27 September 2007


driving around town today, i saw this pasted to the back window of a smallish toyota:

love wins.

that's all.

that's it.

that's everything it said.

and it hit me...

as i was driving along sisk road on my way to michael's for the second time in three days:

that is truth.

in a nutshell.

in it's simplest form.

at the end of it all...

despite life and it's distractions...

that's it.

that's all that matters.

love wins.

how am i going to let that truth change me?

change my day to day?

change my attitude? my dealings with others?

those two little words left an imprint on my soul.

love wins.


above all?

it makes me smile.


yesterday was a GOOD day. a very good day.

elijah took his first steps. so stinkin' cool.

we were just hanging out at john's sister's house...waiting for john to get home from work. elijah was being his usual busy self...cruising all over the furniture...trying to eat his cousin's shoes...you know...the usual. and then...without any warning...without any pomp or circumstance...he just let go of the couch and toddled over to jackie like it was no big deal. like he'd been walking his entire life. of course, we all erupted with cheers and clapping, which startled him to his bum...but he got up and did it again and again and again.

disappointed that john missed the first official steps but elijah showed off for him too once he got home. super excited for this milestone. so glad he's got the confidence to just let go. gonna try to get some pictures today. we'll see. amazing to watch him grow...learn...be. loving this time of his little life. we have so much fun together...

also got some good news yesterday. our neighbors and good friends just found out they're pregnant...AGAIN! kendall is five months old...so this was a bit of an oops baby...but still...they're excited and so are we. can't wait to meet the little one. we're gonna celebrate this weekend...because you should always celebrate babies. kinda wish it was me...k...i more than kinda wish...but that will come when it's time i suppose.

made chicken pot pie for dinner last night...YUM! it was a low-fat version...and it was still super good. and super easy. here's the recipe...

deep dish chicken pot pie

prep time: 20 min
total time: 50 min
makes: 6 servings


lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.)

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Cook chicken in dressing in large skillet on medium heat 2 min. Add Neufchatel cheese; cook and stir until melted. Add flour; mix well. Add broth and vegetables; simmer 5 min.
POUR mixture into deep dish 10-inch pie plate (note: i do not own a deep dish pie plate so i used a cake pan instead and it worked just fine). Arrange pie crust over filling; flute edges. Cut four slits in crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 min. or until crust is golden brown.

this song's been running through my head the past week or so...thought i'd share the lyrics.

when the sun starts to rise and i open my eyes
You are good, so good
in the heat of the day, with each stone that i lay
You are so good
with every breath i take in
i'll tell You i'm grateful again
when the moon climbs high before each kiss goodnight
You are good

when the road starts to turn around each bend i've learned
You are good, so good
and when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good
with every breath i take in
i'll tell you i'm grateful again
'cause it's more than enough just to know i am loved
and You are good

so, how can i thank You?
what can i bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?
i'll sing you a love song
it's all that i have
to tell You i'm grateful for holding my life in Your hands

when it's dark and it's cold and i can't feel my soul
You are good
when the world is gone gray and the rain is here to stay
You are STILL good
so, with every breath i take in
i'll tell you i'm grateful again
and the storm may swell even then: IT IS WELL
and You are good.

so, how can i thank You?
what can i bring?
what can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?
i'll sing you a love song
it's all that i have
to tell You i'm grateful for holding my life in Your hands.

taking those words to heart as i sing them throughout the day...reminding myself that despite my reluctance to be HERE...God is still good. always. every day. every day. every day.

elijah is calling...gotta go get my little walker...

25 September 2007

thoughts and thinking.

got a lot of stuff on my mind today. just thought i'd start typing and let it all out.

what should e be for halloween? i'm actually feeling kinda pressured about this one...it's his first halloween...i feel like i've got a standard to meet. i want something unique...and fun...and cheap...that doesn't require e to wear anything on his head because i'm not sure it would stay there for any significant length of time. i'm almost tempted to just get him some cute halloween jammies and call it good. it's not like i even like halloween...and i don't think we're even going anywhere...hmmm.

really liking johnny cash these days. do NOT know why. kind of a crazy music phase. had no idea he sang "boy named sue". my dad always used to sing that song...weird.

made a pot roast for the first time in my life last night. it was actually good. surprisingly. i didn't use a recipe so i can't post it here...i just called my mom and asked her how to do it. she's like a talking cookbook. way better than a regular cookbook because i can ask my mom questions...regular cookbooks don't answer back if you ask them anything. frustrating. i also made bread last night. i know. crazy. i guess i was feeling a bit domestic. it was fun. i think the fall-esque weather brings it out in me.

figured out what i'm going to be making for christmas gifts this year and i'm super excited about it. nothing edible this year...thankfully. now i just need to get the supplies together...and get started. i figure if i start now...i'll have everything done by december. one can hope right?

should be working on photos right now. i have a ton to catch up on. a little bit intimidating. but i suppose i just need to get started...

going to the grocery store later on today. i know it's weird...but i love grocery shopping. i just wish we had a whole foods or something similar to it here. it's super frustrating wanting to eat all organic foods but not being able to find very much. especially HERE of all places. grr.

trying to decide if i should go get some pumpkins this weekend. will they last all the way til thanksgiving if i do? dilemma (that totally looks like it's spelled wrong).

thinking about elijah's first year album. i have a great idea for it...just need to get the supplies. i want to have it done for his birthday party...we'll see. i have so many projects going on right now...

just got a travel scrapbooking kit in the mail in the mail yesterday. i bought it to use for our hawaii trip in january...but i'd love to use it now. it's great. it comes in a tin so you can put it in your suitcase and take it along with you on your trip. ingenious. you can buy your own here.

bought some beautiful yarn at michael's yesterday. can't wait to get it on some needles or a hook and get my fingers in it. thinking about scarves and mittens and socks and felted slippers. yum.

i should probably get going. i've got a grocery list to make...and photos to work on...and halloween costumes to browse...and patterns to peruse...all while listening to johnny cash. good times.

24 September 2007

new. pictures.

had a great time this weekend...and i have pictures to prove it. most of these are from noah's first birthday party...can't believe he's one already! we had a great time...and i think he did too. enjoy!

ps. to read the captions, simply hover your mouse over the picture...cool! :D

20 September 2007

58 degrees.

today, it is cold.
ok...let me rephrase that for all my alaskan readers.
today, it is california cold.

i am wearing uggs.
and a long-sleeved t-shirt.
and jeans.


bought some fall/winter clothes for elijah at old navy this week. had to share some because they are just STINKIN' cute. he is going to be one stylin' little dude.

this will keep him warm on walks and while playing at the park.
he actually keeps this hat on his head (he already wore it last night on our walk). we haven't tried the mittens yet though...not sure how those are gonna go over...
these pants go with everything and are amazingly soft.

we also got him another hat that also stays on his head...surprisingly (elijah's not a big fan of hats in general) but i couldn't find a picture of it.

also ordered some stuff online. it's supposed to be here today. can't wait because poor california baby only has one long-sleeved shirt and it is currently waiting to be washed. i put him in a polo-esque one-piece this morning, thinking, "oh great! this'll keep him warm" only to find that the legs are way too short. it looks like he's wearing knickers. seriously. john thought he'd remedy the situation by pulling elijah's socks all the way up his legs...quite the look i'm tellin' ya. good thing we aren't going anywhere today. :D

19 September 2007

ode to a beach.

just some journaling i'm working on for a scrapbook layout. i needed a place to put it where i could tweak and edit as needed. comments, as always, are appreciated.

it never had a name. we always just called it "the beach". back then, it didn't need a name as we frequented it often. always during the summer but sometimes two or three times a season. as we grew older, the trips lessened, due mostly to our increasingly busy schedules as important teenagers. and as we grew, we lost the desire to spend our days tucked away on a nameless beach with our family, crammed into a too small cabin without electricity, running water or gasp! an indoor toilet. no. we had more important things to do. more important people to see. so the summers passed by without any trips to that little stretch of beach that held so many memories. the tables turned, however, as more time passed and as it always does, nostalgia took over. those memories, though bleached by time and peppered with holes, have become a poignant testament to our history.

i remember walking along that beach for hours, chin tucked to my chest, seeking the perfect shell, rock or piece of driftwood to add to my endless collection. wandering through the sand and waves, imagining the afternoon away; i grew up somewhere along that rocky beach.

it hasn't changed much through the years. the same cabins sit, tucked up into the bluffs. a bit more weather-worn to be sure, but regardless, they are there. still. the beach trucks still rumble down the beach, down to the water where the skiffs still slip into the waves to bring home the daily catch. the air is still saturated with the same distinctive scent: salt, wood smoke and fish forever mingle. the sand is still cold and still somehow always burrows its way in between your toes, despite the protection provided by shoes and socks. it is still just "the beach", as it will always be.

i sincerely hope that my children will understand, appreciate and EXPERIENCE this beach for its breath-taking beauty, its quaint simplicity, its charming comfort. and i hope, for their sake, that it never changes. i pray that it will inspire imagination and appreciation of life's simple pleasures for them as it did me...despite its nameless imperfections.


1. hey! i want out! anyone? heeelllooo?, 2. hanging out, 3. watching daddy skate, 4. fun times in momma's closet, 5. huck finn or bubba from the trailer park? you decide, 6. dirty faces are my favorite, 7. just chillin', 8. yum...those eyes., 9. beautiful boy, 10. hey mom...what's up?, 11. just cruisin' along, 12. i'm coming momma! look out!, 13. just relaxing in front of grandma's ridiculous tv

things that are on my mind this morning...

  • clouds in the sky this morning
  • wearing socks and sweaters again
  • elijah's sweet smile
  • eating too much chili and getting a stomachache
  • playing hide and seek with elijah
  • finding comfort in my husband's arms
  • finishing 2 layouts and elijah's alaska trip album yesterday
  • not having to cook two nights in a row
  • shopping at old navy for fall clothes
  • remembering that making friends takes time
  • finding inspiration in christmas catalogs
  • discovering more uses for baking soda and vinegar

15 September 2007

good news...bad news.

first. the good news. there is a scrapbooking store opening up in my own little town. a scrapbook store in ripon? yes. it's true. i saw the storefront with my very own two little eyes. how will it stay in business, you ask? oh...because i will shop there. and that is all that little store will need. scary. i know.

now. the bad news. one of my favorite authors passed away last week. madeleine l'engle. seriously. i am so sad. she and her books shaped my childhood.

i'm off to go read "a ring of endless light" in mourning.

the latest scrappyness

well...since the scanner's still not working...i decided to just take pictures of my latest scrapbook layouts. here they are for your viewing pleasure. sorry about the funky colors...

13 September 2007


love that it's almost noon and i'm still wearing a sweater.

hip hip hooray for cooler weather.

today's high?

79 degrees.


12 September 2007

just the latest...

life with elijah has settled down into a pretty predictable routine...and i like it that way. i find that i finally have time to do the things (well, some of the things) that i need to do to keep myself from going completely insane...and some days i even have time to clean the house! amazing...

here's what a typical day looks like for us:

7am-elijah's wake up call...this is what i hear over the monitor...well, my interpretation of it anyways: MOM! I'M HUNGRY! then...HEY DAD! WAKE UP AND PLAY WITH ME!
8am-breakfast with mom and dad
9am-john leaves for work...baby gets to play while momma cleans up the kitchen
10am-naptime for elijah
12pm-lunch time
1pm to 3pm-if there are any errands to be run, this is when they get done...like today, we're going to the library
3pm-again it's naptime (although he has been fighting me on this one. not sure if i should make it earlier, later or skip it altogether. don't think he's quite ready for one nap a day though...)
5pm-the witching hour. seriously. if elijah watches any tv...this is the time he watches it. he's just very cling-y and well...kind of a piss pot...pardon the french. so...sometimes he gets put in the backpack and just "hangs out" on momma's back while she cooks dinner (weird to be referring to myself in the third person...)
6pm-dinner for baby. if john is home, then we eat dinner too.
7pm-play time before bath.

i'm liking the normalcy of this. it helps me out a lot. it also helps that elijah sleeps for at least an hour during his naptimes on most days. it's usually more...which is fabulous.

1. bye bye!, 2. playing with cousin..., 3. my sweetness, 4. hey dad!

monday night we had a picnic in the park. the park is just a ten minute walk from our house, so i packed up some sandwiches and away we went. it was elijah's first picnic...and he loved it. i'm not sure that he ate very much...but he certainly had a wonderful time crawling around in the grass and playing with his cousin, miggie (short for miguel). it's so awesome to see how much fun he has with miggie...his face just lights up when he sees him. love that. it was also interesting to watch elijah explore while we were at the park. he had no fear of being away from the picnic area...he just started crawling and didn't look back (i think the lack of other people around helped). and then, when he finally did look back at us, he just waved and kept right on going. so funny. so great to see his independent side (which i'm sure i'll curse later...but for now...it's cute.)

can't believe my little man is going to be nine months old on sunday. crazycrazycrazy.

09 September 2007

i feel fall...

fall is drawing blissfully closer. the mornings are crisp and cool with a beautiful breeze. the bite to the air inspires large mugs of steaming coffee, fuzzy slippers and zipped up sweaters. i have started wearing socks again and sleeping with the comforter on the bed. granted...these fresh mornings with fall-like weather only last until about eleven o'clock...then the sweaters are folded back into their drawer, the slippers and/or socks are removed and replaced with flip-flops and the coffee mugs are washed and put away, in anticipation of the next mornings steam fest. ahh...it is literally blissful...and hope inspiring. i can feel fall in the air in the mornings and i am encouraged as i look forward to the coming seasons and the joys they bring.

come autumn, come.
bring us your bounty.
we are ready!
well...at least i am. :D

i just finished reading "the other boleyn girl" last night. interesting. not sure if i'd recommend it or not. i literally was a little over halfway through it (it's a 600 pager) and almost put it away, i was that annoyed with it. but i read the last chapter and saw that the annoying character got her due and decided to forge on and finish the darn thing. just in case you're not familiar with this particular book, it's a fictional account of the royal events of 15th century england. queen katherine (wife to king henry, not sure which one) was usurped by anne boleyn, a member of her court. queen katherine was placed in exile after the king proclaimed himself equal to the pope so that he could marry anne. anyways...long story short...this event happened over the course of many years and involved selfish plotting, immoral actions and various purposeful deaths. in the end, anne received her due; she was beheaded in front of the whole of london...but still. what a story. obviously, it is historical fiction...but the facts remain clear. i enjoyed reading the book just for the fact that i now know a bit more about english history (something that has always interested me) but the sheer immorality and selfish ambition of the story really put me off. very different times...truly...but at the same time, not that much different than the immorality and selfish ambition that we put up with today. really...it saddened me as i thought about it. so yeah...an interesting read to be certain.

couldn't have a post without a picture of the little man. love this sweet little face...precious.

08 September 2007

the walking machine...

1. look out momma...here i come!, 2. laugh, 3. hey..., 4. giving a speech, 5. heehee...i got the ball!, 6. i dunno how i got food all over my face mom..., 7. driving the truck, 8. hand on head, 9. my latest morning tradition, 10. this face just makes me laugh, 11. hmmm...i wonder if i can reach it?, 12. those eyes get me everytime, 13. trouble is my middle name

no...elijah is not walking yet...but he's getting pretty darn close. he cruises all over the house with his little walker (the picture in the middle of the mosaic above) and is getting a lot more confident with his ability to stand. so...it won't be long now. *sigh* life will be over as we know it.

04 September 2007


make your own and more here.

it feels like monday...

...but thankfully it's not monday. it's tuesday. yay. makes me feel hopeful for some reason.

hope everyone's labor day was good...we had a relaxed weekend at home. lots of bar-be-que-ing...just hanging out.

lots of pictures to share. good times over the past few days. enjoy!

1. sick boy..., 2. our daily mess, 3. naked baby, 4. highchair fun, 5. messy messy, 6. in dad's office, waving, 7. the library, 8. come play momma!, 9. hmmm...i wonder if i can reach it?, 10. those eyes get me everytime, 11. trouble is my middle name, 12. hanging out in the backpack, 13. elijah!

1. hey! don't touch me!, 2. i'm outta here!, 3. hugs with daddy..., 4. why is she in here with me?, 5. balloons over our heads, 6. celestial beings, 7. we call him rocketman, 8. driving., 9. he loves the skateboard..., 10. giggling the entire time..., 11. tonka trucks are fun too..., 12. coffee in the morning light, 13. crocs. love 'em. can't get enough of them.