Me again.

At this rate, I run the risk of only posting smorgasbord posts that ramble about recent events.  Will I ever have another original thought that justifies an entire blog post?  The jury remains out on that one.

But! In the meantime, just to prove my existence, here is your daily weekly dish of update.

Neighbor’s wedding was wonderful.  She was the most stunning bride and it was such an honor to be a part of the day.  Isn’t she gorgeous?

 And here I am being a creeper.

 I didn’t want to step on her dress, so I hovered awkwardly behind her and Danielle and it came out looking very “Hi, my name is Stalker.”

Two weeks ago I celebrated being 20 weeks pregnant by pulling a ligament or something in my stomach last week.  It was so painful that I had a hard time standing/sitting up straight and even breathing deeply.  Fortunately it only lasted a day but that was a day spent on the couch.  Here I am, gazing at said ligament adoringly and thanking it for fixing itself somehow.

 We’re considering four girl names, so last week we took a day try out each name and see which feels the most natural.  I think we have a favorite.

Tile replacement is complete.  My flip flops wanted a piece of the action, but I said, “No way, jackhammers are loud.  And dangerous.”  So we just snapped a picture and left the work to the experts.  More on the reno to come.


You’ve seen the bountiful basil bouquet that our gardening efforts have yielded.  Here’s another harvest update:  three banana peppers.  They managed to wrangle their way into a pasta salad last week and they were…disappointing.  Maybe we didn’t let them get ripe enough?  Or maybe we’re one crop wonders and basil is the crop.


Rue turned one year old on July 4!  We celebrated by forcing her to wear a stars and stripes hat.


She was not impressed.  She was also not impressed by the fireworks that night.  I must admit, I agree with her.  I like an impressive display of colorful fire as much as the next person, but do they have to be so loud?  And how did they become a tradition fit for the 4th of July?  Let’s celebrate Independence Day with the sounds of a war zone!  I don’t get it.  But I’m also not a very fun person.

Speaking of…

We made a day trip to check in at the annual family reunion on the 4th, and on the way home I called my Aunt Jewel (she’s in her 80’s and a spitfire of a gal) because I hadn’t talked to her recently.  She asked about the reunion and all the fun things that had been happening – Minute to Win It games, a 3-D archery shoot competition, a lip-sync battle, karaoke, bean bag competition (also known, by many, as corn hole, which I find disturbing), etc.
Jewel:  So.  Those fun and silly games sound great.  Which did you and Kevin do?
Me:  Well, none.  We missed the silly games part.  I guess we’re not very fun. 
Jewel:  I know. 
Burn.  I was able to give her a general, second-hand update on the silly, but the only firsthand knowledge I had about reunion happenings was what kind of food we had for lunch that day (the delicious kind) and the best of the half dozen homemade ice cream offerings (vanilla and banana split).  Okay by me.  I enjoyed the food, the ice cream, and the people.


And at least I didn’t tell people that we couldn’t stay because it was our cat’s first birthday and we needed to get home to her.  Even if I did think it.  Wink.

What’s new with you? 

Project 12 // June 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

June:

  

Read: 
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – 4 stars {Kevin}
The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion – 4 stars
A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson – 3 stars
The One by Kiera Cass – 4 stars

Travel Adventures:
June 2 – Amy made a day trip to Santa Fe for work
June 13
 – Amy went to Tucumcari for Tiffany’s baby shower
June 19-21 – Amy and Kevin went to Magdalena for Shawna and Keith’s wedding

Noteworthy Days & Events:
June 8 – Bambino’s gender is no longer a mystery!  It’s a girl!
June 12 – Ordered 8 new windows for the casa.
June 18 – Tea at St. James Tearoom for Shawna’s bachelorette soiree
June 26 – Bon voyage dinner for Derek at Hayashi Japanese Restaurant :(
June 27 – Cheered on a friend as she participated in the Mrs. New Mexico pageant
June 29 – Tile replacement began!

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Kevin made cod with Lemon Butter Sauce.  Delish!

Tell me something about your June!

Some recents and upcomings.

Confession:  I have felt highly unmotivated to blog recently.  Summer fever?  Tired of staring at a computer screen after a long day at work?  Just want to sit around and stare at my dreamy husband and adorable cats?  Yes, yes, and yes.

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^ Rue loves to stare at Kiki in adoration. Then give her a “hug” (aka: pounce) or a “high five” (aka: paw to the face).  It’s fun, fun for everyone. ^

There is no lack of real life to occupy my time now that the weather is warm and sinfully wonderful.  Here are a few recent and upcoming events in my little world.

Kevin and I are stepping up to the plate and preparing for some important home improvement projects.  First up – new windows.  We’re having around half the windows in our house replaced, which is not a glamorous project, but we know we’ll be happy with the improved insulation and eye appeal of non-vinyl-circa-early-1990’s windows.  Cross all your fingers and toes and do a few rain dances with us in mind – if it rains 1/2 an inch on July 4, our windows will be free, thanks to a local Renewal by Anderson promotion.  I’ll keep you posted.

Another upcoming home project is to replace around 800 square feet of flooring in our kitchen, half-bath, laundry room, entry way, and living room.  It is currently this horrible tile that is cracked, discolored, and looks dirty even when it has just been cleaned.  We are really excited to replace it with some pretty, sparkling new tile (which is very similar in color to what we already have – most people will probably not even realize that we’ve done anything.  But we’ll know and we’ll love every second of it.)  Inconveniences abound (we’ll need to pack up everything in those rooms and remove wall hangings, we’ll likely need to move ourselves and the cats out of the house for the demo stage, we won’t have a functioning kitchen or laundry set-up even if we are home) which make us wish that we would have dipped into the trust fund to replace the floor before we moved in two years ago.  And by trust fund I mean take out a loan.

I took a little mini-road trip east over the weekend to attend Tiffany’s baby shower.  She’s due in September!  Another friend from college was there and she’s due this year as well, so it was fun for the three of us to see one another and catch up and talk pregnant talks.

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This upcoming weekend will bring another mini-road trip.  Destination:  Shawna’s wedding.  It’s going to be perfect for my Neighbor.  And first we’ll do a bachelorette tea on Thursday, which will be tea-rific.  I can’t get enough of those little sandwiches.

Kevin and I harvested some basil over the weekend.

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Our garden is thriving.  Thanks entirely to Kevin and the fact that he waters it daily.  I have contributed…well, positive thoughts and well wishes to the plants.  And I pulled a few weeds.  Yay me.  The basil was put to great use in pesto (of course) and it was amazing.  Definitely my most favorite meal ever – pesto and pasta.  We finished off some gorgeous basil fettuccine that Kevin picked up in Seattle last year, which made the meal even more favoritest.

What’s new with you?  Any big events on your calendar? 

It’s a…

We’re tickled pink to be having a little girl!  It is so fun to say she and her and daughter (!!).  We were already talking names but now we can really zero in on that.

{A gender reveal photo featuring boat shoes on a blog that includes the word ‘desert’ in the title…ironic?  What can I say…we love our Sperry’s around here.}

We had the ultrasound tech write down the gender and seal the verdict up in an envelope.  It was important to us that we found out what we are having privately.  The appointment ended at 10 AM and there was no way we could wait until the evening to know.  We went for a late breakfast after the appointment and opened the envelope with shaking hands while we waited for our food.  The tech was very tricky and put the ultrasound pic with the gender written on the back inside two folded up pieces of paper – one blue and one pink.  First we saw the blue paper and then we saw the pink and then we saw GIRL!!  It was a wonderful moment and it seemed perfectly appropriate for us both to have tears in our eyes at Weck’s at 10:15 AM on a Monday.


The anatomy scan went well – all her little fingers and toes and organs and limbs seem to be in place and functioning as they should.  She’s measuring a little bigger than average for the age (weighing in at 8 oz which is 3% over the average weight for 18 weeks + 1 day).

My weight gain has been around 5 pounds and I’m starting to show a bit.  It’s at a point where I can dress to hide the belly altogether or I can accentuate it with the right clothes and people will wonder if I’ve had one two three many cheeseburgers.

Since around week 16 I have thought MAYBE I felt her moving around every so often.  Earlier this week (18 for those who want to put a number to it), I decided that I was 96.78% sure that I felt her, and Kevin thinks he has felt her move under his hand when it is placed on my stomach too.  We’re ready for more so keep growing strong in there, little girl!

I have felt really well – a bit of morning sickness through week 17, but nothing to really complain about.  I could complain about a few other symptoms…growing pains…whatever they’re called but I’m too ladylike to discuss them in a blog post.

I’m still craving fruit and spicy stuff and fried stuff and NOT chocolate (blegh).  I know there is a lot of debate on what you “can” and “can’t” eat and drink while pregnant, and my doctor is actually very chill about the whole thing.  But I’ve discovered that I’m very not chill and ultimately I have to do what I’m comfortable with because I’m the one who has to live with myself and I worry about the silliest stuff anyway so why add to that list of worries if I can help it?  {“Was the lunchmeat heated to an appropriate degree of ‘steaming’?”  That’s an actual question I’ve asked myself on my one attempt to eat lunchmeat.}  I’m erring on the side of crazy worrywart.  Here are the things I’m not eating/drinking and the percentage of time that I miss each in the grand sum of time that finds me missing food/drink:

I Miss

This is following extensive research and the pie chart makes it all very scientific, yes?

At the end of the day, the symptoms and the food “sacrifices” are of such insignificance.  I feel so blessed and so grateful to be carrying this child.  The fact that she is half me and half Kevin makes what I share with him feel even more special – I can’t get over how much I love him and how much we both love her already.

“The child must know that (s)he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like (her) him.”
-Pablo Casals

{Hopefully Pablo won’t mind that I took a little gender pronoun creative liberty with the quote.}

What food/drink would be hard for you to give up? 

2015 Reading Challenge – check in numero dos.

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2015 Reading Challenge

1. A book with more than 500 pages
The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy – 5 stars

2. A classic romance

3. A book that became a movie

4. A book published this year

5. A book with a number in the title
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – 3 stars

6. A book written by someone under 30
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – 4 stars

7. A book with nonhuman characters
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame – 3 stars

8. A funny book
The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion – 4 stars

9. A book by a female author
Anne of Ingleside by LM Montgomery – 4 stars

10. A mystery or thriller
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – 4 stars

11. A book set in a different country
Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell – 3 stars

12. A book with a one-word title
Son by Lois Lowry – 5 stars

13. A book of short stories
Single, Carefree, Mellow:  Stories by Katherine Heiny – 3 stars

14. A nonfiction book

15. A popular author’s first book
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty – 4 stars

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
Anne’s House of Dreams by LM Montgomery – 3 stars

17. A book a friend recommended
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – 3 stars

18. A Pulitzer Prize winning book
John Adams. by David McCullough – 5 stars

19. A book based on a true story

20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list

21. A book your mom loves
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples – 3 stars

22. A book that scares you
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 4 stars

23. A book more than 100 years old

24. A book based entirely on the cover
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – 5 stars

25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t

26. A memoir

27. A book you can finish in a day
Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation – George Washington (Francis Hawkins’ translation) – 4 stars

28. A book with antonyms in the title
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 3 stars

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion – 5 stars

30. A book that came out the year you were born
Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart – 4 stars

31. A book with bad reviews

32. A trilogy
The Selection by Kiera Cass – 4 stars
The Elite by Kiera Cass – 4 stars

33. A book from your childhood
Christy by Catherine Marshall – 4 stars

34. A book with a love triangle
Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella – 4 stars

35. A book set in the future

36. A book set in high school
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – 4 stars

37. A book with a color in the title
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – 4 stars

38. A book that made you cry
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley – 4 stars

39. A book with magic

40. A graphic novel
Emily the Strange by Cosmic Debris Etc. Inc. – 2 stars

41. A book by an author you’ve never read before
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare – 3 stars

42. A book you own but have never read
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 5 stars

43. A book that takes place in your hometown
No Life for a Lady by Agnes Morley Cleaveland – 4 stars

44. A book that was originally written in a different language
Sophie’s World by  Jostein Gaarder (translated by Paulette Moller) – 2 stars

45. A book set during Christmas

46. A book written by an author with the same initials as you

47. A play
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog – 3 stars

48. A banned book

49. A book based on or turned into a TV show
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell – 3 stars

50. A book you started but never finished

Check in numero dos – June 9, 2015
# of books read: 36
# of books remaining: 16

{Check in numero uno can be found here.}

What are you reading?

Stitch Fix bliss part II.

My second Stitch Fix experience found me to be as willing a participant as the first.  I kept all five pieces they sent me to try on, because, once again, it would have cost more money to send back the one item that I was on the fence about and lose out on the 25% discount for buying it all.  Economics aren’t my strong suit, but I know I came out ahead.  wink wink

Item 1:  A basic grey maternity t-shirt with ruching on each side.  I liked the price, I liked the shirt, and I liked that it is a staple I can wear now and grow into it later. (Sidenote:  the jeans are from my first Stitch Fix box.  I love them even more now than I did then.)

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Item 2:  Grey and pink striped tank top.  It’s light and perfect for summer.  The loose fit will also – hopefully – allow for a little expansion through the midsection.  Meanwhile, Rue kept a close guard on the back balcony.

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Item 3:  Teal sleeveless blouse.  Pardon the wrinkles – strictly the poor lighting and photo quality, I assure you, and not the fact that the shirt sat wadded up in the Stitch Fix box following my first perusal of the goods.  This is the one item that I was on the fence about.  It’s not my typical style.  But it’s loose, will be good for the summer months, and it wasn’t worth losing out on the discount to send it back.  And who knows… Much like my least favorite shirt in the first box, I’ll probably wear this one more than I thought I would initially.

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Item 4:  Tribal-type pattern skirt.  I love this one.  Maxi skirts are a win in general and the colors and pattern are great.  Also, first bambino bump picture on the blog?  Perhaps.

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Item 5:  Three extra long layering camis in white, black, and nude.  Classic!  Practical!  The material is fantastic.  I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of these.  I’m a fan.

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And that’s the box.  I’m really pleased with Stitch Fix yet again.

I am not being paid or compensated in any way to write about how I keep everything that Stitch Fix sends me.   

Do you buy more clothes online or in the store? 

Project 12 // May 2015.

 *Project 12 – A photo on (or around) the first day of each month.*
{Idea credit & linking up with  The Lady Okie}

May:

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^ Rollin’ with my homie ^
aka: the moment you realize you haven’t taken a Project 12 picture on the 30th of the month and you’re out running errands and really, there’s no time like the present.

Read: 
The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller – 4 stars {Kevin}
The Path Between the Seas:  The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough – 5 stars {Kevin}
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – 4 stars
Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart – 4 stars
Single, Carefree, Mellow:  Stories by Katherine Heiny – 3 stars
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 4 stars
No Life for a Lady by Agnes Morley Cleaveland – 4 stars
The Elite by Kiera Cass – 4 stars

Travel Adventures:
May 13-15 – Kevin went to Denver for work.  Amy binge watched Hart of Dixie until the wee hours of the morning.

Noteworthy Days & Events:
May 2 – Inaugural trip to the grower’s market to kick off the season of fresh, locally grown fruits, veggies, and herbs
May 3 – Met K & N’s little one – a precious little gal!
May 18 – Announced some big coming soon attraction news on the blog, IG, and Facebook – here
May 20 – Bailey the Goldendoodle passed away
May 24 – Our second wedding anniversary <3
May 25 – Bought some pots and plants and started to do a little gardening!  We’re growing basil, rosemary, chives, and garlic to start and we have a raised bed to fill with tomatoes, spinach, and maybe a few other veggies.
May 30 – Planted mint with the basil (because apparently that’s a good pairing) and tomatoes, jalapenos, banana peppers, and dill in the raised bed.

Ate: (new recipes & restaurants)
Took this recipe for a sausage and pasta bake and adapted it a bit based on the contents of the fridge and pantry for dinner one night and a work potluck the following day.
Met K, N, and M at Fork & Fig.  It was awesome.  Kevin and I agreed that it was the best new restaurant we’d tried in a long time.
Went out to Central Grill for an anniversary breakfast.
I came home from yoga one evening to find Kevin in the kitchen making this shrimp and asparagus stir fry.  It was so good and he is definitely the better cook of the two of us.

Tell me something about your May!