Archive for June, 2008

is this going to happen every day?

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I started writing my Morning Pages today for the The Artist’s Way and something crazy happened. I became super productive. All of these things I wanted to get done that had been nagging at me for the last few days came spilling out onto the page. Since I was up and dressed with coffee before M, I got a lot of stuff done. Even after she was up, I was on a roll. By the time it was her nap time, which is when I usually begin “my stuff,” I was exhausted! I even got in a few hours of freelance work today. And now it’s almost time for Bella to get up and I don’t know where the day has gone. Most importantly, though, I can’t believe how much I got done.

My productivity must have been infectious because M spent the whole day tending to her animals. Elmo has been talking about how we need to feed pets food and water, so she’s been doing that almost every day with an empty bowl, a teaspoon and her little teacup. After Sesame Street, she told me she was ready for her naptime book. We carried all of her animals to the crib, read a book, and then she got into bed. I peeked in on her and she is sleeping with one arm around her dog and her other hand gripping her teacup. She’s so cute that I hate to wake her.

finding my way

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Last night I went to see Sex in the City with Lauren and Barb. I felt a little sad afterwards, like I missed something I used to have, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought maybe it was living in a big city or living the metropolitan lifestyle. It definitely wasn’t the designer clothes. I really do prefer flip flops over heels.

While M was watching Sesame Street today, I started to re-read The Artist’s Way. I did this once before, maybe 10 years ago. I picked it up again because my creative endeavors these days are all over the place. I need to focus. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with the next phase of my life. Will it be graphic design or something new?

As I was reading, I realized what it was last night that made me sad. I miss writing! (For those of you not familiar with Sex in the City, the main character is a writer.) Not blog posts, not technical website, brochure writing, but personal writing. Writing about life. I can’t remember the last time that I did it.

I’ve always been a writer, even when I defined myself as an Art Director or Graphic Designer. Writing has always been there somewhere in my life. I thought the little hole I was feeling inside lately was that I hadn’t been designing as much as I’m used to doing. For years I was creative on demand all day, almost every day. Now I get to pick and choose what I will do and when I will do it. I thought that would be liberating, but it hasn’t. I’m one of those people who works best under pressure and within constraints. I like challenges and problem solving.

But I think the little hole might be because I’m not writing. I’m not sure where I want to start, though. Here? On the blog? This spot has become more like a categorization of events: pictures, finished projects, recipes—a record of things done. Do thoughts and dreams and reflections belong here or somewhere else?

I’m not sure. I do know that I definitely need to work through the Artist’s Way again. It’s going to take some dedication. 12 weeks of dedication! I’m going to have to make some lifestyle changes to fit it in. My personal time is already so limited. I think it will be worth it, though. Actually, I don’t think I can afford not to do it.

social butterflies

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

We’ve been really busy lately, which is probably why I haven’t posted much. I blame it on the weather. Severe storms aside, we’ve really had a nice spring and early summer. Lincoln is really good about outdoor activities this time of year. We went to Jazz in June twice; once with my parents and once with friends. Music events are fun for Bella. We try to take some kind of picnic and after she’s done eating, she pretty much spends the rest of the evening dancing.

We’ve also been doing the Friday night concerts up at Southpointe Pavilions. It started with just the three of us and last night we had a crowd of 10-15 adults and kids. It was hard to keep track because the kids are all over the place! And there have been some car club events that we’ve attended. One was a wine tasting in Nebraska City. The other was a picnic at Mahoney State Park.

Needless to say, I’ve got a ton of pictures and some fun videos to share. Problem is that we’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to post them on the blog. I still have some from a few weeks ago on the camera! Right now all I have time for is this little post. I need to take a nap because tonight is girls night out at the movies! Woo hoo!

how does he do it?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I downloaded over 200 photos from my Dad’s camera before he left Nebraska. They were pre-sorted, which means I need to go through and delete all the not-so-perfect ones. But really, he’s such an awesome photographer that it’s hard to delete any of them.

Here’s proof. It’s rare that M spends any time on my lap these days. Even for story time, she needs to sit in her chair and I have to sit next to her. Dad, thank you for capturing this moment!

bella and mom

red, white and blue tote bag

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The problem with sewing cute tote bags is that I want to keep them all! We’ve been going on a lot of picnics lately, and this would be so much fun to take along. Alas, I can’t keep everyone I make. Details over at

picnic tote

can you spare a square?

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Our knitting guild is making squares and putting them together as a blanket for folks at the People City Mission. Our first blanket it being crocheted together by the very generous Jennifer. We hope to have enough squares by the end of the year to make a second blanket. My personal goal is one square a month. I made that goal and have six squares in this blanket. I’m going to work hard to do the same for the second one.

I know there are tons of knitting for charity sites around, but if you can spare a square (or a few), our guild would love to have them! All they need to be is 8 x 8 inches square and knit out of washable and dryable yarn (i.e., acrylic). Leave a comment if you are interested in helping out!


watching the news at our house

Friday, June 20th, 2008

It’s that time of year. Severe weather means we always have Channel 8 on in the kitchen. Last night during the news, I asked M if she saw Miss Lauren.

M: Yay Nauren! claps her hands

commercial break

M: Bye Bye, Nauren!

M: Nauren go?

Me: It’s just a a commercial break. She’ll be back.

M: Nauren sleep? Nauren nap?

Me: No, Miss Lauren isn’t sleeping. She’ll be back after the commercial.

M: Zzzzzzzzzz!

That pretty much was our conversation during the six o’clock news last night. Luckily, the storm never became an issue. I did get a cool pic of the clouds rolling in, though.


father’s day gift #2

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

When I was in college, I had an oversized barn jacket that I just loved. When T and I moved in together, he decided that he loved it, too. When the weather turned cold, I’d reach into the closet for my jacket only to find T was already wearing it. I figured the only way to get my jacket back was to get him one of his own. It worked. I gave it to him for his birthday and he started wearing it immediately. I got my jacket back!

One day, we noticed a hole in his pocket. It was pretty big and right in the middle. He couldn’t remember snagging it on anything. A few days later he had another hole. It was bizarre. He backtracked through his day, remembering when he was wearing it and what he was doing. Nothing special had happened all the way up to when he came home and put it on the back of the dining room chair. We went over and took a look at it. I examined the pocket, found a roll of mints inside and figured it out!


Chloe LOVES mint. She will do anything for it. Catnip pretty much does nothing for her, but mint? It makes her go crazy. Crazy enough to chew a hole through a brand new barn jacket pocket to get her fix.

T continued to wear the jacket, but the hole started to fray. Once it started looking ragged, he saved the jacket for weekends and outside chores. He was back to wearing my barn jacket the rest of the time. That was before we were even married. A lot of time has passed and he still only wears his jacket for things like shoveling snow, cutting down Christmas trees, etc. I decided to fix it for Father’s Day.


It wasn’t too hard, but it was time consuming. I had to rip all the double stitched pockets carefully, cut them up, rearrange to hide the holes, and then restitch them together. Then I had to do the same thing to the other side so it didn’t look weird. I tried to find complimentary or contrasting fabric, but had no luck. I am kind of bummed that the underneath fabric was so much darker. The jacket has seen a lot of sun and is really faded. Overall, though, I like the end result. He did, too, by the way. And he plans to keep it in the closet from now on.


mmm… homemade salsa

Monday, June 16th, 2008


Tonight we stayed in and grilled up some salmon for dinner, along with some steamed asparagus and baked potatoes. Our menu seemed a little dull, so I decided to jazz it up a bit with some salsa for the salmon. I imagine this would also taste great on grilled chicken.

Tomato, Basil and Mandarin Orange Salsa
Adjust amounts to taste. I didn’t measure when I made this, so these are approximations.

1 large tomato
1 mandarin orange
10 chopped basil leaves
1 T finely diced onion
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t kosher salt

Cut and de-seed the tomato, then dice. Peel the orange. Using a serrated knife, thinly slice off the pith (the white, thread-like stuff attached to the inside of the peel). Then dice, cutting between the sections. Combine the tomato and orange with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes. You can whiz it in a food processor a bit if you don’t want it so chunky. Serve on grilled salmon or chicken. This would also taste good on bruschetta!


father’s day gift #1

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

T’s Dad already got his Father’s Day gift. Man, Priority Mail is fast! I just sent it Tuesday afternoon!

Last week I was cruising through my RSS feeds, found this cute tutorial for handmade hankies, and thought these would be perfect for my father-in-law. I used some brown and white cotton fabric from my stash. The rolled hem was easier than I thought it would be and didn’t take long at all. I hope it holds, though. This was my first try and I’ll be so embarrassed if they unravel!



I’m busy working on my other handmade Father’s Day gifts. Time is running out. I hope I don’t have to gift any works in progress!