Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drop Dead Fred

Well, this post isn't about Drop Dead Fred, per se, more just about imaginary friends. John has found himself a nice little imaginary friend named Garret. He got the name from a tractor video he saw on youtube with my dad. All day yesterday John and Garret ran around and played. He doesn't have conversations with his "friend" but he will tell me all about what Garret is doing.
As a child, I never had an imaginary friend, although I kind of always wanted one. So I am totally fascinated watching John play with this little person that he has built entirely in his mind. I love love love that he is using his imagination so fully.
I just hope that he Garret doesn't try to get John to shave our cat or play cat burglars like Fred :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010


My 7 year anniversary with Joshua is coming up soon (September 19th) and I have been trying to think of what to do for him. I decided last night that I am going to put together a little album of our 11 years together (since we were dating/engaged for 4 years before we got married).

I was going through a ton of old pictures tonight and it made me laugh to think of all the things that we have been through so far. For some reason, I had forgotten that he paid one of his friends, who is a pilot, to take us flying for our 6 month anniversary. I had forgotten about how we begged my parents to let us get married before I graduated college. We took my mom out to lunch and had a whole speech about how we were ready and all of the benefits to us being married. I mean, we had already been living together for like two years...Finally they took pity on us and gave their seal of approval. I had even sort of forgotten how we did a totally impromptu dance to You Are the One I Want from Grease at our wedding. I am super shy and get nervous when people look at me, but I lost myself in that glorious moment with my new husband.

I can't wait to see what other memories pop up as I make this for him.

A Letter to Myself

Dear Katie,
You seem to have reached a little fork in the road in your journey towards self discovery. I think perhaps you have been making so many changes and now you have lost yourself a little bit. You need to take a little bit of time a really focus on who you want to be and what you want out of life. Do you want to grow spiritually? Maybe you need to do a little reading on some of the Pagan religions, as that seems to be a good fit belief-wise. Do you want to grow a crafting business? Maybe you should try getting out of your comfort zone and learn how to self-promote a little better?How about this blog? This blog was supposed to be for you, as a way to learn about yourself and document the ups and downs of life. Making connections with other people has been a wonderful, unexpected result of that, but for some reason I see you pulling away. It is almost as though you are sabotaging a chance to be a friend, which is exactly the kind of pattern you need to move away from. Stop criticizing yourself, stop overthinking and sitting still. You need to continue down that road you started on, even if it is confusing and difficult and even if you have to pave it yourself every bit of the way.
Your Heart

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Handmade Holiday Gifts

I finally took the leap and created a little blog to showcase some of my handmade items for sale. I have been talking about opening up an etsy shop, but I don't know that I feel confident enough to do that just yet.
The blog lists items that I have for sale but everything will be made to order so anything can be customized.
Please feel free to share the link if you know someone who might be interested.
All of the profits from what I sell is going to go towards another round of IVF
so that we can have another baby.
The blog is called Handmade Holidays by Katie. Here is the link, http://handmadeholidaysbykatie.blogspot.com
Thank you all so much for your support.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weather and Dreads = a glorious day

Today we had the most gorgeous storm. One of the things that I enjoy about AZ summers is monsoon weather. When I was a kid (and horrifically terrified of storms) it seemed like we had monsoons all the time. Now, it seems as though we never have them, especially not during the day when we can enjoy them. Today, the universe saw fit to grace us with a full on storm with thunder, lightening, wind AND rain! I stood outside for the longest time waiting for my dad to bring John home and I just soaked it all in. Then John and I went out and played in the rain and mud, extraordinary!
Jeez, you can hardly tell my nose is pierced in this picture, but it is there I assure you :)

This was my hair on Friday...
And here it is now.
It's not entirely finished. You can see some part are still not dreaded on the left. I think we probably have about two more hours left, but we are taking a little break for now. We can only work on it after John goes to bed and Josh works the next several nights, so I just wear it pulled back. You really can't tell it's not done until it is down.
I am in love!

P.S. I voted today, did you?!?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things I Am Thankful for This Week

Wow! I really think that my list could go on and on and on...
1. Josh had three full days off and spent them all with John and I. We went to the museum, the LEGO store, the mall, the piercing place, played in the mud, watched movies, dreaded my hair, ate at our favorite restaurant...Whenever I get to spent lots of time with my husband it reminds me of why I love him so much and why I chose him to be my best friend.
2. We had a ton of rain last night and we could hear it banging on the windows.
3. I am so thankful that I feel like the way I look on the outside is starting to feel like an expression of who I am on the inside. I don't want to look like everyone else, I want to look like a person that has a free spirit and a little spunk. I feel like my new dreads (which aren't completely finished) help me express that a little.
4. We had the house to ourselves for a few days. When you live with other people it can be such a relief to have some breathing room for a little while.
5. John and I had an awesome dinner with my favorite sister in law and her boyfriend, my mother in law and brother in law. It was a nice couple of hours and John was so happy to see everyone.

I know i need to post some pics soon. I have totally been neglecting my camera and the ones I have taken still aren't on my computer.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful wonderful weekend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 2

The Meaning Behind Your Blog Name...
My blog name is pretty simple really. Last year John was totally obsessed with Pumpkins and Jack O' Lanterns. There is a house near us that goes totally nuts with decorations on the holidays. John saw it and all of the pumpkins and went crazy. After that he would ask me 15 times a day, "Unka Mama? Unka Mama?" It was his way of saying pumpkin mama? I loved his way of saying it, and since I am pretty obsessed with my kid, I thought it would be a cute blog name.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 1.

Day  One: A recent picture and 15 interesting facts about yourself

I don't know how interesting they are, but here goes...
1. My name is actually Rachel, but I have never been called Rachel a day in my life
2. I married the first and only man that I have ever loved
3. The sound of whistling makes me want to jam nails in my ears
4.  The smell of Patchoulli makes me want to vomit, as does the smell of bell peppers
5. I can't help it but I laugh every single time John says poop or fart or any number of inappropriate things.
6. I really, really miss homework and school and everything about being a student
7. I wish that I was clever and had witty things to add to conversations
8. I have never hit a person or been hit by a person, but I have always had a fantasy about being in a fist fight
9. I had an intense, irrational fear of cockroaches
10. I wore red converse to my wedding
11. I hoard stickers
12. I pick at nail polish any time I wear it, it doesn't ever really last through a full day
13. My favorite smell in the world is when John has been out playing and his hair is sweaty, but dried and he smells like a wild little boy
14. I have never seen The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Miracle on 34th St...and a lot of other so called classics
15. I am super super proud to be a part of my family, even though I am not like most of them at all.

Happy Friday!!

Hip Hip Hooray

AAAAHHHHHH! I got my nose pierced today! I am freaking out because I am so excited. I have wanted a nostril piercing since I was about 13 and have never been able to get one. I saved enough money to do it and Josh had the day off so he dropped me off to get it done. Rikki (Seitanic Vegan Heathan) went with me because she is AWESOME. It was easy and awesome and I feel so full of happiness.
PLUS, Josh is working on my dreads right now.

Could this day get any better?
I will post pics soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

30 Days of Me

My awesome friend Kellie posted this on her blog. It is an awesome challenge called 30 Days of Me. I think things like this are fun, and it isn't too serious so I think I am going to join in.
Here are the daily prompts for 30 days of me:

day 1- recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
day 2- the meaning behind you blog name
day 3- a picture of you and your friends
day 4- a habit that you wish you didn’t have
day 5- a picture of somewhere youve been to
day 6- favorite super hero and why
day 7- a picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
day 8- short term goals for this month and why
day 9- something you're proud of in the past few days
day 10- songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad
day 11- another picture of you and your friends
day 12- how you found out about blogger and why you have one
day 13- a letter to someone who has hurt you recently
day 14- a picture of you and your family
day 15- put you ipod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play
day 16- another picture of yourself
day 17- someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
day 18- plans/dreams/goals you have
day 19- nicknames you have and why you have them
day 20- someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future
day 21- a picture of something that makes you happy
day 22- what makes you different from everyone else
day 23- something you crave for a lot
day 24- a letter to your parents
day 25- what I would find in your bag
day 26- what do you think about your friends
day 27- why are you doing this 30 day challenge
day 28- a picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?
day 29- in this past month, what have you learned
day 30- you favorite song

 Yay! I can't wait to see everyone else's answers because I have seen that a lot of people are doing this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

So, I think that I am back. I feel like I am rejuvenated, energized and full of hopes and goals. I have really been enjoying my time with John and my family. We have been busy, busy, busy but I guess that is not really ever going to change.

Randoms: Goals and Thoughts in no particular order
  • Josh and I have decided that we are going to unschool John. It probably isn't going to be strict unschooling, there will be some Waldorf inspired homeschooling going on, but the emphasis will be on John leading us where he wants to go. I have so much more research to do, I think we are going to take an online seminar, but I really feel like my heart and soul are leading us in this direction. I will be sure to keep my blog updated as we make our way through this journey. I am sure that people will have questions, as unschooling is someone of a "radical" and "odd" way of schooling. Please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.
  • We have decided to put our RV dream on hold for a while. We really feel like it might not be the most realistic goal as we are really hoping to have another child in the next year or two. Since we can't do pregnancy the easy way, we have to save up in order to have the procedures that need to be done. So goal one is to have another child.
  • Since the RV goal is on hold we are thinking that once we have a baby we will probably move to WA, OR or CO. I am rooting for the Northwest and Josh is hoping for CO. We are going to be having some serious discussions and planning sessions while Josh has Thur, Fri and Sat off this week. What I know for sure is that my heart can't take AZ even though it will be beyond hard to leave my family.
  • Goal: Get some product created and find a way to market it so that I can bring in some income, even if it isn't a tremendous amount.
Anyway, so many things to think about and plan for. On another note, I know I have apologized for this before, but I haven't been the greatest pen pal or blog friend lately. For some reason, I have really been living inside my head lately. I think that part of growing and changing as drastically as we have been attempting to do, can make a person feel pretty overwhelmed. So please forgive me for my lack of correspondence lately.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Break From Blogging

Hello My Friends...
I think I am going to take a little break from my blog. Probably only for a week or two, but it might be shorter or longer. I am really trying to continue reevaluating my priorities and where I am coming from. I love blogging, I love the connections I have made with people, but I just feel like I am running out of things to say at this exact moment. I hope I come back revitalized and creative, but right now I just want to pour all of my energy out into my actual life. No need to fear, nothing is wrong, no life altering events, in fact everything is really really good right now and I just want to focus on that.
I am still going to be reading other peoples blogs though :) I think I would miss seeing what is going on with everyone :)
Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Sometimes the universe is so generous it takes my breath away. It is unbelievable to me how my families needs are met, sometimes even our wants, from the unlikeliest of places.

For at least the last few weeks I have been dreaming of having a little kitchen set for John. My little man loves to help me in the kitchen, and having an area for him to "cook" alongside me would be pretty awesome. I have seen some awesome do-it-yourself versions, but even those cost money. So I have put the idea in the back of my mind for the time being until we can get it figured out.

Then today I was driving home from my moms (in my car that now has air conditioning, thanks to three clips from bread bags and ten minutes of labor from Josh and my stepfather. How amazing is it to have air conditioning in 110 degree heat, you may ask? Pretty f-ing awesome!) I saw a truck stopped on the side of the road by my house and looked closer at what it was checking out. A KITCHEN SET!!!! The truck pulled away and I drove home at top speed, ran into my dad who was checking the mail, and told him to get in his truck and meet me up the street. I ended up with a totally awesome, and in great condition, Little Tykes kitchen set. The front has an indoor kitchen area with a stove, microwave, dishwasher, sink, shelves, etc. The back has a grill and a little counter area. John thinks it is the best thing ever. I had to give him actual uncooked noodles to play with since I haven't made food yet. It was quite a mess :) He did use some of the wood blocks to make soy burgers, which was so sweet to see.

We also drove with a cozy coupe car with the top taken off so it looks like a convertible and a tool bench with like 7-8 tools.

I am just so grateful and I know my son is so happy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thoughts on a Thursday

Sometimes I get tired of going against the current. I think it must be something to go along with conventional wisdom and socially accepted norms. I mean, it isn't the kind of life I want, but it must be somewhat easier not to have to answer questions about why or how I do things. It must be nice not to be the butt of jokes from friends who think we are too "extreme" or just plain wrong. It must be nice not to feel like I have to defend every choice that I make to well meaning, but bothersome people. It all just gets rather tiresome to me from time to time.

And here is the best part...I have lots and lots more of this to look forward too.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that veganism is like a religion to me. I take it so seriously and it is a part of my soul, part of the essence of who I am. It isn't a diet created to deny myself "pleasure" or to set myself apart from other people. It is a moral code that I choose to live by and teach my child.

Why is it so hard to understand that I believe my child will learn things in his own time. I am tired of people telling me that he should be potty trained already or that he should know how to use the pedals on his bike and so on. John is absolutely smart enough to do those things, but he is obviously not READY or he would be doing them.

I haven't shared our journey into homemade toys, our RV adventure or my research into unschooling with most of the people in my life. It is sad to me sometimes that I feel more comfortable sharing it with the blog world than with family and friends. I just know that people already think that Josh and I are "out there" and that some of the people that are close to us seem to be offended by the lives that we are choosing to live.

I stand by my choices, I know that they are right for our family. I know that my little boy is a happy, intelligent, well cared for, extremely loved little boy. I know that I would never put him in harms way for any reason and that any idea or value that I may hold dear would be thrown out the window if it jeopardized him in any way. I guess that people could just respect that there are different ways to live a life and raise a child. You can choose your way and I can choose mine, it doesn't make either of us right or wrong, it just makes us different.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Wishes

Since it is Wednesday and time for some wishes, I have created a short list of some characteristics of myself that I wish/hope/dream of changing.
I wish I had more patience. I feel like I do pretty well with John, I rarely get impatient with him, but my poor husband deals with my impatience much more often than he should have too.
I wish I was more motivated. There are so many things to do and sometimes all I want to do is sit on my lazy butt and play on the computer. I wish I could be motivated to get all the way through my to-do lists every day.

Willpower...oh how you evade me. I wish I had the willpower to lose the weight that I know I need to lose. I know that I must have at least some will power because I became vegan with no trouble, but I cannot for the life of me change the rest of my eating habits.

I wish I had less guilt. I feel guilty all the time about little things and big things. I wish I could just realize that I am doing the best that I can do, and I can't really give more than that.

I wish I was more graceful. Actually, I wish I had any gracefulness at all. If there is something to trip over or run into or drip on myself I will do it every single time.

There are lots of things that I do like about myself, but sometimes those are harder to think of. Here's to hoping that someday these wishes will come true :)
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Ok, so I am looking at the picture below and it doesn't look like John has any shortage of toys :) I actually just did another sweep today and cleaned up, paired down and stored toys that he doesn't use daily. I got rid of his toy box, as I realized that he never actually looks inside of it. I put toys and some musical toys on his shelves and hid some other things in a tote, to be used when he is bored and needs something new. In addition, we made some awesome new handmade toys today. The first is a cardboard tractor that I have been envisioning in my head for about 2 months. It still needs some fine tuning, but John is VERY happy with his scoop tractor :)
Here he is lifting the scoop to dump some blocks into his tractor box.

Tuesday is Daddy/John day. They don't usually spend the whole entire day doing something, but today they did. They ended up building father and son toolboxes. Sweetest thing ever ;) I even burned their initials into the finished products.

I got this idea from another mom's awesome blog, found here. Since I don't have any money, I can't afford to buy her families lovely cars. I do have a whole shop out back, so we produced our own. It actually does drive and roll!!!
That same blog had an awesome stacking toy made out of wood. My dad and I cut out the little pieces and I drilled the holes while my dad fastened dowel rods into the big base piece. Now John can work on stacking and unstacking and using dexterity. I think he is really going to like these, and as a bonus, he can also use them as threading beads on hemp twine that I have.
Here is to making my own toys and seeing things turn out well :)

Taking on the V-Con

Well, I got my butt in gear this week and made a pseudo Mac Daddy. I didn't actually bake mine because it is too damn hot here in AZ.

Here's what you need:
2 cups water or veggie broth (I followed Courtney's advice and used water)
1/4c all purpose flour
1 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
Pinch of dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
3/4c nutritional yeast
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard

First you saute the garlic in oil for a bit, and then add the thyme salt and pepper. After sauteing add the flour and water (which should be pre-mixed in a small bowl) turmeric and nutritional yeast.

Stir it until it thickens and bubbles slightly, then add the lemon and mustard.
I cooked spiral pasta and a little bit of gardein chicken on top. Like I said, I didn't bake it because it was too hot in the house already.

I actually don't have kind words for this recipe. For some reason the sauce just tasted gross to both Josh and I. He tried to add curry to his, which made it ten times worse. I finished mine, but we threw away the remainder of the sauce. I honestly don't think I will even try to make this one again. I don't like mac and cheese enough to tinker with the recipe.
Rikki Cupcake picked the next few recipes, so I am SUPER excited to try some things out of my comfort zone.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Was the GREATEST concert ever!!!!