Monthly Archives: June 2007

saturday sunshine stroller

What a BEAUTIFUL Saturday we’re having here. It’s only 4:12 p.m. right now and it’s sunny and warm (in the upper 70s) and we’ve spent much of the afternoon outside already.

I got a lot accomplished yesterday – in cleaning and running errands and "working" in my scraproom and then I learned that our bread machine motor did NOT die 18 months ago so we had a YUMMY BBQ chicken pizza for dinner last night with our friends Tim, Carrilee and Henry. We also watched a movie (Shooter with Mark Wahlberg – a pretty good movie, minus the political comments) and had fresh Maberry strawberries (so sweet and yummy) on top of fresh scones from Lynden’s Cup of Tea. All in all, a relaxing and wonderful Friday.

And when we got home, it had arrived…. my stroller. Or Seven’s stroller. Yep. The box was there on our porch but it was almost midnight so we headed to bed with plans to assemble it today. We relaxed and watched TV in the morning, had lunch and then Dave put the stroller together without the directions (it was a personal challenge). And it’s so cool! I must admit, I did get *freaked out* at one point when the stroller was fully assembled. In 4-8 short weeks I will have my own wee one to put in there. SCARY!!!  But I love the stroller (we haven’t pulled out the "extra seat" yet to see how that straps on) but here’s a photo of us with the finished product:

It’s pretty slick. Dave likes the design of the pins that hold on the wheels. I obviously love the design of the whole thing… and the more "research" I did on strollers, the more I was convinced that this was the right one for me. For us. But I’ll have to point out the finer details of this stroller in another post.

Dave didn’t want to be *stuck* inside today, so we headed to nearby Bender Fields and threw the aerobie for awhile. I couldn’t do much running or jumping, but we managed to toss the flying ring for awhile before we got too hot. Then we headed over to Justin and Brandi’s so we could all go for a walk and get some ice cream. Should I repeat myself from a few weeks ago when I said how fun it is to have good friends living so close to us?

And now we’re home and getting ready to settle into "work mode." Dave’s in the office on the computer. I’ll fold some laundry and head to my craft room/studio (I’m thinking I like the term "studio" better now – esp. since the room houses all of Dave’s camera equipment) to finish up a project and start on the project for the store that I have to have completed by Tuesday!

I LOVE relaxing Saturdays like this. We don’t get them too often and pretty soon, we won’t have any (sorry, but there’s nothing relaxing about feeding a wee one every 2-3 hours even if you DON’T have any plans to leave the house for the day). So for now, we’re trying to capitalize on the few we have remaining.

around the house

so it’s friday, my day off, and what am i doing with it? well, i started by finishing the first coat of paint on the walls in the nursery. this afternoon i have to call lowe’s to see if we can "lighten" the paint color a little bit (i should have chosen the MIDDLE paint chip color, not the darkest one) and if not, i’m okay with the color – it’s just a little bolder than i would have preferred.

while the paint dries, i’ll clean up the kitchen (i really should start doing this at night so i can wake up to a clean kitchen – always a good feeling) and pick up around the house. and then the day is mine.

i’ve been craving fresh strawberries and rainier cherries all week, so hopefully i can get some locally. i’ll also pick up some mozarella cheese in the hopes that my bread machine still works and i can make some pizza dough (doesn’t a bbq chicken pizza for dinner sound delicious)? at my birthday party TWO YEARS ago, we made a bunch of homemade pizzas and i was pretty sure i burned out the motor in my bread machine, but we haven’t ever actually TRIED it to see if that’s really what happened. i know. two years? but today is the day. because if the bread machine doesn’t work, i’m putting a new one on my wish list for Christmas!

hopefully i’ll get to PLAY a bit in my craft room after all those chores are done (it is, after all, 11:30 already and I haven’t taken a shower – but i DID paint the nursery, remember). i have a project for the store to work on which should be fun. speaking of projects, i made a super cute mini book with paper bags earlier this week but i only had one night to create it and had to turn it into the store the next day, so hopefully i’ll take photos of it this coming week. it’s a baby boy mini book and it includes the baby faces (aka: baby announcements) from our friends. then the "pockets"  hold any photos as the child grows older. a cute, quick and easy project. and now i have to "get the goods" to make a baby girl book!

for now, i’ll leave you with this photo. these are the cards i’ll be teaching in tuesday card class this coming week (july 3rd)… all three cards for just $5. and i’m excited to teach about stamping on FELT! it’s fun and easy adds yet another dimension to crafting!

random tidbits

here are some random tidbits:

i love dave.

i ordered the phil & ted’s stroller that i really wanted (aka: really pricey) thanks to some generous "donations" from my brother and mom. can’t wait to get it! (should be here on Friday!)

still haven’t finished painting the FIRST coat on the nursery walls. gotta get to that soon.

started registering for baby stuff at target and babies ‘r us (both registeries are available in store and on-line). i’ll add more items (gender specific) after the baby is born.

my church shower will be around the 2nd or 3rd week in september.

only 6 weeks to go until my due "date." i’m terrified. absolutely terrified of the birth process. but i’m so eager to hold that precious little bundle.

i plan to work as long as i can, though i may drop my hours and work from home in the later part of july.

i still don’t sleep so well most nights. lots of waking up…. God is really preparing me, eh?

spider bites HURT.

i definitely waddle more.

i’m outgrowing maternity clothing (gasp!)!

shhhh…. i’m getting to the point where i’m no longer so "sure" that i LOVE being pregnant!

i love sitting on those giant exercise balls (dave even bought one for me on sunday AND inflated it the same day)!

store die cutting systems rock…. saves me lots of money!

friends are very important.

people who offer to babysit for free are AWESOME FRIENDS to have!!

baby seven is growing a lot because my stomach can’t hold much food these days
 (it’s getting squished in there with all my other internal organs)!

i love making displays for Treasury ( And Iove being in the store when Carly opens boxes of NEW GOODIES!!!!

i love the smell of freshly mowed grass. can’t wait ’til the spring when this wee one will be big enough so we can go outside and sit in the grass for picnics and play time!

sigh. i found out last week that my braces are NOT likely to come off BEFORE baby seven is born. sigh. this is NOT what the orthodontist and i agreed on!  :)   he initially said 18-24 months . July 26th of this year will mark 24 months that these things have been on my teeth. i’m so ready to be done with them…. i really want to whiten my teeth – they look so yellow!  (gross, i know)!

ANOTHER package

well, baby seven received ANOTHER package this week. on monday, june 25th when we got home from work there it was on the porch…. a package addressed to this wee one who is still wiggling and squirming inside of me! nannah really has come through for this child… lots of fun presents, beautiful blankets…. baby seven’s not going to know what to play with first!

since i’ve posted all the others, here’s a photo of the next (and last) blanket/sweater/bonnet set (well, last until we know whether seven is a boy or girl, that is). you can tell, however, that nannah thinks this baby is a boy!

and here are the other goodies that were in there for this wee one:

 some cool monkey stuffed animals (i love the one with the HUGE eyes… and the dark brown one is SOOOOOO SOFT! I love that nannah bought a little basketball shirt for my baby (well, it’s for a little bit older). i’m assuming she got a good deal on it, but i love that she knows that i’m a huge basketball fan! that funny "fan-like array" of colors and tiny animals are wee sized baby socks. they’re funny looking, but kinda cute, too. i think they’ll be hilarious once seven starts crawling around! and then the book that i’m eager to read….

so thanks, nannah, for all the goodies (including the ones for mama and daddy)!

seriously, though, this child is going to be spoiled. i can tell already.

natural or not

Natural or not? That’s the question of the weekend. Dave and I spent all day Saturday (8:30 to 5:30 ) and half of Sunday (12:30 to 5:30) in a childbirth class in Bellingham. Yes…. Bellingham. We love the area where we live, but Bellingham does tend to be a bit more "hippie" than we might prefer. While we did receive a MINOR amount of information about epidurals, pain medications and being induced, she really focused most of the class hours on meditation, relaxation, labor techniques, discussion of massage, etc. That information, I would like to add, was VERY helpful and some of the massage techniques will actually help me with the back problems I have (from before pregnancy). But I feel that she really glossed over the reality that some women WANT that pain relief and that doesn’t make them a bad mom. Some women can’t or really don’t want to breast feed – and again, that doesn’t make them a bad mom. So I’m just hoping that everyone who was in that class with us this weekend is aware of that.

But back to my question – natural or not? I must admit that I was absolutely TERRIFIED of the grunting and groaning (those low "gutteral" sounds) that the women in the videos were making during their active labor phase. Yep. Terrified. I even had a NIGHTMARE on Saturday night after seeing the videos. Funny…. watching the baby actually come OUT was not terrifying… it was the hours of walking and hot baths and squatting and kneeling and moaning and groaning BEFORE the baby came out that terrified me. So natural or not?

I’m very thankful that the weather was pretty crummy all weekend – made it a bit easier to be "stuck" inside at this class. It did get pretty nice on Saturday evening, though, so after our class, we ran a few quick errands and then went for a walk at Boulevard Park (where we got engaged) to try to work up an appetite for dinner at The Keg (a super yummy steak & seafood restaurant that we only visit about 4 times a year – our birthdays, our anniversary and Gottathink’s Christmas dinner). In the last few years, the city has "extended" Boulevard Park by a long bridge so it’s a really nice walk out "on" the water. It was nice to be outside in the fresh air and to be up and moving around and to talk.

It wasn’t easy to return to class that second day (two couples of the original eleven) didn’t return! But I wanted to give it another try (and Sunday is the day we learned about epidurals, episiotomies, pain meds, induction, etc.). I need to add that I didn’t feel well, either. I woke up a LOT during the night (at least 5 or 6 times) so I didn’t sleep well and I felt sick – like I had a full pocket of acid in my stomach. We had actually only been in class for about 20 minutes when we were watching a video and I felt like I was going to fall over and pass out…. yep…. felt like I was just going to slide right out of my chair. So I laid down on the floor with my pillows and really tried not to fall asleep. The "faint" feeling didn’t pass for about an hour, despite lying down, relaxing, drinking water, etc. Dave was a bit scared that I would pull a "stunt" like I did on our flight to Rhode Island two years ago (but let’s not get into that now). I fought hard, however, and was able to stay conscious the whole day. Not sure what it was, but it was NOT a good feeling there for quite awhile.

There were some fun moments throughout the class – especially when we got to "play" with the baby dolls. I know it’s an unflattering photo, Kim, but you and Will are so darn cute with that little Asian baby! And here’s Dave and I with the little black baby… SO CUTE!  We even got to practice swaddling them, though that was a wee bit difficult with the way their arms kind of stick out! (I think Dave and Will are going to be master swaddlers in just a few short days of the birth of our babies)!

Were the two days worth it? No. Not for me. But I DID get some good (and REALISTIC) information from the classes. Would I have preferred to have had that all on one day so I could skip the other day? You bet. But I do feel as though I learned a few tidbits of information (or was reminded of certain things that I had chosen to forget), so I’m glad we attended. Will we do it again as a refresher course with our next child? Heck no!    But that’s okay. I don’t feel that it was a total waste of money. And who knows, maybe all those handouts that I have received but haven’t read will actually provide some useful information.

But the question remains: natural or not? Only 6.5 weeks until we find out!!

store projects

Hey friends! I’ve been meaning to post these for awhile…. just some goodies I’ve made for the store in the past few weeks/month.

The first is a Cosmo Cricket cigar box (the hole comes in the lid). I spent less than an hour (start to finish) on this project. Some paint, patterned paper, die cut letters, bling and a little bit of ribbon turned this box into a PERFECT SHOWER GAME or ACTIVITY. For new moms. Or new wives. All I did was use a paper punch with some ledger paper to make the cute scalloped circles to drop inside the box after people have provided their advice. I’m hoping to maybe use this project at my church baby shower in mid-September!

Next is a set of three little cards made with these super cute calendar stickers. Quick and easy, for sure. I also used the same patterned paper for all of them (only one sheet – with some left over scraps)!

And last, but not least, Elizabeth had me make this UBER-CUTE paper mache box with Doodlebug’s baby patterned papers. I used our store die cut machine for the sails and the boat. I cut them out of chipboard and then covered them with the patterned paper and cardstock. A little bit of ribbon between the sails and some polka-dotted buttons and the project was completed. Again, quick, cute and fun!

wedding photos

On Sunday, June 17th at 11:00 a.m., Rachel (Dave’s sister) married her best friend, Sterling Culbertson. They met when Rachel was about 11 (Sterling is a year or two younger). Sterling, apparently, has been in love with Rachel (off and on?) since he was 11. Rachel… not so much. She loved him like a brother, especially all through high school. She traveled the world (with her college chorale) and even lived and taught in Spain for a year, before moving back to the States. She got a teaching job at a small school outside of Seattle last fall. Sterling was in his last year of college at Seattle University. Because Rachel had no friends down in the Seattle area, they got together for coffee or lunch one day…. and something happened inside of Rachel.

Not too much later, we were told that they were dating. And then Christmas came and went and then they weren’t dating. And then we got a phone call on March 4th telling us they were engaged (for those of you who remember, Dave and I were engaged on March 2, 2002, so I guess March is a good month for the Dunkins)!

The plan was to have the wedding outside… but it was rainy, dreary, miserable and cold – all the things a bride dreads. So the wedding was moved indoors at this gorgeous place called Lairmont Manor in Fairhaven (Bellingham, WA). Truthfully, I don’t think Rachel OR Sterling noticed the rain. I didn’t. The day was magnificent and one would think that the wedding was PLANNED to be indoors.

The ceremony was short. The guests were few. The bridal party was all family – siblings and siblings-in-law only (four on each side). And at this wedding, I cried more than I have cried at all other weddings combined. I cried during the ceremony when Rachel got so choked up she could hardly read her vows (they wrote their own) to Sterling. Then I cried when Dad read his poem during the reception (apparently, it is a Dunkin tradition to write and read a poem to your daughter on her wedding day). And I cried yet again when Rachel read to Sterling and all the guests (during the reception) some of her journal entries from 1999 & 2000 (when she was 18) because those entries talked about her wonderful friend Sterling and "if only" he were older and how much she "loved" him (but "not like that"). And when she said that God had her travel the world only to return to her home to find the one man she’d been waiting for….. well… yep… I lost it again. But none of my tears were tears of sadness.

And I would like to share how PROUD I was of my husband. Since there were no bridesmaids or groomsmen, Rachel had asked her brothers, Dave, Jeff and Tom, to do the toast that her maid/matron of honor would have done. Jeff gave Sterling some advice to never turn his back on Rachel (she got a good hand-print slap in on Jeff’s back because he said something that didn’t agree with her). Tom gave Sterling advice to beware of garage doors (Rachel squished Jeff in a garage door – repeatedly – one day – on accident. Dave’s advice, as he acknowledged, was not particularly useful to Sterling (don’t let her date your friends). But then he shared a time when he had to protect Rachel and some friends during their junior high years from some bullies. And Dave passed the torch of protection along to Sterling…. the big brother handing over the responsibility of his little sister to her new husband.

And now, without any further delay, here they are: some wedding photos. some are mine. some are dave’s. most have not (yet) been edited or cropped but at least you can see how happy they were that day. and how beautiful everything was. (oh yeah – since i was in the ceremony, i have no photos of that. and i have no family photos…. so we’ll see if this photographer is any good when the photos come back)!

Rachel waiting for the ceremony to begin (with her grandmas checking in on her) and the sibling bridal party:

tom & jeff and then jeff & dave with grandpa & grandma dunkin:

Sterling & Rachel Culbertson having brunch:

The Dunkin boys toasting their sister and Dad reading his poem:

The beautiful cakes and the cutting/eating of the cake:

The bouquet catch (Rachel threw the bouquet before anyone was ready with a camera – Dave shot this photo from the hip…. literally. And there was no garter toss).

Some dancing:
Ben (Sterling’s brother) did a good job decorating Sters’ car and the couple did not seem to mind it at all:

And last, but not least, a pretty good photo of Dave and I (with Baby Seven) before the day got going in full swing:

So thanks for bearing with me through the wedding re-cap and all the photos. But it was an important event in our home and in our family. But I’m also glad it’s over…. hopefully I can begin the "resting" and "relaxing" process everyone tells me I should be doing these days!!

birch bay

So on Monday night (the 18th) the whole family headed out to Birch Bay to celebrate dad’s birthday (a day early). We had a picnic dinner of hot dogs, spicy sausages, baked beans, potato chips, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, soda and water. While the dogs were all cooking, some people threw a football, kicked a soccer ball or tossed the aerobie (frisbee). After dinner, we packed up the cars and moved down by the water and a fire pit. Rock skipping and throwing happened while a fire was being built.

Dave managed to capture a few shots of a heron before it got scared off by the sound of wood being split with a hatchet:

Then Dave and I gave dad and grandpa their Fathers’ Day gifts (in the hectic-ness of the wedding on Sunday, we forgot to even say the words "happy fathers day" to dad and grandpa). They each got an 8×12 photo of the family from Tom’s graduation (Dave edited it so granma Lou’s eyes were open and Sterling’s face looked a little less sinister). Dad’s copy was a scrapbook page that was framed so he could hang it in his office.

This isn’t a great photo by ANY means. But I plan to play around with it because i love ANY photo showcasing the three generations of David C Dunkins.

And would you believe that grandpa and grandma had never even HEARD of a S’more let alone eaten one before? I showed them how and I don’t think grandpa was too impressed because he STILL didn’t eat one (then again, we had just eaten ice cream cake) though he did enjoy roasting and eating a few marshmallows. Grandma was a little braver, though… here she is enjoying her very MESSY but oh-so-tasty first s’more ever! (it was this time last year that we had to teach Aunt Ibbie about s’mores, too…. guess the Dunkin family didn’t eat these when they went camping)!

Jeff introduced the family to his new friend, Taryn. I didn’t get to talk with her much, but she seemed sweet and engaging. And Tom and his girlfriend Kirsten were there, too.

And I know this isn’t a good photo of Dave and I, but it’s all I’ve got. And the funniest event of the evening was when Dave found a zip tie and attached it to Tom’s wrist before he could stop his big brother (there’s a 10-year age difference between these guys!)… Tom was a little less than thrilled, but Dave was pretty proud of himself! (for those of you who don’t know, zip ties have to be cut off. and the more you pull on the tie, the tighter it gets)!

And that was our family adventure at Birch Bay on Monday evening. We tend to spend Dad’s birthday out there every year, but we always have a wonderful time. And, as you can see in the photos, we had BEAUTIFUL weather for the event, even though it was too cloudy for a good sunset. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Dave’s DAD and to my niece, ELIZABETH! We wish you both a wonderful year filled with blessings and joys beyond your wildest dreams!


Here’s dad blowing out his candles last night (with some help from the wind)

And an old (Aug 2005) photo of Elizabeth (second from the right), who turns 16 today:

32 weeks

so i was officially 32 weeks on friday and today is sunday. oh well. right now, we’re pretty much exhausted from the events of the day/weekend (today was the wedding), but here are my 32-week photos… i’m definitely getting LARGE and i’m definitely carrying LOW….

my belly button is definitely back on the "fast track" to "outtie" land. and my hair is still somewhat curly from the wedding.

ENJOY the rest of your Sunday.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all to whom it applies!