a few more pictures from our weekend

it was such a loverly time.

i have nothing more to say but this:
i've been quite under the weather today.
i slept almost all day long.
and now i am wide awake and famished.
i'm off to eat a bowl of cheerios,
but what i'd really love is a slice of cold chocolate cake.

see you tomorrow!


a getaway

My friends, our story begins a few weeks ago, when Ryan was informed that one of his buddies at work had taken a new job. On Friday evening, Ryan came home from work and told me all about the little farewell party they held for Toby at lunch that day, about how Toby cleaned out his desk, and left. The poor guy seemed so blue about it all. In an effort to comfort him I asked,

"Are you sad Toby left today?"

Ryan replied quite somberly with, "No. Toby's going to Boston for a week with his wife, and I just wish was going to Boston for a week with my wife." 

and then he said,  "Do you want to go somewhere this weekend?"

I immediately replied, "YEAH I DO!" which is my response when Ryan asks me if I want to go anywhere, except for Best Buy, because Best Buy makes me feel sad.

We decided on Door County, which is a little over three hours north. Ryan spent a good chunk of Friday night looking for a hotel, and I giddily planned what to pack. 

We were out the door and on the road by 10am the next day, and spent 3 fantastic hours together in the car. I love roadtrips with Ryan, because that's when we have our best talks. He entertained me with stories of his old camping trips in Door County ("It was too cold to play on the beach, so we mostly just burned stuff in the campfire") while I smiled like a goon, because we were going somewhere and I was a tiny bit slap-happy.

A little after 1pm we arrived at our hotel, and were pleasantly surprised to discover our room was roughly half the size of our entire apartment. We spent the next 24 hours exploring, eating, sitting by the fireplace, playing cards, and breathing fresh country air. It was hokey, and homey, and wintry, and cozy, and just what we needed. Thanks for the getaway, sweet Ryan. You're good to me.


The following is a list of things that made me glad this week. Related: Cabin Fever.

1. Frost art on my window.
(I'm pretty sure I took this picture last week, actually.
But do you see that? Isn't it so pretty?
Great job, Jack. What a beaut.)

2. A little Happy Talk makes cleaning more exciting.

3. Seeing my little blog (and my dishtowel! and a muffin that I baked!) in a Kirtsy slideshow. Never thought that would happen, that's for sure. So fun.

4. Our growing lemon tree, Ryan's pride and joy.
Reach for the stars, lemon tree!
(it smells like fruit loops, which is prettttty fancy)

5. My personal favorite, foot rubs. Ohhhh I love those foot rubs.
Unfortunately, this one makes Ryan very, very sad.

6. Deciding to get away this weekend! The cabin fever virus has spread into Apartment 66, and we need to get out. We're not totally sure where we're going yet, but we're leaving in the morning. Check ya later!

PS: I would like to write a little 'thanks for reading' note to all of you sweet people! I have gotten so many sincere comments and messages (some even made me cry.) This past week has been so much fun. Though I must admit, I've been suffering from a mild case of stage fright. Suddenly, people are reading this thing? Whaat? I'm hoping this weekend will give me some time to recover from the shock, and I'll be ready to rock your socks off come Monday. Happy weekend!


I got a pencil full of lead

I love Anthropologie. I do. But, I have to be careful when I go there. I walk through the doors resolute: 

"This store is strictly for window shopping! ...Unless I find something I like in the clearance section! ...And then if Ryan says it's ok, it's mine!" 

And, slowly, as my cheap Target shoes tread on those perfectly distressed wood floors, and my fingers caress dainty hand-painted knobs, and I waltz through racks of beautiful clothing that I, a lowly housewife with student loans up to the rafters, can't afford, I turn into a pouty-er version of Veruca Salt. With slightly less frizzy hair, thank you.

What I do love about that store is that I always, always leave feeling juiced up on inspiration and creativity. There's usually something there that makes me think, Well I can do that. (Isn't that a nice feeling?)

On my latest visit to Anthro, I happened upon these cute pencils. I turned to Ryan and said,

"I could make these, don't you think?"

Ryan replied, "Zzzzzzzzzz."

And it was settled.

I made those pencils, and they turned out pretty good! If I were to tell someone else how to make them in ten easy steps, I'd say this:

1. Get yourself a cheap pack of pencils, some tissue paper, some Mod Podge, and a little bit of white paint. 
2. Cut out a rectangle of tissue paper, about 7x12in.
3. Slap some Mod Podge on a pencil.
4. Roll that pencil up in your rectangle of tissue paper, leaving about 2-3 inches of overhang past the tip of the eraser.
5. Once the entire length of tissue is wrapped around the pencil, twist the overhang of tissue at the tip of the eraser.
6. Slap another layer of Mod Podge onto that pencil! (I say slap, but you know, brush.)
7. Let the pencil dry! I hung my pencils over my radiators overnight, and they were nice and crispy hard in the morning.
8. Cut the tissue on the end of the pencil into fringe.
9. With your white paint, dab some polka dots onto the pencil. I used the wooden tip of a paintbrush to make my dots, and it worked fantastically. Let dry.
10. Sharpen the pencils, and package them up real cute!

I think they'd make a sweet little Valentine's Day gift, don't you?

And, of course, when I figure out how to DIY this pretty little thing, I'll let you know.



I'm still getting used to cooking for a husband who must have carbs at every meal. Growing up, my dad didn't appreciate any meal without meat, so I suppose I assumed every man was like that. And then I married Ryan. Don't get me wrong, the guy loves a good steak, but I've found that the way to his heart is through a starchy, bready-filled stomach. Bagels, potatoes, entire rolls of Ritz crackers--he must have it. Once, he made up a song entirely about biscuits. So it was no surprise to me when he asked for a pasta maker for Christmas. We tried it out for the first time on Saturday night, and the results were quite satisfactory. That thing is fun.


{sidenote:: my take on the granny-chic look that's happening right now is mostly just granny.}

And when we finished our meal, Ryan even helped me clean up. That's amore'.


a happy surprise

Let me start by saying this: I'd like to think that if I ever met Natalie and her family someday, I'd be able to say, "Holbs, this is Ryan. He, too, grows a red beard! You'll get along fine." And while those two talked, I would give Nat a big hug, followed by an enthusiastic (but gentle) pinch on little Huck's fat cheek. See, I've been reading Nat the Fat Rat for so long now that I think we're bosom friends, despite never meeting her, ever. This girl writes beautifully. She makes things magical. Most importantly, she understands that Meg Ryan movies are probably the best of them all.

Yesterday I discovered that not only has Nat been reading my blog, but she actually liked it enough to declare it (at Alt Summit of all places) an Up and Coming blog of 2012!


(Read about it here!)

I am so surprised and flattered and excited! But, also, a little nervous?

Now, I consider myself to be a blog reading professional. I've been reading the best of the blogs for quite some time. But to be perfectly honest, other than uploading photos and writing little bits, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to keeping my own blog. I mean, I spent 3 hours yesterday morning researching how to put two pictures side by side on blogger, and I still haven't figured it out. And I don't know if you've noticed, but I made my header in Paint, so...

The good news is that I like blogging, and I'm excited by it. And learning a thing or two about html stuff doesn't scare me that much.

So. Now I'd like to say a few things:

1. Thank you, Natalie. If I ever do see you in person, I will hug you. You have been so kind to me.

2. Hello new readers! How are you? I'm fine. Thanks for stopping by! I hope I don't bore you.

3. HI MOM! Are you seeing this?


what we've been up to...

our fridge broke, so for two days we ate things that were either room temperature and slooowwly melting...

or from the grocery store bakery.

we went on a snowy saturday trip to ikea...

and to chicago for about 40 minutes...

to see ryan's little glass canopy that he designed at work
(good job, ryan! applause!)

and after driving past the bean 4-5 times during a fruitless search for a parking spot,
we gave up and drove home.
still fun.

i've been making things and fillin' up frames...

we went on a date to aj bombers...

then we went to target, where a nice girl complimented me on my headband
(i'm pointing at YOU, miss becker)
and ryan bought a flavor injector, to be used on a chicken this weekend.

and now you know.


raisin bran muffins

Ever find yourself buying a box of Raisin Bran, thinking you'll love it and feel healthy while eating it, only to discover that you don't actually like it that much and that it's not even that good for you?

Me either.

Just kidding, that was totally me. I bought the Raisin Bran. And the next morning, while eating (but not really enjoying) the Raisin Bran, I watched someone on one of those morning shows say that it's just as sugary as all those other non-healthy cereals. And I thought, well shoot, now what am I going to do with all this dry cereal?

I made muffins! Martha Stewart's Raisin Bran Muffins, specifically. I'd been meaning to make something yummy for Ryan's breakfasts--something healthier than fried eggs and buttered toast, less expensive than smoothies, and more exciting than frosted mini wheats, and thought blueberry muffins were just the thing. Then I realized I didn't have any frozen blueberries, and that this recipe would use up a good chunk of the neglected Raisin Bran in my cupboard. It was an easy decision.

And, dudes, it was a good decision. These muffins are not at all dry (I was anticipating dry. Because of the bran, obviously.) and they made the apartment smell fantastically cozy and cinnamon-y. Try them. You'll like them.

ps: The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of wheat, but I used 1 cup white and they turned out fine.
pps: It made 8 muffins, not 6. Which is great if you have a husband like mine, who eats things in multiples.


living in color

Here's something you should know: grieving is a strange, surprising thing. When I think I should be feeling sad, I don't feel it. And then, at the strangest of moments, it splashes all over me like a dumped bucket of ice water.

Grieving is flighty and unpredictable. I've found that I can have an entire week's worth of good days, and I'll think, I'm over the hump! I have a handle on this! Only to be followed by terribly low moments filled with tears and wildly swinging moods.

Last week was rough. An entire week's worth of low moments. To the point where I threw something out of anger. (It was only a sock.) But as I watched that stupid sock slide across the floor and skid to a halt I thought, where did that come from? My fits of anger were so sudden and surprising, and I was embarrassed. And then, of course, I cried.

But I realized something.




I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, tired of wondering when the next baby will come, tired of thinking about it all, day after day after day. Guys, being sad is exhausting.

So, I found Ryan, hugged him hard, and told him how I was feeling. He was glad I did, and said some wonderful things that made me feel so much better. And then I called my mom, who said these things:

1. Stop it.
2. Take a walk.
3. Enjoy your time with your husband, and do fun things with him.
4. Be creative. Do something artistic.

So I'm trying. I'm remembering that my God has all things in his keeping. I know that he will give me a baby when the time is right, and that it's really really dumb to sit and be sad until then. I'm giving my husband extra attention and love, because even at my grizzliest, he didn't complain once, and he deserves some smooches. I'm surrounding myself with happy things, colorful things, pretty things. 

And it's working.