Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the weekend we almost bought a house

You read that right.  This past weekend we put in an offer on a house.  5181 Abercrombie Dr. to be exact.  It was love at first mls-spotting. 

We’ve been looking for a house.  The plan was to re-sign our lease for 10 more months.  That was until I laid eyes on 5181.  That was Saturday.  I made Alex do a drive-by on Sunday morning.  That’s right, we stalked the house.  Don’t worry it was a foreclosure that was empty, it was totally legit.  We peeped in the windows, put the missing pieces together with the mls pictures.  We loved what we saw.

Then chaos ensued.  We fell in love with a house we didn’t think we were going to buy for 10 more months.  It wasn’t even in an area we were really looking in. 

One area we liked was full of split levels-not our first choice layout.  Other areas we liked were full of cookie cutter new builds (aka 1980+)-again, something we didn’t love.  Then we found this-a quad level, from the 1950’s.  Perfect.  And then we did the unthinkable.  We AGREED on an area.  The heavens were rejoicing.  Seriously.  NOTE:  The hubby and I for the past 5 years have been unable to agree on an area to live.  I want city, he wants suburbs.  Finally, we agree.

Then we talked and talked some more.  Mainly I talked and the hubby ran the numbers.  That’s right I already had our furniture laid out.  I was ready to give up school, get a part-time job, whatever was necessary. 


Then we stalked the listing agent and set up an appt. to view the house on Monday morning.  Only problem, there were 2 offers already in on this beautiful home.  2 offers on a house that had been on the market for 6 days. 


Walking in, it was love at first step. 

I actually grew up in a quad level house and this one did not disappoint.  It had a huge entryway with a huge closet.  Spacious bedrooms, plenty of charm, and a great layout that we actually again, AGREED on.  And that was just the inside.  The backyard actually butted up to Nine Mile creek, extending the 1/4 acre.  It was too good to be true.

It took us 20 minutes to look at the inside.  Then we made an offer.  We felt like we had the upper hand.  We came in with a cash offer for slightly over asking.  We felt good.  We’d be moving at the end of April.  Don’t worry, if you were wondering we’ve been praying throughout this process for the Lord’s leading and for Him to close the door at any time.  It was kind of sudden.  I mean we do love where we live right now and we’re completely content.

Quick as can be, yesterday to be exact, we got the news.  The Lord closed the door and then we breathed with relief.  They went with another offer.  Now we’re stalking the mls trying to figure out what it sold for.  Must have been much higher than asking.  I mean, the house was too good to be true.  Not gonna lie, someone might have laid on the floor and beat the ground in sadness.  It wasn’t me.  That was short lived.  We’re happy to be home and will not be stalking the mls anytime soon…well at least for 6 more months!

At the end of the day, I’ll miss 5181 Abercrombie Dr.  But I’m happy with what we learned in a mere 48 hours.  We now know which city we’ll look in.  Only one city.  One area specifically, the neighborhood around 5181.  We know the layout we like, the type of house we can agree on, and the number we are comfortable with. 

Not a bad weekend overall…not a bad weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lemon Meringue tart

I crossed another one off my list.

Last weekend my parents (dad & step-mom) came to visit us for the weekend.  I think they’ve been wondering if my cooking/baking talents exist since they hear more about my love for all things food than they see results.  I blame it on the fact that we live 5 hours apart and that we we go back “home”, we often eat out or grill.

So I planned a little menu for them and I was also able to cross 2 off the list.

-White Pizzas with Arugula
-Lemon Meringue Tart

This dinner was perfect. Light, delicious, and very refreshing.  Paired with a glass of white wine, dinner was not only easy but enjoyable as well, since I could prepare most of it ahead of time.

The main dish, White Pizzas with Arugula, was a snap to prepare, store dough can easily be swapped for homemade, though the homemade is a cinch to make.  Fresh lemony arugula salad topped the cheesy crust for a scrumptious, light dinner.

But that Lemon Meringue Tart, well that was the star.  My dad loves lemon desserts.  In fact when he saw it, he mentioned my Grandma Norma used to make a pie like that and it was his favorite.  My face was aglow all night for having pleased my daddy.  And can I just say, this dessert is beautiful.  I followed the recipe to a T and though there were multiple steps, it came together really easy and smoothly, no mishaps.

That was my easy spring dinner that was oh, so yummy.  Too bad the ground is still covered with snow, oh well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

random tuesday ramblings

I feel like I have a case of the Mondays, but it’s Tuesday.

5 Observations on this Rainy Tuesday

1.  Our coffeemaker erupted all over our counter this morning.  Apparently I didn’t have the sense to shut it all the way, resulting in a minor catastrophe that took twice as long to clean up.  Did I mention that all I really needed this morning was a cup of coffee?  I think I dreamed of it.

That being said, I’d also love if we could have some insight into our bodies and their natural cues for coffee.  Sometimes I make too much and other days we just need more, I wonder if there’s any rhyme or reason to this?

2.  I wish we had milk.  We ran out over the weekend and all I wanted this morning was a big bowl of cereal or some oatmeal.  Both require milk.  Guess I should’ve replaced it sooner.  I had to settle for OJ and half a bagel.  It’s not the same.  Guess I know where I’m going today.

3.  Sometimes like this morning I wonder why showers are necessary.  I move from the bed, to the kitchen, to the dining room table toting my computer in hand to work and write and catch up on other people’s lives.  Most days I don’t leave the house.  Don’t worry I do shower every day, 90% of the time, I just don’t like the 30 minutes it takes me to get ready.  I loathe making myself up.  And it didn’t get any easier with short hair, just in case you are wondering.  Where’s Rosie when you need her?

4.  Being productive is a state of mind.  I’m convinced.  Especially when you set out to get all sorts of things done and then your husband woos you away with promises of a movie in the middle of the afternoon.  That was yesterday.  We saw the Lincoln Lawyer, it was really good.  But it definitely put a damper in my day.  Now Tuesday has to make up for all I missed yesterday, it’s just not fair.  Trying to hasten that state of mind to be productive.  I think I can, I think I can…

5.  In your marriage, who influenced who?  Last night I went to bed at 9:30.  I’m trying to get my “morning” person back.  Too bad I woke up at 7:30.  I was hoping for 6:30.  But we’ve had colds and walk around at night smelling of Vicks VaporRub.  I’m convinced Vicks on your feet is all you need to heal a cold.  We’re both almost back to normal after just a couple of days.  But back to habits.  In 4 1/2 years, I’ve seemed to pick up on the one habit I didn’t want to pick up.  The night owl.  Most nights we stay up until almost midnight.  Then we sleep until 7:30/8.  We can because once we roll out of bed we roll right into the other to start work.  No commute necessary.  But I want my mornings back.  To bed early with you then.  Too bad I’ll miss all that “quality” time with Alex and those boys on “Storage Wars” and the like.  Hmm, I think it’s worth it.

That’s it.  Back to work.  A glimpse into my mind on a Tuesday. 
And it’s only 10am.  Better get on it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

yellow eggs & coffeecake


Not quite green eggs and ham, but close enough and far better if you ask me.  I just glanced over at my Barefoot page and I’m ashamed.  So many good recipes to go and only 9 more months to go.  I need to get going…in fact I just made a list of recipes I’m must make now before the weather turns.  I’m a seasonal eater.  Just the way my body is.  If it’s warm, I want to grill & eat lighter.  If it’s raining, snowy or gloomy I want stew, roasts, and creamy rich food.  What can I say, I think that’s just the way the Lord made our bodies.

That being said, a few weeks ago while my mother was in town, we crossed 2 off my list.  Sour Cream Coffee Cake and French Country Omelet.              

We ate brunch in and it was super easy and very delicious.  In fact, having my mother around actually helped make this meal turn out correctly.  I am NOT a baker. 

Interesting story.  Last year I had to bring treats to my weekly Bible Study at church.  I made this coffeecake the morning of.  Left plenty of time for it to cool but I forgot to flour the pan.  I just sprayed it with Pam.  Baking Error.  The contents came out in so many chunks.  Needless to say I picked up mini scones at Target.  I was too humiliated.

But this time, my mother took care of the pan.  She’s the baker and you know what, it came out perfectly.  Note to self:  Use butter/crisco and flour to ensure the contents will come out of the pan.

But not to fool you, the eggs were just as good as the coffee cake and much easier in my opinion.  We made the Country French Omelet with bacon, potatoes and eggs.  Filling and absolutely delicious.

You should make them this weekend…they’re that good!

Friday, March 18, 2011

miracle drug


h by month, I wait.

Every month I hope my body will do what it was created to do.  And because of my PCOS month by month pass by and nothing happens. 

FYI, if you are a guy and you are reading this (I know there are a few), you might want to skip this post.  Girl talk coming up…

I’m not sure if I was ever regular by those means.  I guess there were times I was more or less regular, I mean I lived in a house full of girls through college and I’m sure the old adage held true.  Everyone’s cycles collaborating until the whole house had PMS together.  Pretty sure we experienced that a time or two.  But ever since I went to France things have never been the same.

If you’ve taken a glimpse at the Infertility page you’ll know my body doesn’t function like most women’s.  My hormones are all wacky.  The last update I gave concluded that we were trying to figure out what might help my body to start working again, either naturally or medically, on our break from treatment. I thought it was time for an update.

120+ days later wishing my favorite Aunt would visit and I have to admit, I was a little worried.  At my annual exam with my favorite Doctor ever, (Dr. Angela Wermerskirchen…seriously she’s a believer and she’s the sweetest and most thoughtful Dr. ever) she said I needed to have 3 cycles a year or there might be problems.  (Note: one reason this became a big deal, PCOS can lead to uterine cancer, and my grandmother actually had it, uterine cancer that is.)  So if you are good at math, you know that if I went more than 120+ days the probability of my having 3 cycles was pretty slim.

So although we gave a good ole college try to Vitex, I called in my script for Metformin.  Metformin is actually an insulin-sensitizing drug that has been shown to help regulate cycles in women with PCOS, although I don’t have insulin resistance but I started taking it anyways. This article explains it perfectly.

5 days later Aunt Flo came to say hello.  Seriously Alex and I were jumping up and down giving high five’s.  Not kidding.

35 days later she came again.  Even bigger party going on over here.  Now we’re doing chest bumps and air guitar due to utter joy. 

I think the neighbors are beginning to wonder.

Seriously, hands raised high, we’re thanking Jesus from the rooftops for using this medication to help my body function.  Who knows, maybe it will even decide to ovulate on its own.  That would be cause for a party.  Wonder what we’d put on the invitations?  Thoughts?

So that’s the update for anyone that was interested.  My body is learning to function on its own.  We’re rejoicing over here as we never thought in a million years this would happen. 

An ordinary miracle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

new ingredient #1 - chia seeds

Remember back when I made my 30 in my 30th list. Well in case you forgot the list can be found here.  As of March 1, the list is getting a little shorter.  Mainly it’s those things left that are hard to quantify.  Am I loving Alex more?  HMM…that’s a hard one.  Am I biting my nails?  Yes, but I’m trying:)  That’s what counts right?

DSC_0120                                        note the little black dots

Well, ingredient #1 we started incorportating a long time ago, say in November?  I’ve just been procrastinating this post I guess!  Chia seeds are like flax seeds and do not taste like anything.  They add a bit of crunch and are a nutritional powerhouse.  The new Omega-3.  Since I am not about to start incorporating those foods high in Omega-3 like sardines & salmon, I figured now that I’m 30 it’s time to start nurturing my body.  So chia seeds seemed like a great option. 

My favorite way to incorporate them…in smoothies and my oatmeal.  Though they would be great in cereal, on salad, and incorporated into rice and other grains.

Kath Eats gives a great description of the benefits of Chia here.  As does Wikipedia.

Happy sprouting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


why didn’t anyone tell me.

when I look at the before and afters, I’m shocked.  my old hair was so BAD~lol!

Feb 12 throught March 12 b&a photo 049Feb 12 throught March 12 b&a photo 053

they worked some kind of magic like I’ve never seen before.

Monday, March 14, 2011

long and short of it

The hubby and I are notorious for long vacations.  The past three years we have spent 2-3 weeks in the fall on vacation.  The first year was England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, year 2 we ventured back but included Paris as well, and last year we headed to the East Coast.  For 2011 we decided to trade in our long vacations and so we came up with a new way to “getaway.”  Mini experiences.

This past weekend was the first of our mini experiences.  In lieu of our annual trip to Florida due to work and other reasons, we decided to spend the money elsewhere…the hubby brainstormed a makeover spa day and went to finding the perfect place.  At first I kept sending him links to tropical destinations trying to get him to change his mind, but after Saturday I’m glad he stayed strong.  It was SO worth it.  We headed to Revamp Salonspa in Uptown and boy did they deliver.  Christopher is the “makeover guy” he’s been featured on Oprah and now I know why.  Leading up to this the hubs has always wanted me to cut my hair short.  But I’ve been there, done that. 

But sitting in the chair, with someone I knew could do the right thing, I went for it.  Before I could say no, my hair was gone.  And it was the best experience of my 30’s:)  I’ve always secretly wanted really short hair but I’ve never had the guts.  Well, when someone will spend 1 1/2 hours cutting your hair, you know you can trust him with your life…well, your hair at least!

So here’s the outcome:


Ps:  The experience was not cheap by any means, but it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that was so WORTH the money.  (that being said I never spend more than $35 on a haircut so if you frequent Juut/Aveda, then the prices are probably more in line) If you want a change I would definitely recommend anyone at the salon, especially Christopher.

quick coat

I’m cheap.  Well, not really cheap but I am very frugal.  I wasn’t always this way, that’s for another post.  In fact, in the past I never would have thought to repurpose something.  But then marriage happened and I was taught some hard but very rewarding lessons about money. Now I’m all about repurposing and besides being “frugal” is all the rage again.  Simple living at its best.

When it came to our little living room revamp the entire project cost us less than $425.  If you subtract the furniture that we bought with some Christmas money we saved for that purpose then we did the whole thing for around $160.  Not bad at all. 

*note we pay cash for everything that we do. it’s a habit the hubby had been doing all his adult life and one I quickly adapted when we got married.  so we’ve been saving for this little spruce up.  kind of like young house love*

But one thing I’ve learned to love and now I love it more than anything, is holding a can of spray paint in my hand and revamping something.  Case in point, we’ve revamped so many inexpensive flower pots and now for the living room, I brought out the cans again.  Enter our gold mirror and the tray on the end table. 

                  Before                                                            After



I was lucky to do this in more moderate winter weather.  I do NOT recommend spraying things in your home in the dead of winter because of the toxic fumes.  I wore a mask and had many windows open.  This is best done in a garage, or outside when the weather is nicer.  You do have to be cautious of the outdoor temperature as noted on the can of spray paint.

I first laid out the drop cloth, because the issue of overspray is very real.  I then lined the mirror portion with newspaper to ensure the mirror would not get coated in paint.  But if it does, it’s easy to remove with a razor blade or paint thinner.  I used “hammered black” for the mirror and “antique white” for the tray.  It’s as easy as pie.

If you’re curious of our budget, here’s the breakdown on costs:

2 Nils chairs (Ikea): $160 for 2
1 Bjorkudden Table (Ikea): $100
Gallon of wall paint (Menards): $18
Quart of table paint (Menards): $12
Floral chair: repurposed from our office (a chair from storage took it’s place)
2 napkins=new pillow cover (west elm): $8
Mercury votive (west elm): $5
Gray square ottoman (tjmaxx): $7
Tray on end table (Target): $5
7 Frames (Ikea): ~ $90
Wall art: FREE (paper and pictures we had on hand or made)
Pillow Covers (Ikea & west elm): Striped $7, Red w/buttons $9

Totals:  $421 (with furniture)
           $161 (without dining furniture)

Not bad if you ask me considering we’ve been slowly putting away into the fix up fund for the living room/dining room.  And the fact that we have a dining table and chairs again, well that’s PRICELESS. 

Dinner conversation is SO worth it.  Seriously.  I’ve been waiting for this.  Having meaningful conversation with my husband most nights of the week instead of watching Wheel of Fortune or old episodes of the Office, is so refreshing.  I’m not gonna lie, we still fall into our old patterns:)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is where for the past year I have lived.  In the inbetween.  Not always understanding, not always happy, not always sad.  Often frustrated.  But by His grace, I feel like dawn is breaking through the inbetween.  I can see the light and with steps of faith that are not my own I will step forward slowly out of the inbetween.

“There's a place between here and there.  A piece of ground in the middle of take-off and landing.  A section of the unknown within beginning and ending.  You probably find yourself there from time to time.  It's the land known as Inbetween.

Inbetween is one of the most rugged places in life.  You aren't fully here, and you aren't fully there.  Your emotions and hopes are strewn across an endless list of possibilities.  Door knobs of wood, brass, and silver line the path, but which will open?  In the land of Inbetween, the paths are lined with sealed envelopes and foggy dreams.  Excitement runs forward and fears hold back.  And if you stay long enough, you feel the tremors of  your soul.

The land of Inbetween is downright scary.  It's a place of blind trust.  It's where the pedals of faith meet the narrow road of fortitude and where movement is demanded though there's no place to go.  The worst part of this land isn't the uncertainty or frustration that accompany it - it's that God likes it when you're there.

While He's no sadist, God loves the land of Inbetween.  He loves what it does to us.  He loves the humility and dependence it creates in our hearts, so He creates innumerable forks in life's road that swerve us into the land of Inbetween.  The unknowns of job, marriage, children, and home are the signs of this uncertain land.  At times, people are thrust into Inbetween by mishaps, accidents, sudden deaths, and even unexpected fortune.  Some people visit so many times they begin to wonder if it's life.  And they aren't far off.

So what will hold you steady when you walk through the terrain of Inbetween?  A recognition that Inbetween is God's design.  In one miraculous moment, the Creator of the universe placed you in the greatest Inbetween of all time - the place between the earthly creation and eternity.  Life's smaller lunges forward and backward are merely postcard reminders that there's something greater than this place we're visiting.

If you're in your own land of Inbetween, remember that God was the original designer of this journey.  You can get mad, scream, and even pout if you want. But it doesn't change the fact that you're merely passing through.  Everything else is Inbetween.”

(from Deeper Walk, a Relevant Devotional Series found on the blog Sit a Spell)

Friday, March 11, 2011

though we don’t always understand

Our God is always in control.

The Bible describes God as:

all knowing…There is nothing that surprises Him                                          

all powerful…And yet just as gentle

creator…He commands the winds and they obey
all loving…He embodies love, there is no evil in Him.

Today’s events in Japan are cause for sadness, cause for reflection, cause to love like He loves.  This should move our hearts and bring us to our knees.  And in this we should worship.  If we are breathing today, it is not because of anything we have done.  And if we are gone today it is not because we are are being punished by an angry, vengeful God.

This article better articulates everything I am thinking & feeling.

Tsunami, Sovereignty and Mercy

    "Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful,slow to anger, and abounding 
                                      in steadfast love
; and he relents over disaster.”
                                                                                        Joel 2:13

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

longing for spring

because i just left sunshine a short week ago,
and the sun is shining today,
i am now longing for spring.

so i've done some spring cleaning on the blog.

maybe this will jump start some spring cleaning elsewhere as well?

Monday, March 7, 2011

a week ago today



















this was my view



these were my companions

DSC_0312 (2)DSC_0314DSC_0338DSC_0377

DSC_0358 (2)DSC_0376 (2)

this is how we spent our days

lazily taking in the sun

experiencing sand and sea for the first time
playing in the volleyball court burying treasure
eating delicious food
enjoying precious company
just being together

it doesn’t get much better than that.