March 31, 2012

It's Our Garden!

Our neighborhood is pretty snazzy. It is a planned development which means it has some fun little things that most of the neighborhoods around us do not. One of my very favorite things is the community garden. (The parks, walking trails and "soon" to be finished clubhouse are a couple others.) We live in a townhouse so we don't have much of a yard to speak of and that could make vegetable gardening tricky. However, there is an entire plot of land within the development that is dedicated to gardening. Each family can "purchase" a plot (or more) each year to use for their own gardening. We just got one this year but might get a little more in years to come, who knows. Since our growing season last year sort of went from things growing one day to dead winter the next, we may have ignored some of the normal end-of-the-season niceties like pulling out finished plants, tomato cages etc. This morning, we remedied that and got our garden plot in better shape now than it was at any point in the season last year. 

The first video is a quick little "tour" taken yesterday of our plot and the ones surrounding us. Yes, that is a giant farmers field right behind our plot. We live in Mapleton... there are farms all around us. 

The second video is our "after" video from when we finished tilling this afternoon. Since the forecast called for a wintry mix tomorrow, we didn't plant anything today but we are planning on doing some more work for FHE together on Monday. I am SO excited! 

I'm sure there will be many more pictures and gardening-related posts through the growing season. We're certainly still trying to learn how to get things to grow well in this climate and I think we'll do a whole lot better this year. :) 



Some thoughts on a Saturday morning

We had a lot happen yesterday- more than originally planned- and it made for a nice day. I won't go into all of the details now but just a few of the unplanned events included: baking a lemon raspberry birthday cake (a chalk board with writing for a future teacher) for a birthday party, getting information about our community garden that is resulting in us renting and tilling many of the plots with several other families in our neighborhood this morning, color guard things and -this was planned- a birthday party for my nephew, David, who turned 3 yesterday.

It was a busy day but a good one. Through the day, I had a few thoughts keep coming back to me.

  1. I'm so glad we've been getting our house in order. It isn't perfect but just a few months ago, if someone had asked for a cake the same day, I might have lost it because of the work I would have had to do in the kitchen before starting or shopping for supplies I now have in food storage. I had everything, was able to get right to work (without even having to clean the counters again since they were already done from our morning routine) and everything was fine. 
  2. I love having a bright, sunshiny house. We are in a townhouse so our windows are just on the front and back of the house but it was designed so well that the only two places I can think of where you aren't around natural light are the utility room in the basement and the upstairs hallway when all of the bedroom doors are shut. It just makes my mood much better when there is sunlight!
  3. I would never want to be single again or go back to that time in my life. Craig and I have been married about 2 1/2 years which isn't terribly long but certainly long enough to let me know that where we are right now is the happiest place we've been in our adult lives. Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. We absolutely LOVED our singles ward, our friends and time there and all of the wonderful things we were able to do and learn. We'd just never want to go back to that. 

We have some friends (a few who are much older than us) who are still in that phase of life by choice. In some ways, they seem to be having fun but as my mom pointed out yesterday when I was talking to her about this, it is temporary fun. We've been to a few parties or get-togethers with our single friends and we just don't "fit" anymore. Not too long ago, Craig even asked rhetorically, "what did we ever do before we had Sophie?" We love our little Sophie about as much as parents can love a child and as much fun as we had before she was born, it just can't even compare now. As recently as last night, I thought about how happy I am to get to come home to our home together, snuggle in to bed together and pray together before falling asleep together. Ranks right up there with waking up next to your very best friend and a couple cats on top.

I've heard people say high school is the "best" part of life. I disagreed with it then and I certainly still do now. When I got to BYU, I believed that where I was in life was MUCH better (socially, educationally) than high school and probably my favorite part of life. Then being a newlywed was pretty darn nice (minus Craig's surgeries and things like that). Really, though, I think right where we are right now is the best. I have a feeling that as long as we're doing what we ought to be, not trying to "stick" ourselves into any single phase, every single one could and should be "the best." Favorite part of this? From now on, I get to drag Craig and our little cuties along for the ride! :D

March 30, 2012

March Goal Report- Just for me

So, remember how I posted a slightly flippant totally realistic list of things I wanted to get done in March? No? I didn't, either until this morning. Convenient since tomorrow is the last day of the month. In case you don't remember the list, it looked something like this:

  • Fully deep clean and detail my car (I'd even like to find a carpet shampoo machine to use)

  • Cleaning, organizing and getting the sewing/craft room set up for efficient use

  • Clean and reorganize the basement to be more Sophie-friendly so we can actually use the Wii and tv

  • Finish the chair rail in the family room myself since someone else isn't interested in doing it 

  • Reorganize my dresser drawers

  • Make a cute spring-y wreath for the front door

  • Work on Sophie's room (pictures on the wall, reading corner) 

  • Deep clean the hall bathroom for Sophie use

  • Re-caulk our bathtub

  • Get the carpets in the house cleaned


  • Do something fun by myself or with friends that has nothing to do with housework, child care, being a mom or wife. You know, stuff that I enjoyed pre-Craig & Sophie. 

  • As of today, almost everything on that list got done. I seem to recall writing it in a somewhat grumpy state. But guess what?

    • My car is clean & vacuumed.
    • The craft/sewing room in the basement has been organized, cleaned up and ready for a sewing table to move in. 
    • The main room in the basement has been completely reorganized, all of the toys are out where Sophie can get to them and Craig & I can still play games/wii fat, too. 
    • We have plans for finishing the living room chair rail. 
    • I did reorganize my drawers/put clothes that won't fit me again until next year away
    • I have a cute (in my opinion) spring wreath hanging on the front door
    • Sophie's bathroom did get cleaned- then the cats moved back in. They need to be booted back to the utility room in the basement. 
    • I got a groupon to get all of the carpets in our house cleaned- for 60% off. Woo! 
    • My brother-in-law painted our kitchen a color I love- not just a color I don't hate :D 

    Some things to add to our list for next month that didn't get done/planned: 
    • Sophie's room. We have tried a few things but I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do in there. 
    • Recaulk/grout in our bathroom. I just need to get it and do it. 

    Happy end of March! 

    March 26, 2012

    What the Weather?

    Yesterday it got to be about 72*. It was overcast and breezy but it was still a lovely day. Yesterday, I took that as a sign that I should start working on the plan for our vegetable garden plot. I did some research, we made a list of the items we want to have in our garden, sketched a plot and even took our Sunday evening walk over to the community garden to see what sort of prep work we were going to need to do on/in our plot. After our visit, we even discussed "buying" another half or full plot and extending our garden this year. I love gardening, I love watching things grow and I cannot get enough of the fresh fruits and vegetables that come with gardening. I went to sleep with happy thoughts of things to come.

    Then I woke up.

    To a thundering wind storm. Then it started snowing. And then there was thunder. Really, weather? REALLY? It sort of put a damper on my day. I knew it was going to be much cooler today but I was not anticipating this. So, no herb pots got planted, we haven't spent any time in the front or back yards designing our flowering/watery/sittingly mini-haven. We haven't even gone to the "yes, bapt" (yes, park). What a bummer.

    After such lovely thoughts of things to come yesterday, staying inside and spot scrubbing tile, resealing countertops, folding laundry and cleaning bathrooms just didn't bring as much joy as one might think. Sophie and I still went to Walmart but instead of going to the garden center, we got some bananas, milk, oil and she picked out a basket of play food that was on clearance.

    Maybe tomorrow we can plant something or start digging around in the dirt before it becomes a solid heap again. Maybe. :)

    March 25, 2012

    Another week with the Nas-ter-sons (Pictures Included!)

    As far as weeks go, we have had a pretty fantastic one.

    Typical Monday in our house. We started the week out well with getting all of our "daily" items checked off the list as well as several of our "weekly" items. Mondays like that help me feel much better about the week as a whole right off. Sophie gets a kick out of helping me "mop" the kitchen (she pushes the swiffer around behind me) and loading/unloading the washing machine and dryer. It's pretty cute.

    She spent a while with Craig at the park and I sat on our couch in the living room and watched. Being able to see them from our house is one of my favorite things about the living room.

    Craig was very busy with work-related things this week and wasn't around from early Tuesday morning until late Wednesday night. This gave Sophie and I some time to do a few fun things. We didn't make my bed but instead snuggled on it, wrestled the cats under the covers, read some stories upside down (at the foot of the bed) and stayed in jammies as long as we could justify it. We didn't get dressed until it was time to leave for color guard. Which we didn't end up getting to because we were locked out of my car.
    Sophie did learn two new signs: Water and Hungry. She has been using water frequently and if I remind her what 'hungry' is, she'll use that over and over when she's hungry. Or while she's asking for "chsheese" or "fsh."

    I had my 6 month appointment (holy cow, 6 months already!) and our littlest girl is growing right as she should and even measuring a few days older than before. I'd be totally okay with her coming sooner. To this point, I've gained about 14 pounds (and I was weighed about half an hour after lunch) which has me on track to gain 25 pounds by the time she comes. That makes me VERY happy! I'm not terribly interested in losing a whole lot of weight or taking a year to do it. I "get" to do the 1-hour glucose test next week which means that this week I'm enjoying whatever I want. That pretty much means orange juice, strawberries, grapes, wheat bread toast and some chocolate pie. I did not handle either test very well last time. If anyone wants to come play with Sophie while I do it, that'd be marvelous.

    Oh, and I finally got my food containers labeled. I've been wanting to do this since I started using the plastic containers but it has take some time. Each container has the plastic hook of velcro attached making it dishwasher friendly and each tag is laminated and has the cotton loop of velcro attached to it. Basically, they're removable, washable and happyable.

    I have been looking forward to getting together with my friend, Ceci, and her little boy for quite some time. Every single time we have planned a get-together some silly, legitimate thing (like suddenly becoming inexplicably ill, lacking transportation, a billion errands needing run etc.) has come up to keep us from getting together. Can you guess what it was on Thursday (AND Friday)? Sophie had her 15 month shots which included the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella & varicella). She was grumpy to the max following her shots -I don't blame her- and then ended up not well. Sigh. Someday we will have a social life again.

    Oooh, and we had some deeelicious fresh salmon for dinner. With "bugs-in-rice," steamed broccoli and yummy cinnamon baked apples. I love salmon. Sophie now loves salmon. Craig did a fantastic job of cooking it. Yummmmmmy!

    Sophie still wasn't too happy or entirely well so we stayed home, worked on some house projects, weeded our yard/garden, blew some bubbles and when Craig got home, we quickly made dinner which consisted of potlatch grilling of the other half of the salmon, warming up the left over bugs-in-rice and another veggie. After devouring the equally mouth-watering fish, we finally got out of the house for a while. We are such party animals. We went to the distribution center to get some items to accommodate my growing tummy, to Joanns to get some boning for a couple baby shower gifts and Walmart for something random. I think we left with a dowel and a gallon of milk?

    SO yummy. I want some now!
    Nursing cover. Can't see it, but
     it also has a hidden pocket inside
    Quite a whirlwind of activities. We woke up at our normal time only to hear a very distinct "uh oh" come from Sophie's room. We're still not entirely sure what she was uh-oh-ing since there wasn't anything out of the ordinary going on in there. For breakfast, Craig and I made some homemade mini apple fritters. Oh, my delicious! This will be one of the recipes going on our in-progress food website. They came together fast, cooked even faster and were amazingly fruity and yummy.

    Craig and Sophie had some fun playtime together after breakfast while I finished several baby shower gifts I hadn't been able to work on earlier in the week. I had two to attend yesterday. The first was for my friend, Amy, from color guard who is having a girl. I made her a nursing cover out of some wild(ly fun) fabric. I think it turned out cute. The second was for another color guard friend that I have known since we were both freshman at BYU, Courtney. She is having a boy. I wasn't sure what she needed or wanted so I put together a little basket of things we liked/needed when Sophie was born. It included a few thick burp cloths (the kind my mom, sister & I like to make), a couple paci clips, a fabulous bottle cleaner and some baby shampoo & lotion. A bit of a random assortment, but she seemed very happy and appreciative. (ps Craig made the super cute cards.)

    While I was at the two showers, Craig spent some time at his parents house changing the oil in my car and letting Sophie play with her granny in the back yard. Sophie loved the swing set, I'm told. She *loves* the parks near our house so that doesn't surprise me in the least. After all of the baby shower fun, we finally got to spend time together. It was getting later so we just went to the mall to walk around and get some exercise. This, of course, led us to Gymboree where Craig had no self control and got Sophie not one, but TWO swimsuits. Both adorable. (To be fair, both on super sale.)

    Wow. We made it to Sunday! It was fast Sunday in our ward since next week is General Conference. I am having a hard time believing everything that has happened in the last 6 months since the last conference. We had a nice, relaxing day together. Craig and I spent time planning and plotting our vegetable garden and I'm very excited to get working. I've found some amazing resources online that talk about buddy planting, natural pest control plants and soil treating so I'm having a little more confidence in our ability to have a more plentiful harvest this year. I also, of course, spent time doodling out plans for our basement playroom/game room/ family room and our sewing/craft room. It has been so nice getting little things done here and there to make this house more of our own home. We have some fun ideas and projects to keep us busy for years to come and I really like that.

    We capped off our evening with playing a few board & card games, watching one of our favorite shows (Worst Cooks in America) and playing with Sophie.

    Life isn't perfect, but it sure isn't boring around here! Come by and play, share a treat or give the kitties a little scratch behind the ears. Happy Sunday!

    March 18, 2012

    Note to Self...

    Pinterest does not have everything.

    GASP! Lots of my friends (or people who somehow show up on my account) keep "pinning" things that sound great like "31 fast, tasty, inexpensive meals WITH grocery lists!" but don't work out for me. Why? I absolutely refuse to regularly cook with "helpers," cream-of soups, ground beef, canned vegetables (good in soups when rotating food storage) or canned breads*.

    Some examples?
    - Browned ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese & pasta
    - Canned biscuits, hot dogs & cheddar cheese
    - "Beenies & weenies" casserole
    - Boxed mac & cheese, a can of tuna & a can of peas
    - Ramen & tuna

    Apparently there are people who enjoy those flavors but I'm not one of them. What I'd really like is a list of "Fast, healthy, tasty, inexpensive meals WITH grocery list"that fits my preferred way of living. Sigh. I guess that's something I will just have to do for myself. Thanks a lot, internet!

    UPDATE: after mentioning this to Craig, he suggested having a food blog or site. We might just do that to keep track of our favorite healthy recipes, meals & grocery lists. :)

    *Yes, I do enjoy a good Pillsbury crescent roll every now an then but do you have any idea how much FAT there is in one of those things?

    March 13, 2012

    A big, fat picture post

    Just a bunch of pictures of what we've been up to since January.

    We went on our Honeymoon (finally.) 

    I graduated and even got my diploma to prove it.

    Catered & hosted Emily's reception

    Visited my family in Connecticut. Sophie LOVED
    playing with Uncle Andrew!

    Catered a reception at the Provo Library.

    Fruit. Yum!

    Got my kitchen painted by my brother-in-law, Kirk. 

    Put together the new crib complete with custom bumpers &
    coordinating bed skirt. I have an amazing mom.

    Updated a shelf that hung in my room as a baby.
    That was my (and Sophie's) blessing dress.

    I discovered the Dollar Store and have been systematically organizing my whole life.
    Pinterest "clean bucket" project has helped a lot- cleaning supplies on every floor of the house. 

    I made a Spring wreath. Gerberas are my favorite flower-
    so bright and happy!

    Made a few mantle decorations out of candle sticks,
    vases,  ribbon scraps & Easter candy.

    Since the weather has been warmer, we've
    gone on a lot of walks around the neighborhood. 

    And spent a lot of time at the parks. 
    And we've continued to build our food storage. 

    March 8, 2012

    My not-quite-midnight musings

    1. Sleep isn't optional. 
    2. Having a clean, organized home really does encourage calm(er) living.
    3. Running to-do lists help me stay on track.
    4. I like having a list of projects, crafts or recipes to try handy. Pinterest for the win on this one.
    5. There is no such thing as perfect
    6. Potty training has started in the Nas-ter-son house. Sophie really enjoys sitting on her potty chair and (properly) using a piece of TP. Maybe she'll actually "go" in it before she's 2. I'd really like that.
    7. Sometime pie is worth the extra 500 calories. 
    8. I love having a well-stocked pantry and fridge but I hate it being cluttered or being overly stocked.
    9. I am very excited to have my potatoes and onions in baskets in my pantry. Apparently that helps them stay fresh longer. Even if not, it's cute. 

    March 7, 2012

    Happy 15 months, Sophie Brooke!

    Our very own little Sophie Brooke is 15 months today! I realized going through my blog that I haven't written much lately about her adventures, new achievements or other various antics. That is sort of the point of having a blog, right? To keep track of important things in life so you can read about them later? Here's to being a better journal-keeper/blogger this year!

    Sophie Brooke: Highlights

    Sophie the big sister
    • Sophie has all but two of her teeth- and those last ones are coming in now and giving her a harder time than any of the others. 
    • Sophie LOVES to run around making noise, run after her kitties and be chased by daddy
    • Favorite foods are: cheese ("chss"), gold fishes at church ("fsh"), #10 & butter pecan ice cream with grandpa Nasson, clementines, broccoli, strawberry yogurt, wheat toast, apple sauce, squash/zucchini and milk ("mm") 
    • Sophie does not currently like: carrots, apple slices, celery (unless it has peanut butter on it) or red meat (I think it's a texture thing.)
    • Some of Sophie's favorite activities include: reading books, brushing her teeth, sorting things, playing at the park, going for walks, bath time, just about any game with daddy but especially "rawr."
    • Sophie is a very good helper. She loves to help with laundry by moving clothing from one basket to another, in/out of the washer/dryer, "sweeping" the kitchen floor, putting her plate in a cupboard when she is done with it, stacking things up, putting a used diaper in the trash can and anything else that seems helpful. 
    • Sophie does not like having a wet or dirty diaper at all. She is very smart and knows exactly where to go to get a diaper and wipes. If she needs a change, she'll bring the supplies to you & lay down until you fix the problem. She will even pick up the used diaper and take it to a trash can if/when we let her. 
    • Sophie's vocabulary is growing but even if she doesn't have words for what she wants, she is very good at communicating her needs and wants. She does this by either physically taking us to something, moving our hands to do what she wants or starting to do/get whatever she wants. Currently, her most used words are: yes ("es"), cheese ("schees"), that, please ("ss"), this ("dis"), mom ("ma" or "mamama"), dad ("da" or "daada"), yum ("mmm") and fish ("fsh"). Every so often, she'll point at the cats and say "at" so we assume that she is saying cat. 
    • Sophie has little routines during the day and one of those involves handing me her bib, trying to climb in her high chair and then while waiting for me to get her some food or a drink, she will fold her arms for prayer. 
    • At the Lady Bug park
    • A few other little tidbits: Sophie loves to fill bags and carry them around with her, she has on several occasions gone to the bathroom to get a tissue to blow her nose and come out with half of the roll trailing behind her, she enjoys coming to color guard rehearsals and playing with the swing flags, she climbs EVERYTHING (chairs, toilets, beds, benches, cats, outside of stairs, high chairs, dressers...), she will imitate anything you do, she thinks it's great fun to take bobby pins out of my hair and try putting them in her own hair (or daddy's head...), loves reading books- especially lift-the-flap books, dancing and is just starting to learn how to play *with* other toddlers rather than around them. 
    We love our little Sophie so much and get so many laughs out of her funny faces, daily antics and general cuteness! 

    March 4, 2012

    Sophie's First Blog Entry

    So, mommy & daddy have started telling people that I'm going to be a big sister this summer. I tried telling people, but no one seemed to understand what all the babble was about. Now that they have started listening, there have been some questions about me being ready to be a big sister. Of course I'm ready! I am 15 whole months old and I know what it's like to be a baby now. I've been there. I've made a short list of some of the ways I know I have the experience I need to be the BEST big sister to the new baby.

    • I got a baby of my very own for Christmas and I've had lots of fun with her already! We climb chairs together, run into things and roll all over the place. I even took her on an airplane ride to visit my grandma and grandpa in Connecticut. 
    • I already know how to take my own diapers off so I'll be to help with baby diaper changes even if mommy doesn't ask me for help. 
    • Daddy reads me stories when he is home and I will be able to show the baby my books while daddy is gone and help her to love them like I do. 
    • When the baby is older, I'll share my bath and bath toys. I liked sharing toys with my uncle Andrew when we visited. Mommy says I won't be able to share a bath for a while. I don't understand that. 
    • I have a very cute, smily baby cousin I get to visit sometimes and I like to sit next to him and hand him his toys when he drops them. I even try really hard to remember to be EXTRA gentle with the baby. 
    • I have two kitties that are smaller than me and they love me. Daddy says I should practice a little more "gentle" with them before the baby comes. He might be right. 
    • Baby won't have a tail ( least that's what they've told me) so I won't have to worry about remembering not to pull any tails. 
    • And best of all, I know how to get whatever I want from my daddy so I know I'll be able to teach my little baby the same tricks, too. It might even be easier with TWO cute smiles! 
    I'm excited to be a big sister and have even started helping mommy put baby clothes in the new nursery closet, put the crib together, watched her & grandma make the pretty crib bumpers & skirt for the crib and I'm going to help daddy hang up a shelf later. I love the baby already! 



    Some Mommy Notes: 
    • Baby should be coming to live with us the first week of July
    • Depending on when baby decides to come play, Sophie will be 19 or 20 months old when she is officially a big sister
    • More:

    Just some Sunday morning pictures...

    "Hi, Pooh & co. Did you know I'm going to be a big sister?"

    "I'm going to be a GREAT big sister!"