Friday, June 29, 2007

Current, Anticipation

My front door is being painted red. I hope it turns out ok! We painted our house dark gray, but it really turned out way more blue than we were expecting. We like it; it's pretty, but a lot more blue than we were expecting. I'm hoping the red looks ok with it.

This process of having our house painted has been a bit tortuous for the dog. All those mexicans in white suits outside the windows, banging on the walls. Poor puppy! They have to have the front door open in order to paint it, so she is locked upstairs in a bedroom and she is NOT happy about it.

This afternoon I am going to pickup my 16 year old cousin. She will be staying with us for about a week, and I am so excited. I have a lot of cousins, but only one girl cousin on each side of the family. I love our time together talking...and just doing stuff together. Hopefully, we'll spend lots of time watching movies, painting, walking, shopping, etc. I also hope to study John together, so please pray that that study leads to some good discussions about faith.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Crazy days

My weekend was crazy. I've been planning on posting about it, but honestly, it's taken me a couple of days to recover!

I coordinated another wedding this weekend. Hubs and I went to the church early to start setting up the facility and get ready for the rehearsal. Then the rehearsal. I had to cut the evening short because I started having some horrible abdominal pain. That happened to me last month too, and it's a bit of a mystery because I can't tie it to anything on my calendar. Saturday morning came bright and early. I packed up the car and my magic wedding purse and headed to the church, running a bit late. Thus began a long, long day of vows and traditions, followed by a dinner receptions. The dinner reception was originally supposed to just be for the small gathering of out of town family. It turned into dinner for 100. Yikes! Time to go home and make cupcakes for the baby shower at my house Sunday afternoon, and finish decorating.

On Sunday, we headed back to church for service. Afterwards, Hubs stayed at church for a congregational meeting. I headed out to get balloons, and buy some strawberries and grapes. I knew I was in for it when I stepped out of the party store, balloons floating overhead, and stepped into a downpour of rain. And I mean downpour. By the time I got in the car, I was soaked though. I stopped at the store and got my fruit. Just enough time to scarf something down for my lunch, and finish the food preparations.

When I got back home, balloons and fruit in my rain-dripping hand, I instantly saw a problem. My platter of cupcakes, which was up on the kitchen counter and scooted back quite a ways, was half empty. And a couple cupcakes were upside down on the counter - glued on by their cream cheese frosting. The beast struck again. Stupid dog. Stupid, stupid dog. Ugh. So, as quickly as I could, I headed back out in the rain to buy more dessert for the shower. And I desperately called hubs (about 10 times) to come home and baby sit the dog upstairs. I really didn't want my baby shower guests to get vomited on.

Then, and finally, just my friend (whom the shower was for) was helping me setup the final touches, I reached under the sink and found a huge puddle of water under there. We sopped up the water with towels and put a pot under the leak.

By the end of the weekend, my friends from church began a new life together, my friend with a new baby was showered with love and got to catch up with her friends, and hubs and I slept very well Sunday night.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New phase

We are here. A new phase of life. Hubs and I have officially entered the phase of life called trying to get pregnant. There are lots of specifics about this, as you can imagine, that I won't discuss on the internet. But a new chapter means that I'm thinking of new things and things in new ways... so I decided to announce the phase. I will say that so far, this new phase is pretty darn fun. ;-)

Phases are interesting. We rarely know the length of a phase when it begins. I wonder how long this phase will last. And to what extent is the length of a phase an issue of perception? At some point it will be the pregnant and then mothering phases, but could also turn into the struggling with infertility phase. Only God knows the length of each phase, and this is all in His hands.

It's interesting to me how the marking of an official phase changes things. For example, I've been getting comments for a long, long time about when we are going to have kids. I've really been able to laugh these comments off ok, although sometimes the inappropriateness of it slightly irritates me. Generally, I can come up with a casual but slightly funny response. But now we are trying. With purpose. I wonder how long it will take before the same question conjures up a response that is hurt or sad. Same question, but a different response based on the perceived phase.

And now, it is announced. My name is Kel, and I'm in a new phase.

Finally... if any of you know me in real life, please know the fact that this is sort of confidential. My baby making habits are just not things I'm ready to talk about at work! =)

Feeling pretty

I had nothing special planned for today. I need to finish my Bible study, do my paid work, do some laundry, make breakfast, make lunch, make dinner, and keep the kitchen and living room cleaned up. Tonight after dinner, I'm meeting a friend to review our Bible study together.

None of these tasks are exciting or noteworthy, but I decided to try something new today while doing them: to look pretty. I always do my hair and stuff, but tend to wear "comfy" clothes around the house...which really just means that I looks sloppy, and end up feeling sloppy too. I wondering if my tasks are done sloppy as well as a result. The day started on the same note, and then I decided to go change my clothes.

I'm sitting at the table, outlining Daniel 2:1-23, and doing some work email, while wearing a black t-shirt, a twirly knee-length black and white skirt, black sandals, and an orange bracelet. I feel pretty. Honestly, not much has changed besides changing yoga pants, or capris, or jeans for a skirt. But it's a twirly skit and is just cute.

I had to chuckle as I carried an arm-load of laundry downstairs, walking carefully in my kitten-heeled sandals. I feel like the picture of a 50's housewife! But is that a bad thing? Is it weird to do laundry while looking pretty? I have no idea if my tasks will be done any better or faster. I have no idea if I will sustain this. I like the idea of it. I like that if someone stops by for a delivery or something, that I will look nice. I like that my husband will think I look pretty when he comes home. I like that even if I look pretty for benefit of me and my dog (who does agree that I look very pretty today), and no one else - that it is enough.

I'm wondering if any other home-makers and stay-at-home moms have tried this in this decade? Do you ever "dress up" (if a skirt and cute sandals constitute dressing up) for your daily tasks? Is it manageable with kids? Do you think I'm ridiculous?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Trees falling from the sky

Yesterday, I wandered through a framing store and a craft store for general inspiration and a couple specific decorating-dilemma solutions. Up and down every aisle.

I meandered down the cake decorating aisle, trying to think if there was any reason I might need any of these interestingly shaped cake pans. Not yet, maybe later. Then there was a section of wrought-iron wall art. I love wall art. I stopped and contemplated. Where could I put this? Would hubs like it? Do I really like it, or am I just bored?

Some confusing noise forced me out of my decorating trance. I looked up. On top of the tall shelving unit was a bunch of artificial trees and plants, in storage for later. One tree in particular was rocking. I started to scream something about "a tree!" but was conflicted by the fact that you don't scream inside of craft stores, and because it made no sense. I'd sound like chicken little: a tree is falling, a tree is falling! And just as I was unsure about being unsure, the whole big tree fell right next to me. The tree was taller than aisle was wide, so it fell and then banged into things on both sides of the display. Cake pans crashed. Craft store mayhem! There was no one else to witness this crazy turn of events, just me and the artificial tree. A gal, with a helpful red craft-store vest on, came running around the aisle. Her face turned pale when she realized that she almost knocked a tree on a customers head. I was fine, just bewildered.

Hubs and I do want a couple artificial trees in our house. Well, I do...he might just be going along with the whole silly thing. I'm not sure how much men ever really want artificial trees. Speaking of that, is it bad to pine after an artificial tree? ;) My only wish is that in compensation for this traumatic ordeal, I would have be given that disorderly artificial tree to take home with me!

Friday, June 15, 2007


For the past month or so, I've been trying a new eating strategy. I haven't blogged about it, or even told most people about it, because I recognize that it's a bit silly. And it is. But it's working, so I welcome silly.

Unlike other sweets, chocolate has a power over me. If there is a tray of sweets, and some are chocolate, I NEED those chocolates. I can give or take other sweets, but if there is chocolate in front of me, I really don't have a choice. I must eat it. I can stop eating other sweets after I've had just a bit, but not with chocolate. My name is Kel, and I'm a chocoholic.

To remedy this, I decided that I'm only eating chocolate eight days a year: my birthday, hubs' birthday, our anniversary, valentine's day, two times on vacation, and two other random days of the year.

This has actually been working really well. I'm just not eating chocolate on the other days of the year. It's not an option. I don't need to consider whether or not I "need" that treat. It's not an option. If someone offers me chocolate, I don't feel bad about saying no... because "I'm not eating chocolate right now." Easy.

And somehow, I don't even miss it. Until today...holy cow. The other day hubs and I celebrated our eighth anniversary, which is one of my chocolate days. I had pre-purchased a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms that were calling my name at the store. Yum. That evening, we went out for dinner and had a flourless chocolate mud thing for dessert (we actually went out for a really cheap dinner, and fancy restaurant for dessert and coffee). It was GOOD. The last couple days have been hard though. I just want sugar and chocolate. Oooh, I want sugar and chocolate. I haven't given in, but it's been hard. Chocolate makes me want more chocolate...and just sugar in general. No wonder I created this silly rule for myself.

So, I'm glad that today is a non-chocolate day. I can't handle the chocolate voice in my head that comes afterwards.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Menu Plan Monday 6/11

It's been awhile since I participated in Menu Plan Monday at Laura's but that's just because it's been awhile since I created a menu plan. I'm getting back to routines and budgeting, which means getting back to the kitchen. Monday is mid-menu for me, but I'll post my current plan.

Thursday: kel - work at home
Breakfast: poached eggs & toast
Lunch: hubs - free lunch at work; me - burrito
Dinner: Hamburgers and corn on the cob

Friday: Kel: Work at home
Breakfast: poached eggs & toast
Lunch: free lunch at work; me - burrito
Dinner: Chicken cordon bleu, salad

Saturday: kel - mom visit for the day
Breakfast: kel - Ham and egg muffins
Lunch: Kel - out, hubs - sandwich at home
Dinner: Baked chicken, foil pack vegetables, dinner rolls

Sunday: church in am, small group in evening; make cookies for small group
Breakfast: peanut butter & english muffin
Lunch: tuna melts and soup
Dinner: chicken quesedillas

Monday: kel - work at home
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: kel - burrito; hubs - sandwich
Dinner: Pork ribs, vegetable packets, mini potatoes

kel - work at home
Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: kel - burrito; hubs - sandwich
Dinner: Salmon, rice, and salad

kel - work at home
Breakfast: Ham and egg muffins
Lunch: kel - burrito, hubs - sandwich
Dinner: Anniversary dinner - out

This WAS the plan, although several things have already been adjusted for life. Friday was emotionally draining and we ate dinner out. I didn't buy the pork ribs at the store (the sale starts on Wednesday, but the shipment doesn't come in until Thursday... figure that one out!), so we'll have the chicken cordon bleu tonight... or chicken breasts or something. I had the lucky treat of eating lunch with hubs today...which we never get to do mid-week. He was at the office just for the morning, and I hung out at a coffee shop while he was there. My favorite Subway sandwich is the daily special on Mondays, so it worked out quite well.

Happy cooking to you!

At the coffee house

Hubs needed me to drive him to the office this morning. Driving back home, with traffic, would take me forever, so the plan was that I would work at the local coffee shop for a few hours. If you buy a latte, you get free drip refills. With their free wi-fi, it's a deal hard to beat.

I found a nice empty nook with leather armchairs and a fireplace on. Cozy. The perfect arrangement to enjoy my tall, nonfat, sugar free caramel latte. There is no other way to enjoy a grey Monday morning.

Awhile into my time, a man came and sat in an armchair near me. I don't mind sharing my perfect spot - no problem. Awhile later, two other people happened to come in that new him...they were surprised and happy to see each other. They sat down and conversation commenced. No problem. I'm all for coffee house friendships and coffee house conversation. It's beautiful. To a point. Like all beautiful things, too much of a good thing, is not a good thing.

These people are cracking me up. THEY are cracked up.

One of them recently had his unlocked car broken into; his leather coat, cell phone, and wallet were all stolen. They have spent the last hour philosophizing (is that a word?) this violation. It's a prime-time comedy sketch, and they are completely and totally serious. Added to the comedy is the fact that they are a bit white-trashy (except one of them isn't white) looking. I'm in a bit of an upscale area, and they don't fit in quite right. And yet they sit, trying to determine how they feel about this incident.

They believe in the law of attraction: This guy was too trusting, and was putting too much value in his processions. He needed to share them and was attracting this. The other person was attracting an open opportunity. They were meant to collide. He was a co-creator in this situation. If you think of it as a donation to someone who needed his things more, it feels better inside. Way better. Even better, if you think of it as sharing... that he was so well off that he was offering to share his things with someone else. Whoa... that feels even better. Maybe his things were discovered, not stolen. Just like America, right?

Garbage. Just garbage. I finally put on my MP3 player and am hoping that Paul Simon can drown them out.

What I would like to know is...

What on earth did I do to attract these loonies to me, in my lovely coffee house nook? And may I never do that again!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Yet again. I'm here yet again giving a general update on my life, without any one topic worthy of a post of its own.

I'm meeting with a friend tomorrow night to plan a summer Bible study together. She was in my Bible study group this last year, and we became friends. We are both ones who need forced discipline, so we both liked the idea of continuing a scheduled study. True to form... our study of Romans ended over two weeks ago and I've been floundering. I have read my Bible but without much purpose or insight. Unfortunately, the summer will go by so quickly and we could have used those two weeks in the new study! I think we are going to study Daniel together (although we're still debating between that and Esther)...doing a homiletics exercise and then following up with a commentary. She's a new friend, so I'm really excited to get to know her more through this time.

Hubs and I are having our house painted soon. Quite an ordeal. We are not painting it ourselves, although the price tag is a big one to swallow. Parts of our home are three stories tall (on the sides where it goes down on the side of the crawl space), and it's just big. If we did it ourselves we would risk injury and death, and we would just be miserable for a couple of months. Honestly, it would take us all summer and we would hate it. Our happiness for the summer seemed like it should be worth a lot, and so, we are paying a lot. I exaggerate not when I tell you that our house is the color of a poopy diaper. With brown trim. On directions, I tell people that it's a mustard-colored house, but that's to be polite. It's the color of baby poo. It will soon be a dark charcoaly/blue-ish/ gray with white trim, black shutters, and a red door. I am very, very excited. Yay for a pretty house!

I just realized yesterday that I have five and a half weeks of vacation saved up and am now highly distracted thinking of the ways I might use them.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Clumsy me

I'm a little scared of what life will be like when I'm pregnant (no, I'm not pregnant). Not because of the body changes or labor pain, though I'm a little fearful of those too. I'm scared of the clumsiness that comes with pregnancy. I'm clumsy enough as it is. I'm afraid that added clumsiness will pose a risk of killing myself and/or unborn child.

I'm not doing so well today. Last night I managed to drop a hot iron onto my foot. The pattern on the bottom of my iron is burned onto the top of my foot. Then, in an effort to sleep without moving my burned foot at all, I did something crazy to my neck... when I woke up, I couldn't move my head to the right. That's a great way to start a day of wedding coordinating. ;-)

Hubs bandaged up my foot today so that I could wear shoes to the wedding, and I managed to massage my neck enough that I gained back some mobility, though not all. I really tweaked it well. Nice.

Really... I don't think I need to be any clumsier than I am now. At all. I'm not sure I'll make it.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wedding bells

Random fact about me: I am a novice wedding coordinator.

I've done a few weddings for friends, and now I'm the wedding coordinator for my church. My church has a new building and we've never really had weddings before. Our old building was designed to be a chicken coop (no, not kidding), so people never really wanted to get married there. Now we have a beautiful new sanctuary, and four weddings booked for the summer.

My first wedding for our church is tomorrow, and the rehearsal is today. It is not my wedding - it's not even a church member's wedding, but I'm so anxious/excited/nervous. I'm having a hard time getting any work done today, or anything done for that matter, because I am just to excited.

Hubs helps me on wedding days. I know he doesn't have to, but he does and I'm so thankful. He can wrangle up the groomsmen, while I wrangle up the bridesmaids. We have a lot of fun doing it together. To thank him (or bribe him?) for doing this with me, we went ahead and bought two good walkie talkies with a ear piece thing. We have a secret desire to be spies. We've been practicing our wedding-spy lingo and etiquette.

There are two secrets to our wedding coordination success. The first is we are just an awesome team...and the walkie talkies will make us even cooler. Seriously - the first secret is just US. We are just good at this. Ha!

The second secret, is my magic wedding purse. I have this bag, which is super cute, that has every item that might be needed on wedding day. (Ok, there are a few other things I'll bring to the church that are just too big to fit in the bag.) It has rescued several brides.

It is packed with 39 different wedding-survival items, grouped by category into zip-lock bags.

Did you know that roses can bleed their color onto a wedding dress?
Did you know that can cause a bride to panic?
Did you know that shout-wipes can remove that stain?
Oh yes, they can.