Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vacation Preparation

Boy, after planning a vacation, I really need a vacation. It's a lot of work! Especially with a child to think about and pack for grandma and grandpa's too. I'm exhausted and ready to relax.

We are leaving Sophia with our parents for 4 nights while we are in Mexico. I am already having a really hard time with the idea of leaving her and have broken down twice. I have never once left her overnight before. Once I tried, but ended up coming home at 3 am. This vacation is meant to be an enriching, special time for Jared and me and I know that Sophia will be in the best of hands, but this Mommy's heart of mine is still breaking. I would request prayer for peace and assurance that Sophia will be safe and secure in my absence. I also ask that my mind would center its focus on my dear husband, and not be consumed with how much I miss our daughter. Thank you all for your prayers. It is so comforting to know that I can reach out for prayer support to so many wonderful people.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


When we got our townhome rented out, and received our stimulus check, Jared gave me a big surprise. He told me that we would each get a sum of money to spend on whatever we wanted. We have been living quite tightly up til now, and have been on a pretty strict budget for the past couple of years. So this was a big surprise! It is a rare occasion that I get the luxury of spending money on desires, rather than needs.

Please don't get me wrong here-- I am not complaining in the least. I love my life, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I don't mind living on a budget. In some ways it makes life less complicated. I grew up watching an amazing mother and father handle money prudently. They were never wasteful in spending. It taught me to be frugal as well.

Very frugal. In fact, I may be a little overly frugal at times. I will scrimp and save where ever I can, even cutting myself off from necessities at times. I reason with myself, trying to find some other way to fill the need that would cost less. (For this reason, Jared has to take over a lot of the shopping, because I would come home without half the items on the list!) Together, we have become the masters of finding deals, using coupons, shopping clearance and hunting sales. We only buy off-brands. We save where we can.

All of this is very well and good for normal daily shopping. However, when I stepped out of my "save or die" mentality to explore the world of possibilities on which to spend my fun money, I went into sticker shock. The things I am attracted to, are NOT on the clearance rack. There are no coupons. They never go on sale. But I bucked up, and after an hour-and-a-half of weighing my selections, I carefully chose a few items, and dolled out some of my precious green. The next day, I brought them all back. I decided they weren't the best possible items on which to spend my money.

Today, I made another attempt at denting my fun budget. This time, only 2 of 3 things are going back. Progress!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ariel's Baby Shower

Ariel and her mom. So sweet:)
All the Norquist girls (Naomi, Becky, Ariel, Anna, Shannon)


Opening the blanket Ashlee knit her (who taught herself how to knit on the internet!)
Umbilical cord hat knit by Grandma Betty!
Boppy pillow! (One of the best gifts she will receive in my opinon!)
Price-is-Right Baby EditionIt was a FULL house!

"Bath water" punch that foamed to look like suds! Served in a rubber ducky bathtub.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Making gravy is my hurdle to overcome.

I just cannot do it. I have tried over and again, and have never made a satisfactory pan of gravy to date. The embarrassing part is that I have NEVER heard of anyone else complaining about the complexities of making gravy. I don't believe it is supposed to be as tricky as souffle. I don't think it is supposed to take 45 minutes. I don't think it is supposed to be runnier than the water in my glass. I don't think it is supposed to taste like flour.

Of course, like every woman, I compare my gravy to my mother's. The texture, flavor, and color all need to be just like Mom's. My conclusion: It's never gonna happen. Mother's always make the best food that cannot be duplicated. This does, however, give me a glimmer of hope that someday my food will be unrepeatable to my children.

Whatever. Mom, I need a lesson. It may take all day, and I may need to make 6 batches to even come close to getting it right, but I am ready to learn from the master. Again.