Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today is our three year wedding anniversary! I'm pretty sure I'm married to the most wonderful man on this planet, and I'm excited to share this special day with him. It has been an eventful three years. Most of which we don't have pictures from, but here are a few photo highlights.
Clint makes me laugh every day

See? Laughing all the time

Our trip to Cambodia was before our wedding, but close enough!

Trying to beat the self-timer setting on our camera :)

The last day of our honeymoon

Our trip to DC

In Fredericksburg, VA, for the premiere of Clint's film

Christmas 2010

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The day Irene blew my best friend to my doorstep

The first time I met Maggy was when she showed up on my front porch to move in with us. She had recently gotten back from Ghana and her long hair was still in braids-turned-almost-dreadlocks. She had about one suitcase and one box for her bedroom, and the rest of her car was packed full of plants and kitchen supplies, including peaches she had canned herself and other things that seemed weird to me at the time. The only other thing I knew about her was that her favorite color was pink, and in light of what I was seeing as she moved in, I wasn't all too sure I was going to like her very much. Well, to make a long story short, we became the best of friends in the three short months we lived in the same state, and have been ever since.

Now she lives in Virginia Beach, and last weekend she and her husband were mandatorily evacuated from Fort Monroe as Hurricane Irene made its way straight toward them. They were conveniently evacuated straight to my house! We spent a glorious day and a half visiting all my favorite spots in Athens, eating as much good food as we could stuff ourselves with, and talking pregnancy and babies, since she is also pregnant and due in little more than a month! And, as usual, she bestowed on me all sorts of little things she had been gathering over time, including this way too adorable stuffed elephant that she made. I seriously can't stand its cuteness, and she made me a matching burp cloth to go with it.
Thankfully, Irene didn't cause much damage at all to their neighborhood, but because it didn't, her husband was called back to duty after it seemed they had barely arrived, and they were whisked away again as quickly as they had come. As short as our time together was, I couldn't be more thankful for those invaluable moments we got to spend together. Having a friend like Maggy is a rare thing. I consider myself supremely blessed for the honor of having her in my life!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Waiting Game

Waiting is NOT my strong point. In fact, it's probably one of my biggest weaknesses. I like to know and do. I like to be decisive and then act swiftly on those decisions. It completely baffles me when people drive below the speed limit for no apparent reason. Why go 50 when the speed limit is 55? I don't like to go shopping in the way most women do, touching each item and combing diligently through the racks. All it takes for me is one good look around the store to determine if there's anything I'm interested in. It took Clint and me three months of knowing each other to get engaged and only four months after that to get married (which will be three years ago this Wednesday!). A photo from that day, just for fun:
August 31, 2008. Almost three years ago!
Why waste time in indecision? Why make a decision and then lolligag around in its implementation? It's just a foreign concept to me.

Anyway, I have been playing the waiting game since July 18, when I submitted my application for a job I really, really want, and in this case, the timing is now out of my hands. I know I'm still in the running for the position, but at this point there's nothing further I can do. And so I wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And this is not easy for me. But there are lessons in it. Lessons in living by God's timing. In trusting God even as my unemployment drags on. In not relying on my own "self-sufficiency" to get the results I want. Lessons in the difference between laziness and waiting in obedience. Whew. It's hard, but God has always come through for us in the past, every single time. And so I will remain in the waiting game and continue to trust!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love this town!

Athens population: 86,000 or so.
Savannah population: Around 135,000.

Savannah is more than 1.5 times larger than Athens, but Athens has so much more to offer! There are little gems tucked away all over the place. So much character. Yesterday's find: Daily Groceries Co-op. It's a co-op that's open to the public, but members get special benefits.

How can you not love a place with a sign like this?

They have a great bulk section that includes things like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and herbs! They have a great little produce section too that includes local and organic produce. The best part is, you can become a working member. In exchange for every hour spent cleaning, stocking, cashiering, or performing other miscellaneous tasks, you get a 5% discount on your groceries that week, up to a 20% total discount!

My favorite find yesterday: Kombucha Wonder Drink, green tea and lemon flavored. Ever tried kombucha tea before? Yesterday was my first taste, and I thought it was delicious! Kombucha has lots of health benefits and is a good alternative for soda-lovers Plus, you can make your own at home, but I didn't want to get into that without a sample first. I saw kombucha starter kits on sale at the Co-op, and I think I'll have to pick one up soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On Birth

One of the many major decisions when bringing a child into this world is the choice of how and where to labor and give birth. There is a lot of information out there, which is fabulous, as I am a big advocate of making informed and educated decisions, but at the same time there is an abundance of misinformation and fear surrounding birth in this country. Clint and I have been researching and discussing our options since the day we found out about our little one, and we have made the decision to have a natural, unmedicated, home birth. (Here's a great, short article from Midwifery Today called The Miracle of Homebirth that nicely sums up some of my thoughts behind making this decision.)

Here are some statistics surrounding our decision for a home birth:
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000 the US ranked 31st in the world in maternal death rates.
  • In 2005 the US ranked 41st for infant mortality rates, and continues to drop.
  • In a survey done in 2002, 44% of mothers reported that their caregiver tried to induce labor, oftentimes for non-medical reasons. In first time mothers, induction increases the risk of cesarean by 40%.
  • The WHO has declared that a 15% cesarean rate is the maximum acceptable rate in any country. The American rate is roughly 1 in 3. Some of the potential problems associated with cesareans include: injury to maternal bladder or bowls; extension of the uterine incision into arteries, cervix, or vagina; dense adhesions from previous surgery; hemorrhage from placental implantation site; uterine rupture; endomyometritis; and wound infection.
  • The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that maternal morbidity is 5-10 times higher with cesarean births, and mortality rates are 4 times higher.
  • A study done by Johnson and Daviss in 2005 found the following results: Compared with a relatively low risk hospital group, intended home births were associated with lower rates of electronic fetal monitoring (9.6% versus 84.3%), episiotomy (2.1% versus 33.0%), caesarean section (3.7% versus 19.0%), and vacuum extraction (0.6% versus 5.5%).

There are many many more statistics out there, all along the same lines as those above, but I think (hope) you get the idea. Home birth is safer than hospital birth for low-risk women and babies, and I thankfully fall into that category. Even in light of all of those wonderful facts, I understand that our decision is still considered abnormal and possibly even irresponsible to some in our culture. I appreciate well-intentioned concern from family and friends for my and the baby's safety. But in the end it's our decision, and ours alone, and our final decision is to have a home birth. Because that's finalized, support and encouragement from our friends and family is what is most needed now, and I'm thankful for all the wonderful people in our life who will do and are doing just that!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In the Kitchen

Wow. I've been trying to post good recipes I come across because I always appreciate the same sort of inspiration from other bloggers, and again, wow. I made these herb cream cheese scrambled eggs last night from 101 Cookbooks, and they are quite divine! We had them with toasted multigrain sourdough bread. I was going to make some tomato basil soup to go with it, but it got a little late and we were just hungry. You need to plan ahead a little bit when making these to let the cream cheese get to room temperature, but otherwise it's a 15-minute dinner. Enjoy!

Tonight I'm going to make carrot cake pancakes, an adaptation of a recipe I saw on Whole Foods' blog. I use a buckwheat pancake mix for our pancakes, and I'll add in a bit of cinnamon, shredded carrots, chopped pecans, and some raisins. I like to top my pancakes with honey. Sounds tasty!

Monday, August 22, 2011

An August Monday

Clint and I had this quick and easy salmon for dinner last night. It's quite tasty and quite good for you.

One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast right now is oatmeal with yogurt mixed in. Add walnuts and dried cherries and it tastes like pie! Yum.

I made this dress yesterday. There's no use trying to hide the baby bump any longer!
It's all repurposed: The bottom was an old dress; the waistband was a hair band, and the top used to be an old tank top! All sitting un-used and unworn in storage. Not anymore!

Clint's students are giving their first speeches in class today. They have to introduce a classmate. It will be his first time grading anything. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

The baby is moving more and more every day! I'm now always aware of my constant little companion.

I have long wanted to make string gardens. This website just about tips me over the edge with possibilities. I must make oodles of these, and soon! (And here is a good tutorial if you want to make some too.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

I love owls

I finally did a little more work on my owl painting today. The realization that I am at the halfway point in this pregnancy(!) is giving me the motivation to get stuff done! This painting has been unfinished far too long, and I'm hoping that my time of being without work is quickly coming to a close . . . I will regret not getting things like this done once I have less "free time" from a job, and especially when baby arrives!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Carrot Cake

Today was my father-in-law's birthday, so I made him this lovely carrot cake from 101 Cookbooks, and Clint and I surprised him with it earlier tonight. This is not your typical carrot cake recipe. I would say it's more like a bread with frosting, but I really liked it. (It wasn't so much Clint's taste though.)
The star ingredient: pretty rainbow carrots

All the different mixtures ready to be combined

The final conglomeration, ready for the cake pan
The finished product

The man of the hour was surprised by the cake, and a good time was had by all. It's nice to live close to some family and to be able to share simple things like a birthday cake together.

As a side note, I must admit that I'm struggling with inspiration on the food front. The daily question of what to eat seems more and more daunting each day! I would love a new cookbook. My favorite cookbook is Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, but I've made almost everything I want to make from it. What are your favorite cookbooks? Share some inspiration with me please!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diapers Galore!

As you know from my last post, I had my first baby shower this past Sunday. Today, I received eight more cloth diapers in the mail from guests who weren't able to make it! The one in front is GroVia, and all the others are bumGenius. So generous!
One of the best gifts from the shower was from my mom and aunt. They bought me a TON of used stuff from my cousin. Because it was all secondhand, they were able to get me so much more for their money. I may even be set on clothes through about the nine month mark! Before my trip I had been starting to feel a little panicky about not being ready for our coming baby, but after the generosity heaped onto us by family and friends at the shower, I feel much more prepared.  I can't wait to welcome Baby Ross in January! (Now if only I could find a care provider in the area . . . )

Our car seat arrived in the mail today as well! We received enough gift cards and cash from the shower to make that purchase, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Baby Shower!

Here's  a small picture preview of the sweet baby shower my sister and friend threw for me today.
The gorgeous setting for the shower. The weather was perfect to top it all off.
My sister made me wear a badge that said, "Mom to Be."
A huge box of spotless secondhand clothes from my mom!
A baby sack! Made by a lady from my grandma's church

Finger puppets from my dear friend Sharon
Secondhand exersaucer, blanket, and Boppy pillow and cover from my aunt

My loves Lex and Sharon

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Breakfast: Oatmeal with figs, pecans, cinnamon, and honey.

Lunch: Date with my husband before I fly to Indiana for the week.

Dinner: with my family!

Bought a Fall CSA Share from Roots Farm this morning for produce boxes all September.

Ordered a couple baby things (including my first cloth diaper!) from my registry with a gift card and special promotion coupon.

It's looking like a promising day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Out and About

Equipped with my GPS and giant water bottle, I headed downtown today to check out some local businesses. I had some great finds! First stop: reBlossom Mama & Baby Shop.
They sell used maternity and nursing clothes, baby and toddler clothes, and nursery equipment. Everything was in great condition, and the owners are super nice! I will definitely be going back in the future.

I then decided to make a quick stop at Ike & Jane, a delicious and adorable cafe and bakery. I got a Pink Lady cupcake (strawberry cake, cream cheese frosting) and let me tell you, it was the best cupcake I've ever had in my life! Nothing else even comes close. Whenever a special treat is in order, I will be making a beeline for Ike & Jane!

I hope this post motivates you to support your favorite local businesses or go and find some new ones. It's tons of fun!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Current Read

Have you ever heard of this book? I just started The China Study (on my kindle!), and it's amazing.
This book is based on the author's four decades (yes, decades!) of biomedical research, including the results from a twenty-seven-year laboratory study, and 750 other primary sources. Wow. It's pretty hard to argue with that much empirical evidence. Some of the findings from all this research include:
  • "Dietary changes can enable diabetic patients to go off their medication.
  • Heart disease can be reversed with diet alone.
  • Breast cancer is related to levels of female hormones in the blood, which are determined by the food we eat.
  • Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to better mental performance in old age.
  • Kidney stones can be prevented by a healthy diet.
  • Type 1 diabetes, one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child, is convincingly linked to infant feeding practices."
In one study they were able to turn on and turn off cancer growth in mice by changing the amount of protein consumed . . . and let me just say, you did NOT want to be a mouse on the high-protein diet. (High protein being defined as the amount we humans routinely consume.) The type of protein consumed was important as well. Casein, which is the main protein in cow's milk, promoted all stages of the cancer process; however, plant proteins, even when consumed at high levels, did not promote cancer.

And that just scratches the surface. I think I read all of that in the intro! If you want to learn more, you should definitely read this book. It's completely founded on research findings and is pretty rock solid.

What good books are you reading right now?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Athens Farmers Market

 I just got back from the Athens Farmers Market! It was lovely in every sense of the word and a highlight of my week. I brought home multi-colored cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard, figs, one red and one yellow bell pepper, a loaf of naturally leavened whole wheat bread, and some basil. I also talked to some gentlemen from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension. They are master gardeners and had some great materials about gardening in this region. I can't wait to dig up my little veggie/herb patch! Today would be the perfect day for it (overcast and not so darn hot!), but alas, I have no tools. Must find some loaners . . .

What were your farmers market finds today?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Good Reads

I've stumbled across a few interesting, new-to-me, blogs lately and thought I'd share. Enjoy!
Old School
The Mountain Rose Blog

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stir Fry

Last night I made a great stir fry sauce! Just cook up your rice, whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand, and meat if you want it. Then pour this over the top and stir it in just before serving. Yum!

1/4c soy sauce or nama shoyu
Juice of 1 lemon (or more if you love citrus!)
2T brown rice vinegar (or plain)
2t agave

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We have been in our new place for a week now, and the home improving has been nonstop! It's been such fun! One of the things I've been most looking forward to is painting this place. Much of it is covered in horrendous wallpaper, and the rest just needs to be spiced up a bit. Yesterday, I painted the wall behind our fireplace purple basil. Yes, purple basil. I had no choice but to choose that color simple because of it's delicious name. Can you blame me?

Here is the best "before" picture I have. You can just see a little bit of the fireplace on the right, but it does give you a good view of that terrible wallpaper. (I've already started demolishing it and have plans for the wall color to include a paint called "guacamole.")

And now for the "after." How delicious is that color? And I love how it makes the bonsai tree stand out. An orchid would be perfect on the other side . . . Clint is still going to mount the speakers and make them wireless, but you get the idea.

Stay tuned for more improvements!