Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Have you ever heard of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ? Well there has been a similar situation in our home... but in our case it has been If You Give Your Wife a Bookcase.
She will gather all the books.
Clean out all the cupboards.
Rid out the storage space.
Set up a craft room.
Organize the closet.
And in general just start cleaning and organizing any and everything she can.
Tonight's mission was going through the growing "We are keeping this but it doesn't have a place" box, kitchen deep clean, and laundry. While putting away laundry I remembered an idea I saw on Pinterest. So I reorganized my t-shirt drawer.
 I fit two drawers worth of t-shirts in one drawer and I like that they are all visible. I will let you know how this works in the long run.
What gets you in the mood to clean? What are your cleaning/organizing tricks? 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

 For some reason lately I have been all about trying to cook new foods. One of my FB friends had written awhile ago about making shrimp tacos and loving them. Since tacos are a favorite of Jim's and I have had an aversion to them since I was pregnant (when I was "nauseous" I always felt like my whole stomach was full of taco meat) and I haven't gotten past that feeling yet.

I filled our small skillet with frozen (tails removed) shrimp, some water to cover the bottom of the skillet, and a tablespoon of taco seasoning and simmered. I also made 1 serving of rice with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Put on tortillas and add what you like (I added lettuce and Jim added cheese and taco sauce).


What are some good recipes that you love? I need some new and not too difficult ideas, although I am willing to try a difficult one if it is worth it (Have you ever had pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? SOOO worth making from scratch!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Book Nook

With the recent office move (and subsequent return to a shared and smaller office space) meant that I had to bring home the bookshelf that I bought for my office. It does however fit very nicely into our little nook in the living room. I do dream of the day when I will have a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves and a window seat and plush over sized chairs. For now I have a nook and a plush over sized chair that has a quaint window (which during sunny days is usually home to the most adorable kitty ever).

 Upon moving the shelf into the "perfect" location (sorry Jim) Jim and I hunted down all the books we had been stashing in various places throughout our home. It turns out that we were able to fill the entire bookshelf with books we already have (there is even a
 5th shelf hidden by the chair arm) and then some. We had to prioritize what books went on the shelf.  (Not quite as large or varied as Thomas Jefferson's library but it is a start).

Thomas Jefferson's Library in the Library of Congress (mind you the entire circle is surrounded by books, except for a small space to walk into the center, so I do have a little ways to go).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NCA Nationals/ Daytona Beach Trip

As many of you know Jim helps coach the CCU Cheerleaders. He really enjoys working with the girls and guys there. A few weeks ago just before leaving for NCA Nationals the All-Girl team put on a showcase for friends and family. 
They did a wonderful job and hit their routine beautifully
 
They also recognized the Co-Ed teams who won 1st and 3rd at Partner Stunt Nationals a few weeks earlier! :)
 NCA Nationals was in Daytona Beach and I followed later and got there after they had already had a day of competition. 
Here is Jim with the girls who are juniors and were freshman when he started helping with the team.
Jim and his favorite girl. ;)
 (They weren't supposed to get me on my tip toes trying to be taller)
The girls won the Challenge Cup and moved onto finals!
LOTS of smiles all around! (and one silly song)

video

This was actually the first time Jim and I ever stayed in a room with a view of ocean together. As amazing as our room was after the wedding we could only see the ocean if we looked past the building and some palm trees (however the full sized kitchen and living room was needed as it was used for preparing 3 bridesmaids, 2 brides parents, a slew of bouquets, various favors, centerpieces, and one bride prior to the wedding). I did enjoy waking up to this view.
Jim is not quite the morning person that I am and he opted to sleep in as I got up and took a walk on the beach. Beach walks have been a tradition for my dad and I whenever we are at the beach, we usually wander along and look for interesting shells or marine life that has washed ashore (once we found coral growing out of a clam). Another woman found a starfish. Seagulls are also one of my favorite things to photograph at the ocean.
I love the way the skim of water over the sand made such beautiful reflections.
And look at how wonderfully this seagull behaved and allowed me to catch him just starting to take flight. (If only I knew how to edit and crop this down to the bottom half of this photo but I get frustrated with computers when they don't understand what I want)
After my walk I found a perfectly positioned bench along the boardwalk, and these are great concrete/seashell type benches that have backs and arms. Perfect for sitting and reading my most recent book The Paris Wife (a novel about Ernest Hemingway's first marriage- so far very good).
Once Jim finally decided to join the waking world I convinced him to find and eat breakfast on a rocking chair on the front deck of the hotel. The weather was wonderful, a perfect mixture of warm with a gentle breeze and sunshine. On our way back inside we saw some of the CCU girls were also up and moving!
Did I mention that this team has had more than their fair share of injuries and illness this year? They started and ended the season with someone in a boot. Had multiple sprains, concussions, and an outbreak of mono in the last month prior to competition.
Oh and there was also a broken wrist, that has just recently healed. (I love this pic!)
But even with everything that happened they overcame and performed an awesome routine!
Chauncey is one of the best mascots. Such a great helper.
 Jim even got to see one of his Ohio Cheer Force girls who now cheers at Marshall! Although he is always a little unnerved about how quickly they are getting older as he remembers when they were this big. (Places hand at knee height.)

I enjoyed getting to watch and cheer for the girls very much!


C even got to stunt despite her recent ankle operation.I am so proud to have a husband who makes an effort to make others happy. She had been working so hard on partner stunts just prior to her injury.
I had such a great trip and enjoyed getting to spend time not only with Jim but also with some of CCU's finest student-athletes (16 of whom have a 3.0 gpa or above). It was such a relaxing weekend as my only responsibility was to enjoy myself. It was a nice break from reality, my computer, and any possible Googling. When Jim went to stunt fest I returned to the room and took a nap and read a little more of my book. I also watched a bit of the movie Charlie St. Cloud and Along Came Polly (neither of which I watched completely). I had such a peace even with all the tasks I left half undone.
 

The Ugly Swan

This week my office is moving!(note sarcasm) During this very fun office moving adventure I am left doing most of my "office work" from home which makes Tucker very happy. It also means more frequent trips outside to go potty. Today while outside I spotted this ugly swan.
To my amazement it dove completely underwater and swam several feet before resurfacing! This repeated several times and if my camera batteries hadn't been dying I would have taken a video. So for what this swan lacks in looks it makes up for in both breath holding abilities and fast underwater swimming.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

MTHFR

   Last Wednesday we got a call from our doctor that the results from my blood work had come back and I did in fact test positive for a blood clotting factor called MTHFR. Something I had seen in some of my web searching on miscarriage. Once we got the news I immediately began scouring the library and internet for any and all information I could get a hold of. Unfortunately the internet is difficult and had a wide variety of sources with varying information which can be overwhelming and frustrating. Even more difficult to find was information about what exactly MTHFR means for us and how it would change any future pregnancies.
   What is MTHFR?-  In plain English MTHFR is a genetic mutation that causes individuals to have an increased blood clotting factor and as it was described to me small blood clots that would not affect adult as they are so small but would cause problems for a growing babies tiny veins/arteries. There is also discussion about blood clots between the placenta and uterine wall. The second component is difficulty producing Folate and absorbing synthetic versions of B vitamins including Folic Acid. As MTHFR is a genetic mutation there is a liklihood for a family history and there has been some correlation between MTHFR and atherosclerosis (interesting considering my family history of heart disease).
   What does this mean for us?-  So far the doctor has let us know that for now it means taking a baby asprin every day and taking vitamins that contain non-synthetic B vitamins. It also means that when we do get pregnant as soon as we get a positive pregnancy test we will call the doctor and I will be put on daily shots of Lovenox (a blood thinner) immediately. From what I have read online it appears the Lovenox, baby asprin, and non-synthetic B vitamins will continue throughout the pregnancy until later in the pregnancy when I will be switched over to heprin shots (which last a shorter amount of time in the body) and I will most likely be induced early to allow doctors to control the balance between having the blood thinners out of my system and not have the lack of blood thinners cause any harm to a baby. 
   It is a bittersweet answer to our question as having an answer gives us a "game plan" for the next pregnancy which I hope will make me more at ease that we are doing all we can to prevent another loss. At the same time daily shots, pills, and induction are all a bit more invasive than I had imagined any pregnancy of mine ever being. We have however found some humor in what "MTHFR" first brings to mind when you look at it quickly (hint: a not nice two word curse phrase which we find appropriate as it screwed me out of being a mom.). Also with the invasive pregnancy I have more to hold over the head of any future teenager ("I endured daily shots, x hours of labor, and child birth to bring you into this world!"). *Laugh- it IS funny. And if you don't find it funny fake a chuckle it's easing our nerves and that's enough for now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Three Weeks...

I have been getting up at 5:45 am to run for three weeks. Tucker is normally my morning friend... Jim sleeps in. Tucker gets up, goes potty, and then follows me around during my morning routine. It WAS nice to console myself that I was not the only being crazy enough to be up and moving so early...
But now that I consistently get up at 5:45 Tucker is a no go. He is reluctant to get out of bed to even go potty, some mornings (if Jim is home) I just leave him cuddling with Jim (he doesn't even get up to move onto my vacated pillow).  Today he followed me outside for breakfast on the porch but promptly found a cozy spot on the couch and hasn't moved since, doesn't even open his eyes when I scurry from room to room getting ready.
Guess we will not be trying morning jogs with puppy ever as he is clearly not a morning person.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another try at flowers

My weekend project of sprucing up our porch is really coming along quite quickly.

Scarlet is a bit jealous of the amount of time Tucker has been able to spend outside with us. She also desperately wants to get at the ducks in the pond as well.

 I had originally planned on putting in pansies as they are hearty and I have seen them in flower beds all over Myrtle Beach. Once I got to the store I was having a hard time to finding them and was told they are not a summer plant here. From what I had read online I had been doing things a little backwards as I usually buy flowers that are in full bloom. I guess you are supposed to buy flowers that are still in bud form, supposedly they will last longer. We will see if that is enough to change the outcome. I also made sure to buy full sun flowers as we have a south facing porch that has direct sun most of the day. I got a variety of shapes and flowers... sticking with pinks and purples.

 All potted and hoping for some growth and lots of pretty flowers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Painted Flower Pots

I have had some flower pots left over from an attempt at a container garden on my porch (I'm not much of a green thumb). Recently I have decided it is time to make the most of our little porch and so we will enjoy spending time out there while we have this beautiful Spring weather. In several blogs and Pinterest posts I have seen beautiful painted flower pots and since I don't really have the best painting skills I decided to go for the "purposefully imperfect" look. Besides DIY is so much more fun than spending a lot of money, it gives me a chance to use some of my craft supplies (see I really do need all that stuff J!).

To begin with I had 8 terracotta pots of varying sizes.

 Acrylic paint- I used mostly white with a few drops of yellow and one drop of brown, I then water down the mixture, don't worry about perfect mixture just a little watery paint solution (if you want a thinner coverage use more water).
 A corse bristled paint brush- I wanted the brush marks to come through.
A small bowl for paint- I used a cleaned out orange fruit cup (I drain the juice off them and eat them with my fingers when I crave sweets! Yumm!).
 I then sat and covered the pots with several coats of my paint mixture until I got the desired effect. It is more forgiving if you add more water and you can put on just a light covering to get a "white washed" effect. Also if you use a paper towel to rub the paint as you go you can reduce brush marks if you don't like those and it fades the paint. The paint also soaks into the terracotta making it a very forgiving canvas in my opinion.
All finished pots in a row.

 Up close of my favorite one. I am hoping to get a hearty flower to put in them. I see pansies everywhere here and think maybe they can survive my black thumb if they can make it in those flower beds along Ocean Blvd.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Love Spring

Okay so technically it feels more like Summer here already but I am really enjoying the evening weather. It reminds me of when we used to vacation here and take walks and eat ice cream at Kirk's.... only less humidity! I am thinking we need to invest in some lounge chairs for our porch to soak up this wonderful weather!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Look what I got today!

You see these?
Those are 282 photos that I will be scrap booking this weekend! I finally used Shutterfly! I have been a member for a long time but I really am one of those people who likes to buy things and have them in hand immediately, but they had a deal for up to 300 pictures for one cent each. I only got 282 because Shutterfly started acting silly and not opening some of the picture files I was trying to upload, I got frustrated and gave up at 282. With taxes and shipping it was only $17! I take so many pictures and don't print them often.... but now that I have plenty of scrap booking supplies (Thanks Mom!) it is time to get moving!
This weekend will be a 4 day weekend for me, so plenty of time to spread out and get some serious work done!!! Yeay for Spring/Easter Break!
What are your Spring Break/Easter plans?