Sunday, October 25, 2009

making it a home

A wise woman once told me, "When you live in Southern California you have to consider your patio (outside space) another room in your house." And with that said, she and her husband gifted Mikey and I with a patio furniture set. Yet, she left the decorating up to us.

Here is the beautiful patio set our friends gave us. It gets bright sunshine in the morning as the sun comes up over that back corner in the morning and makes its way diagonally across the patio. So in the evening, this back corner is lit. I think this is the only area that gets sunlight all day.

This is in front of the table and chairs (I'm standing at the doorway). The window you can catch a slight peek of is our kitchen window. We're hoping to raise the herb garden you see on the ground here, up one day to the window level. Right now I can't see the herbs just looking out of the kitchen, I have to look down~ but if we raise the herbs we could not only see the herbs but open our window and take them to cook with. Convenient!

Mikey and I took some advice and went with it. We knew we wanted to enjoy and develop the beautiful back patio area God had given us, yet, we're both new to this whole "groundskeeping" side of our marriage.
But we had a lot of fun looking at different plants and flowers, asking ourselves, "Is this what we want?" It was actually a lot of fun to be thinking about our back patio area and to finally get some "life" on it.

This is probably my favorite corner... someday we're hoping to get a little table and chair or two there but for now stealing one of the patio chairs that came with the table works just as well. I love sitting here in the morning underneath a tall tree (not pictured) that provides amble amount of shade while letting some sunlight through. It's perfect to sit here and drink coffee!!

Here is our back door, which is actually the door our guests and selves use the most. :)

In the corner, by my little coffee nook is this tree. It's a Japanese Camellia and I love it. We chose one that hadn't bloomed yet but as you can tell, it's about to real soon. The flowers are a gorgeous dark pink and I am so excited to see it bloom I head out every morning to check to see if anything has opened. I'll be sure to keep you posted. :)

You all know the Lime-Lemon, our little unknown!

And this my beautiful friends is the start of a hydrangea...
the blooms start this green color

and eventually start turning colors... green to white-ish

to pale pink!

this is another section of our herb garden. This large leaf is a strawberry leaf. We're experimenting with whether or not we can actually grow strawberries.

Herb Garden side 2... mint, basil, tomato plant and rosemary!

Our hanging basket of loveliness

Please come and enjoy coffee/tea/hot cocoa sometime. Mikey and I fixed this up so we could entertain... so come on over! The patio is open year round here in So Cal!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Inging today... inging?

Enjoying my homemade chicken noodle soup.

Laughing at the Staff women's time. Tears and laughter, oh how I love being a woman!

Wishing that we could have neighbors move in who are in the same stage as Mikey and I; young and together.

Hoping that Rochelle will be showing at Christmas time.

Worrying about how tired and busy I feel and I don't even have a baby (or the four I want so badly). I often wonder how I will get my life organized later on if I get so overwhelmed now.

Wondering if I can stay at home all day and just bake. Will navs approve that?

Reading about Frodo making his way to Mordor. I'm on book 5 of 6 and reading this reminds me of how much I love to read. It's such a process and so much more fulfilling than movies. Although I like movies, books are just better.

Packing for San Destin.

Loving Mikey for being himself and being open to sharing who he is with me. I love Mikey more and more each day.

Thinking about all the things on my to-do list that I need to get done. And thinking how badly I just want to lay down and take a nap. hmmm...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

these little moments

Do you ever have those days where you know you missed out on doing something good for someone else?

I felt this way last night after some careful consideration.

I spent the morning at the DMV and the social security office yesterday trying to get my name changed (it is official people, I am a Wang!) and inside of me I has this impulse to be nice to people, talk to people and make the most of my situation.

But instead, I chose to be a complainer and a grumbly occupant of my seat.

It was actually really sad when I was thinking about my day and I felt God saying, "Why are you letting this affect you so negatively?"

And honestly?! I had no reason. I let myself spiral down into a bad attitude and then I let myself snap at my husband. I know sometimes we have those days where we don't mean to be rude to others but that was not my case. I was crabby because I felt like I had the right to be cranky.

Who wouldn't see my side to this? I thought sitting there. EVERYONE gets cranky in these situations.

But again I felt God nudge me and say, "What right do you have to be angry?" and I realized I had been a Jonah about the day (Jonah from the bible).

Instead of being cool about things and being a nice, smiley person, I chose CHOSE to follow the crowd of complainers and eye-rollers.

Dang! I missed the chance to be kind.

Do you ever have those moments?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Be still my heart...

There I was...
minding my own business, surfing the internet when I came across Pioneer Woman's blog (oh how I love you sister!) and besides falling utterly in love with her moist pumpkin spice, drooling over her easy-how-to for pumpkin puree and desperately loving her for her sassy honesty...

I stumbled across her link to this wonderful website and life as I've known it as a baker has come to an end....

Apparently, the cake pan lady specializes in decorating and personalizing cake pans. Imagine me, walking into a party armed with a blue tin. Yet, it's not just any blue tin, though, upon a closer glance you notice this lovely little accessory...although it's not from the kitchen of "sylvia" it's from the kitchen of "Joanna Wang".
And although the brownies/apple bars/pumpkin bread inside would be warm and gooey delicious, you wouldn't be able to take your eyes off of this lovely tin.
And p.s. you couldn't continue to "forget returning" it either.
ha ha ha I love it.
I am so smitten.

... hmm... now how to convince my beloved that I need to buy everyone in my family (including myself) one of these for Christmas.
Click here for the cake pan lady's website
and here to see Pioneer Woman's story on how she got hers!

If you could get any of these tins, which color and design would you go for?

interesting discoveries and a bad dream...

Interesting discovery was made yesterday...
But before I get ahead of myself, here's what happened yesterday. Mikey and I had our dear friends Lee and Deb M. over for lunch and to scout out our patio. Lee is a farm boy from southern Illinois (and a cardinals fan~ boooo!!) so he was able to look at our trees and assess our soil and the layout of the land. (I am using land very loosely here.)
Deb is his beautiful wife from northern Illinois (Kankakee, Keykokan, Who can? We can! Kankakee can!!) and is a cubs fan (hooray!). Deb is the artistic eye and designer of the two. So after Lee assessed and let us know what we have, Deb was able to decorate and help us a little bit in the back!
Good news, then interesting news, then bad news...
Good news is~ we have two citrus trees and a grapevine!! How exciting! We're going to have fruit.
Also, interesting news~ we think our little limey is actually a little lemon! Ha ha! It's like finding out your goldfish are actually male and female when they start having babies instead of two females like you thought.
And bad news, with fruit trees, Deb told me, there is an almost certainty that we will get rats. But she reassured me, "food rats"... um, how is that better? They're both rats. And I guarantee that I don't know the difference.
Apparently the little suckers like to eat the grapes and fruit when it's rotting.
Dang gina! That was just sad news...

so sad in fact I had a dream that I was hosting a party outside when all of a sudden a girl shouted, "OHMYGOSH!!"
And I knew in my heart what was rustling in the leaves behind her until she shouted,
"There is an armadillo behind me!"
Don't ask me where that dream came from (actually I know) but what a weird night.
Pray for me, I really don't know what I'll do if I sit outside on my beautiful patio and have a rat munching on little lemony next to me. :(

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So I get this email, "Hey Jo! I'm in California, can we get time?"
Lo and behold, my beautiful friend Jin was in town (from JAPAN?!?! Wha?!).
As Jin shared with us her recent stories, learnings and victories in life, I realized how richly blessed I am in my friendships.
Thanks Jin for giving some of your "short" time to Mikey, Joni and I.
We are richly blessed by our friendship with you!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

my favorite room

Mikey has been so amazing helping me get things set up in our home. I was like, "I could totally put together these shelves but to be honest, I'm horrible at it."

Look at all those tools Mikey had to use... wait, what are those?

Oh yeah, my cute new slippers. How wonderful they are. I love them!

But I digress... here is my beloved
So I cooked a yummy dinner and he made me shelves and gave me the best gift.
A favorite room.

My dining room is my favorite room. Here is the view if you walk in the back door...

and here is the view if you walk in the front door.

Here is our beautiful kitchen/dining table that we got from Kristine for a super great price. Thanks Steeny, we love our table!

And this my precious readers, is my favorite piece of furniture EVER. I seriously wanted to weep when Mikey was assembling and building this for me. It's a china cabinet from my dreams. Seriously, it's the china cabinet I've been dreaming of since owning china...

but wait?! What is this? Is this a lock?

Ohmygosh!?! And is that a cute key? To unlock my cute key hole?
Yes. yes. it is!

And inside lies my Grandparent's china which they passed down to me.
It's the prettiest china I have ever seen (or owned for that matter)! It looks like a pattern I would have picked out for myself.

See how pretty?

If I could speak french, I would right now. Something about this china cabinet makes me want to speak french.

Or Japanese for that matter. I have english tea cups and japanese tea cups. What a beautiful pair these two darlings make!

I even have a gravy boat. If ever I wear to boat across a lake of gravy... I'd take this lovely boat across.
Ok, that was just bad, huh?
Well, this china makes me want to tell bad jokes because it's so lovely. I just don't care.

The little details

Top shelf

Top shelf. I guess you wouldn't really call it a shelf but my china cabinet and I don't mind, we can call it whatever we want.

It's just so cute. Every little detail including the backing just screams my name. It just looks so adorable and so me. I love it! I am in love with my china cabinet. I stayed up to 2AM getting all the dishes arranged and the glass windows washed out properly. *sigh* I love you, china cabinet.

Joni and I enjoy my favorite room.

Joni enjoys some banana bread.

How's the hot cocoa Joni? Oishi?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Schubby Dubby Do

My parents came to visit for the California reception. Since it was their first time to Long Beach, Mikey and I decided to show them the beautiful sites of So Cal.

Starting with the luggage service where we had to file a "lost bag" report.
Welcome to CALIFORNIA!

You can't come to California without eating at In N Out. Here Mikey clues Dad in to the "secret menu" items... seriously!

A mom and her daughter!


Heading to the beach!

Having cheese fondue for dinner (Mikey's first time)!

Dad really enjoyed our patio area in the backyard!!

And he enjoyed the beach!

Mikey's dad, Jack, shows my dad how to use chopsticks to pick up sushi!

flowers for the lovely ladies?

My dad's view from the front patio...

Reading at the Coffee Bean nearby.

I brought a little of the midwest to CA by making my Grandma Schupbach's stuffed green peppers. Yummy!

Lime tree

Angel Trumpet

Getting my sass on...

California reception...

Shrimp and walnuts

the appetizer plate...

And... a fish head... obviously!
Bye Mom and Dad, see you in California again soon!