Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Recap

Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of October? I can't. Where has the month? the summer? the year gone? Time flies when you're..... you fill in the blank.

There really hasn't been much excitement going on during September, but we are just fine with that. Somehow this has become a handmade Christmas and my knitting projects keep piling up. Because I needed a break of the seed stitch ad naseum that is the smocked baby coat, I cast on Christmas gift #3 last weekend. It knit up so quick that I finished it tonight. It's currently being blocked and while I'd love to post some pictures, I can't. I'd hate to ruin the Christmas surprise.

LSU is 4-0 after a slight hiccup against Tulane, but they seemed to come out of upset Saturday better than most. We started the season a month ago with high hopes and a pre-season #2 ranking. We are now #1 in the AP and #2 in the coaches poll with Florida coming into Death Valley next weekend. I know I'll be glued to the television.

Wow, this recap is turning out to be crap! I can't really remember much of what's gone on in the last month. HA! Lucky for you, you can just scroll down and read the older posts. So can I for that matter. I do know that the house has been clean for the last month. It's not spotless but it's company ready at all times and that's just mind-boggling to those of you who knew me in my former, messier life.

Oh here's some big news (I knew if I rambled long enough I'd remember something), I'm taking my bread class on Tuesday! I'll be working with yeast breads so I can learn how to do them right! And hopefully I'll get the dogs Halloween costumes settled on in the next week so that I can get photos made and mailed off to everyone. At the very least, it will be posted online!

Happy October!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Baby Pics!!

Leslie just sent a few more baby pics. Navarre is now over 9 lbs! My mom is up there visiting right now and she said Navarre just loves to laugh all the time and is so interactive. I can't believe I have to wait till January to see her again (in person)!


She's sleeping, not praying, but man it looks funny!






This cute little onesie is courtesy of her Aunt Nicole!

Daddy and Navarre reading a book. Obviously, Navarre is quite intrigued!







I can only sleep upright for so long before I need to roll into a little ball!

Monday, September 24, 2007

YOU LIKE ME!....YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!

I couldn't wait any longer and I finally cast on the 3rd Christmas present. Yes, it's mysterious, but the recipient reads the blog. So I can't exactly talk about it. Anyway, I came to a question in the pattern and pulled out the laptop to look through the posts in my KAL (knit along - for your non-knitters... oh you non-knitters aren't going to care about this post at all... so you can stop reading if you want). When I opened my lovely email account, what was I so excited to finally see that I screamed?

"frecklegirl has invited you...."
I know this means absolutely NOTHING to most of you, but you may recall me talking about a website during July. Well, the invitation from frecklegirl is what I've been waititng for! Of course, when I screamed, T came running into the living room like something was wrong and found me dancing around in joy. He, of course, shook his head at me like I need serious mental help. And I probably do, but onto Ravelry I went.

It takes a while to set up all your stuff - projects, yarn stash, needle and book inventories, but it's an AMAZING wealth of knowledge and information. In fact, in my search for local yarn stores, I've found out more in my day on Ravelry than I have in months looking online. See? It's all about word of mouth - that's how you find the good local stuff.

And even though I thought I'd be last to the party, turns out I'm not. There are like 10,000 people behind me in line!! So for the first time ever, I was relatively, one of the firsts!! WOOT WOOT!

So the 3rd Christmas gift is coming along nicely. I hope to make a really good dent into it this week. We are having employee appreciation at work on Friday with a catered lunch and movie, so I'll be bringing it with me!

Have I mentioned I'm excited?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Learn to love the silence

While watching football this evening, I think I've heard the most unbelievable exchange between two sportscasters that I can ever imagine. I have a long dislike of "color-commentators, " but for those of you who watched the game, you know I'm not making this up.

Let's set the scene -

It's overtime in the Georgia vs. Alabama game. Alabama has just scored a field goal and now there is a break in action on the field before Georgia takes the ball for their turn. In that silence, this exchange occurred between Mike Patrick and Todd Blackledge of ESPN. And because I have tivo and really wanted to get this perfect, this is a word for word account.

Mike Patrick - I have an important question for you.
Todd Blackledge - Go ahead
MP - What is Britney doing with her life?
TB - Who? (completely confused)
MP - BRITNEY!
TB - Britney who? (still completely confused)
MP - SPEARS! What is she doing with her career?
TB - WHY DO WE CARE AT THIS POINT?

(LONG AWKWARD SILENCE)
TB - Is she here?
MP - I don’t think so.
TB - Is she a football fan? (trying to make this somewhat relevant)
MP - Oh, I’m sure she is. (MORE AWKWARD SILENCE)
MP - Georgia from the 25.…


REALLY? REALLY? DOES THIS REALLY BELONG IN FOOTBALL? Mike Patrick laughed at himself at his feeble attempt to fill the dead air, but do we really need to fill EVERY second. Normally, it would have gone to commercial, but being OT, the timeout wasn't that long and they stayed with the live feed. So it's ok to have some silence. Heck, I assure you, the at home viewing audience would rather silence then talk of anything pop-gossip related!

Although, I did truly love Blackledge's reaction to it. I can't show tone in this medium, but it was more of the "what planet are you on?" variety.

P.S. Geaux Tigers and pullin' an Ol' Ball Coach move on the Ol' Ball Coach!

Another Saturday "in the Big Town"

For those people in the OKC metro area, the phrase "in the Big Town" will be familiar. It's what our local weatherman/hero calls our area. He normally uses it in conjunction with Friday nights, but well, I'm taking some license here. It's my blog, I'll do what I want to. Oh and I use the term "hero" with as much cynicism as a transplant can muster. This particular weatherman has been lampooned on national television. I wanted to insert a link here, but the video has been pulled from youtube and this sentence is in its place - "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Viacom International Inc." Nice, huh?

Oh well... we got a good laugh about it around here. Now that I've spent a long time explaining my title, let's just get to this particular Saturday.

We are almost officially into the Fall season now. No, not because I have all my Fall decorations out. But the first day of Fall is officially tomorrow. And the Smith house is ready! Beyond decorations at home and costumes in stores (god bless, even Christmas decorations in some - thank you, Macy's), you can just feel Fall in the air. Football is on TV (and not preseason or cupcakes, but full on conference play), the dogs enjoy being outside, and you can sit outside and not be carried away by bugs or melt in the heat.

Fall also brings about Oklahoma's windy season and the winds have already begun to pick up. We haven't had our steady days of 15-20 mph yet, but they'll get here. I'm really looking forward to this time of the year again. The trees will be just beautiful as they change their colors and don't worry, I'll be taking some pictures. Last year, I think I was too caught up in being so new here to really enjoy this time of year. Everything has come with a little less drama and worry the second time around.

So when everyone asks what we've been doing? Well, nothing out of the ordinary. Just the daily tasks of life. We've settled into a somewhat normal routine. Work at the office and working at home. Watching football and playing with the dogs. Having dinner with friends. Doesn't sound like much, but we are happy in our simpleness.

And if those of you who know me well can believe it, the house has been clean (as in company could walk in at any minute clean) for almost a month now. The kitchen is clean every night and the bed is made every day. AND there is only a tiny bit of laundry to be done as of this very moment. Tomorrow, it will be done.

P.S. The fair didn't happen again this year. But next year, we will do our best to get there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's not just me

I'm not alone in my lack of blog material. All the blogs that I read on a regular basis are also experiencing the same blog-block that I am. So I do find solace in that. That being said, I started looking for new blogs to read and I found another one about moving to Oklahoma.

It's a great blog and extremely well written. And while I didn't come from Los Angeles like this guy, I feel like Baton Rouge is a LOT more cosmopolitan than Oklahoma City. So I can understand quite a few of the things he says. While I was reading, it made me realize that I haven't talked about our first year here. I did start the blog at the beginning of year 2 but there are some humorous, small town stories to tell.

That will happen in the future, but for now, I was just checking in. We are going to the state fair this weekend. I am quite excited since I've never been to the Oklahoma State Fair!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Football Musings

What the heck have happened to the Saints? Really? That's not rhetorical! Someone tell me what happened to the NFC Divisional Champs of last year and the pre-season Super Bowl favorite. WHAT'S HAPPENED? (side note: Saints lost today and are now 0-2 and have looked BAD in those 2 games)

Now, on the positive side of things, LSU is continuing to steam roll. We started the game with half of our offense on the bench, using second string guys. By the middle third quarter, there were guys scoring that I've never heard of. So basically, if you had a uniform on, you got to play. Heck, the waterboy could have been in there for all I know.

I was hoping that Nebraska could have looked a little better, but I would imagine that USC was a little peeved after listening to how great LSU was all week. Oh well, at least there is comfort in knowing that Auburn is BAD! Yes, they lost again this week. This time to Mississippi State. Now, I don't think State is as bad as we made them look the opening week of the season, but I would have thought that Auburn had better talent than that. And also that they'd be looking to prove a point after losing to South Florida the week before. But looks like I was wrong. And it's nothing personal against Auburn. It's just a HUGE dislike for Tubberville. But take heart Auburn fans, I will be pulling for you guys against Bama! And so will the rest of the state of Louisiana and any LSU Tiger fan on the planet!

Ok, last football comment, but this time I'm switching back to the NFL. How bad is Kansas City? You know, they weren't knocking on the Super Bowl door with Dick Vermeil as the coach, but in walks Herm Edwards and to the cellar they go. He leaves underachievers at the Jets and Eric Mangini IMMEDIATELY turns them around. So it seems to me Edwards is the common denominator in awfulness. I like him personally (from what I know about him - we aren't exactly best friends), but wow.... how many chances do coaches get? And is KC a random NFL reference? Why yes, it is. But the only NFL that I get on tv here is either Dallas or KC. So BLAH all the way around!! At least Parcells is gone in Dallas - the only drawback being that he is now on ESPN again.

And don't get me started on why I dislike Bill Parcells. Football Genius? How about HR genius! Any head coach is going to look great surrounded by super coordinators! And he's as trustworthy as Nick Saban - always looking for the next job and next project.

Can you tell it's a typical fall Sunday in the Smith household? I'm watching football and T and the dogs are snoring!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Eh....

You know, I don't really have a whole lot to say. Not sure why. The weather's been fabulous. Work's been decent. I haven't really done a lot around the house, but I do keep stockpiling knitting projects. I have more stuff than I could possibly knit in the next couple of months. But get this, I even have a project in the mix for me! So that's about it.

Let's get a WOOT WOOT for tomorrow being Friday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

At a loss...

You know, it's September 11th. And I'm not really sure what to say. Six years ago, so many things changed, not just in this country but in myself. So I also encounter this day with a bit of fear - not of what could happen, but of those helpless feelings.

The thing is that there are so many things to celebrate. Today is the birthday or anniversary of so many people. Today was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL weather. Not a cloud in the sky, no humidity and a high in the 70's. In fact, this morning you felt the autumn chill. It's right around the corner. And it reminded me of the weather that day.

So I wish I had more to say. I wish I had something appropriate to say. But I don't. I'm at a loss....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pictures, as promised!

This sweet little girl is now 5 weeks and 3 days old today! And I can see some of Leslie's facial expressions in her already! (Disclaimer: I'm not as familiar with Jamie's facial expressions to see those)









This is such a Leslie face!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pizza Sunday Recap

The homemade pizza didn't turn out so bad. In fact, it was pretty good. And for those of you who think I just slapped some stuff on a ready-made pizza crust, well you are sadly mistaken, my friend. I started with basic ingredients and made my own dough and rolled it out. Then I took some Roma tomatoes and made my own pizza sauce and then topped the dough and sauce with fresh pepperoni, mushrooms and yes, fresh mozzarella too!

I used this recipe as my inspiration but adapted it to us and what we like to eat on a pizza. It was pretty easy although since I've never rolled out a pizza crust before, I'm sure I could use some pointers on it. It was a little different that rolling out cookie dough.
I never did get to the homemade oreos. Once I've cleaned the kitchen, I'm just not interested in messing it up more! But I did get all the laundry done and the new nightstands in the bedroom. They look really good. I'm quite pleased with them. Now, it just makes my lamps look ridiculously small. So I guess I need to work on getting the headboard up and some things finished in the bedroom.

The Tigers rolled last night and are looking pretty good. So 2 down, 10 more to go! Middle Tennessee State is next week, so let's hope we can stay focused.
I wrote yesterday about the great yarn store in Dallas (Plano, actually). So I wanted to show off some of my new yarn stash additions.


Below is a baby alpaca that is going to be used for the 3rd Christmas present. So I'm quite excited to start working with it. It's so soft! I think it's going to be a great gift.



And lastly, in fun baby news, Navarre rolled over for the first time today! So yeah! I've been told new pictures are going out tomorrow, so I'll have some new ones to post of her. And of course, will do some promptly.

Hope everyone has a good and safe week! Till next time...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

IKEA Saturday Recap


We made it. We made it to IKEA! Now, Lea had never been to IKEA, so she was not familiar with the great stuff and great prices! And once we got out of Oklahoma City, we had good weather. In fact, it was HOT! The thermometer in the car read 98 degrees at one point. In fact, I think I'm a little sunburned on my window arm.

So back to IKEA, we went through the whole store and got our stuff. I got my nightstands and are quite happy with them. However, since everything is flat packed, that brings a new task.

But we had a lot of fun. We ate lunch and then headed to Sam Moon. We met Amy there (our friend who lives in Frisco) and got to visit for a bit. After that, we headed to Plano to check out a yarn store that I had found online. I hit the big time jackpot with that store. And I caught a sale on all cotton yarns. So I seriously stocked up. I also got yarn for the third Christmas present. It's a wonderful baby alpaca! But I won't get too into the yarn. I'm sure I'm the only one it makes giddy. Lea waited outside for me in the heat - that's how interested in the yarn she was!

After that we headed home and we were lucky enough to get behind a woman in the exact change toll lane that didn't have any money. So she gets out of her car and digs around for some money with her butt sticking up in the air. Then she starts walking back towards us and asks if we have any change. LUCKILY, we did! So we think we'll be on our way? Not so fast my friend. She throws in the 75 cents and nothing. The light doesn't change and the coins don't register. So she throws in all the money she has managed to scrounge up and nothing. So finally she just pulls through. I pull up and throw my money in and guess what! The light turned green and we went on our way. So obviously, it was just not that woman's day!

And that is the great IKEA Saturday recap! I know, it was totally riveting. But once T gets everything put together and I get it set up in the room, you know you'll have some pictures.

Tonight - LSU vs. Virginia Tech - GEAUX TIGERS!
UPDATE: LSU 48 - Virginia Tech 7

Tomorrow - homemade pizza and oreos!

What could it be?

It's 6:30 AM on a Saturday. And I'm awake. And fully dressed (with shoes AND jewelry). It could only mean one thing - well two things actually. It could mean that we are now in Bizarro World or it could mean - IT'S IKEA SATURDAY!

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Smith Friday Night

A Smith Friday night consists of dinner of reheated leftovers (at least it was home cooked) and a little computer time. I play my typical spider solitaire. T plays his online game (I don't know what it is). I watch a little HGTV combined with some Forensic Files and then typically I'd go to bed with a sink full of dishes.

No, no, my friend. Not anymore. Very tired and so not interested in doing it, but I'm going to unload and reload the dishwasher. So that's it. That's a Smith Friday night. Riveting, huh?

Yep, that's us - the old, married couple. But this is also coming from the person who took pictures of her voicemail light (or lack thereof) at work and blogged about them and happens to be addicted to spider solitaire.

Tomorrow is big for several reasons. First, it's IKEA SATURDAY! WOOT WOOT! And LSU is also playing Virginia Tech. It's a game that's been rescheduled forever!! So I'm happy it's finally getting played. I'm a little irked it's AFTER we move out of Louisiana, but at least it's being played. So GEAUX TIGERS!

I'm off to tackle the dishes and hop in bed. Lea and I are leaving for Dallas at 7 (yes, as in 7 AM) so I need to get some sleep.

Oh, before I go, I was thinking on the way home that it would be great if people were actually reading this blog. So if you are, please leave a comment so I know. And if no one is reading, then I guess I'll continue to babble to myself!!

It's a Friday Miracle!


That's my phone. My phone at work that's normally full of messages. And always ringing. But here it is, a Friday Miracle! Not only is it NOT ringing at the moment (knock on wood) but I also have managed to check all my voice mails. Yes, me. Checked all the voice mail. All of it!

See.....


The light is gone! Let's do the HAPPY-FRIDAY-NO-VOICEMAILS-SHOPPING-AT-IKEA-TOMORROW Dance!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I have a problem

My name is Nicole Smith and I'm addicted.... addicted to spider solitaire. When I start playing, I can't stop. I need help.

Progress

We have discussed my new goal to cook dinner and be more neat and organized. I've made progress that's for sure. We had soba last night for dinner. And it even looked like the pictures. I did make it a tad too spicy for me, but T seemed to like it since he had seconds. So I'll add it to the list of things to do again.

So here's where I'd like to discuss my progress. Every day for the last week and half, I have cleaned the kitchen each night and made the bed each morning. And even managed to do some light cleaning in between. All this while working full time, cooking dinner each night and travelling on the weekends, no less. I've been quite proud of myself.

Last night, I ran out of steam. I came home from work and didn't start dinner right away. I was tired. So after a while, and with help from T (he did unload the dishwasher for me before I started cooking) I started dinner. It wasn't hard to do, but there was a lot of chopping and I wound up with sesame seeds all over the floor. Luckily, I do have 2 moving vacuums with wagging tails so that wasn't much of an issue.

After dinner, I just sat on the sofa instead of jumping right into cleaning the kitchen. Originally I had grand plans to even make more oreos. Yeah, it didn't happen. I had the time, just not the energy or desire. I was also going to do more laundry. Nope, that didn't happen either.

So this story ends badly? I've reverted to old habits and the house smells like an Asian restaurant? Nope, not quite.

I cleaned the kitchen (even though I didn't want to) and make sure the sink was shiny when I turned out the lights. I got all my stuff ready for today before I went to sleep - planned outfit, gathered work stuff, etc. Go me!

This morning, the same weariness was there. I just simply didn't want to make the bed. I had the time, I just didn't want to. It's a never ending cycle with the bed-making! The 15 year old rebellious streak came out in me. I've never been a bed maker. NEVER! Unless it was absolutely necessary. And absolutely meant mom said to do it or I couldn't do something. But I did. I made it. It took all of 2 minutes (and that's stretching it) and I just dealt with the hate of doing it.

I showered, dressed, made the bed, gathered breakfast (for in the car, thank you Mr. Granola Bar) and was out the door in 45 minutes. AND I WAS ON TIME TO WORK!

So I call this progress.... Sure I'm only 10 days into this new, more mature, grown up version of myself. But I'm 10 days farther along that I was 10 days ago. Profound, huh?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUQUE LOUQUE!

On Monday, September 3rd, Douque Louque (pronounced Duke Luke for the non-Louisiana folks) celebrated his golden birthday! That's right, he turned 3 years old. And I've tried to take a picture of him every year on his birthday so that you can see his growth. Dad says they tried to go to Blue Bayou water park but the lines were too long, so Dad just sprayed him with the hose in the backyard. Considering, we did the whole spraying the hose in the backyard thing when we were kids, I have a feeling they didn't even try to go to the water park.

He is quite a sweetie and loves me so much, he tries to jump into my arms every time he sees me. Lucky me! I did manage this visit without and scratches or bumps. He just loves me, what can I say? So without further ado, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUQUE!



Saturday, September 1, 2007

At long last...

You know, I completely forgot to post pictures of the cable baby blanket that I did for Navarre when we got back from Halifax. In my defense (weak as it may be), we did have quite a bit of chaos going on here. But that is no excuse! You've patiently been waiting for the pictures and here they are!


If you click on the picture, it will take you to Flickr, where I have more photos uploaded. The pattern is the Cable Baby Blanket from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I used Bernat 100% cotton (for softness and ease of care with a new baby) in a fun purple color. At the time, we didn't know if it was going to be a boy or a girl and I had originally thought of doing purple and yellow stripes (a la LSU). But loved the way the solid purple looked, so I left it like that.

So I'm working on baby Christmas present #1. Since I can't keep a secret and have shown Leslie and Jamie what I'm doing, then I might as well show everyone else. Navarre cannot yet navigate the web, so it won't spoil the surprise for her! So this is what I'm working on for her.


I am using Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere yarn as directed by the patten, but I'm using in a bright pink (color 24).

I have one other Christmas gift that I have the supplies for. It is called Ene's Scarf and thanks to Jared at brooklyntweed, we have some fabulous photos and inspiration. His work continues to inspire me to knit and try things that I would have never thought of. I am using a different yarn for mine than he did though. I'll be using a 100% silk lace weight yarn from Sundara in a beautiful hand-dyed color called Tuscan Rose over Lemon Yellow. I really can't wait to start using it.

And lastly, I am thinking about a gift from another Jared inspiration. I have just joined a knit-along and hopefully next weekend when I'm in Dallas (IKEA here we come!), I'll scout out a couple of great yarn stores. I'll do a little online research first.

We are getting ready to leave for Benton (as soon as T gets home from work) and believe it or not the house is in pretty good shape. I put new sheets on the bed for when we get home. I washed and put away the ones previously on the bed. The kitchen is clean because we did it last night - same with the living room. I did 3 loads of laundry AND PUT IT AWAY. I've packed for us and cleaned the bathroom. So as simple as all of this stuff was (and it really was), it's freed up a lot more time for me to think about, concentrate on and actually do some knitting! I hope to have some great pictures to post in the coming weeks as I create the list of Christmas gifts.

On the road again....