Here's the dilemma

Several months ago I ordered some shirts from Shade.

Now, let me be clear: I love Shade.

So they were having a sale, or something, and I perused their clearance items, chose a few, chose a few more, and checked out.  Included in the sale were some maternity tops that I can only guess they were phasing out select colors, so, though I was not currently pregnant, I grabbed a few.  When they arrived, I tried a couple on, and they thankfully didn't fit.  So I stuck them all, packaging included, in the back of my closet for future use.

And completely forgot about them.

Luckily, as I was looking for my skirt on Sunday that had somehow fallen off it's hanger, (or, heaven forbid, had never gotten hung up) I stumbled upon them and joyously wore one to church. 

But today, when I went to put on another one, I noticed it has a dime-sized hole in the side/back.

Now, their return policy for defective items is a fairly standard 30 days.  But it has been much longer than that.  I called the customer service number and she said that I could probably exchange it, if I paid return shipping, but they no longer have my size in that color/style, and everything else I might want costs twice as much.

So, do I return it and buy something else?

Do I attempt to patch it?

Do I just call it a loss and find another use for the fabric?

What would YOU do?


{Key} lime pie

On the most sweltering day last week (high of 93, I think), we had a Relief Society activity that included a potluck.  There was no way in, well, anywhere, that I was going to turn on my oven, so I puttered around in my kitchen wondering what in the world I could make that would not require a trip to the store or use of the oven, and would still taste good. 

I had an abundance of limes that needed to be used (that's what happens when you buy them at Costco and then go out of town), so I began looking for a recipe to use them in.  Naturally, Key lime pie came to mind, but these weren't Key limes.  However, after being reassured by one cooking blog that I could indeed use normal (Persian) limes as substitute, I began looking for the right recipe.  In the end I used a mish-mash of several, using a filling that required only two ingredients and no cooking in a graham cracker crust.  I topped it with lightly sweetened whipped cream, a lovely lime garnish, and away I went. 

As I got several requests for the recipe, here it is:

Key Lime Pie

1 1/4 c (125 g) crushed graham cracker crumbs
6 T butter or margarine, melted
2 T granulated sugar

Combine ingredients and press into a 9" pie dish and chill. {You can bake this and it might hold together better, but I was all about avoiding that, and it worked out just fine.}

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup  F R E S H  lime juice (about 3-4 Persian limes)

Mix in a bowl and pour into the crust and chill.  {You can add some food coloring if you want the green look, otherwise it will be yellow.  I used one drop green and two drops yellow and was pleased with the look, but I don't know that I'll bother next time.}  Also, I was going to add 1 t of lime zest, but then I realized I don't have a zester, or any convenient way to zest a lime.  Any ideas for next time?

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T sugar

Whip the cream till it gets to the soft peak stage, add the sugar and continue whipping until you have stiff peaks.  Pipe or spread over the filling and garnish as desired.  Store in the refrigerator.  Obviously.


Splish Splash!

We have had some amazing weather recently.  If you like sunshine, I mean.  And I do, in moderation.  We even busted out the sprinkler and the wading pool in the back yard last week.

Until the wading pool developed a huge crack in the bottom.  Which is not shocking if you could have seen the exuberant jumping that was going on.

Ella and Rico loved running through (and standing in) the sprinkler.

Louie on the other hand preferred to hang out with me in the shade.

She did not like getting wet.
Nope, not one bit.


Holy Pictures, Batman!: A recap

While I hate to be one of those a bloggers who feel the need to detail all of the minutea of their lives (not that it's bad, it's just not me), I don't want to let the past few months escape without some mention, however brief, of their awesomeness.

I mentioned that my sister and her family were in town for a short week-and-a-half visit from Okinawa.  Well, as it came time to leave, they realized that Zach was only going to be home with them for two weeks before flying to DC for three weeks.  So they decided that instead of all going home, Sarah and the kids would stay here for the five weeks until Zach was flying home from DC, when he could stop here and fly back with them.  It was perfect. 

Before he and Jon left, however, we snagged some family photos (done by the fabulous Morgan Bennett).

We loved having them here so long.  Sarah and I are less than two years apart, and we have always been close.  Our kids are all similarly aged and had a blast playing together, so we spent at least one day a week up there.  It is so fun watching our kids bond and play.  Ella and Aly are "best friends" and Ella is already planning that they will be roommates at BYU.

We hung out at home, visited the troll, and a gorgeous park on Queen Anne, went to a children's museum, the library, and the zoo, honed our thrifting skills, hosted sleepovers and a birthday party, and had an all around great time.  We even made time for a girls night out with my mom and sister.  And I harassed her (my sister, not my mom!) into taking a pregnancy test.  You can see for yourself how that turned out.
At the end of June, I escaped for a long weekend to Utah.  It was quite novel flying alone, but I ended up the same flight (both ways!) with a good friend and we happily chatted throughout the two hour flight.  The purpose for my trip was for a reunion with my freshman (and half of sophomore year) roommates.  We lived in apartment 2010 our freshman year, and early on planned a reunion for the corresponding year.  Being the naive younguns we were, we believed that by that far distant time we would all be independently wealthy and would reunite in Paris, but somehow that didn't exactly work out.  So Kamas, Utah was our next best option.
Only four of our original six were able to make it, but we did include one pseudo-roommate from downstairs and the five of us (plus one baby) had a blast reminiscing and creating new memories.  In Alicia's words, it's "kinda weird how a 48-hour period with a disproportionate fraction of sleep could be so rejuvenating," but it really was.  While in Utah I was also able to visit with some family that I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. (And I may or may not have stolen all of these pictures from Lisa's blog because I was too lame to take pictures.)

Then I came home, had enough time to unpack, go to the doctor (again!), do laundry, and repack before we left the next day for the Kitsap Peninsula.  I have a hard time calling what we did camping, because we stayed in a cute little cabin, but that's basically what it was.  We had a roof, beds, a microwave, mini fridge, and flushing toilets--though the bathrooms were down the path a bit.  We stayed out there three nights (coming back one morning so Tom could interview for a job), and had a great time.  It was a good thing we decided to go the cabin route, because although Wednesday and Friday morning were beautiful, Thursday was rainy and gray; a perfect day for cozying up on the couch and watching a movie on our laptop.  The park had a rocky beach, perfect for throwing rocks into the water, a big playtoy, and lots of open space to run and play. 

Somehow, between all that, I've had 1-2 doctor's appointments nearly every week.  While we had a slight scare that nutrients were not being shared properly (one baby was 11% larger at one appointment), the boys worked it out on their own and everything is looking great.  Even their hearts look perfect (which was a concern due to sweet Lou's VSD {which, if you're wondering is continuing to shrink and heal on its own}).  I'm getting huge and have already gained as much as I did with Lou, but I'm not worried about that in the least. 

And now it's July, and I'm going to attempt to do a much better job at blogging regularly so you don't have to slog through another post of this magnitude.


A day late, and a dollar short

Or over a week late.  Whatever.

It becomes obvious, when looking at a calendar, that the second quarter has passed, and I have yet to report on my reading and resolutions.

Let me remedy that.

Reading: um, not so much.  A measly seven books.

Scoring system review: The first number is my totally subjective preference rating, the higher, the better (out of 5). Next is the cleanliness rating, including language, violence, sensuality, etc. 0=squeaky clean, 5=PG13. The last number is recommended age level in my opinion: 2=elementary 3=Jr. High, 4=High school, 5=adult.


The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, by Kristin Levine: 4.3.2
Cute, fun; loved the historical fiction aspect, characters, everything.
Three Cups of Tea; Young Reader's Edition, by Greg Mortensen and Oliver Relin, adapted by Sarah Thomsom: 3.0.2
Not the most gripping read, but an excellent story of a man doing amazing things for an oft-overlooked population of the world.  We should all be more like Greg Mortensen.
When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, Revised Edition, by Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein: 5.1.5
Not my typical reading, but I would HIGHLY recommend it if you fall into the target audience.
The Wednesday Letters, by Jason F. Wright: 5.3.5
I loved the story interlaced with letters from the past.  Deals with hard issues, but so well done.


Apparently Babywise took me a long time to finish. And I was reading the Book of Mormon like a crazy woman, but I don't usually include scriptures in my reading list.


On Becoming Babywise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam: 4.1.5
Again, not for everyone, but very interesting and informative.  I'm interested to try it out.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer: 4.3.4
Great short story in typical Stephenie Meyer style.  I wish it could have ended differently.
The Tales of Beetle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling: 3.2.2
Fun companion to the Harry Potter books, (particularly #7).  Quick easy read.

And as for resolutions, well, they have not been on my radar nearly as much as they should have been.  I'm going to go ahead and blame a huge chunk of that on pregnancy brain and full-fledged gestation mode, but that doesn't mean that all other aspects of my life can or should go to pot.  So here's a quick look to remind you myself what I'm trying to improve.  If you'll remember, last time I gave myself a totally subjective rating between 1 and 10, with 10 being perfection.  I think I'll stick with that system.

To continue being more healthy: 7
While exercise has all but gone out the window, (what do you mean?  Standing up is a workout!) and weight gain (at 22 weeks) already competing with my full-term weight gain with Lou, I still feel like I'm doing what is best for my body and for the little bodies I'm growing. 

To better study my scriptures: 5

I was doing awesome through most of the quarter and now I'm doing worse.  I powered through and read the entire Book of Mormon, but once I finished, I lost steam and my personal reading has puttered to an almost stop.  That's not to say I don't read from the scriptures every day.  Between family scripture reading and companion study, I am definitely in the scriptures daily, but I need that personal time as well.

To be more patient with my children: 7

I still have room for daily improvement, and it's so hard to give a subjective rating to this one, since it's a minute-by-minute thing, but overall, I'd say I'm improving.