Thursday, June 25, 2009

mod podge

In my recent adult life, I have been in meetings for Young Women or Primary or school or various get-togethers where women are talking about craft ideas and say, "We could mod podge it." And I nod my head and agree while inside I'm thinking, "YOU could mod podge it. I don't have that type of craft experience!" To me it sounded like an advanced skill that I was not qualified to tackle. I didn't even really know what the end result looked like. But my aunt Neyka has been giving me ideas for Gracie's room and suggested that I mod podge some picture frames with scrapbook paper that matched her bedding. Feeling amibitious yesterday, I did a google search to see just what that would entail. After a trip to Michael's and Wal-Mart and a couple of hours with scissors and paper and mod podge, I discovered what mod podge is NOT: scary, hairy, or hard. I also discovered what it is: white, sticky, and inspiring! I had so much fun! I even ventured past picture frames. In fact, as I was in bed not sleeping last night (which is apparently the way things roll in the eighth month of pregnancy), I was imagining all the places I could apply my new skill. I imagined our bedroom door all mod podged in some pretty something that would complement the room. I won't do it, though. I'm thinking I should turn the next post over to Danilo before this becomes a crafty, recipe, housekeeping blog. Please keep coming back, I'll keep trying to keep it interesting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Summertime!

This was my day-to-day life a month ago. Cute kids. One thing we all had in common: we needed a summer (you can see it in some faces more so than others).

And now it's here! It's interesting coming to terms with the fact that my break doesn't last just three months. I've actually had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the only determining factor in what I will do each day is whatever I decide to do...I'm sure a certain baby girl due to arrive in one month will help.

So I have tried to make myself useful everyday. I give myself one project each day. It usually ends up being a closet to clean. I don't know about other school teachers, but if I was going to do my best as a teacher, our house had to take a little bit of a backseat. I tried to keep the living room, kitchen presentable, but anything behind a closed door was pretty scary.

I was going to take a before and after picture of each project, but I didn't know how many of you would still claim me. I'm kind of regretting not getting before shots, because I think sometimes we love ourselves a little more when we see other people have messy closets too (any men reading, please apply that thought to your own circumstance).

There's a little rhyme and reason to the order of the pantry now. Before, cereal went on top and everything else was free game.

The hallway linen closet... I open it about three or four times a day just because it feels good to see it like this. Ahhh.

The closet under the stairs. I'm not afraid to open this door anymore either. The stuff in there are things we actually use and need!

And my favorite... Gracie's room. For the
last year and a half, this room has served as the place where we put everything that didn't have a place anywhere else in the house...and we RARELY opened the door. I am so happy to report that as of today, 90% of the stuff in Gracie's room is Gracie's stuff--not my high school yearbooks, not her dad's taekwondo gear. We've got a few more things to do before she gets here, but the decluttering is just about through.

So the reason I have had the time to post 48 pictures tonight is because Danilo called the same time he does every night to tell me he's at the Front Runner station and five minutes from home, but instead to tell me that he was just leaving the hospital to catch Trax...a two-hour commute home. So that meant I was eating dinner by myself. I had tostadas planned for tonight, and while they're a favorite around here, they seemed to turn out extra yummy tonight, so I wanted to share. They're kind of pretty once they're all made up, but I'd already eaten a whole one and only had room for a half once I decided to take a picture.

On one tostada, spread:

One layer of rice (I cooked the rice with a little bit of chicken boullion)

A few avocado slices

One layer of ground beef (I seasoned it with two cloves of garlic and some dried onion)

Chopped tomato

Squeeze a lime segment over the top

Top with cheese.

Here is what a tostada looks like in and out of the package.

If you made it to the end of this post, thanks, you're really nice. I will try to be a little more brief next time.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Do Have In-Laws...And I love them!

I have wanted to post things we've done with my in-laws so that their faces are familiar ones on our's just been a matter of remembering to bring a camera when we do things together. We went to dinner on Thursday night after Nicole's graduation and I'm thrilled we've finally got some pictures for posting! Danilo has two sisters, Cynthia and Nicole, which means Grace is going to have four aunts and an uncle. My mother-in-law lived in Chile until she brought her family here 15 years ago. My father-in-law grew up in Texas close to the Mexican border where he picked up quite a bit of Spanish. They met shortly after Danilo's family arrived in Utah and he brought a wonderful completion to their family as a loving and supportive husband and father. Five or six years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. While the disease has taken much from him, the decline has become less drastic with surgery, therapy, and medication. I enjoy watching videos with the family of before the Parkinson's because it gives me a peek at the man inside who can't always communicate with us like he'd like to. I have learned much about patience and humility from watching and coming to know him better.

One thing I appreciate so much about my in-laws is how cherished they make me feel. We've been married for almost three years now, and they continue to make me feel like they are so happy that Danilo found me. It's a blessing.