Archive | May, 2010

Yes, We Are (were) Lost-ies

31 May

There’s this little TV show that’s been on for the past few years… maybe you’ve heard of it.  It’s called LOST.  And it’s over.

I know that there are people out there who didn’t like the show.  I know there are even more who didn’t like how it ended.  Personally, I couldn’t have thought of a better ending, but whatever.  This post isn’t about the show.

We have a group of friends that we have watched this show with since season 3.  Hey folks, that’s 4 years.  Every week, we would get together at one house or another and someone would make dinner and we would hang out and catch up on life and then we would watch LOST.

We had only a few rules:

1. It is ok to experiment with new recipes on LOST night.  We are all friends, and if it’s a total flop, we’ll order pizza.
2. There should always be beer/wine and root beer (and lately other fizzy juice beverages for the preggo ones)
3. Kids go to bed before LOST starts.
4. NO, and I mean absolutely NO TALKING during LOST. Commercials are fine, but when the show comes back on, conversations must stop mid-sentence.  It was too easy to miss something important on that show.

We have grown really close to these friends – Joel knew most of them from undergrad, but I was introduced to them when we started dating.  As with entering any new group of people, especially those who have known each other for years, it was just a little hard to break in.  They always had stories to tell about the college days they spent together, and that kind of shared history isn’t something to take lightly.  They had all been through a lot together.  But in the last 4 years, all the couples have had a kid or two (we’re the late-bloomers there), 5 of us went to India together, and we’ve seen each other through career changes, personal difficulties, and lots of blessings.  Now when we get together, it’s not so much about recounting old college stories and it’s more about living life together.  They are people who I would answer the phone for any time of day or night, and I’m pretty sure they’d do the same for us.

So when we got together for the finale of LOST last Sunday, it felt a little strange.  It was a great time, we did all the normal things, but when the show was over and we had spent our normal time discussing afterwards, and we all said goodbye, it felt kind of final.  It felt like we were saying goodbye to these friends that we’ve seen once a week for the last four years.  I realize that sounds silly.  It certainly won’t be the last time we see them.  In fact, we’re going to try to keep hanging out all together each week.  But it’s funny how a TV show can make it easier to carve out time and be intentional about seeing people that we care about.  Maybe it’s sad that that’s the case – but the reality is that life gets so busy – and coordinating the schedules of 4 families, most of them with kids, can get complicated.  Either way, we’ve invested 4 years together, and I’m thankful that we did.

The Shamblees, the Weyands, and the Crosses are among some of our best friends.  Thanks, friends, for being part of our lives for so long.

If you’re interested in some more discussion about LOST itself, you can go here – a blog that Shaun pointed out to me this past weekend.  There’s some pretty lively discussion there, so enjoy.

In other news, they should have put a warning on the Grey’s Anatomy season finale telling pregnant people not to watch.  It was intense, to say the least, and even though I’d heard other people say that, it caught me off guard.  I was exhausted when I finished watching it.  Seriously people, help a girl out here.

Twins and Fabric-Finding Amazingness!

26 May

The other day at work, someone asked me the strangest question. He’s one of my favorite people at work, so I was shocked.  The man approached me and asked, “Are you having twins?”

Ummm, what?  I just stared at him and said, “Really?” (channeling Amy Pohler from SNL during the Weekend Update sketch “REALLY?!?! With Seth and Amy).  For the record, I am NOT having twins.  There’s one baby in there, and one is plenty for me at this point.

I’m sorry, but people like that should just not speak to pregnant people.  Comments like that, and “Wow, you’re ready to pop aren’t you” or “Are you sure you have 2 more months??” And the worst of it all is that usually the people who say those things are women!  Seriously.  Women.  Ok ladies, we all know that most of us have issues with our bodies in the first place… not to mention when you have an ever-expanding belly… just do not say anything.

Ok, rant over.

In other news, I found this incredible website on a blog today… I would credit them, but I cannot remember for the life of me which one it was.  But this is the most incredible thing!  There is an online fabric store with a color grid tool…. You can select the color you want in your fabric, now dominant you’d like that color to be, and how close you want the color to be to what you choose… and it will return all of the fabrics the store has with that color.  Ummm, hello???  This is amazing! Check it out!  You will love it.

Adventures in Nursery Decorating

19 May

Perhaps this post would best be served by me giving you a little insight into our plan for the nursery. I have a vision.  It’s perhaps still developing, but it’s a vision nonetheless.  I happen to think if your vision gets stuck in one place, perhaps you are being a bit too stubborn.  But I digress.

I found the most amazing color for a nursery over on my friend and fellow photographer, Candice Lanning’s blog – The Beautiful Mess Photography.  She and her hubby did a session for some clients who had just had a baby, and the color of their nursery was GORGEOUS!  I loved the yellow combined with the blue.

This is my first point of inspiration.  I am going for a slightly bolder look – a bit brighter with the yellow and adding in some orange and maybe even some red as accents.

Amazingly, when I showed this to Joel, he liked it too!  Shocking, I know.  I asked Candice to find out the name of the paint color, because I am obsessive like that, and she, being the amazing person that she is, asked them.  Thank you, Candice!  So, here it is:

Because Joel was in hard core “nesting mode” far and long before I was (immediately after finding out we were pregnant, while I was still in a bit of shock), we chose this color before we knew the sex of our baby.  Because of that, I wanted to make sure it was something I could make masculine for a boy or feminine for a girl.  It needed to be a flexible color.  Is that even a thing?  Well, regardless… So Bird’s Egg seemed like a good choice.  A turquoise-ey blue with enough green to not look completely baby (or Carolina, ugh) blue.  Joel painted the nursery with one hand (and a significant amount of help from Brandon, his brother-in-law), and it looks amazing.

But that’s just a color, and one color does not a vision make.  So, here are some of the other things I’ve been thinking of for the little nursery…

The Furniture -in the darker color.  The crib converts to a toddler bed, then a twin, then a daybed, then a double.  Or full.  I can’t remember.  Either way, one bed – whole life.  Love that.  Waiting for it to come in the next few weeks.  I think it will help me visualize the room a little better.

Giraffe Shelf (originally seen on black eiffel) – which will be modified from this version and made by my dad.  Told you, he can do anything.  We’ll probably do a bunch of giraffes and/or other animals along a longer line in the back, and then put a small shelf cantilevered from the front.  Maybe I’ll double-decker it so there are two rows of animals and two shelves.

Canvases – here are a few of them… I love the elephants the most! Sorry for the bad iphone pictures – better ones when everything is done.

Curtains – not sure which fabric I’m going to choose.  I’m open to suggestions and opinions.  I just want 2  simple panels from the top of the window to the floor… or halfway between windowsill and floor.  I’m going to make these myself, with the sewing machine my sister willingly gave up for me to use.  Thanks, Rachel!

I found all of these fabrics on etsy.com because the selection in the fabric store is less than desirable.  At least I think so.

Bedding – again, not sure which fabrics to choose.  Help?  These and/or any of the above… ack!

I’m having a hard time choosing, because I’ve already had one fabric mishap.  I ordered these curtains from urbanoutfitters:

They look white, yes?  Well, they came yesterday.  They are most certainly NOT white.  They are a weird shade of beige that just looks dirty next to that sweet cool blue wall and white trim.  So back they go.  Hence the making my own curtains thing.  I’m ok with that, though.  I like to make things.  It will be an adventure.  (Mom always used to say that when we were lost in the car.  Not to say that I’m lost at sewing… well, it has been years, so I suppose it’s possible.)

Anyway, that’s it for the first installment of Adventures in Nursery Decorating.  I would love to hear what you think about the fabrics… or if you have ever made crib bedding yourself… how hard is it?

Doing it Yourself

14 May

I grew up in a crafty family. Not the sinister kind of crafty.  The glue and fabric and paint and sewing needles, sculpey clay and beads and shrinky-dink and iron-on transfers kind of crafty. In the summers when my sister and I went to visit our grandparents in Florida, we would usually stay for about a month (mom and dad’s vacation as well), and one of our favorite things was helping Grammy with her latest and greatest craft project.  Sometimes it was Christmas ornaments made from beads to sell at the Christmas in July celebration at their church, sometimes it was puff paint on various materials, sometimes it was using her embroidery machine to embellish clothing or purses, sometimes it was… well, you get the picture.  There was always something new and fun to do.  And I loved it.

My mom is a really good seamstress – she used to make us dresses for Easter and Christmas every year.  Sometimes they matched.  I didn’t appreciate that part very much.  But I remember her staying up sometimes all night before the day we were to wear the new dresses finishing (and sometimes starting) them.  I probably didn’t appreciate that effort as much as I should have, either.  When we were babies, she even learned how to smock, which, I understand, is a pretty technical and tedious thing to do.  But she still has some of the cutest smocked dresses and rompers that she made for me and Rachel (I’m pretty pumped about my daughter getting to wear them soon, actually!).

Being a good seamstress made her very picky about buying clothes.  If the stripes on a shirt didn’t match on the seams, we absolutely could not get it.  It wasn’t made well.  And that eye for quality (shall we call it… perfectionism?) was passed on to me.  It’s probably part of the reason that I can’t manage to delegate tasks very well.  You know the old adage “if you want it done right, do it yourself.” Not the wisest of advice perhaps, or the most graceful to those around you, but I do tend to try to take everything on myself and never ask for help from anyone.  Marriage has tested that, and stretched me to learn how to ask for help.  It’s a bit of a learning process, but I think I’ve made some progress… Maybe you should ask Joel though, if you want the truth.

But it’s not just the women in my family who are crafty.  The men can hold their own in the area of handiness as well.  My Grandad loved trains.  I’m not talking about the big toy trains, but the serious, I-have-a-train-table-that-takes-up-half-of-my-two-car-garage kind of trains.  Also real trains.  But he had a special fascination with them.  He built said table, landscaped it, and even built and painted several of the cars he had.  They were electric and ran around the table (we wired the whole thing himself), and had tracks that could switch and a trainyard where you could drop off the cars and stuff.  We also loved playing with this when we would visit them, but he was always there to keep a watchful eye on his creation.

***Prepare for little-girl-like admiration of her daddy***
My dad can do anything.  Fix anything.  Build anything.  If my walkman wasn’t working or snagged a tape, I’d just run to my dad and he would fix it.  My mom would draw him designs for various things for the house – shelving units, entertainment centers, kitchen tables – and he would build them.  He’s run cables, put in additional outlets, fixed malfunctioning printers and computers… oh the list goes on and on.

Since we got married, Joel and I have tackled several projects at our house without the assistance of a paid professional.  I would say “on our own”, but we have had some help.  OK, we’ve had a lot of help.  We ripped out all the carpet downstairs and installed hardwood floors.  Joel’s dad helped with that one.  Well, I should say he really did most of the work.  He’s a machine.  We also repainted all of our kitchen cabinets, painted the entire downstairs (twice, because I hated the colors the first time.), and our master bathroom (also twice.  Yes, I’m that girl.).

With the baby on the way, I’ve been thinking of things that I can do to decorate the room with things I make myself.  I love to paint, so I’ve been working on this project to cover the walls in painted canvases with fun animals, scenes, or patterns on them.  That’s been a really fun project that has kind of been put on hold because of my busy wedding season (this year – April and May).  I only have time for so much, you know.  But there’s still time and I’ll get back to it.

I recently found several other projects that I would like to try – not necessarily baby-related.  I love what I do, but am excited to have a little bit more time to do fun projects.  Like these:

I would like to put these lights in somewhere in my house.  Maybe my office/studio space.  Or just make it to use for a shoot.  But with LOTS LOTS more lights.  See on Design*Sponge

I love jewelry, especially necklaces.  And I would totally wear this.  It doesn’t look that hard to make.  What do you think?

These flowers are so pretty.  I want to add them to a plain white t-shirt, or put them on a headband.  Seen on You Are My Fave

I think it would be really fun to send letters (yes, real ones) in envelopes lined with fun papers like this!  I have a whole bunch of scrapbooking papers in the attic…. hmm.  Seen on black pearl press

And I am definitely making these! Seen on Everyday Chaos

What fun projects are you working on lately?

28 and Counting

11 May

When I woke up this morning, I completely forgot that today is my birthday. Honestly.  I know people say that sometimes when they want to deny that they’re getting older, or just to keep people from feeling bad about forgetting.  But I honestly did not think about it. There have been so many other things going on lately, that it hasn’t been the countdown that it normally is.  And 28 just seems like such a random year.

I had trouble with 27.  It’s not really a landmark year or anything, but in my head it seemed like I was crossing from mid-twenties to late-twenties I guess, and that was hard.  But it has turned out to be a pretty good year overall.

28 seems to be a year of life change for me.  A baby in a few months, a husband starting law school, and who knows what else.  Maybe that is enough on its own.  Seems like it will be.

Since it’s my birthday, and I get to do what I like on my birthday, I thought I’d share with you just a few things I’m loving right now.

1. Toms Shoes – Seriously, these are some great shoes!  Comfortable, cute, and for every pair that is purchased, they give a pair to a kid in need in another country.  Also, that t-shirt totally describes me.  I don’t wear shoes if at all possible… ever!

2. Holly Aiken bags– Holly is a local artist here in Raleigh and has an adorable little shop which I love to look at as I walk or drive by, but have never actually been inside.  Sad, right?  Isn’t her stuff just the cutest?

3. Cameras – I know, big surprise, right?  I have lots of lenses on my want-it list (35mm L series Canon lens), but here are a few (less expensive) different things I’ve been eyeing:

4. Pandora Radio – How I stay sane at work.  My current favorite stations: Keane Radio and Needtobreathe Radio.

So, thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday.  You’ve made my day!  And here’s to a great 28!

Boys and Girls

10 May

A couple weeks ago we had an appointment. You know the one.  THE appointment.  The one where they do the Level 2 ultrasound and make sure all the arms and legs and fingers and toes and eyes and ears are present and accounted for and in the correct places.  Oh, and there’s this other little thing about finding out whether your baby is a boy or a girl.

Joel and I went into this appointment praying for just a healthy baby, but completely convinced that we were having a boy.  I had asked several of my mommy friends what they did to make sure that their baby was awake for this big appointment, because our last ultrasound, Gummy Bear slept right through the whole thing!  I was given a TON of suggestions, most of them involving sugar in one form or another.  I decided I wasn’t going to take any chances.  Since I had felt Gummy Bear move after eating Bojangles before, that definitely had to be a part of the morning’s activities.  A cajun filet biscuit, fries, and a sweet tea were breakfast that morning.  And just for good measure, I had a big glass of orange soda on the way to the doctor’s office.  Someone had also suggested orange wedges – you know, the candy kind that you loved as a kid – I ate one and they were WAAAAY too sweet for me.

Well, it worked, and Gummy Bear was doing somersalts, and punching and kicking so much that the poor ultrasound tech had a hard time seeing what she needed to see.  She was chasing it all over, moving the ultrasound wand all over my stomach.  Eventually she was able to find all the arms, hands, legs, feet, fingers, and toes, and everything looks good.  We saw the baby’s brain, all four chambers of the heart just pumping away, and even the face while Gummy Bear opened and closed its mouth.  We have the thing we were the most hopeful for – a healthy baby – at least so far.

And then came the moment for the big reveal.  Gummy Bear certainly isn’t shy or bashful and gave us a full view of what we were hoping to see.  There was no hesitation at all from the tech as she said, “It’s a GIRL!”  We were shocked.  I don’t know why we were so convinced it was a boy… but for some reason we were.  It seemed easier to decide on names for a boy, for one.  I am just drawn to the little boy clothes at Target and especially Baby Gap.  Something about the graphic nature of them intrigues me.  The girls’ clothes are just so ruffly and… oh, yeah.. pink.  Not that I have anything against pink, but I don’t want my child dressing in it every day.

Joel was mostly silent after the news.  From the ultrasound, we went into another room to talk to the doctor.  While we were waiting for her, I just started bawling.  I still have no idea why.  Maybe it’s because it became so much more real when we saw her this time.  Maybe I was just so shocked about the news that we were having a girl.  I wasn’t upset.  I wasn’t mad, or even sad.  But I was crying.  And, of course, right as I was trying to get myself together, the doctor walked in.  She seemed really concerned about my tears, and barely asked me about anything else at all.  I think she was convinced that I’m depressed.  I don’t really think that’s the case.

One more thing about the OB’s office… do the nurses really have to tell you how much you weigh at every single appointment??  I would rather not know that I gained 10 pounds in the past month, thanks.  They didn’t seem concerned, since I didn’t gain anything at all the month before, but still.  That seems like a lot.  They could just not tell me next time.  K? K.

Joel is still a bit freaked out about having a girl.  He says, “I just don’t know anything about girls!”  To which I like to respond, “You don’t know anything about raising a boy either.”  He’s getting better though, and seems pretty excited about our baby girl these days.

I’ve been feeling baby girl kick a TON lately.  She kicks me all over – sometimes it feels like she’s kicking the breath out of me or like my heart is beating in some weird rhythm for a second.  I think she must be kicking me in the diaphragm or something, but it’s the weirdest feeling ever.  I’m 21 weeks along, and Joel can already feel her kicking when he puts his hand on my stomach.  I think that’s not supposed to be felt for a while yet, but I have a kickboxer for a baby.  I think she might hurt me before it’s all over…