Friday, May 24, 2013

Define: Procrastination

I keep putting things off that I know I need to do because I feel like I have so much time to do them.  And then somehow it's the day before Erin's wedding and I haven't finished my toast.  Eek.

Another thing is getting the baby room ready.  We have slowly been making progress, and actually over the last week or two we've gotten a lot done.  Today I went and looked at cribs, and realized that I am not sure we can fit a crib and the dresser I planned on getting from my dad into the baby room.  We don't have that small of a house, but the layout is just...frustrating.  I know we'll figure it out, but at this point it seems like we are running out of time.

Last week I made chicken and gravy mashed potato bowls, not unlike the ones from KFC.  The main difference was that these ones are probably much better for you, and not anywhere near as delicious.  As I was making them I was already composing this entry, as to how they weren't really a hit, but I didn't think they would be because Jamin doesn't really like that kind of thing.  To my surprise, he did like it!  I didn't even cut up all of the chicken I cooked, anticipating that he would just want some chicken tenders.  I did some tweaking to the potatoes (I couldn't resist - I forgot about the sour cream, but added garlic and cheese), but overall this was a pretty good meal, and really easy.  This is one we'll be having again.

This week I made a peach and blackberry crisp.  I have been missing fruits and sweets so much since the diagnosis, so I've been looking for dessert recipes involving fruit.  I left the coconut and pecans out of this one (Jamin's not big on pecans, and neither of us really like coconut).  I did slightly burn the oats, so they smelled and tasted a bit like burned popcorn.  Oops.  Even with the burnt popcorn smell/taste, this was really good!  I wasn't sure Jamin would like it (I knew he definitely wouldn't without the ice cream), but he did!  At least, he said he did.  Sometimes I'm not sure if he really liked it, or if he just doesn't want to hurt my feelings (which is very nice of him, but then I really don't know how he feels about things).  I kept the leftover topping and fruit separate (fruit in the fridge), and had some again last night, and it was still good, even though it wasn't warm.  It's definitely going to be a repeat recipe.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Define: Lifestyle Change

The transition from my normal eating habits to eating well with gestational diabetes has been kind of tough for me.  I've never been one for counting carbs or anything, so learning what is good and not good to eat has been hard.  At my appointment with the diabetes doctor, he made it sound like I needed to go on insulin.  He told me that he would "give me a chance to get it under control" first.  I left not feeling so great about him.  I had four high numbers out of probably about 50, and they weren't even that high (one was 121 instead of 120).  I think you always need to give people a chance to get a complete lifestyle change under control: it's hard!  All he did was make me afraid to write down any more slightly high numbers.

I'm also having the problem of just not being able to get full!  The "meal ideas" that I was given just make me sad.  For example, one breakfast idea is two pieces of toast with peanut butter.  That's it.  I don't know if I'm the odd one out, but that is not enough breakfast for me.  The "perfect" lunch suggestion wasn't much better: half of a sandwich, a small piece of fruit, and one glass of milk.  Unless by half a sandwich they mean a Subway 6 inch, that's probably not going to cut it either.  I know that I need to eat differently than I was before, but for the last two weeks I have just been constantly hungry.  We're working on finding healthy things to fill me up, but it's hard, and I'm getting reeeeally sick of drinking pretty much only water.

Two nights ago my recipe for the week was poblano chicken bundles.  I have been looking up some diabetic recipes, and this one seemed easy (until I realized I did not own a meat I do!).  I think if I make this again (and I probably will, my sugar numbers were good after eating it), I may leave out the pepper (and possibly the cilantro, just to try it).  It wasn't bad, I'm just not a big fan of pepper, and the pepper flavor was pretty strong.  We also thought it might be a little better with bread crumbs instead of corn meal breading, but I wondered if the recipe called for corn meal instead of bread to make it more diabetic friendly.  I'll just make it with only a little bit of bread crumbs, or maybe corn flakes?  I'm pretty sure that I've had chicken coated with corn flakes before...

Now I'm trying to convince Jamin that he should try eating like this for a week or two, if only so that when I complain that I'm hungry he'll understand that I really, really am.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Define: Scattered

This one is a little all over the place, but that's because I have been slacking on updating again.

As an update to the previous post, I went back to ACO and got the paint tweaked, and it's perfect!  It's not as dark as Jamin would have liked, but it's so much better than the band-aid pink!


Our insurance situation with the pregnancy has not been great.  None of my pre-or post-natal visits are covered, so we have been paying out of pocket.  We knew that it was going to be a lot, but that we could make it work.  However, between the ultrasound and some lab work, it has not been working out.  The ultrasound wasn't covered, but instead of sending us a bill, our OB covered it with what we had been paying them out of pocket.  This didn't seem to be a bad thing, until we realized that we still owed them the full $1,500 that they expect before delivery.  They used some of what we had already given them to cover the ultrasound, which meant we owed them that money again.

I had blood work done to check for gestational diabetes a few weeks ago, and a week later the doctor called to tell me that I needed to go back in for the three hour test.  I went back in, and a few days later I got the call that I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was upset, but not shocked.  My grandma has diabetes and my mom had gestational diabetes.

I called my insurance to see if they would be covering any of the doctor visits and supplies to go along with this new development.  Of course they weren't.  At this point, I was really starting to stress out about how we were going to make this work.  We still had to pay almost everything to the OB, the deductible to insurance, and the co-pay at delivery.  The bills were adding up to almost $5,000 without any of the diabetes stuff.

At our next OB appointment, we also discovered that I have a negative blood type, while Jamin's is positive.  Which meant that I needed a shot.  Which was probably not covered either.  Every time we go in, I swear it's something else.

We have been working on applying for Medicaid and some programs through the hospital that help cover the bills.  We expected to have to pay another deductible through Medicaid, which wasn't ideal, but we knew that we needed any help we could get.

Yesterday, I got the notification that our Medicaid application had been processed.  We have no deductible, and full Medicaid coverage!  This was so much better than what we had been expecting!  I'm still not sure exactly what it all means, but I know that this was the best case scenario for us, and we are feeling so blessed to have gotten this financial help.  It has taken a huge load off of our shoulders.

And now, for something completely different...

My Pinterest recipes for the last three weeks!

I threw a bridal shower for my lovely friend Erin a few weeks ago, and made lemonade punch.  I garnished it with lemon slices, which made me feel so, so cool.  Really cool.  This recipe wasn't bad, but it was more of a pineapple punch than a lemonade.  If I make it again I will ease up on the pineapple juice, and add a bit more of the lemonade mix.

The next week I made brownies from scratch.  They were okay.  I ended up just throwing out the last couple because we hadn't eaten them, so I probably won't make them again.  Jamin said they were alright, but just seemed really heavy, and I agree.

The following week I made different brownies.  These were gone in two days.  They were wonderful!  When I pulled up the recipe, I was surprised at how much less ingredients there were than the ones I had made the week before.  As such, I was a little skeptical, but they were perfect.  Jamin devoured them.  The ones from the week before he had only been eating with ice cream, but these ones he loved enough to eat alone.  This is definitely the recipe I will use next time I make brownies.

Today I'm making sugar cookies.  Technically, I am not using a new recipe (the link actually says to use the dough you can buy, yeah right!), but it is a new technique.  My favorite sugar cookie recipe is too good for me to try anything else, so I'm still using that.  However, I've never put food coloring into the dough, and I always put frosting on after, so it will be interesting to see how these hold up on their own.

(I do feel that I need to add that after the diabetes diagnosis, I have been watching what I'm eating.  I only had a few bites of brownie, and the cookies are for church, not for us to eat.)

Tomorrow I'll also be making potato wedges.  When I clicked on the link, it took me to a blog instead of the actual post, so I'm just going to follow the directions from the comments on the actual pin:

Cheesy Potato Wedges... 4-6 Potatoes 1/4 c. Olive Oil Sea Salt, Pepper, your favorite Seasoning Salt 1 c. Sour Cream 1/2 c. Ranch Dressing 1/4 c. Milk 1 c. shredded Cheddar 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella 1/2 c. Real Bacon Bits 1/4 c. Green Onions Cut potatoes into "steak fries". Place on foiled baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Lightly toss with tongs. Sprinkle seasonings over the potatoes. Bake 400* for 40 min til fork tender.

I don't think you can really go wrong with potatoes, cheese and bacon!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Define: Failure

Our kitchen is kind of an eyesore.  It's not really that bad, but it has a lot of issues, and the colors definitely weren't helping.

When we first got the house, my dad had some red paint already, so I thought we could just use that.  It was an okay color, nothing I was in love with, but not terrible.  When we were deciding what color to paint the cabinets, I sent Jamin to the store with a swatch, and said that I wanted something at least that dark, but a warm, rich color.  The swatch was really cool toned.  I'm not sure who didn't communicate well with who, but the color that came back was exactly the swatch color.  I wasn't happy, but I'm not one to make a big deal out of those things, so we just used it.

One of the things I didn't like about the kitchen was the tile border about halfway up the wall.  I decided we could pull them off and just put a chair rail kind of thing up instead.  In October, we started pulling the tiles off, but in the process, the drywall got damaged (whoever lived here before us was seriously obsessed with caulk.  OBSESSED.).  We really meant to take the tiles down and put the chair rail right up, but another problem was an uneven wall underneath the window.  The tilers had put a piece of wood behind the tile to solve this problem, but we didn't have a piece of wood all ready to go.

So, between the damaged wall, the uneven wall, and lack of the proper tools to cut the chair rail to the right lengths, it is now April and there is still no chair rail.  And it looks bad.

Last week Jamin and I decided we would repaint.  Neither of us loved the red, and we both agreed that the kitchen was just plain ugly.
We decided on a dark blue for the bottom half of the wall, and a light brown for the top.
Now I knew, going into this, that sometimes light brown doesn't look like brown.  The light brown we used in our living room and upstairs bathroom has this purpley/pinky hue to it that I really don't like, but have gotten used to.  As we looked at light browns, I knew to be careful of this.

We picked one out, got home, and I put a little bit on the wall, only to discover that it's pretty much bandaid pink.
You know what I'm talking about.  That brown, peach, pink, fleshy colored hue.  Gross.

Jamin thought he could live with it, I wasn't sure.  Sometimes I would look at it and think, eh, it's okay.  Other times I looked at it and all I could see was pink.  After debating for a day or two, I decided to try something else.

I grabbed a sample of Benjamin Moore paint at ACO (conveniently located next to my work), and brought it home.  I loved it.  It was the creamy, ivory color I had been picturing all along (turns out I wanted more of a yellow than a brown.).  Jamin wasn't crazy about how light it was, but he pointed out that I am a bit more picky about these things than he is, so I should do what I want.

When I went back to ACO yesterday to get a can, I realized that this paint was around $60.
I couldn't handle that price tag, especially for a redo!  I tried to match the color as well as I could in another brand, and I got really close, and got a can.

Tonight I decided to get a little bit on the wall to check.  It's a bit lighter than the other color, so I wasn't truly happy with it, but I thought it would be okay.  Then I got to looking at the wall I hadn't painted yet with the bandaid pink.  I dabbed a bit of paint on that wall.  You can't even tell.

I just bought the original paint color of the wall.


This time I ended up with a Valspar color, and I've seen all the "love your color guarantee" commercials, so I could potentially get some money back for this can, I just need to look into it and see if it's worth the hassle.  After my third color fail in the kitchen, I'm not sure if it really is, or really isn't.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Define: Phobia.

I had to get my blood drawn yesterday, and even though the nurse probably thought I was completely insane, it actually went really well.

I have this needle thing.  And by thing, I mean phobia.  I hate needles.  I hate them so, so much.  I know it doesn't hurt.  It's weird that every time it comes up, everyone's first comment is, "It doesn't even hurt."  I knoooooow.  It doesn't bother me because it hurts, it bothers me because...well, actually I'm not sure why.  But it does.  I suppose fear can't always be rationalized.

When it came time to go back yesterday and get it done, I started having a panic attack.  Jamin knew what was coming, the nurse, unfortunately, did not.

It's frustrating when the person giving you a shot/doing your IV/drawing your blood says things to calm you down like, "You're making it much worse than it is."  Honestly, has that ever worked?  As if mid-panic I'm going to stop and say, "You know, I never thought of it that way, you're right!" and be fine.  Lady, I know I'm freaking out.  Obviously, if I could get through this without that reaction, I would.

The other thing she said was, "You're going to have a baby!  This is nothing!"
Uh, was that supposed to make me feel better or worse?

But seriously, that was the best it's ever gone.  I was actually calm (I use that word loosely) enough for them to get started pretty quickly after I sat down, and I only cried for about 15 minutes after it was over.  Last time I think I just cried on and off all day.  Major improvement.

Even though I knew it wasn't bleeding and didn't need it, I did have to have Jamin switch out the cotton ball and tape for a band-aid last night.  I just wasn't ready to have to look at it yet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Define: Determined

 I will keep up with this.


A few of my weekly recipes have slacked a bit...especially the monkey bread.  I cut up canned biscuits, covered them with cinnamon, sugar and butter, and stuck it in the oven.  However, it was delicious.

The next week I tried slow cooker berry cobbler.  Have I mentioned that I love crock pot recipes?  Because I do.  I really really do.  I used blueberries and blackberries instead of blueberries and raspberries (simply because I could not find raspberries at Meijer, which I thought was strange), but it was still really good.  I made it at my in-laws, and Jamin and I had a little bit before we went to my cousin's confirmation at church.  When we got back to pick up the crock pot and the dog on the way home, the rest was gone!  It was easy and definitely good, I didn't even get a second serving!

Last week was won ton cheese sticks.  I used string cheese, which was alright, but if I try it again I may try another kind of cheese.  It was kind of hard to roll it up, even after I cut the cheese in half.  I was worried that the cheese would still be cold after the outside had finished cooking (stovetop temperature control is so not my thing), but they were actually pretty warm.  Neither Jamin or I like cheese sticks after the middle has cooled off and it gets that weird rubbery texture, so we did have to make sure we ate them fairly quickly.

So even though I feel like the monkey bread was kind of a cop out, I've still made something every week.  I've already repeated the pot roast and the biscuits, so I think that this has definitely been worth it.  I like that we've added a few new meals into our rotation, and I feel like I've learned a lot about cooking.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Define: Behind

I have meant to write a blog so many times in the last month, and just haven't gotten there.  Partially because my laptop won't work unless it's plugged in, and Jamin keeps stealing borrowing my cord.

One of the few that I actually remember is about putting up curtains in our bedroom.  Our house is heated by radiators.  Big, tall radiators.  In our bedroom, the radiator is right in front of the windows.  I had been searching for curtains for a while, but my length constraint was making things difficult.  Finally I decided to just make my own.

In the interest of getting them made quickly, I ended up buying a tablecloth at Target instead of real fabric.  I know I'll go that route eventually, but we had these awful roll up blinds that didn't really work and smelled like b.o., so...tablecloth it was.

Also, it was $11.18!

I cut it down the middle and hemmed the edges.  Simple enough, but I swear this happens to me every time I try to sew something.  It is totally avoidable (obviously I am just not careful enough) and so frustrating!

Anyway, I finished and put them up!

Last week I took them back down again to paint some stripes on them.  They were kind of boring.  Probably because they are a tablecloth.  The stripes also helped to block a bit more light, which is great!  The streetlight on the corner shines in at just the right angle to be obnoxious and the stripes really do help.  It's also nice for the days we get to sleep in.

I don't know if it's weird that they go with the stripes on the wall, but it works for us.

While I had them down, I decided to redo the way I was hanging them.  I had just sewed two lines down the top and slid the pole through it, but it was hard to open them since there was so much fabric bunching up.  I cut a few rectangles and sewed them onto the back, which helped a lot.  They don't look very pretty, but no one is going to see that part, right?

I have managed to keep up with my recipe a week from Pinterest!  I don't remember what order I made them in anymore, but it's going down as a win in my book because I remember what I made.

Strawberry pizza was one of them.  And it was delicious.  I've actually made it twice now, and used the crust and cream cheese sauce to make a fruit pizza for potluck at church.  The ingredient list calls for cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla for the cream cheese part, but when you get to that part in the directions it says to add the sugar.  I just added sugar until I liked the taste, which I think is one of the best ways to cook.  I was also lazy about doing the "cutting in" for the dough, I just cut up the butter and threw everything into my mixer.  It never really got a great dough consistency, but it tasted just fine!

Another one I tried was this pot roast.  We'll definitely be having this one again.  I wasn't sure what kind of meat I was supposed to use (I'm still not sure, which makes me feel really stupid...), and I don't think I ended up using the right thing, but Jamin loved it.  Pot roast meat normally has that stringy, flaky kind of thing going on, but this meat ended up being like steak.  Next time I make it I'll probably just use the same kind of meat because he loved it so much.  The problem is I can't quite remember what it was....shoulder something?  I do know that whatever it was, it wasn't cheap.

I tried my hand at skillet lasagna, and it was not great.  I did some tweaking without actually trying the original recipe, which may have been the problem.  The recipe gives directions for making a sauce, but I already had my spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so I just unthawed a bag of that.  Then I didn't really measure any of the cheese I added.  I think I went a little overboard on the ricotta.  It didn't turn out horribly, but I haven't mentioned trying it again, and neither has Jamin.

Yesterday I tried these biscuits, and oh man, they were good.  Next time I'll add more garlic (I'll be honest, I didn't measure, so maybe the recipe called for more than I used), but that's the only change.
They were super easy and they're already all gone.

I'm sure I've got other things to post about, but this is already a pretty long one, so I'll end it with the hope that I don't go as long in between posts next time!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Define: Fail

Last week I tried to make honey cloud pancakes.  It did not go well.

The recipe says to whisk the egg whites until "peaky."  I whisked and whisked and whisked and they never got peaky, so I thought the bubbly stuff I had was good enough.


The pancake was fluffy until I put it in the oven, where it collapsed and never recovered.  I thought a flat pancake was no problem, but the problem ended up being that it just tasted like eggs.  I didn't use eggs to measure the egg whites, I already had some and thought I could just eyeball it.  I will not try to do that again.

I'm sure that when you make these correctly, they are delicious.  However, I did not, and my results were not delicious.

Tonight I'm trying french bread.  I already realized one oops, the recipe calls for instant yeast and I used active dry yeast, so we'll see how that goes.  I didn't even know that there were different kinds of yeast until reading through the comments while my dough was (not) rising.  Ahwell.  The comment says her dough didn't rise either, but that it still worked, the bread was just kind of heavy.  I can live with that.

Actually, the bread is really good.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Define: Chevron

I have been meaning to post about this for a week now....

Since our second bedroom was already gray and yellow, we decided to just keep it those colors for the nursery.  They're also pretty gender neutral colors, and we're not going to find out what we're having. :)

The big project with this room is going to be the floor.  There was carpet when we moved in, but our pets....well, we took the carpet out, let's leave it at that.
There's wood floor underneath, but it needs to be sanded and refinished, which is going to just be time consuming.  We were planning to have it done when the floors were fixed from the radiator fiasco, but it was going to cost $600!  Ridiculous.
Anyway, we haven't really gotten started on that yet, but it's definitely at the top of the list.

Since we weren't ready to tackle the floor yet, I decided to spruce up the paint a little bit.  I wanted to do something to the walls in that room, and when I saw a chevron tutorial on Pinterest I knew it was meant to be.

I started out by measuring the wall, and dividing it up into squares, mapping it the design out on paper.  I don't know how I thought I was going to do this on the wall, but I ended up buying a chalk line.  I LOVE IT.  There is no way this would have turned out as well as it did without it.

It's a little hard to see the lines, this was my first time using a chalk line.

After making the squares, I taped my design.  The squares made this so. easy.  It was a little time consuming, but once I got into the swing of it, it really didn't take too long.

Before I painted the gray, I went over the edges of the tape with the yellow paint, just to make sure the gray didn't seep through.  This may have worked, it may have been a waste of time, I really can't say.  I can say that I have nice, crisp edges on my lines though.

There are still some lines from the chalk, I was too excited to wait to take a picture until it was dry enough to wipe them off.

I am so proud of the way this turned out!  I was telling Jamin before I did this that I was afraid I couldn't make gray and yellow gender neutral, because everything that I like in these colors is kind of girly, but I think that this helped man it up a little bit.

I let the paint sit for a few days before wiping off the chalk with a damp towel.  It came right off!

Now I just have to find other places in my house to do more fun paint things... :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Define: Resolutions

Basically my only resolution this year was to try one new Pinterest recipe a week.  So far, so good!  I did leave out the week that we were in Greece, but I ate new food, so that counts, right?

The first thing I tried was this creamy garlic pasta.  Jamin is not a big fan of sauce on his noodles (he likes them plain, with salt.  boring.), so when I found out we had a friend coming for dinner, I was excited to finally try this one!
I won't say that it was a disaster, but it didn't come out the way I had planned, either.  I was also making chicken fingers, and it turns out that the pasta is not something you should multitask while making.  Not at the beginning anyway.  The garlic got a little too done, and I think it just got kind of bitter.  Is that a thing?  Does garlic get bitter if you burn it?
Anyway, Vicki said it was good, but I didn't really like it (owing to my errors, not the recipe).  This is one I'll definitely try again, and I think it will turn out much better the second time.

After we got back from Greece, I decided to try pierogis.  These were awesome.  Jamin was surprised how well it came out for being the first time (I don't think things go wrong that often.).
I made some of them with potato and cheese filling (I love making mashed potatoes, so I took some liberties with that part of the recipe.), and some with chicken and cheese.  Jamin is really picky learning to try new things, but he doesn't love potatoes (yet), so I made a few just for him.  I just cooked and shredded some chicken breast and added cheese.  Simple.
This is definitely one to make again, probably tonight.  Another thing I really like about this one is that you can freeze them!  I make huge batches of spaghetti sauce and freeze it so that all I have to do is defrost it while making the noodles.  So. Easy.  I'd rather spend a few hours making a big batch so that when I get home from work all I have to do is heat something up.
I will say that these are time consuming, but overall really easy.

Last night was a big night, I tried two!  I made this copy cat Pizza Hut pan pizza, and Olive Garden breadsticks.  Both were pretty good, I think I just need to make bread a few more times before I really get the hang of it (they both just seemed really heavy, any suggestions?).  I also wasn't impressed with the cheese we used, but that's an easy thing to change next time.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Define: Storms

Michigan is kind of making me bipolar right now.  When we left Greece, it was like 60.  When we landed in Detroit, it was 9.  Then yesterday was in the 50s? Right?  And today I woke up to snow and ice.


After Jamin and I got married and brought Joktan to our apartment, we discovered that he is terrified of thunderstorms.  I'm not sure how no one realized this until he was four years old.  Maybe living in a house you don't realize the difference between him hiding and just sleeping in a quiet place.  In the apartment, however, it was very obvious.  His favorite place to hide was under the kitchen sink.  He could somehow open the cabinet door and slip in.

The first time he did this I completely panicked.  I looked EVERYWHERE for him, and I couldn't find him.  Then I saw Haven trying to open the cabinet door.  We kept the kitty treats in there, so at first I didn't think much of it, but after you've been looking for a big cat in a small apartment for 30 minutes, you start to look places that you're sure he's not.  Sure enough, there he was.

This Monday night, I woke up around 4:00, and I thought I saw lightning.  But that didn't make sense, because it's January, right?  Then I saw it again.  I didn't hear any thunder, but we had a fan on, so maybe I just didn't hear it.  Then I thought, "Oh, I bet Joktan is freaking out."  We haven't had any storms since we've moved, and I don't think Joktan has really found his hiding place yet.  Right now we have a lot of stuff crammed under the kitchen sink, and there's no way he could fit in there.  "I wonder where he's going to hide," I thought.

No sooner had I thought it than I felt something pawing at my back.  There was Joktan, trying to burrow under the covers to hide.  I knew he was really freaked out because he really hates Jake, and Jake was already lying on my legs, about a foot away.  I lifted up the blanket and he scurried under and curled up next to me.  Perhaps feeling left out, Haven joined about two minutes later, and curled up on the other side of me.

It was really cute until I wanted to roll over and I had a deadweight dog on my legs, whiny cat on my right, and freaked out cat on my left.
I'm hoping for no more storms for a few months. :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Define: Chalkboard paint

I bought chalkboard paint at Lowe's a few months ago, and just never got around to putting it anywhere.  Yesterday while I was cleaning I came across it, and remembered having seen someone use it on their refrigerator.  I thought about it for the rest of the day, and when this morning I was still thinking about it, I decided to give it a try.

I always forget to take before pictures, but I'm sure you can picture a plain old ugly white fridge, so here's an after.

(Don't mind the horrible unfinished wall in the background. I'm getting there.)

After wiping down the fridge, I used Valspar chalkboard paint.  At first I was worried about the drying time, but it actually dried really quickly, which was great because it needed three or four coats.

If I were to do this again:
- I would find a way to do it while the fridge was off.  I mean, I did turn it off, but there was still stuff in there.  It would be easiest to do empty.
- I would try harder to get the handles off.  I looked at them for a minute, didn't see a way to get them off, and gave up.  I think they might have looked cool white, but since I didn't have a brush at first, I accidentally got paint all over them with the roller.
- The rubbery seal part was weird. I left it white, but there's paint on it, and it looks weird.  I think I'll probably paint it black soon.

Overall though, it was really easy and I'm really happy with it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Define: (everything is completely) Different (because I haven't blogged since 2010)

2010. That was a looooong time ago. And even my last post was a few months after the one before. And now everything is so different.

The first thing that happened since I stopped blogging was that I graduated from Douglas J and got a job at a salon in Chelsea. I have been working there for two years now, and I am still really enjoying it. Now that I live in Jackson (another change) a few people have asked if I plan to look for a job closer to home, but I can't say that I want to. After two years, I have started to build up a clientele, and I'm not "the new girl" anymore. I don't really want to start over at a new salon. The biggest reason, though, is that I really love the people I work with. I have been really blessed to make some good friends, and I am so glad to know each of them.

The next thing was getting married! Well, I guess getting engaged came before that. Jamin and I had our wedding at my dad's house August 27, 2011. He is my best friend, my favorite, my partner, my Jam. He is the best.

After the wedding, we moved to an apartment in Jackson. We took Jamin's cat Joktan with us, but a few months after moving in, we had another addition. This story is going to seem to go into pointless detail, but it's important.
One morning before a wedding, I realized I needed to run to Meijer to get a card, and since I was going, I thought I would get a new litterbox and litter. Joktan was, ahem, slightly missing the mark, so to speak, and we needed a box with a lid. I got to Meijer, grabbed the litter and box, and then realized that I had already gotten a card for the wedding (the night before! why did I not remember that?!), which was the whole reason for going to the store. Oh well, right? When I got back to the apartment, I had both of my hands full. I knocked (and by knocked I mean kicked the door a few times), but Jamin was upstairs, so I set everything down to unlock the door. I picked the litter and box back up, and out of the corner of my eye, saw a small white something come out of the woods near our door. I turned, and there was a little gray and white kitten running towards me. I didn't know what to do. The door, was open, my hands were full, I couldn't kick it, it was a kitten! So inside our apartment it ran.
"Jamin Jamin Jamin JAMIN JAMIN!!!!!!!"
I dropped the stuff and ran inside to grab the stray. I picked her up, and she immediately started purring (and then it was all over, haha). I called to Jamin, who came downstairs, and didn't even think of putting this cat back outside. Joktan was already at the top of the stairs, hissing at the intruder. I told Jamin we shouldn't keep this cat, we didn't even know if we could have more than one. I had to go do hair before the wedding, so I took the cat back outside with me and put it down. She followed me to the car (She is still pretty obsessed with me, actually. She follows me a lot.), and after I drove (sadly) away, she started crying. Jamin heard her inside, and his big loving heart couldn't take it, so he went and let her back in. When I met up with him later for the wedding, he informed me that we had a new cat.  We decided on the name Haven.

We're pretty sure that God had a plan to bring Haven into our lives (since the only reason I went to the store was for the card, which I already had), and since letting Haven into our house, we've learned a lot of things about God. Jamin says he wants to write a book about things he has learned about God from our animals, and I am very excited to read it.

In August/September of 2012 we moved to a house in Jackson, very near our church.

We're still getting things figured out with that, but a radiator exploding in October kind of hindered a lot of the progress. All the (hot) water that came spewing out on our main floor went right through the wood floor and came through the ceiling of our (finished) basement. We have just gotten all the repairs done.

In late September we adopted a dog. He is crazy. I'm not really sure how I feel about him right now. We tried to take him back to the shelter, but we just couldn't do it.

The biggest news is that we are having a baby! Our current due date is July 1, but we are going to have an ultrasound in the beginning of February, and hopefully we'll have a better idea then of when to expect. I'm not gonna lie, I am obsessed with the idea kind of hoping to have twins. I got pretty sick for the first few months (lost a few pounds, yay!), which I know is probably nothing, but still makes me not very excited to do it again.

As of right now, Jamin and I are in Greece with a group of others from 1208 Greenwood. We've been here since last Thursday, and head back Monday. It's been really cool, but I am so excited to see my cats and sleep in my bed. And our wood floor was refinished from the radiator fiasco after we left, so I'm excited to see that too.

I also promise to try my best to keep up with the blogging again.