Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me (yesterday)!

I am now 28. Please no comments about how that is SO young because I've definitely met people that think it is SO old, and either way, it just is what it is, without apology or boast. I am what I am: 28.

I'm 28. I'm very happily married - in love with my husband more than I can express, and loved even more in return. I am being prepared by the Lord to be a mother someday. I have a family who loves me and calls to sing happy birthday. I have been blessed materially, and even own one too many houses at the moment. Over the last year or two, the Lord has been answering my prayer for dear girlfriends, and now have an abundance of woman who I care about deeply.

My birthday comes right in between Christmas and new years, a time when I get overly reflective and sometimes a bit glum as the Christmas glow has left the masses and they fully swarm the local merchants to consume more than can be consumed of clearance finds and somehow fulfill vacation day boredom. It was a good day though, although busy. I cleaned a bit, got a great gift from hubs (more in a sec), had a long visit to the fabric store, and had our traditional kel's birthday dinner. What I really long for on my birthday is either a party with my friends, which is hard to do (and has been since the day I was born; my party was always in January) since so many people are still out of town from the holidays, OR go away for a couple days to Leavenworth or Whistler to go skiing with hubs. This year that wasn't possible due to all the house projects still being done (at both houses, thanks to the windstorm). It was lovely though and, aside from going on a mini-holiday, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

One of the gifts I longed for this year was a mini trampoline. There is a great infomercial out (FYI - I'm an infomercial junky) for "urban rebounding" which is basically workout DVDs for jumping on a little trampoline. I think it looks like fun! (Note: they charge WAY too much for the trampoline and DVDs - I'm not endorsing their products at all!) Anyway, for Christmas/birthday, I really wanted a trampoline and workout DVD. When we arrived at my parent's house for Christmas dinner, there was a huge roundish box next to the tree. I was so excited: I was actually going to go get the trampoline! I looked at the label on the huge gift to confirm my suspicions...and hope was dashed! My dear trampoline was for my three year old nephew. (Does it mean anything bad that me and the nephew wanted the same thing?) He loved it!

On birthday morning, after I pestered to the limit, hubs sent me on a treasure hunt for my present (unwrapped and behind two closed doors), which I found on the first try - HA! I was SO excited to find a huge, roundish box; this time, all for me! I am so excited.

Then, I spent the afternoon at the fabric store, since my mom gave me a sewing machine for my birthday (which I got a few days ago). A friend of mine had a baby girl two days ago, and I'm going to make her a baby wrap-thing. I'm hoping I can figure it out. The fabric is all a soft flannel - nice and cozy. Here's what it looks like so far: (the red in the bias tape really does match the fabric. By the way, I'm not sure yet how to use bias tape.)

And the pattern:

Then we went to the restaurant we go to for my birthday dinner every year: Jak's Steakhouse. Yummy! They are super good, less money than other local high-end steak houses, but don't take reservations. We put our name on the list, with a 2.5 hour wait, then went to some local stores. The food is superb. Truly.

I really need to go do some jumping on that trampoline now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sew Easy

As an early birthday present (I was a late Christmas baby, so after the family Christmas presents are all done, I usually get handed 2-3 birthday presents to open from family who won't see me for a while), my mom got me a sewing machine. I'm SO excited (or sew excited...ha ha ha)! Actually, she has had it for about 9 months, and I've known about it. That has hampered the excitement a bit. I was all set to go buy myself an on-sale sewing machine last year, because there were things I wanted to sew. She let me know that she had already bought this one (a good Pfaff model on sale), so I wasn't to go buy myself a sewing machine, but that she wouldn't give it to me until my birthday. So, I've spent the last 9 months not being able to sew the things I've wanted to sew. Aside from the 9 month sewing machine drama, I am very glad to finally have a sewing machine.

After all of the discussion of aprons lately, especially at Mommy Life (whose site I can't get to work right now - anyone else?), I went to the store right after Christmas and bought a pattern for retro aprons. I cannot wait to make one. However, just looking online, and I like this McCalls pattern even more:

I'm totally going to buy it in store or online tomorrow or Saturday. When I came home with the first apron pattern, I very excitedly showed hubs my find. I think he generally was under-whelmed (just can't grasp the excitement of an apron), and his response (shared w/ permission) was something like:

Me (yes, kind of yelling and talking really fast): Look! Isn't this so cool!? I'm so excited!!!

Hubs: Well... yeah, if there was nothing on under it.

Yep, that's my hub. I'll have to tuck that one away in the back of my mind for a rainy day. Anyway...back to the sewing. I do still need to go find fabric for my apron...let the hunt commence! I'm excited to learn to sew on my own. I was in 4H as a child and sewed several outfits, then we moved, I stopped, and forgot it all. However, my varied childhood experiences did leave me with one thing: great confidence (probably more than I should have) that I can figure anything out. Especially sewing things, because I know I used to know how. I've sewed a few things as an adult, although always with the help of my mom... which means my mom has sewed them and I've helped. :-)

Pictures are definitely to come. Feel free to pass on the tips or favorite beginner projects!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

The Verdict
This was a good Christmas, although I think it still could have been better. I wish we had been able to relax more this past month, focus on advent (for our advent wreath never made it out of the box), do more for others, and make more homemade gifts. I have vowed that next year, my Christmas cards and shopping will be done by 12/10. I'm aiming for November, but hubs thinks my deadline should be 12/10 to get some of those post-Thanksgiving sales. We'll see. Really... as Christmas nears, I want to be making goodies, making gifts, visiting with family and friends, going to concerts and holiday events... making memories, not "scheduling" a shopping trip to finish up, and not "scheduling" evenings to wrap presents.

However, once Christmas eve and Christmas day came, our celebrations were joyful and peaceful. Our Christmas morning devotional time was very nice. Hubs and I had a great time Christmas morning together. Our family events were just...really nice. Often I leave with one thing to complain about or another, and this year... not really. It was just a lovely, peaceful time. (Or maybe...just maybe...those things were all there and I am changing enough that I just didn't bother complaining about them. Hmmm.)

God has been asking me to wait for children, and while I've struggled to appreciate or enjoy the wait, I do appreciate that I have time to learn from others and form opinions about child-rearing before I get there.

I spent a bit of time this weekend thinking about teaching theology to kids. My nephew (age 3), kept saying it was God's birthday. This disturbed my soul - I couldn't laugh about it like the others. He sat on my lap and I told him it was Jesus' birthday, not God's, for God has no beginning or no end. I thought about this further, I decided that I don't like it when the focus is on Christmas as Jesus' birthday either. I think this cheapens it. It is SO much more than a birthday. The BIG deal isn't that it's Jesus' birthday. The BIG deal is that it's the anniversary of when God became man in order to fulfill His plan for our salvation. Emmanuel - God with us, God Incarnate - God became man.... these should be our celebration. It's so much more than a birthday party.

Hubs and I discussed this on Christmas eve, and we spent our Christmas morning devotion time talking about how we were so grateful, not just for the birth of Christ, but for God as man, for God with us, for God's plan of salvation fulfilled in this infant child. (Aside... I tried to teach the nephew to say "God Incarnate" and got a bit roll of the eyes from everyone because apparently a three year old is too young to say in-car-nut.)

I grew up in a church that did not teach theology. It was emotions-based, as are so many other churches in the evangelical Church in the US today. We didn't learn what we believed and why. It is just about how worship makes you feel, how your faith makes you feel, what God does for you. I've spent the last 5 years trying to un-do some of that teaching and am learning for the first time what I believe and why. I've learned that kernels of un-truth can be very destructive. When I have children, I want to be intentional that the kernels planted in them are truth, so they are given every advantage for truth to grow on truth.

Is it really too much to teach a three year old to say in-car-nut, and teach him what it means? Why do we not attempt it?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Tour

I was so sad that I had to miss BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes because of our power outage. But now, our power is back, I have finally been able to vacuum (it's amazing how dirty we are when we're unable to see the dirt!), the Christmas lights are back on, and I finally finished my Christmas cards. It's time for my Christmas tour!

I will preface this by reminding everyone that we just moved a couple weeks ago. All standard house decorations (and furniture) are still at the little house for staging. So...there is no picture or mirror on the wall above the mantle, my nativity set is still in the box because there is no where to set it, and same with my advent wreath... still in its box. Oh well...more to come next year!

And so, we shall commence the tour...

My Christmas wreath...
brought to the house in the first carload (with the dog),
and put directly on the door.

Snowmen in the kitchen window. An early Christmas present this year.

Another early Christmas present...
a pretty Santa table runner. I don't have a table yet (part of the furniture at the little house), but I really enjoy it hanging over the door.

A porcelain nativity also in the kitchen window.

This is a little nativity scene that is usually under the tree.
We still need to trim the bottom tree branches,
so it's currently sitting on the TV. I bought it on

This year's ornament is from Hub's location of education (that rhymes!),
which we visited this year.

And now for the tree and mantle. Hub's stocking is a bit sad. Until now, he has refused to let me make him a prettier one, but this year he has agreed that it is time. So... this year I hope to make matching stockings and a tree skirt. Presents have yet to be wrapped, although I'm working on it.

Last but not least... a look at our outdoor decoration. I still haven't had a chance to post a picture of our storm damage, so here you go.
Seattle windstorm 2006.
We were so blessed that our house and health were protected.
Also, we have really gotten to know our neighbors - they have blessed us greatly in helping us clean up this mess!

May God be glorified in your home this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Christmas card prayer


Help me to finish these Christmas cards quickly and get them in the mail TODAY, and for my friends to forgive me for getting their cards after Christmas.

- kel

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday - Fire!

Well, we're finally back. Our power came back on Monday evening, and our internet/phone came back yesterday. I am so grateful. That's 3 days without power, 5 days without internet, 5 days without the telephone, 5 days of spotty cell phone service, 3 days of living in the cold and dark, but... several days of getting to know our neighbors and church family very well. Mixed blessings, I suppose.

The other night we were driving home from a friend's house (they were sharing their heat, food, and conversation for the evening...we were coming home to camp out in front of our gas fireplace for the night). On the way home, there was a house fully engulfed in fire that was very close to our home. Actually, from the way we were driving, we thought there was a chance that it might have been our home. When I realized it wasn't ours, I felt so guilty that I was glad that it wasn't ours, for it meant that someone else was suffering greatly that cold night. I pray they are ok.

As we entered our cold home, we soberly lit all the candles - knowing they had the potential power to burn down our home (although, mine are all in protective glass candles holders, but still...). We realized that we didn't have a fire extinguisher out and easily accessible. We had just moved into our house, and it was still in the garage. Even had we been unpacked, it would have been in the "right" spot in the kitchen for a kitchen fire or something.

So, my WFMW tip is that when the power goes out, and you have a jillion candles burning (and it's winter in Seattle so you only have 8 hours of daylight), get your fire extinguisher and set it out on the counter or by a main door...somewhere that it would be easy to find in the dark. The places in the home where a fire would likely start are different in a power-outage than in typical daily living.

My other power-outage tip (I didn't do this, but heard it on the radio), is that if you have a gas hot-water heater, you can fill your bathtub full with HOT water, and the heat that the water lets off will heat your home/room. Apparently, water is very efficient at heating air. You'll want to clean the steam off the walls when the power comes back on so it doesn't mildew, but if you are freezing, this can be a good solution.

See Shannon's blog for more tips!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

In the dark

If you've been watching the national news, you may have heard about the crazy windstorm in the pacific northwest.

My blog has been quiet because I'm without power, Internet, or phone. I'm currently at a friend's house (who does have power) to check my email and warm my feet.

Please be praying...there are so many without power or heat, and daytime temps in the 30s.

More to come...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Well, that was about the most relaxing hour I've spent in a long, long time. Just lovely. Maybe all I want this year is another gift certificate to InnnnnnSpaaaaaaa.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ALMOST forgot!

Last Christmas, ALL I wanted ( an unselfhish, dramatic sort of way) was a gift certificate for InSpa, a local chain of day spas. What I really wanted was less stress; a massage sounded GOOD. I had never been to InSpa...I've sort of embellished it in my mind. It has turned into something much greater in my head than it probably is. It even sounds a certain way in my head... like a long whisper... InnnnnSpaaaaaaa.

My dear husband, loving man that he is, gave me an InSpa gift certificate for Christmas (along with a few other things, since he knows that I really did want other things). I've kept it in a special place all year waiting for the BEST time to use it. I have one precious gift card and I don't want to waste it on the wrong time. It seemed wasteful to use it in the midst of a stressful and busy time, since I'd leave the spa only to be just as stressed out as I was before the spa. I wanted to use it at the end of a stressful time so it would kick of a period of relaxation. I meant to use it when I started working from home, but this transition has had its own stress - the stress of transition - and so I waited even longner. I've waited and waited for the perfect time... and now it's December again and I still have yet to use this gift card that I wanted so badly.

After 12 months, they will start deducting a couple dollars from your gift card every month. No way. Besides, if I don't use this soon, I risk "telling" hubs that it was a bad gift and he shouldn't do it again. I do NOT want to risk that.

So, the midst of moving and Christmas events and Quarter One deadlines at work, I need some relaxation. Tomorrow morning at 9am, I am FINALLY going to InSpa. I almost forgot... they called today to remind me.... how could I forget?!? This will really help motivate me today.

Here's what I'm in for:

INSPA SIGNATURE (60 minutes)
A full body pampering experience
combines gentle massage techniques
with comforting heated spa hand and foot treatments.

Amen and hallelujah. Merry Christmas to me!

First post in the new house

I honestly don't know what I have to say today, but I can't believe my blog has a week's worth of dust on it's time for a post!

We are in our new house. I still want hold my breathe a little when I say that - in excited shock that seems too good to be true.

I am overwhelmed with the mess... the fact that every single room has half empty boxes scattered about, piles of papers that don't have a home, and decorative items that seem too pretty to put up in a cupboard. I like order and cleanliness, at least in most rooms. This stage of moving is hard for me.

I am trying my darndest to not let that overwhelming feeling overtake the joy of being in our home. I love it - not only because it's beautiful, but because it is OUR home that God has appointed for us. I walk around trying to picture what it will be like to see this same room, but with kids running through it. I'm sitting on my couch looking into the messy kitchen, and try to imagine myself much older... looking into the same messy kitchen. I chase my dog in circles around the house and try to imagine when it will be kids chasing the dog instead of me.

I'm still mourning the Christmas things that aren't going to happen "right" this year. We have yet to even bought a Christmas tree (hopefully this weekend) or put out my advent wreath...I don't have anywhere to put it. There are no homemade presents or homemade cards. In the end, I suppose we will have a VERY simple and quiet Christmas - more simple and quiet than it would have even been if I had had time for homemade lovies... for there might just be more time walking to see the Christmas lights in our new neighborhood, watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, and opening our presents while we sit on our one piece of furtniture.

I am grateful for today... I have today and tomorrow off work. I have a few things to return at the store, then come home and working on putting our clothes away in our closet, and hopefully finish the kitchen.

Good day to you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday - Shelf Liners

Today's tip: liners for wire shelving.... to me, these are a must! I'm moving into our new house, and I'm so thankful that the closets have nice wire shelving - the kind that is coated in a white plastic. Before putting one single thing on them, I went on a hunt to find shelf liners...preferably something pretty sturdy.

I've made the mistake before of putting clothes directly onto wire shelves... I got bump marks on my sweaters that I could never get rid of - ever. No thank you. I'm always surprised at the number of people who have wire shelves and use them without a liner.

You could use lots of things to cover the shelves - wood planks, cardboard...whatever! I'm getting some plastic liners from The Container Store (LOVE that place!) that are made for the task. They are translucent, so they let the light shine between shelves. They are just the right length and aren't too thick (after all, I need as much space for clothes as I can get).

My shelves (ok, this just a picture from the Container Store website):
My shelf liners:

Works for me!

Monday, December 04, 2006

new house

As of this afternoon, we officially own our new house, and we get the keys tomorrow. I AM SO EXCITED!! Sometimes I get so giddy-excited, that I really remind myself of a 12 year old or something. I don't know if that's good, bad, normal, or weird. I suppose I'm getting older in that even though I just want jump up and down in glee, I also want to cry in response to God's goodness. adulthood filled with gleeful crying. That's me. =)

On another note... My hopes and wishes for a simpler, slower, (looking for an 's' word but can't find one) more home-made Christmas have vanished. I really was hoping to make more gifts, be better at spending less money, etc. this year. I've come to my senses. Between packing, moving, doing house projects on our little house, and getting it ready for sale in early January, I'm hoping to just find time to mail the Christmas cards I've already had printed (it's just that I want to send a Christmas letter with them and I need to print that and get copies made...and that's the hold up). I'm also not sure when we're going to buy a tree, let alone put it up. I wanted to make a few sweet gifts for a few friends that are even sweeter. At this point, I have no idea when I'd make those gifts, or even get together with those friends. So, if I'm REALLY good, I'll buy them something sweet, and maybe put them in the mail (for friends that live 3o minutes away). I suppose it's better than nothing. At the end of the day, I want a great Christmas day at home with my husband focusing on God's gift to us, and that can still happen even if all that other STUFF didn't go quite like I had envisioned. All of my decorating and buying have moved into the fast and easy planning mode, rather than drawn-out and homemade. Perhaps next year. It makes me sad though. I feel like home-made things show love, but I'm trying to remember that it's the thought that counts and purchased things can be appreciated to. For example, my Bible Study is having a fellowship time next week and I wantned to make some Christmas cookies for my group (I lead the discussion for a group of ladies) for them to enjoy with their dinner. However, this is no way that will be possible - to make Christmas cookies. I will likely purchase cookies for them to enjoy and need to trust that they will recognize the effort and enjoy the cookies, evevn if they aren't homemade.

Ok... my husband is barking at me (trying to get the dog to bark at me) to get me to get off the blog and into bed. I think I'd better go - this is a little alarming. =)

Good night!

meme: 6 weird things about me

Kim at Reformed Grits ( has tagged me, so for my FIRST meme, I shall let you into the secret world of me.

(By the way... for some reason I don't have any of the formatting buttons won't let me insert a hyperlink, add a photo, etc... or even switch to HTML and do it. I have no idea why. I'm going to paste in the links myself - sorry it will look ugly.)

There are a jillion weird things about me. Now to think of 6 of them that I don't mind putting out into cyberspace...

1. I hate writing in pencil. Even when I was in school, I did all my math (and everything in else) in pen. If I made a mistake (in math), I would cross it out if I was at the bottom of the page, but if I had only done half a page or less, I would get a new piece of paper and re-write the whole thing.

2. Aside from vegetables, I really don't like food that is green. It just grosses me out. It takes a huge amount of will power to eat pesto.

3. If I eat a chocolate-covered ice cream bar (like haagen-daaz), I nibble off all the chocolate first, and then eat the ice cream. I have always done this, and never thought it was weird, until we had ice cream bars during a business meeting and I was fully informed how weird I was.

4. I absolutely hate listening to voicemail.

5. I don't have children yet, and I'm not pregnant yet, and I'm (well, in a month) 28 years old. I've been told many, many times that this is WEIRD.

6. I hate it when the clothes in my closet aren't all facing the same way. If my husband happens to put the clothes away (yay!)...the wrong way, I will re-hang them facing the same way.

and a bonus one...

7. My purse has to have a hook somewhere in my house to hang on. I don't like just setting it somewhere or putting it on a shelf or something. It needs a special purse hook.

There you have it!

I tag...
Amelia (
Kat (
Jenmom (

...whose blogs I love to lurk on.

And finally...I shall warn you that I'm blogging way early in the morning because hubs banned me from blogging yesterday (I needed to pack since we are getting some new house keys TOMORROW) but I don't have my spell check button. I really have no idea what I've just written or if it makes sense at all. Grace please!