Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Piece by piece Kyle's nursery has come together.  I am now waiting on the last piece to be delivered before I can take pictures for the big reveal.  I feel certain that no one is as excited as I am to see the final product, but feel free to humor me and drop by to tell me what you think.  Hoping to have that final piece early next week, you can pop on over sometime next weekend for a nursery update.

Until then, I just couldn't wait to show these couple little crafts Mom and I conjured up this week during a trip to Hobby Lobby.  It seems like we go in phases with that store, and we are certainly smack dab in the middle of an "in" phase as we prepare for Kyle's and Caleb's arrival.  We spent copious amounts of time in there preparing for my wedding, so it only seems fitting that we frequent the store during this exciting time as well.  Plus, you just can't find cuter materials anywhere else.

Excluding the furniture itself, I can't think of anything in Kyle's nursery that isn't handmade or something scavenged from my parents' attic which I've modified to fit the occasion.  Thus, each piece is special because it has that personal touch.

So, we stumbled across these adorable wooden animals, pre-painted and everything for .67 cents a piece.  After pondering for a minute on what we could do with them, I decided to go look at the wooden letters.  I found the perfect size for $1 each (that's why we like short names, it makes the crafts cheaper) and picked out the K, Y, L and E.  I also found this charming giraffe which set me back 2 bucks, but I couldn't pass him up.  He is a good bit larger than the other animals, so I decided to have him as the "hanger." Plus, Kyle's name only has 4 letters and I found 5 adorable wooden animals so, it solved that little problem.

Unfortunately, I can't post a picture of the whole view, because they hang between mirrors and that would give away the rest of the unfinished nursery.  But, obviously, they are hanging by giant brown ric rac.  I painted the letters off-white with some left over paint from the crib, and added the edge details using the acrylics we bought for the paintings Holly did for his room.  The colors and animals were inspired by this panel which we purchased and Mom quilted:

While we were moseying through Hobby Lobby, Mom picked up the pieces she needed to do this "K" she had dreamed up for him a few days before.  It is a large 3D letter with patterned paper on the front and orangey-brown paint on the sides.  We couldn't pass up these darling sticker monkeys with googly eyes.  Don't they look so unassuming hanging around with their bananas?  They are just perfect.

Needless to say, I am pleased with the way things have come together.  I can hardly believe we're just 4 weeks out from his due date.  It seems like forever ago that Jonathan and I were still trying to read the Spanish instructions on the pregnancy test when the double lines showed up.

Me: "What do the double lines mean?!"
Jonathan: "Uhhhhh, positiva!"

I cried a tear of joy.  Little did I know it would feel like a decade before we'd get to meet the little miracle.  It truly feels like a dream still and I'm waiting for reality to hit.  I can hardly wait to quit waddling and sleep on my back again.  But, I get the feeling that I'm gonna miss having him in there all the time.  Regardless, I'm ready to hold him and these next 4 weeks can't go by fast enough.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Simple Stromboli

This is a St.Clair favorite which I thought must be shared.  It is so quick and easy, you can't imagine that it tastes as good as it does!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Start with a loaf (or 5, depending on how large your crew is) of frozen bread dough, thawed.  You can find this stuff with the frozen biscuits in the grocery store.   On a floured surface, stretch and yank the dough until you get it to about 14X5in.  Then, sprinkle cheese down the middle of the dough.

The next step requires much practice.  I have perfected it in a very short amount of time.  But, never fear, I have no doubt you'll catch on equally as fast.  Arrange pepperonis on top of the cheese while eating one for every three you put in the stromboli.  I am convinced this is the secret step, so do not omit it.  Of course, if you fancy italian sausage over pepperonis, you can substitute that (or just add to the calories by using both) but I find that it's not nearly as much fun to eat plain sausage as it is pepperonis.

Top with mas queso.  For all of you non-Spanish students that means, well, Google it.  You should know this one.

Tuck in the short ends like so.

Then stretch over the long sides and seal using a dab of water.  I like to add a little (ok, a lot) flour to the top for that delightful floury crust.  On a lightly greased cookie sheet, bake seem side down for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Serve with warmed pizza and alfredo sauces. Enjoy!

(I didn't stop to take a picture before we dug in.  We were in a hurry tonight, hence the easy meal.  So this is the inside shot.  Also, don't mind the plastic tie, I took the picture in haste.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sentimental Moment...

Maybe this post is better suited for Father's Day.  But, that would be cheesier than I like to be, so January 9th it is.

The older I get, the less I take for granted.  My dad is no exception.  The countless things my dad has done for me during my life are coming into a new light as I prepare to be a parent myself.  I can only begin to scratch the surface in telling what kind of a father I have.

While Jonathan and I are settling in to have a baby and pursue our options with a mission board, we are living somewhat temporarily in an apartment not far from my parents' house.  While we were able to get a great deal on some used furniture, as well as some borrowed from dear friends, we have not purchased a washer and dryer.  Although it would be nice, we have no intentions of making that purchase while we are here.  Instead, once a week I take the laundry over to my parents and wash a few loads.  They are very gracious to let us use their machines and some water and soap.

Yesterday, when I went to the house with three loads needing to be washed, I promptly put the first load in the washer and started it.  I left and quickly forgot about the laundry all together.  Let's chalk that up to pregnancy brain and not poor wifey skills, shall we?  In any case, a couple hours later I came back down stairs only to find the first load done and in a basket by the door, another load in the dryer and the last load washing.  I don't know many men who would voluntarily do their own laundry, let alone their married daughter's and her husband's.  However, my dad doesn't fall into the normal men category.  He is an extraordinary man.

Never before have I met someone who more accurately defines the word "servant."  He is constantly doing things that may never be noticed or spoken of, and he does them with a cheerful heart.  All my life I have watched my dad give and do things and hardly ever did I stop to think about how incredible he is.  He did not have to spend his Saturday doing my laundry; I never asked him to nor would I have expected it of him.  But, he did.  And you know, he probably never thought twice of it.

He is a constant challenge and example for me and the rest of my siblings.  He is a great husband and father.  I told him the other day that I didn't deserve him.  I know I don't.  I couldn't be happier that God saw fit to bless me with such a fantastic father.

On countless occasions my dad has cried with me and laughed with me.  He has been a great friend to me my entire life and I hope I can show him, now that I am beginning to realize the many things he has done for me, how thankful I am for him.

Summer, 2007

Just before walking down the aisle, 2009

Daddy/Daughter dance

Daddy/Daughter dance

I love you, Dad.