Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh baby!

Sooooo, I suppose it's been awhile since a real quality post. I feel pretty bad about that but I suppose it's because I have just been feeling, well, bad. I know I was warned but man, growing a human can be exhausting! After three months I'm happy to share that not only am I pregnant, but I have made it through my first trimester! Let's hope the nausea and fatigue subsides soon and I can start feeling like myself again!

Here's a glimpse of our little peanut, taken at 11 weeks. It was such an amazing moment to see a little babe wiggling around inside me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby Season = Baby Gifts

It seems like it's baby season around here. Ever since I took up quilting I've found myself trying to "make" something for my expectant mommy friends. One (or three) thing I figured out in Guam was:

a) it's a freakin' baby factory
b) baby showers had the frequency of happy hours (mostly because it's an excuse to have a party) 
c) it was very difficult to find an original gift when your shopping options are limited to the BX and NEX. 

So of course I started to wish I had the ability to make unique baby gifts that the mother could actually use. So fast forward to this year when I finally learned how to sew. One thing my sister warned me about when making a quilt for a friend was to never promise a finish date. Well that just confirms I am a slow learner. Because the following two quilts were made in a combined total of four days. I'm the queen of procrastination but I promised (really, myself more than anyone) I would get these done in time for a baby shower and Thanksgiving. The first one was made for my friend Mary who is expecting a baby girl next month. It was my first time trying applique and while a bit time consuming, I think I'll get better at it and therefore I can venture into names or at least initials soon!

The next quilt has been in the works (ie: my head) for months. My dear friend and former Guam neighbor Julie is having a baby girl next month as well. I called her up a few months ago to let her know that I wanted to make her daughter a quilt. Based on her plans for the baby room I picked out some fabulous Moda and Michael Miller fabrics along with an adorable shabby-chic-esque pattern. In my usual ways I started it but didn't get serious about it until about two days before we were headed down to North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with Julie and her family. Yikes! Since I just don't trust the post office with a hand made piece like this I was determined to hand carry it with me for the occasion. Fortunately when I get working on something I can't stop and I guess that worked in my favor last week. I finished it up the morning we left and whew! It's done! It was my second attempt at machine quilting (sewing patterned lines throughout the quilt instead of tying little knots over the span of the quilt, like the first one) and while it takes twice as much time to do, I think the effect is fabulous!

I think I'm going to take a short break on quilts for now but I am sure it won't be long before my mind is conjuring up another creation. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's so wrong...but so right!

I feel like I'm committing the Cardinal Sin. Done the dirty deed. Considered the unthinkable....

I've started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. 

Where have my standards gone? I've always sided with Nordstrom in keeping all things Christmas to the day after the day of Thanks.  I suppose it's relief from the two 80 degree days we just had. Or my two years in tropical Guam. Tonight it's a chilly 43 degrees outside, rainy and downright cozy inside here. With a fire in the fireplace, batch of bread in the oven and our Christmas letter in the works, I just had to turn it on. And if I didn't, I'm pretty sure the Mister would have ESPN on.

Joy to the World!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Checking out the local sites with family!

So a few pictures of our adventures with Mom and Dad while they were here. This is also to prove that I didn't put them to work during their entire visit.

A visit to the squadron of course. Dad and Colin convinced Mom to climb in the cockpit. This is pretty much her "Get me out of this claustrophobic pit before I hurt you" face. =)

The next day consisted of a visit to Kitty Hawk, NC. Of course we checked out the place where the Wright Brothers made their first flights (Just to the right of the long sidewalk you see in the picture). 

Nags Head, NC

Before heading up to Washington DC we all made a detour to Charlottesville and of course Monticello! We stayed at a charming B&B called The Inn at Monticello and spent the day checking out Jefferson's cool digs. 

As we headed north we checked out the Shenendoah Valley. What a gorgeous drive!

We spent a few days up in DC with my sister. Mom, Rissy and I spent Saturday at an enormous quilt show. I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person there. But I did pick up some fabulous fabrics for future projects. Plus, I won three tickets and five free classes for next year's show. Not bad eh? To ensure the validity of their man-cards, Dad and Colin ran in the complete opposite direction (wise choice) and checked out the Air & Space Museum and Manasses National Battlefield Park. Good decision boys. 

 After DC we checked out Jamestown and Williamsburg. The first time I saw these places was on my 8th Grade Washington DC trip. All I remember is a bunch of old boats and houses with people dressed up in costumes. Not much has changed.

Overall a very busy but exciting visit with the parents! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Parental Visit = Home Improvement Time!

Many people dread the arrival of their in-laws or even their own parents. Me? I love it! Mom and Dad arrived last month to a dreary, rainy Norfolk day and I promised them it would clear up. Well it didn't. In fact it rained for five days straight. Welcome to Virginia.

But. Considering they come from one of the sunniest cities in the country, they weren't so bummed. In fact they took one look at my house and came up with a mile long list of "ideas" to improve it. Not sure if this was an insult or opportunity but I favored the latter and went for it. Three weeks and 42 visits to Home Depot later our house is looking much more presentable. Thanks Mom and Dad!

I've included a few "way before" pics so you can see what everything looked like when we moved in. It seems more impressive that way. I think. 

Squeaky clean front door all ready for fall! Sorry, don't have a before picture but just imagine a door. That's all. :) 

New flowers!

"Way Before"

Freshly painted shelving, fireplace and back wall. Dad had back surgery four weeks before he tackled this project. He did it while I was not home, I think he feared I wouldn't let him do it otherwise....

Mom lengthened the curtains...yay!

Some pumpkins and gourds we picked up from a farm stand on the Eastern Shore. The front one is called a fairytale pumpkin. It's adorable!

Mom has an eye for this stuff!

The pumpkin I painted at a paint-your-own place while Colin's sister was in town. If they celebrate Halloween in Africa, I think this would fit in.  

A rearranged bookshelf.


Colin told mom he flew around the Statue of Liberty a few months back. Now he has bigger plans!

A more esthetically pleasing display in the kitchen! 

"Way Before"



Okay so the pot rack went up a few months ago, but I never posted it. Mom still felt the desire to clean it. She was on a roll. 

Mom decided to teach me how to make curtains. I credit her for most of it but at least I have an idea of how difficult it is now.

Naked Windows = No No in mom's book. 

After: Fully clothed windows!

So there you go! In a few days I'll post a few pics from our travels with the folks as well. What a great time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

1,000 Miles!

I'm sure I'm the only one who has paid attention to my running log (and that's okay!) so I guess I just have to announce that I surpassed 1,000 miles since I started my blog in August 2009!

I don't normally take pictures when I run (I'm always a hot mess, it's just gross) but here's a few I found from my adventures:

Taking a "nap" break during a run in Sydney, Australia
August 2009

Kona, Hawaii
August 2009

Running with Chels in Fayetteville, NC
January 2010

 Jingle Bell Run in Guam
December 2009

One of a few dozen 5K's we all ran in Guam
Spring 2010

Running break in Guam:
September 2010

March 2011

July 2011

Hopefully I'll keep it up. Especially with this cooler weather we have now, it's perfect for running. Oh and if you want to be impressed, check out Andrew's blog. Andrew is married to my friend Stephanie in Guam and this rockstar has set out to run 1200 miles in 2011. He's doing so well he's aiming to hit 1500 by December 31st. You might want to check it out, it flat out impresses me. 

In the meantime, here's to another 1,000 miles!