Sights for Sore Eyes

Last week I wrote many posts in my head.

They were lovely.

And funny too.

But I got busy and so they stayed in my head.

Which is a shame.

Because did I mention they were funny?

Instead of posting, I made a quilt that was auctioned to raise money for ovarian cancer.  (Actually, my mom had to help me piece the top of it together as I ran out of time in the end.  I am thinking that at some point in my life, I should get it together enough to not have to be rescued by my mother.  I am also thinking that she is thinking the same thing.)

I put up jars of tomatoes and spaghetti sauce and raspberry jam for the winter (if it ever comes), with more to do today.

I've eaten about a hundred of these

and laid in bed dreaming about the tomatoes that made them irresistible.  One night I told David I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about getting up and eating another one.  They were that good.

[Peaches later this week.  Can you stand the anticipation?  I'm already drooling.] 

David and I put on a ward activity, which included a variety show that put me in front of the computer for hours and hours editing video submissions and compiling them all into a movie.  My family made a music video to kick it off.  I have included it below for your viewing.

You're welcome.

And every night I was sure to ask David how it felt to be married to someone so capable and amazing.

And every night he said it was so wonderful he couldn't put it into words.

I said, "Try."

Because I love positive feedback.

Almost as much as I love tomatoes from Utah.

And now, our version of the Black Eyed Peas:

Easter Weekend, Perspectives from Two Photogs


I checked my camera this morning for something to write about.

It was full of pictures I didn't take.

This is one of them.

Apparently David had the presence of mind to capture a few pictures of the kids in their Easter finery, while I was making lemon pie and telling the asparagus how nice it was to see him on my table again. 

Early this morning our house alarm went off, when Ethan went outside to dump the sand out of his shoes.  It was a rude and brutal awakening.  (Ya, that's right.  My kids were up before me.  Add it to my list of shortcomings...which is ironically, not short.)  I sat there stunned and confused, wondering where the weekend went.

Here are a few of the highlights.

Stood in line at the courthouse for the third time to apply for Olivia's passport.  She was beginning to think they would never let her out of the country. 

Returned our overdue library books.  I like to think of myself as a philanthropic donor with all my library fines.

Went to Costco for ham and free samples of key lime cheesecake.  Which we didn't buy, but are still dreaming about.

Colored eggs and fingertips.

Had a Saturday Easter egg hunt that dissolved into a water fight and ended with my nude children skinny dipping in my parent's pool.  (Much to my mother's chagrin.)  Never mind that the water temp was a frigid 56 degrees.

Made two lemon pies and three pitchers of fresh lemonade from lemons off my neighbor's tree.

Helped host a ward pancake breakfast and Easter-egg hunt in the rain.

And mopped up afterwards.

Spent three hours at the mall trying to find new dresses for the girls. 

Only found one, and sent David out for the other one.

He was, of course, victorious.

Let my pride get in the way of being really happy or sincerely grateful about it though.  (Who, me?)

Ate a brunch of fruit and BLT's on a blanket on the lawn.  The sunshine was glorious.

Went to church and worshipped and prayed.

And wished that every Sunday could be just like this one.

Hosted Easter dinner on my fine china and ate every last spear of asparagus. 

Finished with pie and the Amazing Race.

Washed and dried my china by hand.  Almost as delicious as the pie.

Kissed my husband goodnight.

And just like that, we are back to Monday.

Which makes me feel like swearing or crying, but instead I proudly present my photo of the weekend:  Savannah and her Mona Lisa smile.

The New Economy

(I'm supposed to be decorating wedding cake.  But my buttercream is doubling in size under the ministrations of my Kitchen-Aid.  Just time for a short post.)

I've never been a great shopper.  An inherited trait, I think.  Or nurture over nature.

Regardless, whenever someone compliments my dress, I have to say, "David bought it."

Over the years this has resulted in a complete lack of shopping confidence.

And the new economy isn't helping.  Because now instead of just asking myself, "Is this cute?"  I have to also ask myself, "Is this a need or a want?"  And the conundrum of discovering if something is both cute and needed is enough to make my hands itch and my pulse race.

So the other day, (after an in-the-shower flash of genius) I was at an antique store looking for doorknobs, when I saw this apron.


Side Pockets.


Old, well-washed cotton.


Back panels that wrap all the way around.

Darling tie in the back.

Right away I knew it was cute.  I was drooling, which is always a give-away.

And then I thought, "Is it a need or a want?"

I wanted it. 

Oh, baby, I wanted it.

But that didn't necessarily mean that I didn't need it too.

I tallied my aprons in my head.  And remembered the last time David opened the apron drawer looking for hotpads and asked, "Do you really need all of these?"

I slowly put the apron back on the rack.  And just in time CIM pointed out all the things I could do in it.

"Think how cute you'll look making the beds and sorting laundry and starting dinner.  And don't get me started on how charming it will look when you fill the bottom with oranges and carry them inside for brunch.  In fact, I think it's quite possible, that you could actually look forward to Monday mornings (my cleaning day) just so you can put on your lovely new apron."

That's true, I thought.

RIM cleared her throat and said with emphasis, "Is it a need or a want?"  (With extra heavy emphasis on "a want."  Which I ignored.

I took it to the front to pay.

The man there said, "I thought you were looking for doorknobs."

I said, "This is even better."

I paid my nine dollars and grinned all the way home.

And just so all you skeptics know, it was the best nine dollars I spent all week.  My gross domestic product has gone up tremendously since then.  Even David commented on my productivity, which is really saying something.  (Usually my "amazingness" goes without saying around here.) 

Now that's my idea of a stimulus package.  Buy everyone a drooly, full-front apron with pockets.  I think it could work.

At the very least, we'll all look cuter sorting the laundry.  I certainly do.

Things I Believe In

Last night when David got home from work, I was frosting cookies.  Dinner had not been started.  (I have priorities.)  David said that was fine, we could eat cookies for dinner.  But I was already feeling a bit emotional (who, me?) and I knew a really bad blood sugar episode (with the high and low only a sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting and pink sprinkles can produce) would likely threaten the very fabric of my marriage.

And technically, I believe in marriage.  So I made pasta primavera.  And I only cried a little bit when I was sweeping the floor.  (Who could blame me?)

Today was "Dress as Your Favorite Book Character Day" at school.  Which just makes my heart throb.  If they had had such a day when I was growing up, it would have been as good as Christmas.  I lived most of my young life as a book character.  So yesterday I dropped everything and drove around town finding a yellow sweater for Ethan, Eskimo boots for Olivia, and a blonde wig for Savannah.  The yellow sweater proved the hardest to find and I finally ended up altering a yellow sweatshirt I found in the Junior's department.  I told David that I spent more on Book Character Day than I did on Halloween.

But this morning, Ethan was worried because he didn't have any ears.

I heard Savannah say, "Don't worry. Mom can make ears in two seconds."  And then told him about the year she was Lily and I sewed her some ears while she was making her bed.  I don't remember that.  But it's probably true.  I am amazing like that.

When I was doing the girls wigs this morning, Ethan said, "I can't wait to go to school.  Everyone's going to be dressed up."

Not wanting to burst his bubble Savannah said slowly, "Well, actually, not everyone."


"Well.  Not everyone believes in books.  Our Mom does."

And how.

Shedding Our Parkas and Our Spices

Yesterday I ran the air conditioner earnestly for the first time this year.  I was vacuuming and my thermostat said 83*.  Which is just too hot to really enjoy your vacuuming.

This morning Savannah called from her room, "Mom, can we cut off my jeans tonight?  I don't have any shorts."  And then wondered aloud if we were at the end of winter or already in spring.

I told her to wear a skirt.  I'm not quite ready to sacrifice her jeans.  I bought them for our Christmas trip to Michigan.  Two months ago.

Yesterday afternoon Ethan and I were outside enjoying the sunshine.  I sat in the shade because I thought it was "hot."  He declared the weather to be "only warm" and "just perfect" and planted himself purposefully in the sun.  After a few minutes he said,

"Wow.  You were right.  It is hot."  And scooted over to me in the shade. 

We stared up into the leaves of the orange tree.

A minute or so later he asked, "Mom, are you right about everything?"

I said, "Your dad thinks so."

(Sometimes I think, "Am I really writing about this?"  Take this last week, for instance.  I've given up writing about my husband's colon in favor of talking about the weather.  All of it Pulitzer material for sure.)

David is back at work.  And no worse for wear.  My work is suffering however, as I no longer know what to cook.  The doctor said to take it easy for a while.  Not too spicy.  Nothing with fat.  That leaves me with....rice.  I'm supposed to feed the sister missionaries tonight.  They like curry, which is probably considered "spicy."  I had plans to make the Chicken Tikka Masala.  Luckily for David, I am serving it with rice.  Honestly, I have my doubts that rice will be enough to tempt him home.  Perhaps I should whip up a nice salad with no dressing as extra incentive.  It is quite a shock to discover that everything you cook has either spice or fat, and usually both.  (This used to be one of the "pluses" for marrying me.  That list is getting alarmingly small.) 

Padding My Resume

I'm not sure of the reason for my blogger's block.  Lots going on, and no way to link it all together in one clever post.  I put a lot of stock in cleverness.

That being said, there isn't going to be any in this post.  So you can go ahead and lower your expectations.  Soothe yourself by just being happy there is a new post.

After a brief lull after the holidays, real life has returned hot and heavy, as evidenced by the fact that my sewing room has once again been turned into ground zero for Caleb's new science project (by the way, throw out your hand sanitizers people, that's just a pandemic waiting to happen) and the stacks of current projects I have piled everywhere else.  

Here is my life by the numbers:

This weekend we celebrated the 95th birthday of this lovely lady (my grandmother)

and travelled 427 miles from home to watch her blow out her candles.

On the drive, David helped me work on the address list for our

1st annual "Garden of Hope Spring Tea Luncheon,"

to raise money for the 1,800 cancer patients at David's hospital who will be diagnosed this year,

and which will be held on May 9, 2009. 

Mark your calendars, though you may be lucky enough to get one

of the 500 save-the-date cards we are mailing out.

(I told David this week that he was a very lucky man to have such a wife.  I mean look at my community outreach and charity work.  I need to update my resume.  He replied by using "affinity" and "opine" in a sentence and I got all giddy and forgot about the fact that he really owes me one.)

I have spent most of the last week working on the aforementioned invitations, as they should have been at the printer's 2 days ago,

and when I wasn't, I was working on a 94 inch square quilt that will be auctioned at our event,

and helping Caleb swab 10 petri dishes with E.coli (you read that right)

and washing my hands with soap and water 100 times afterwards.

Quilt retreat is only 56 days away,

so I have also been madly working on my round robin projects (I'm only behind one rotation now)

and making a couple of trips to the quilt store and the post office.

And when I was on one of these trips to the quilt store

I found the perfect fabric for the boys' room and decided to make a few pillows for their beds,

which made me think of making a 50 inch matching cornice box for their window.

(I know that sounds ridiculous, but I couldn't help myself, and I told David that very thing, besides which you'd be amazed at what I can do with 18 inches of styrofoam and some liquid nails.)

And just because I know you are wondering, Olivia and I started Anne of Green Gables

and we are on chapter nine.

The Universal Language of Craft

I do not know Japanese.

But apparently, craft, is a universal language.

Because I figured out how to make these:


I know.  Can you believe how unbelievably sweet they are?

To add to your amazement, let me just remind you that the instructions were in Japanese.  I asked David a dozen times last night, "Can you believe how amazing I am?"  He said he cannot.  And when he asked how long it took me, I cleverly changed the subject.

I have been without a car the last couple of days (and again today), and I'm finally making some progress on my homemade gift list.

The dolls are going to have a memorable Christmas.

(I blindfolded her so as not to spoil the surprise.  Seriously, look at that kiwi.)

And to add to all this joy, this was the view as I was taking David to work this morning.  Incredible clouds for this part of the country. 

Proof I Can Be a Good Wife

And how.

David had a breakfast potluck party this morning.  I made the Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed bread, which, I believe, first made its debut appearance at Tiff's bridal shower.  (Kel is the one with the memory so she will probably correct me on this.) 

I thought I ought to document the moment.  Just to be fair.  I was afraid the jamba juice incident might have left a bad impression.

You'll notice that I took the picture in the girls' bedroom.  The light is best in there in the morning.  And I wanted good, solid, and also, lovely proof.  There you go.

And now for your reading enjoyment I will give you the conversation that got us to here, along with the interpretation in italics of what was actually said.  Pay attention, it's subtle:

Last night as we were leaving Olivia's concert,

David said casually, "They're having a breakfast potluck for my boss's birthday in the morning.  I think I'm going to pick up some donuts."  (Don't be angry.  Please.  But I need you to make something fabulous.)

So then I said, "When is this potluck?  (Grrr. )

David:  Tomorrow.  (Yikes.  This is already going badly.)

Me:  You need to give me some notice.  (There's a whole unattractive rant here about how I'm just supposed to be able to whip up something wonderful at a moment's notice.  I'll just leave that out.)

David:  I didn't want to add anything to your plate.  (Earlier this week you were positively scary to live with.)

Me:  I guess I could make the lemon poppy seed bread if you go to the store.  (That's true.  I have been hard to live with.  But still.  A little notice.)

David:  I think I'm just going to sleep in.  (Thank you, sweets.)

I know you think I got that last line wrong, but I was dead on, as evidenced by the fact that as soon as we got home, David got out the cookbook, made a mental list, and went to the store.

Now that I reread that, I'm not sure what I just proved.  Just look at the picture.  That part was nice. 

Election Day 2008

Well, we made it.  Win or lose, it will be over tonight.

Here is what my love wore to work today.

We shared a grin when he came into the kitchen this morning.  And a kiss for good luck.

(Heaven knows we need it.)

I voted early (and fervently), so my work there is done.  But I do have other things to do for election day, and most of them, happily, involve an apron. 

Here's what's on the menu for tonight:

All-American hamburgers


home-made french fries


rootbeer in a bottle (the only way to drink it)

and, of course,

home-made apple pie (my specialty).


There's nothing better to celebrate with or be consoled by

than a perfect apple pie.

Perhaps I ought to make two.