• 15 minute posts,  BIG news,  Buddies

    Bethany had her baby!

    Elliora Violet Gronberg

    Elliora Violet was born at 11:20 November 29th! Six pounds, 6 ounces, 19 inches and healthy! Three hours of labor without an epidural and Bethany is doing fine!

    It couldn’t be a better day to be born!

    I wanted to organize the office today but Bethany had other ideas. Apparently Bethany doesn’t nest. She paints. She was very adamant about painting and well, you know me, I’ll never turn down a trip to a pottery studio. I love to paint! So paint we did. We painted for four hours while Grandma Debbie (Bethany’s mom) watched Bug and Annalie. It was delightful. I worked on some dottery (which I cannot show you because Bethany took her camera with her to the hospital and I didn’t have a chance to download the pictures but who cares! We have a baby!) and Bethany painted some ornaments, including one very special one for the baby. Now that I think about it, I wonder if Bethany knew on some instinctual level that this was probably her last chance to paint for a while. We talked about it jokingly but then we’ve been thinking every day was going to be the day.

    We came home, cooked up some delicious tamale pie and then Bethany laid down on the couch complaining of some “annoying” braxton hicks that she assured us were just the usual. Grandma Debbie and I shuffled the girls off to bed thinking it was just another night like all the rest. When I came upstairs after Bug was asleep, Bethany and Troy were packing her hospital bag and heading to the hospital because her water had broken. Three hours later we got a text from Troy that Elliora was born! Three hours and no epidural!

    Then Bethany called and asked me to quickly blog it so she could make her midnight deadline of posting every day this month. She wasn’t participating in Nablopomo but it was just a personal challenge for herself. Silly Bethany, how I love you so. I’ll blog it today and tomorrow! I hope you don’t mind the typos!

  • Buddies,  Life Lessons,  spilling my guts,  Tis the Season,  Washington D.C.

    Good Times, Good Friends…


    The end of my visit here in D.C. is looming and I’m starting to get that gut ache of anxiety, knowing I have to go home and face some big scary changes in my life. I know good things happen to people who make them happen so I am determined not to let this low-lying fear get the best of me but it’s there. Of course it’s there. I keep telling myself that if anyone is capable of this big change, I am. But still, the doubts are vicious.

    My friend Heather gave me a silver bracelet that says, “And lo, I am with you always” to remind me that I am never alone. God is with me. The bracelet slides up and down my arm all day long. I constantly find myself fiddling with it, sticking it inside my sweater, pushing it on top, twisting it around and around… I don’t really wear much jewelry normally and all this clinking and scraping on my laptop would usually drive me crazy but now I welcome it’s peskiness. The more I am reminded of this bracelet, the more I am reminded of why I am wearing it. Clink away, silver bracelet!

    waiting for baby

    So while my anxiety is unrelenting, I am trying to ignore it and enjoy my last few days here. The baby has not come yet and we are all resigning ourselves to the fact that she probably is going to take her own sweet time. The baby’s room is painted (Thanks to Troy! I didn’t help at all. Boo hiss!) and a new dresser (which I helped pick out) has been assembled. It feels so good to walk down the hall and catch a glimpse of a sunny yellow baby’s room just waiting for someone to be born and claim it.

    sunny yellow baby's room

    little chucks

    (Little Chucks!)


    This weekend the Beach Mama family came to visit which was really really nice. I might think of this part of my life as a low point but really it should be a high point because now more than ever am I reminded how good it is to have a support network of really good friends who make me laugh and smile and enjoy the day-to-day.

    girls rule!


    I just wish they could have stayed a little longer!

    eager eaters

    I almost forgot to blog about our Thanksgiving dinner! We actually didn’t cook a turkey, we had ham. And we had Thanksgiving dinner the day after Thanksgiving because everyone was in various stages of being sick, not to mention we’ve been on baby watch and we didn’t want to be caught up in anything elaborate or complicated if we might have to rush off to the hospital at any minute. But Bethany pulled off some of her usual magic in the kitchen and we had a fabulous feast.

    little roasted potatoes balsamic bacon beans

    Spiral-cut ham, smashed potatoes, garlic-rosemary roasted potatoes and green beans with bacon-balsamic vinaigrette and the piéce de resistance was the dessert: mini pumpkin cheesecake.

    baby pumpkin pies!

    Oh my goodness these are so good. If you like butter, cream cheese, sugar cookies and pumpkin pie, you should definitely click over to Bethany’s site and get the recipe. They are wreaking havoc on my secret plan of getting down to a size six, I mean eight…ugh, never mind.