Tuesday, November 24, 2009


dear Baby,

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving, and I wanted to write you a quick note as we get ready to celebrate the incredible, amazing blessings we’ve been given over the past 365 days. At this time last year, you weren’t even in the picture. There was no baby talk, no “plans”---just me and your daddy, living in a tiny apartment, content and happy. I was a bit stressed over how the cheese dip we were planning on bringing to Thanksgiving dinner would taste. Life was simple, and good.

Exactly one year ago tonight, your daddy got in an accident {a 16-year-old driver with two friends in the car smashed into him while he was stopped at a red light}. I can’t believe that was a whole year ago---it feels like yesterday. Your daddy was fine, but the car was not. Insurance was messy, and we drove an ugly rental car for a week while our car was put back together.

I’m telling you this, because in a year from now, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I can imagine myself looking at you and saying, “Can you believe that only a year ago, you were still inside me, kicking away? We hadn’t even met you yet… Can you believe it?” And you will probably smile, and gurgle {that’s what ten-month-old babies do, right?}, and your daddy will pick you up and spin you around, and you’ll laugh, and my heart will explode with happiness, I think.

Last year, on Thanksgiving, I was grateful that your daddy was ok, and that our car wasn’t totaled, and that my parents let us borrow a car so we could get to your great-aunt Kathy’s house on time for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, silly cars are the very last thing on my mind.

i love you.

p.s. you have a penchant for kicking me in the ribs while I’m trying to go to sleep. I’m looking forward to a year from now, when this will {hopefully?} no longer be the case.

p.p.s. we got to see you on Monday. you are handsome, and getting really {um, really} big. keep growing, little guy…

{A photo of my cousin's sweet baby, taken a year ago}

Monday, November 23, 2009

{up north}

A few quick snapshots from a perfectly lovely weekend in Minnesota:

A heavenly candy shop in downtown Stillwater, MN... lots of chocolate, jelly beans, fudge, and taffy. Yum.

{my sister bought dark chocolate-dipped Oreos. holy cow. SO GOOD.}

A friendly little bookstore down the street... where I could have literally spent the entire day {and my entire bank account}.

My favorite part of the trip was getting to see my sister's everyday life. Now, when I call her, I can see her and her husband sitting on the couch in their comfy living room, or pouring coffee from a french press, or making the world's best bagel sandwiches... :)

{sunset over Minneapolis. who said Minnesota wasn't beautiful?}

While I was browsing through bookstores and sipping lattes, Marty stayed behind to--you guessed it--work on our house. All weekend, he texted me pictures of freshly-drywalled ceilings and doorways. mmm, progress. He's working so, so hard to get the house done before baby decides to make an appearance. Only nine weeks to go... yikes ;)

{i'm married to the most amazing man in the world.}

Hope you had a fantastic weekend :) Next up: a short work-week, and Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes, all set to visit my sister up in Minnesota. I'm so stinkin' excited; it's been two months since I've seen her! Our weekend to-do list includes sipping coffee, lots of walks, sleeping in, and eating lots of eggs and pancakes. {my sister and her husband are the queen and king of breakfast food. yum-o.} I lived in St. Paul for awhile, while I finished up my undergrad degree, so I'm hoping to catch up with a few friends, and maybe do a bit of shopping. {did you know there's no sales tax on clothes in the state of MN? incredible!}

Since I'm not checking a bag for my flight, I've crammed my stuff into a giant overnight bag and I'm hoping they'll let it pass as a carry-on. {probably not the best strategy... I'll let you know how it turns out. ha!} One of the drawbacks of packing light? I can't bring more than a book or two {my norm is at least three or four, for a weekend trip... seriously}, and my zoom lens has to stay behind. Marty insists this is all for the best; his mom works for one of the major airlines, and tells us first-hand stories all the time of lost-baggage nightmares. {think Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents... poor, poor guy!}

Anywho, have a lovely weekend! {it looks like my Chicago friends will get a peek of sunshine tomorrow, and St. Paul's forecast is calling for sunny skies and 52 degrees... beautiful!}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This weekend, I was doing my usual spastic-flip-through-the-radio-stations thing while we were in the car {which Marty loves, by the way}. Between the five seconds of Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me," seven seconds of Casting Crown's "Until the Whole World Hears," and three seconds of Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" {so overplayed, right?}, I heard this...

...who wouldn't know? Ho Ho Ho! Who wouldn't knoooow? Up on the housetop, click click click! Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick!

Seriously? Christmas music? Geeze Louise, it's only halfway through November.

I have to confess: last year, I embraced the retail world's "Christmas in October" phenomenon with open arms. I blasted "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "The First Noel" right after Halloween, and told my relatives {who staunchly refused to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving} that they were nuts. Even if we haven't gorged ourselves on boatloads of turkey and cranberry sauce yet, who doesn't love Christmas music?

Yep. That's how I felt. Until right around December 10th, when "Here Comes Santa Claus" went from happy-holiday-cheer to I'm-so-sick-of-this-stupid-song. I could still handle the worshipful, beautiful Christmas carols: "O Holy Night," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Joy to the World," and such. But if I heard one more cheesy rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," my head was going to explode into a million pieces of sugar-plum fairy dust. So this year, I'm hopping on the "No Christmas music before Thanksgiving" bandwagon.

And hopefully, "Santa Baby" won't start to really drive me nuts until after December 25th.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Marty's been working hard, trying to get our house done before baby G makes his appearance, and most nights, he's gone until after midnight. The weekends are precious, because it means I get to see him for more than 30 minutes a day. Sometimes I cry on Sunday nights, because I already know the week ahead is going to be tough.

God has been working on my heart, though. I'm learning about the importance of being content with where you're at, instead of aching to be somewhere you're not. I'm learning to look at what is good, right, and true, instead of focusing on the negatives. I'm also learning to treasure little moments, instead of taking them for granted.

So when my little brother gives me a hug, I squeeze him extra hard. When my dad starts asking about my day or talking crazy politics just when I sat down to write an e-mail, I turn and give him my attention, instead of being annoyed at the interruption. When the pretty November sun is setting outside my office window, I watch it for just a few seconds longer, instead of turning back to my computer screen.

And in the mornings, right before I roll out of bed, I soak in the sunshine coming through the window, and quietly thank God for the hard-working man, sleeping soundly next to me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

{sweet 13}

Happy birthday to my sweet sister :)

{isn't she beautiful?!}

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

truly scrumptious

If you're hungry, don't read this post. {I mean it. You'll want to raid your fridge for a tub of chocolate frosting, by the time I'm done showing you all this good stuff.}

You've been warned...

Last weekend, my dear friend Cathy asked me to come and take a few publicity shots of a sweet table she created for a fundraiser event. Cathy recently turned her passion for amazing food, tasty desserts, and stellar event planning into a brand-new business: Cathy Marie's Homestyle Catering & Sweet Table Designs.

Here's a peek at a few of the details:

{Oh. My. Yippers. Chocolate dipped pretzels. Does it get any better than that?}

You can't see all the sign lettering, but it says "Candy Bar." Hence, the chocolate-filled martini glasses, gummy citrus slices, and a foamy beer mug {see it, all the way on the left? genius!}.

Here's Cathy herself, putting the finishing touches on the to-die-for chocolate mousse.

True story: the people attending the event were d-y-i-n-g to get their hands on these goodies. This next shot was taken literally seconds after the MC gave the go-ahead that the sweet table was open for business.

{if you look hard enough, you can see the lady in orange sticking out her tongue, concentrating hard on piling her plate full of chocolate. hey, can you blame her? if I hadn't been taking pictures, I'd be right next to her, all elbows, grabbing platefuls of tartes, cheesecakes, brownies, and mousse.}

By the way... here's a close-up of the foamy beer mug I mentioned earlier {I grabbed this shot back in the kitchen}. Ingenius, right?

Interested in booking Cathy's catering or sweet table expertise for a wedding or event? E-mail her at cmarie.waters (at) gmail.com {your waistline might not thank you, but your guests definitely will!}

Friday, November 6, 2009

{i am}

Anticipating... the weekend. {aren't you?!}

Looking forward to... visiting my sister in two weeks. {i miss her.}

Grateful for... blog readers who leave cheerful comments about truffles, and Subarus, and their own "nesting" experiences.

Dreaming about... tightly packed bookshelves. happy music. the implications of John 15:5.

Planning on... introducing you to an exciting new wedding vendor, early next week. {hint: chocolate is involved.}

Slightly annoyed... that I forgot my cell phone today. boo.

Wishing that... paint colors would choose themselves.

Enjoying... silence. a mug of hot tea. sunset, after a beautiful day.

Happy weekend :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I bought my first car when I was fresh out of college.

I originally wanted something reliable, dependable, practical... and then, my mom told me that I had the rest of my life to worry about "reliable" and "practical." She told me to forget about it, and get a car I really wanted.

{Go Mom.}

So instead of a 4-door sedan with good gas mileage and a roomy backseat... I bought a Mustang convertible:

I love my car. It's been super nice to me, and I really like driving around with the big fat sunny sky above me, all summer long. It's fun in the winter, too... we just throw a few sandbags in the trunk, and I can do donuts in empty parking lots.

But now... with a baby on the way... things have changed a bit. Marty and I are taking a childbirth class, and lately, whenever we pull up, I've noticed the other couples getting out of big SUVs, or mini vans. One couple even has a station wagon. {No joke.} And then there's Marty and me, hopping out of our little sports car, all, "Hey guys, don't we look like we're ready to have a baby?!"

We need to rethink this whole convertible thing. Because, you know, a windblown infant in the backseat of a convertible just isn't ok. {Also, have I mentioned that the top has recently started to leak whenever it rains?}

Thus, words like "reliable" and "practical" are about to start showing up in my vocabulary again. Hellooo Mommyhood ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Last week, for his birthday, my dad took everyone to an archery range.
I'll admit it. I was skeptical.
{Plus, I wasn't sure they'd let a pregnant woman shoot. Doesn't the big belly get in the way?}
But I was wrong. The second I walked in, our instructor barked, "Hey, I've heard about you. Take your scarf off. Tie your hair back. Get a bow and get over here."
Yikes. Gulp.
I nick-named him "Drill-Sergeant Andy." {in my head}
But trust me. He was super nice. And really, really passionate about archery.Here's Andy:
{He was tickled pink that my dad brought his whole family in for archery lessons on his birthday.}

Introducing the two sharpshooters in our family:
{My brother was really good. He was popping balloons with his eyes closed. Ridiculous.}

Can you tell he's impressed with her shooting?
I'm the second one from the left. {You know. In case you couldn't figure it out yourself...}
A few things I learned from archery lessons:
1) Even if his ideas sound sketchy at first, always trust your dad's instincts.
{He was sure we'd have a great time... and he was right. I never knew we'd have so much fun popping balloons with killer metal arrows.}
2) When shooting a bow and arrow, make sure you've got your arm guard on nice and tight. Mine was not. And I still have the welts to prove it.
3) Since last week, I've been asking myself this question: How am I as passionate about something, anything, like Andy is about archery? {The guy was really inspiring.}
4) When you're the last shooter on the line, and you don't say "line clear" after you've shot your last arrow... you will get the death look from one very serious archery instructor.