Sunday, December 28, 2008

CONFESSIONS OF A MARGINAL HOUSEKEEPERI don't have much to say, specifically. Just wanted to blog so here I am. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Ours was very nice. We have been spending our days with family and friends, cramming in as much visiting as we can before normal life resumes.
Of course, normal life seems like a far distant memory right now, while I am in the throes of "morning" sickness. In all fairness, so far, it has been very manageable and much better than past pregnancies. But, things still suffer. Namely, housekeeping.

I will be the first to confess that my housekeeping can be a little lacking. I banish clutter on a daily basis, but as for the other kinds of know, dusting, mopping, and such...those I can overlook a little more easily. Very easily, actually. I know it drives my mother and mother in law crazy. They have hinted at/said as much:::smile/roll eyes/grimace:::but, over these last few weeks, even I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by the state of my house.
I give you Exhibit A:Significant improvement was visible after only 15 minutes of racing-the-timer in each room. Here, Exhibit B:Beyond that, white Christmas lights and cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove can do WONDERS for a less-than-immaculate house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I have mentioned before that acts of service are my primary love language.
When I saw my hubby pressure washing the house yesterday, I fell in love all over again.
He laughs and says that my love language is cold, hard cash.
I like that too.
But Matt working on the house?
Without me asking?
And doing a good job?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

LAST MEALIf I am able to pick my last meal, I want it to come from Garibaldi's.
It is our absolute favorite "without children" restaurant. We only go once every year or two, but we dream of it often in between.

Not only is the food absolutely sublime, but the ambience is truly enchanting. It is housed in a very old, beautiful building in downtown Savannah. I feel so grown up when I am there:::smile:::

If you are ever (or next time you are) in Savannah, you simply must stop at 315 W Congress Street.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I ask you every year if we can get married again. You roll your eyes and say NO. It is only because it was so wonderful that I want to do it again. And because I love you so much. And because, if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have been nervous walking down the aisle.

December 16, 2000.

We have filled some days since then.

6 homes
5 jobs
14 cars (that is ridiculous!!!)
3 boys (and a baby on the way)
2 towns
8 Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters
Countless meals
2 trips to Las Vegas (never again!!)
Many trips to other places...New York, Utah, Carolinas, Jamaica, Colorado, Virginia, California, Tennessee...
6 years of weekly date night (Monday)

And, while you drive me batty sometimes, I do love your crazy, spontaneous, unconventional, unpredictable self. You are good for this Type A firstborn. Happy Anniversary, Saulsy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

COOKING FOR BOYSMy husband is sure we are having twins. Twin girls. Wishful thinking on his part. As for me, if we find out we are having a girl, I am sure I will get used to the idea, and then wonder how I ever lived without a little girl in my life. But as it is now, I have always envisioned myself as a mother of boys. In fact, when I thought about being a mother, two images came to mind. 1. Carting lots of middle school aged boys to sports. I always pictured being the team mom for my boys baseball and soccer teams. I really look forward to that.
2. Cooking for boys. Growing up as the oldest of four children (eventually five), with three younger brothers, I learned to cook for a crowd of hungry guys. There is nothing so satisfying as a cook (for me, anyway), as the hearty appetites of a tableful of males. I cook and bake A LOT for my little guys, and it is so fun. I bought a HUGE white ceramic bowl at an antique store a few years ago, with visions of plopping it down in front of ravenous guys, full of pasta.

One of my favorite people to cook for is Eli Strickland. He is a close family friend and a high school senior. As a football player and wrestler (and 17 year old), he has a great appetite. And, he is from a family of great cooks who make a wide range of dishes. Translation: he will try just about anything I make.

He came over tonight, and asked me to make "his favorite brownies". How can I turn down that request? I love to cook for this guy! Here is the recipe, in case you are interested. It is my mother's recipe (I don't know where she got it), with a few modifications.

Eli's Favorite Brownies
7 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Self Rising Flour

Melt butter and cocoa together, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then egg.
Add vanilla and flour, stirring well.
Pour into 9x9 baking dish.
Bake in 350 degree oven, approximately 20 minutes.

Now, this part is important. I get them out about 2 minutes before they are really done. Chewy around the edges and fudgy in the middle is how he likes them. And, this is crucial. You must put a little pat of butter on top. Don't question it, just do it. Thank me later. Salted butter is best. The slightly salty taste of the butter is the perfect compliment to the sweet, gooey chocolate. Pure bliss.

Cooking for others brings me great happiness. I try not to be offended if someone turns down my offer to cook or bake them something. :)

With each pregnancy, I have been so overjoyed to discover that I was having another BOY. They are so gosh darn sweet. And they love their mamas. And they love to eat!

(The above pictures are of one of my favorite winter meals. Vegetable soup and cornbread. My boys like their cornbread crumbled up in a glass of milk, the way my mother serves it to them.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

MY KITCHEN (and Laundry Room)A few weeks ago, Aimee did a meme of "7 things she loves about her kitchen". Even though I wasn't tagged, I thought I would do it too because I love my kitchen (and seeing other people's kitchens and homes in general). As you can see, I have a galley kitchen. I love the efficiency of galley kitchens and this one is my favorite so far (of the 6 homes we have lived in since we married). We walked in the kitchen door to look at this house when it was for sale and immediately knew that this was THE HOUSE. Here is what I love about it.
1. AMAZING storage. It may have a small footprint, but this kitchen packs a punch in the storage department. I have plenty of cabinets with empty space, which I love. I like knowing that I am not at capacity. :) These are my floor to ceiling pantries that line an entire wall. Along the other wall are lots of drawers below, and cabinets above.
2. Built in dividers in the drawers. I really appreciate the attention to detail in this house, and these drawer dividers are no exception. They make me really happy.
3. The slate floor. It is hard to keep clean, and shows dirt but I love it anyway. It is also in the upstairs bathroom (and was in the downstairs bathroom prior to the renovation) and the fireplace surround is from the same slate.
4. My yellow door. It is a happy yellow color and I just think it is really sweet.
5. My yellow stool. The one downside of my kitchen is that there isn't a lot of room for people to sit and hang out while I cook. So, I added this yellow stool (with built in pull down steps) to the corner, which has helped a lot. It gives a shout out to the yellow door, as well as providing a spot for a friend or hungry little boy to plop down and visit (and snack) while I cook.
6. The window overlooking the sink. While I wash dishes, I can see the boys playing in the side yard, our college boy neighbors (who provide endless entertainment!), cars driving up, and Saulsy working in his man shed. I also have a nice shelf right under the window, where I have an ever changing number of things sitting there...usually a flower or rock from one of the boys, a picture, drying herbs, etc.
7. The wine rack. When we moved here, from the end of the pantry on was open space. The laundry room and kitchen made one L-shaped room. When we moved in, we had a wall built around the fridge, added the wine rack above it, and added the door next to the fridge that goes into the laundry room. Even though we don't drink a lot of wine, I like the look of it. As for the laundry room door, we found it at an antique store in Savannah. I plan to frost the glass, and have LAUNDRY spelled out across it.
Here are a few pictures of the laundry room. Adding the wall between the kitchen and laundry room made for a pretty small laundry space, but I like having them separate. The laundry room also has great storage space, as well as a counter for folding laundry on. There is also a small upright freezer in this room. My next project for this room is to stack the washer and dryer, and put a chest of drawers where the dryer was for the boys clothes. That will greatly simplify my laundry routine. And, we usually bring their clothes down and dress them in the living room anyway, so it makes more sense.

There are a few things I would like to change about my kitchen. I would like new lighting, faucet, and kitchen counter tops. But, those are minor things and I enjoy this small room very much. What do you love about your kitchen and/or laundry room?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I have been anticipating the Savannah River Bridge Run for months now. I signed up for the 10K (6.2 miles), which was my longest race, to date. This race has a reputation for being particularly tough, because of the incline and I was really looking forward to the challenge.

After discovering I was pregnant earlier this week, Matt was very hesitant for me to run it, even after being reassured by my doctor that it was perfectly fine. He doesn't mind me running while pregnant, but because of the early stage of pregnancy, combined with the supposed difficulty of this particular race, he just wasn't convinced I should do it. But I wanted to so, so, so badly. I am soooo goal oriented, and while I have (OK, am trying to) make peace with not doing the half marathon or marathon this year, I was really disappointed about the bridge run.

A compromise was reached by my walking most of the race, rather than run it or not do it at all. While it was hard to walk when I wanted to run (and to let go of hitting the goal I had set for this race), it was still an absolutely wonderful race and I enjoyed it so, so much. There was a group of us down there, and it was fun to cheer each other on and talk about the race. I rode down with John and Gracie Quattlebaum (Gracie did the 5K and did great!) and Robert Wagner (who did even better than he hoped to!).

This was the first big race I had run in...4,000 participants. The 10K started in downtown Savannah, near the courthouse. I loved running down Broughton Street, past the Paris Market and Brocante, and the Lucas Theatre. The street was decorated for Christmas and was lined with spectators who cheered as we ran by.

I started out slow, near the back of the pack. Directly in front of me was an older blind woman, who was running alongside of her husband. They were holding hands and I could hear him softly telling her everything that he was seeing. I was so moved by them, and started to cry every time I glanced in their direction. I decided that I needed to pass them, or I was going to be a wreck! I usually cry about twice a year...this week alone I have cried about ten times! Guess I am hormonal.

After I passed the blind woman and her husband, I was running behind a pubescent teenage boy. That was not going well for me and I needed to pass him quickly, for the sake of my churning stomach. After about a mile and a half, we reached the ramp of THE BRIDGE. I walked up the bridge, and while I was definitely "feeling the burn" in my thighs, it wasn't unpleasant. It was so cool to be at the bottom of the bridge, and look up and see the entire bridge covered in people from end to end. It is quite a large, long bridge and it was really neat. I wish I had a picture of it with all those people. By the time I was on the bridge, the elite runners were already on their way back over it for the second time. It was so inspiring to see those runners!! Many of the other runners cheered as they ran by. A little farther on, I passed John Manack, Sean Kent, Robert Wagner, and Barry Abell coming from the opposite direction. Then, I came up on Leslie (Tootle) Tucker, and we walked together for awhile.

It was a great race, and was really fun to go over the bridge. I got dizzy when I ran/walked too close to the edge. I walked about 4 miles, and ran just over 2 (I jogged through downtown, the declines on the bridge, and the finish). Though it wasn't what I had planned or hoped to do, it was actually really enjoyable because I didn't put any pressure on myself. I just enjoyed the scenery, the music at the water stations, the people running around me, and the experience in general. I didn't worry about time. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised to finish in 1:11:59. My original goal was to run it in 1:05 or less, which I would have done if I had run, rather than walked the other 4 miles. Other than a slight headache, a little dizziness, and some nausea at the end, I felt great and loved the whole experience!

I don't know if I will be able to beat my time next year, with a four month old, but I hope to try!! It was a lovely experience and our group all agreed that it should be a new annual tradition. We celebrated with lunch at Mellow Mushroom afterward, then headed home!

After a hot shower (and a cup of ice), I am going to get on my snuggly pajamas and am going to spend the afternoon reading to the boys, making a big pot of vegetable soup (with cornbread) for dinner, sipping hot tea, and enjoying being at home in a cozy house with my four favorite boys! I hope your week-end is delightful too.

Friday, December 05, 2008

YUMMY BREAKFASTI had a delicious breakfast this morning, but since oatmeal isn't very photogenic, I thought I would include a couple pictures of the outside of my house, per Ashlie's request (Ashlie, I will save the kitchen for another post. Kitchens are my favorite, and should get it's own post!) This is the front door of my house. It doesn't face the road, but the woods and the small circular drive in front of our house. The next picture is of my kitchen door, which does face the road and is the door that most people use. I don't mind, that is a very southern thing, isn't it?Anyway, back to the point of my post, the delicious breakfast I made this morning. I was awake at four am and jonesin' for some spinach in a bad way, so I already had in my head that I would make a green smoothie for breakfast. But, by the time breakfast came around, that wasn't what I wanted.

Instead, I made Steel Cut Oatmeal, topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, a drizzle of honey, a few dried cranberries, pecans, and a little pour of almond milk. It was a very satisfying wintery food. Bauer ate half of it and Landing liked it too (Caedmon "doesn't do" oatmeal). I wish that I could have gotten a suitable picture, because it really was lovely with the pecans and cranberries on top, with the honey drizzled throughout!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

THAT MARATHON WILL HAVE TO WAIT......until 2010. About a month ago, I laughingly said that I would probably get about half way through my marathon training, and get pregnant. Well, I didn't make it to quite the halfway point, but I am pregnant! Due around the middle of August.

Caedmon and Landing promise that they are going to cry if it is another boy.

Matt has been dancing around the house all day.

Grandparents are speechless.

Bauer is indifferent.

I am surprised.

(And no, this picture has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter. I just wanted a picture up)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I have taken quite a blogging break and it was all my camera's fault. There were things I wanted to post about, but wanted a picture to go with them.

Yesterday, my dear hubby supplied me with the cord I needed to import pictures directly from my camera to my Macbook (I was having to go about it in a quite complicated way before, involving multiple computers. No more!).

And, this morning, I FINALLY figured out how to turn the flash off on my camera. The manual is MIA, and I am not the most tech savvy. So, now that those obstacles are out of the way, I am looking forward to blogging again.

This is just a little trial run, to see if the pictures look any better without the flash, and to make sure that I can actually get them to upload!

Around my house this morning...

CHRISTMAS TREE: My tree won't be gracing the pages of Southern Living any time soon, but it makes me very happy. Both Matt's mom and mine gave us each an ornament every year when we were growing up, so all those are on our tree. We were married around Christmas time, so some ladies at our church threw us an ornament shower. Those are on there as well. This year, the tree was decorated almost completely by my husband and boys. I handed them ornaments and did other decorating around the room. I think they did a great job!

VIEW TO OUR BEDROOM: From the living room, through the foyer. I love this view.

MASTER BEDROOM: This is from the armchair in the corner of our bedroom where I sit to read. Our bedroom is the brightest room in the house, as well as the cleanest and the quietest (the children do not play in our room). The wall color is much lighter than this, closer to the color in the last picture.

CHILDREN'S TABLE: I love seeing little hints around the house that children live here, and I love this little spot of theirs. The artwork rotates. Three little chairs for three little boys.

OTHER SIGNS OF CHILDREN: Little shoes on the stair steps

THE BOYS ROOM: Seeing three little beds in a row (especially with little boys sleeping in them!) brings me immense amounts of mama happiness. I am hoping to get all the beds painted this month (pale blue) and coverlets made in January (natural cotton duck and ticking).

BOY'S TREE: Small tree in the boys room.

PEEK TO THE NURSERY: From the boy's bedroom door, down the small hallway. I love the "tucked under the eaves" feeling of the upstairs bedrooms. So cozy.