He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Addi Girl

So we've been a little busy these past few days. Its been almost a week since we brought "baby girl" home from PAWS Chicago.
She is as sweet as can be. Such a lover, and just as lazy.
She is doing great! We are helping her along with some potty training issues, but she seems to catch on pretty quickly.
I can't say the same for separation. She really is having a hard time when we leave her alone for more than an hour.
She is only 7 months, so I'm hoping this is something she will grow out of once she builds up some confidence. She is still just a pup and after a stressful ordeal of a vet visit, exploratory surgery, abandonment by her owners, and a couple weeks spent at a kennel waiting for an adoption I'm sure it's pretty understandable that she have some separation anxiety.
We're gonna try a daycare where she can socialize and get used to being away from us for a few hours.
It's really like having a child. They need constant supervision, a food and potty schedule, and lots of love and attention. It's so rewarding though. She loves to snuggle. Aside from the little issues we are working on with her, it is comforting to know we have a pretty well behaved dog. (Compared to our last beast. Poor Wrigs.)
Well, here she is....

adoption day at PAWS

on our way to aunt Robin's

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papa's girl

our baby girl

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at the vet for a checkup-everyone loved her, she loved everyone
We can't wait for you all to meet her!

Friday, April 22, 2011

just something I came across

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace
was on him, and by his wounds
we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

I am completely lacking discipline these days. it is really starting to hang on me like a wet blanket. I'm lacking discipline in multiple areas of my life. but one that it is completely unprioritized more than anything else is the discipline to read my bible. I really can't read anything lately. I could say, "I don't know why". but I do know. it's a lack of discipline. ugggghhhhh. what to do. I seriously keep thinking that one day, I will just snap out of it and get back on a reading binge. but it's been like 6 months. there's been no snap.

I came across this verse tonight. I thought it was very relevant for today's meaning. but you know what? you know what makes me very sad? I forgot it was good friday. I know. how could I? but I did. I just busied myself all day with worldly desires, and I should have instead taken the time to be alone with God. of course, he calls us all back to him in his own way, and mostly on our time unfortunately. but I think he's up there waiting patiently while I finish writing this post.

well, I found this verse tonight for a reason. it brought me back to him.

I am in LOVE

Does this precious little angel make you melt?

mr b and I are in LOVE. We found Penny, a bassetthound mix, at the PAWS rescue down the street.
She is 7 months old, just a puppy. and she is as sweet as can be! she is very docile. she just walked right into the room we were waiting for her in, put her nose to the floor and began sniffing out the entire room with ears dragging on either side of her head. so hound dog. it was precious.

she loved on us, gave us kisses, rolled over to show us her belly, and then we said goodbye.

we just adore her, and we want to adopt her. but because she is so docile and sweet, level 1 on the canine-ality[personality] test, she could go fast. meaning, most people out there looking to adopt are looking for a level 1 personality, just like Penny here.
if it's meant to be....it's meant to be. and if not, well then, there are other fish in the sea....rather dogs in the kennel.

Penny, we hope to see you tomorrow. but if we never meet again, I hope a loving family has welcomed you into their home.

Love, mr & mrs b

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've been busy working on a new craft.
I thought I'd share it with you.
It's for a special person's birthday.

This little project was quite time consuming. 2 days worth of cutting and rolling mini rosettes (not a full 24 hours worth each day....but you get the idea).

I decided to adorn my wreath [made by Jill] with some rosettes.....

And my sis who I love (and so does she) sharing crafty ideas with, made me these hair clips

.....actually, my lovely niece Noonie did the braiding for the hair clips. Aren't they so talented?! Such a great mother/daughter team.

Later today, mr. b texted me this:
scottie b:  I'm about to eat a rattlesnake sausage.
me:  What rattlesnake would let you eat his sausage? That's gross!
scottie b:  [sent me a picture]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Little people in a Giant world

Today we went on a field trip.
I was invited to visit the Museum of Science and Industry with my new friends Avery & Fiona

.....and their mom too of course, Acacia.

We toured for 2 hours, and had a blast doing it!
Here is what we saw, learned about, and climbed on.

It was quite a trip. We were like little explorers.
Avery & Fiona were such fun, running to and fro, chasing colored lights on the floor, climbing on cow statues, and posing for my camera (well, not Avery so much. She was a little camera shy).

Usually I get Scott [not without complaints] to pose for me (I always prefer people in my pictures)...
....but today, Fiona was my little model. I think she LOVED it. [wink]

It was a perfect rainy day retreat.
Well.....it wasn't exactly raining, but it was overcast, and it rained AND snowed last night!
I scraped snow off my car this morning. Crazy, right? Snow in the middle of April??? I thought it was supposed to be an early spring.
So much for wishful thinking.

This weekend is Easter. Every Easter Sunday I've celebrated in the past has been in sunny warm California.
It would be lovely if we could have an easter egg hunt outdoors under the warm sun here in Chicago.
But unfortunately the weather does not look so promising.
I know....I'm always thinking wishfully.

Bright warm sunshine, easter egg hunts, and bbq's aren't the most important thing in the world. I do LOVE all those things, but the true meaning behind Easter is all about Jesus.
Really.....what I truly long for is to be with him in heaven one day.
To see his magnificence and all his glory.
To see with my own eyes what I've only read and dreamt about all my life.

Have a fantastic Easter with your families. I will surely miss mine. [sniff, sniff]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This is what I'm reading right now

I must admit, it is the only book I have read [non-school related] that has taken me almost a year to finish.
It's one that my dad recommended, bribed and bought for me to read.

My dad's a big reader. So am I. And thankful. But he is soooo obsessed with American history books that he sometimes wells up with tears when telling about a great book he just finished.
John Adams being one of them. He loved this book so much that he bribed my sisters and I into reading it for a trip to Washington DC. Ha! Only Liz [dad's favorite] has been diligent to finish reading the book for its reward. I'm sure the fact that she had her husband reading it along with her was encouraging.

Another book he bribed us into reading was 1776, by Dave McCullough, the same author who wrote John Adams. I remember opening that book, about 4 or 5 years ago, and closing it after reading maybe two pages, at most. I could enjoy a good book then, but this book was so incredibly boring, that to read it only for the sake of the reward for finishing it, just wasn't enough to get me through the first chapter.

I have a different love and appreciation for books more now than I did 4 or 5 years ago.
And so when I was offered John Adams to read, I was a little curious. My dad bragged about what a great man he was and that what he did for our country was what no American has really come close to accomplishing what he has for this country.

I'm a little more than half way through, almost a year later. I've read a few other books in the meantime, and every once in awhile pick this one back up again, read about 20 or 30 pages and then set it back down for another couple of weeks. It's not so bad. Boring at times. I think I'm just not a big fan of this author's style of writing. I like dialogue and expressive adjectives of the scenery and people. You don't get that in this book. You get interesting facts, old hand written letters written in very old 1700's style English, and not much dialogue at all. John Adams truly is an impressive man. His pride and courage have kept me enthralled to read more.

To be honest, what's helped me get through some of it is watching the HBO special John Adams on dvd. There's just so much "history book" writing that I feel like I'm in 9th grade again trying to retain as much information as possible without remembering to actually enjoy what I'm reading. I keep thinking that my dad is going to ask me for a book report on what I've read so far.

I'm also reading this.....


.....in between occasional John Adams readings.

Mere Christianity is a very good book. After every chapter, I want to go back and read it again, it's that good!

And I'm reading this too...

.....which I really need to get busy on finishing so that I can be rewarded with seeing the movie!!

I am in a total reading slump. I think I just need to make a special reading corner next to the big and beautiful front window of our apartment set next to my antique side table and topped with a hot cup of coffee. If I had somebody to set this up for me every morning, I would be there every day without complaint.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Need a movie recommendation?

Just watched An Education.
I LOVED it!!
Me: Did you like the movie babe?
Scott: {shrug} eh. It was kind of slow.
Me: It was not slow. Maybe if you had been actually watching, and not focused on a puzzle the whole movie, you wouldn't think that.{thinking... "just ask me if I liked it"} I loved it!

We have such different tastes in movies. Even if it was slow, I probably would have still liked it.
If the acting is good, and the script is good....in my mind, it's a good movie.
I'm just that simple minded.[I'm not really actually]

But I just LOVED this song!!:

And the rest of the soundtrack really.

I couldn't say this to Scott, #1 because he would probably look at me with a really gross look on his face, and #2 because he gets jealous (hehe)
So, I'll say it here: Peter Sarsgaard is so handsome and quite charming in this movie!
Yes, you find out he really is a deceiving, manipulative, cradle robbing douchebag, (and I kinda had a feeling all along, something like that would happen) but it's just a movie.
You're allowed to fall in love with the actors. Personally, I think if you're able to do one of two things, either fall in love with or completely loathe a character in a movie, then the actor has done his/her job.
They've completely honed in on the character's true persona and made you a believer.

I truly hope he starts showing up more often in good movies.
Carey Mulligan is so GREAT as well. Remember her in Pride and Prejudice? A small role, but I remember her.
She is stunning in An Education.

She's encouraged me to cut my bangs again and realize I'm a "bangs girl".
Meaning, I have a "young face". So bangs look fine on me. I hate my hair in my face, it itches, my eyes are very sensitive and any little tickle near my eyeball freaks me out. But if they're too long, and side swept, they still bother me because I'm constantly pulling them back behind my ear. Too fussy.
I've really been so annoyed with my hair lately, mainly the front part. The heavy droopy [not actually] side swept bangs. They never do what I want them to do. I'm cutting them today. In about...however long it takes me to finish writing.

I didn't know until just now that the writer of An Education, Nick Hornby, also wrote About a Boy and High Fidelity. Two other amazing movies as well!

We bought An Education the other day at a closing Blockbuster, on sale for about $3.
We also got World's Greatest Dad, Fever Pitch, and City Island.
Alllllllllll GOOD ones! See them all.

I fell in love with Andy Garcia in When a Man Loves a Woman. He is so GREAT in City Island. So funny!

Anyways. There's my movie critique for the day. And song shoutout. And I guess movie recommendations too.

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

YOU bother me

What's so bothersome about Starbucks anyways?
Oh wait, I know. It's the people who hate Starbucks so much they have to gripe about it every time Starbucks is mentioned, that are so bothersome.

I have a personal annoyance with people who gripe and complain about #1 things they have no control over, #2 everything under the sun that involves some sort of inconvenience in their life, and #3 the same crap over and over again, and each time expect me to agree with them. Don't get me wrong, I'm very interested in what people have to say about anything in general. Especially if it's something they are passionate about.
But how can you be so passionate about hating Starbucks?? Is it just my personal opinion or is it really an extremely wasteful amount of energy to be so hateful and bothered while smothering uninterested people with your negativity.

There are things that bother me on a day to day basis. Like for example, the other day while I was working at the coffee counter, a woman came in with her two children and proceeded to completely belittle them right in front of me. She seemed so incredibly annoyed by the simplest questions like "Mommy do they have the hot chocolate I like?" Mommy, "No!! This is not the place that has the hot chocolate you want!!" It was sad embarrassing to say the least.
Things like that really bother me, enough to tell someone about it. Oh, and things like germs and bacteria that must be living in the bathroom of the apartment we're renting....But like a superhuman power, I can just erase it from my mind in order to get into the shower. It's gripes like that, that are better left to oneself.

So, what is this issue people seem to have with Starbucks? There is nothing obviously terribly wrong with Starbucks. Each store is responsible for its own potential in being successful; as long as drinks are being made correctly, the store is well kept, and the service is average. I mean, it's a multi-million [billion?] dollar company. They must be doing everything right. Right?

I don't have a personal vendetta for Starbucks the way it seems some people do. I actually overheard a man the other day saying "Starbucks is over there doing....[pause, stutter] terrible things. And our customers deserve to know about it!" He says in a deep low almost whisper, so as not to alarm the customers, but rather grasp their curiosity.
I mean, come on, really??? What "terrible" things is Starbucks doing? Serving rich dark addicting lattes and macchiatos to paying customers who willingly walk in for a morning fix[jolt].

Yeah, I would rather give my business to a small privately owned coffee shop. But if I'm in need(desperate want) of a deliciously rich dark cup of coffee and Starbucks is the closest thing in a 4 block radius, then that's where I'm goin'.

Sure convenience is nice. It's what America is all about, can I get an AMEN! (note sarcasm)
But if I catch a glimpse of a mom n' pop's two blocks away, then I'm trekking those extra 2 blocks past Starbucks to go there instead.
I LOVE coffee. "Hi, my name is Noel, and I'm a coffaholic". And I'm a sucker for a heartwarming and enthusiastic welcome when I walk through someone's door.  Convenience, or rather efficiency, is important of course. But what about good old fashioned morals, ethics and values? It's important to me to know that I'm giving my money to businesses whose standards are set high for the community's benefit, not just their own. Afterall, I, like I assume most Americans, want to live in a thriving community. If a Starbucks is apart of that thriving community, then more power to them and to the people who keep them in business. But Starbucks has a natural following now. I feel it's my duty to contribute to the mom n' pops in my community so as to keep them thriving as well. It's what I would expect others to do for me, had I been the one running my own shop in a thriving community.

Starbucks isn't the bad guy. They're the rich creative entrepreneur of coffeeshops for our generation. So, enough with the vile accusations. As if Starbucks is some new street hooker come to take over the neighborhood corner where all the locals used to hang out. If you don't like rich dark addicting lattes for $5, just shutup and go somewhere else.
Or, if you insist on griping, make it worth while listening to. I'm talking to you "negative nellys".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

3 celebrations in one week!

Our anniversary was on March 27th:) Our ONE year!! Woohoooooo, yay for us!!
However, sadly, we spent March 27th packing all day for our BIG move to Chicago.
But we are still as happy as can be. See:

The Baltes' know how to celebrate in style.
At a Cubs game that is.
And that is exactly what we did. 

It was such fun, the Cubbies were runless until the 8th inning when they scored 5 runs!! Taking the lead, and finally winning it in the 9th!! It was so much fun, we were high fiving everyone around us.
Now that's what it's like to watch a real baseball game at Wrigley field......Everyone becomes your friend when the Cubs start scoring :)

It was a blast, and a perfect afternoon date!

We ended the day with a lovely dinner at Frida's. A 2 minute walk from our pad.

Frida's is BYOB (yeah, that's right. They encourage you to bring in your own wine for a measley $3 corkage). Tons of other restaurants in Chicago have the same deal, some don't charge a fee at all. Yeahhhh!

Our 1st test of trying Mexican food in Chicago. The food was amazing!!
I had Chicken Mole, sooooooo my fav when dining Mexican Style. And Frida's delivered a delicious Mole.
The menu boasted "fresh local ingredients", "no lard in the beans", "all homemade sauces", "vegetarian options" like Plaintan Enchiladas. (So wish I had tried those. Next time.)
Scott got something called Parrallidas. A combination of chicken, steak, and shrimp.
It looked delicioso! He gobbled it all up, so it must have been.
The beans and rice were VERY good as well. The chips were "ok" in my book. Not as "crisp" as I think a freshly made tortilla chip should be. But the salsa had a serious kick!! It was good.
The restaurant was very small and intimate and dark. Perfect for a sweet date with my hubs.

The walls were decorated with beautiful(to say the least) pictures of Frida Kahlo.

Next time we want to try the homemade sangria......YUM!!!!!

All in all, a perfect date for our 1 year.

Okay, so did you get the 2 celebrations from above?? Our anniversary, the Cubs win......and........it's totally off subject but I found a job!! Yayyyy!! Such a relief, and a blessing from God to have found something so quickly!

I went hunting on Monday, walked into the first coffee shop I saw that seemed interesting enough.
Safari Cup. It's right across the street from Starbucks. Haha. Which isn't really saying much. There are atleast 3-4 coffee shops within half a mile of eachother on this one street, Southport.

But I did overhear the owner of Safari Cup, in his rich Zimbabwe accent, talking smack on Starbucks. 

Had a nice little chat with the owner's wife who told me all about their journey to coming to the States, starting off with a shop in Alabama, and then finally making their way here almost 2 years ago.
Their shop is decorated with a safari/African theme. It's nice, cozy, friendly, and their coffee is very good. I enjoyed a cup on my walk back home. 
All their beans come from a region in Africa, they carry around 8 different varietals. And they roast them there. A big plus!! Seeing as how coffee shops are the "it" place to hang out, lounge, visit, and work, I think the more unique you can be from other coffee shops the bigger crowd you'll draw in.
They offer an alternative to a simple "drip" cup of coffee called a "pour over". It costs just a few cents more but offers a rich, fresh, smoother cup of coffee. And it allows the customer to choose their own bean. Versus a drip cup of what we already have brewed.

Anyways, I start tomorrow. They cook, bake, and stew from scratch a small menu of breakfast and lunch items. Which I hope to also be a part of in addition to being a barista. 

Our Place...boasting the Cubs Win!