Saturday, August 8, 2009

Morning bliss

It's been one of those 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, 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 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 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,'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 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...