Monday, July 26, 2010

A shout out to Aunt Karen

For years now, I've been wanting to tackle a project that I knew would bring me great joy once finished. Before I tell you what that project is, you get a story from my childhood. (surprise, surprise!)

My name is Kari. You all know that. But what you may not realize if you have a name like Mary, Kate, or any of my siblings (Christine, Adam and Brian) is that no one spells my name like I do. Or at least not enough people to warrant your typical pencils, key chains, mugs, etc. I don't think it would have been as big a deal to me if my siblings, friends and cousins all had unique names like me or even if they didn't have items with their names on them. Every year when we went school shopping, my siblings were able to choose items with their names on them and I chose Lisa Frank items (although I would have chosen those items as well because they were so cool). I'm not saying I have a complex because of it, far from it. I love my name and have always thought it a wonderful way to spell it. Not to mention I named my children far from 'plain jane' names, so I'm not too butt hurt over it. But every now and again (as a child) I would find something with my name on it and I would be elated. My mom always gave in to buying said item because it was so rare. (I can only think of two things that she bought for no reason other than it was the correct spelling of my name: a magnet and a license plate key chain)

Which brings us to my beach towel. Each of us (including cousins) had a beach towel made for us with our name on it. I loved my beach towel. I still have it, it's sitting on the couch right next to me and is banned from use for fear that it will get stained. It's a keepsake of mine that I cherish and will always cherish because of the paragraph above.

Which then brings us to my project. I've wanted to make beach towels for my children and their cousins for years now, probably since the oldest cousin was born (2002). And for some odd reason this is the year I'm starting all of my projects I've wanted to do for years but haven't. It seems odd, since I'm probably the most busy I've been in my life, two children, two dogs, an active social life as well as a great marriage. But here I am, at least starting projects that have been marinating in my mind for years now, tweaking them and re-doing them until I get it right. This towel project will be no different, I fear. After seeing how my aunt Karen made my towel, I realized that I wouldn't be able to do the same, she used a machine and the towel I bought seems too big for the machine. I may end up having to try anyway, depending on how this version holds up. I guess we'll see!

I didn't explain above, but recently I asked my mom who made the towels for us. She told me my Aunt Karen made them. So I want to say thank you, Aunt Karen from the bottom of my heart for giving me a present that brought me so much joy as a child. I have many happy memories of using that towel and being so proud that it said my name, spelled correct. :)

The towel that Aunt Karen made. It's quite faded, but it used to be purple.

The towel I made with Glenn on it to show size. I used the same fish fabric from his sun hat.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Favorite- my husband

This Friday I am surrounded by thoughts of my husband, Thomas. I'm getting ready for his going away party on Sunday, which makes me think of the fact that he's going away. Just a few short weeks ago he told me that he was in line to deploy. I never take a rumored deployment seriously until he says it's for sure. A few days later, it was done, his name was on the roster for an IA (individual augmentee) billet to leave with the Air Wing in August. It's been so long since he's deployed, my head spun a little to try to remember what all we needed to get done before he leaves. Not to mention the fact that the last time he deployed we were so freshly pregnant that we didn't even know we were expecting. So leaving with two children so small is a bit different. There are videos of him reading books to be made, a 'daddy doll' of him in his uniform to make as well, not to mention he's somehow let two years pass with neither child on his page 2 (the military's version of next of kin).

There were things to buy and things to fix. Things to teach (I have yet to mow a lawn) and things to set aside (he reads more books than one can imagine when deployed). And in the middle of all this preparation, there are things to savor and things to memorize. The way his lips feel on mine when we kiss. His scent. His beautiful smile that somehow eludes the camera. Every activity is a reminder that he will be leaving; taking a trip to the store to buy bunting for the banner that I'm making for his going away party (pictures to follow when I finish), making dinner, putting Genny to bed. The last two items will be done differently after he leaves. Baby Glenn will need attention while I put Genny down. Not that I haven't put her down by myself before, but it will be consistent now. Dinner will be a whole lot smaller and will probably have less pizazz since it will just be me and Genny and she's easy to please.

These things that will change once Thomas is gone are going to be constant reminders of how much I miss my husband and how much I love him. We have become comfortable in our lives in such a way that I feel like no one could ever replace him. Our friendship is the largest strength in our marriage, and something that caused me to see us together long-term when we were dating.

Most men seem to be alike, or at least in one category. I feel like God broke the mold when he made Thomas, which in the most part is great, but can be of course trying in other aspects. Typical tricks of the trade don't work on him, honesty is the best way to go if you want him to do something.

His moral compass is my true north, showing me that you can be a man as well as a father as well as a sexy husband. In this blog I've told you of things he is, and there is just one thing he won't be: Here. I love this man so much that I could be next to him every day for the rest of my life and not get tired of it. He is my best friend and my husband, and my everyday favorite.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friday Favorite- Caphalon Pots and Pans

This Friday Favorite is a bit late (yes, it's Sunday) but since I worked on Friday, I was unable to post anything.

When I got engaged to my wonderful husband, I knew that I would register for many kitchen items for the wedding, hopefully amassing a cavalry of kitchen tools to aid me in the battle of what's-for-dinner throughout the years. After realizing that it was nearly impossible to plan a wedding in Michigan from Japan, I reluctantly let go of the dream of a wedding. This meant that instead of getting all the kitchen items on one day, I would have to ask for them each holiday until I had everything I needed for my kitchen. In this list of must-have items, I included Caphalon pots and pans, a brand that I had seen at my sister's house and heard her rave about. I knew that if I had these pots and pans, they would be the only ones I would ever need, which would save me not only money in the long run, but food too, since having them for so long means knowing what they're capable of which, in turn, means no burning, and [hopefully] no under cooking.

After about two years of marriage and using some pots and pans we bought at a thrift store in Japan, my sister told me that she and her husband would like to buy us the Caphalon pots and pans as a wedding gift. I guess they realized that Thomas and I weren't going to have a wedding after all, but wanted to give us something to symbolize our union.

These pots and pans are the best pots and pans that I could ask for. They cook food evenly, and I have a few stories of how the non-stick has been a wonderful feature. I left the burner on low for several hours one time, not realizing that it was still on. This crusted the sauce of whatever I was cooking to the pan. I was worried that I had ruined the pan, but when I ran the water over it, it started peeling away. All I had to do was run the sponge over it and everything came right off. Now never worry about how long the pot sits on the range, waiting to be washed. Even caramel comes off super easy after sitting in the pot for hours or a day or two. The one thing that you have to remember with the non-stick Caphalon is that you can't use any metal utensils. This really isn't a problem for me unless someone else is cooking in my kitchen besides my husband and I (which rarely happens).

Looking for a set of pots and pans that will making cooking easy and clean up even easier? Caphalon is your best bet.

As stated in previous Friday Favorites, I don't get anything from the companies of products I feature in Friday Favorites. It's just something that I love and would like to share with you.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and hopefully I can blog more this week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!!!

My in-laws are here for a week and boy have we been busy!! They arrived on Sunday, just in time for lunch. We didn't do much due to the fact that they are from South Carolina and were quite jet lagged as well as tired from staying up all night the previous night. So we lazed around, watching TV, eating dinner and going to bed on time.

Monday brought with it a long hike (even though we thought it would be a shorter hike). We went to Lake Poway and decided to try to hike around the lake again (I say 'try again' because as most of you know we brought Gus with us the first time we tried to hike around the lake and he just about died of heat exhaustion). We succeeded in hiking around the lake, although it was a bit longer than we anticipated, so our 2 mile detour made the total hike all that much longer. The littlest hiker, Thomas' sister Jillian, wasn't in much of a mood to hike, and made sure we knew it! Thank goodness for down hill, or else we probably would have had to carry her...

On Tuesday we had Spinal Defects Clinic with Genny; the yearly appointment was unable to be moved. So Thomas, Glenn, Genny and I packed up for a [not so] fun-filled day of appointments and doctors. Genny got her fluroscopy again, and her reflux in her bladder has down graded on both sides. The Urologist was confident that she would resolve her reflux by next year, much to our surprise and glee. We also got an ear-full from the Urology NP- a good ear full since she actually got us on track to get Genny's bowls in order. We've seen the Ped GI several times over the past year to try to get Genny on a good regiment for her bowl movements and have gotten no where with her. One mention of Genny's GI issues to the Urology NP and we are now on a path to scheduled continence! Ann Marie of Rady's Children's Hospital, we adore you.

The family ended up trying to take part in the free museum Tuesday down at Balboa Park while we were at the hospital for nine hours (seriously, nine hours). They ended up getting there a little later in the day than most for a free museum day, so they toured the Train museum and had lunch, then called it a day.

Wednesday brought with it a delayed start thanks in most part to a sick Lucky-dog who threw up three times in the night as well as pooped. After cleaning that up, and eating breakfast, I found that Lucky threw up another two times. My mother in law also ended up cutting her finger deep enough that we considered taking her in to get stitches, but settled for some super glue instead. After all the excitement coupled with nursing, changing diapers, packing a lunch and getting both kids and myself ready for the day, we ended up leaving for Sea World at about 11:30am.

We ate lunch in the parking lot before entering the park, and spent about 6 hours there. We got to the restaurant at about 8, with a sleeping Genny as well as a content Glenn (thank goodness!). We ate at Western Burger in San Diego, a hole in the wall restaurant that has amazing burgers and is known for it's Gyros. We arrived home at about 10pm, and I was surprised that Genny went back down well after changing her diaper and putting her in jammies. We decided to take it easy today and just hang around the house, which is the only reason I'm even blogging. Thomas is making jerky and for dinner ribs, and I'm getting a few chores done that needed to be done. Genny is taking a much needed nap (she hasn't gotten a nap for the entire time the family has been here) and we're all resting from the chaos of trying to see and do too many fun things. But we're going to the beach tomorrow, which will bring with it lots of sand and probably at least one sunburn :( as well as all of us most likely super tired again.

I hope you're all having a great week, I know I am.