Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Goodbye for now, friends.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our colors of India...

When we got married, we had one piece of sit-able furniture in our livingroom - our beloved burnt orange couch.  Oh the fond memories I have of retrieving that beauty from the streets of downtown.  There we were, biking along on our way home from a game night with our friends, late at night, everything was dark, sprinkles of rain were starting to fall, when lo and behold, Isaac's keen eye ran across the couch sitting on the side of the road a few blocks from my house.  The long version of this story would be quite entertaining, however being that this is not the point of this story, I'll suffice it to say that five blocks of heavy lifting, hours of scrubbing, vaccuming, re-stuffing, and sewing later, we had ourselves our one and only piece of furniture for our guests to relax on.  A couple months into our marriage, we did make this bookshelf that doubled as a bench of sorts, however to be totally honest, it was a tad too narrow to actually provide a comfortable sitting area for longer than about five minutes.

Fastforward a year and a half, and I am getting quite antsy for another piece of furniture that is a)super comfortable as our orange couch is on the harder side of things and b)large enough to house two or three guests so we can have a dinner or movie night without having to stick our friends on the floor. 

Enter this couch. 

I can't even believe I'm actually sitting on it in this picture, it was so soiled and narly.  Isaac found her at a rummage sale downtown, and picked her up for $25 with a vision of a completely made-over elegant couch in his mind.  It fit my qualifications of squishy and comfortable, and it fit Isaac's qualifications of not overstuffed, and interestingly ornate.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we were about to embark on our first reupholstering project. 

And it actually went really well!  We were inspired by Squint's designs, but wanted to have our own take on it as well.  We chose a colors of India theme and off we went.  As it turns out, upholstering a couch is basically pulling material super tightly and stapling it.  Basically.  We started by removing all of the old fabric, keeping track of how it was originally upholstered so we could get an idea of how we would go about putting the new stuff on.  We actually kept each old piece and then used the measurements to make the new pieces, which helped erase a ton of what would have otherwise been an awful lot of guess work.  Then we laid all the new fabric out on the kitchen floor and sewed all the strips together so we could be working with larger sections instead of one small piece at a time. 

Here's Isaac pulling the back into place... 

 Almost done... 



 Cushions and detail pieces complete...


I do realize that our style is not necessarily the same as other people's, but being that we are quite different from most of the people we know, it didn't surprise me at all when, upon emailing my family the finished pictures, we recieved from all three of them an enthusiastic, "It looks great...if you like all those colors together in your house..."  Which they probably would not, but we definitely do.  We LOVE this couch!  It's the first thing we see when we walk in the front door and it brings such color and vibrance to our little place.  And when we have chairs the same shade of teal and an eight foot tall cabinet in the kitchen a similar shade of purple, not to mention scores of green plants all around the house, it's really right at home in our little place. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I have my husband back!  He officially went back to working eight hour days like a normal person this week, which means we no longer have to go to bed at 9pm and he no longer has to rise at the break of day (that would be 5am).  It's normal for summertime at his work to require overtime to the tune of 12 hour days, six days a week for a couple months, and as always, he took it like a champ.  I swear that man doesn't even know how to complain.  Which is probably good since I'm quite capable of complaining enough for the both of us.  But not this year!  I handled his long hours quite well, if I do say so myself.  And we made it a point to spend our precious three hours in the evening together as much as possible, which helped stave off my wifey affection needs.  

We celebrated our free time tonight by scouting out our future apple trees which we will be bountifully harvesting in a few short weeks.  And earlier this week we picked blueberries to freeze and add to our nest of frozen goods for the winter, which so far include strawberries, raspberries, peaches, and apricots.  Blackberries are next.  It makes me feel so at home and fulfilled when we get to prepare and store our food - which just helps make me all the more impatient waiting until we can have our own property and harvest our goods from our ginormous garden, and raise our little chickies, and frolick among our dozens of fruit trees.  

Alas, I shall not get carried away wishing for things we don't have yet, though.  For now I'll just look around at my life and see how incredibly blessed we are with what we have right now.  Because we really are incredibly blessed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I discovered the library a couple years ago. I believe I've mentioned it a time or two. I remember back in college my friend Aaryn came up to me freaking out - literally freaking out - because he had just discovered the public library and could not contain his excitement that so many gazillions of books were at his fingertips free of charge. I mean, it's not like we'd never heard of a library before or anything. It was just that neither of us had ever really been in one, unless it was the university library which we tried to avoid like the plague. I distinctly remember the excitement on his face, him pulling my arm across the parking lot into the library, exclaiming in every section how many amazing books were there that we could just take and read whenever we wanted. In my head, I was like, 'Yeah, it's cool. That's great, Aaryn,' without really catching his enthusiasm. And then I discovered it for myself two years ago and ever since I've had that library-perma-grin that shone so brightly on Aaryn's face that first day.

But this isn't the point of the my story. It's just the little seed that planted my story. You see, ever since the dawning of my personal Library Age, I have immersed myself in more literature than I did in all my growing up years combined, which is saying something because I may have been something of a bookworm growing up. During the past couple of years, I've read a mass of things I never would have thought I'd read, random subjects, new genres, and a plethora of healthy nutrition books. Gotta love those, right? So, I'm reading all these health books, while being married to Mr. Healthy Eating himself, and obviously my eating lifestyle is going to take a change, right? Right. And at this point, two years down the line, you'd think I'd probably honed in on a consistent pattern of healthy eating that I could stick with from here on out, right?


I ended up reading The Face on Your Plate a couple months ago. Have you heard of it? If I recall, it has an adorable little lamb placed neatly in the center of a crystal white dinner plate. And the little baby lamb's huge black eyes are staring imploringly into your face because he knows you're about to slice him open and eat him for dinner. Okay, I could be making that last part up, but just work with me here. The book, as you can probably guess, gave a nice case for Veganism, and while I don't have any moral objections to killing an animal for one's food, I did succumb to the other health and environmental plights made in the book. And it didn't help that we watched Food, Inc. about two seconds after I finished this book. And to be completely truthful, I had been thinking about veganism on and off for the past year or so, but just didn't think I could ever live without cheese.  Which is a good reason to not go vegan, I might add.  But in my evolution of healthful ways, I decided now was the time for me, so I took the plunge and joined the vegan ranks.

What was Isaac's response to all of this, you ask? My sweet husband just shook his head and said, 'So now you're gluten intolerant and vegan? No one's ever going to invite us over for dinner again.'  Isn't he precious?  And in case you're wondering, people do actually still invite us over for dinner. 
So in light of my new little lifestyle, I've made it my personal goal to learn to bake gluten-free/vegan goodies that taste amazing and have the texture of a glutenous treat.  It's one thing to bake gluten-free, and it's one thing to bake vegan, but baking with both is quite the experience.  So I loaded up on baking books (from the library, of course) from places like Baby Cakes, and The Flying Apron who are known for baking these kinds of treats, but nothing I baked following these recipes satisfied me.  So last night, I had this epiphone.  I realized that I knew how to bake, and I knew enough about the properties of g-free flours to experiment, so I tossed all the cookbooks aside and tried a batch of cupcakes made totally from the vast recesses of my mind.  And you know what?  It was the best batch I'd made yet!  

Take that professionals. 

That's all I really wanted to share.  This ridiculously long story just to let you know that I baked a batch of cupcakes on my own that was better than all the professionals' recipes.  But it made me feel so good, you know?  So accomplished.  And now when Oprah reads this, she'll know I have mad skills and invite me to become her personal baker.  Yes, changing the world one cupcake at a time...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Did I mention I'll be in tights?

I am the sunbaby.
I am the girl who rolls down her window on the drive back to Deb's house in Phoenix in the middle of August...and likes it.
In any setting, anywhere, at any time, I would prefer being hot to being cold.
I hate being cold. In fact, I would easily die a thousand hot deaths before I had to die one cold one. No. Thank. You.
I might possibly have even ran my heater under my desk this past week at work. Did I mention our house does not drop below a toasty 73 degrees at any point during the year? And even then I'm still freezing half the time.

And then today, I noticed the strangest thoughts creeping into my head. Today, a day of perfect summer weather - blue sky, sunshine, mid-seventies, light breeze - and yet there was this little voice in my head whispering how great it would be if the weather would get cool again so I could wear tights with my skirts. And long sleeves. And scarves. And layers. It's been summer up here for a whole two weeks and I'm already imagining snuggling up with my fluffy down comforter and a hot cup of tea. And taking my evening walk with Isaac where there's a bite to the wind and I get to wear a jacket. And maybe there'll even be crispy orange leaves swirling around our feet. And did I mention I'll be in tights? Sigh.


Our friends Grace and Peace came over the other night. His real name is Chris, but when I first told Alex about them, she just started referring to them as Grace and Peace, which I thought was the most adorable thing ever, and thus he has since been referred to only as Peace. Don't worry, he loves it. Peace usually frequents our house on our girls' bookclub nights, where he joins in with our collective husbands' bookclub, which is really just an x-box club, but they like to sound refined. Last week, however, they came over for a little game night. As they pulled up, we could hear strains of music coming from the park a couple blocks away, which piqued our interest. On Thursdays up here, the city brings various hippie/funky/oldie bands out to our park and the masses gather around to dance, picnic, and have an evening of hippie-fantasticness. So we decided to investigate.
And, oh my word, were the masses out to play. There must of have been several hundred people, mostly families with dozens and dozens of little munchkins running around. I swear you've never seen so many Mobys in your life. Everyone had one. Seriously. There were blankets spread out, little ones shrieking with happiness, grandmas and grandpas dancing together, dads dancing with their kids, hula hoops. And not your cheap plastic hula hoops, either. No, these were heavy, thick, and wrapped in brightly colored ribbons and strips of cloth. There was even a girl twenty feet high up a tree doing cirque du soleil art, where her legs were wrapped in cloth and she was doing acrobatic poses to the rhythm of the music. And she wasn't even part of the show. I swear, only in Bellingham does one just decide to bring out your cloth, suspend yourself upside down from a tree, and dance in a crowd of hundreds, and everybody thinks it's great. I love it.

We stayed for ten or fifteen minutes, and then headed back to play our game, but I had to share it with you because it was AWESOME. So much hippie. So much fantasticness.


Our town is a great place to live. Very quaint, very artsy, very loveable. But I must complain that there are about seventeen-too-many one way streets downtown. I honestly have no idea why the geniuses who thought up were put in charge to begin with because even the veterans who have lived here a while will occasionally find themselves cruising the wrong way down a one way street.

Thus was my experience tonight. I was out running a few errands this evening. Nothing much, just buying a little coconut oil and returning the movie that was now three days overdue. (Whoops, sorry, husband.) I was driving (the right way, mind you) up a fairly busy one way street, when this guy tried to take a free right straight into my car! He missed me by about 3.5 inches, and then quickly realized that he was attempting to drive the wrong way down my one way street, so he threw it into reverse and scooted back into the street he was coming from.

Rather annoying. And slightly terrifying. But I do thank the gentlemen for not hitting me, because that really would have ruined my night.


Bookclub is meeting tomorrow at my house! Jealous? You should be. Especially since we're ditching the book and snuggling up to Sixteen Candles. Thank you, Molly Ringwald, for everything you brought to the 80's.

Friday, July 16, 2010


My life is very comfortable. And most days I'm pretty happy with that comfort, but lately I can't help but wonder if I'm too comfortable. I mean, what is it that God is really asking of me? Of my life? Is it wrong to not have literally sold everything I own and given it to the poor like Jesus talked about? Is it wrong to live in the level of comfort that I do just because I happened to be born in America? Is it enough to spend the majority of my day at my job, and then come home to the few hours I have left and try to love my husband in the best ways that I can and invest my time in relaxing and in spending time with a few close friends with whom I am already comfortable? Is that too selfish of me? Am I not giving enough of my time to loving more people who need to know that God loves them? But doesn't God care about the things that bring me joy and happiness? Does God delight in seeing his daughter revel in and enjoy the life he has created for her? Is that enough for him, or does he want more from me? How much of myself does God expect me to give? Does God take pleasure in a life lived if it's lived at a higher standard of living (albeit merely in a materialistic sense) than the majority of the rest of the world will ever experience? Does it please God at all to see me planting wildflowers in my front yard or see the joy it gives me to create a new recipe to bake for my husband and friends, when I could have used that money spent to help feed and clothe one of Katie's orphans? I know he cares about my joy, finds pleasure in it - I know it. But is part of him sad because I bought a new outfit this month when I could have given that money to help someone less fortunate than I? Is it okay to spend some excess on myself? And if it is, then how much is okay? How do we know?

Is there even a formula for it? Or does it change every day? Is it different for every person depending on the circumstances in their lives? Will God's expectations and desires change for me as I enter different seasons, different situations? Or are they always the same? Is he even holding me to expectations to do certain things, or does he just want me to learn to love him more and then whatever flows out of that will be enough? And if that's the case, then does that mean where I am at is enough?

Or are these questions that are permeating every fiber in my being evidence that maybe the season is changing and God is awakening new parts of my soul, parts that have been quieted, that have been resting and being rejuvenated, that are now ready to be given away?

Will I ever know?

This girl is amazing. Amazing.