Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Alderbrook Resort

This past weekend, my parents invited us to get away at the Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal. My parents love this place and have been there a few times- we had never been there and with Friday being the last day of school for winter break, it was perfect timing! Please excuse the amount of pictures with me sans-makeup, but when you're on vaca with the fam, that's definitely something that gets dropped fast. :)

There were these awesome fire pits all over the resort that were on early in the morning and late into the night. We were staying in a cottage and every morning we walked to the main building to get some fresh coffee (they had decaf- I'm such a good little pregnant lady) and took time to warm ourselves by the fires.

Mom and I slipped away to the spa to get pedicures, which was so great since the last time I tried to do my own toenails, I nearly passed out trying to bend over. I got to lay on this comfy bed while mom got her nails done. So fun.

Mom showing off her awesome calf muscles and perfect foot arch.

Now, I realize I look terrible here, but Mark loves this picture. He says it's ridiculous that my brother is doing this to me and I have no reaction on my face, whatsoever. All of you girls with brothers know why I'm not reacting, right? After a few minutes, he left me alone. :)

The view from our couch, every cottage had it's own little Christmas tree!

Again, pay no attention to how awful I look...Mark said this is his favorite picture of me pregnant. The cheese balls started as kind of a joke, and ended up...well...actually eaten.

Mark captured our riveting game of chess. Truth be told, we're both pretty horrible, but each of us ended up winning one of the 2 games we played.

The beautiful main lobby.

Me and mom, sans shower and makeup. Notice I'm still holding the cheeseballs.

The elementary schools in the area had a display of gingerbread houses the kids made. Some of them were pretty interesting and some we wondered if the kids actually had anything to do with the creation or if it was only the parents. :)

I only put this one up here because my jaw kind of drops when I look at my belly in this picture. I mean, it looks like I swallowed a basketball!

This turned out kinda fuzzy because of the lighting, but we thought this sign was hilarious!

It was a great weekend filled with great food, movies, reading, walks, going to bed early and sleeping in, and we returned rested and ready for the craziness of Christmas week. At this moment, I'm trying to muster the motivation to get up and make another batch of peppermint bark, wrap some presents, and address the Christmas cards. My mind is not pregnant and is raring to go, yet my body is feeling VERY pregnant and wants nothing more than to sit on the couch and watch tv. Hmm....which one will win tonight? :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The to-do list for today

For the last several months, our weekends have been overwhelmed by projects around here. While it is fun, the novelty is wearing off and we are ready to be DONE and relax! Our goal is to have everything, and I mean everything, done by Christmas so we can do just that before baby girl makes her debut. We realized how overwhelmed we were by all that needs to be done, and we decided to put it all on a list (even though we could recite the list in our head). There's just something about checking off a list that makes a person feel accomplished! So, the list is long and a full one-page, but we've been able to cross off several things in the last couple of weeks. Here's what is on the list for today:

- Finish painting trim and front door (these take 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of white paint...NOT fun!)
-Install closet doors for new pantry, cleaning closet, and coat closet
-Trim bushes in front yard
-Bake cranberry-apple pie (ok, so not on the official list, but important nonetheless)
-Make barbeque chili and cornbread- must have something good cooking on the stove to look forward to after all the work!
-Put up Xmas tree and decorate
-Bring in more of our stuff that has been stored in the garage
-Hang towel rack in bathroom

I'll stop there and check in later to see how we did! Hope you all have a more relaxing Sunday than us! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009


This is me at 29 1/2 weeks and the first year I didn't have to suck in after Thanksgiving dinner. :) Every woman's dream, right? Things have been busy around here, and as usual, the blogging is the first thing to get neglected. I was reading over some of my old posts during pregnancy and wishing I wrote more because it's neat to look back and see how I was feeling at a certain point. I can hardly believe that in a little over 10 weeks we'll have a little baby girl to take of and learn about. Here's what we've been up to lately...

-Yesterday we cleaned out the car and installed the car seat- that was fun. :)
- LOTS of finishing touches going on at home. We made our to-do list (a whole page long) of tings to get done before baby arrives and have been trying to tackle a few tasks each weekend. It's amazing how GOOD it feels to be able to check something off the list!
-Enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving at my parents' house with Mark's parents and my extended family. I tried a few new recipes that turned out great!
-I only have 6 more weeks of teaching left, which just blows my mind. I've had a full-time job for the last 6 years; I have a bit of anxiety over not contributing financially to our family...that being said, I'm so grateful to be able to be at home after the baby is born and not worry about returning to work right away.
-Contemplating going out to shop today- it is Black Friday and I've discovered that there are just as many deals online...so I may stay here, put up the Xmas tree, and shop from the couch. Besides, I love getting packages in the mail, even if I know what is in them!
-Still thinking about names for baby girl, we're not actively searching, so I think we've pretty much settled, but we both think we'll have to look at her before we name her.
-Mark declared the other day "I don't want any video games for Christmas". Wow. Things are sure changing around here.
- He then said "Well, maybe just Modern Warfare 2".
- I've been in a cooking rut. I tried some great new recipes a couple weeks ago, but we've been so busy in the evenings lately that it's hard to cook every night and then we just end up eating the same go-to things...looking forward to Christmas break from school and a chance to experiment in the kitchen more.
- Looking forward to taking a walk by the lake today- it's such a beautiful day, but who knows how long the rain-less weather will last?!

I'll post some "after" shots of the house soon, I know I've been saying that forever, but I just want things to be in their place before I snap any photos. :)

Hoping you had a fabulous Thanksgiving yesterday- I'm so thankful for so many things this year, too many to list, but definitely including Mark, our baby, our health, our jobs, our home, and our wonderful families and friends. We are truly blessed by a God who chooses to shower us with these gifts despite how undeserving we are.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a quick pic

Me at 21 weeks, on my way to my high school reunion.

Thoughts on home and a baby girl

My heart is full tonight. Mark is at a Husky game and I'm home with my thoughts in my (almost) fully remodeled home, cozy on the couch with a pile of used kleenexes beside me...not really enjoying this cold I have, but thankful that it forces me to sit still and relax, instead of putzing around the house organizing things.

The picture below is from our "gender reveal" party we had a few weeks ago...we were so blessed to have so many friends and family attend...so blessed. The day was a special one for Mark and me, learning that this babe I'm carrying is a little girl. Knowing who she is has made this pregnancy even more incredible that it already had been.

Though I'm sticking to my guns in that I'm not going to post any "real" pictures of our home until the finishing touches are ready...in another week or so...I couldn't help posting some of these "sneak peek" photos, taken by Mark...he has a way with the camera that I don't, and he always captures things in the most interesting ways. From these pictures, you can probably tell how invasive our projects have become...much different from what we first envisioned, but with an end result that is, for lack of a better word...awesome. :)

We had carpet installed upstairs today - yes, ALL rooms are now the same color! The floors downstairs are just about complete, many of our "things" are back in place..what's finished already looks better than we could have anticipated. As I was cleaning today, I couldn't help but stop and take notice of how emotional I've become about this house in the past months. Looking around here now, seeing baby things in our room and *hers*, thinking about this home that Mark and I have been blessed with...after living here for 2 years, seeing our ideas come to life in our projects, all the while praying for a family to raise in this home that is definitely too big for 2 people alone....and now it's happening. I catch myself smiling all the time, thinking about this dream that is becoming reality for us, and it's all because of God's grace and love for us.

For so long I have dreamed of motherhood, read about it, practiced it with my nanny families, talked about it, prayed about it, and now, in a few short months, I actually get to experience it for myself...I can't quite wrap my mind around that. Tonight, in the quiet, I found myself upstairs in baby girl's room, sitting in the glider, talking to her, telling her all about the her room and what it looks like, rocking and holding my belly, looking out the window at the dark and imagining myself sitting in that spot night after night, day after day, holding our baby instead of my belly.

The most incredible thing about this pregnancy so far has definitely been watching Mark watch me grow and hearing what he has to say about this little babe. The other day I asked him if he loved her; he said yes. I asked him when he first felt that love and he told me it was when we saw our little blob of a babe at 8 weeks, with the fluttering little heart that put Mark and I both in awe of God and His miraculous creation. I was almost brought to tears by the thought of Mark loving our baby...I know, it sounds silly, but I'm the one carrying this baby and from the moment I saw the 2 pink lines, I was in love. But to hear my husband of 6 years tell me he loves our baby that he's never felt kick, never held, never touched...what have I done to deserve these blessings in my life? Nothing. Everything I have is because of a God who loves me, knows the desires of my heart, and wants to bless me, despite my sin. I want to soak up every moment of every day because of that.

I realize this post is more for me than anyone else...with all that has been happening in my life lately, I surely have things to blog about, but even tonight, it took me a good hour just to muster up the courage to try and organize my thoughts and feelings into words, but I do think it's important to document this sweet time in my life, as I approach motherhood, as I leave the world of working outside my home and instead dedicate my time and energy to my husband and child, there are so many things I'm anticipating....but I'm not afraid or nervous about any of it, for these are the things I have prayed for so long about and the Lord is choosing to bless me with now...above anything, I am grateful. I look forward to February with great anticipation, an adventure that began when God brought Mark into my life continues as He prepares our hearts for this tiny winter miracle.

So tonight, as I contemplate sleep and the hours of coughing and blowing into tissues that surely awaits me, I look around this silent house and imagine our family growing up here, I look down at my belly and wonder about this little girl...I do believe this is the most joyful I've ever been while battling a cold.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Morning bliss

It's been one of those mornings...you know, one of those mornings. The kind where your hubby is out of town enjoying a "man weekend" for a bachelor party, the kind where you wake up and realize how very quiet it is, the kind where your to-do list can wait just a little while...the kind of morning where I make something tasty, like scones.

Loving wearing slippers on this chilly morning, makes me think of fall, my FAVORITE season...and yes, that IS the infamous green carpet that you're seeing....but guess what? It will be GONE in 3 weeks!

Must light a candle when it's cloudy and cozy out...and look at you, you're getting a sneak-peek of my new counters and faucet, lucky you. =)

One thing I haven't been enjoying while pregnant has been coffee. A girlfriend once told me she knew she was pregnant because her desire for coffee was gone. I remember thinking "I don't think I could EVER not feel like coffee"...well, guess what? About 2 days after seeing those pink lines, coffee sounded horrible, and has, until the last week or so. We had quite an event the other night when I announced to Mark "I think I'm going to the store to buy some decaf coffee and cream". It was a big deal. So much of a big deal, in fact, that he went with me. So the last couple days, my trusty old coffeemaker has come out of retirement.

Are you wondering what I dumped on top of my grounds? It's a secret...no, not really. A bit of cinnamon. Have you ever tried it? DELISH. It's best when you use plain creamer, so you can really taste the cinnamon.

A new scone recipe I tried today. I always tweak things a bit, but this was a good start.

I'm loving my new oven. Let me remind you that this was the oven that was $2400 brand new, but we bought this one on Craigslist for $400. Unreal, right? It's awesome.

A tip about scones from my baking mentor, Ina Garten. Never use a mixer with the metal "whisk-like" things to make scones. I usually don't use a mixer at all, (I just hand-mix) but if you do, use the "paddle" thing. I cut my butter into pea-sized pieces before I add it. Don't over-mix. Would you like to have flaky, delicious scones or hard, rock scones? Flaky, I bet. That's why it's important to allow the butter to stay in pea-sized chunks. What happens is that the water in the butter evaporates during baking and gives you that flaky, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside yumminess.

Another tip: When your dough is ready, make sure you have a lot of flour on your counter and put the mound on there. Move the mound around so it gets flour all over it, then start patting it down into a flat circle, about half-inch thick. You can use a scone pan, but I never have...why dirty a pan when you can just cut it yourself? When your mound is flat, cut it with a floured knife like you would a pizza, that's how you get those even, cute little triangle scones. I then sprinkle just a bit of sugar on top of the scones before popping them into the oven- I prefer raw sugar because it looks prettier, but I was out, so regular did the job.

And voila, look at the crackle on the top...perfecto. What a great start to the day. Although I am so ready for our home to be filled with baby cries and babbles, I do realize I have a short window of time to enjoy mornings like these all to myself...I'm doing a pretty good job taking advantage of that, don't you think ? =)

- click on the picture to really zoom in and drool over that crackle.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Can't feel it, but I can sure see it!

Here's our little pride and joy at 12 weeks. It's funny, being a mother is something I've yearned for for so many years and felt SO blessed to see those 2 pink lines- I thought I'd immediately fall in love with the being growing in my womb...but it really wasn't until a few weeks ago that I starting thinking more about this little one and having dreams and thoughts about touching him/her, holding their little fingers and smelling their sweet smell. But this...this really did it for me. We went in for some testing at 12 weeks and were able to have another ultrasound and see our babe like I never thought possible. The still picture doesn't do it justice, and I know you moms out there can agree. Watching this little one move and bounce and wiggle on the screen brought tears to my eyes and a warmth to my very soul that I didn't know was possible. The baby was moving around so much that Mark kept saying "you can't feel that?!". He was just as in awe as I was. The first ultrasound was incredible, seeing that little "blob" and knowing there really was "something" in there...but this one, where the baby actually looks like...well...a baby...my heart melts every time I look at this picture. Even though I can't feel this babe move yet, I'm so in love with him/her that sometimes I think my heart may burst- and I'm told it becomes even stronger- how is that possible with what I already feel?! I have such a peace that everything is well with this baby and I don't say that boastfully. It is only through the Holy Spirit's presence that I can feel this way and I have daily prayed to not be anxious about the future of this child, and I'm so grateful for the calm I'm experiencing...at this moment, anyway. =) I want to enjoy each moment of this pregnancy and not just be "waiting" for the baby to come out. Even though I know my baby can't feel my touch, I find myself rubbing my belly all the time. Mark asked me once why I do this and I said "I want the baby to know I'm here and I love them". It's probably more for me than the baby at this point, but that's okay. There will come a day where my touch really will bring comfort and calm to this little one...Mark is incredible, amazing, excited...it's so fun to watch his reactions to our ultrasounds and the way he looks at me now. I imagine it's a strange but wonderful feeling to watch this process going on in your wife. He is so supportive, and I can't imagine experiencing this pregnancy without him.

Here I am at 12 weeks 5 days. It's funny how every woman's body changes differently. While I've only seen myself grow in the "belly" region, I have friends that still looked their old self at this point. For a while, I felt a little weird about that, but now I'm embracing it and enjoying this new world of "paneled pants". If I look happy in this picture, it's because I truly am. =)


Well, most of you know that we've been working on some remodeling projects for a while now. The kitchen is mostly done for now, but the reason I haven't updated pictures yet is that in a few weeks we'll be having new hardwood floors and carpet put in as well as having our popcorn ceilings scraped...all while Mark and I are enjoying Maui, mind you. =) So, I kinda want to wait until I can do a big "before" and "after" session. You understand, don't you?

After we found out about baby Pearson (I love saying that!), we decided that our upstairs bathroom needed to be gutted. It wasn't in the original budget, but we felt it was important to do because of the mold situation in the shower and the thought of placing a baby in there...no way. So, with a small budget, we are slowly transforming this space and it's going to be SO nice when we're done! The first thing to do was to demo and then lay new tile. Our friend Branden had laid tile ONCE before on a mission trip and offered to help Mark, who has NEVER done tile work before. I cannot tell you how incredible the results are from these amateur craftsmen! Of course, the pictures are out of order, but oh well..
Placing the spacers...

Branden and Mark having a great time working together!

The 2nd half of the bathroom with the awful half-wall and pink toilet...

The old shower...see all those grout lines? Yeah. That's what me and my Method cleaners were up against every week. I told Mark the new shower had to have the biggest tiles he could find so there wouldn't be as many grout lines.

Taking down the old vanity in the 1st half of the bathroom.

Freshly-grouted tile.

Mark using his new tile saw.

Look how nice! We found beautiful solid cherry vanities with granite tops at the Costco Home Store before they closed for a great price, bought a new bathtub, and now that Mark has sealed the grout, we just need to start putting things back together.

I have to give a shout-out to my amazing husband because, as a newly pregnant lady, I've been visiting the bathroom quite frequently, and night time is no different. Since the demo of the bathroom began almost a month ago, I've been having to stumble downstairs many times during the night to visit the bathroom. This morning, when we came home from church, Mark surprised me with a newly installed and not pink toilet! He installed it while I was singing at the earlier services at church. I haven't used it yet....I'm waiting for my first "wake up" in the middle of the night to enjoy the luxury of just walking next door to use the bathroom...I tell ya', the things that excite me these days...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

baby Pearson!

Well, the news is spreading and since I haven't posted in fo-eh-vah, I figured this was a good enough reason! In all honesty, all the things I've been feeling and doing lately have centered around this little baby, so it's hard to blog without talking about it, but now I can!

I'm due February 8th, so I'll be 12 weeks on Monday. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I've been walking on cloud nine. There have been some moments of utter defeat with the all-day nausea I experienced for about 5 or 6 weeks, but all I had to do was remind myself of the reason for all of that and I felt better. This is something I have longed for for such a long time and I know things will never be "perfect" or "ready", but the Lord knows best and I already am so grateful for the timing of this pregnancy. I found out 2 weeks before school let out and I was SO GREEN. It was really hard to teach when I was feeling so bad, so I have been so thankful for the summer and being able to just lay around when I was feeling sick.

We had our 12 week appointment yesterday and since, at this point, I'm actually 11 weeks and 3 days, my doctor wasn't sure she'd be able to find the heartbeat...but, all she did was basically place the doppler on my belly and we heard a strong heartbeat right away. Baby was hanging out around 160 bpm.

We plan to find out what we're having. I always thought I'd like to be surprised, but now I feel like knowing what "it" is will help us bond more with the baby before he/she arrives. I have a strong feeling that it's a boy...don't know why. I guess we'll find out sometime in September!

I started "showing" about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I gave up on all my own pants at that point, they were just too uncomfortable. I haven't been good about taking pictures because when I think about it, it's usually right when I return from working out and I look like an ogre. I do want to start taking pictures because I want to document as much as I can.

Anyway, I'm saying a lot...is rambling a pregnancy thing? Please tell me it is so I feel better. =)

Mark and I are elated by this little blessing- I suppose with the first baby, you never know if you can actually get pregnant until you do, so there was a lot of anxiety around that for me. The Lord is amazing and has shown me so much love already through this process, I can hardly comprehend it. So with all this said, yes, we are going to have a baby and we can't wait. I will be back more regulary now that my life is going to revolve around this news for quite some time. =)

I hope you are all enjoying July- talk to you soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm still here!

I know, I know, it's been for-eh-va! Every time I log on to my blog, I get overwhelmed because I have too much to say, but I've procrastinated so much that I don't have the energy to write it all down. =) So here it sits, not updated. Well, let's quickly fix that.

-out of school for the summer, SO happy!
-still remodeling, will post pictures soon
-going to Maui in August and we can't wait! We haven't been on a "real" vacation in 4 years!
-looking forward to working out, getting things done around the house and playing a lot over the summer!
-walked the Sound-to-Narrows with my mom- not as impressive as Stephanie's triathlon training, but I have to start somewhere, right? =)
-ate a cupcake yesterday at Cupcake Royale with no guilt.
- going to a wedding shower and then a wedding this weekend
- going to our lake cabin for the 4th next week
- need to do laundry and take a shower so the girls aren't appalled by me tonight. =) Don't tell them I've been wearing the same outfit since yesterday...

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For Jessica :)

Jessica made a comment that she was checking to see more kitchen photos- here you go, girl! I went to go look at faucets today at a kitchen/bath showroom. We haven't found anything we like at the big box stores, so I was excited to go to a place that specializes in fixtures. We really feel like all the things that are going to be touched in the new kitchen should feel sturdy and slick :), so I found a few fixtures I liked...now comes the part where Mark comes with me and we try to agree- fortunately, we have similar taste, so it should be easy!

This is the sink area- see where that vent is, right by the door? Ya, real energy efficient. We'll be taking that out and moving the counter all the way to the door, and then placing the sink cabinet on an angle so we can put a regular sink in there.

Goodbye old sink. You are gross.

The wall opened up- it's HUGE without that wall there! On the other side of that plastic is another good 10 feet of the dining room!

No more ugly tile.

Nasty. See all that black mold? No wonder no matter how much I cleaned, this place just smells kinda...well...moldy. Now I know why.

We'll be out of a functioning kitchen all next week, granite should come around the 18th and then we'll be back in business! The next round of pics should hopefully include the newly-installed oven and moved sink cabinet.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The remodel...phase one

First, I hate blogger. Why can't it just put the pictures in order like I uploaded them? GRR!!
So...the dust has started blowing at the Pearson home. Since blogger is a little stinker, I'll have to talk about things backwards. In this phase, we're working on parts of the kitchen- new sink/oven/countertops and knocking out a wall inbetween the kitchen and dining room. Very exciting. Then this summer we'll reface the cabinets and replace all the flooring on the main level with hardwood.

Our dinner the first night with no kitchen...not bad! of course, I'm holding a glass of wine in my hand...no remodel is complete without it! :)

The plastic wall. :)

Oh, old oven. How sad to see you go...not really. you burn everything, you kinda smell like chemicals every time I use you, you have weird seed things stuck in your control panel. How will I live without you? Happily.

The wall where the oven and fridge were (see before pics below) The fridge will go in that little corner.

The WORST sink setup ever! Can't wait to change it!

Looking into the living room...and the plastic wall.

The wall where the oven/fridge were.

The kitchen before. The dining room is on the other side of the wall where the fridge/oven is. There is a small pass-through hallway on the other side of the fridge, but it's so small and we never use our dining room because it feels like a cave in there. With everything opened up, we're hoping we'll use it more often.

Before...don't mind me. :)