How to prepare for your pregnancy announcement a year and a half in advance.

I am a procrastinator, it’s true, but I am also a planner. I have compiled my 9 easy steps to preparing for your pregnancy announcement a year and a half (or more) in advance. Why not 10? Because there are only 9, that’s why.

It’s easy, really.

  1. Get engaged.
  2. Make an appointment with  a photographer for engagement photos. We used Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photographer Cherron of Raining Light Photography. We chose the Dickson Street Bookshop as our main location because we both love books and spent many a Saturday afternoon being adorable and giggly in those stacks while we were dating.
  3. Take photos with as many funny titles as you can find.  Book category labels work too, “This way to Horror” for instance. Make sure the arrow is pointing to one of the engaged people. The cheesier the better. +10 if it makes a dirty joke.
  4. Make your way to the “Expecting” section and find a book that clearly calls out “I am currently growing a human.” This will be the lady-prop. Actually, it might be a really amusing gentleman-prop.  Crap. We should have thought of that.
  5. Hide this photo. Do not include it in the photo book you make to use as your wedding guest book. Because, seriously, who wants to feel obligated for ever and ever to keep a little white puffy-covered book that has only the first few pages filled with people’s signatures? You’ll want to throw it out because it takes up space. But it’s from your wedding! No, thank you.
  6. Get married. (Or don’t. That’s fine too. I don’t care. But, if you don’t, you just ruined step 5 and now there aren’t 9 steps anymore. Did you even think about that? You have ruined my 9 easy steps. Ruined them. Do you really want to be that kind of person?)
  7. Steel yourself for the coming onslaught of everyone you know demanding that you begin procreating immediately. In fact, because you have included the photo of the bride looking shocked next to the “Sex” section label, the groom’s mother will write something about hurrying up with that already and get her some grandbabies. It won’t be awkward at all. (That’s a total lie by the way. It will be very, very awkward. And it’s in your guestbook/photo album. FOREVER.) Just ignore them all or ask them really personal and embarrassing questions in response. Because, basically asking someone “Are you having unprotected sex?” is pretty dang personal.
  8. Whenever you are ready, go for the gold. Don’t tell anyone if you don’t want to. I told my mother if she asked me when I was going to get pregnant one more time I would not answer the phone anymore. I am not a walking, talking uterus. I also garden and knit.
  9. When the time is right, bust out your carefully prepared photo.

Like so:The Big Announcement

Voila! You I have executed a perfectly planned pregnancy announcement.

Definitely leave me a link if you decide to try it out.

I wrote this post at my favorite pub, Tanglewood Branch, where I did not order a beer.  April seems like a long way away right now.  *sigh*

How Does Your Garden Grow?

No silver bells or pretty maids but there are lots of hot peppers! It’s May Day and everything I had planned to put in the garden is already there. That’s definitely a first. Two years ago I was scurrying to get as much planted as I could the first weekend in May before Daniel and I left for Memphis to go to Memphis in May. Last year was 3 weeks pre-wedding so that’s pretty much a blur and I really don’t remember what I had planted but it wasn’t anywhere near being finished since it never did get finished all summer.

I tried to prepare as much as possible in advance this year. I spent evenings at Tanglewood with my map of the gardens and many cold afternoons on my couch with my seed catalogs and some new gardening books.

This year we did a major over-haul l even bigger than we did the year’s before. We didn’t double the square footage like we did every other year. In fact it’s a bit smaller. But we did move the beds in the back yard to the side of the house so that they will all be together and we’re planning to add a nice little picket fence around it all to keep out the critters and the hooligans. We have already had a problem with someone helping themselves to our pile of dried bamboo that I plan on making trellises with. What is WITH people?

Despite the rocky start to the trellises I have high hopes for the garden this year! We are having some additional guttering and a downspout added to the middle of the side of the house so we can have an extra rain barrel and I’ve added some drip irrigation lines. Hopefully it will help us combat any crazy hot, dry weather we might have like last year.

This is what we have planted this year:

Bed #1 (4’x10′)
–Lots of Lettuce
–Some Cabbage from the neighbor
–4 Cucumbers (2 pickling 2 slicing)
–2 Zucchini
–1 Yellow Squash
–2 Giant Jalapeño
–2 Regular Jalapeño
–Random peppers from our friend Matthew that I lost the label for and don’t remember what it is. So let’s call it pepper surprise
–Lots of Dill

Bed #2 (2’x10′)
–2 Rows of Strawberries (We’ve already harvested a few!

Bed #3 (Maybe 3.5’x20 who the heck knows. It’s cinder blocks. It’s slightly ghetto. But there are marigolds planted in the wholes in the cinder blocks for a nice border. Anyway…)
–1 Pumpkin
–2 Watermelons
–5 Tomatoes (for canning, not slicing)
–2 Soy Beans (for edamame)
–Huge Oregano
–Lots of Basil
–Green Onions
–Yellow Onions

–2 Blackberry Bushes
–2 Blueberry Bushes
–1 Raspberry Bush (the 2nd died)
–Big Lemongrass Bunch

I’m probably missing some things but I think it will be a pretty good variety and I’m looking forward to doing lots of harvesting and canning and EATING this summer!