Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 90

While Paul was at preschool this afternoon, I was running some errands. I needed to find a new backpack for my husband's trip in a few days, so I stopped by the Eddie Bauer Outlet to see what they had. Since I was there, I decided to try on a few things because I hadn't been to the store in probably better than a year.

I picked up my standard choices of deeply discounted sweaters and cute spring tops. When I went to go try them on there was one lonely dress sitting on the rejected rack in front of the changing rooms. It was cute and a quick glance revealed that it just might be my size. On a whim I tried it on and shockingly enough, I have an adorable new Easter dress for a screaming deal.

There just might be a full picture of the gal behind the lens in the dress on Easter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 89

My husband is leaving in a few days for an eleven day trip to Europe. I couldn't imagine parting with my DSLR for that long and he couldn't imagine lugging it around. We have an old point-and-shoot from many years ago that seems to still work, but we had been talking about getting a compact digital for a while.

On Saturday we finally took the plunge. This is a cute little 10 megapixel Canon PowerShot. It fits in my purse and takes video too. I'm looking forward to always being able to carry a camera around with me that has much better quality than my iPhone. Of course, I have to part with it in a few days.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 88

A picture of me today taken by my dad with our new toy. After my last very long post, that's all I'm going to say for today.

Don't mind my brother drinking chocolate milk in the background. This one was better than my other choice.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 87

In a small way, today's photo represents the choices I make. Pictured here are two books. One is the book I wanted to read and the other is the one I chose to read.

Not long after the beginning of the year, I started reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I started the fourth and final book somewhere around the beginning of the month. I do not get a lot of time to read. Actually, between a full-time job and being a full-time mom and wife, I do not have a lot of time to myself. The moments I do have are precious and few.

I try to stay active with the book group at my church. We meet once a month, which seems like a simple commitment, but I'd missed at least the last two meetings. This month I was determined to go. About one week before we were supposed to meet on the 20th, I still hadn't cracked open the book for the group, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. I knew that there was no way I'd have the time to finish Breaking Dawn and read this book. So about 150 pages before the end, I put down my fun book and chose to read the other book. I'm pretty pleased because I managed to get about two-thirds of the way into the book before our meeting.

Why write about all of this now? After our group met last Friday, instead of going back to Breaking Dawn and just returning Don't Let's Go to the library, I decided to finish the book from our group. I was finally able to finish it tonight. It really is an interesting book and a worthwhile read.

Breaking Dawn will probably not make it through the weekend before I'm done with it. I feel fairly proud of myself for having the discipline to finish what I started instead of opting for the more enjoyable read with my limited resources. But before you feel too sorry for me about putting a book down right at the climax, I am not quite disciplined enough to not skim ahead. ;)

I am considering starting to keep track of the books and possibly other things I've accomplished through out the year. Sometimes it gets overwhelming to think that I have so little down time. It'll be nice to keep myself in check by seeing that I am actually accomplishing something. I'm going to try to make it my goal to read one book a month - aside from the ones for our book group. We'll see how I do.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 86

About a month ago we made plans to go out to dinner with our friends for an evening of good food and adult conversation without the kids. We love our kiddos, but between the two couples, we have five children under five. A decent meal is nearly impossible let alone attempting a conversation.

We dined at The Cheesecake Factory, and we were not about to miss out on the full experience. Here is a picture of my dessert - Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake - taken with my iPhone in poor light, but trust me, it was divine. I look forward to enjoying it over the next couple days.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 85

We're nearly a quarter of the way through the year and I don't think I've even mentioned my job. I work a full-time schedule - three days in the office and eight hours worked into my time at home.

Today in the office, I looked at this comic on my calendar all day before I succumbed to pressure and had to get myself some hot chocolate. The comic is another one of my favorites - Baby Blues. In it Hammie has snuck Zoe's hot chocolate and the chocolate mustache gives him away.

The mug is from one of our vendors. I work in sales for a fastener distributor. Don't have any idea what that means? Neither does about 99% of the population. You should see how giddy we get when someone has a clue what we sell. This particular manufacturer makes retaining rings. Look it up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 84

This is what I've been doing with my "free" time the last couple of weeks. I've been working on trying to get some stuff out of the house. I'm hoping to get Easter auctions listed in the next couple of days. If those do okay, then I'm going to work harder on more of the spring and summer stuff.

I have all sorts of stuff that I'm hoping to move out of the house over the next month or so. I'm going to park my car in the garage and maybe even have some play money.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 83

I have a weakness that I'd like to confess.

I love smoothies!!!

You know how some people have a coffee addiction? I could be quite content with at least one smoothie a day. I'm not sure if it's the fresh fruit or the tiny crunchy ice pieces or the extreme cold - even when it's 30 degrees outside, but I love them.

Like coffee, it's not cheap to be buying one everyday, so I like to make them at home. Unfortunately for me, my boys love them as well. Paul and I made one this afternoon after his rest, and I might have to start making enough for Matt to have a glass too. He'd hardly let me drink any of mine before he was politely requesting more at the top of his lungs.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 82

We moved six months ago this week, so imagine our surprise when we received a welcome-to-the-city care package last week. It's a great idea, but I think someone on the planning committee might need to come up with something a bit more timely.

Anyway, I was going through the bag, and there is all sorts of swag! Our favorite has been the real estate ads - "because moving once just wasn't quite fun enough, if you want to do it again, then we're here for you". There are also all sorts of coupons for free classes, a new toothbrush, a cute little Halloween teddy (so maybe they just couldn't find our house), a directory of the city, and a dry erase board just to name a few.

It's been fun checking out all the stuff to do in town and I look forward to taking advantage of some of the coupons. Oh, and I could use a new toothbrush. ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 81

I had some trouble figuring out what to do for today. I have three pictures uploaded and can't really say I'm especially in love with any of them. I'm going with this one because I haven't posted a picture of myself this month.

I made the mistake of letting my four-year-old use my heavy, expensive camera a month or so ago. Now, he often wants to give it a try. The DSLR is a bit of a complicated piece of equipment and, well, heavy. Understandably, the results are a little unpredictable.

So here you go, a super close, bit oddly cropped photo of me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 80

I went out on the deck this evening to capture the setting sun. I'm not totally satisfied with how this turned out, but I still like it. It's kind of funny because I tried a couple of different things to get it just right and I think this is the first or second picture I took.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 79

I think the most frustrating thing about the project blog for me is that some days I'm totally inspired with a couple of pictures and then other days, I can't come up with anything. Today was a day where I could have gone a couple of different directions. I'm going with this picture because I can use the other option on a different blog.

Matt was napping, and Paul and I were in the bonus room working away when this huge storm suddenly blew in. It was short and amazingly violent. This is the kind of rain I'll take any day (as long as I'm cozy at home). I don't like the misty, all day sort of rain. Short, sweet, and powerful is my rain of choice.

You can see the motion of the rain much better if you click on the picture and view the larger image.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 78

This little boy was sawing logs at 7pm this evening, and since he didn't nap very well today, I figured he'd be out for the night. Well, at 11:30 he was wide awake and wandering around the bathroom while I got ready for bed.

Some days being the mom interferes with (or maybe inspires) the creative process. I figured he'd make a good picture for the day. The silly face somehow seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 77

We went to dinner with my parents at the Celtic Bayou tonight, and while it's a good place to eat and made a rather boring picture, it's not really the reason why I decided to snap this photo. There were some amazing pictures of Ireland inside the restaurant, and I really wanted to take a picture of them. But they were for sale, and I didn't think it would be fair to the photographer to capture his or her work.

I would love to go to Ireland. I actually hope we can go sometime in the next 4 or 5 years. I would love to take hundreds of photographs of the landscape and architecture. I'll just keep working on honing my photography skills between now and then.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 76

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to try my hand at making some Irish Lamb Stew. I'd never cooked with lamb before, so I was a bit nervous about trying it out. It turned out fantastic! The meat was very tender and flavorful. It was a surprise for my husband, and he really enjoyed it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 75

I have a new favorite bag. My mom made this bag for me. I wanted to do it myself. I bought all the fabric back in June last year, and I was all ready to go, but then I went back to work. Somehow I thought I'd get a chance to do it, but it just wasn't going to happen. My mom was going to put it together as a Christmas present, but I had all the fabric packed away from the move. I recently located it and she made it just a few weeks ago.

I really like Amy Butler's Midwest Modern fabric. It's just the right mix of mod and modern for me, and the colors are fantastic! I've been using it to carry my paperwork to and from the office, and I've been toting my camera around in it too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 74

More of the white stuff decided to fall this morning, but I refuse to post yet another snow picture. Instead, I'm officially recognizing one of my favorite times of year - girl scout cookies!

My absolute favorite cookie is the Samoas. They are cookies covered in coconut, caramel, and chocolate. What could be better?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 73

We went out this afternoon and did some furniture shopping, which is really not a very fun activity - especially with two boys in tow. We told Paul that if he was well behaved at the stores, then we would get dinner out and he could pick. He was actually very good and decided that pasta was his meal of choice.

We went to Pallino, which is one of my favorite places. I decided to try out something new. I got their Four Seasons pizza with
prosciutto, salami, artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes. It was really very good, and I'm just a little proud of myself for breaking out of the rut and trying something new.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 72

Since I wasn't really inspired with anything to take a picture of today, I thought I'd browse through my pictures of the boys and see if I could use anything. When I saw this one it just made me laugh out loud.

Matt was playing around in the rocket this evening and was peeking out the windows. He squished his little, chubby face right up against the plastic window and this was the result.

It struck me as so funny!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 71

This morning I was frustrated by trying to take pictures of the moon. I'm going to figure it out, but not today. Instead I took a picture of one of the old time plows in the parking lot where I meet my mom to take Paul to preschool.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 70

Today I did something I rarely do. I bought myself some music. My sweet sister gave me a fantastic gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, which was just awesome because no one ever thinks I'd like something like books or music.

I tend to be kind of picky about making sure I use my gift certificates on just the perfect thing, so it's taken me nearly three months to figure out what to buy. Now I'm anxiously waiting for my new tunes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 69

I love fresh pineapple! Up until a few years ago I would have never considered actually buying a pineapple and cutting it up. There were too many unknowns. I didn't think I'd be able to figure out how to cut it and have it not look like it travelled through the shredder.

For some reason I got the idea in my head to give it a shot. I just followed the directions on the label. It really wasn't that bad.

I cut off the top and bottom. Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Then I take that half and cut it in half again lengthwise. So then I'm down to one quarter of a pineapple. I slice off the top of the wedge to get out the portion of the chewy core remaining. I cut the remainder up in three long wedges. Then I cut off the skin and slice up the pieces.

It's a bit labor intensive, but really only takes about 5-8 minutes depending on your interruptions. The hardest part is if you have any cuts on your hands. Imagine paper cuts and lemon juice and you're just about there. Unfortunately, my hands are covered in abrasions today, so it was a bit uncomfortable.

My boys also love pineapple, so it's a treat for all of us. There's nothing better than real fruit.

I was actually going to use a different picture today, but I didn't think it worked out. It turns out I wasn't quite right. You can check out one shot if you'd like.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 68

More of the white stuff fell this afternoon. I had my camera in my bag from yesterday, so I decided to take it with me to work. It was nice to have around to take some pictures as the snow fell. This one is from our drive home.

I stopped at a spot a bit outside the city and took a picture of the snow sprinkled buildings with the threat of more snow lingering in the background.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 67

I took a couple of pictures that I liked today, and I had a hard time figuring out which one I should post. Not because either one is an amazing feat of photography, but because I liked how both of them turned out. I decided to go with this one because I think is a bit more interesting.

We went to grandma and grandpa's for lunch this afternoon. When I peeked out the window, I really liked the pattern the snow left on their brick pathway.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 66

What is this stuff???

It was supposed to be snowing today, but instead this sort of sleet feel from the sky. It's almost like tiny snow balls. It came down fast, and I was trying to capture the motion and density of the precipitation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 65

This is probably one I'd ordinarily post on my other blog, but I already plan to write about all sorts of other stuff that happened today. Matt is trying his hardest to get a view of what brother is watching on TV in the living room. I thought his little craned neck was cute.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 64

Paul and I went out to our main street to take some pictures of the valley. This is what it looks like without any flooding, snow or fog. It's nice to have a point of reference with all of the natural events we've been having around here lately. I think it's also a lovely valley on a regular late winter day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 63

I was having a hard time figuring out what to take a picture of today until I remembered that I hadn't changed my desk calendar to March yet. I still think this is about the cutest homemade preschool gift I've ever seen. It's so cleverly colored with his little fingerprints. I'll enjoy this all year long!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 62

It was a rare, sunny day today, so between preschool and soccer I took the boys to the park today. On the way back to the car, I saw these beautiful crocuses blooming. I thought the deep purple was gorgeous.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 61

This is what happened to me at about 9:30pm. I couldn't keep my eyes open, so I sacked out. I didn't quite sleep this way on the bed, but I got some much needed rest.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 60

I don't take a lot of time to read the comics, but I do try to catch my favorites on Sundays. One that I look forward to reading is The Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson. Her humor often hits close to home.

Today's seemed especially appropriate for my life, so I'm sharing a completely unauthorized reproduction.

Make sure you click on the image so you can read it. The gist is that when men decide to turn in for the night, it's takes five minutes. When women do, it's a two hour process. This is totally my life! That and I'm rarely in bed before midnight.

Thanks Terri!