Friday, December 31

Beautiful Transformation

Amazing transformation (imagine me twirling around with a big grin!) of a tiny kitchen. This one was shown on Apartment Therapies, Best of 2010 before/afters.

It is is the link, so LOOK!

Thursday, December 30

JoAnn's with the Lea-mom

I'm headed out to JoAnn fabrics to get some high-density foam with Lea-mom (AKA Mom-in-law), it's going to be a date.

Isn't that nice?

I'll post pictures by tomorrow of my completed coffee table cushion. I'm converting our beautiful danish style coffee table into an partial ottoman so that we have a cushy foot rest while watching the tube or reading. So far it is turning out dashingly and I'm holding my breath that it'll come out all right.

I had a sweet Christmas.  Still not exactly the same without all my family, but sweet, and I received a set of 5 lb dumbbells (yes, I'm that weak), a heating pad, a bunch of clothes, gloves, earrings, slippers, a set of cordless phones for the house, a cutting board, recipe box, and a manicure set. My gifts were perfect! Of course, lots of chocolate and good food.

Anyway, must run, tootles pip!

Thursday, December 23

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa

I'm thinking today of Christmas and how blessed I feel to have had such a sweet upbringing with parents who loved and cared for me deeply. Lately, I've been wishing I could snuggle in my bed at the house on the highway and peer out the window, early Christmas morning, while it is still dark and the street light is shining down on the snow covered trees and yard. The air in our room is cold, we don't have heat besides the wood stove downstairs and it hasn't been burning since late last night.  My sister, Meg, is just opening the door of my room and whispering to Jenn and I to sneak downstairs and open our stockings.  In our PJ's and sock covered feet me, Jenn and Meg slip downstairs, sit close to the tree, blankets wrapped around us, and open our stockings; usually filled with some small things, hair bands and chocolate, a teddy bear and perhaps a necklace and always a large orange at the toe.

We're there for what seems like an hour, and  Mum wakes, makes coffee- then Papa wakes up and starts the fire that will burn hot all day long.  Then our presents are distributed in no particular order, but we're polite enough to open one at a time around the room.  We each get a sweater, and me and Jenn get something really similar.  I receive a box of colored pencils and Meg books and a large package of white socks.  Jenn receives more clothes and a jewelry box. Papa bought Mum some beautiful, gold earrings and Papa receives recordable tapes and a set of drill bits.  The dachsunds get bones: Christmas has begun.

Around eleven our older siblings and their children arrive and more gifts are opened, then we eat: pumpkin pie, turkey and Mum's famous mashed potatoes, and of course Mum's pickled everything and olives and deviled eggs and so many good things. Dee makes a ham.  We drink tea and eggnog and play games and some of us kids brave the cold snow and later we watch a movie.  Some of the family may stay over for the evening in our rooms or head home or to other Christmas dinners and Aunt Trudy and Mr. Potter arrive too. In the late afternoon, just after we begin dinner, the snow starts falling again, and from the eastern window upstairs, the creek at the back of the property has swollen and is a few feet from the edge of the property. 

So, Santa, I'm not a child anymore.  That was my childhood Christmas and I miss it terribly.  It's different being older, but I'm working on making the holiday real. I'm working on thinking about Christmas differently, realizing that it isn't just about family and presents and making people feel good, but it is most about Jesus.  I remember the Christmas eve services, we'd dress up for those, or go to Christmas eve Mass with Dad, those times brought back our focus from our presents to the greatest gift; God gave his son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

So, this Christmas, when the family traditions are different, when Papa isn't here anymore, when my family is across multiple states, cities and countries.  This Christmas, when things feel so strange and unlike Christmas, I'm just trying to remember that I've still deeply loved, by God whose son was born in a dirty, dank, animal dung, manger. Born to live a humble life and to die for my life. Santa my Christmas wish for this year: that I will remember, all year round, I am deeply and passionately loved.

Your's truly,

Wednesday, December 22

Pain the the Neck

I had a good day.

6:30 AM wake-up call, take Matt to work.

8:00 AM get home, check emails, check on the cat and get ready to talk to my sweet Swazi sister (Check out the PC Peace maker on my links).

9:00 AM talk with sister, she rocks, she's hardcore and yes, she's hot.

10:00 AM mom calls and says we planned on hanging out together (umm...somehow I forgot this detail). Hang-up quickly, shower quickly and grab all my stuff.

10:30 AM in the lounge which is FREEZING...I try to get it warmed up, a bunch of kids come we watch the dragon show- major success.

12:10 PM leave to meet mom at fedex/costco in Edmonds, where I print out some things and Mom and I head to downtown Edmonds

12:30 PM we have lunch, I'm still FREEZING cold and the bread they serve is cold, but the food is awesome and the coffee is great and WARM.

1:30 PM we hit the streets which have quick, cold winds whipping around and I'm freezing, but we go in and out of shops so I feel okay still.

4:30 PM Matt calls it's time to get him.

5:00 PM I pick Matt up, we head home and my shoulder, shoulder blade and neck tense up and pain starts shooting everywhere and yes it's my left shoulder and arm, and no I don't think I had a heart attack, my heart is in good working order from a few months ago per a medical thinkamabob I went in's just that I shivered so much today that I'm tight as an elephant's g-string and it's cutting off the circulation.

5:30 PM Matt tries his hardest to help massage...he is trying.

6:00 PM I HAVE to get warm, I'm freezing, I soak in a HOT HOT bath and feel OH so much better.

8:00 PM...I'm having to warm my shoulder up and take Ibuprofen.

SO...what do i learn...

Wear layers....lots of them...

AND DO MY STINKING "PAIN FREE" exercises everyday...then life wouldn't be so painful.


And please, Jessica, use the voucher you have for a 90 minute massage...SHEESH!

I have a stinking PAIN IN THE NECK.

Great time with mom though and overall great if I could just get to the store...

Sunday, December 5

A Counseling Session

Matt and I have been talking since we were married about him working full time and I working P/T or not at all.  There are a few reasons for this, but mainly he doesn't really care about keeping the house clean and food cooked and I enjoy doing those things, but it's really hard for me to do the cleaning and the cooking and the full time working. Maybe that's a weakness, but it's true. It's REALLY hard for me to do both full time.

So, now that both of us are mostly unemployed (I say mostly because we do have a P/T gig doing events for the apartment community we live in) I feel a little uncertain of this is why...

1. I've generally been able to make more money then him, go figure, I have a four-year degree. I like money, I get stressed out when we don't have money and I like nice things....

2. I have a hard time believing that I could influence the world positively from home.

3. The idea of a "Stay at home-wife/mom" makes me feel like there is something lazy about me...I'm not saying that applies to anyone else, I'm just saying that about me...I think maybe I'd feel differently if we had children, but we don't.

4. I feel like I'll loose my identity if I'm not given a solid check every two weeks and a nod from by boss that I've done a great job.

So that is that. Looking at the list above a lot of this I'm sure is common among other people faced with a similar situation...meanwhile, It's me and I'm sitting here working through a lot of junk and thinking about what I still want to be when I grow up and it can be overwhelming.

I like getting a pay check, I like being at maybe...I need the two combined...

Thursday, December 2


Today is the first real day that I've seen progress at my house as I try to get things back to normal after the holidays....

Woke up feeling awake, and without back pain thanks to Mr. O and my warm rice sock
Budget for the month in place
Schedule for the month penciled in
Office cleaned
Papers filed
Grocery list started
Reports reviewed and emailed
Calendars delivered and posters put up
Dinner planned
Now Kid's Lounge event
Then evening errands.

I am glad