Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Part 2 (the embarrassing part)

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you'll know that my life is mostly made up of embarrassing moments. If there is a way to somehow ruin precious moments in life, I will find it. ;)

We came home from Oklahoma on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving because Jona had to go back to work. He worked for like 5 days in a row so I didn't get to see him on Thanksgiving day and the Johnsons were still in Oklahoma so I couldn't spend it with them. We also decided that since we were going up to Washington for Christmas we couldn't afford for Penny and I to go up for Thanksgiving as well. My sweet friend Caitie offered for Penny and I to spend thanksgiving dinner with her family.

I was so excited to go since I love the Levis' and the Wades but I don't know her family incredibly well and I told Jona I would most likely do something embarrassing like spill my drink at dinner or Penny would have an accident on their carpet or something. I was totally right.

I got Pen dressed up all cute and made my carmel apple dip and we headed over there. When we got there, Caitie's little girl, Olive (who Penny absolutely adores), was in the back yard, super dirty, playing with worms.

I should give a little back story. Caitie is the coolest, most laid back mom, who lets her daughter get dirty and explore mud and bugs and all that gross stuff. I'm not quite so cool, haha. As a matter of fact, I spent months making sure Penny didn't drink her bath water. Caitie has totally helped me calm down and let Penny live a little! However.... letting Pen dig through a compost pile for worms to feed to the chickens is a little outside my comfort zone. Caitie and I are constantly making fun of each other for how uptight I am and I tell her that she's totally gross (all in good fun).

So.... they called us inside for dinner and I went to go find a bathroom to wash Penny's hands because she had been looking at the worms ;) All the bathrooms were being used so I asked Caitie's brother where else I could wash Pen's hands. He directed me to the kitchen where I washed Penny & my hands with warm water and soap.

We sat down to eat and there were about 20 of us. Mrs. Levis was still working on the meal while Mr. Levis got ready to lead us in scripture reading before our meal. It was super quiet when Mrs. Levis came out and said...

"Susi? Did you wash Penny's hands?"

(I was thinking that she knew we had been playing outside and I thought she was just adopting me as a daughter or something to make sure we had cleaned up before dinner.)

"Of course", I responded.

"With soap"

"Uh... yeah. She was outside with the worms!"

"Oh..." she said, "Well, you washed her hands over our gravy"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was SO embarrassed!! Of course I had ruined the perfect, amazing gravy that she had slaved over. There was a pan in the sink but I thought that it was dirty. Nope! She was so incredibly gracious but for the rest of the meal, they kept saying stuff like "Can someone pass the gravy? Oh wait..." or "Man, you know what would go great with this turkey?..."

It. Was. Awesome.

Regardless, it was an awesome night and they were such a fun family to spend (and ruin) Thanksgiving. :)

Thanksgiving!



This year we got to go to Oklahoma for a mini Johnson family reunion. We had so much fun being all together and got to share an incredible BBQ Thanksgiving on the Saturday before. Oklahoma is really such an awesome place and we loved being able to stay with and spend time with Jona's Grandpa, "Pa", who is easily the coolest man I know over the age of 60 :) 

Everyone, from his children to his great grandchildren, absolutely adore and love spending time with Pa! We wish that he lived closer to us, but that would probably put us in competition with some of the Oklahoma Johnsons and I quickly learned that a lot of them carry guns :)

As is usual, I didn't take many pictures, so here's just a couple from our trip. 
I'm sure my sister-in-law will post a bunch on Facebook.



We went to the Coney-Islander in Tulsa, which is basically the most inexpensive, yet delicious hot dogs you can buy! Jona went to this place when he was just a kid and he really wanted to go back so we did! It was a lot of fun!



One of my favorite things is watching Jona be an Uncle. 
I already know he's an amazing dad, but watching him wrestle with both of the kids is just awesome.


Pen and Ray (my nephew) absolutely love each other. 
They play hard and would probably be together all day, every day if they had the option!



We got to visit the Bass Pro Shop while in Tulsa, which is always a favorite!


Pen looks seriously concerned at her Dad's story-telling capabilities! :)


Getting ready to board our flight home!



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dallas Phillip Johnson

So... we are having a BOY!!! I can still hardly believe it. I have pretty much thought this entire pregnancy that this was probably a boy because I have felt so different than my pregnancy with Penny. Our appointment to find out the gender was so much fun.

Poor Jona had been up the night before working so he was pretty exhausted. When we finally got in there and started the ultrasound and our little one's knees were so tightly pressed together. We tried and tried and pushed and pushed on him but he would not move. 

Finally we asked the doctor if we could try a different method of ultrasound ;) so he left for a few minutes and then came back and tried again and the results were the exact same. Those little knees would not be moved! Finally Jona said something to make me laugh and the little guy either loved it or hated it but every time I would laugh he would kick and punch and finally moved those little legs out of the way. 

I could not believe when we saw that he would be a boy! I am so incredibly excited but I also feel so far out of my depth! I know little girls, but I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to raising little boys. Then comes the whole responsibility of raising him to love and lead a family. Whew, I'm so thankful that God promises to give us everything we need but I am definitely feeling the weight of that responsibility!

Our little man's name is Dallas Phillip Johnson. Dallas is from his sweet Dada (Jonathan Dallas). I have always wanted to name our son after his dad and I finally get my wish! Phillip comes from my awesome father in law. This kid has big shoes to fill!

Penny is so thrilled and I love hearing her say "Baby Dahdis" Here is the video of us telling Pen she is going to have a baby brother.

video

Just to give you a little explanation:
In the video you hear her say "the baby grow and grow and then it comes out and meets Mr. Justin." Our good friends Justin and Caitie Wade, have a little girl named Olive who Penny absolutely adores. For some reason Penny is obsessed with the idea of "Mr. Justin" meeting our baby when Dallas is born.  (Who knows!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby Update!

I thought I'd give a little update on baby Johnson #2! We had a little bit of drama a couple of weeks ago and it kinda gave us a little scare. My only real pregnancy symptom was a sore lower back and some nausea. I woke up one morning and my back was just aching. Throughout the day it got worse and worse and I could hardly move. With it came horrible nausea and vomiting. I went into my massage therapist and I eventually went into urgent care because it was just hurting so badly. 

They got us into our OB/GYN the next day to see if it was pregnancy related and we had an ultrasound of the baby. The baby was measuring a couple of weeks behind and my doctor thought that I may have a slipped disk due to the hormone "relaxin" that causes all of your ligaments and joints to stretch to make room for the growing baby. We asked him if we should be concerned that we still hadn't heard the heartbeat by this point and he seemed almost as concerned as we were. He set an appointment for us to have another ultrasound the following week and said that we should definitely see the heartbeat by that appointment (our fourth ultrasound).

It was a difficult week of waiting but the back pain was almost a blessing in disguise because it was very distracting! They sent us into an orthopedic surgeon and they basically said the only things we can do right now is physical therapy and they got me a back brace which has helped immensely!

We went back for our 4th ultrasound and I got to see and hear a BEAUTIFUL little heartbeat. I cried. I just had the worst feeling going into that appointment and I was so very thankful that this little life was preserved! 

Amazingly, now that the back pain is mostly gone so is my nausea. If I wasn't a little hungrier and a little more fatigued I would have no idea I was even pregnant, which is a huge change from my pregnancy with Pen!

We are so thankful!!!

Random Pics

I cannot get over the fact that summer is over! I am thankful to try and set up a bit more of a schedule but I will miss these unscheduled days with Pen!

Here are some recent (and random) pictures from the last few weeks...

I am so thankful for our little pool at our condo. 
We love going down there at night when no one else is there.


A couple of weeks ago my dad was invited to speak at our friend's, the Koh's, church in Laguna Beach. They had a blast and were spoiled for an entire week. We were only able to make it down on Saturday but we had a great time with mom and dad and the Kohs! Pen obviously didn't get a nap that day and fell asleep on my mom's arm at dinner.



I know I say this all the time but it breaks my heart that they don't live closer :(



My mom was in heaven!!



During the summer Grace Community does patio fellowship nights and my sweet friend Lisa planned this awesome boardwalk themed night. It was a huge success and Pen loved the shark stuff!



This was from one of our potty training days where Pen and I went out to lunch away from the house to make sure she could be out and about without an accident. She did great!



This needs a little more explanation. My poor husband told me several months ago that he never got Student of the Month as kid and it used to make him so sad every month when they didn't call his name. Jona's cousin worked for Grace Community school (where Jona and I both went as kids) and she helped me get a student of the month certificate from him signed by his 1st grade teacher and the principle. It was pretty fun :)



I love this little ham!!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

WE ARE PREGNANT!!!

There is so much joy in my heart as I write this blog post! We have been praying for this day for a while and it is so so kind of the Lord that it has come to fruition!

We are about 6 weeks pregnant and are so so SO EXCITED! I honestly think there is more joy in the announcement of this pregnancy than there was with Penny's. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to find out we were pregnant with Pen and with the last baby, but I think that the Lord taught us so much through these last couple of years of trying to conceive that this pregnancy is just that much sweeter.

We have had a little (very little, compared to some) bit of a journey in trying to conceive another baby. Its not really something I have ever blogged about because lets face it, its kinda awkward. It is also weird to talk about trying to have a 2nd baby. It was something I felt so self conscious about. I already have one sweet baby, why did I feel like I needed another? It felt so selfish, or even "wasteful" when it came to prayer but I think I was starting to learn that it is not at all wrong to desire more children, its how you deal with that desire.

I failed time and time again. I was angry month after month of negative pregnancy tests and fertility drugs. I cried and moped through most milestones that we would have had with the baby we lost and then, through honest, loving friends, God convicted and changed my heart. I think it stopped being an obsession and I think it just became a healthy desire.

These last few months I have been inundated with blogs, articles, pictures and stories of adoption. I started wondering if I had been wasting all of this time and energy in trying to have another baby instead of trying to adopt another baby (or child).

I started praying about it and talking to Jona about the possibility of us pursuing adoption and we came up with a date that we would begin the process of paperwork. We had also decided that we needed to take a break TTC (trying to conceive). The drugs and the constant testing and treatments were really starting to take a toll on my body and we felt like we needed to take a break. I was literally headed into my OB/GYN appointment the next day to tell our doctor we needed to stop when I found out I was pregnant.

I woke up really early a couple of weeks ago and decided to take a pregnancy test. I waited for a good 15 minutes and the test was faulty. Nothing showed up. I prayed that the Lord would give me joy in spite of the probably negative test and I rolled over and fell back asleep. When I woke up a couple of hours later I leaned over and looked at the test and there were TWO LINES!! I ran into the bathroom and took another test and just bawled my eyes out when I saw that it was also positive. I still had that appointment the next day and so without telling Jona, I went in for an ultrasound and blood work. Later that night with a ultrasound pic in hand, I told my sweet husband that I was pregnant.

I have prayed that we would not be nervous or waste this time worried that we will lose this baby and not fully enjoy this gift that we have been entrusted with. We have had two ultrasounds and although it is still really early, the doctor says things are looking good! I can honestly say that I trust that even if the Lord does take this baby we will know that God is still good. As painful as it was (and as strange as it may sound), our miscarriage was one of the best things that could have happened to our marriage. God changed us through that time and we fell more deeply in love (with each other and with the Lord) than I could have imagined.

We are still considering if we have been called to adopt, or even how to help support that ministry of others. In the meantime, I cannot wait for this baby to change us and to grow us! I can't wait to snuggle and kiss and love this baby! The Lord truly is kind in what He has taught us through giving and through taking away (and through giving again). :)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Helper in the Kitchen :)

I have been trying to find stuff to do in that difficult hour between her waking up from her nap and us eating dinner. The house is the hottest by that time of day, she's grumpy from waking up from her nap, I'm trying to get the house picked up for when Jona comes home and I usually just try to sit her in front of a movie or something.

FINALLY (I don't know why it took me so long) I've decided to have her "help" with dinner. I know I'm pretty late to the party on having her help me in the kitchen but I really thought that it would just cause much more stress. I was wrong and its totally worth it. She "mixed" these raw potatoes for a good 45 minutes! We need to make this a habit!



San Francisco! Part 2

Our next day in San Francisco was just as fun as the first but (of course) I was starting to get a cold so I wasn't feeling so great. We still had a blast and went across the Golden Gate Bridge and walked around in a park. 

Ryan knew of this really great seafood place where everyone got clam chowder (except for me, cause I'm lame like that) and it was apparently so good. Rachel was such a trooper, especially for being as pregnant as she is and allowing us to drag her up and down a bunch of hills. I was losing energy by the second thanks to this cold, but we managed to have fun!

By the end of the night we were so exhausted the four of us just grabbed a pizza and watched the Olympics together in our hotel room.

The next morning we went to the big Farmer's Market and got some ice cream and then Jona and I had to get back cause he had to work the next day. It was such a short trip but we loved being with our dear friends and we can't wait for our next vacation together!

Here are a couple of pictures from the rest of our trip...


My sweet friend Rach...


How we usually look :)


Ryan & I and our squinty eye smiles :)


 Ghirardelli Square
(amazing brownie sundae!)

The fellas 



Love you Foglesongs! Can't wait for our next trip together!





Friday, August 3, 2012

San Francisco! Part 1

My husband is such a hottie!
I LOVE getting away with my husband. When I know we have a trip planned I look forward to it more than a kid on Christmas morning. What made this trip that much more special was that we got to vacation with our best friends, Ryan and Rachel Foglesong. Even though this post is supposed to be mainly about our trip, I want to introduce our dear friends to you.

Ryan and I went to TMC together as music majors and ended up playing in chapel band together. We went on a missions trip to Flordia and became good friends. He brought his sweet (at the time) girlfriend Rachel to sing in the community choir with us and had her stand next to me in the alto section. We hadn't known each other 5 minutes when I looked down and saw that due to a very minor birth defect, two of her toes are stuck together. I immediately told her we would be best friends because of her awesome toes ;) In spite of me making fun of her, we have been friends for several years and even got married a week apart! They are expecting their first little one in November and Jona and I could not be more excited to love on this little one! For a couple of years we had been talking about going on a vacation together and this last weekend we finally did!


Somehow I need to convince Jona to buy me one of these!
 My in-laws graciously agreed to watch Pen for us and we left last Friday morning. The first day Jona and I drove up the coast to Cambria and spent the night by ourselves in a little inn. The best thing about our room was this awesome jet tub that opened up to the room. Absolutely amazing!

We were both really tired so we just grabbed a quick dinner and went back to our room to watch the Olympic's opening ceremony. Man we are such party animals! ;) It really was just so great to be with my man uninterrupted and to be able to talk and laugh together. The next morning we woke up, had breakfast and drove up to a couple of the beaches on the way to Monterey.




A couple of pictures from the drive up...





We stopped in Monterey and had lunch at this little cafe that I had read reviews about. We weren't very impressed unfortunately. We got back in the car and made our way further up the cost until we hit San Francisco.  Look who we saw on the freeway on our way up!

!
Rachel and Ryan!

Once we all checked into our hotels, we drove into the city together for dinner at The Stinking Rose. I love garlic but I didn't know how much I'd love this place! It was so so SO good. We made sure that the four of us lathered our food in garlic so that we wouldn't be the only ones with garlic breath :)


Our sweet friends at dinner


After dinner, Rach found a really cute cafe that were we sat and drank coffee and had cookies. 
It is so blessing to be able to talk so easily with likeminded friends.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Whattaya Think Mom?

My mom and sisters have put in orders for their quilts (they haven't seen the ones I've made in person yet ;) )

I think my mom would really love a quilt made from this fabric.
Like it mom? ;) 
(Sarah and Steph, don't be jealous. I'll make you matching skirts.)


Adventures in Quilting Part 3

I'm falling in love with this little quilt. It has been really fun to make this one. I really took my time and only allowed myself to do a little bit every day. I, of course, made some mistakes which I'll get to, but some of the previous mistakes didn't show up on this one (at least so far). I'm not finished, I still haven't bound this one for two reasons. 1) I don't have a fabric that I like enough to finish it off with. 2) I still really don't know how to bind.

I based this quilt off of this tutorial that I found through Pinterest. It's a little busy (my version of it), but I really like it so far!

Piecing it together...



All sewn together and quilted


I'm falling in love with straight line quilting. Free motion quilting is absolutely stunning, but so far I have no idea how to do it, so in the meantime I'll use straight line. It looks a little more modern too.



This is what the back looks like, its a really nice, soft gray flannel.


Once I bind this one I'll show some more pictures, but here's one more.



What I've learned (am learning)....

1. DON'T USE CHEAP THREAD. I actually didn't even realize I was using cheap thread until I ran out and put on a more expensive spool on the machine. I couldn't believe how much better it was looked so I decided to go back and pull out the thread of the quilting I had already done. This alone made it take a lot longer.

2. Buy extra seam rippers. I lost my one and only seam ripper and wasn't able to go get another so I had to use a needle and scissors. MAJOR PAIN.

3. I learned to slow down a little on this. Part of it was because I had to pull so much out. Another part of it was that we went to San Francisco in the middle of this quilt (blog post to come) so I took a long break. 

4. I still REALLY need to learn how to bind!

I have a couple of quilts in mind to make next but I am not really sure what to do yet. I bought my first quilt pattern but have been unable to determine whether or not its in English ;) I really have no clue what I'm doing! ;)

Adventures in Quilting Part 2

So this quilt went really really horribly, which is funny, because when you look at it, it seems so much easier than the last one. I was kinda ruined from the start because I used precut fabric (mostly because I was lazy). I found a charm pack (a set of coordinating, precut 5x5 squares) and all I did was sew the squares together. The problem was that the fabric was cheap, which Melanie (my amazing quilter friend) told me not to use cheap fabric. The squares were cut really unevenly and I didn't think it would really matter and that I could just compensate for it later. I couldn't.

I didn't take a lot of pictures of this one because it went really badly, but here it is. This was supposed to be a little girl's baby quilt but I wouldn't want to give any poor babies nightmares with this one ;)

This is before I bound it. I am incredibly sorry about my toes in the picture. If you look closely you can see that the squares and the rows don't line up. So much so that I wanted to do square quilting but I couldn't because it was so uneven. 



I realize that I'm probably coming off a little self-depricating, 
but if you saw these in person you'd understand what I mean :)


And finally, an instagrammed picture, just because it makes me feel a little better haha.


What I learned....

1. DON'T BUY CHEAP FABRIC

2. Again, I was so impatient. Once I figured out that the fabric was miscut, I could have recut them or just not used the bad squares, but instead I just blew through it. Oy

3. For the love, I have to learn how to bind!

Next up, quilt #3 (Don't worry, this one so far is going much better!)

Adventures in Quilting Part 1

Quilting is my new obsession. As a matter of fact, it has become so much of an obsession that in my last post I meant to write about a rug in Penny's room and accidentally wrote "quilt" instead. I didn't even realize it until my friend Megan pointed it out.
I was never a huge fan of quilting, I mostly just thought it was old fashioned. I thought most quilts were kinda lame and country bumpkin. But I've quickly changed my mind!
We were given a few quilts when we got married and after Pen was born and it really started helping me fall in love with quilting. A friend of mine on Facebook has been making gorgeous quilts for a while and I just drool over everything she makes. I decided to ask her if she could help me get started in quilting and she was so gracious and answered all of my (probably very stupid) questions. I had no idea what went into quilting and I am still in the baby baby BABY stages of quilting but I love it! We'll see if it sticks!
Here is the first quilt I tried. It went pretty smoothly but I made some pretty huge mistakes.



I was pretty whiney about the cutting process but once I got the hang of it it was really no big deal. I don't know why, but trying to cut fabric straight causes me an absurd amount of stress. After cutting all of these squares I decided for the next quilt that I would use precut fabric. That decision kinda came back to bite me.



This is after sewing the half square triangles and laying everything out. I LOVED this part!


The whole quilt all together before I started sewing it all together. At this stage I was a little bummed out because it was unintentionally looking really "Charlie Brown"



Here is the quilt finished. I "stitched in the ditch" and had a really cool straight line zig zag pattern. BUT THEN....



... I clearly didn't understand the importance of putting the backing on evenly, which wouldn't have been an issue if I hadn't been overly ambitious in trying to do color blocking with the yellow and white and had just stuck with the dark gray.  If you look carefully you can see that the zig zags are totally crooked on the back of the quilt. 
Lesson learned.

Here is the quilt finished (and instagrammed haha). The main mistake I made was in the binding process. If you saw this quilt up close you'd either laugh or cry :)


Here's what I learned with this one...

1. Putting the backing on straight is extremely important

2. Don't be in a rush. This may be my downfall with quilting. I don't really like projects that go on forever and I thought I could do this in two days (which I did). I think if I had taken my time it would have turned out a little bit better but all I wanted to do was get started on the next one. I was honestly pretty ashamed at my impatience when I finished it and saw how poorly it was done, but I decided this would be a good practice quilt.

3. Binding absolutely stinks. I have looked at tutorial after tutorial and I am still doing a really bad job. I need to get together with someone else who quilts so they can teach me how to do this (my quilt coach ;) lives in Hawaii).

So overall this one went okay, quilt #2, not so much...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!!

This post is REALLY late, like three weeks late, but I was looking through my pictures and saw this one and wanted to write a little post about my sweet parents. I am so thankful for these two! Let me tell you why...

My Mama- She is the most gracious, compassionate loving person I know. I have learned so much from her and I still have so much left to learn! She loves the Lord and pouring through Scripture is as natural to her as breathing. One of my favorite qualities of my Mama is that she loves with her whole heart. She truly knows what it is to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. I love this woman!

My Papa- I've always loved and respected my dad. I always wanted him around to hang out with me and my friends, even as a teenager. I know in some ways, most children are embarrassed of their parents at some time or another. Not me. Not ever. I think my dad is the coolest. These last couple of years have really changed my dad. He went through some really difficult things and I watched him make the decision to fully rely on the Lord. Jona's and my respect for him grew and grew through this time and I am so thankful I got to watch and learn from him through that time of trial.

I love you both and I am so thankful I have gotten to witness your friendship and love for each other. Thanks for being honest with us and using your strengths and failures as an opportunity for your children to grow. Love you!