Thursday, January 31, 2013

Project 365: Day 31

Whoever invented the race car shopping cart has my eternal thanks. We got a cool 20 minutes in the store before I had to hold him. And believe me, holding him while shopping is no bueno.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The best post idea I've ever dreamed up

Last night, I had a great idea for a blog post sometime after three. Gideon had woken me up in the middle of a revelatory dream, and I was afire with inspiration. I tended Gid, then came back to my bedside and hurriedly tapped the idea into my phone. I had to go quickly, as I distinctly remember my tired eyes fighting the screenlight, pulling me back to sleep. Yes, I thought, this will be awesome.

I completely forgot about it until this afternoon, and turned, with excitement, to my sticky note application to see what genius idea struck me in the wee hours of the morning. "Women and rights" I read. What? I have absolutely no recollection of what that has to do with anything. Rights? To life? To vote? To be ordained? Huh.

The best explanation I can muster is that I've been reading some feminist blogs, lately, and must have been thinking about them in my dreams. But I can't, for the life of me, tell you what so inspired me last night. Besides women and rights. Yes, those womanly rights that are so important. Keep the rights in the hands of the women and nobody gets hurt.

I think I should probably go back to sleep to get a better handle on the situation.

Project 365: Peekaboo!

As long as he doesn't walk around too much, this is a really great version of peekaboo.

Project 365: Day 29 Story Time

It's the most wonderful time of the day.

He gets so excited when we ask if he wants to read a book.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fabulous music you might just love

When I was a teenager, I introduced my mom to one of my favorite groups at the time, Coldplay. I loved (and still love) the cool melodies and distant feel they infused into their music, and I knew my mom would love it, too. Thirty seconds into the first song, she looked at me and asked, "So when is it going to pick up?" I frowned. Pick up? This is it! This is Coldplay! "How do you dance to this?" She continued. I was flabbergasted. It hadn't ever occurred to me to dance to Coldplay.

"Mom, this is listening music. Not dance music. Who dances to Coldplay?" [insert long-suffering teenage eyebrows here] And I was crushed. Not only did she not enjoy my music, my people, she thought it was less than her Marvin Gaye, her Beach Boys, and whatever else she "shook it" to in college.

Since then, I have only fallen more in love with listening music. The dance music of my generation is a little bump-and-grind-y for my taste, so I am left with cool, chill tones like Agnes Obel (whom I just discovered and I love dearly):

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Project 365: Day 26 First Dinner Out

 Daniel's never been to this local Chinese place, and it's very good. We went out for a family date and have nothing but good things to say about it, Gid included.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Project 365: Day 25 Mr. Messy

Gideon likes to touch his head when he eats. A pat is all it takes; just needs to make sure it's still there, I guess.

We're learning to use a spoon. Gid was very interested in trying. He's actually very good, for having not used cutlery before. But he still loves the sensation of sticking his whole fist in his mouth to get at whatever's on his fingertips. Especially if it's marionberry yogurt.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Project 365: Day 24

Gideon had a friend come over today for a little bit. It was hilarious to watch. Gideon is always really shy around strangers, but now I know that's just because they're so much bigger than he is. With this baby, who's older but smaller, Gid was quite the host: patting the boy's head when he missed his mommy, then trying to hug it out as the boy alarmedly tried to escape.

Since he's not my baby to show off, I won't show his whole face, but trust me when I say that he's very cute. His rad new shades cover that up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Now you can subscribe!

Have you ever wanted to get notifications every time I write a post? Well, now you can!

Just head on over to the upper right side of my homepage to where there's a dark bar. It'll pop out when you mouse over it and give you some options. Roll down to the bottom box and follow the directions. That will enable you to get an email the very minute I post anything!

That's gotta be at least as much fun as a box of marbles.

Project 365: Day 23 Tortillas!

I made tortillas today, because I wanted to make beef enchilada bake but didn't have tortillas and am over budget for groceries.

1. You need to go to that link and make the beef enchilada bake. It is good.
2. You should consider making your own tortillas sometime. They're easy! I used this recipe from and used shortening instead of lard. Fabulous. Just try to keep your baby away from the stove. Darn kids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 365: Day 22

The coast is clear.

Maximum spillage ensured.

Should've thought through the escape a little better...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Project 365: Day 21

With this truck, we become an all-American family. Gone is the BMW; the Jetta is history, and our new F150 is super fabulous! It's got a bench back seat, manual transmission, and it's beautiful inside. We've been planning for this truck since we moved here, and now that he finally gets to drive it, he's really glad.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Project 365: Day 20 Self Portrait Sunday

Self portraits are hard. It's hard to come up with something that doesn't look hokey, and if you can come up with that, the technical side will try to trip you up however possible. Then you have your baby who is paying attention to the blinking camera instead of the book you're reading together... There's no winning.

Bed time story

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Project 365: Day 19 Bountiful

Picked up my Bountiful Basket today. Made smoothies after dinner with apple, strawberry, blueberry, and coconut. Next time, I'll use coconut milk, because shredded coconut is a little tough to blend. But they tasted delicious!

Tomorrow, I think I'll try pineapple, strawberry, and orange...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Project 365: Day 17 Daniel's next trick

Remember this guy?

Daniel is so good to me. I was going to help refinish it, honestly, but Gideon decided to teethe all last week, and I hadn't the time or wherewithal to make it happen. So, without my help, Daniel sanded, painted, and stained one more piece to finish up our current round of furniture redoing. I love it.

PS: The Jettamobile sold today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project 365: Day 16 A Memorial

After five years with my Jettamobile, it's time to say goodbye. We listed her on Craigslist yesterday and I've been fielding inquiries all day today and yesterday. She was my first car, the perfect car for what I needed. CD, AC (for a while), manual, no bulky box in the console between the front seats, and zippy. She saw me through every boyfriend, every roommate, through trips all over the West.

She and my tired right foot spent days cruising the barren Nevada desert together, learned how to "Left Turn Yield on Green" (Provo style), and everything in between. I've napped in her back seat, shaded by the ultra-dark window tinting; listened to angry music, happy music, and hours of Armstrong and Getty on sunless Seminary mornings. She's been my constant since I moved out on my own, her VW ticking getting lost in her gravelly purr.

I'll never forget the day I bought her; I had a wad of 21 hundred dollar bills and felt rich. Or the chilly morning we discovered her faulty battery connection at six in the morning (I'll give you a hint: the horn goes off when the battery is messed with). Figuring out so many new towns together, hoping none of the pedestrians noticed her sticking on the way into 2nd gear. It was me and her, always.

Yes, she's been grand for me. I kid myself and hope that someone else will love her like I have. I doubt it.

But we had a good run. I'll miss her.

PS: If you are interested, we're asking $800 firm.

Word of the Year 2013

I will outdo most of the internet and pick two words of the year: "Go" and "Be."


Last year was a bit of a mess, for me. I fought a lot of new battles and feel like I have finally come out on top (more or less). So, instead of the chaos I struggled to keep up last year, this year will be better. I'm still stuck in those habits, though. It's tough to get up and do something, even if I have a specific task in mind, because having a baby to take care of during/get ready for things can be paralyzing for me. Now, when I have an idea  that I would like to make happen, I'm just going to go. Yes, it's a pain to sock and shoe that kid, but I don't even have to always do that. I just need to go and do whatever it is.

But sometimes, I'm all out. And I need to not feel guilty about that. That's when I need to just be. Be still, be calm, be grateful, be happy, and not be frantically trying to clean or cook a multi-course meal. Spaghetti is an acceptable meal with no side dishes, especially if it's sauce that I've already frozen with zucchini in it.

These are my words of the year, and I have been very happy with them so far. I may drop the "Be" thing, because I'm enough of an underachiever that it may not be a terrible hardship to let things slide, but the jury is still out on that one. As it is, "Be" is a shadow word right now.

I encourage you to pick a word for yourself, this year. Think about what you need, what you can do about it, and what will inspire you when you're faced with your hard situations. Do you need to breathe when you're angry or stressed? Would you like to enjoy this fabulous season of your life? Want to see, really see the blessings you've been given and the good people you know? It'll make all the difference, if you put your thought in it.

The Lettered Cottage

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Project 365: Day 13 Self Portrait Sunday

Before I show you my self portrait, let me hem and haw self consciously about the difficulties of taking a self portrait with the big camera.

I couldn't figure out how to make the timer longer than two seconds, which doesn't mean much, seeing as I stared at the screen for a few seconds, moved the selector over the different options (none of which was the option to lengthen the timer), took a few pictures of the floor (because I am a professional), then decided to roll with it. Also, the focusing is hard. Autofocus doesn't work on thin air, which is all that's there when I'm, you know, behind the camera.

So, grain of salt, not the best, blah-de-blah, etc...

And this is the first of 50-odd self portraits to come.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Project 365: Day 12

Hunting for pomegranate seeds amidst the flotsam.

He will share--anything but the pomegranate!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Project 365: Day 11 Good News and Bad News

We awoke with a start. The baby was wimpering, the garbage truck was rumbling. The projection clock said it was 7:06. "We forgot to take the garbage out!" Daniel said, springing into action. I grumpily laid in bed, waiting for Daniel to get Gideon. I saw Gideon plenty last night, and had no intention of seeing him again until at least 8.

But a few minutes later, the screaming was getting pretty intense. Gideon didn't want to eat, didn't want to be held, didn't want to be put down. So Daniel brought him to me to nurse. Lovely.

Fast forward to 9:30: Gideon and I are ready to roll. We gathered up the supplies for our errand, got buckled in, reversed, then, BANG! rumblerumble... I saw the garbage can go down in my side-view mirror, and something red shattered with it. Upon getting out, I identified the something red as my tail light cover. Great, I thought. I'll have to replace that today. I got some masking tape to hold the shards in. No dice. That stuff wasn't made for plastic, I guess. Electrical tape worked better. Then I was off to the auto parts store to get that cover replacement. But oh, what a naive, unknowing girl I am. It could never be that easy!

The guy at the counter looked it up for me and said I might have to replace the whole light assembly. I sighed, preparing for the worst. "Yep," he said, "You can't replace just the cover. The whole thing is two-forty-four-oh-eight."
I did a double-take. "Two hundred and forty-four dollars?" Oh, yes. He very sweetly recommended I try some junkyards to find it cheaper. Thank you.

So, the good news: the garbage ended up getting taken. I also got a 3.5 hour nap after the trip into town. The bad news? I think you can guess.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project 365: Day 10

After breakfast, I looked out the window to see snow falling! That doesn't happen often, here, so I was pretty stoked. Gideon didn't care.

After a few minutes, the flakes got really big.

And the whole neighborhood was covered in it!

Then it was gone by 12:30. Such is life.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Project 365: Day 5 Finally!

This morning, we were supposed to go sledding, but Gideon was awfully unhappy. He got upset at something, then, in a tantrum, threw himself on his back, landing his head on my 4 lb weights next to the couch. He was fine, but the day went downhill from there. Every time I tried to call my SIL to tell her we couldn't make it, he was angry again and he's quite loud when he's angry.

So, I dosed him with Tylenol (are his teeth hurting? Is this just a phase? Nothing seems to be wrong besides everything in the whole wide world, according to Mr. Grumpy McGrumpypants.), nursed him extra, and prayed for this moment.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Project 365: Day 4 Home Decor!

 For Christmas, Daniel and I got some really exciting additions to our bedroom.

We've been doing without a dresser for the past 2 1/2 years, but did I spend $40 to get a used one on Craigslist? No, I'm too cheap. His mother is finally getting around to redoing her kids' old bedrooms and graciously gifted us this dresser that's been in the family since his father was a child.

A little elbow grease, 2 or 3 sanding belts*, and lots of layers of fancy paint have left us with quite a lovely piece to start off the master bedroom decor.

*Yikes, it was a pain to sand. We thought we could just take the finish on the top right off, but it turned out that power sanding melted a smooth, plastic-y finish onto the belt. Instead of borrowing some stripper from Daniel's brother, we just powered through a few belts.

To match, we got a beautiful cedar chest that was once Daniels great-grandmother's. Its finish had yellowed, but it still smelled delicious, and we needed a toy box. However, by the time we got it all painted and stained, we had fallen in love and couldn't let Gideon distress it any more past what we already added around the detailing. He's pretty rough on furniture... No doubt there's something about the sound it makes when he beats it.

So the foot of our bed get a crown jewel of a cedar chest, which was fabulous because the dresser doesn't quite hold all of our clothes.

Then there's this:

My Singer gave its all for this duvet cover
I slaved over this for hours and hours. I've seen the ruched trend going around and find myself oddly mesmerized, despite my utter dislike of following anyone, ever. Also, Daniel said he wouldn't mind a ruched bedspread, and it's the only duvet cover we both like that I can realistically make. Turns out he loves it! Hooray! (Note: be very careful if you ever decide to use a ruffler foot on your sewing machine. I broke two needles and really screwed up my timing learning that lesson... I may write about that one day when my baby gets back from being re-tuned.)

Project 365: Day 3

The last vestige of Christmas. I hate to fold it up.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Project 365: Day 2

Washing dishes
Gid loves to play in the sink. I just have to teach him how to get the soap out of the sponge, then I'll be out of a job!


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