Friday, August 29, 2014

Where I've Been

Didn't this summer feel like a whirlwind?  It sure did for me!  Here's a little update on the Jorgenson family...

We're having a baby!

I've alluded to my pregnancy on this blog, but I never officially announced it.  So...we're expecting!  Unexpectedly!  God is a comedian, but at least His timing is always perfect.  We are due in January 18th and will find out about the gender soon.

We shared the news with our far-flung friends and family through Facebook with this fun throwback to the nineties...

Professor graduated!

After five years of hard work, Professor is officially Dr. Jorgenson, PhD in genetics.  I couldn't be more proud!  Neither of his parents went to college, so watching them watch him present his doctoral research was really something special.  

Pookie is of the firm belief that graduation means root beer floats and parties.  Something like that!

We moved!

With the end of one season, another begins.  At the end of July, the in-laws helped us pack up their trailer and move 600 miles south.  It's a little scary being this far from home, but we're settling in and consoling ourselves that it's only "for a few years."  Professor is doing post-doctoral research and already getting some positive results.  The Lord is good--even if the results stop coming in (but we sure do like having them!).

We don't live in a basement anymore!

Of course, moving to a new state means a new dwelling.  Do we still live in a basement?  No sir-ee!  We found a private homeowner with a two-bedroom apartment (a few hundred square feet more than our old place) over his garage.  It's not immensely bigger than our old place, but the layout makes it seem huge and wedon'tliveinthebasement!!  I keep window blinds up because nobody walks by and stares in at me; there are trees out nearly every window, so it's like living in a treehouse.

Plus.  I. have. a. washer. and. dryer.  I have officially joined the 1%, y'all!  And yes, I've moved far enough south that I say y'all now.  Deal with it.

I'm working like crazy!

If you had told me a year ago that a major income opportunity would be propelling us forward toward our financial goals, I probably would have laughed in your face.  But it's happening!  And I'm working my tail off for it!  I'm up at 5:30 to work before the girls get up, I work all through naptime, we have TV time so that I can work some more, and I sneak in work whenever they're playing nicely.  Sometimes even when they're in bed.  I'm exhausted, y'all (see, there it is again, sneaking in...), and often feel like I'm not doing anything well enough.  Add in pregnancy hormones and mommy guilt and some days I just want to crawl back in bed.

But.  I will say it again: God is good.  He is providing for our family in a way that I can clearly see.  It is stretching but in a way that forces me to use my time more wisely.  I also need to work on being fully "present" wherever I am, but the time constraints have already done some great things for our family.  And padding the bank account in the process isn't too shabby!

Phew!  That read almost like a Christmas card, didn't it?  But now you are all caught up in the world a la Jorgenson.  Come back soon, y'all!  (Oops, there it is again!)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Twitterature :: August 2014

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a monthly link-up for sharing casual, tweet-sized book reviews.  Here's what I've *finally* gotten through this month after a dry, weary season without my beloved books!

The Gown of Glory :: Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Sweet, quaint, lovely.  Preacher and his family with typical small town ups and downs and typical small town drama spread among a delightful cast of turn-of-the-20th-century characters.  Just what the doctor ordered to get me back into a book!

The Prisoner of Heaven: A Novel :: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I have a love/hate relationship with Zafon: I stayed up all night to finish his first in one sitting but was underwhelmed by the next one.  This was beautifully crafted, but some of the problem spots (jumping narrator/POV when it's not possible and the words "ashes" and "shadows" on every stinking page...) pulled me from the story, but I couldn't resist a good take on The Count of Monte Cristo.  #worthit, despite the flaws.
Year of No Sugar: A Memoir :: Eve O. Schaub

Fun, informative, thought-provoking without being real preachy.  Rethinking some habits, even if I'm not ready to purge sugar entirely from our house (Professor might not be as accommodating as Mr. Schaub).  I hope to hear more from Schaub, about sugar or anything else.
The Giver :: Lois Lowry

Classic.  Good as the first reading eons ago.  Probably better.  Excited about the movie release, but this re-read confirmed what I already know: #thebookwasbetter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Twitterature :: June/July 2014

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a monthly link-up for sharing casual, tweet-sized book reviews.  But for a change of pace, here's what I have not been reading!

Yeah, I said it.  I haven't finished a book since...May?

I'm still finding my sea legs as a work-at-home mom, then throw in packing for a major move and morning sickness (though it's been very mild, praise the Lord!) on top of returning everything to the library to avoid any last minute what-happened-to-that-book-I-should-have-returned-three-months-ago? fees, there simply aren't enough hours in a day.


 More Work For Mother :: Ruth Schwartz Cowan

Fascinating look into who-does-what, who-did-what, who-does-more, and why of laundry, cooking, and so forth throughout history.  Looking forward to finishing it someday!

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care :: Sally Fallon Morell

I hardly cracked the cover of this.  And, honestly, as much as I would love to finally get it together and have a perfect pregnancy with perfect nutrition...I'm very, very human.  Baby, I hope you like gummy bears.

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers :: Gordon Neufeld

It's been so long since I started (and returned to the library after two renewals) this gem that I forgot the title!  Neufeld got to the heart of a lot of things I wondered about even as a kid; lots of good stuff to ponder regarding how our kids spend their time.

Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure :: Samira Kawash

It's amazing how something as small as candy can be such a great window through which to explore history.  It's a shame I only made it to the early '70s.  I fully intend to reconcile that after we get settled after the move, gummy bears mentioned previously not optional.

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Vintage) :: Jill Lepore

There were so many more poetic lines that I dog-earred in this book than I thought I would (namely, none).  I hope to come across this book again, though as Jane Franklin's lot in life wasn't much to write home about, I probably won't go out of my way to make that happen.  But other titles by Lepore?  Bring 'em on.

So, that's what I haven't finished in the last two months.  Although now I realize that I have two borrowed books that I didn't finish either.  Hmm...I'd better return those to their owners before we move halfway across the country!

Also, I'm amending my ways: I am more than halfway through a delightful, old novel that's been sitting on my shelf for entirely too long.  I'm going to finish a book this month, come hell or high water!

What have you been reading (or not) lately?

Note: This post contains affiliate links; if you make a purchase through the link, I receive a small portion.  Thanks for supporting this site!

Friday, June 27, 2014

To my husband

Five years ago today, I walked down the aisle toward a handsome man in Peter Parker glasses and a black tuxedo.  Much of the day is a blur in my memory, but that doesn't matter much.

There are a lot of clear memories since that day to make up for it.

Like waking up and seeing him there next to me.  Every day!

Or the look on his face when there was a plus sign on the pregnancy test.

Or the way he handled our first real argument, not letting me pout/blame/shout/walk away and instead made me talk until we found resolution.

Or how he battled against worry when he was finishing his comps.  He sought counsel, prayed, unpacked his feelings, got to work, and got through it.  And on the other side?  I can see how his faith grew, because worry has a much smaller place in our lives now.

Or when he jumps in to help with housework that seems to have suffocated me.  (Is there anything sexier than a man washing dishes?)

Or when I came home right at the girls' bedtime one night and got to overhear Papa's sweet praying, two little loves in his lap.

Or how he still loves to escape the mundane things of life by strolling the grocery store.

Or every time his eyes light up at the dinner table.  Because home-cooked food is this man's love language (and sometimes junk food, too).

In less that two weeks, he'll defend his thesis and graduate.  Then he'll be Dr. Jorgenson and I will be the proudest woman in this whole darn state.  He has worked hard, loved much, and given of himself beyond anything I could have asked for.

It's premature to use your new title, but I must.  Dr. Jorgenson, thank you for these five years of learning, living, and loving.  No one could have done it better.  Here's to a million more.  I love you.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

How have I not mentioned my wake-up call from the DEA?


The brou-ha-ha surrounding the TV show Breaking Bad has died down a bit since it ended a few months ago, but if you aren't familiar with it, it's a show about a high school chem teacher who develops cancer and, facing steep bills for chemo, starts making and selling meth.  Even when he turns out to be cancer-free, he continues in the drug trade because he enjoys it.

I'm squeamish and we have high standards, so Professor and I only made it through a few episodes on Netflix before we abandoned the show.

A short time later, I read an article about a new method for making meth: it's new, it's portable, it's...meth you can make anywhere!  With a new, easier process, you can make meth in a bathroom!  A closet!  The trunk of your car!

I became fully convinced that every unsavory character on my at-times-unsavory street was making meth.  And maybe even some of the not-unsavory ones, because, hey, if a high school chemistry teacher is doing it...

One morning a while back, Zaboo woke up at 5am.  I quickly grabbed her and put her in our bed so that she didn't wake up her sister.  She talked, giggled, tried to shove her pacifier in my mouth, then fell into a deep, snore-filled sleep.1  I lay on my sliver of bed (why do babies hog all the room?), debating whether or not I should get up.

I didn't hear the door to our building open, but I heard some footsteps going up the stairs--not uncommon as our neighbors think "noise ordinances" exist in much the way unicorns do.


That definitely was uncommon.  And not at all pertaining to unicorns.

It was definitely time for me to get up.  I snuck to the living room and barely lifted one blind, just enough to peek out and play Nosy Neighbor.

Waaaaaay off to the left in front of my garage was a regular, local police SUV and two uniformed officers.  An unmarked car pulled up silently in front of my door, a plainclothes officer2 at the wheel.

These dudes were stealthy.

While taking in the rather boring goings-on outside, I half-expected to hear a Cops-worthy fight ensue overhead: swearing, throwing things, plates crashing into walls.  Instead, I heard (much louder) steps down and out the front door.

Through my slit in the blinds, I saw one-two-three-four DEA officers in full body armor escorting my neighbor to the unmarked car.  He was handcuffed and cooperative.  Honestly, the longest part of the procedure was watching all of the DEA guys pile into the clown car/Flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter (only way to explain cramming them all in).

So, my first drug bust was kind of a dud.  Hardly noteworthy.  Later, I found out it was about cocaine dealing and this wasn't the guy's first arrest; we just happened to be traveling the first time around (though that one, I guess, was even less interesting because it was just regular ol' cops).

I never saw it coming.  Nice guy.  Always polite.  Our kids play together sometimes.  He even lent me baking powder when I was in the middle of making a cake and had no time to run to the store.


At least I think it was baking powder...

1 My husband insists they get this from me because he doesn't snore.  I'm certain it's just one of those traits that skips a generation.  I certainly don't snore.  I never spent an entire night at camp thinking, "Gosh, whoever's snoring is driving me crazy," only to be told in the morning that I was the culprit.  Nope, that never happened.  Not once.
2 But really I can only assume that, can't I?  Maybe the DEA doesn't have much of an office 'round these parts and they just hired some rando.  Still, I like to think it was a highly trained ninja type who could have stopped a perp with his pinkie if need be.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Twitterature :: May 2014

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a monthly link-up for sharing casual, tweet-sized book reviews.  Here's what I've been reading!

Becoming Sister Wives :: Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown

Are you laughing at me?  Can I blame you?

This was a silly, on-a-whim grab from the NEW shelf at the library because I've seen some of this show.  An interesting look into the modern-day polygamy...but it definitely cemented my opinion that it doesn't work as well as they'd like it to work: lots of jealousy, financial struggles, and emotional problems below the surface.  Monogamy works; I think we'll stick with it. ;)

Taking Charge of Your Fertility :: Toni Weschler

Anne of MMD recommended that women of all ages and stages read this book to better understand their own body and fertility.  So glad I finally took that advice; I feel so much wiser about my business than all the complimentary-deodorant-and-maxi-pad classes in the world could have taught me.

How She Does It :: Anne Bogel

Speaking of Anne, she recently re-released her ebook on the new wave of women (and families) who are making family and career goals work for everybody by bending the rules and redefining roles.  Great insight and lots of examples show that if so many other ladies can make it work, so can I (or you!).  Highly recommend you snag a Kindle copy for just $5!

Pawn of Prophecy :: David Eddings

A fantasy not of my usual purview, but recommended (and borrowed) from a friend.  Fun and engaging, full of very well-developed characters on a quest to retrieve a stolen item and a young boy trying to figure out who he really is.  Probably a go for LOTR fans.

*Note: for the first time, this post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through the link, I will receive a small portion of the proceeds.  Thanks for supporting this site!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Day in the Life

Lots of bloggers do an annual "day in the life" post with pictures and notes about their day to document their daily lives and how they change (and don't) through the years.  Last Friday I decided to do the same for the first time, and this is what happened...

I shut my alarm off but don't get out of bed.  When I reach for my phone next, it's 6:30.  I check email and a few blogs to ease the transition of waking up, then eventually peel myself out of bed for some time in the Bible (and half a bagel!).

Since the girls seem to be sleeping in, I decide to sneak in a bit of freelance work.  By "a bit," I mean 10 minutes before I hear, "Maaaaamaaaaaaaaaaa!"  Then there are hugs, kisses, diaper changes/potty runs, getting them dressed, and making breakfast.  I say no to chips, chocolate, and a host of other things before we settle on oatmeal with raisins.

While the girls eat, I sneak off to the bathroom to get ready for the day.
Pookie has been earning money for doing chores for a few months now, and clearing and cleaning the table after breakfast is one of them.  Today, she doesn't not follow through despite several reminders.  After 15 minutes of watching her horse around, I clear two cups, wipe the table, and put a frowny face on her chore chart.  She protests since a frowny face means a fifty cent fine.  Much discussion (and a few tears) ensue.

Professor's lunch is a breeze to put together this morning: leftovers from Applebee's!  A friend texts me: I left stuff at her house.  She has time before running errands this morning to help me finish a skirt I started making with her yesterday, so I tell her we'll walk up to her place shortly.
Usually, this time is for tidying up the house, and lately we've added reading time on the couch, too.  However, since we're going up to our friend's house, we run around trying to finish getting ready and find socks and so on.  There may have been some tickling going on, too...

Out the door!  Sewing, chatting, kids overturning popcorn on the floor.  My skirt is done and lovely.  I'm not much of a skirt person, but this one is cute and will be great when the weather gets hot.  Pookie throws a fit as we leave; she wants to take their little girl's ballet slippers home.  My friend says they're from the dollar store, so I tell Pookie that we can go to the dollar store this weekend and she can buy her own with her chore money.  This does not stop the tears.

Walking home.  We get pretzels in bowls for snack, but before they eat, we check how much money is in Pookie's spending envelope.  $1 exactly.  We discuss sales tax, the frowny face fine, how much she'll earn this week, and chores that still need to be done.  With that out of the way, I let the girls watch Blue's Clues.

Mama time!  Guilty pleasures: Diet Dr. Pepper, candy, and the Sister Wives book because I got hooked on their show for a time and it was just sitting there on the "New" shelf at the library.  Don't judge me!
Zaboo wanders away from the TV and sits to cuddle with me for a few minutes before wandering back.

I look up a recipe for 2-ingredient cookies: oats and bananas, plus mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins.  The girls and I get busy mashing bananas and then we all stir in the oats.  Zaboo tries to eat as much of the mixture as she can while I finish mixing.  She climbs on the table, despite warnings, and gets moved to her high chair.  Chocolate chips make a decent consolation prize.

Once the cookies are in the oven, we work together on dishes...lots of water ends up on the floor, but the dirty dish pile is much smaller.  And Zaboo is so funny. She thrives on playing in the water.  We sing songs and giggle and it's a beautiful part of the day.

The girls go to their room and are playing quietly, so I grab my phone to make a phone call, two minutes tops.  At the 1 minute and 45 second mark, I notice Zaboo has snuck to the kitchen and is leaning too far forward on a chair.  I try to gracefully end my call, but the mechanic gets to hear, "Zaboo, you sit down right...CRASH! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"  Cuddles, kisses, mild told-you-so scolding.
What's Pookie up to?  This...

I make her clean up--thoroughly.  And get dressed.

Lunch!  Back to the not-any-cleaner kitchen.  Snacky lunch for the girls: salami, mixed nuts, blackberries, cucumber slices, 2-ingredient cookies (not bad; well received).

I have coleslaw and tomatoes for now; I usually eat my lunch while they're napping so that if I eat something different it's not a problem.  Plus it's nice to eat a meal in peace, you know?
We listen to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle on audiobook.  I'm never sure Pookie's really listening, but she asks me about the story later, and since Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle helps kids overcome things like selfishness and backtalk, I'm more than happy to discuss it with her.
Maintenance shows up to remove fans from our bedroom--they've been there for a WEEK trying to dry out our carpet.  But God is good: our carpet is dry and we can have quiet in our home once more!
Zaboo LOVED the cookie once she tried it.  She is a chocolate mess, so she gets a good scrubbing and fresh clothes and diaper.  We cuddle a minute and she goes down for nap.  I read some Garfield to Pookie (Professor has a collection and she loves these comics...even if she doesn't get the jokes) and head toward the computer to get some more freelance stuff (and this blog update) done.

Break for lunch (Applebee's leftovers of my own--yum!).  I just discovered Zinio through the library, so I browse through Country Living.  Then back to work.

Wrapping up work (for now).  Zaboo's making noise in her crib, but I let her wake up a little before I get her.  We snuggle and fill her sippie cup with water.  Since Pookie's still asleep, I decide to keep the little one busy by "helping" me take leftover chicken off the bones and start a batch of stock.  Zaboo happily munches chicken and gets busy "washing dishes" again with me after.
Super cute: when she wakes up much earlier than Pookie like this, at some point I usually need to use the bathroom.  She follows me, so I take her pants and diaper off her and show her how to sit on the little potty.  She won't be ready to fully train until after we move, but she thinks it's a hoot, so we enjoy that.  Then stories mixed with cleaning up.

The 4 o'clock hour is always a hodgepodge of tasks.  Today, I dice onions and split peppers for dinner (stuffed bell peppers), sweep, do more dishes, tidy my bedroom, nag remind Pookie to pick up her toys, get dressed (yeah...somehow that didn't happen yet today....), vacuum, promise to play even though there isn't time at the moment...all so we can enter the perfect storm: the witching hour.

Arguably the worst hour of the day for mothers the world over.  Kids are clingy, whiny, hungry, and unable to entertain themselves.  Meanwhile, Mama needs to get dinner prepped, cooked, and on the table while aforementioned curtain climbers place Olympic-size obstacles in her way.  Some days are better than others around here.  Today, since we'd gotten the house (mostly) picked up and neighbor kids were playing outside, we went out to enjoy the nicer weather until it was time to come in and finish getting dinner put together.

6 and beyond
I had every intention of documenting the whole day...but documenting fell by the wayside.  I snapped this picture, which shows that I needed some alone-in-the-kitchen-to-work time (also, Zaboo climbs chairs and counters constantly, and I just wanted to cook in peace!).  Pretty sure I made something with peppers and onions...

I think we rented Cars on Amazon and let the girls stay up late enough to watch the whole thing.  Brushed teeth, let Pookie go to bed in her clothes (her absolute favorite thing to do).

Professor and I played Scrabble and watched a few episodes of The Good Wife if I remember correctly.  Then I fell into blissful sleep...all to wake up and do it again the next day.  And that's a day in the life for 2014!
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