Springtime Walk in Winter

It was mid-50s and sunny. And we were itching to get out. Well, I was, at least. Ruthie was content bouncing on my knee, flying in my arms above my head, and timing her spit-up to land as soon as I open my mouth.

So I bundled her into a carrier and hit the pavement gravel road.

She insisted on wearing her snazzy leopard outfit for the outing. Should I be concerned that she cared more about what to wear than me? So what if I wore that white zip-up for three days straight. Dingy, make-up stained fuzzy outerwear are in now, right?

We discussed many things while on our walk. One spot was of particular interest.

See that grouping of bushes behind Ruth’s cat ears?

They’re raspberry bushes. Wild ones. Most are along the road on the barbed wire, but there’s a semi-circle just steps within the fence. Come springtime, Ruth and I are going to make friends with whomever owns that land to ask if we can scavenger.

It’s like dumpster diving for fruit.



I showed her my imaginary petrified forest. If these trees could talk, Ruth, they’d  describe how it felt to have cows rub hairy bodies against their trunks or the tight grip of a hawk perched on their branches before diving down for food. They’d stiffen up as those bitter cold winters were remembered, and gently sway from side to side when talking about the blow of a breeze.

Maybe one day they’ll say we saw the cutest little girl walk down the street with her mom. And they pointed at us and smiled.

And then they would smile.

As we grow old and petrified in our own bodies, remember, Ruthie, that it feels good to be acknowledged.

On our way back home, I pointed out the shimmering reflection on a pond.

And watched as she furrowed her eyebrows against the sunlight.

We spotted some dogs running across the field.

And let the wind brush a dried reed on her head.

The mailman drove by and waved. We discussed the importance of writing letters and how wonderful it feels to receive one.

And then she looked up with inquiring eyes at the electrical pole.

We’ll let your father explain electricity, dear.

Now back to that blue sea of a sky…

Carthage Thrifting

Well, there went our budget for the week, but oh my it was worth it. I got some fun things and didn’t talk baby talk once the entire day.

I asked an old coworker of mine, N, to escort me around some thrift stores. She ended up being our chaperone. For the thrift store and me, I mean. She made sure I didn’t get too grabby with the store’s body and helped the store open up a bit more and show me its silly side.

I wasn’t only excited about thrifting, but also to get out like a normal human being for a day. Well, kinda normal. I did have my breasts unashamedly exposed on a highway so I could pump in order to return to being normal for the next 3 hours.

No one noticed though. I think everyone we passed could feel me boring my eyes into the side of their heads saying Oh I just dare you to look, my friend. So help me, if you even move your face one iota to the side…

You know how you get that subconscious feeling of danger every now and again? Sometimes it can come on so strong that you just keep looking forward and keep on keeping on. I’m pretty sure that’s what they felt and stared straight ahead.

We finally arrived and ran into the shop.

N, luckily, also likes to take her time browsing, so I didn’t feel rushed or like I was holding her hostage. My kind of thrifting experience.

This first store rocked it. We dove in and didn’t come up for air until 3.5 hours later. Awe-some.

There were many things I talked myself in and out of throughout those hours. For one, this band hat. My goal (once we’re out of The Shack) is to create an attic space, complete with old wardrobe, mirror, and mannequin, sofa etc. for a dress-up corner and this hat just about made the cut.

Six months ago, I wouldn’t have blinked. But now that we’re trying to stick to a budget and have bigger plans for our moulah, I eventually nixed it. Maybe next time I’ll pick it up.

N found many things too.


Like this old pastry cutter and a paper-mache Santa that lit up. I watched her wheel and deal for that one. We literally ran around like chickens with our heads cut off and every once in a while would see the same thing at the same time and take in a huge gulp of air before grabbing it.

It’s nice to be surrounded by people who get the same sort of joy out of similar things as you do. It’s also nice to watch people get excited about different things than you too, but nothing beats a shared passion.

After that shopping extravaganza I was starving and brought out our lunch.

PB & J’s, lemonade, popcorn, nuts, and fruit. Next week, at The Mobile-Homemaker, I’ll be showing you how to bake the bread used for these sandwiches. Just a plain white bread, but R & I both enjoy it.

You can’t really tell, but it’s oh only 28 DEGREES FREAKING OUTSIDE.

The conversation was short and we hopped back into the car to make another stop.

Enter Doris.

She was manning the front desk and, I believe, owned the place. Within 10 minutes of us walking in, she literally made us take several things for free.

I knew she was a girl after my own heart when we asked for her photo and after taking it, insisted on seeing how she looked. Yes, we thrifters are all vain.

I picked up some wool socks (R and I are addicted) and a piece of artwork that knocked my (wool) socks off, along with some other things.

We stopped at a couple more places before heading home. The drained feeling of exploring and searching and squealing and buying makes for a laid-back ride home. We chatted, I soaked in the setting sun, and stared out at the rolling fields.


I was happy.

But nothing is as exciting as when you arrive home and get to show off your wares. Most of the time R just laughs and he didn’t disappoint this time. Except he threw in some head shakes and “What the heck is that” questions.

My absolute favorite buy of the day, and I can’t even tell you how much it was because Doris just said $5 for everything (and I had a good pile going…) is this artwork:

What the.

I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. It grabbed me, spun me around, and dipped me. So you know I was in love.

This deserved a prominent place in The Shack.

And there she be. Right above our french press that we use every day. So now every time R wants coffee, he’ll have the pleasure of soaking in that glittering beauty of a print.

This is one happy mama.

Mary Margaret’s Dress

Ruth’s middle name is Margaret if you didn’t know already. Named after this fine lady right here:

I was piddling around on Ancestry and found this info about her wedding. I love reading details like this. “Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom.” Ah yes, Mary Margaret, we have simple jewelry tastes in common.

One of the loveliest of early spring weddings occurred this morning at 9:30 o’clock at Sacred Heart church when Miss Mary Margaret XXX,daughter of Mrs. Mayme XXX, and Mr. Walter XXX, son of Mr. and Mrs. James XXX, exchanged their marriage vows. The Rev. Isador Smith.O.S.B., sang the nuptial high mass and officiated at the single ring ceremony. The altar was decorated with hydrangea and other Easter flowers and wedding music was sung by the children of Sacred Heart school. Miss XXX was lovely in her wedding gown of white satin fashioned with a sweetheart neckline and aisle width train. The yoke was outlined in seed pearls and the long sleeves were pointed over the wrist. Her fingertips veil edged with lace, fell from a coronet of seed pearls and she carried an arm bouquet of white roses and white sweet peas. Her only jewelry was a string of pearls, a gift of the groom. Miss Irene XXX, Huron, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid. She wore a dress of pale pink chiffon styled with a sweetheart neckline and short puff sleeves which were trimmed with lace. She wore a halo of pink flowers and veiling in her hair and her arm bouquet was pink roses and pink sweet peas. Aloysius XXX of Nortonville, was the best man. Following the ceremony a wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride’s mother for the wedding party and immediate families. The beautifully appointed bridal table was centered with a three tiered wedding cake topped with a miniature bride and groom. Pink candles in crystal holders were placed on either side of the cake. A wedding dance will be held this evening at 9 o’clock at Sacred Heart parish hall for the friends of the couple. After a short wedding trip Mr. and Mrs. XXX will be at home with his parents, route 4. For going away Mrs. XXX will wear a rose colored dress with a blue coat, small black hat, and black accessories. The bride of today is a graduate of the Everest high school and was formerly employed at Dilgert’s. Recently she has been employed at Woolworth’s where she resigned her position. The groom attended Nortonville high school and for the past number of years has been farming with his father. 

I like to wonder what the wedding dance was like too. Did my grandpa (infamously a non-dancer) waltz around with her on this special day? Did they do the Chicken Dance? Or form two lines and dance down the middle a la Soul Train? Wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

But we were able to connect with her in one small, special way, thanks to my Aunt M. A gown made for Mary Margaret when she was just a babe was delivered via my parents for Ruth to try on.

This was for her to attend a wedding and I can’t believe it’s almost 100 years old now. I love how Ruth is pulling up the dress to show off her ankle. What a rebel. I’ll have to keep my eye on this one.

I miss my grandparents and envy those that still have them. One time, when I was about 15, I asked my dad’s dad a whole bunch of questions on how they ended up in Kansas City from Arkansas. I remember thinking, you have to remember all of these details, Carrie! But of course, never wrote anything down.

And that’s what I love the most. The details. Was this person loud? Quiet? Obnoxious? Sweet? Sit on people’s heads and fart on them? Hide behind corners to scare their sisters? How did they make it through the Depression? What did they eat? What was dinner-time like?

All of these things. And more. I so wish I knew.

The Mobile-Homemaker

Guess what. I really am starting a second blog this time:

The Mobile-Homemaker

Yes, I am finally showing the world where I live. Never thought I’d be so bold. I mean, this isn’t exactly my dream.

But then I thought, “Okay, so this isn’t your ‘dream home’. So what. And, Carolyn, while you’re so-ing what, why don’t you grow up too. Thanks.”

This is just one stop along the way of our family’s journey. It’s where I gave birth to our daughter (and, yes, I will hang that over her head when she’s 16), it’s where I started my first garden, where I learned how to sew, where I learned how to manage a home, along with many other things.

And I bet you anything I’ll look back on it fondly.

So as I delve more deeply into this world of “make-your-own (fill in the blank)”, organizing, and decorating-on-the-cheap, I’d like to invite you to join me. And watch me. And cheer me on when something goes right. And tease me when something goes wrong.

I want you there through it all.

Cue The Banjo will continue as is, more focused on my family and our jaunts here and there.  So never fear, more photos of me with my exposed nursing pad will continue to be uploaded.

Thanks for the ear, friends. Enjoy!

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P.S. I also have a FB page for The Mobile-Homemaker. I’d love for you to hang out with me there too, or you can just click on the sidebar to get there. 🙂 Peace out.

Moments to Remember

Having a handy laundry helper.

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Watching how concerned she gets when Pilar, the glo-worm, burns from the inside out. Side note:  For some reason I though it was a caterpillar, hence ‘Pilar’. Nevermind.

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Basking in the afternoon sun.

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Catching her just as she wakes up.

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Staring (and kissing) the back of her soft little furry head. I had to roll her to the side to get a shot. She liked that a lot.

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Bedtime stories – she absolutely loves be read to. Makes me happy.

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Feet in my face. Constantly.

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Pruny skin after a bubbly bath.


And, boy, there are so many more that I don’t capture. Love this girl.

Reunion

Saturday night our little family went to a reunion. Our (home)birthing class reunion. If there’s one way to become close to someone, watch Peruvian women squat out their babies for 30 minutes.

I think I’ll start using that as an ice-breaker at parties. Hi, nice to meet you. Hey, take a look at this video… 

Friends will be lining up at the Shack, I’m sure of it.

Here are the kidlets, along with their papas and a few Chucky-looking dolls behind them. The two on the left were born within 24 hours of each other as well as the two on the right. Our class put J, the midwife, through the ringer.

Speaking of her, here she is!

She was the teacher of our class and we all walked away with so much knowledge. The class was held on four saturdays for about 3 hours long.

But besides the education, we walked away getting to know some seriously funny folks. Like, I would double over as far as a pregnant lady could double over, funny. That was during the class, though, when we’d snicker like a 12 year old if someone said vajayjay. Or like when we were asked why a women gets shaved while in the delivery room. And someone answered, “Tangles?”  Ah, yes, we were all back in 6th grade and loving it.

So I wondered how it would be after the fact. When we’re not joking about how the guys shouldn’t massage your wife during labor and expect it to lead to anything. Or hearing the men verbally high-five each other upon finding out that having sex can actually help induce labor naturally.

Those were all funny moments. But what about now? Oh my word, yes.


We all had different birthing experiences.

One lasted 35 hours while another only last 90 minutes. (Can we pause and try to imagine that? Yikes.)

One couple took a walk together under the moon and another ran around cleaning tubs and toilets (us).

I had my baby on my bed and another had hers squatting in the hallway. One gave birth in the water, and the other was on her hands and knees in the living room.

It was FAScinating. Yes, sometimes we were serious while listening to each other.

But for the most part, we looked like this:

I pretty much guffawed the whole night. Didn’t even talk to anyone. How are you, Carolyn? Bahahahaha! Ehhh, okay. Good to hear you’re well. How’s your baby? Tee hee hee hee.

I mean, good grief. Get a room with the jokes, Carrie.


In other news: Ruth was introduced to several friends. She, again, licked her chops as if she were going to devour them in apparently the only first impression she gives potential buddies.

We lasted as long as the little tykes would let us and then headed home. But not without first planning another get together at, guess where, THE SHACK for some games and more baby talk.

And yes, there will be laughter too. Yes, indeed.

Weekend Recap

We had a whirlwind weekend, with family visiting, reunions to attend, and alma maters losing. I was worn out come Sunday night. But it really doesn’t take much to wear me out anymore. Just getting the mail is cause for a 2 hour nap. And don’t get me started about using the letter opener. Whew!

I did manage to squeeze in a game of scrabble with the parents, though. The weather was beautiful, so we opened up the windows and sipped on coffee. It felt like springtime and after years of denying it, I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a Spring lover. More energy, more spunk, more liveliness. Can’t get enough.

I think they rigged the letters so that I’d come out with S N O B. Maybe I should quit teasing them about seeing my life flash before my eyes when they forget this or can’t remember that. Naw, I’ve convinced myself it keeps them young. They probably didn’t slip in O B O E, though, because they knew I’d subject them to a rendition of one of my favorite movie lines in Amadeus: And then high above, an oboe…  or something like that, I can’t remember.  Go rent it, now.

But don’t watch it with me, I’m warning ya.

I’m the mob boss of movies-that-i’ve-already-seen watching. If you so much as glance at the popcorn bowl and not look at the screen, you best be ready for the array of verbal bullets shot at you. Are you watching? Why aren’t you watching? You’re not watching. You need to see this part for the next part! Fine, hurry and take a sip of your coke, but your eyes better be glued to the screen, so help me.

I’m not proud of it, but can literally not stop myself. My mom likes to remind me of the time when we all watched Inception over Christmas last year. No one understood what was going on, but were afraid to turn to look at me and ask any questions for fear of my wrath. Then, when the movie was over, they did turn around to say something to me and saw I had left the room at some point during the film to go to bed. So the whole movie was them spending inordinate amounts of energy sitting still, facing the screen, and not uttering a sound.

Sorry.

Let’s see… what else did we do. Oh, I know.

We stared at Ruthie’s Chubby McChubberson’s legs.

She knew I was putting her on display for this photo. Lucky for her a circus performer hasn’t travelled through asking for her to join, because I think I could make some big bucks off of those rolls.

Come right up and see the newest attraction ~ The Thigh-Baby! This baby is literally turning into a thigh, folks… Watch the rolls take over her body in front of your very eyes! 

Dolla Dolla Bills, yo.

Alrighty, what else. We did a two-stop extravaganza to watch KSU lose to UofA in the Cotton Bowl. Sigh. We do love our Wildcats. First, we popped into R’s brother’s place “Uncle Favorite”, as he calls himself, and listened to Ruth scream bloody murder for 45 minutes. She must have already seen this football game and was mad that I had gone to the bathroom in the middle of it. Just like her mama, I’m so proud.

We quickly bundled her up, stuck a pacifier in her mouth, and drove to my brother’s house. Remember the weather? Yeah, it was taken advantage of as we sat around a fire watching the game outside. I ran into the backyard and stopped short because, I don’t know if M noticed or not, but there was a homeless person that sat down to warm himself. That guy on the right, see him? I guess he wasn’t hungry, just needed a place to watch the game, so I went back inside.

But he followed me! I was about to run to the car for one of the Blessing Bags when I realized it was just my dad… in about every random piece of winter clothing he could find. I must get my style sense from him. Thanks, man.

All in all, a good solid weekend.

We did one more thing over the weekend that excited to talk about… a reunion of blossoming friendships. And blossoming babies. Too fun.

My Dear John Letter to Nyquil

Dear Nyquil,

You had me at my goodni–, because I never got to the end of that word before succumbing to the lovely coma you provided. You know that I don’t typically go for tall, dark shotglasses of liquid dreams. In most cases, I go down fighting just even to take tylenol for a headache. But you Nyquil, you wormed your foggy-head-inducing way into my heart.

But I…

…I met someone. He was introduced to me by Frugally Sustainable. Don’t blame her, she didn’t know I was seeing you. I was fully aware of what I was doing, but couldn’t stop it. You know that I’m breast feeding and understood that we would be apart for awhile. That was gracious of you, yes.

I just didn’t expect… this. I think it’s love.

If it’s not too painful, a few other people are reading this over your shoulder and kinda want to know how this other syrup and I met.

Try to avert your eyes, Nyquil.

Click here to read about our first date in a nutshell and the recipe. It was kinda awkward because I didn’t say much. In fact, I said nothing at all…. because we met over the internet, which is no big deal except he had no clue I was hunting him down in person.

Eventually, I did find him and laid out all the ingredients on the counter. Then smiled that the bottles bought for me last Christmas from my in-laws were finally getting used. And they’re almost exactly like Frugally Sustainable’s bottles. Who’s trying their darndest to imitate Frugally? This girl. It’s embarrassing.

Picture me with Ruth’s scary “I’m gonna stalk you” grin when she stared down her new friend. I have no idea where she gets that weird social ineptness. I mean, I only hounded my future college roommate and super good friend, K, for months before agreeing to be my roommate. So what if she swears that whenever she got new eyeglasses, I showed up the next day with similar ones. And it’s not that big of a deal that we both married guys of the same name, and those guys have fathers with the same name.

Pure coincidence.

It’s not like I researched his family line on ancestry.com before settling on a husband to make sure mine was in sync. I mean, everyone knows that his family came from Prussia on the 1886 transatlantic ship to America. Right?

Back to my current victim author. She has an entire section dedicated to making your own medicine. And since I’m new to this world of herbs, I thought we would get up close and personal with them as they are introduced.

Meet Licorice Root. Licorice Root, meet… well, meet whomever’s the current person I’ve bribed to read my blog.

From http://www.herbwisdom.com, here are just some of the benefits of Licorice Root:

  • has a similarly soothing and healing action, reducing irritation and inflammation and has an expectorant effect, useful in irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections
  • appears to enhance immunity by boosting levels of interferon, a key immune system chemical that fights off attacking viruses
  • has an aspirin-like action and is helpful in relieving fevers and soothing pain such as headaches. Its anti-allergenic effect is very useful for hay fever, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and bronchial asthma

Next up: Echinacea Root.

Ech-uh-NAY-sha.

Guess who called up the local health food store and asked for Ech-ee-nuh-SAY-uh? You’re right. Me, again. No one knew what I was talking about so I naturally just kept repeating it the same way over and over again. Pretty sure they weren’t annoyed.

From http://www.herbwisdom.com, here are just some of the benefits of Echinacea Root:

  • stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which directly attack bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells
  • increases the number and activity of immune system cells including anti-tumor cells, promotes T-cell activation, stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions

…and Ginger Root:

  •  a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps
  • a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems
  • arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots

After steeping and then filtering out the herbs once, I decided to do it again for the last few bits and pieces.

Ruth played with her friends, while I poured in the syrup.

I interrupted the play date and asked her to model the finished product. She was suspicious.

And had a right to be. I used her because I felt guilty throwing an arm around my new man. Nyquil, I hate to admit this, but I already forgot you were reading. Now that I’ve remembered that you are, maybe I shouldn’t mention that this concoction helped my sore throat at night like you did but it also tasted much better.

I’m sorry it had to end this way. Keep reading my blog, please.

Carolyn

Ruthie got sick of me talking about my breakup and asked me to read her a book.  So we did, and I purposely read the cupcake page about 20 times. She understands at 4 months that that’s the perfect cure after a long relationship ends.

I do feel the need to mention that while nursing you still want to watch your intake. I did a tablespoon every 3-4 hours. There are also some herbs that you shouldn’t take at all while nursing. Just a heads up and do your research.

Junk In My Trunk

Yes, there too, but also my estate sale finds. Between the 9 circles of Dante’s Inferno that was last summer and my overpowering swollen ankles during the last couple months of pregnancy, I didn’t make it out to many garage sales.

I probably could have, since my car has an a/c now – an upgrade from the Aerostar minivan without a/c that I drove through college. Yeah, it had a carpeted dashboard. I know, I was pretty hot. No literally, I sweated like mushrooms in a skillet. It was tasty – but I didn’t think every person hosting their sale would like me asking to use their bathroom. Hey, how bout I don’t haggle you for this whatchamecallit that I’ll eventually donate back to the Goodwill in a couple years if I could just. use. your. toilet. Thanks.

No, it wasn’t worth it.

So needless to say, I’ve been itching to get some junk.

With winter upon us, so are estate sales and anytime I go to KC, my mom tries to find some for us to attack. She’s my junkie wingman. Wait, that didn’t sound right. You know what I mean. We both like the kind of places that has layers of items, making you dig through for that special find. So knowing that she understands the patience of this archeological adventure, I can roam without feeling rushed.

Some things fun were discovered, some practical, and some sentimental.

Like that mid-century style glass holder (which will probably get spray painted)… did I hear Mad Men calling? I know, me neither. The only mad man in my life shook his head as I unloaded it onto the kitchen table.

Why do we need this?

That’s the thrifter’s worst accusation. No, we don’t need this, you’re right. But, luckily, at the last second, I’ll think of a reason for its being here that will make you wonder why you asked me in the first place.

Next in line is this whale desktop paper clip. And I mean a literal desktop, kids.

Wow, I’m really letting this gray hair get to me. Back in my day…

If only the Shack had room for a little desk. Until then, it will have to settle holding Christmas cards on our bookshelf.

Along with a couple glass jars, biscuit pans, and an embroidered dress that my mom spotted, I also bought a tablecloth (complete with 12 cloth napkins) and a new book.

I can’t tell you how many of this type of book I have. I mentioned my Old West collection here, and have since bought several other series. I cannot put a price on those huge photos from the past. Someone else did, though, and if I remember right, it was less than a dollar.

Steal.

In fact, the most expensive thing here was the tablecloth/napkin combo at $5.

The dollar spent on this glass holder was not enough to sell Mr. R. So I quickly  remedied it by putting in it a few of the thousand jars that I own (I have a soft spot for them). These jelly jars will be perfect to house leftover herbs that I’m starting to collect. A couple of these above were used in a cold/cough syrup recipe that I got from my new favorite blog: Frugally Sustainable. Can’t wait to share it with you.

But couldn’t you also see them filled with craft supplies in our kids’ room, too? See? Plethora of possibilities, R.

Until then, I’ll be daydreaming about my next junk sale run.

Comb My Hair, and other New Year’s Resolutions

Let’s get real. I don’t comb my hair unless company is coming over. And, really, if you’re not English royalty then all you’re getting is a finger run-through before it being thrown back into a ponytail.

Someone must have snuck into my room while sleeping with a straightener, because this photo is about as good as it gets. My hair, that is. They must have also straightened R’s mustache as well. Yuh-ikes. I’m going to add “Trim my freaking ‘stache” to his resolutions.

Look at our daughter. She makes me smile from the inside out. I’m a little nervous about having a second, because this girl is chill and I don’t think we’ll get the same thing twice. How she came to be so laid back from both of our uptight characters, I’ll never know. I’d like to think it started with the somersaults I had to do in the pool at 37 weeks to get her to turn head down.

Speaking of her, do you know what was the top post of 2011? Ruth’s official introduction: Nice to Meet You, she said.  My personal favorite post of 2011? It was a tie: The debut of my baby bump and my home birth! A friend asked the other day if that experience made me leery or eager for another one. And like I told her, on the day of I swore I’d adopt the rest of my kids, but almost every day since I’ve been daydreaming about going through it again. It was both the hardest and most powerful thing I’ve ever accomplished. Click here to read about people staking out in our yard to see my baby bump. And here for when I relived the scene from Coming to America and had a hot tub in my bedroom (aka, my home birth).

As for next year, besides routinely combing my hair, I would also like to:

  • create a family tree for my mother’s side. My dad has this great tree framed and I’d like to recreate it, if possible, by the end of next year. With the help of my family, of course.

  • learn how to sew. I snagged my grandma’s sewing machine out of my sister’s loving hands and would like her to know it wasn’t all for naught. Hopefully I’ll be able to make something better than a trapezoid baby blanket.
  • buy 75% of my clothes at goodwill. The other 25% will probably be from Eddie Bauer. Ryan is aware that I run around behind his back with Ed, and fully approves. We have an open relationship.
  • make an effort to get ready in the morning. See above: combing hair. This also includes breakfast. Yes, we skip occasionally.
  • create a weekly meal plan. R and I talked, we’re going to go simple with our meals, with maybe one fancy dinner every now and then. I don’t know why I feel guilty if it isn’t a Cheesecake Factory knockoff with a bajillion ingredients, so I need to get over this. Soups, tuna patties, meatloaf.. These are all good. And easy. And cheap.

My Aunt S and I starting the ancestral process. Remember those long sheets of printer paper? I’d love to make a Happy Birthday sign from it again.

  • make sourdough bread. The thought of reducing ingredients in staples (ie: bread) makes me happy, like in this instance: store-bought yeast. I can do this, despite my anxiety.
  • run a half-marathon. October. I can do this. I’ll probably have to wear a hat with a piece of chocolate cake dangling in front of me, but I can do this.

Ruthie is intrigued. I hope she’s as obsessed with the past as I am. I’ll give you five seconds to try and find my parent’s newspaper stash. Go.

  • Pay off our car loan and some (if not all) of my school loans. We have paid off R’s undergrad and graduate loans, along with one car loan in the last few years. Selling our house, then living in a dorm room and now a shack has helped. We literally smell how close we are to having zero debt.  I remember Dave Ramsey calling those school loans “pets” that we pay on a little each month. It’s like we just assume it will be a monthly expense. R and I are working hard to eradicate that cloud over us.
  • lose this baby weight! I gained a whopping 55 lbs and have only lost 30 so far. 10 of those went straight into Ruthie’s thigh rolls which I love. But the ones still on me… not so much.

…starting the branches…

  • And lastly, I would like to grow more in my spirituality and give God the thanks He deserves. I sometimes congratulate only myself on accomplishments or achievements made. He is the rock that has helped me and He is who I need to give the glory to. Upon waking in the morning, I should open my eyes and immediately thank Him for another day in which I can become redeemed.

That’s my list. I have several more, but am afraid of getting overwhelmed. Come April 1st, we’ll see how well I’ve done in the first quarter.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years and best wishes in 2012.