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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Before & After



19 dozen, done and in the freezer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Did you know you can choose to be thankful?  Even when you don't really feel like it.  Take this for example.  I wrote that post at a time when I may not have felt very thankful, but I chose for my attitude to be one of thankfulness.

This year, I definitely feel like I have SO MUCH to be thankful for.  I've been blessed far beyond what I deserve.  This year, as opposed to the last 2 years, I truly feel thankful.  If I were to list what I'm thankful for, the list would never end.  God has brought us joy in the morning, joy that I honestly thought might never come.

As I laid in bed last night, feeling the little kicks and spins of our baby boy, I couldn't help but smile.  It's been a long journey for us.  I know so many other people have journeys much longer than ours, but for us, it was long.  And now here we are.  There are days I still almost can't believe the blessings of the past few months.  Sometimes I feel like I won't believe this baby is ours until I hold him in my arms.

Today, just as that day exactly 2 years ago, when I lost my first baby, I am choosing to be thankful.  Sure, it's much easier today.  But there will be days ahead when it's not so easy.  And I hope that in those difficult days, I will choose thankfulness always. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  May you enjoy the love of friends and family today, and find many things to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


First, find yourself a nice bird.

Be sure to remove the wrapper.

Please be sure to empty out the nastiness.

There, nice and cleaned out.

Pick your poison(s)...

...and spice it up!

Chop some lemons and garlic...

...and shove 'em in!

Ready for the oven!

Bake for about 2 and a half hours, or until that little white timer pops up.

Have your husband carve the bird, then enjoy with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and broccoli!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

aw, sugar.

This has been one busy week.

Hence, the no blogging for (almost) a week.

Today has been a day of great accomplishment.  I finished up my registering!  We are registered at Babies 'R Us and Target.  There are still a couple things I want to register for, but that's for another day.  I'm glad to have that huge chore behind me!

The only other thing I wanted to accomplish today was baking sugar cookies.  And bake I did!  My oven was on for 4 hours and my cookie sheets deserve a break!  (As do I...)  I made 3 batches of sugar cookies, one right after the other.  In total, 21 dozen cookies.  That's 252, if you're wondering.  All for my freezer.  The crazy annoying thing about sugar cookies is that there is no break.  I was on my feet the entire time, mixing, rolling out, cutting out, popping in the oven, putting on cooling racks...repeat, repeat, repeat.  And repeat again.

Cookies I have left to bake: hershey kiss, peanut butter balls and chocolate crinkles.  I so hope I'm done with the sugar cookies (except the frosting part).  They are by far the most stressful.  Lucky for me, they also freeze the best.  :)

And just because I'm too tired to get up off the couch and get in bed, I'm going to share my sugar cookie recipe with you.  They're SO YUM.  And please note, it's Aunt Iva's recipe.

Sugar Cookies
1 c. butter
1 & 1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 c. milk
4 c. flour

Mix all ingredients, in order, until, ya know, it looks good.  And don't be a hero.  Use your Kitchen Aid.  Otherwise, you'll have very sore arms.  Especially if you make 3 batches in a row.  (I haven't always owned a Kitchen Aid!  I know from experience!)

Now that the dough is ready, plop some of it down onto a floured surface.  A huge wooden cutting board is the best thing.  But my Mom owns that, not me.  So just find something that works.  I probably start with about 1/3 of the dough to make sure it all fits on my 'surface'.  Flour the dough well, and roll out with an (also floured) rolling pin.  Make sure that your dough is rolled out exactly even, no thin or thick spots.

Ha!  That's a joke.  My dough is always uneven.  Who cares.  It works.  I think it's supposed to be about 1/4 inch, but mine varies greatly.  Do what you can.

Cut out with cookie cutters into whatever lovely shapes you'd like.  I put parchment paper on my cookie sheet, just to make it easier, and then transfer the cookies to the sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Depending on the size of the cookie, of course.  Make sure all the cookies on the sheet are approximately the same size, thus approximately the same bake time.

I let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then the rest of the way on wire racks. 

Store in airtight containers.  These freeze very well

In a couple weeks, when I start removing them from the freezer, I'll give you my frosting recipe.

Now, it's time for bed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hand over the gun and no one will get hurt!

Having lost 2 babies during pregnancy, there are definitely parts of having a baby that I thought I may never get to experience.  Sure, there are many parts I may not want to experience: sickness, nausea, stretch marks, swollen feet, braxton hicks, labor & delivery!  But the good surely outweighs the bad here.

Just having a baby belly (which I must say, I'm rockin' pretty well right now) is something I've really looked forward to.

I think a baby shower is high up on the list of fun things during pregnancy for a new Mom.  And I've got to say here, it's really not about the gifts.  At last not just about the gifts! 

To me, a shower is more about the celebration of a new life coming into the world.  What better reason to celebrate?!?

Yesterday my sister and I spent hours in Babies 'R Us with a scanning gun, picking out adorable little things for our baby-boy-on-the-way.  (And when I say 'our', you all know I'm talking about John and I.  The other people in Babies 'R Us?  They might have gotten the wrong idea...) 

I'm probably about half done registering.  Pretty much all the big stuff, and some other things are on the list.  I'm going to finish up at Target where I'm not so overwhelmed!  I even put very big stuff, that we're planning on buying ourselves, because near the end of my pregnancy we'll get 10% off anything left. 

Well, I need to go put a chicken in the oven, then finish up a big project I just started before John wakes up!

And here's the picture I promised...

22.5 weeks.  And yes, that is my bathroom, missing a strip of molding.  It's been missing forever.  Maybe we'll get that up before the baby comes...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jessica vs. Mariah

There is all this hoopla.  And I don't get it at all.

To read the Yahoo article, click here.

Apparently Jessica Simpson's brand new single from her yet-to-be-released Christmas album is stepping on Mariah Carey's toes.

I'll admit, I listened to the new song, "My Only Wish."  (I didn't have to listen to Mariah's, I know it by heart and sing it at the top of my lungs when it comes on 98.3.)  There are definite similarities in the lyrics and instrumentals.

But honestly?  No comparison.  Sorry Jess.

Mariah's song, "All I Want for Christmas is You" has been around for 16 years.  Mariah herself, even though I'm definitely not a huge fun, has much more star power and longevity than Jessica.

And I don't like to say anything about people's voices, because I know it's just a preference thing...but I really can't stand hearing Jessica Simpson sing!  It just sounds fake to me.

So is there really an issue here?  I don't think so.  What do you think??

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Question Friday!

It's Five Question Friday Time!
True, I haven't done this in awhile.
But I'm usually working!
So here goes!
1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?
Physically painful, I would have to say my miscarriage.  :(  Seriously, it was like I was in labor.  I even got to the point where I was counting the minutes between intense pains. 
Recovery from surgery (about a year previous to that) was painful, but I had some yummy pain meds.  So it wasn't quite so bad!

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

That completely depends on the night!  I used to stay up till 10 or 11, then get up by 5am.  So 6 or 7 hours.  But since being pregnant it varies.  Some nights I'm in bed by 9, which give me 8 hours of sleep.  In the first trimester I was in bed by 7:30 some nights.  No joke.
But the problem now is I wake up every night.  More than once a night.  So I have no idea how much sleep I get, but it never feels like enough.
I know, I know.  This is just the beginning!

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?
I honestly don't think I ever really believed in Santa.  At least not that I recall.  And I certainly don't remember finding out that he didn't exist.  I'm going to have to ask my Mom about this.  I think Santa was just kind of down played in our house.  As far as I know, I always knew it was my parents who bought the presents.  And ate the cookies and milk I always left out.
(Why did I leave out cookies and milk if I didn't believe in Santa?)
Now I have to decide what to do with our kids!  Suggestions anyone??
4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

John and I saw The Town recently.  I'm pretty sure that was the last movie I've seen in the theater.  It was decent, I suppose, but there are always parts that I think could have been left out and the movie would be just as good, or maybe even better.
I can tell you the next movie I'll be seeing!  Harry Potter #7, Part One!

5. What do you wear to bed?

Comfy pants and a long sleeved t-shirt.  No socks or I'll overheat.  We even have the radiator in our bedroom turned off for just that reason.  In the summer, shorts and t-shirt.   


I had an appointment on Tuesday, and it went well!

I gained 5 pounds.  In 4 weeks.  Acceptable, because that still only puts me 6 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, due to all the weight I lost in the beginning.  But still.  Five pounds seems like a lot.  Ah well.  I'm trying to eat healthy...for the most part.

When she measured my stomach it was 4 inches bigger than 4 weeks ago.  Twenty-one inches.  The last visit there was a 4 inch gain as well.  At some point I'm assuming it'll grow less than 4 inches per visit...or else I'm most definitely having a line backer!

The baby's (should I just call him John?) heartbeat was 147 bpm.  He was moving all over too, she kept having to move the doppler thing to find him.  Just when we'd get a good solid heartbeat he'd be off and wiggling again.  Silly boy.

My blood pressure was a little high.  For me, at least.  Mine is usually very low, and the top number was in the 130's.  My midwife didn't seem worried, so I'm not.

Let's see...I think that's it!  The only pregnancy issues I'm having lately are just annoying ones: I can't get comfortable at night, or when we're just on the couch watching TV.  My back hurts.  My body is so sore by the end of the day.  I wake up all night long!  Heartburn is a killer.  But those are all so minor when I feel those little baby movements!  I think that will definitely be what I miss the most once I have him!

I need to take a picture and post it...maybe today!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today John and I celebrate 4 years of wedded bliss.

Well, ya know, for the most part!

Our wedding day was amazing.  Everything I could have hoped for.  We had a wonderful honeymoon too.  Coming home (but not to the home I had for 25 years previous!) was a little traumatic, but after a day or 2 I was settled in.  We also had to give away a day in those first days after our wedding.  Not easy.  But we survived.

Fast forward to anniversary number one.  We spent it at Niagara Falls!  I had never been there, and we had an awesome time.  Amazing hotel suite, overlooking the Falls.  Definitely a trip to remember...especially the part where I beat John in miniature golf.

Skip ahead another year to one of the absolute best days of my life, November 10, 2008.  We found out we were expecting our first baby!  Obviously, it didn't end well, but I have fond memories of that day: wrapping up the pregnancy test for John to open and hiding it from my parents when they unexpectedly stopped by.

Add another year, and we're brought to one of the worst days of my life.  We were in San Diego with John's family when, on our fourth anniversary, I got a horrible phone call that said all my ultrasounds and blood work were pointing to one, and only one thing.  Impending miscarriage.  Thanks for the anniversary gift.  Couldn't it have been on a different day?  We all know how that ended.

Now, November 10, 2010, I'm 22 weeks pregnant with our son.  Sometimes I look down at my belly and almost can't believe it's real.  Even though this anniversary was spent working, and at an evening training...I couldn't be happier.  Even though I've barely seen John at all today, that's okay.  They (whoever they may be) say good things are worth waiting for...and wait we have. 

I thank God for my wonderful husband who has been there to support me through all the ups and downs, even when my wacky emotions don't make sense to him.  I thank God for my son, who literally gives me a whole new outlook on life already.  And I thank God for carrying me through the years, even when I didn't feel like I could go on.

Happy Anniversary John!  They only get better from here!  <3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


After a beautiful day of snow falling yesterday I was in the mood for yummy food.  I make a big steaming pan of baked ziti, and it really hit the spot!  I also decided to try something new in the bread maker, thanks to my friend Catie!  She talked about how much she liked to make Focaccia bread, so I decided to try it.

Of course, I left my recipe book at work.  So I browsed a few recipes online and made a basic dough: 
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3 c. bread flour
  • 2 t. salt
  • 6 t. Italian seasoning
  • 2 t. active dry yeast
I ran it through the dough cycle in the bread maker which is such a great invention!!

Once it was finished I took it out, gave it a good punch, then pressed it out onto a greased cookie sheet.  I left lots of pretty little finger indentations, too.  For about 40 minutes I let it rise near the kerosene heater.  Then I drizzled some EVOO on it along with some fresh garlic and shredded parmesan and romano cheeses.  Oh yeah, I added some kosher salt too.  Into the oven (450 degrees) for 15 minutes.

And tada!

It's delish!  Already more than half gone.  And, wonder of wonders, John likes it!! 

If (when!) I make this again, I'll use just regular grated parmesan.  I think I'd like that better.  Besides complaints here. 

I also thought about making it a sweet thing...I'd have to omit the Italian seasoning and maybe put brown sugar and cinnamon on the top...

The possibilities seem endless!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Random Ramblings...

Yesterday I bought 10 pounds of potatoes.  Today, I will peel, chunk and cook them.  Then I'll mash them up with butter and milk, transport to my parent's house and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal.  With all the fam.

I also began my Christmas shopping yesterday.  On a very small scale.  But I saw something (for the kids, of course) and couldn't resist purchasing.  I'm always shopping last minute.  I really hope that's not the case this year.  I'm going to try hard!!

Today I made and ate a waffle and a glass of milk.  Well, the milk was from a carton.  The waffle was homemade.  From a mix.  You know what I mean. 

The sun is finally shining, it seems the rain is gone for awhile.  Yesterday I saw two rainbows.  I could cry as I look at a rainbow, knowing that it is God's promise to us.  God's promises feel so real to me lately.  I know they're always real, even when they don't feel it...but lately they really feel it.  And that's a good feeling.

Happy Birthday to my Zoe today.  She's 7.  Or 49.  However you want to look at it.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Even though, unless you're a parent, sibling or niece/nephew of mine, you're most likely not celebrating today...I'll eat some turkey for ya.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big Brother Birthday

Today is my big brother's birthday.  In honor of him, I'm going to tell you a story.  About him, of course.  And me.

While growing up we were pretty much forced to be 'close', simply because we had the same friends.  And the home schooling thing too.  Now?  We really are close.  Sure, we love to pick on each other...but it's all in love now.  I can't really say that it was all in love when we were younger...

Dave loved to practice his karate moves on me.  One of the many 'big brother' annoyances growing up.  Also, if I was baking or cooking, he was always pestering me and stealing bites.  I don't remember a lot of really bad stuff we did to each other, we just annoyed and got on each other's nerves a lot.

So this one day I was baking.  I can't remember if it was a cake or cookies, but it was something requiring frosting.  Dave was constantly annoying me by coming in and sneaking his fingers into the frosting.  Finally, I'd had it.  I took a big spoonful of what looked like frosting, and lovingly handed it to him, in a nice, sweet, sisterly way.

I'll never forget the look on his face when his mouth swallowed up the spoon and he got a big, fat taste of Crisco

Looking back, I'm sure he can laugh at that moment.  But I don't really think he laughed then.

So happy birthday big brother.  I honestly couldn't ask for a better big brother, and I love you very much!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I had a few very special Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween!

There was this scary adorable Lion!

(with her Mommy)

There was Buzz Lightyear - with an impressive wing span!

And, of course, Thomas!

And next year, we'll be adding another one to the mix!