Sunday, March 17, 2013

{Quarterly Report}

 A little bit of everything today, so here it goes:

1) Steve is now 30.  I think he's finally getting over the shock of it (it happened last month), but we made an event of his big day, and I have no doubt this new decade is going to be even better than the last for the Mister.  He's certainly going places, and it's fun to see him in his stride as husband, father, friend, neighbor, and fiscal specialist.  We've decided that we're going to institute a non-surprise, surprise party each year since Steve manages to figure things out despite my best efforts.  I did, however, surprise him with tickets to see War Horse which he's wanted to see for a couple years.  It's coming to C-bus in April, so we'll report back and let you know how it goes.


2) Now that the weather is warming up, we're enjoying more time outdoors.  Feeding the ducks at Whetstone park has become a favorite activity.  There are two rules: 1) Keep Bug out of the water.  2) Keep Bug from hogging all of the bread and scarfing it down herself.  She doesn't get this part yet, but it's a work in progress.


3) I don't share much of what I study on this blog because most of it is Early Modern material that revolves around the Catholic Reformation, and I doubt it would interest most people.  However, this particular painting by Guido Reni blew me away - formally and contextually - when I saw it a few weeks ago.  Even though Joseph doesn't receive a great deal of attention in general studies of the New Testament, at least in relation to the attention Mary receives, I think this painting is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen in the way it captures an almost tangible, significant familial bond.

[Guido Reni, St. Joseph, 1635]


4) Steve's latest culinary masterpiece: multigrain crackers (lightly salted) with frosting.  Frosting on one side, a little bit of salt on the other = best sweet & savory snack EVER!  Trust me.  Go buy some crackers and cream cheese frosting right now, and you will not be disappointed.  This is much better than frosting on graham crackers.  My roommates raved about that duo in college - I could never figure out why because it was too sweet for me.  This, however, is amazing.


5) I saw this picture on facebook and it made me laugh because it hits very close to my routine whenever I fill up the tank.  I don't mind so much about the amount of gas that is in the tank at the end, but the dollar amount MUST end in either a "0" or "5".  I will stand at the pump for however long it takes in order to apply just enough pressure to get an extra spurt of gas so as to make the total $31. 45 instead of $31.39.  I'm usually pretty good at getting it right on the mark the first time I try, but sometimes it takes a bit more time (usually when it's freezing outside and my reflexes are not cooperating as quickly as usual).


6) We've celebrated St. Patrick's Day this entire week, and I've loved it.  It is one of our favorite holidays because a) I'm Irish, b) we love the color green, c) it reminds us of Scotland and the UK in general, d) it usually comes right around the time when winter is turning into spring - a blessed transition, and e) it involves some of our favorite family traditions.  One of our favorites is watching Waking Ned Devine.  We've discovered that "Ned Night" is better when it's a small affair.  The witty writing and thick accents get lost in large groups that include people who aren't as obsessed as we are.  But we still make an effort every year to introduce people we know to the schemes and stories of Jackie O'Shea and Michael O'Sullivan.  We hit up the parade in Dublin yesterday, and had fun today finding treasure that the leprechauns left us.

[Bug and her pals]

[The hat says, "I'm a WEE-BIT Irish." Yup.]

[My St. Patrick's Day fashion statement - a new take on the wicked witch from the East]

[The stash from the leprechauns]


7) If anyone out there reading this is in the line of work that creates apps for phones, I have a proposition for you, courtesy of a friend who told me about this idea.  Could you PLEASE figure out how to program a cell phone to automatically follow your school/work/church/errands schedule and thereby switch the phone from "silent" mode to "loud" mode at the appropriate times without having to execute the change myself?  THANK YOU!  I swear I have a disease when it comes to my cell phone.  It was particularly bad this week because of Spring Break, but honestly, I'm plagued by the inability to respond to my phone because it's always on silent and I see/hear messages way after the fact, which required prompt attention at the time of the call/text.  I thought parenthood might cure me of this disease, but I think it's gotten worse since Bug showed up.


8) God has the best sense of humor.  The following conversation that happened last Sunday proves my point:

Bro. Kingrey: Sister Adams, how long has it been since you've had a calling and what was it?
Kristen: August, when I was released from the YW Presidency, but I fully consider being a visiting teacher as a legit calling (he didn't buy it).
Bro. Kingrey: Great.  Well, we'd like to extend a new calling to you.

wait for it...

wait for it...

Think of the two things that freak me out the most in church: kids and singing


...We'd like to call you to be the PRIMARY CHORISTER!
Kristen: Are you serious?!  You know I'm not musical, right?
Bro. Kingrey: That's okay.  We didn't feel inspired based on your musical abilities.
Kristen: Clearly.
Bro. Kingrey: So you'll accept then?
Kristen: Sure?  I hope you're okay if the Primary Program is less than perfect....far less than perfect.  
Bro. Kingrey: Sounds good - that's what makes this calling so fun.

Told you so - God works through humor.  I find that this is often the way he speaks most clearly to me.  It happened that way when I got my mission call, and with many subsequent callings since then, including the latest and greatest.


9) My neighbor and I hosted a baby shower last weekend for a friend of ours and had a total blast.  No crazy games that scar people for life (that happened to me and I've never fully healed), no competitions, just food, fun, and lots of love.  We made it an open-house type shower so we skipped opening gifts there.  This was brilliant for three reasons: 1) Our mama-to-be-friend is pretty new to the ward and didn't know everyone super well and we didn't want her to feel awkward being in the spotlight - that spotlight can be intense.  2) Instead of taking up a huge chunk of time opening gifts, the ladies who came all got to enjoy talking, eating, and making some crafts for the mama-to-be at their leisure and could leave when they needed to without feeling bad.  3) We really wanted her husband to feel a part of things too, so we loaded up all the gifts and they got to open everything together and relish in the excitement of their upcoming arrival as a family.  I always feel bad for the dudes because they don't get to open the presents, which is half of the fun.  I based this off of my own baby shower experiences where Steve got to be a part of it, and it was so much more fun that way.  I think our adorable friend had a good time - Heather and I sure did!

[The soon-to-be parents!]

[In lieu of baby advice, we did a baby wishes quilt for everyone who attended to sign]


10) Lo and behold, Bug is my kid.   She happens to be mini-Steve, but something happened this week that screamed "Irvine."  You may judge us and think we're terrible parents for doing this, but here's what went down in my discovery:
Steve: "Kristen, what should we feed the Bug tonight?"
Kristen:  "Mmmm, not sure.  What do we have in the fridge?"
Steve:  Conspicuous pause..."How about the mushrooms?"*

*Note - we only had fresh mushrooms to add to the pizzas we made for Ned Night, and they weren't purchased for our own consumption.  Neither of us like them - I detest all forms of edible fungi - so we were stuck with a carton of mushrooms in the fridge and weren't sure who to give them to, until Steve had his brilliant idea, that is!

We proceeded to introduce Bug to mushrooms.  We'll let you be the judge of her experience:

[The edible fungi in all their glory]

["Okay wait, you want me to do what with that?"]

["Here goes nothing."]

["Oh my goodness, what WAS that?!"]


That's my kid right there!  There has to be a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon with this exact scenario, and I'm sure this is the face that my own parents saw many a time from one Kristen Kathleen.

Until the next update - happy Spring!