Thursday, February 28, 2008

You know you've hit a low...

When you find yourself licking BBQ sauce off the mouse because you have been sitting in front of the computer watching TV episodes (NCIS and CSI) while eating ribs. I think I need to get out more...that or find more BBQ sauce.

Best sauce ever:
I like the thicker style best, and Jason likes the hot.

Best ribs ever:
My recipe...adapted from Emeril Lagasse


1 rack pork spare ribs (remove membrane from inside the rack…not flesh side)
Essence (see other recipe)
3c. apple cider
½ c. brown sugar

Liberally season both sides of the ribs with Essence. Place the ribs in a gallon Ziploc and set in a baking dish (in case of leaks). Pour cider over ribs, press air out of bag and seal. Refrigerate 24 hours, turning periodically.

Discard marinade and press brown sugar over the fleshy side of the ribs. Wrap in two layers of aluminum foil, sealing each layer well. Place points down on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours at 350ยบ or until flesh is pulling away slighly from bone.


This recipe goes great with Mac salad and is a hit any time of year….
I usually cut the raw ribs into 2-3 sections for better marinating…or put them in the bottom of a large Rubbermaid container.

Though I just use Italian Seasoning instead of the two herbs.

As a clarification, I don't usually put BBQ sauce on my ribs when they are fresh from the oven. I don't think they really need it then 'cause they are pretty tasty on their own, but I do like the sauce with cold leftovers....well, that and just sticking my fingers in my bowl of sauce and licking it off. It's just that good.

I challenge you to branch out into the culinary world of ribs, and reap the rewards for yourselves.

In response to demand:

So I hear that I have been neglecting my blog. Apparently there are a few addicts out there (especially my overdue pregnant sister who is stir-crazy) who are a bit antsy for their next fixes. Well, here is a sneak-peek at what has been keeping me away.

We have been remodeling our family room and utility room to make way for baby....and I say make way for baby because the nursery (and the rest of the house) is full of the furniture and items that have been displaced from the two rooms because we were too cheap to rent a POD. In retrospect, I so wish we had spent that $200, but who were we to know that this phase of the project would take nearly 1.5 months instead of a couple of weeks? Right....that would be common sense....remodels never go as planned.

Here are some pictures of the chaos as of a month has only gotten worse my friend....way worse. Add a lot more clutter and a lot more dust and dirt and you will get closer to the current state of affairs. Please bear with me as this is my first attempt at pictures on the blog.

The layout isn't quite working (have to check with the consultant know, I hear he sleeps with his boss...), so the pictures are as follows:

1. Our guest room/office (there is a queen-size bed under all that stuff)

2. Our "living" room (though we haven't really been living in it lately)

3. Our family room (all the stuff is out of there and in the rest of the house right now)

4. The doorway of our future nursery (this is about as far as you can go into the room because there is so much stuff in it)

Thought you all might also like a peek at the colors of our "new" rooms. I will post pictures of the actual rooms on the blog later when things are together.

Chamois is five down and two right.

Cola is the color of our floor, though of course it is slightly different from the sample. More reddish I think.

The rug looks like it is two different colors, but the difference is just in the pile height..alternating between a a low shag and berber-type. We are going to lay it down in the room tonight to make sure we like it and negotiate about size.

We really like how the colors are coming together and making such a warm-looking space. It's a bit echo-ey at the moment, but that should get better when we get stuff loaded into the rooms. Carpet and curtains can do a lot to absorb noise. We will use the white curtains from the front windows for the family room window. Right now, they get so dirty from the dogs poking their heads through to see out the front windows. We will then replace the front curtains with ones in a chocolate tone, and the white curtains shouldn't get as dirty in the family room since the window is not at dog-height.

The project is finally going well and we are set to start the floor sealing on Friday evening, since we cleaned last night and we are supposed to let things dry for two days before the first sealer goes down. We expect to finish painting on Saturday, do a couple coats of wax on Saturday evening, and start installing and filling the storage system on Sunday after church. We then expect to start moving the rest of the stuff in either late on Sunday or on Monday evening.

How exciting is that?!?

I just read back over stuff and found that I was writing "we expect" a lot. This has definitely been one of those projects that has not gone as expected. The plan has been changing ever since we pulled up the carpet in the first place, and even once we started actually working on the floor it has been nothing but hard work...especially for my long-suffering hubby.

It's been like Groundhog Day for him, but cement-style. He goes to work to get paid during the day, then comes home in the evening and on weekends to work on this crazy floor, goes to sleep for a few short hours, then wakes up and does it all over again. He has been a super-trooper and I love him so much and appreciate all that he has been sacrificing to take care of our family. He has been sacrificing two of the things that bring him a lot of joy -- writing and reading, so that we can get this all done before I pop (less than 5 weeks to go!). Each iota of adhesive that he scraped, ground, and sanded from our floor was a visible expression of his love for me. If only all women could be so blessed by their husbands.

Another really bright spot amidst the hard slog, is that some most excellent friends came up from Corvallis last Saturday and painted their hearts out. Mike, Lynn, and Jason did all the priming and painting on the walls and ceiling. All that's left is a little bit of touch-up after we finish with the first floor sealant. Mike and Lynn were such an encouragement and just really fun to work with. We wish that we lived closer so we could see more of them, but we always have such a great connection when we do get a chance to spend time together. They are awesome peeps. Wish I had pics of the day, but not much you can do after the fact...darn preg-brain strikes again!

OK, so this has become a super-mammoth post, but hopefully you all will enjoy the rich content...(that's all the rich I got cause we're spending all our money on the remodel....)


Monday, February 11, 2008

What comes out of my navel...

I am sitting here sequestered in the office, staring at my navel while Jason is vacuuming drywall dust from the rest of the house. No seriously. I'm waiting for the kid to kick and thinking about how things look different....way different. So here are a few of the thoughts that come out of staring at my navel.....I bet you were thinking that this post would be about lint, but ladies don't get lint in their navels, they get inspiration.

And to those of you (you know who you are) who are wondering why I am not helping my beloved husband, it is because I am trying to avoid having yet another bad asthma flare because the next one would probably end up with my on prednisone (an oral steroid). We are trying to avoid prednisone because then my gestational diabetes would probably go out of control to where I would have to use insulin, which is another whole level of pregnancy risk and we just don't want to go there.

Suffice to say, life has been a bit challenging lately. Last week was a series of events beginning with a head cold, the start (and today finish) of the drywall phase of reconstruction, asthma (from the construction dust combined with pregnancy) that wouldn't respond to my meds and landed us in the ever-fun realm of late-night health care, and a nasty tangle with some sort of GI bug that had me laid up for almost two days...that is after they ruled out pre-term labor and uterine infection.

Did I say that pregnancy is fun?


Just checking.

Cause if I did, then I was having a major case of preggo-brain....and I mean major.

On the upside, the highlight of the week was that I had a fabulous baby shower given for me by my wonderful friend Jodie who has been a major source of joy, encouragement, fun, and inspiration in my life. She is sensitive to the needs of others, gracious, and a fantastic mom. I feel like I learn so much about parenting and womanhood when I am around her...of course, she's probably turning very pink about now and feeling shy of the limelight, but I can't resist praising her beautiful character. Thank you, Jode.

My shower was on Sunday afternoon and Jason's parents were coming up in the morning to visit so that his Mom could go to the shower with me (it was a lot of fun to hang out with them and show off the changing landscapes of our house and my belly). Before they came, though, we had a couple errands to do. So in the process of erranding ( I won't bore you with the details, as I am wont to do), I realized that it was the day for my baby shower. Not someone else's shower, but MINE.

(Here's where I take off my glasses as my eyes mist up)

Our baby is about to arrive. We will hold her and care for her and love her always. But you know, I loved her before I ever knew anything about her. I loved the thought of her years ago when I kept asking Jason if the timing was right for a baby in our lives. I loved her when we finally started trying to conceive over two years ago. I loved her through months of frustration and disappointment. I loved her when we went on the first fertility drug. I loved her when we miscarried our first pregnancy. I loved her through the grieving process that came after the miscarriage, and I will always love the child that we never knew. I loved her when we added the second fertility drug. I loved her that Saturday morning when I peed on that stick and saw the faint second line that was the beginning of knowing her. I loved her when I peed on a second stick on Sunday just to make know how it can never be too sure before getting crazy excited....

She has caused us a few scares already. Taxed my body and our marriage. Caused pain, suffering, and worry, but I still love her and can't wait to meet her. Kind of makes you think about the amazing love of our heavenly Father, doesn't it? How He loves us across time and space, even when we are not capable (or willing) to return His love.

But on Sunday, I was busy wondering who am I that I should have an amazing husband of almost six years who oddly enough, chose me to spend his life with. And here we are just a few scant weeks from holding our long-awaited, oft anticipated, but never overrated baby. I feel like I have just been slogging through a difficult pregnancy (though I don't think pregnancy is totally easy for any woman) with all the months of sickness and additional challenges, but the shower prompted me to suddenly look up and see the veritable light at the end of the tunnel. Our remodel isn't done, the nursery is packed full of furniture and stuff that belongs in the rest of the house, we still have painting and flooring to do before furnishing and moving stuff back into the space and starting to right our topsy-turvy world. I still don't feel great a good portion of the time, but you know, it doesn't really matter....I'm gonna have a baby.

So I sit here staring at my navel, wondering who that is inside. Knowing that rough times, a lot of adjustment, a lot of sleep deprivation, and joy are ahead. My world never being the same again.

I am stepping off a precipice that I can in no way ever truly prepare for, and I can hardly wait.