Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wifey Wednesdays - Bragging On My Hubs (Again...)

What's better than baking a warm crusty brown loaf of bread from scratch and then eating a slice slathered in rich creamy butter and sweet jam?
Having a husband who can bake it for you while you watch "Hatfields &McCoys" on the History Channel. My hubby is just the bee's knees.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Simple Sabbaths - Sausage Gravy

It's a well-established fact that my husband makes the best darn biscuits and sausage gravy the world has ever known. Nothing sticks to he ribs better or more deliciously than his ooey-gooey concoction. It's only better when he does something amazingly sweet- like cut the biscuits into butterfly shapes. Love you, Hubs. Happy Sabbathing, everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Miss Sophie: Adorable Rodant Assassin

Look at her. Just laying there. You'd never guess that just a few days ago she managed to catch, kill, and hide a chipmunk right in our living room (!!!). Still no word on how it got INTO our house, but Miss Sophie was on it. I so badly wish that she was the kind of Country Cat that wanted to bring her kills to her people as a gift rather than the kind who hides them away like some kind of sick, feline serial killer hoarder. I expect A&E to show up and film her emotional breakdown on our front lawn any moment. Ugh.

So that brings her kill count to 3 mice and 1 chipmunk. Lucille's is still at a pitiful 0. Hey, someone has to be in charge of looking glamorous on the regular. We can't ALL be vicious killing machines.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm Kind of a Big Deal

So, I was mentioned (very) briefly in this month's Taste of Home! Because ya know...I'm sort of a big deal. They had asked on their website what everyone thought was the best place in the world to get pizza. Being that my whole family is comprised of Chicago-land natives, the answer was embarrassingly easy- Chicago style pizza blows everyone else out of the water. Obviously. Which is what I said, and apparently enough people over at ToH agreed with me and voil a!

Anyone wanting signed copies should message me privately. lol.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Why Today Ended Up Being a Good Day

Today started out...kind of miserably. The day before, I had had a complete and total meltdown. It was an Anger Day. I'm finding that as I skip around in this grief process that there really are no set "steps" the way most people think that there would be- Denial ---> Anger ---> Bargaining ---> Depression ---> Acceptance. In fact, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross never intended for them to be viewed as chronological in nature but rather a means of identifying the range of emotions that one feels after a loss and helping the person and those around them to understand and categorize their feelings.

That ALSO means, however, that any of those feelings can broadside you on any given day at any given time. So rather than "Okay, it's May now, which means that I'm in the Anger Stage of my grief," the process tends to look more like this:

9am: *yawn* "Oh the sun's shining! It's going to be a great day!" (Acceptance)

11:30am: *sound of ambulance rushing by* "That sounds just like the one that came for Violet..." (Depression)

1:30pm: "Oh good. Another smoking pregnant teen! Fantastic. Clearly THEY deserve to be pregnant and about to bring a child into the world." (Anger)

3pm: "Maybe if I'm really, really good about reading my scriptures every day and if I'm REALLY diligent about NEVER forgetting my morning and evening prayers, Heavenly Father will let us get pregnant again..." (Bargaining)

5pm: "Oh good! I just remembered, I put dinner in the Crock Pot this morning and it's Hubs' day off tomorrow, which means we get to have a date tonight! Fun!" (Acceptance)

So you can see how exhausting and CRAZY this can make you feel. And how difficult it can be to try to explain to someone from the outside looking in on your insanity. And how some days you just don't really feel like getting out of bed at all.

But, the thing is, I've learned that not getting out of bed just leads to thinking too much and obsessing too much and crying too much. And that leads to the stage that I seem to be most often stuck at- Depression. Sad, grey, lonely, in-my-head-for-days Depression. 

But today, which started out SO miserably and which looked like was framing up to be a Depression Day ended up being pretty wonderful.

1. The good folks at Rival sent me a BRAND. NEW. CROCK POT. For FREE. I KNOW. 
Hubs had written them about six weeks ago because the latch on the lid of my Crock Pot (which was a wedding present from my bestie almost three years ago and which has endured a LOT of use! I LURVE my Crock Pot) broke and wanted to know if they could send him a new one so he could fix it. They told him that they don't make that particular model anymore, so the parts aren't available. INSTEAD, they asked him IF IT WOULD BE OKAY if they sent us a brand new instead. As an apology. UM. YES. I SUPPOSE THAT WOULD BE FINE. It was a little bit smaller than the one that I had originally (which still works PERFECTLY and we told them that but they insisted on sending the new one!!!),'s PERFECT. I had WANTED a second one, but couldn't justify the money right now. So...problem solved and Rival has  lifelong customer in me for SURE. I'm SO incredibly happy right now. Happy, happy, happy. And I already have tomorrow night's dinner IN the Crock IN the refrigerator, ready to be transferred into the Crock Pot tomorrow morning for tomorrow night's dinner. As a welcome home for it. lol.

2. The first meeting of the Witty Knitty knitting club met tonight at my house and it was completely fabulous. Wish you were there!
It was me, my bestie, and Miss A (a friend from High School who is now a bona fide NEW friend all over again and certifiably great) and we sat, ate treats, knitted, and chatted. It was...well. It just WAS. We had a blast and I can't WAIT for next month's meeting! Miss A gave me a crash course in sock knitting (which I had been trying my hand at with no success after a certain point up to now!), Bestie worked on a luscious, cozy-looking scarf for this winter (which, given how mild this last one was, I expect to start some time in July) and Miss A worked on her socks-in-progress which I was and am deeply envious of. 

3. Witty Knitty gave me an excuse to deep-clean my house! Finally...
Don't judge me but...I've been really overwhelmed. And a little bit lazy. And the house (especially the carpets. The vacuum and I have had words on more than one occasion.) has borne the brunt of that. So today, with my girls coming over and a deep desire to not look like a Hoarder, I cleaned REALLY well ALL OVER. Even the coop and brood box weren't safe from my onslaught of cleanliness. I vacuumed EVERYTHING in sight (I think my zeal terrified that dreaded appliance into submission), rearranged the furniture in the living room (which meant that I even vacuumed UNDER things. I know.), cleared the countertops in the kitchen, hung some pictures which have been piled under a giant mess neatly folded and organized clothes, and dusted. And then I baked muffins for WK. Because I'm Betty Crocker. And you know what? It feels WONDERFUL in the house now. Clean, open spaces that are completely decluttered soothe my aching soul. They please my eyes. They give me hope of maintaining them. They make me want to be out in my home enjoying it rather than hiding under the blankets in my bed, scared to face the world outside the bedroom door. It feels...manageable. Do-able. Up-keepable. (Yep, that's a word. Just accept it and move on.) I can feel my spirit breathing again. My to-do list feels shorter. Love.

4. My $19.99 couch from Goodwill looks FAB in the T.V. Room- just like I hoped it would.
Seriously. That couch is, to borrow a phrase from the '90s, dope. I love it. It's made of something my dad referred to as "classic, '70s Herculon," which sounds like it could survive nuclear fallout, which in turn means that it has a good shot at standing up to our cats. Good news! Plus, it's wicked comfortable. I know, because Hubs gave it the Afternoon Nap Stamp of Approval. Since I was able to deep clean everything and get the furniture situated the way I want it, it looks especially marvelous. I love. The best part? With that room furnished and organized, the only thing left to do is PAINT it. This means that I have finally, FINALLY eradicated the feeling of avoiding a particular room in the house! There are no longer ANY rooms that I feel the deep need to avoid for the health of my psyche and/or good mood. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!! Love.

So all in all it ended up being a good day. A really good day. Moral of the story?


At least, not for more than one day. I need to give myself a day to heal on days that are particularly painful (like Mother's Day), and then pick myself up and keep moving. Just KEEP MOVING. It's okay to look back, but I don't need to stay stuck in the past either. Not when I've been promised that the future will be so blindingly bright. I just need to stay active and engaged. Stay involved in my own life. I think that that just might be the secret. At least, for today it is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen - WE HAVE COLOR!

Okay, this has seriously been obnoxiously difficult to decide but, after much hemming and hawing, obsessing, and color swatching, we have officially picked a color scheme for the TV Room!!! I know. I've already alerted the local media outlets and they were extremely relieved.

And I'm SO HAPPY. Seriously. SO. HAPPY. This is more of a load off than you'd think it would be. I bought a couch at the local Goodwill yesterday for $19.99 and it's in AMAZING condition (I know...I can't even...) and will smell less like a basement with the application of some Febreeze. It's going to be the perfect napping couch. 

And the best part? It's this gorgeous tweed-y fabric that looks almost exactly like that brownish color on the swatch below! SO, without further ado (although if you've scrolled down, then you've already SEEN the swatch. Cheater.) I give you-

(Cue uproarious cheering and adulation)

Door Hues
as in A-DOOR Hues! Hey-oh!
(A-door Hues...Adore Hues...see what I did there?)
Photo by Design Seeds - She is AMAZING!!!
Can I give a MAD shout-out to Design Seeds? I know that I'm not the first one to realize her genius nor the last (seriously, she is ALL OVER Pinterest...I'm pretty sure she's the reason Pinterest was invented.) but I just have to throw out my praise for her. Adore. Completely. I highly recommend going over there IMMEDIATELY and having a look around at her mad, mad color swatching talent. I will never decorate a room AGAIN without the aid of her incredible site. 

And if you DO go over to her site (seriously. Do it. Right after you finish reading this suggestion because it's a GOOD one), be sure to get the Chip It! app from Sherwin-Williams first. This thing is just. too. good. It will "chip" ANY color from ANY photo ANYWHERE ON THE WEB. It's...I can't even...I mean...*sigh* It's like Sherwin-Williams crept into my dreams and designed an app using the innermost longings and loves of my soul. I'm in love. 


Step 1: take a last long look at all of your boring desperately-want-to-be-painted-any-color-but-contractor-white walls and give them a promise that soon they, too, will shine with any and all shades of the rainbow!

Step 2: Get the Chip It! app (do it.)

Step 3: Go to Design Seeds and fall in love with many, MANY color schemes and dream of the warmth or breeziness, traditional or contemporary, shabby chic or southwestern glory that is soon to come to your home.

Step 4: Go to your local Sherwin-Williams store with your auto-matched color chips in your hot little hand and grab some paint and brushes! (No, I'm not getting any kind of kick-back from the company in exchange for this post, but hey, I have a LOT of painting to do - a LOT - so hey S-W? If you wanna do a girl a solid and send me some coupons, I wouldn't say no...)

Step 5: Go. to. TOWN! Seriously, have FUN and be in AWE of how quickly and easily paint can change the interior feel of your home! 

Step 6: Come back here and tell me ALL ABOUT your color adventures because I LOVE to hear them!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day, 2012

Today was agony. All I kept thinking was, "I want my mother. I want my baby." Over and over again. This was my first Mother's Day after losing Violet and since my mother was placed in a nursing home. I miss both of them every. single. day. And it never gets easier.

I'm a mother, but my arms are achingly empty.

I'm a daughter, but my mother doesn't know or remember me.

I remember the delirious joy of having a mother who loved me to distraction and of having a baby girl to hold and snuggle and love. I remember what it was like to, for a short period of time, have everything I'd ever wanted when growing up. And I am sharply aware, every day, of what it feels like to lose it, all the while watching everyone around me live out their dreams with little-to-no trouble or effort.

My husband and I are trying to conceive again, and it's been an incredibly difficult time for us. Hubby and I are both struggling with the entire journey.

So today I wallowed. I ate peanut butter chocolate ice cream and potato salad out of the container. I finished the first season of "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix, caught up on my Mary Higgins Clark book, and did my nails. Hubs painted my toenails. I drank Mountain Dew and played with the label maker that hubs bought me as a non-Mother's Day present (does he know me, or WHAT?!). And I took more internet-cheapy pregnancy tests than should be humanly allowable. At $0.69 a piece, they're an affordable guilty pleasure that allows me hours of forehead-wrinkling, squinting-into-the-natural-light-while-examining-a-tiny-slip-of-paper-for-ANY-sign-of-a-line-at-ALL fun.

It was an intensely sad day for me and a deeply discouraging one. But I will persevere. I promise.

"8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" -2 Corinthians 4:8-9