Thursday, May 31, 2012

31 favorites

31 favorites in May:

1. sunshine
2. chocolate peanut butter ice cream
3. sleeping with the windows open
4. the smell of my red italian grape shampoo (reminds me of being in italy)
5. icy cold root beer
6. paul simon's rhythm of the saints
7. barbecuing
8. naps in the afternoon
9. rhododendrons in bloom
10. fresh strawberries
11. the last days of ptolemy gray
12. mountain hardwear butter pants
13. my dear friend Jodi... who is also my midwife!
14. ultrasounds
15. my boys (all 3!)
16. pad gai
17. downton abby
18. baby bedding
19. family
20. waking up to birds singing outside
21. new camera
22. the night circus
23. coconut water
24. gravy
25. maternity jeans with belly band
26. burning spear live in paris
27. no more nauseousness
28. friends (old and new!)
29. discovering pho van (yum)
30. getting a teacher-librarian placement for next year!!!
31. the beginning of my birthday weekend :)

Monday, May 28, 2012


There have been many days in this May challenge that I have remembered to post AFTER getting in bed, turning off the light, and getting comfy.  So when this occurred last night, making the decision to skip the day's post was just... well... gravy.  Not only was I comfy, I was in full spoon mode... and it really was a no-thought-involved, split second decision that I was absolutely okay with.  The funny thing is, I don't know if it's because I'm feeling 100% better (finally), or if it's because I allowed myself to skip a day, but I feel like my love of writing is back!  Something to be said for quality vs. quantity.  I'm glad May, and this challenge, is almost over.

And speaking of gravy, I made some this morning!  I have really, REALLY been craving biscuits and gravy lately... and although I just had some while having brunch with my good friend, Jodi, at Bakery Bar last week, I wanted more.  I'm not sure why I haven't thought to make some before... after all, we make biscuits for breakfast from time to time... and in keeping our freezer stocked with products from NorthStar Bison, there is always breakfast sausage to be had.  I used this simple recipe: White Sausage Gravy.  Delicious!

On a side note, while eating our biscuits and gravy this morning, we saw a news clip about hot tub boats.  Um, yeah - gravy.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Last year, for the first time, we hung a hummingbird feeder.  It was somewhat successful - I saw one hummingbird at a time feeding on and off in the spring.  Today, I saw three different hummingbirds feeding at both the feeder and the huge Honeysuckle in our backyard.  I thought I knew what types they were, but then when I went to identify them, I wasn't so sure.  I need to sit out there one day with my camera and get some photos of them - they are so cool!

Friday, May 25, 2012

temptation (52 linked)

Oh the ideas I had for this weeks photos... the temptation of bakery treats at Treat... the temptation to select and buy books from the book stacks at Powell's.  What do I end up with?  Nothing.  Nothing because in reality my greatest temptation this week has been my couch.  I hate to say it, but I have given in every day.  Between being pregnant (although I am now in my second trimester, so where is the reprieve from nausea and fatigue???), allergies, and a sinus infection, I have been knocked down and in need of serious napping. Every. Day. This. Week.  This too shall pass, right?  Hopefully today is my day to resist the temptation of the call of the couch.

52 Linked - A new theme every week.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

downton abbey

I just finished watching the season finale of season two... and I just have to say I love that the writers didn't postpone the "happy ending" until the next season.  If you haven't watched Downton Abbey, you should.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Although the nausea has subsided for the most part, I still feel so tired most days... a constant need to sleep.  I hope this too subsides - and soon.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Fuji apples used to be my favorite until Honeycrisps came along.  Over the weekend, I discovered what is probably one of my favorite salad dressings ever: Fuji Apple Vinaigrette.  Delicious on a bed of greens with blue cheese crumbles and candied walnuts.  YUM!  I've also been enjoying Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider lately.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

hump day

I know many people appreciate hump day for the fact that it means half the work week has gone by and the weekend is close to arriving.  I particularly like this hump day because it means I am close to arriving in Bend.  I used to live in Bend, Oregon, and I love the chance to go back and visit.  We leave tomorrow, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

a boy

Exactly one week ago today I went in for an ultrasound.  You can imagine my shock when the ultrasound tech asked me, at 13 weeks, if I wanted to know the gender.  I never would have thought I'd be receiving this news so early.  We are super excited to be welcoming a baby boy into our lives come November!

Monday, May 14, 2012


It is nearly midnight and it's been a long and somewhat challenging day.  This is really all I have to say.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

mother's day

I hope everyone had a truly wonderful Mother's Day today.  I did.  And yes mom, this photo was taken with the camera you gave me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I think I might have just made my best cheesecake ever!  At least it looks like the best one yet - I was finally able to get the crust as high as the filling!!!

I started making cheesecakes about 3 years ago when I decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving one year.  Upon doing a search online, I discovered alpineberry.  I think I have made just about all of her cheesecakes and some of her other yummy treats.

Since then, I have branched out a bit... tried various recipes... and discovered one that I like: Classic Cheesecake.  I do have to mention that I first found this recipe in an issue of Fine Cooking magazine (not online)... and what was so cool about it is that this cheesecake was presented as the basic recipe with which you could change it up slightly by simply adding various flavorings and add-ins.  When I follow this recipe to make a basic cheesecake, the only thing I add is 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

To dress it up a bit (and to make it super-duper-delicious), I top it with homemade caramel sauce.  There is no picture to go with this post because, try as I might, I'm not anywhere close to good at taking pictures of food... and it's still in the springform pan until tomorrow.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 11, 2012

up (52 linked)

There are many, many things I love about our new library - one of them is the cool views you get when you look up.

Knowledge Wall in the atrium:

Lamps hovering above 4th & 5th floor:

FYI: Livability named our library one of The Top 10 Libraries for Children.

52 Linked - A new theme every week.
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Thursday, May 10, 2012


I love when I come up with ideas for future posts.

I don't love when I don't have ideas for today's post.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

pregnancy brain

Really?  Pregnancy brain is something people really experience?  I think I had my first taste of it yesterday.  Sunday night I was having dinner with my in-laws and family friend Craig Pridemore.  Craig is running for state auditor.  Among other things, we were talking about his campaign kick-off that was taking place the very next night - of course were we all planning on going.  Upon departing from dinner I said to Craig, "See you tomorrow night."

And then there's Monday... it comes right after Sunday, right?  As my day of subbing was coming to a close, I was thinking about what to make for dinner (a common occurrence around 3:00pm).  I came home, let Scuba into the backyard, and went to the store for some ingredients.  I decided on nachos, which I'm pretty sure is nothing we've made for dinner before - this tells you I was giving some serious thought to dinner... wanting to get creative and do something different.  I came home, soaked some black beans, started thawing the ground round, and a made a snack.  I then changed into a tank-top and shorts, set up my lounge chair, and went to soak up some sun.

About this time I should have been thinking about getting ready to walk downtown to meet Doug for the kick-off event (it was starting at 5:30).  However, what I was thinking about was watering the garden as soon as the sun was low enough to shade it... all while enjoying my snack and iced grape Gatorade.  Needless to say, I finished my snack, waited for the garden to be shaded, and spent some time watering the garden along with the entire back yard.  When I came back into the house, there was a text from Doug - it was 5:15. While he was wondering when I was going to be there, I was wondering when I told him I was walking to his office to walk home with him (I do this often, but I didn't remember telling him I'd walk with him yesterday).  As I was about to text him, he called.  Of course I asked, "When did I tell you I was walking to your office?"  His reply, "We're going to Craig's kick-off, remember?"

Totally a "duh" moment.  I felt pretty silly.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Does it count if I just share a link to a book I started reading today?  Perhaps you have seen it - it's called Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids.  I guess you could say I'm getting a jump start... perhaps I just want to be ready come November.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Seeds, and starts, are in the ground...

like so...

What we planted:
walla walla onions
green onions
four varieties of peppers
two varieties of tomatoes
snap peas
green leaf

Saturday, May 5, 2012

cinco de mayo dig

So last Sunday my husband and I took out a 20 foot Camelia shrub from our back yard.  We did this because it was located in the part of our yard that gets the most sun throughout the day - thus this is the spot our garden needs to be.  We decided to do this ourselves with the aid of a chainsaw, a chipper we rented, and many shovels.  When we started, we didn't know how deep we'd have to dig to get the root system loose enough to be able to pull it out with our CRV.  Needless to say, this process took us all day... and we did indeed have to dig pretty deep.

Today, we tilled and leveled the soil creating the plot for our garden.

The reward: margarita for Doug, horchata for me, and big burritos for us both.

Friday, May 4, 2012

trees (52 linked)

Disclaimer:  I know "trees" is last weeks theme (I really don't mean to be a rebel).

Being on leave and substitute teaching the last year and a half, I have adopted a phrase I use with students: I am a direction follower.  Now, I say this in reference to the sub plans that the classroom teacher has left for me.  I say this mainly when the students are questioning something I ask them to do.  Often times I will actually read the directions in the plans so students know I am following their teacher's directions.

As it turns out, I am not really so much of a direction follower - not when it comes to this first week of participating in 52 Linked.  The directions are simple...

1. Take photos throughout the week to frame your interpretation of the week's theme.
2. Post on FRIDAY (photos/text regarding the week's theme of course).

So this week's theme, mother, I posted three days early.  And although today is indeed Friday, I am posting regarding last week's theme. I couldn't help myself; the theme for last week is TREES (I love trees). I have always wanted to gather a few of my favorite tree photos in one place... and since I didn't have my new camera last week... and I didn't join this project until this week... here are few photos from the recent past.

I swear that next week I will fall in line.  My new camera is do to arrive any day - just in time for next week's theme.

Lahaama National Park, Estonia:

Underground Gardens - Fresno, California:

Morrocoy National Park, Venezuela:

52 Linked - A new theme every week.
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

a challenge

When I decided to start a blog, I knew I wanted to participate in some blog/photo challenges... like 52 linked and perhaps a self-portrait challenge (I need to find one and join).  I surprised myself yesterday when I decided to take on a challenge for May.   The idea came from Kelle's post in which she mentions her May challenge, thus inspiring me to create my own (hers is not blog related - but it is a good one).

One of the reasons I had been hesitant about starting a blog is a fear of not keeping up with it due to not feeling like I had anything to say worthy of documenting... or photos worthy of sharing.  Well, I'm over that.  And now that I've actually made a few posts, I am realizing not only do I have more to say, but I feel like my blog is a bit sparse.  I suppose that's just how it is when you first start out, but I can't just leave my blog feeling empty and lonely.  So, my May challenge: make a post every day in May... you know, to bulk up... build a foundation... create something of substance.  By the end of the month I will let go of my self-imposed "newbie" status and slow down some on the blogging.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


So my mom asked me the other day why anyone would want a blog the WHOLE wide world could see.  I get it.  I mean, I refused to set up a Facebook account for the longest time for that very reason (Who will see this?  Who will find me that I don't want to find me?  Who will know things about me I don't want them to know?).

Well, my first reaction was to tell her about things like networking, fundraising, growing your business, get book contracts... evolution of some blogs that I have witnessed.

I then started thinking about what I have gotten out of reading blogs... namely ideas and inspiration.  But I also realized that blogs are much like memoirs and autobiographies; they are like the genres I have always loved.  I love reading amazing stories that make me feel something: joy, sadness, peace, anger - Enjoying the Small ThingsChemo-sabe, and matt, liz, and madeline to name a few.  I am so thankful for this mode of connecting with "the human experience".

I have thought about blogging for a long time, but will admit I have been a little intimidated.  Getting my toes wet (with the help of my "librarian training" program) has helped ease my discomfort somewhat.  I have created a Yola website, a few Glogster glogs, and a Wikispaces wiki.  However, those were all projects required by my endorsement program - projects I created, then abandoned.  I also joined tumbler (although I only posted iphonography photos - no writing), but that too has gone by the wayside.

My reasons for creating ode to this are many.  My main reason is to document the progress of my pregnancy, birth, and raising of this soon-to-be-child (as well as other "life-stuff")... for myself... for my family and friends for away.  What I am most looking forward to is the self-reflection and self imposed techy-realm learning that is inherent in such endeavors.  I am excited by the idea of being vulnerable with my writing (the hope being improvement in the craft).  And of course, getting back to a love of photography that has dwelled in me for the past 20 years (something I never intended to abandon).

So, as they say, let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

mother (52 linked)

Although I can not yet claim the title "mother" (28 weeks to go)... although my newly acquired, "real"  camera is currently in transport (birthday gift from my mother - thanks mom!)... I was anxious to get started on this blog and join the 52 Linked project.

However, now that I give it some more thought... I suppose I am mother to this sweet little creature:

However, I suppose it's not the same.  And am I excited to be a soon-to-be-mother to a little human?  Definitely.

52 Linked - A new theme every week.
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