Monday, January 31, 2011

On Submission

On Saturday, Justin and I were watching a movie called "No Greater Love". It was a movie that I grabbed out of the bargain bin, but as it turns out, it was produced by a church. Essentially, the story goes like this--during a time of great turmoil in their marriage, the wife walked out leaving the husband with their 10 month old son, and wasn't heard from again. Several years and several cities later, the husband and wife accidentally bumped into each other. The wife had found God and stopped drinking, but hadn't been able to find her ex-husband and son. Eventually, she finds out that her "ex" husband is technically still her husband--he never officially divorced her after she left. Anyway, they decide that maybe they'd like to reconcile, but she is nervous because she is now a Christian and he isnt.

During one scene, she tearfully turns to a friend and says something to the effect of, "I'm supposed to submit to my husband, but what if he tells me to stop reading the Bible or stop going to church?!" Justin and I both groaned.

In the past couple of years, Justin and I have observed this line of thinking quite often--sometimes at Bible study (as a point of clarification,we attend a Bible Study at a church that identifies itself as a "Fellowship" church, while Justin and I both identify ourselves as being Lutheran. Occasionally, some differences in application arise, as would be expected), sometimes just in casual conversation with friends--this idea that wives are called to submit to whatever their husbands say, even if they disagree. Justin and I have talked about this at length, both amongst ourselves and with our pastor(s), and I'd like to share a bit about our beliefs regarding submission in marriage. As always, I understand that not everyone may share our beliefs, and that's okay.

The idea that wives should submit to their husbands comes from Ephesians 5:22, which is a verse that was prominently featured in the book Love & Respect (and the corresponding Bible Study) by Emerson Eggrichs. However, it seems to both Justin and I that that particular verse often seems to be taken out of context. Ephesians 5:22 itself reads, "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord." However, Ephesians 5:21 is often excluded, and gives us the context for the statement that comes after it. Let's look at them together:

(21)Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (22)Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord.

In actuality, both husbands and wives are called to submit to one another. But interestingly enough, during the time that we participated in the Love & Respect study, verse 21 was never mentioned--this may have been specific to our particular leaders, so if anyone else has had a different experience, please chime in!

Taking a look at the Greek words used gives us an even deeper understanding of these two verses. See, the Greek word for submit, hupotasso,  is NOT the same as the Greek word for obey, hupakouo,  Paul does use hupakouo in reference to children obeying their parents, but does NOT use it in terms of wives obeying their husbands. Rather, the word hupotasso as used in both verse 21 and 22 roughly translates to mean "to line up under".

Essentially, the passage is framed like this:

Verse 21: Hey both of you--if you're going to do this marriage thing, you need to put each other first.
Verses 22-24: Wives, here's a couple of ways that you can demonstrate this idea to your husbands.
Verses 25-33- Husbands, here's a couple of ways that you can demonstrate this idea to your wives.

In other words, husbands and wives are both called to line up under the other--putting the other's needs above their own. It is not blind obedience, but an intentional desire to put someone else first based on a relationship that is hopefully rooted in love, respect, and trust.

How do you guys approach this pretty controversial passage?

Friday, January 28, 2011

BQOTD: Buying Organics

BQOTD: Do you make an effort to buy organic? Are there any foods you're a stickler about buying organic?

Yesterday, I was reading Jillian Michaels' book Master Your Metabolism. It has some really interesting information about hormones affecting metabolism, but it also talks extensively about buying only organic everything.

image credit (originally from MyPaperCrane)

Personally, I don't buy much of anything organic. I'd probably like to buy the items on the "dirty dozen" list organic, but it is just so much more expensive. I know, I've heard the arguments that you're really saving money in the long run. And that argument works for people who have some wiggle room in their budget, but we simply don't. It's a matter of, 'Should I buy five pounds of regular oranges, or two pounds of organic oranges?' I hear Jillian's argument about hormones in pesticides and whatnot, but my understanding is that some organic vegetables are still sprayed with I'm not 100% convinced that simply buying organic solves the issue.

Another reason I hear a lot in support of buying organic is that you're supporting the "real farms" and the small farmers. But most organic farming is still done by large corporations. Unless you're buying organic from the local farmer's market, you're usually not supporting small farms just by buying organic. I tend to favor buying local and in season produce over simply "organic"--I can still buy organic tomatoes at Wal-Mart in January, and they'll still probably taste pretty bland because they're not in season, even if they are organic. 

The grocery store that we shop at is a locally owned one, and I do know that the owner tends to buy locally grown farm fresh produce whenever possible. He's also pretty good about highlighting fruits and vegetables that are currently in season in the middle of the produce section. But, in the summer, most of our produce comes from our garden anyway. And it always, always tastes better than anything I buy at the store (farmer's markets excluded).

One area that I'd like to start buying more closely to organic is meat and dairy. In my experience, grass fed beef just tastes better (though, not all organic beef is grass fed--and I remember reading in Time magazine that a number of taste tests have shown that in terms of taste, chefs and other consumers prefer the taste of beef that was both grass and grain fed). Justin's parents gave us 1/8 of a grass-and-grain fed cow for Christmas, and we just finished the ground beef. I used store-bought beef again recently, and it just doesn't taste as good. I try to stock up our meat from our local butcher just after the county fair, because I know he buys most of the FFA beef. It may not be 100% organic, but it's not coming out of a meat farm either.

I'm curious what you guys do--do you try to buy organic? Are you more focused on buying local produce? Does it matter to you at all?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes, MORE Snippets

-Snippets are seriously the only thing my mind is capable of in this crazy sleep deprived state. I don't know if this is STILL teething or what, but Lizzy is STILL waking up screaming hysterically several times a night. She is fine as long as we're in the room with our hand on her belly, but as soon as we leave (even if it's been an hour), she dissolves into someone-is-killing-me screams. Like I said, her pediatrician says it's not an ear infection. And that it IS either her teeth or separation anxiety. That's nice...I just don't know what to do with the sweet baby in the meantime other than letting her scream like that for hours, which is clearly just not an option. I'm okay with a little cry-it-out, but not the someone-is-killing-me scream. Any advice?

- Yesterday, I was 20 minutes into a 25 minute run when my treadmill slowed itself down to 1.5MPH and I could not get it to speed back up no matter what I did. I promptly dissolved into hysterics because I am almost seven weeks into a nine week would just figure that the treadmill would break now and that I wouldn't be able to finish it. I kept telling Justin "THIS IS WHY I NEED A JOGGING STROLLER". And I do want a jogging stroller, but I'm not sure that I need it just yet. My dad says the treadmill is hopefully an easy fix. Plus, a (new) jogging stroller and a laptop screen just happen to cost the same thing. And truthfully, I need a new laptop screen more, since it is our only computer. I just do not have a very patient personality, and when I want something, whether that may be a particular food, or to watch a particular movie, or to have a particular thing, I tend to want it right then {ahem, if you'll notice, one of the tags on my blog just happens to be "I Want" ahem}. I want  a jogging stroller RIGHT NOW. I already scoured the second-hand shops (before the treadmill broke), but they only had a two-seater that was like $180. It's probably good that they didn't have one, because even though we don't have money in the budget for one, I would have bought it anyway and put it on the credit card...which is obviously a bad course of action, and something that I'm trying not to do in general. Just call me Veruca Salt. Anyway, I am very hopeful that Justin will be able to fix the treadmill tonight, and then it will be a non-issue.

-In the meantime I just keep singing that kid's song (sing it with me), "the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law" in my head. Because clearly, both patience and self-control are things that I need to work on right now!

-It's exceptionally difficult to take a picture of a computer screen, but I think you get the jist:


Broken screen courtesy of pregnancy leg cramp, circa 2009

To be honest, this picture doesn't even do the damage to my trusty Dell justice. The whole top inch of the screen is green and black dead-pixelness, and then there are dead pixels all through the middle of the screen too. This makes editing photos exceptionally difficult. And, I've already had a couple of calls about photo shoots, so it's probably about time to get it taken care of.

-My blog has been seriously lacking in terms of photos lately. I need to remedy that ASAP!

-I'm heading to the library today (one way I am successfully working on the patience thing--it's so hard for me not to just run out and buy books that I want to read!), and as always, I would love some book suggestions if anyone has any!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BQOTD: Mixed Seating

As you probably are aware, last night, president Barak Obama gave his second State of the Union address. Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch it live, as I was dealing with a hysterical screaming toddler.

To be honest, I feel conflicted about the State of the Union, and have for some years. On one hand, I've always felt that it's important to watch, regardless of who the president was at the time. Whether or not I voted for that particular president, he WAS the one that was inevitably voted into office, and I feel that he at least deserves to be listened to before he is critiqued.

Last night though, it wasn't so much what President Obama said that caught my attention, it was the mixed seating. Traditionally, the Republican party sits on one half of the room, and the Democratic party on the other. Each party stands and applauds parts of the speech that their party agrees with, and sometimes boos or jeers parts of the speech that they don't agree with. Every once in awhile, you'll find a Democrat applauding for a "Republican" ideal or visa versa, but for the post part, the party lines are quite literally drawn.

I've always hated this part of the State of the Union--the "us vs. them" mentality. Because the truth is,  sometimes Democrats have good ideas. Sometimes Republicans have good ideas. The fact that the idea came from someone other than our own political party shouldn't automatically discount the value of the idea, but it often does. Our government seems to go against everything we teach our children in regards to interpersonal communication and relationships--with both sides throwing tantrums and essentially taking their toys and going home if they don't get their way.

Last night, at the State of the Union, a small portion of attendees bucked the 100 year trend, and went with mixed seating. Some Republicans and Democrats sat next to each other, rather than across the aisle. In fact, Coburn and Schumer (who heatedly battled over the 9/11 first responders bill) sat next to each other. 

Personally, I thought it was great. I *hope* that it was more than symbolism--I *hope* it was a sign that we, as a nation, will knock of the hate-speech that both parties direct towards each other and begin to get things done. But I was interested to read that 65% of Americans polled reported that they thought the mixed seating was a bad idea.

What do you think? Were you happy to see the mixed seating? Irritated? Did you not care either way? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Things

-We are still in teething hell. Friday and Saturday, poor Lizzy had a fever and was just miserable. Then, yesterday and Sunday, she no longer had a fever, but was obviously still hurting despite the motrin. Unfortunately, that manifested itself as Lizzy being absolutely naughty. She bit. She threw food on purpose. She spit her milk at me. She hit. She screamed in the highest pitch scream known to man. She threw huge and elaborate tantrums over everything. On one hand, I feel badly for her because she is obviously in pain. On the other hand, she has definitely been trying my patience lately. HOLY COW. Moms--what did you do when your kiddos this age threw all out tantrums? We've been doing the time-out thing, which Lizzy obviously understands, but I haven't noticed much of a difference in behavior at this point. I'm just hoping that today brings my usual happy kiddo back.

-In the face of all this craziness with Lizzy, Justin will probably be going out of town for work soon. I've been trying not to grumble too much to him, but it SUCKS for so many reasons--Lizzy has been a handful lately, and I so appreciate his help. Lizzy knows when it's (roughly) time for dad to be home, and stares at the window and says, "Dada? Dada?" over and over...she's going to miss him. Plus, every time he's out of town for work, I have these awful morbid realizations that this is what it would be like if he died. Seriously morbid, and seriously depressing. And consequently, I battle some serious anxiety whenever he's gone. I think I might go stay at my parent's house for a few days, and then I'm hoping that between Bible Study and Mom's Group, I'll keep fairly busy.

-I'm waaaaaaaayyyyy behind the times and I'm reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and so far, I really like it. I've temporarily lost interest in Outlander #4.

-I've continued as usual with the Couch to 5k program, and finished W6D2 last night. I have to say that it was really hard to go back to the intervals! I think they are harder than the distance runs! I really felt like I was dragging this week. But the crazy thing is that I'm done with the intervals. On Wednesday, I'll run a 25 minute run, and then after that, I'll run one week's worth of 28 minute runs and one week's worth of 30 minute runs. It's kind of funny, because even after running for 20 minutes the other day, those 25, 28, and 30 minute runs still feel kind of unattainable. But I just plan to keep tossing motivational messages up on the wall, and go for it. The REAL trick will be whether or not I'll be able to continue running while Justin is gone! 

- Speaking of running, if you're lucky enough to have an iPhone (I am not, but Justin was able to buy one through his work) or possibly an Android, the RunKeeper Pro app is free through the rest of the month. It's normally $9.99, so I'd jump on it if you think you'll EVER use it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

There's Guys Been Awake Since the 2nd World War

Name that song anyone? Anyone?

I realized just now that I think I'm a little sleep deprived. Why? Because I almost just titled this post Hip-hip-hip-O-pot-O-mous for no discernible reason. I mean, it's a fun song (am I the only one who knows it?!), and Lisa the Hippo is awesome, but both have absolutely no relation to this post. So, I'm sorry in advance if this post is full of crazy punctuation, spelling, and/or just doesn't make sense.

It's no wonder that I'm sleep deprived--sleep has been nonexistent lately in this house. See, Lizzy is getting all of her molars at once, and apparently they take forever and a day to come in. And all of this, equals teething hell. Let me tell you...I thought normal teething was pretty hellish. But it's like my friend Sara used to say about contractions--she'd say 'there are contractions, and then there are CONTRACTIONS'. The same applies here--there's teething hell, and then there's TEETHING HELL, and we are most certainly dealing with the latter.

I took her in thinking maybe she had an ear infection, but nope. The doctor said she's just teething. Which explains the multiple times I wake up at night to shrill screaming that no amount of rocking, singing, or motrin seems to immediately fix {as a side note--sometimes I think Justin assumes that because HE slept through the whole night, that I did too. There's really no way to explain this kind of tired to him because he sleeps through everything. I'm fairly convinced that he'd sleep through a bomb, and I'm not kidding.}. And then the napping. Lately, I've been lucky to get a 20 minute nap out of Lizzy, which just compounds on the whiny-ness that teething already brings.

Except yesterday? Yesterday we went to Mom's Group, and so Lizzy missed her morning nap. We got home around noon, and she slept for two glorious hours. I had about a million things to do around the house, but I sat down to check the bank account, and I fell asleep too. And it was marvelous.

So today, I'm going to try something new. When we stay home all morning, Lizzy gets super whiny about 9:30 or 10am, which is when I usually lay her down (and she sleeps for 20 minutes, and then not at all the rest of the day). But if we're out and about somewhere, she usually doesn't miss her morning nap at all. So, instead of going to Target for a diaper run this afternoon as I'd planned, we're going this morning. And we'll be back home in time to eat lunch and lay her down for a nap. And I am hoping to goodness that she naps.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

20 Minutes

I am the first person to tell you that I am NOT a runner. 
Playing basketball in high school, I would *literally* get physically sick just thinking about conditioning.
And even then, we weren't usually straight up running for more than 8 minutes at a time. 
But for some reason, I have always wanted to run a 5k. 
So I've started the Couch to 5k program several times.
I usually quit around week 4, because running for 5 minutes was just too hard. 
Don't laugh--it WAS hard for me. 

But today? Today I finished Week 5 Day 3.
The first LONG run of the program. 
Jumping from running 8 minutes, to running twenty minutes. 

Twenty minutes.
I ran for TWENTY MINUTES, without stopping or pausing. 
Okay, some of the time was probably more of a shuffle than a run. 
But I finished, and I did not stop. 
I kind of can't believe it--20 minutes probably seems small to most, but it was HUGE for me.

And then I cried, because I beat my own worst enemy--myself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I know, I know..."snippeters" isn't a real word. Oh well. I'm not sure that "snippets" is either. So there.

-Tomorrow, I do the big dreaded 20 minute run for Couch to 5k. I'm nervous...I'm not sure that I've really ever ran for 20 minutes. Even in high school when I was playing basketball or softball, we never ran the mile or anything. We did conditioning, but it wasn't *just* running. Anyway, I'm nervous. I think I can do it, but I'm also kind of scared that I can't.

-Do you guys have the alarm clock fight? Seriously. Justin's alarms start going off every morning at 5-something AM. Which would be fine, except that they continue to go off until 7-something AM, which is when he actually gets up. And it irritates the ever-living-daylights out of me because while he can sleep through anything, I cannot. And half the time, by the time the first alarm starts going off, I have been asleep for approximately 15 minutes, after getting up with Lizzy {have I mentioned that she is getting all four of her molars, and we are in teething hell?} Anyway, Justin's alarm clock went off at 5-something AM this morning, and we had the following conversation:

Me (trying to shake Justin awake): Babe, your alarm is going off.
Justin: I know. I hear it.
Me: Well could you turn it OFF for God sake?
Justin: No, I love the sound. It is music to my soul. Ah OOOO Gah. Ah OOOOO Gah. Isn't that nice?
Me: Seriously? Turn off your stupid alarm. It's been going off for like half an hour.
Justin: Ah OOOO Gah. {Incomprehensible gibberish} singing along?

At that was the point in which I realized that he was TOTALLY still asleep. To be fair, I have some weird recollection of trying to wake Justin up in the middle of the night to tell him something he had to remember about giving someone a shot...which is obviously something that I have no knowledge about, but apparently I thought I was just little miss smarty pants at 3am. I might be just a little sleep deprived.

-I am totally wondering why I didn't add "Go to IKEA" to my 101 in 1001 list. I have never been there. Nor do I own anything from IKEA.

- Lizzy's pediatrician gave us unexpected food advice at our 12-month well baby. They have always been pretty conservative with food, (they recommended only purees until at least 10 months, while we went with an approach closer to baby led weaning, but did also use purees too), so I was really surprised that he told us that at 12 months, anything is fair game. Peanut butter, honey, anything. He says that these are the latest recommendations based on the research...but I'm not sure that we'll follow, especially when it comes to honey. Justin used to work at a bee farm, and he wasn't sold on introducing honey either. Has anybody else heard this?

Monday, January 17, 2011

BQOTD- Hot Button Issues

I saw this elsewhere, and thought it was an interesting question. So, since it's been awhile, I thought it would be an excellent burning question of the day. Without further adieu, the burning question of the day is: 

What are YOUR hot-button issues? Those topics that will always cause you to weigh in?

For me, they are (1) intolerance/hate due to incorrect application of Christianity, (2) vaccines/ the continued "blaming" of vaccines on autism, and (3) child/spousal abuse.

Friday, January 14, 2011

State of My Body: One Year Postpartum

Before becoming pregnant, and even while I was pregnant, I worried about my body post-pregnancy, as I'm sure most women do. Nearly everyone assured me that since I was breastfeeding, the weight would melt off with little to no effort, and I'd be back in my normal jeans in no time.

But I was worried--see, I knew from speaking to both my mom and my mother-in-law that neither had amazing breastfeeding weight loss experiences. In fact, my mom told me that she didn't lose a pound until she stopped breastfeeding. And I knew that nearly everyone in my family has struggled with their weight. And I knew that my husband loves pizza, and ice cream, and constantly brings home goodies that I have a hugely difficult time saying no to. So, I was worried.

And as you may remember, the whole postpartum experience was not a pleasant one for me. I was hugely swollen for weeks from being pumped with fluids. I tore badly, and was in a lot of pain, for weeks. Breastfeeding was a battle, and hurt like hell. And as the months progressed, I never lost a pound past that initial drop before leaving the hospital, despite working out and eating fairly healthily.

Several months ago, I took the scale outside to the garage. It was causing more harm than good. I decided to track a few days worth of calories on The Daily Plate just to see where I was at. I started doing the 30 Day Shred...and I finally did complete each level 10 times, though it took more than 30 days. I was excited about things...I had dropped two jeans sizes (but still wasn't back to my original size), and was feeling good. I stepped on the scale, and discovered that I weighed exactly one pound less than I had about three months prior. I was super discouraged. I felt like everyone around me who had a baby around the same time was back to their "normal" self, and I wasn't. And Justin was super tired of hearing me talk about it. He didn't understand how I could hate my body so much, and how it could destroy a day for me so easily (clothes shopping, anyone?). My self-esteem was nonexistent.

People would suggest Weight Watchers, or Nutrisystem, or any other diet when I'd complain, but (a) we simply didn't have room in the budget for it, and (b) I was terrified that I'd sign up for one of those things and fail. 

So, I think it was in October that I decided that instead of weighing myself, I would take my measurements, and track those on The Daily Plate instead. I continued doing the 30 Day Shred, and just before Christmas, I re-started the Couch to 5k Program (which I have started a number of times, but never finished). From the time I started measuring in October to the last time I took measurements (late December), I have lost 2.5 inches from my hips, 3.5 inches from my waist, and 2.5 inches from my chest. I really have no idea what's normal in terms of losing inches, so I'm not sure if that's a lot or hardly any, but it sure is nice to see progress!

I've decided to refrain from taking measurements again until after I conquer the 20 minute run next week...though I think they've probably decreased since the last time I took them. Seeing pictures from Lizzy's party was literally the first time that I had seen a picture of myself and thought that I looked relatively normal and not absolutely huge. Also? As I write this (Thursday night), I'm wearing pajama pants that I received for Christmas and couldn't even pull up over my hips at the time. But now I'm wearing them and they aren't skin tight, so that's good. And for the first time yesterday, I was able to successfully zip and button a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans...I've still got some serious muffin top going on, so they're not quite ready to leave the house in, but again, it's progress.

My point in this isn't to have y'all cheer for me and say way to go. It also isn't to say "poor come everyone else has it so easy?!" I guess my point in writing this is to give a voice to those of us who really struggle with reclaiming our bodies after having a baby--one year later, I'm still probably not back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But in a lot of ways, I might be more healthy. It's kind of incredible to see what my body can do with this running thing...I'm strong. And I'm down three (maybe four) pants even if I stepped on the scale tomorrow and hadn't lost a pound, I can confidently say that I AM making progress.

And that feels good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

101 in 1001 Progress

As some of you might remember, just about a year ago, I created a 101 in 1001 list, which comes to an end on October 16, 2012. I actually made some good progress on the list and completed 34 of the items, with another 11 in progress! That said, I've also re-evaluated some of the items on my list, and have discovered that they're no longer goals of mine for whatever reason. I could continue to do them anyway, but I don't want this list to be a burdensome thing that I rush through just to finish it off. Besides, changing our priorities is just a part of life. So, I've decided to allow for 5 change-ups or replacements. Which are as follows:

1. Previously: Read one of Jane Austen's Novels. I've started just about every one of her novels, and I just don't enjoy her writing style. When I decide that I'm not going to read anything else until I read one of her books, I just don't read at all. I think what I was really trying to get at here was that there are a lot of "classics" that I've never read. has a list of 101 Books for college bound readers. Most are classics, and I've hardly read any of them. My NEW goal is to read two books from that list.

4. Previously: Complete 50 Questions that will Free Your Mind. As I looked further into the list, I discovered that some of the questions were essentially rhetorical questions. They weren't really appropriate for discussion or self-discovery as I was hoping. My NEW goal is not related, but still falls into the same category--Follow My Cleaning Schedule for Two Weeks. If I don't get something done on the designated day, just make it up before Sunday.

13. Previously: Read My Entire Camera Manual. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of my camera. Of course, I have things that I'd like to learn, but I don't really think reading my camera manual is the best way to achieve it. My NEW goal is totally unrelated to this subject, but it's to participate in a Beth Moore Bible Study. I've literally wanted to participate in one for YEARS, but never have. I've heard about one starting up in February, and I really want to make it work to participate!

53. Previously: Get A Wii and Wii Fit. It would be fun to have a Wii and a Wii Fit. But do we need one? No. And that's just not something that I want us to feel pressured to buy just because it's on this list, when there may be better uses of our money. My NEW goal is also fitness related, and it's to take my measurements at least once a month, for the next six months (I track them on The Daily Plate). Sometimes, I get hung up on what the scale says. It's important for me to also look at it in the context of measurements--because sometimes, I might not lose any weight, but my measurements are continuing to go down, and that is still a good thing!

82. Previously: Buy a pair of jeans that cost more than $60 and fit me perfectly. This item was really to give myself permission to buy a pair of Gap Long and Lean jeans after Lizzy was born. However, I *HATE* the new Long and Lean jeans, and have no desire to buy them. So, my NEW goal is, after I complete goal #48 (Run or walk a 5k), which I hope to do this spring, to spend $60 at Old Navy, purchasing summer basics in tall sizes.

So now, my list looks like this:


1. Read two "classics" from Collegeboard's 101 Great Books List
2. Read 50 books (28/50)
3. Actually read all of Understanding Exposure
4. Follow my cleaning schedule for two weeks (0/2)
5. Watch (not sleep through) a movie that Justin wants to see but I don’t, without complaining (Unstoppable).
6. Blog about my progress on the list.
7. Go through my closet and take a load to the consignment shop. Take anything they don’t want to Goodwill (haven't taken anything to Goodwill because the consignment shop told me to try the items again in awhile).
8. Try 6 new restaurants (2/6- New Pizza Place, Jasper's)
9. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy
10. Knit something other than a scarf. Knitted an ear-flap hat.
11. Donate 1000 grams of rice through
12. Make a photography portfolio


13. Participate in a Beth Moore Bible Study
14. Read the New Testament and keep a journal about it
15. Read Shepherding a Child’s Heart
16. Go to church once at Applegate
17. Give up something meaningful for Lent
18. Make a concerted effort to pray when I feel anxious or worried.
19. Find 10 new Christian songs that are meaningful to me (4/10) (In Your Arms by Plumb, Your Hands by JJ Heller, The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets, Lead Me by Sanctus Real).
20. Read Mere Christianity


21. Try 12 New Recipes (9/12- Motherlode Layer Bars, Lighthouse Lasagna, Cucumber Bread, Snickers Trifle, Easy Dinner Rolls, Chicken Enchilada Pasta, Orange Chicken, Syrupy Pull-Apart Bread, Crock Pot Chocolate Lava Cake)
22. Organize the spare/guest room (was mostly done, but already needs to be done again)
23. Prepare a Living Will
24. Plant a Veggie Garden
25. Go to a museum
26. Don’t eat out (or order in) any meals for one week
27. Schedule “Family Night” and turn off phones (0/12)
28. Start a Roth IRA ( or at least begin researching one)
29. Plant a tree
30. Take Lizzy to the snow
31. Give breastfeeding my best shot for at least 6 months.
32. Re-do a family budget
33. Have Lizzy baptized
34. Have a photo book made of Lizzy's first year
35. Make Justin a cheesecake
36. Introduce Lizzy to Kait & Jesse
37. Start landscaping the backyard
38. Do a photo shoot with Lizzy at least once a month for the first year
39. Teach Lizzy basic Spanish—colors, numbers, etc.
40. Mail Christmas Cards before Christmas
41. Send out photo birth announcements for Lizzy
42. If we receive a tax refund for 2009, have a written plan for what we will do with the money and follow it. {I am saying that we completed this. We had a verbal plan, and did follow it}.
43. Go on an actual get-dressed-up-date with Justin -Anniversary 2010
44. Eat dinner (at home) by candle-light
45. Start a family tradition (Done June 2011--Family Manifesto)

Physical Health

46. Climb Table Rock 5 times (1/5)
47. Do the Couch to 5K program
48. Run or Walk a 5K
49. Go snowboarding
50. Go for a walk with J at least once a week for one month (0/4)
51. Complete the 30 Day Shred (it’s okay if it takes more than 30 days total
52. Buy new running shoes
53. Take my measurements once a month (6/6)
54. Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight
55. Keep a food diary of everything that I eat for one week
56. Refrain from drinking any soda for at least one week (gave up soda for Lent 2010)

Because It’s Been Too Long

57. Go to the ocean
58. Go to a concert Disciple, Head, etc.
59. Get a library card again
60. Float the river at least once
61. Have family photos taken
62. Make homemade ice cream
63. Build a snowman
64. Have my hair highlighted -7/2/10
65. Have a picnic
66. Laugh so hard that I cry Done on 4/4/10.
67. Play Guitar Hero
68. Go to the Hot Air Balloon Rally in July
69. Buy fresh flowers for the house
70. Go wakeboarding -Summer 2011 in Idaho
71. Go to the Farmer’s Market
72. Take a bath
73. Do a DIY project for our house --I've done several--the family manifesto, and the DIY coffee filter wreath.
74. Watch a movie with subtitles (Amelie)
75. Refrain from using the hair dryer or straightener for 7 consecutive days. Completed Jan 16-23, 2010
76. Leave the state of Oregon Done 6/10/11 for Illumination Fest in CA.

Facing Fears

77. Donate blood
78. Do 5 photo shoots for non-family members (5/5) I did way more than five already!
79. Throw a party Lizzy's Birthday!

Just Because

80. Make Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon
81. Watch Casablanca
82. After completing goal #48, spend $60 at Old Navy buying summer basics in tall sizes
83. Learn how to play one song on the guitar
84. Make a headboard for our bed
85. Get a tattoo
86. Try at least 10 new cocktails (4/10- Dark and Stormy, Pear Bubbler, Basil Spritzer, Vodka Lemonade with Basil)
87. Go wine tasting at a winery (The one near the creamery)
88. Have a houseplant
89. Leave a tip that’s equal to the total cost of the bill
90. Have dinner at The Bistro -Anniversary 2010
91. Try a take n’ bake pizza from my favorite pizza place
92. Send a random gift to a friend {to April}
93. Watch a sporting event live {all of Kevin's games}
94. Try a food that I’ve never had before - Pummelo!
95. Purchase a flash for the camera
96. Break 100 while bowling
97. Buy a lottery ticket
98. Own 5 pieces of jewelry that I love (4/5-wedding necklace, illusion stone necklace, chunky burnt orange necklace, long circle necklace)
99. Get ice cream somewhere other than Dairy Queen
100. Make sangria
101. Discover a beer that I actually like Lost Coast's Tangerine Wheat Ale.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For Your Entertainment...

So, I mentioned previously that I figured I'd make Lizzy a little smash cake for her birthday. HOW HARD COULD THAT BE?! I stocked up on Betty Crocker Cake mix and some strawberry icing. I had purchased both a box of vanilla and a box of chocolate cake mix, so I figured I'd go with the vanilla first. Followed all the instructions to the T, rather than just tossing things in the bowl like I usually do. Baked for the recommended amount of time, pulled the cake out, and let it cool in the pan, on a rack, away from the oven for an hour.

After the hour was up, I went to flip the cake onto a plate to ice it...and the whole thing crumbled to pieces. It was worse than cornbread. I swore up a storm, and tossed the cake in the trash. I scoured Betty Crocker's website to look for suggestions, and it mentioned that  crumbly cakes could be due to either overbaking, not letting it cool long enough, or using too-small eggs. I had used eggs from my sister-in-law's chickens, and I thought they might be smaller than average, so I vowed to try it again the next day with the chocolate cake mix.

So, I followed all the instructions, using store bought eggs, and baked the cake for the shortest amount of time recommended on the box. I removed the cake, and let it cool for FIVE HOURS. Then, I attempted frosting it, and this is what happened:


It held together a little better (compared to not at all), but once I started frosting it (and yes, the frosting was at room temp), the whole thing crumbled. I tried to salvage it my making it a two tiered cake, but that just didn't work at all. Cake Making? FAIL. And as I find myself saying quite often on this blog, it's can laugh.

Justin wanted me to serve Ugly-Cake anyway, but they had a small one layer cake at the local grocery store for $2.98, so I told him there was no way I was serving the Ugly-Cake. Plus, the strawberry frosting in a can is maybe the most putrid thing I have ever tasted.

On the upside, the Snickers Trifle looked really good.



It tasted delicious too, if I do say so myself. And yay to me for only having a small taste instead of eating the entire thing...Lord knows I could have!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Letter to Lizzy- Twelve Months

Lizzy Loo,

Today, you are one year old. Officially a toddler, not a baby. The idea that you're not a baby anymore doesn't make me sad, but I am surprised at just how quickly the year has flown by. I literally remember the day that you were born like it was yesterday. Rocking you to sleep that first night singing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. It seems crazy that now when I put on the music, you dance right along!

On Saturday, we had your birthday party, and the whole family came.



You had your own little cake (after I failed at making one, TWICE, but that's a {hilarious} story for another day), and at first, you were pretty suspicious of it, but eventually face planted right into the cake and went to town.




One part of your personality that we've really seen develop recently is that you love to be the center of attention. I can totally see you being an entertainer of some sort when you grow up--you love to make people laugh! During your party, you loved to walk into the center of the room and happily scream as loudly as you could, and then when everyone would look at you, you'd laugh hysterically.



You also really enjoy showing everyone your "tricks"--especially doing the round and round motion to "The Wheels on the Bus"


You also know how to clap your hands and stomp your feet during "If You're Happy And You Know It", play Peek-A-Boo, and point to the correct picture of your cousins (and Jaxon) on the side of our fridge when we say their names. You especially like to give Jaxon kisses, which we happily encourage!

Your favorite game is to play "Getcha Getcha", where we say that we're going to "get you", and chase you all over the house. You laugh hysterically every time! For some inexplicable reason, you also LOVE to crawl under our barstools and sit with them like a cage around you.


You absolutely love books. We've added your books to one of the shelves in the living room, and you happily take them all off every morning, and play with them for hours at a time. You have started to favor "real" books over board books, and absolutely do not want me to turn the pages for you. Some of your favorites (Pat the Bunny, Brown Bear Brown Bear) are already starting to fall apart, but I would much rather your books need to be replaced every year from being loved on than to stay on the shelves in pristine condition!

You say Mama, Da-Da, Pay-Pay (Payton), OHHHH!, Bye-Bye, Kit-Kat (Kitty Cat), Papa (Grandpa), and Bo (Bones). You also know the signs for all-done/finished, and more.

But my favorite development this month is the frequency that you give kisses and snuggles. It melts my heart every time baby girl.


Love you more than anything,

Friday, January 7, 2011


-So first of all, LIZZY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY IS TOMORROW. Holy cow...where did the past year go? To be honest, I always kind of rolled my eyes when I heard other moms gush about how big their little babies were getting, but seriously, I get it. I don't think a year has EVER flown by so fast in my life!

-In regards to the above, I'm making Lizzy her own little cake, but for the adults, I'm making a Snickers Bar Trifle. I'm hoping there's not a revolt due to the lack of cake, but hello...that looks so yummy! I'm also making Leah's 3-2-1 Beef...which has seriously become my go-to recipe for family gatherings. With Black Butte Porter (yeah Deschutes Brewery!) it is delicious. 

-Doing better on the running in terms of shin splints and things, but I'm still struggling with those three minute runs. I feel like such a wuss saying that I'm struggling with running for three minutes. hard could that be? I even cover up the time, but by the 2:00 mark into the last 3:00 interval, I'm wheezing up a storm.

-My mom's group asked if I would talk about photography tips for moms at their next meeting. I'm excited, but also a little overwhelmed about where to start...there is such a diverse group of women, and I'm struggling with how much info and detail to go into. I want to give enough that they can actually make some good changes, but not so much that they just get totally overwhelmed and don't try anything.

-I just finished the book The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris. I feel like most book people that I respect totally loved it, and I hated it. Big time. I'm okay with leaving some things unanswered, but with this particular book, I felt like I read and read, and at the end I knew nothing more than when I started, and had no more of a connection with any of the fact, I liked them even less. Not off to a great start with books in 2011! But, I just picked up the 4th Outlander book and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from the library yesterday. Here's hoping that I have better luck with them!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Okay, so I had to share something that happened this morning, because it was so wacky...

Let me start by saying that we have a "No Soliciting" sign up. It actually says "No Soliciting--This includes politics, religion, salesmen, home improvement, and free estimates." I was wary about putting one up because I still want the girl scouts and sports teams to stop by our house, but during my first few weeks home with Lizzy, I was shocked at how often solicitors of some sort were ringing my doorbell. I got someone ringing the doorbell at least twice a day, and it was usually right when I finally got Lizzy to sleep. It got

Also, I felt uncomfortable opening the door to random people when I was home alone, but also felt weird not answering the door when people could see me right through the front window (our house's big window is right by the front door, and through it you can see the living room, dining room, and part of the kitchen. Our house is also a CAVE unless the curtains are open, and people can see through the sheers).

Moving on...this morning, I was getting Lizzy dressed on the living room couch so that we could run out the door to my doctor's appointment, when I saw a huge van pull up. Two men in suits got out, and I knew that they were Jehovah Witnesses (I recognized one who had been to our house before the sign was put up). They walked right by the front window, and up to the door. They noticed the sign, and clearly weren't sure what to do. Often, even if there is a "no soliciting" sign up, people affiliated with various religions will still ring the doorbell since they figure they're not selling something. But our sign that specified religion apparently confused them.

They quickly walked back to the van, and got in. Two more people promptly got out of the van, came up to our front door, read the sign aloud, and then went back to the van. Then, all SEVEN people got out of the van, came up to our door, and proceeded to spend ten minutes debating about whether or not they could knock on my door.

One said that we had unfairly grouped religion with solicitors, and they were NOT solicitors, so they should still knock, because it wasn't their fault that we were confused about what a solicitor was. One said that our sign was awfully rude. Another said that even if they weren't technically solicitors, our lumping them in with solicitors made it pretty clear that we didn't want people from various religions knocking at our door. Seriously guys, they debated for a good 10-15 minutes, all the while standing on our porch.

Meanwhile, I am still in the living room, getting Lizzy dressed and getting our stuff together. I can see them through our window, they can see me. I can hear this entire wacky conversation. Maybe they were hoping that if they stayed on my porch talking long enough that I'd open the door, but I SO did not have time for that...I was cutting it close time wise as it was.

Eventually, they decided that they should not knock on my door, and returned back to the van....AND DROVE AWAY. They didn't go to any of the other houses in the neighborhood! Apparently, they came just for us. So weird!

Also, can I just say....

I don't often talk politics on this blog, but I have got to say is ABOUT TIME that the 9/11 First Responders bill passed and was signed {on Sunday}.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lizzy's First Snow

We live in a really cool part of Oregon--there's rarely ever snow on the ground floor here, but the mountains are only a short drive away. In the summer, we live by plenty of lakes and rivers, and the ocean is a half day's drive. Anyway, last Friday we decided to head up with Ryan, Renee, Payton, and Logan to find some snow--taking Lizzy was one of the items on my 101 in 1001 list {so was building a snowman, which we inexplicably did not do!}, and it just sounded fun.

We picked up a snowsuit at a secondhand store--it was 18 month sized and was HUGE on her. She looked like a giant marshmallow.


One of Lizzy's new things is to say "Ooohhhh!" at things she's interested in. I think her mouth was in a perma-O shape the whole time we were there.



Justin decided to take Lizzy sledding. They all made fun of me because I kept saying, "WHY IS HE GOING UP SO HIGH?!?" But you have to understand that the last time I went sledding with Justin, he decided that using the rear endcap of an RV as a sled would be a good idea, and consequently got like 6 staples in his head.


As you can see, Lizzy was not too sure about sledding either. And for good reason...they crashed. Not too badly, and Justin kept a hold of her, but it still made me squirm. Renee thought Lizzy hit her head on the snow. It looked to me like Justin's shoulder was under her, but we went over to the boys to check her out. Justin insisted that Lizzy only hit his shoulder. Half of me wanted to pack her up and take her to the ER just to make sure she didn't have whiplash or a concussion or something, but I do trust Justin. And Lizzy was happy as a lark (she didn't even cry when they crashed), so I think she was okay. I mean, the kid cries any time she trips into our very plush couch, or anytime we go over a bump in the road in the car. She cried earlier that day when she tried to walk in the snow and fell. So if she wasn't crying, it must not have jarred her or scared her that much.

{PS- If you would have rushed to the ER anyway, please just keep that little tidbit to yourself...this is the part where I need fellow mom assurance that she is just fine...even though she obviously is since it's four days later !}




I really didn't want to sled. I don't have any snow pants that fit, so I was just in jeans. And I knew that if I didn't get hurt, I'd at least be wet and miserable the whole way home. But, for some reason, I agreed to go once. And I'm glad I did. Justin was really happy that I went, and seeing his excitement totally made it worth it to me. Sometimes, I think that without realizing it, because of tending to Lizzy, or knowing that I'm clumsy and don't want to get hurt, or now because of being self-conscious in lots of different ways, I can sometimes be a little bit of a spoil sport. Maybe not a spoil-sport, but I find myself on the sidelines just watching more than I did before Lizzy. It isn't intentional, but I think it can happen nonetheless.




For some reason, her hat kept twisting so that my poor seaming job was front and center. I have no idea why, but it drove me crazy! 

Another thing that drove me crazy? There was another lady up in by the sledding hill who had a Canon 20D. Way nicer than my camera. And she obviously had NO idea how to use it. In fact, I'm pretty sure she was shooting in full auto...her on-board flash often went off when there was NO need to use it in those conditions. I know sometimes people are told to use a flash when it's snowy and overcast, but it was just not needed. And even if she was trying to use it as a fill flash or something, her subject was several hundred yards away, so it probably wouldn't have helped much anyway.

The little green jealousy monster comes out every now and kills me when people spend upwards of $1000 on a camera and obviously don't take the time to learn how to make it best work!

Anyway, enough of the ranting...overall, it was such a fun day. I'm so glad we went! I can't wait to take Lizzy up in the snow again as she continues to get older!

Monday, January 3, 2011

December Photo Scavenger Hunt

So first of all, I need to come clean...not all my photos were taken before December 31st. This month totally slipped away from me! So, what this means for YOU is that even if you didn't finish the photo hunt by December 31st, it's not too late! Post what you've got, or finish and then post...I left the MckLinky open until the 16th, so no worries.

1. Water

2. Angel

3. Architectural Detail

4. Shoes

5. Something yellow

6. Your favorite beverage (Cherry Coke)

7. Something taller than you

8. Bokeh with Christmas lights

9. Bubble

10. Pickle

11. Heirloom (Baby Dress)

12. Your refrigerator

13. Chocolate

14. Candid

15. Music ( *swoon* )

16. Produce

17. Key

18. Board Game (Do y'all say "Blow-Cuss" or "Block-Us"?)

19. Candle

20. Fuzzy

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What I Read In 2010

I didn't do too bad in terms of reading last year (it sounds so weird referring to 2010 as "last year")...much better than I thought I would with a newborn in the house! I am also happy to report that some of the books I read were really amazing. My recommendations are in's hoping y'all find a book or two that you love from the list!

#1- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
#2- The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
#3- The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
#4- The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
#5- Talk Before Sleep By Elizabeth Berg
#6- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
#7- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
#8- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
#9-Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
#10- The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
#11- The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinski
#12- Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott
#13- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
#14- The Girls by Lori Lansens
#15-Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#16- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
#17- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
#18- A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve
#19- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
#20 The Host by Stephenie Meyer
#21- Never Tell Our Business to Strangers: A Memoir by Jennifer Mascia
#22- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
#23- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
#24- The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
#25- Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
#26- Hector and the Search For Happiness by Fracois Lelord
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