Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Dish and the Birthday Boy

The other day, I tried out a new thrift store someone recommended to me.  It had a great furniture section, but was pretty skimpy on the clothes.  As I ambled through the shelves of dishes, though, I spied this little darling.

It is a small ironstone tureen.  Somewhere along the way, it lost its lid, so it's not terribly valuable to "real" collectors, but it was certainly worth $1.50 to me!

It's like a Mini-Me to the tureen I found last fall!

Totes adorbs, as the young people say.

Even without its lid, it can be useful.  Like holding the keys I lose at least once a week.

It's a little thing, but it made my day.

Speaking of making my day, this kid has always made my day.  Fourteen years ago today, he was my day!  Micah Robert was born at 3 p.m. that day.  He gave us a scare as the cord was wrapped around his neck, but now that's just something to tease him about and I am so very thankful.

Isn't he the cutest?

Happy birthday, Micah!  You are a blessing to us and we love you!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Burns' Night Supper. Sort of.

For years, I have dreamt of hosting a Burns' Night Supper.

Yes, okay, this might be an odd thing to dream of.  Don't judge.

But I love anything to do with Scotland - history, culture, lochs, bens, castles, tartan, kilts, all of it.  So, a dinner to celebrate all things Scottish is right up my alley.

Of course, Burns' Night Suppers are generally just a good excuse to get together and drink, but according to my research, there are a few other traditions associated with the event.

Bagpipes, haggis, neeps and tatties, poetry, whiskey-soaked desserts, funny toasts to the lassies and replies from the lassies, and more.  Oh, and lots of whiskey.

So, this year I finally got my plans together - menu, decor, invitations, music, entertainment - and even convinced a few folks to join us for a Burns' Night Supper.  Grown-ups only, no less.

Well, you may imagine my chagrin when yesterday I found that the stomach bug I thought had departed for good was still hanging around me.  I debated, but finally decided that I would take a lesson from Typhoid Mary and not risk spreading anything.

As it turns out, the snow we got today made the roads around here pretty treacherous, so we probably would have cancelled anyway.

It's not like the supper I had planned was totally authentic anyway (no haggis!), so I hope we can reschedule even if it's not on - or even very near - Robert Burns' birthday.

I did decide to go ahead and fix the pork loin and bake the scones and roast the potatoes I had planned on.  We could feast as a family, even if the whiskey drams were served in super-hero plastic cups.  

I kid.  No whiskey.  For the kids anyway.

And, as it turned out, no meat for any of us.

At some point in the afternoon, a child went to toast an English muffin for a snack and unplugged the crock pot to plug in the toaster and didn't re-plug the crock pot!  I didn't notice until I went to cut the meat and found it luke-warm and too pink to eat.

Maybe it's a good thing we didn't have guests for dinner!

So, I grabbed halloumi (goat cheese from Cyprus) from the fridge and fried it up to go with the scones and potatoes.

The theme for the day seems to have been "Go With the Flow."  So, that's what I did.

After supper, John and I shared some Glenfidich in front of the fireplace.

A perfect ending to an imperfect day.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dining Room Chair Re-do and Gratuitous Baby Pictures

A couple of years ago, I inherited my grandparents' dining room set.  Actually, it first belonged to my great-grandparents and my dad knew it in his childhood.  

Objects which hold childhood memories for two of the most sentimental people I know?  This set is practically a holy relic.

Unfortunately, when it came to us, the upholstery was already a holey relic.

(See what I did there?)

I remember the upholstery as being some sort of late-60s geometric pattern of green plush on a white background, but whether or not that is accurate, someone older and wiser will have to say.  

Some time in the intervening decades, my grandparents re-covered the chairs in white.  How impractical, right?  

So, by the time they came to us, the seats were already stained and ratty around the edges.  My kids contributed to the ensuing carnage until they were in considerable dishabille.  

(The chair covers, not the kids.  Well...them too.)

It has long been my intention to re-cover the chairs and to, of course, choose a darker, more stain-friendly pattern, especially since we use these every day (now that I have a real dining room!  Hooray!).

So, on Monday I braved the MLK, Jr.-day-off crowd and went to JoAnn Fabrics to pick new upholstery.  

And then, despite my best intentions, I came across this metalasse fabric and I had to have it.  Plus, it was half off so it was practically begging me to buy it!

Even whiter than the last white chair covering.

Hysterically impractical, I know.  You don't have to tell me.  

But they're so pretty! 

Yes, I'm saying that in a wistful voice because I know they won't stay this pristine for long.  And that's okay, I'm raising kids not preserving pristine upholstery. 

The corners still look clunky to me, but the thicker material made them ill-behaved.  I'm sure it's not because I don't know what I'm doing.  

I obsessed over them for a few hours and then just went with imperfection.  Tell me you didn't even notice and now that you do they look great, and no one will get hurt.

The kids have already been warned not to go near one of these chairs unless there is a towel over it.

I WILL be making some more practical covers to go over the pure white, so perhaps it will last long enough for me to have a couple of grown-up dinner parties on the white.  

Now, to distract you from shaking your head at me and my folly, here are some pictures of pretty much the cutest baby in the world.

Born to be queen!

Warming up to the camera.

Playing coy.

Oh, yeah, baby!

What's that?  I'm adorable?

Now who's shy?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Best Adoption Update Ever

In my December 3 post, Adoption Update, I asked you all to keep praying for our adoption process.

I wrote: "Please pray that the decision would be entered soon, that the birth father would rest his case, and that we could finalize our adoption.  This calendar year would be ideal." 

Well, somebody must have been praying!

Last Tuesday, on Evie's first birthday, within the calendar year of 2013, our lawyer called and informed us that the adoption was finalized.

We were stunned to find out that the thirty-day wait we had so dreaded had not only started but was over!  We don't know how or why the birth father decided not to appeal, but we are overwhelmingly thankful that he made that decision.

So, the decision was entered even before I wrote that December 3 post, the birth father has let it go, and the adoption is finalized; all within that calendar year!

I am simply overcome by God's gentle grace and infinite goodness in all of this.  

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen."
Ephesians 3:20

So, on Tuesday, we celebrated Evie's first birthday AND her "Gotcha Day."  We hardly dared to ask for such a thing, but we thank those of you who have prayed boldly for us in all of this. 

Happy New Year, indeed.

God is good.