Friday Update – 01.30.09

Adoption: Still waiting! 47 weeks! Anyone want to take bets that we will get to 50? (I am thinking more and more that I was right with February 23) There was lots of good news this week. 12 infants were referred. Seven girls and five boys! Congratulations to all the happy families. We also received news that due to the extended wait from referral to travel our agency will be providing more photo updates for waiting families. Families were just getting pictures at referral and after passing court, but now they will get pictures ever 4-6 weeks.

Training: Training for the duathlon is still going well. I ended up taking two days off this week due to a little cold. I was also hoping to add some strength training this week, but it just didn’t happen. I hope to be back to full strength next week.

Gardening: The winter garden is still going strong. I have been snacking on snow peas all week. Yummy! My first head of broccoli is finally starting to grow. It looks like I will have some onions and garlic in a couple of months. It is also time to start seeds for the spring garden.

Biking: I still love my new bike, even if it tried to eat my pants today. Thanks to Keith and Erin I have a lovely sticker of Africa on it.

25 things about matt

since stephanie did it. I assume I needed to as well. 

  1. According to some people I have too many shirts, yes 84 is a lot of t shirts. The funny thing is I still find shirts I want to buy all the time. 
  2. I really love my wife. I think she is fun, smart, giving, loving and lets not forget hot. I enjoy hanging out with her a lot. 
  3. I am probably addicted to biking, and bikes. I may have 4 in the garage at any given moment.
  4. I wake up pretty early almost every day, sans-alarm. Its kind of odd. Even on days I dont need to get up. 
  5. I love my job. I mean really, how cool is it that I make web sites for clients across the US and now Canada and London. 
  6. im a super mac geek. i really cant stand using PCs. but I grew up on a mac since i was a kid.
  7. although number 6 is true. I dont own an iphone (at&t = booo). I have a blackberry and dig it.
  8. I grew up playing ice hockey. A lot. I mean i dont think i figured out that i liked girls till 17 or so. I played hockey that much. 
  9. I grew up in a small town in the mountains outside of colorado springs. Population 3k, Elevation 9k.
  10. I enjoy reading business and religious books, but not much in the fiction realm.
  11. i, like stephanie, enjoy projects at the last minute. 
  12. i love to work out, and take on big tasks, but I have a hard time finishing things. like say… the 100 push ups deal. lets hope my duathlon training doesnt follow trend.
  13. I enjoy video games, but rarely play by myself.
  14. I am nice guy so often it gets me burned, walked on, or over committed sometimes. Its annoying. 
  15.  Shiny things distract me
  16. i talk. a lot. i mean a lot. I dont know why. I have to make a conscious effort to shut up.
  17. I have always wanted a really cool tattoo, but I have a hard time committing to anything longer than a few weeks, and I would rather spend the money on bike parts. So it will never happen. And my grandma may disown me. 
  18. i think guys that wear v-neck shirts are weird. 
  19. i really like cars. All kinds. I have some deep appreciation for the beauty of a nice car. Not even fancy ones sometimes. 
  20. i think god truly loves us more than we can understand, yet we get in our own way constantly, and screw everything up on a daily basis. I do at least. 
  21. i hear there is some sort of big football shindig on tv this weekend. but i only kind of care. I just like the junk food, and the commercials. Football, basketball, and baseball are kind of boring. Especially baseball.
  22. moose drool is by far my favorite beer. 
  23. i enjoy Brinner often (breakfast for dinner if you didnt know – all the cool kids are trying it)
  24. i really like being outside. unless its 134° like it is here in the summer, even then I just go biking at 5 am, since I am up anyway. 
  25. i enjoy photography. Stephanie lets me be a geek with my dSLR, and buy camera toys every now and then.
btw this list took me about 15 minutes. I could probably do 50 if I had to, but it would get pretty random. 

and the winner is


Since I am married to a geek who has millions of t-shirts I am going to guess 84.
We hang everything over here. I think hanging takes so much less time than folding and you can see everything. I hang everything.

Matt actually has 83 t-shirts! Yes he does hang most of them, but he also has some in a dresser drawer. (I am like Sandi, I prefer to hang over folding.) We had a good laugh the other night when he counted them up!

BTW Kendall in this house I believe the boy clothes out number the girl clothes.

In all honesty he did not buy the majority of his shirts, quite a few are ones he has designed for clients and other miscellaneous freebies.

25 Things about Me

You can thank Meg for this boring post!

These are in no particular order.

1. I thank God every day that I married the perfect man for me.

2. I am painfully shy. Matt was seriously shocked I used the blog. I have to be fairly comfortable with the majority of a people in a room to even say a thing.

3. I absolutely love the ocean. It is one of my favorite places to be.

4. College took me 5 years and several summers, because I could never decide on a major. The sad part is now I would choose a totally different major.

5. I never really wanted a career, being a stay at home mom was the ideal job to me.

6. I used to dream of playing in the NBA. I figured if Muggsy Bogues could do it so could I.

7. I do not like to do my hair. I hardly ever do much to it and do not really use any products. So, the pictures you saw last Wednesday, my hair stylist did that and my hair will probably not ever look like that again and I don’t care.

8. I love coffee and could not imagine starting my day any other way.

9. I don’t really care to go see a movie and I pretty much never want to see a movie more than once.

10. Bridges over water seriously freak me out!

11. I find it very satisfying to eat food I have grown myself.

12. I would own many more animals if we had more space and if Matt would let me.

13. Close-minded people seriously annoy me.

14. I think there are better ways to argue your point then attack the other person. Not that I am all that good at arguing my point, but I don’t see how attacking someone would make them see my point.

15. I am not much of a morning person and I am definitely not a night owl. What can I say, I love my sleep!

16. I seriously thought I might die when at my first retail job they told me I had to greet customers that came to my register. Now I am thankful for that job because it helped me in so many ways.

17. I never thought I would want or use a blackberry, but now that I have one I am so addicted.

18. I cheer for the Cardinals and the Cowboys. Most people just know me as a Cowboys fan because that is all I would admit too, but I have cheered for the Cardinals at a Cardinals/Cowboys game and almost got myself into a fight with a Cowboys fan, luckily my college roommate saved my butt because I didn’t stand a chance. I am not very good at being a one team person. In fact, I usually have multiple favorite teams. (Also, I feel extremely guilty for all these years of pretending to not be a fan of the Cardinals, sorry guys.)

19. If none of my teams are playing, I will always cheer for the underdog.

20. I wish I could sing, but I am absolutely horrible.

21. My desk is almost always messy, which drives my husband nuts.

22. I don’t shower every day. I also don’t think it is necessary for the majority of Americans.

23. I used to think I couldn’t get through the day if I didn’t have a Dr. Pepper, now I hardly ever drink pop.

24. I am a big time procrastinator. I even wrote a paper in college on procrastination. Of course, I wrote it the night before it was due.

25. I now love to cook, but when I first got married I hardly knew how to boil noodles.

That took me way too long, Thanks Meg!

(I will post the t-shirt guessing game results tomorrow, so please guess if you haven’t already.)

Guessing Game

I have been teasing Matt about how many t-shirts he owned lately. He always just brushed it off saying that it wasn’t REALLY that many. Well he finally broke down and counted all his t-shirts. He was shocked by the number. I decided it would be fun to have all our blog readers guess on how many t-shirts you think Matt owns. There is no prize, well maybe a t-shirt or two!

Not all t-shirts are shown

Start guessing!

New Look

Today my hair was finally long enough to donate! I am so excited to have short hair again. I actually love having my hair both ways, but it always makes me happy to cut it off! (especially with summer apparently right around the corner)

(my hair last Saturday)


(from the side)

Food Waste Reduction Challenge

More than 40 percent of all food produced in America is not eaten, according to research by former University of Arizona anthropologist Timothy Jones. That amounts to more than 29 million tons of food waste each year, or enough to fill the Rose Bowl every three days. Nationwide, food scraps make up 17 percent of what we send to landfills.

The above excerpt was taken from the article, “The Food not Eaten – Food Waste: Out of Site, Out of Mind.”  Food waste is and has been one of my biggest focuses over the last couple years.  When I have to throw food out, I feel extremely guilty.  I think about all the energy and effort that went into the production and transport of that food, and it is all such a waste.  I also think of the money I spent on that item, a dollar here and there does add up!  If you are throwing out just 14% of what you bought think about that in comparison to your monthly food bill!  (The 14% is from the study linked in the quote above from the University of Arizona and includes just food thrown in the trash, not food composted, put in the garbage disposal, or given to the family pet.)  We have made marked improvements in the area of food waste, we compost significantly less than we did last year at this time and we hardly have to ever throw out items in the pantry or freezer any more, but we still do :(.  My goal is to throw nothing out, this seems like a very difficult and challenging goal right now.  Sometimes you forget about items, they get shoved to the back of the fridge or pantry, and sometimes you just can’t take another night of leftovers!

If you are interested in wasting less food and less money please join Food Waste Reduction Challenge.  Green Bean also offers some great tips on her blog.  

In truth, stretching meals and reducing food waste is not much of a sacrifice. It only requires a pinch of organization and a teaspoonful of effort.

Reducing food waste also makes a positive impact on the environment.

There’s also a large environmental impact as well if your food waste gets sent to a landfill. Food waste is the largest landfill contributor to methane gas production, so unless your municipality has a landfill-to-gas capture, your rotten bananas and forgotten pickles are contributing to global climate change.

There you have it, you can save the earth and some money by simply reducing your food waste.  Anyone interested in joining in?  Please feel free to share any of your recipes that use up leftovers or any other tricks you may have.

Stephanie's favorite bike trail

Yesterday, I took stephanie out to east mesa to ride her favorite trail at Usery park. I love riding with stephanie. Yes, I ride all the time, but riding with stephanie is fun. We get to hang out, chat, and have a good time with each other in the car, on the trail, and during our little picnic after the ride.

Its always so pretty, and lush for a desert. This video doesn’t do the trail, the vegetation, or the beautiful day justice.

Friday Update – 01.16.09

Adoption Update:  45 weeks down!  I am trying to feel better about the wait, but it was difficult this week.  The wait for referral is one thing, but the wait from referral to travel has been extended and is now expected to take about four months.  It used to only be about two.  The increase of adoptions in Ethiopia has burdened an already overwhelmed system, please pray for the Ethiopian government and that they are able to do what is best for the children.  Also, pray for the adopting families to have patience as this part of the wait is the most difficult.  To know your child but not be able to hold, comfort, or love on is a very difficult time.  

It has been a month since the last round of referrals.  To be honest I always knew in my heart there would be a drought of referrals before we received our referral.  I do not know how long that drought is going to last, but I am hoping that this is the last drought we have to make it through.

Duathlon Training:  I have been doing very well with my training.  I either bike or run every day and some days I do both.  I am improving little by little and happy with the results so far.

Gardening:  The garden is continuing to thrive.

First snow pea!

Life:  Is going great.  We are going to see Abby tomorrow and Matt is doing a little photo shoot with her.  I am sure we will have some cute pictures to share.  We are also going mountain biking.  I last went on my birthday so I am long overdue for a ride.

With the duathlon training Matt wanted to buy me a road bike, but I opted for a new (to me) commuter bike that would also make a decent road bike for the few times I will need it as one.  I got to ride her for the first time today and am loving her.  My old commuter was a little small, plus this new one has a few more gears.  Needless to say it is much faster and easier to ride.

Matt still needs to attach my panniers and my basket then I will be all set for running errands again.  Oh and that suspension seat post has got to go!

2009 Goals

As promised here are my 2009 goals.  I thought I should get around to posting them before January was over!

1. This one was originally run a 5k and possibly a 10k sometime this year, but I have already changed my mind.  I am not giving up on running instead I have (as has Matt) decided to train for a duathlon.  Yep biking and running.  Matt is definitely doing this one, I am considering it, but 8.4 miles of mountain biking is a lot to me!  I am training for the Duathlon For the Cure.  If travel still isn’t in our future after those we are going to the beach.

2.  Focus more on the first two R’s of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  I didn’t know until I read this post that they are actually listed in order of importance.  Matt and I have already made improvements in this area, but we are looking to do more.  I have committed to only buying used or handmade clothing for myself (excluding undergarments) and will more than likely do the same for Tom and Jerry.  Overall we will both work on just buying less, consider what we truly want and really need.  Reusing is actually harder for me, my brain just doesn’t seem to think that way, but I am working on it, before I throw something out I try to think of any other possible uses for the item.

3.  Make gardening, preserving, and making my own a priority.  My little garden is growing more ever year, Matt is telling me I am out of space, but I don’t think so, I still want to add more.  Having more home grown goodies will lead to a need for learning more preservation methods, so I can have home grown goodness all year long.  As for making my own, I will continue to make my own bread and just started making my own yogurt (surprisingly easy).  

4.  Continue with my goals of 2008, mainly eating more vegetarian and wasting less!  I would like to get down to less than 75 gallons per person per day of water.  Continue eating just one to two meals that include meat a week.

I will keep you updated on my goals as I remember.

Looking Back

I started out 2008 with four goals that I shared here on the blog.  I did well with my goals.  Here is a brief update.

1.  Waste Less

We definitely wasted less food this year.  I am much better at meal planning and using up what we have.  It is so nice not throwing food out, better for the environment and our bank account.  We improved our water usage slightly, not a huge drop in water used per day compared to the previous year, about 14 gallons a day or 7 gallons a day per person (adding two little people this year will likely drive up our overall gallons per day usage, but lower our per person use).  Leaving room for more improvement this year.

2.  Eat 2-3 vegetarian meals a week

This was by far my easiest goal.  In fact, we only eat 1 or 2 meals with meat a week.  I think I can officially call myself a flexitarian.  I do consider at some point in time going totally vegetarian, but I am not there quite yet.

3.  Take the dogs for a minimum of 4 walks a week

The only time I struggled with this was in the summer!  It was too hot, but I still walked them often.  Now I am walking or running them 5 or 6 days a week.

4.  Eat fast food less than once a month

This one I totally didn’t do well on, oh well, plenty of room for improvement.  I don’t know if I will try this one in 2009, sometimes when you are stuck running errands a quick bite is convenient.

Tomorrow I will share some of my 2009 goals.

Lovely Saturday

Matt and I had a very relaxing, fun day yesterday.  We woke up semi-early to go to downtown Phoenix to pick up my grapevines and peach tree from the Phoenix Permaculture Guild.  They were less than half the price I would have paid at a nursery!  Considering my last two peach trees have died, I need to be more frugal with my purchases, plus the guild gave out some great tips which will hopefully help this peach tree be the one that makes it.  Then we went to the downtown farmers market.  There was plenty of fresh local produce, great crafts, local cheese, and local free-range eggs.  We had a great time supporting local businesses and made some yummy purchases.  

We then spent a good portion of our afternoon in the garden.  Thanks to my wonderful husband for digging for me!  The one thing I can’t stand is attempting to dig a hole in our backyard, that is some tough dirt back there!  We planted my. grapevines and peach tree and did some basic maintenance in the garden and yard.

Matt doing the hard work



Peach Tree

Garden Bed

We then went over to the neighbors’ for a birthday barbeque (Happy Birthday Aubrey!) where we enjoyed some good food and company. 

Then it was home to watch the Cardinals game.  I will confess to being a closet Cardinals’ fan.  I am a professed Cowboys fan, but I do cheer for the home team on most occasions (even occasionally against the Cowboys, shh don’t tell them).  In the past there hasn’t been much to cheer for but there has always been the secret hope that one of these years would be their year.  Well last night I did not expect them to win (anyone who watched the last half of their season can understand why no one expected them to win), but I wanted them to win so bad just to prove everyone wrong and as a reward for their loyal fans.  Well they won!  I am still in shock.  The Arizona Cardinals are going to the NFC Championship game.  I didn’t think I would ever see this day.  Congratulations to the Cardinals!  Today I will be cheering for the Eagles, if they when the Cardinals will get to host the big game.

Friday Update – 01.09.09

Adoption Update:  We have now been waiting 44 weeks or just over 10 months.  There have been no referrals for the last three weeks, things should pick up again here soon.

Running:  I am happy to say I have been running very consistently and it is going very well.  I also started cycling for exercise again, I was just cycling around town to do errands which wasn’t ever that far.

Gardening:  My winter garden is growing like crazy right now.  I harvested some radishes, a turnip, and lettuce this week for a salad.  They were all delicious!  I should have some snow peas and carrots soon.  Onions and garlic are growing but those won’t be harvested for a couple more months.

I just received my seeds for my spring garden.  I am actually happy that it appears we will be here and not traveling when I first plant the spring garden, it should be nice and established by the time we travel.  We are picking up the peach tree and grape vines I ordered tomorrow, hopefully this is the peach tree that lives!

Life:  We have been very busy just doing day to day stuff.  The beginning of the year is always extra busy with the business so that is our main focus right now.  Abby is doing well, her parents are very tired though!  Being an Aunt so far is easy, looking forward to more quality time with her.

Here is Matt’s favorite picture of Abby so far: