Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Adventure

My last post was about my favorite person in the whole wide world...

...whom I get to see every single day. :-)

THIS post is about my next two favorite people in the whole wide world...

...who live a collective 3,500 miles away from me. :-(

These are my sisters, Emily (in the middle) and Sara (on the right).
And since we can't see or talk to each other every day while we're living so far apart,
we came up with a fabulous idea to start a blog together as a new way to keep in touch.

We've been at it since the beginning of May,
and now we've decided to share our secret sister place with the world.
So stop by and check us out at Sisters Away
and see how we are navigating the world of long distance sisterhood.

Also be sure to stop by Sara's blog, Mommy Honesty, to enter her giveaway for an adorable scrabble tile necklace from Studio Kin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

no words

Have I ever told you about my husband, Seth?

He grew up in Denison, Iowa (the home of Donna Reed - you know, "It's a Wonderful Life"? It's a classic) as the oldest of five siblings. He's the son of a pastor and a teacher and grew up on a farm. He went to Concordia University Nebraska (a.k.a. Concordia Seward) and was a director of Christian education for five years before going to the seminary to become a pastor.

He is many things.
He is the man who always knows how to make me smile and laugh, whether with one of his silly puns or his famous sarcasm.

He is always supportive of whatever is important to me at any given moment.
He's my biggest cheerleader and my biggest fan.
He encourages me when I get down on myself and rejoices with me in my triumphs.

He taught me how to fish, stack wood, spackle drywall, and run a trolling motor.

He is just as big of a dork as I am... maybe bigger.
And I love him for it.

He taught me to love the Lions, the Tigers, and the Pistons.

He is an incredible example of faithful service to God and His people.
His passion for ministry and his love for the people of our congregation constantly blows me away.
He is a wonderful vicar and will soon be a wonderful pastor.

He is my best friend, the love of my life, and the guardian of my heart.
On this, our third anniversary, I am filled with gratitude to God for choosing and preparing such a wonderful man to be my husband.
Seth is the greatest gift next to salvation that He has given me,
and there are no words adequate enough to express how much I love him.

Happy Anniversary, Bubs.
Here's to a lifetime left of love and blessings.

Love, your wife

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seven Years' What???

One of the projects we've taken on in our new house is decorating/renovating the guest bathroom. We were lucky (?) enough to have a completely blank canvas to work with (a.k.a. bo-ring). White walls, white cabinet, white counter top, white tub, white toilet, and the most plain, boring, and cheap fixtures you can imagine. It was so plain and boring that when I went through the house taking pictures before we moved in, I didn't take a single bathroom shot. Therefore, I don't have many "before" pictures to show you. Sorry! Lesson learned. :-)

We started with buying a new faucet, towel bar, and toilet paper holder, all in the most beautiful "oiled antique bronze" (black with coppery edges). Seth successfully installed those items and today we graduated to more decorative items. It will still be a little while until we're finished with it.

Tonight we started the enormously unpleasant task of trying to remove the large rectangular beveled-edged mirror that was glued to the wall. As I sit here typing, he is across the hall with the door closed (to at least attempt to contain the mess) banging away at said mirror and pulling/prying it off in chunks. It sounds pretty horrible. I have only had to bring him a band-aid twice so far...

Once that's finished (and cleaned up after), he will install the new light fixture and then tomorrow we'll start the task of patching the drywall where the glue and mirror were torn from the wall. After that will come painting, then hanging the new shower curtain, artwork, and towels. At that point I will take some lovely "after" photos to share with you, but for now, here's a sneak peek at some of the goodies we snagged today!

I never realized before how weird it is to take pictures of mirrors.

Here is a slightly better shot of the art piece with the towels and shower curtain that match.

The walls are going to be painted one of the gold shades in the painting. I think it will work nicely with the sage green towels and brown shower curtain. You'll have to let me know when it's finished if you think I was right or not ;-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I never knew I had it in me

I have found that every day I live out here in the country (I'm on day 20, in case you were wondering) I become a little more desensitized to bugs. Now, I have always had an issue with life of the insect variety. Any creature with more than four legs is not welcome anywhere near my personal space, and the size of that personal perimeter is directly correlated with the number of legs said creature possesses. So for me, even though I say I am becoming "desensitized", in terms of Kate's fear of bugs, I'm still a pretty big wuss. I have a long ways to go before I can just crush a large insect without batting an eye.

Yet, today I learned that I am much, much braver than I thought. Get ready.

I pulled into my garage at about 6:20pm, turned off the ignition, and got out of the car. I turned to walk around the back of the vehicle, only to stop dead in my tracks at the sight of a giant wolf spider parked just off the back corner of my car. I stood there for a moment, assessing the situation. Seth was not home. This spider was huge. I had to do something.

Apparently "something" took the form of taking a picture of the terrible beast with my phone.

After taking a photo, I stood over it, staring, and wondering if I had the chutzpa to actually smash the thing. With a body that large I was sure it was going to make a big splattery mess and I just didn't know if I could take it. But alas, I knew the closest weapon was one of my husband's crocs sitting by the interior garage door (thank you, Baby, for having such big feet!). As I turned to start walking towards the crocs, the nasty spider started running BACK INTO THE GARAGE at full speed!!! So at the same moment I broke into a sprint to grab the shoe and then get back to the spider, but by the time I did, it was gone! GONE!!!

Well I wasn't about to walk away knowing that the terrible beast was lurking somewhere in my garage, just waiting for a chance to get into my house and (as all spider-fearing people know such beasts will do) up the stairs and into my bed to eat me alive as I sleep. I decided it was worth the risk to venture as quickly as possible into the house to grab my economy sized can of RAID. I returned to the garage - big yellow can in hand - and began my search for the monster. Thankfully, I didn't have to look far as the beast was hiding at the end of a pile of old trim pieces along the garage wall.

I stood back, aimed my can, and began to spray, but I didn't have the chance to enjoy my victory because no sooner had the first drop of poison touched the spider's back than anywhere from 30 to 50 baby spiders jumped of their mama's back and began to scatter in all directions! I held my breath (to keep from screaming) and just sprayed with all my might. All of the babies were quickly dead, but Mama was still hiding under a piece of trim. I scooted it out of the way with my foot and she started to run. I continued to spray her but she just kept running! That is not supposed to happen. She got at least three more feet down the wall before she finally succumbed to the power of the poison.

I was overcome with a strange combination of pride and terror. Proud that I had conquered the Great Spider Beast and her Brood of Spider Babies, but terrified that creatures of that size are living around my house. (I must confess that I first typed "in and around my house" but had to delete the "in" because it unnerved me out too much to see it in writing. I must hold fast to the belief that there aren't any that big actually inside my house. No way.) I called Seth to tell him of my victory and he congratulated me on my accomplishment... although something in his voice told me that he had somehow taken this experience as evidence that I will henceforth no longer need his spider killing services. Au contraire, my love. Bravery like this only comes around when you are alone without any other option. Just ask my friend Hayley (who can be found over at Simply Nesting) who killed a spider and its babies while in her bathroom, alone, naked, and pregnant! She is my hero.

To show you just how big the terrible beast really was, I took a photo of a penny on the cement right next to where I first saw the thing and then superimposed it onto the original cell phone photo.

It's huge! ...right???

If I had a million dollars...

I would get one of these for my back yard.

Nevermind that I don't live by a beach or have a pool.

I don't care.

A beautiful shady outdoor bed would be perfection anywhere.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today my sister, Sara, wrote a wonderful blog about moving forward with challenging goals. The goal she writes about is her dream of publishing a book. While exploring the reasons why she hasn't been moving forward towards her goal, she writes:

"When I really dig deep, I think that an intense fear of failure is keeping me frozen in a pattern that is safe and comfortable and preventing me from reaching out to chase a dream. Maybe the book I should be writing is How to Allow Fear and Procrastination to Crush Your Soul: Successful Ways to Stay Exactly the Same. Oh, but we could all write that book at some time or another, I'm sure."

I know I could add a few chapters to that book! Sara's post struck a chord with me today because I feel like I'm in the same boat with my jewelry business sometimes. I have been content with the easy and comfortable level which I've reached and have failed to move forward.

I remember last fall when I finally decided to open an Etsy shop. I put it off a few times before finally taking the plunge. I was so excited when I first opened it and so proud of myself for taking that next step. Now I am ashamed to think about the poor job I've done of keeping up with it. It's been months since I've posted new items, though I have a big pile of beautiful new pieces I've made. It's almost as if I checked off the inital piece from my list - opening an Etsy shop - but haven't managed to keep up with the even more important piece of keeping up with en Etsy shop! Not to mention the fact that there are so many more opportunities out there for me to explore (home shows, art fairs, farmer's markets, bridal shows, local boutiques, etc.), yet I haven't taken that next step.

What if it takes too much time? What if it costs too much money? What if I don't sell anything? What if they don't like my work? There will always be a long list of "what ifs" keeping us from moving forward. It reminds me of the Shel Silverstien poem, "What Ifs".

Well, what if we start changing our "whatifs" to "What if they say yes?" "What if they love me?" "What if it works?" "What if I'm a wild success?"

While I always try to stay grounded in reality due to my strong tendency to get crushed when I allow my hopes to rise too high, I think there is a difference between asking yourself the good "whatifs" and having an expectation of success. I think we can, and should, allow ourselves to consider the possibility of success without taking it to the emotionally dangerous place of expecting those "whatifs" to come true.

So while I know that I may not rush home today to post half a dozen new items on Etsy, I think I can be resolved to ask myself at least two goodifs for every badif.

...or perhaps two positifs for every negatif? ;-)

Will you join me?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Neighbors

Every now and then, when we're sitting in the family room watching TV you can hear some mooing... and when you walk out into the back yard, this is what you see:
I'd take these cuties over our old neighbors any day!

Welcome to the country!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome to home ownership.

Just as I announce my triumphant return to blogging, I go and leave it for two weeks. I do have a good excuse though... several actually.

#1: packing
#2: moving
#3: cleaning rental house
#4: youth group lock-in
#5: no internet for five days

Those are good excuses, right?

So now I am sitting in our new family room recovering from my first official "home owner" experience. As some of you may know, my husband and I are the kind of people who are crazy enough to buy a house with a moldy basement. We gutted said basement before we moved in and are in the process of getting it treated so that it is 100% mold free (right now it's probably about 92% mold free). We were fairly certain before we bought the house that we knew how the water that caused the mold got into the basement. Now we know for sure.

Apparently, someone who had no idea what they were doing only buried about two feet of hose for the downspout off of the addition. This downspout happens to be just uphill from the basement window well, so when it rains really hard (like it did this evening) the ground becomes completely saturated and the window well floods from underneath. Not cool.

First we noticed a "drip, drip, drip" coming from the basement and went down there to find water running over the windowsill into a growing puddle on the floor. Upon further inspection we found a water line on the glass and our jaws dropped as we realized that there were at least 8 inches of water in the window well. We ended up traipsing out into the rain with a shop vac to suck the nasty, muddy water out of the window well. We kept count and by the time we finished, we had sucked out over 100 gallons of water. Whoa.

We both got soaking wet, laughed a lot, and cursed the idiot who didn't bury a longer drainpipe! Even though this all sounds pretty awful, here is the good news:

- it happened before we refinished the basement
- we heard the dripping before we ended up with 100 gallons of water inside the house
- we figured out how the water got into the window well/basement
- we figured out how to fix the problem
- it's going to be relatively easy (and inexpensive!)

Now we just need to figure out when we're going to have time to fix it...