Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much.

Everything in my life goes back to the Bible verse that was on our wedding invites:  Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20

I have tears in my eyes just typing about how grateful I am.  I will never be able to give enough praise to God for what He has done in my life and how He consistently blesses those who know Him and just as beautifully, those who don't.  

My List:

+For grace, His abundant grace.

+For our families.  We are getting ready to head down with my parents and sister to his parents house. Our parents genuinely love each other and we get to spend all holidays with both of our families together.  "Exceedingly abundantly."

+My husband.  You might think this blog is an ode to him and you might be partially correct :)  I fall more in love with him every second I breath.  It is humbling to be loved so well. Each day I think that I couldn't love him more and then I awaken and fall even deeper into love.

+A new home. Amazing neighbors. Answered prayers.

+Our baby.  I have never in my life believed more strongly in God as I do now watching my stomach move around and thinking... Someone thought all of this up.

+Our friends. We are so loved.

A humbled lady, Anna Norman

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Design items.

Here are just a few things we have purchased (one that hopefully we will) for the new home!  I am waiting to borrow a fish-eye lens to take photos (and waiting for things to be more "before" and "after" in full effect.  In the meantime, here are some sneaks!

We got this same couch on craigslist (for way less money than list price) and LOVE it.  It is the black/gray wool version.  It is a Camerich (here).  

We put together this light last night (we enjoy team projects and with a goofy husband like mine, I don't know who wouldn't). Ikea Maskros is seriously awesome but definitely not enough light for the dining room-and husband thinks it will cast weird shadows on peoples' faces...we would hate to do that to guests :)

So instead we are hopefully going to order this one from CB2

Oh, and no home can be without their own animal...ours just happens to be an extra large sheepskin rug and cowhide.

From Costco.

Koldby Ikea rug.

xoxo, Anna N

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nursery pretties.

Here are some fabrics that I ordered on Etsy the other day for our wee one's nursery.  They are mainly to cover canvas boards and some to frame (maybe a pillow or two here and there).  I had gone to Joanns and saw nothing that rivaled these prints so I headed towards cyber world.  Enjoy!

This is the shop that I ordered them from:

xoxo, Anna N

PS: The recipe of those cookies came from Miss Fallon .
Trust me, Jayne called me later and told me she had to have the recipe ASAP.

Here it is!

Everything Free Cookies

2 tbl ground flax seed (mix w/3tbl of water)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup of applesauce
2 tbl earth balance butter
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup oat flour (or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cup of oatmeal (has to be slow cooking oatmeal)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips or raisins 

Cook at 350 for 10-12 mins.

*Oh, and I added cinnamon icing from the pumpkin muffins...naturally.  I also used real butter (Paula Deen style).  I would get you that recipe to but the site is down...bummer. Any good ole' cinnamon icing will do!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Face to face.

So I got rid of my facebook.  Part of it was conviction and another was a suggestion on my wise husband's behalf.  It took a lot of strength (pathetic, eh?).  Seriously-I deactivated it and went and told my husband and he asked me how I was doing...

It was like a false life circuit was cut off:  false meaning in the sense of a medicinal temporary life sustainer versus the real flesh and blood.  

I want so desperately to be more relational, call people back, cook/bake for people, etc. And to be entirely honest, I could've spent hours on facebook just looking at pictures and seeing status updates (really edifying lifestyle).

So-all of me is back.  And although I feel borderline naked without my "social network," I pray God gives me many, many people that I can serve in the time that I would have been perusing the social likes of 700+ individuals (disclaimer: not in a stalker sort of way :)).

This is for all of you:
Watch out...glitter projects for the holidays to come.
Thus today: I am making two dinners for a woman I met in Starbucks who had a baby two weeks ago. I know how much I love it when people bless me with food and she doesn't have any family here so I offered to bring a few things over.  The kicker is-they are gluten free so I am learning to navigate that realm (oat and rice flour were purchased this am).

On the list:

-Everything Free Oatmeal Cookies
-Beef Stew in the crock pot
-Butternut Squash Chili (sounds amazing!!!)

Oh, and my amazing parents delivered our crib on Saturday and sister and them helped put it is coming along so adorably!  Good thing, this wee one is starting to take up a lot of room inside of me :)  And talk about active...

Alrighty. All my love, Anna N

Friday, November 18, 2011

Project numero tres.

A project from today.  

It is quite large-36x24 :)  Not framed or set yet.  PS: You can get a box of almost 40 stencils at Ross right now for $3.99!  

Excited to meet you little wee one.  Your daddy and I couldn't love you more.

Thank you, Jesus for forming something that I could have never dreamed up in a million years (even if I were Einstein).  Cellular differentiation is beyond brilliant and I am in awe of the feet and arms that constantly let me know they need more room :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


For oh-so-much.

1) My life is so undeserved and because of that it is so knock-my-socks off beautiful.  

Kind of easy to tell how much I adore him. And that was almost 16 months ago...

2) I am getting so excited to meet our little one and watch it's daddy just pour a million words of love and hugs into him/her.  I seriously cry thinking about my husband being a father.  I know I talk about how great my husband is quite often but I hope all of you understand or someday will what it is like to be married to a man who reads his Bible every morning and loves our family the way I feel God loves me. It is paralyzing in the most captivating way-just leaves you breathless and on your knees in praise.

3) I adore women. I get to meet with quite a few beautiful young ladies and I am so in awe of watching women become more lovely. Oh, and my best friends are ridiculous. Thanks for loving me so well.  

4) I am thankful I can make a list...that never ends.  Our lives are all a gift, ones that we did not earn.

PS: I can't wait for you all to see the nursery!  Sister helped me paint stripes today and the "changing table" is quite the accent to the striped wall.  Now to get lanterns...

xoxo, Anna N...pray I always have a grateful and overwhelmed heart.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This last week we celebrated my beautiful sister who is now 29!  It was so amazing and I am so blessed to have her in my life (and we are uber (sp?) blessed by such amazing parents...see photo of goofy father below).  

Also, we attended a beautiful wedding with a knock-out bride: Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Henry!  
So amazing to see two people commit their lives in something that God created to be so beautiful.

Hope you had a lovely weekend! Off to tackle the spray paint on a desk for the office (my finger is quite sore already) metallic spray paint is soo not easy to deal with!

Did I mention how much my husband makes me laugh??? Oh, and how handsome he is-I can't even deal with that extra bonus.   Love him so...
 And now for my sis's very exciting birthday :)


Family Celebration!
(We got her Hunter boots in sherbet color!)

We always make fun of these poses...
xoxo, Anna N (29 weeks)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nursery-part 1.

Here is a little project completed for the wee one's room.  After my 28 week visit it kind of hit me we were actually going to be parents and thus I realized we should start the nursery :)

Color Palette:



A lot of sanding, some painting, spray paint for the handles and "poof," our extra-large changing table! It is 70 inches long...and quite tall (perfect for our oh-so-short fam).

xoxo, Anna N

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

Hello, Lovelies!

Here is a recipe that I am sure many of you have pinned on Pinterest but I decided I was actually to try to make it last night.  Recipe from here :)

Words of Wisdom:
-it takes 3.5 hours
-be sure to make cream cheese icing (google a recipe) versus the one that is on here.  I wasn't a huge fan and it was way too sweet...shocking!
-you can't really taste the pumpkin but it makes it look pretty!
-and butter goes from "brown" to "burnt" in about two seconds.

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Butter Rum Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon rum (the original recipe called for extract, which I found too strong)

Make the pull-apart bread dough: Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of butter. Let it bubble and foam and when you see it start to brown, stir it so that it browns evenly. When it’s the color of dark honey, remove it from the heat and pour it into a large heat-safe mixer bowl to cool. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it bubbles. Remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl with the butter. Let these cool until they’re about 100-110 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to check). Set the saucepan aside for another use later. I use the same one throughout the entire recipe; why do more dishes?

Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk/butter mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof (it should foam; if it doesn’t, discard it yeast and try again with new yeast). Stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup flour. If you haven’t already, fit your mixer with a dough hook. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition. When the dough is combined, knead on low speed with a dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes with a mixer).

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size (After it rises, you can put it in the fridge overnight to use it in the morning, but let it sit out for half an hour before rolling if you do.)

Make the filling: While the dough is rising, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Toward the end of the rising time, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for the filling in the saucepan over medium-high heat and brown it as directed above. Put it in a small heat-safe bowl to cool for use later.

Shape and bake pull-apart bread: Knead a sprinkling of flour (about 1 tablespoon) into the dough, deflating it, and recover it. Let it sit to relax for 5 minutes. Flour a large work surface and turn your rested dough out onto it. Roll it out to a 20 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. If it seems to be snapping back, cover it with your damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing (I had to do this twice during the process).

Spread the browned butter over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush and then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top, patting it down to ensure it mostly sticks. Joy the Baker encourages you to use it all even though it seems like a ton, but I admit I got squeamish at the amount and only used most. It was fine despite my nerves. Go ahead and pile it on.

With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 strips (do this by cutting the rectangle in half, then cutting each half into equal thirds. I used a pizza cutter). Stack these strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stack into 6 even portions (again, cut it in half, and then cut the halves into equal thirds). Place these portions one at a time into your greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in. Cover the pan with your damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 30-45 minutes to double in size.

While dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if you have a glass loaf dish instead of a metal pan). When it’s risen, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown on top (if you take it out at light golden brown, it’s liable to be raw in the middle, so let it get good and dark). Cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze.Make the glaze: In your saucepan, bring the butter, milk, and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove it from heat, add the powdered sugar and rum, and whisk it to a smooth consistency.                                                                                                    

Assemble and serve: Use a butter knife to loosen all sides of the bread from the loaf pan and gently turn it out onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip it to turn it right side up. Drizzle glaze over top. Serve each piece slightly warm with a drizzle of glaze.

Yes, it is like a gooey, ooey, yummy pumpkin cinnamon roll...

Off to sand and paint!

xoxo, Anna N

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Big things and birthdays.

I was listening to the radio this morning (while going to Home Depot. Naturally.) and the gal on KLOVE was asking why we don't ask for bigger things from God.  It sounds like such a selfish, "God is a cosmic genie" mentality but then I got to thinking...I asked God for an amazing man: I mean seriously AMAZING...and rarely wasted time dating because God had put a dream so big in my heart that I just knew was there for a reason.

Low and behold, sheesh, look at my husband?!?!  In case you can't tell, I adore him. In all ways possible. Mainly because he is so much like Jesus to me: compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, etc.  I am still twitterpated by him-every second of every day. All because I dreamed something Huge and God saw the desires of my heart and made something mystical become a reality.

All that to be said, please ask God for beautiful, big things.  There is a verse that says "You have not because you ask not" and how true that is! I am not saying we ask for a million dollars or a porsche (most of us are girls and that likely would not be) but I am saying that He LOVES the desires of our hearts that He has placed there and there is nothing more beautiful to our Father then seeing beauty and dreams manifested and made real in His daughters.

This is going to change the way I pray and more importantly, the way I pray for others. is my sister's birthday!!!!  She truly is the most joyful, funny, loving, kind, tender lady I know (hence the reason children flock to her).  I always said I had to marry someone who made me laugh as much as you did (Matt does pretty well...just ask him about his European joke).

I love you, sister. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of a godly woman.  Can't wait to celebrate you!!!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Purpose (and 28 weeks) and Joy.

Morning, lovely, lovely peoples!

Something our pastor said last week that has had me thinking ever since then:

No, but really.  What if I lived like someone who deeply desired everyone to know the love of Jesus: everyone from the homeless people at nearly every stoplight in PDX to the people who don't want to talk about religion at all (PS: I don't like "religion" and neither does Jesus :) Religion is man's attempt to get to God versus accepting God's grace coming to us)?  Tough Monday question but one worth asking and one that has had me convicted for a week.

Also, I introduce to you the Christmas (I was soooo happy it fit-barely...) shirt I put on today (as well as the 7 month belly).  Oh, and one more wee fact for those of you who have not been pregnant, a detail which I was totally unaware.  Did you know women are actually pregnant for 9 months and 3 weeks which is almost 10 months!!!  I know, and people out there thought I only had two months to go :)  

xoxo, an often pensive soul
Anna N

Babe-thanks for working so hard again this weekend. You become more awesome (and funny) everyday I know you.

Ladies-PLEASE wait for awesomeness.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Glow sticks.

 The world really needs more glow sticks. And more people that glow.  Just saying.  And more dance parties. And probably glow worms to come back.

Crazy to think we have been married for over 15 months!  Boy was that fun... I was just looking through extra photos we got and loving remembering it all.

Baby update: Almost seven months along!  We love you, wee one!  Thanks for continuing to give me an internal workout in your posh workout space-I think that counts as an external one for me.  You should know the space is going to be getting smaller so please enjoy the next few weeks of zumba belly class.  You must get your dancing from daddy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Oh how I adore this man. Yes, that is him, scrubbing our floor with a mop and a wire brush at 9pm.  

Babe-have I told you today how awesome you are? 

And here are a few baby shots with the high-tech Photo Booth (someday we will start using our new camera to the fullest).

Because wearing stripes minimizes :) 
I know. How great is he.  Our kiddos will have the most fun dad. 
I am trying to make old clothes work. Trying.  Something about buttons looking like they are going to pop off that just oozes awesome.

Oh, well hello little person. I hope you are enjoying your workout studio.  I wish I was getting as in shape as you are!
Off to bake something.

xoxo, Anna N