything together to drive out tonight for Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with family there. Woo hoo! This should be quite the experience, and assuming we live through it, I should have lots to tell. For one thing, this is the first long trip we’ve taken with our dog, Rusty. That’s right! We, the insane Warrens, are undertaking to drive 15+ hours with our dog. He was just diagnosed with diabetes a little over a month ago, and since he’s not quite balanced out with his insulin shots yet, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving him with friends (or wishing them having to get up at 3 am to let him out to pee. Because they are our friends). Anyhow, I’m all ready with some motion sickness pills his vet prescribed, so hopefully the trip will be uneventful. This is also the first long road trip we have taken in awhile. We plan to drive through the night, armed with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” (read by the author!) on Brian’s iPod (thanks Mark & Jody!), some snacks, and perhaps a couple of naps if we get too tired. Part of me is looking forward to it. I kinda’ like road trips – they remind me of trips I took with my family as a kid (which are so much easier to romanticize now that they are no longer a threat). Also, I don’t really have back problems so, for the time being at least (knocks on wood), I don’t have to deal with the stiffness and general uncomfortableness. So… Happy Turkey Day, everyone! May we enjoy this time of being with the ones we love, and be grateful to the One who has blessed us with them!

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"Big Stuff", continued

3 November 06

At last! Okay, so remember this post? Back when we first found out we were pregnant? Well, as some of you may have suspected (or already known), the “Big Stuff” I mentioned in my previous post has quite a bit to do with our “Big News”. There’s not really any good way to say this, but we had a miscarriage. These past few months – ever since mid-August, when we found out that our baby wasn’t going to make it – were incredibly hard. Strangely, they were not as hard as I imagined, and the sadness was not all-consuming. There were good days and bad days, but the grace we experienced through our church and through various things that happened (which I have no doubt were orchestrated by God) made the pain so much more bearable. And through all that time life went on – there were times when I laughed with Brian, and times when we just sat together, just being. On September 8, in my 22nd week of pregnancy, I went in for induction, and on September 9, at almost 2 a.m., I delivered our daughter, Sarah Grace Marie. She was stillborn. The hospital staff were incredible – they gave us a room in an especially quiet wing of the maternity ward so we could have plenty of privacy, and supported us in every way imaginable (and in many ways that I could not have imagined). They took pictures of our beautiful baby, made casts of her tiny hands and feet, dressed her in clothing sewed and donated by volunteers, and gave us all the time we needed to say our goodbyes before going home. That was the hardest part. Before this, I had never really experienced the loss of a loved one. All of my family are still living – even my grandparents on both sides. And the loss of our child? That was so very incredibly hard. Saying goodbye to her tiny sweet-smelling body, with which we had spent so little time, was unbelievably hard. Words cannot describe how wrenching it was to say goodbye to her. We did get to have a funeral for her. She was buried, along with another stillborn baby, on a hill which has a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountain foothills. We had a little service, with our priest, my Nouna (Godmother), and the Godmother we chose for Sarah Grace. On October 29th, we had a larger memorial service for her – a chance not only for us to remember her, but also for our families and friends to get a chance to grieve for her. Although our daughter never breathed the air of this world, or reached out her fingers to touch another person, I know she has still deeply affected many lives. We are continuing with our lives. There are still bad days, when someone says something thoughtless, but most days are good (or at least not bad). If I think deeply on certain aspects of our experience with her, I become sad, but mostly she is a sweet memory – like the inexplicably sweet fragrance that she carried on her body.

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"Big Stuff"

19 September 06

We’ve had a lot going on. Some Big Stuff that I’m not ready to blog about yet. But I thought I owed it to you, my faithful readers, to at least acknowledge that to you. Hopefully, within a week or two, I’ll be ready to say more than “I’m not ready to talk about it” about the past month or so. Until then, I’ll maybe do a few posts about some Little Stuff. The weather, for instance – it has been Absolutely Gorgeous. I mean ABSOLUTELY. Sunny and crisp – just a hint of breeze. GORGEOUS. I love fall. I forget just how much I enjoy it until it sneaks up on me and reminds me how beautiful it is. The drifting leaves just beginning to turn color, crisp cool mornings, evenings snuggled under an afghan drinking hot chocolate. It is just lovely. For what it’s worth, I think my cat loves fall, too. He’s been acting like a kitten lately (except when he’s sleeping. Which is a lot). It’s awfully cute. ‘Till next time…

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Home Again!

15 August 06

We’re back! Yesterday we flew back in to DIA, picked up the Rust-dog from the friend who has been watching him, and got back home to an eager cat, unpacking and laundry. We’re gradually getting back to normal here and, although I wanted to sleep in this morning (as Rusty is doing – snoring away by my desk as I write), we really aren’t too tired and run-down :) Hopefully I’ll get back to regular posting now!

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New Orleans

1 August 06

I’m going to be gone for a couple of weeks – my sis-in-law is getting married! – so I thought I’d give you all a little something to muse over in the meanwhile.

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27 July 06

So, I have two more pictures to tour you through, but since I’ve been so terribly neglectful of the garden shots lately, I decided to show off some of my crazy sunflowers.

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Little Italy - Part III

23 July 06

The is the third and final set of pictures showing my progress through painting the oil painting of the Little Italy area in NYC. Here I’m getting quite detailed. I’ve adjusted a lot of shapes and values, and even corrected a couple of awkward lines. Yay! I’m done! I added highlighting in some key spots, darkened some others, and made sure to emphasize the focus area. Now I just need to sign it… If you want to leaf through all the photos in sequence (without all this gabbing in between messing up your concentration), I have them up in Flickr; you can view them there to your heart’s content.

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Little Italy - Part II

22 July 06

The second installment in this series to show my progress through the painting process. Here I got a little more detailed, but I’m still basically blocking in colors and values: You can really tell here that I’ve gotten serious about changing some colors. I’m also starting to lighten things up a bit: Oh Boy! It’s taking shape! However, it’s not done yet! Check back tomorrow for the third (and final) installment of the progress pictures of Little Italy, NYC!

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Little Italy - Part I

21 July 06

Hooray! I’m done with those pictures! The first I’m going to show you is one of Little Italy in NYC. And, I’ve decided to show you in installments, after all, so that you won’t be too inundated with images :) The reference photo: The sketch (I know, you can hardly see anything): Blocking in color: I really enjoyed the process of taking pictures at various stages. For one thing, it was just plain encouraging to see the progress I had made. Also, comparing the pictures with each other and with the original actually helped me to catch some issues that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. Well, that’s it for today! Look for some more tomorrow!

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11 July 06

I am currently working on a series of pictures depicting different places. When they’re all done, I should have six pictures total. I thought it would be fun if, on a couple of them, I did a little progress picture journal – you know, “this is the sketch”, “this is the more detailed version” – so that you can actually see the painting taking shape. Anyhow, I want to post them all at once so you’ll have to wait for the real deal until I’m finished with the painting in a week or so. Just thought I’d let you know what’s going on so you can check back in a few days :)

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Guess What?

10 July 06

We’re gonna’ be parents! Those two sentences and the above picture have defined most of our interactions with people over the past month or so as we have gradually alerted family and friends to our “big news”. Exciting, huh? Most of you have probably read all about it on my D.H.‘s fabulous blog, but I wouldn’t feel I was being honest with you unless I shared, too. The due date is January 12, I’m about 13 weeks along, and no, we haven’t decided yet if we’re going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. :) I’m feeling much better now that I’m over the first trimester. Although I had a very light case of the baby queasies – didn’t throw up, just felt icky – the exhaustion was overwhelming. I’m glad to be past that point. We are quite excited about our big news, to say the least!

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More Flowers!

15 May 06

Well, I got all excited-like and posted a ton of pics at the beginning of last month. The only problem is, I have a limited amount of picture-space on my free Flickr account, and I happened to use it all up. Yup. It’s true that I can post pics on my blog through methods other than Flickr. After all, it’s only recently that I even got a Flickr account. But posting through my Flickr account is a ton easier than posting pics through other methods and I’m afraid I’ve gotten a bit spoiled. So when I realized “Wow! We’re in a new month now!” the first thing that popped into my head was “…and I am now free to post pictures to Flickr again!” I think I might need to get a “Pro” Flickr account. It’s not free, but it’s not too bad a price. Unless I can learn to restrain myself, I just may have to resort to paying money. Here are the rest of the Tulips I wanted to share with you. “Tulipa Appeldoorn” “Tulipa Prinses Irene” I planted 3 kinds of tulips last fall – the one in that first post were called “Tulipa Shakespeare”. I also got some yellow-colored tulips for “Aministrative Assistant’s Day” (the kind that come in a little pot). I thought that was very thoughtful of my boss, don’t you? I planted them once they stopped flowering, and I’m hoping they’ll come up next year. Then I’ll have 4 kinds! Soon I’ll have pictures of more flowers to show you – I planted some outside recently, and they are doing quite well these days. I also planted some seeds. Some sunflower plants (just scattered seeds from last year’s flowers) are already starting to grow!

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I'm sure there's an analogy here somewhere...

17 April 06

About a week ago some beautiful tulips that I planted last fall were looking very promising: Only a couple of days later: Wow! Isn’t that just the most amazing thing?!! I did absolutely nothing except dig a hole, give it a bit of fertilizer, and water it (a very little bit). And even what I did do probably didn’t make that big of a difference. The potential for beauty was all stored in that brown bulb I saw last fall. The bad news is that I got so excited about it that I enthusiastically downloaded too many pictures to my Flickr account – I think maybe I maxed it out until next month – so you’ll have to wait on the other two kinds of bulbs that have come up in the past couple of days.

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What Cunning Little Things!

10 April 06

I’ve always wanted to use that word, “Cunning”. I think I first heard it when I was read C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia by my parents as a child (and of course later when I began to read them myself). They make a great bedtime story, by the way – even if the reader does happen to fall into an exhausted sleep AT THE MOST EXCITING PARTS! …So maybe I have some issues I need to deal with. However, it remains that my memories of The Chronicles of Narnia and the word “cunning” are tied together. I don’t exactly recall where or even which book, but the word seems to fit so well into those stories, I think I shall continue to believe that, indeed, that is where I first heard it. My impression of the word (no wikipedia was used here, so beware!) is that its meaning is a little bit like “cute” and “little” combined. With a little “darling” thrown in. As in, “Look at my cunning hyacinths!” Cunning, no? Now, I happen to know there is another meaning, which one can use to mean “sly”, and “sneaky”, but that’s NOT the one I mean. And, even if it turns out that my pet use of the word is completely and totally and in all other ways wrong and false, I shall not care. Because it’s so obvious that there is no other complete description for certain things, early spring hyacinths being one of them.

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31 March 06

I have been reading my brother’s thesis. It’s quite good. He’s graduating from seminary soon, and reportedly has a bad case of senioritis. I volunteered to help him proof-read the thesis and, although it took a long time (and I’m not even sure if my suggestions were all that helpful), it was quite the cool experience. Best of all I think was seeing what he’s up to these days. If anyone knows of a church in the Denver area that is looking for a pastor – I think an assistant pastor is the specific position he’s looking for – let him (or me) know. I’m campaigning to get him to move here (sorry, John Mark, it’s not about you, it’s your kiddos). :u)

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23 March 06

While my DH was gone at SXSW, I had all sorts of plans to get stuff done. I was gonna’ dig some in the garden, put up some drapes, you know…but all these plans came to naught, because he unfortunately passed on some germs before he left. Needless to say they kept me busy. :( Nasty germies. I spent the majority of the time in bed – nice an’ warm and sleepy – and by now I’m almost 100% better, except for a bit of a cough that has held on. I found this awesome art site, again on my faithful Drawn!. The pictures have so much personality, and movement and color. I don’t even mind that I can’t read the captions (which must be in Russian). If you really get into the pictures, don’t miss the “previous” link at the bottom of the page – there are tons more pictures to view! I always get so excited when I find a really awesome art site like this one :u) In other news, I finished my purse that I’ve been knitting! Hooray! I felted it last night and brought it to work today (still a tiny bit damp, but oh well). I know I promised to give you all a before/after picture comparison, but I think you’ll just have to use your imaginations, because in my eagerness to see the final outcome I completely forgot to take a pic of “before”. Just imagine bigger and a lot floppier and you’ll be pretty close!

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Desktop Pictures

9 March 06

Neat-o desktop pictures, anyone? I found the link on Drawn!

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Big Post

5 March 06

Just so you know, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I know, I know, you were holding your collective breath until the day I would post again, and now you are all blue from waiting. My apologies for the blueness, but you should regain some color soon. At least temporarily.

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12 February 06 I discovered this nifty website through one of my favorite collaborative weblogs, Drawn!, which I visit regularly. I drew two sketches, and received two in return. Here’s one of those I got in return: Try it out! You don’t have to do a masterpiece, or even anything that good, but it’s fun (and if you are worried that someone might think you are a bad artist, as far as I know it’s completely untrackable, so no one will know anyhow!) Have fun!

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10 February 06

My computer, dubbed Lampy, got sick last night. Strangly and suddenly, the screen froze. I restarted, and Brian tinkered around with it a little bit and decided yes, there is definitely something wrong. So he took it to the Apple store (one of the times we are very thankful to live near one – actually two). They’re going to take care of the problem for me, but for now I’m without a computer. I’m currently on Brian’s work laptop that his department uses for trips. Poor Lampy… Also, some more techie news is that I (Brian, actually) sold my little shuffle, Mr. Bones. He sold his old iPod also, and with the funds from that we plan to buy one of those nifty little Nanos. Very exciting! My only dilemma is what, if anything, to inscribe upon it? I would like to do a neat quote, but it has to be short. Any ideas?

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Artsy Craftsy

7 February 06

I just can’t decide whether I’m artsy or craftsy. Actually, I think I’m both, but I don’t really know where to focus my energies. I love making pretty things. That’s the main focus right now. But it’s not very specific, if you know what I mean. For any other artsy/craftsy people out there, these two community blogs are the thing. They’re a great way to find the websites/blogs of other people with similar interests. I’ve been following the Drawn! site for quite awhile now, and just recently discovered Whip Up (through Drawn!, actually). So take a peek, and let me know what you think!

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New Job

6 February 06

So, I got a new job. Brian’s office needed a new secretary/receptionist, and I applied and…tum ta da tum! They offered me the job. I’m hoping to keep my coffee shop job, just for Saturdays, because I think I’d just miss it too much otherwise. I started the new job this past Wednesday. It’s going to take a little adjustment, since I have never worked a full-time 8-5 job. Halfway through the afternoon I get a little antsy. There’s no problem with staying busy, though. The receptionist stuff keeps me busy funnelling emails and phone calls, and there is plenty of secretary stuff to do too. I’ve decided if I’m ever not busy I’ll bring my knitting, but it doesn’t look like that will ever happen! One thing I don’t like about it is that there is no flexibility – the nature of the job is that I need to be there just before eight, and leave at five, so there really isn’t that much wiggle room in there :u) To combat the feeling of never being at home, Brian and I are trying the get up at dawn strategy. We got up at 5 this morning (which was technically before dawn, as the sun is just rising now at 7). It feels good to have some home time before work. I’ll let you all know how this all goes!

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Sketchbook Update

31 January 06

I posted another sketch to the sketchbook section. Check it out!

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What a Pleasant Day

29 January 06

Some of you may have noticed my DH has been hard at work. He did some great redesign on my blog last night. The Portfolio section looks completely different, and even has a new name! The Sketchbook section also has a new name, and received some small tweaks on it’s previous redesign. Hooray! Thanks Brian!

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25 January 06

We all know FedEx to be the provider of fast deliveries, friendly service, and a cool logo. (See the arrow? Cool, huh?)

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New Design

9 January 06

My DH has been hard at work lately. One of his many projects as been redesigning/reorganizing my blog, so now…dumdadadum!...we have a section devoted entirely to the sketches/small paintings that I’ve been doing lately! Huzzah! The idea is that this new format will make it a lot easier to peruse the pictures. Thanks, Brian! Also, something new we’re trying out…if you go to eBay, and search for “Russell Crowe” in the Art section, guess whose art pops up? We’ll do a direct link soon from my blog, too, so you don’t have to search. If this goes well, you might just see quite a bit more of my art going up on eBay…

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8 January 06

Hi, Everyone! I have some fun pictures to share today. First, these Beautiful Roses were a gift from my amazing hubby. Since our anniversary falls on Dec. 22, and we’re usually spending fun time with family about that time, we usually end up celebrating a little late. Soon after we returned from our Christmas vacation, I came home from work to a smiling hubby and these lovely things (and mind you, I hadn’t dropped nary a hint!) What amazing thoughtfulness. Happy 4th Anniversary to us! Second big slice of news is, instead of buying big Christmas gifts for each other this year, we decided to buy one big gift for ourselves. See, we (probably mostly me, but Brian as well) have had our eyes on KitchenAid mixers. They’re like the Holy Grail of mixers, and with all the pretty colors…well who wouldn’t want one? Before you tell me the answer to my question, just let me tell you about this one. We got it from, refurbished by the manufacturer. KitchenAid still gives a six-month warrenty with the refurbed mixers, however, because it comes in a “refurbished” box (and doesn’t come with the pour shield usually included with this model), we only had to spend $150 on it, instead of the $330 that we would normally have to plunk down. That’s…over half off! Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself. Also a deal that I would not have found were it not for my amazing Brian. (Thanks Honey!) With no more ado, let me introduce to you our Accolade 400 KitchenAid Mixer, in stunning Honeysuckle Yellow (pictured in action with beer bread batter)!!! We just might have to name this little lady. Any ideas?

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New Year (2006!?)

3 January 06

This was probably the most special, most satisfying New Year’s celebration I’ve ever had. I didn’t really do anything terribly exciting, and we didn’t go out to any parties, but nevertheless… I think a lot of the reason it was so wonderful is Brian and I got to spend some really meaningful time together. We went on a Loooooong walk, and New Year’s Day celebrated a belated Anniversary meal (four whole years) at the restaurant where we had our first date! We spent lots of time talking together, and planning our goals for the new year. So here’s to another year, and all the adventures (planned and otherwise!) that it contains. I’m so glad, and know I am incredibly blessed, to have such a wonderful man to share it with. As a dear lady from church said to me, I wish all of you the best of every blessing in the coming year. God be with you!

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30 December 05

With the holidays more or less behind us my posts here will be more regular. Sorry for the slacking in that department!

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30 December 05

I feel so blessed and very very thankful to have in-laws that I really like!

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Look at me, all Professional

13 December 05

Yesterday I had the conflicting experience of selling one of my paintings. I say conflicting because, as an artist, it was quite exhilarating to witness someone liking my art enough to pay money for it.

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Photo Journal

7 December 05

Rather than just do a brief overview of our Thanksgiving travels, I’m going with the old wisdom “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and shall treat you with some of Brian’s awesome photos.

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Season's Greetings

6 December 05

I’d like to issue a belated warning:

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Where am I, and why am I a slacker?

22 November 05

Okay, so I’m not as big of a slacker as it appears.

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New Stuff!

9 November 05

I just love new stuff. It’s so much fun.

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My Busy Quiet Life

4 November 05

So, I guess we still have plenty of stuff going on. It’s mostly really good stuff, though.

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What a Week!

31 October 05

This has been one crazy week.

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21 October 05

So, we’ll see how this goes – I’ve been feeling a desire lately to be more disciplined in my artwork.

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14 October 05

Brian and I recently attended an Orthodox Marriage Encounter weekend. It was a fun weekend, away from work and distractions, and it also helped us to “wake up” to each other again. It’s so easy to go on autopilot in our daily lives, and forget about actively exploring the soul of the person we love. As a side note, the Weekend was held at the Glen Eyrie conference center, which happens to be smack in the middle of the Garden of the Gods, a large area aptly named for it’s amazing, huge (I mean gigantic here), juttings-up of rock. Feel free to find more pics on my new Flickr account here

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Colors of Fall

6 October 05

I love the “transition seasons”.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

6 October 05

Monday was my Birthday. Monday was actually quite an average day. I worked. I actually worked late.

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The Beauty of Brown

27 September 05

Brian has been doing a lot more free-lancing lately, and becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of storage space and the general drabness of his office area.

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26 September 05

Today Brian and I headed up to the Boulder Reservoir to see the mother of our godchildren, Amy, finish a half-marathon.

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Me on a Box

8 September 05

This is me on a box.

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7 September 05

I have felt for the past few days that I should write something about the devastation in New Orleans caused by hurricane Katrina.

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More Pictures!

2 September 05

I just uploaded more artwork for your viewing pleasure.

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Welcome to my blog!

30 August 05

After much hemming and hawing, and even more indecision, I have finally decided to start a blog.

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