Friday, August 31, 2012

I Cheated On Book Club. TWICE. **updated**

I proudly bear the title "NON-Book-Quitter"; and technically, I'm not a book-quitter. Even if I hate the book or disagree with the author's view or lifestyle....I honestly feel that this is how a reader educates himself, broadens her horizons, gains some sort of perspective on life, and improves his vocabulary. I have a couple books that throughout life I have simply put on pause for a bit with every intention of picking them back up sometime soon.

I am not even a cheater. I am a huge stickler for the rules. Any rules...well, except inappropriately labeled speed limit signs. At work? Follow the rules. At home? Follow the rules. As a classroom teacher...YOU follow MY rules. I have always been this way. I have been known to get in trouble now and then growing up for my attitude though...but a reader I have always been. I was that kid who got sent to my room as "punishment" and LOVED it. You mean I get to READ The Girl With The Silver Eyes or Babysitter's Club for, like, two hours straight?? SWEET. I get to sing along with a cassette-tape recording of WHAM Make It Big using my hairbrush as a microphone? Practice my AmAzInG dance moves alone in front of the mirror??? I could deal with this punishment.

So I thought I would just go ahead and get it off my chest now before the guilt and shame do me in. I cheated on my book club this month. Twice. I remember the day a few months ago when I stumbled upon a dilapidated copy of Anna Karenina by Tolstoy at an estate sale, knowing it was coming up on the list in a couple months, and HAD to buy it right then. Even if it meant using Elmer's glue to mend how did THIS happen???

That's right. THIS ^^^ is now a stand for a baby monitor. It's the perfect thickness to get the book right at my eye level while my head is on the pillow.  :)

Needless to say, life is a bit different now. I don't get nearly as much time to read as I used to (which I couldn't be more giddy about...let's be honest), so when I DO sit down to read on that rare, much-desired occasion, I want it to be something I am loving to read at the time. Now...I have just put good ole AK on pause until I finish these other two books. 

Cheat #1: I bought this book because I follow the author's blog, and she is stinkin' hilarious! Remember when I said I don't always need to agree with the view or lifestyle of the author to glean something from it? This is one of those instances. These are the things I had to look past in this funny read: bad language, drama, and a strange obsession with taxidermied animals. What did I glean? Laughter so hard I had tears, an appreciation for the serenity of my own world and childhood, and seeing someone discover who they really are after a lifetime of not knowing. I had so much in common with the author...we are both native Texans, both a bit on the "let's just not eat" team during high school, and we both have the EXACT same fertility issue. I have never "met" anyone with it* but me. And I guess I haven't really met her...but it feels like I have.
(*And by IT, I mean elevated Antiphosphatidylserine IgM. How about THAT mouthful??)
If you can look past her sarcasm to appreciate her wit, and look past her foul mouth to appreciate the emphasis it brings to her humor...then you might enjoy this book.

 Cheat #2: A dear friend that I grew up with stopped by this week to meet Jake, and brought both him AND me a book. How thoughtful!!! This book above is turning out to be fascinating! The author has taken a mostly absent character from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Mr. March the father, and written a novel from his perspective being away as a chaplain in the Civil War and his longing for home and his wife and daughters. The plot intertwines major events from Little Women into his storyline, which if I were that author...I could only imagine the research and cross-referencing that went into that! I'm nowhere near finished yet...still cheating on AK. But I will let you know my thoughts when I do finish.

**THIS BOOK TURNED OUT TO BE QUITE A READ! I loved it. This author does a great job explaining in her afterword how she researched and cross-referenced and took liberties. Some parts were very tough to get through, especially those having to do with cruelty to slaves in such a harsh time. While I know roots of racism still exist, it made me grateful for living in a time when things like that just don't happen much anymore. I highly recommend this book. :)

Will I read Anna Karenina?? Quite possibly...especially since I just confessed it to the world.

What are YOU reading that you can't put down????


Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Rewind

WHAT A WEEKEND. Nothing but good happened this weekend. It was a literal whirlwind packed with some HUGE surprises, some expected surprises (does that disqualify it being a surprise?), and catching up with others.
For starters, Stayton's football team had their pre-season scrimmage on Saturday morning IN THE RAIN. DFW has gotten some rain lately, and we are so glad! But somehow in the last few months of drought our family had misplaced every last umbrella, so Anthony had to search high and low to no avail...and go purchase new ones on the way. Our Stayton is # 59, always has been, even in Peewee football.

Now for the TOTAL unexpected surprise.........guess who shows up at the scrimmage?!?   THIS GUY.
That's right! Pops (Anthony's father) flew in to surprise Stayton at his game and to meet Jake for the first time. I'm pretty sure a couple of "Huh?! What are you doing here?" comments happened. In a good way, of course.
After the scrimmage they all headed home to shower and relax, and Pops got to meet Jake! He calls his grandsons names like Bean, Beanhead, Goofball. Jake wasn't exempt from these names despite his young age. ;)

Soon after that, Jake and I loaded up the car and headed to Ft. Worth for the DFW area Baby Shower that my sister and some VERY dear friends planned for us. I won't include all 165 photos from the shower, but here are some highlights. To put it simply, I had a lump in my throat and a grin on my face the entire time. Jake is loved by so many who have prayed for us over the last 8 years. This is one spoiled blessed child.
 Check out that handsome fancy outfit on Jake! Thanks Mimi for the bib!

 My precious sister and my mother.

THIS RIGHT HERE is my favorite photo from the shower. My mother laughing...oh I love her.

 Sweet Lisa made this name plaque for his room! So cute!

 My dad, the ultimate Cowboys fan, got him this.

 Modeling my Petunia Pickle Bottom...the diaper bag...not my bottom!

 Katy got these hilarious onesies from Baby Gap.

 2 hostesses hard at work...sis and Kim B!

 Cousin Katy was a huge part of our adoption process this year, which makes her an official member of Team Baby Gordon.
 Amy and Sydney

 Mom and sweet Aunt Linda

 being held by Cousin Jennifer

I couldn't have made it through the day without Courtney's help! That's her chatting it up with another hostess, Marie.
 My mom's friend Kim helped coordinate the whole gig!

 Someone just ate his weight in milk...check out the cute bib. Thanks again Mimi!

 The same Lisa who made the plaque, gave us this clothesline with some CUTE things!

 My grandmother holding Jake

The hostesses got us the most AMAZING swing! Jake fell asleep in it within the first 30 seconds. Wow. Also, it only took me 5 minutes to assemble. By myself. Other than the crib, I have assembled EVERY single baby gear myself. Not because my husband is not willing or able...because honestly he is the most helpful man and devoted father ever! I am just a go-getter, and I like to know how it all works so it helps me to put it together myself.

This is the part where everyone is probably thinking I am going to type "Lastly...." but I am not. So far we are only up to Saturday afternoon! 

Sunday, Pops headed home and I organized the gifts from the shower. In the evening my parents wanted to come by so my Dad could see Jake before he travels for work again, which is almost every week. We miss him so much when he travels!

THEN, it was time to use his brand new bathtub for Baby's First REAL Bath. (We have been sponge bathing him this whole time because we didn't have a baby bathtub for him yet! Thanks Aunt Pat and Jen and Nat!)

Now here is where I will say "Lastly."

Lastly, Stayton starts 10th grade today! Here is the first day of school photo, but he isn't dressed for school because supposedly 10th graders are macho and head to the gym before the school day begins. Oh well!! He is still handsome!
Happy First Day to all my teacher friends and all of the students. Hoping today goes well for all. :)


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lovin' Life

We have been totally lovin' life around here! Stayton is about to start his second year of High School, and has started football practices...which lead to munchies right afterwards.
We went to pick up his schedule, see his friends, and buy supplies and spirit wear this week. We are so glad he loves his school and friends. He is also very helpful with baby brother, making sure he kisses his head a few times a day and holds him some. We love our Stayton so very much!

Also, Jake has hit the 4-week mark and is just a day or two shy of his 1 month birthday! My, how time flies. He is SUCH a great baby. I will let the photo show his milestones for this month.
We are madly in love with Jake and our family feels so whole and complete now. God has truly blessed us, and we are exceedingly grateful. Isn't our baby beautiful? We aren't biased at all. Not one bit.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Baby Nursery Design

For those of you who don't know that much about me, I will start by saying that my bachelor's degree is Interior Design. I minored in business, and have spent the last several years teaching elementary school because that best fit our family's needs. But my REAL passion, my "thing" that strikes my fancy, is art and design. After I graduated from SFA with an almost perfect GPA (darn you, accounting!) I interned at Kathy Andrews Interiors in Houston, which is a model home merchandising firm. They hired me after graduation full time, and I had the privilege of helping furnish model homes for various builders. It was SUCH a fun job! TONS of work and travel almost weekly, and very little pay at the time....but OH how fun it was. I gleaned so much from the experience, and I love to put it to use every chance I get.

When we lived in Houston, once I began teaching, I started my own small residential design business called Rooms to Remember. I was working full time and being a mommy to sweet Stayton, so it stayed a small business. Then when we moved to the DFW area, I closed it down. No vendors, no clients, means no business. Now that I am a stay-at-home-mom, I plan to start a new small business for design. I hope to broaden my audience by offering various services such as real-estate staging, wall murals, commissioned art, and custom drapery design. I can't wait to see where I land with this in the next few years. Pass my name along!! :)

Ok, ok...I know you probably just skipped all that. But you shouldn't have. Many of you have asked to see pictures of Jake's nursery. I have been putting you off, mainly because I stink at photography. My pictures kept looking awful, no matter what time of day. So I called on my buddy Jennifer from church to come take the photos for me. Here is her link: Hi Jen!

My husband and I had a little disagreement regarding the nursery theme. I wanted art. He wanted sports. We compromised! I also threw in a little vintage/retro feel, and music too. So it's a hodgepodge. I'm ok with that.



 Hey look! It's baby Jake!


Resource List

Crib: JC Penney Jenny Lind style white, spray painted yellow
Wall Color: Sherwin Williams 7068 Grizzle Gray
Mobile: Hand-crafted by a friend
Bicycle fabric: Duralee, purchased at Rutherford's in Dallas
Stripe Fabric: purchased at Rutherford's in Dallas
Quilt and Bumper pads: Handsewn by Malia Ritchison
Bedskirt: Handsewn by Mitzie Watson (My mom)
Art on Wall: 3 part series, quotes and all, created by ME, Kara Gordon
Dresser: One-of-a-kind purchased from Craigslist seller
Messy paintbrushes: purchased at IKEA new, messed up by yours truly, ME
Orange Upholstered Rocker: 1960's vintage, purchased at Art is Art in Dallas
Ottoman: Target (stores his blankets)
Side Table: World Market outdoor table
Draperies: IKEA, tiebacks sewn by my mother, Mitzie Watson
Elephant: Hand-carved in Africa, ruined by painting red...I did that
Tiny red rocker: Canton, TX  flea market
Wagon and Vintage truck: Gifts from family and friends, Ann Gordon
Hanging Shelves: IKEA white, spray-painted yellow
Scripture Decal: A City Stickers in Allen, TX
Hanging Lanterns: World Market 4-pack
Messy Art Supply pictures: Printed at home from Google Images and framed in $1 IKEA frames
Vintage Books: Were my husband's as a child, given by Ann Gordon
Paint Swatch Pillow: purchased at Target, hand-painted by ME, Kara Gordon
Growth Chart: Gift from my mom, Mitzie Watson, bought at an antique mall
Locker Rack: Pottery Barn Teen
Abacus: IKEA
Button "J" Monogram: Hand-sewn by my sister, Amy Bird
Retro Clock and Needlepoint: flea market in Canton, TX and antique mall

I hope you like it! Jake sure's my new favorite room in this casa.

Lastly: My literature poll closed out with Fiction in the lead by a whopping 56%, Non-fiction way behind with 18%. Be sure to vote on your favorite season below! The seasons are about to ready for weather cooler than 156*, and mosquitoes that don't kill people. Love you guys!!!