Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Blog World....

Dear Blog,

Long time, no write. And I have to say, I haven't missed you a bit. It's amazing how much more I can get done without you. I still love to check other blogs and keep up on everyone, but not spending the time on my own is nice. Is that fair? I won't forget you. Maybe just not so often. You see, I'm in a major nesting phase right now and have so many things to get done!

Christmas was wonderful except for a little stomach issue I had. Nothing major, just kept me from enjoying all the good food. I'm slowly making up for it and am really looking forward to New Year's treats. We've been gone so much the past two weeks and got back on Saturday from my parent's house and within 2 hours we had the decorations down. I love that we started celebrating Christmas early this year and want to do it again, but it also made me ready to have it all be over. It is nice to have a normal week to focus on just us again and get things done around the house. Nesting, I say. I dropped off 5 bags to Goodwill this morning and there's so much more I want to go through too. And then getting all the rooms ready?? Can't wait!

Baby sister is moving like crazy and I l-o-v-e it. I'm am getting so anxious to meet this little one. Still nameless, but we're the name Baby Sister is really starting to sound nice. I think this is partially why I'm not experiencing any after Christmas blues. There is so much to look forward to! We're having a birthday party for Henry tomorrow night, meeting my family on Saturday for another party, and then the big day is Sunday when my little baby boy is turning 2. I can't believe it. Yeah, I can't talk about that right now.

No pictures from Christmas because I forgot my camera, but it was filled with fun times with all my nieces and nephews and Pop-pop and Ga-Ga.

I'm off! Henry is napping and RJ's brother is coming tonight with his family to spend a few days. Fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!!


Well, RJ and I cheated and opened our presents tonight. We weren't going to buy each other anything, then it went up to a $10 limit, and then it nudged itself up to a $25. I got him some fun things and he got me the best gift ever....a set of white dishes! It's ridiculous how long I've wanted new dishes so I'm sure he got them partially so he could stop hearing me talk about it all the time. But it's hard to justify buying new ones when I already have 2 other sets, so getting it as a gift is perfect! Apparently he snuck around at IKEA to buy them and had his brother bring them home with them. So needless to say, I'm pretty pumped.
RJ has to work tomorrow and I'm meeting another mom or two at the mall who also have husband's who have to work. Then we're off to NW Iowa. It has been a crazy few weeks around here. I'm so looking forward to Christmas with my family, but am also looking forward to getting home and staying here for a while! :)
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're Ba-aaaccckkkk.

This face cracks me up. He's wearing a sweatshirt of mine from when I was little. My mom didn't save much, but so glad she saved this!!
Did lots of running around.
New favorite food. Cheese Balls. I am pledging right here and now that he will never see another one until next Christmas. He gets obsessed with them!
Henry's most favorite toy ever.
Jude, Henry, Olivia and Sophia. Buds.
Olivia and Sophia having a dance party.

Going for a spin. He loved it!

Miss Sophia blinded by the sun.

Sledding down the hill with daddy!

What a great week we had in Minnesota! We left last Monday and got back last night. We got there around 9:30 and let Henry play before we put him back to bed. He was in a fantastic mood and then he suddenly started crying and came to me and threw up. He did this 2 other times in about 1/2 an hour and then that was it. He woke up completely normal and hyper the next day and never acted sick again. Thank goodness. I don't know if it was something he ate or a very quick flu bug, but when it started I think we were all envisioning a horrible week of everyone getting sick! He seems to come up with a sudden illness every time we go to Minnesota. Kind of weird.

Our surprise attack at the airport was a great success and it was so good to Ross, Piper, and Sophia. RJ's oldest brother and family joined us on Thursday. We played a lot of games, ate a lot of food, went sledding, and of course did some shopping! On Saturday we left early for Minneapolis even though the weather was a bit questionable. We knew we could make it but just weren't sure if we could make it back. We decided it was worth the risk. And it was! We all went to IKEA and enjoyed a very small crowd there, the likes of which I've never seen. I got some great stuff for Henry's big boy room and the nursery and I can't wait to get them started, which I plan to do after New Year's. Of course it is so fun to think about decorating a little girl's room since it's so natural to like girly things, but I'm trying really hard to put as much effort into every detail of my little boy's room too. The best part was that the funds were from the Sticks piece I sold so in a way it felt like "free" money. We also went to the Big Mall of course, and the kids swam that day and the next morning. Henry did really well with it and it was so great to see since he had been scared of the pool last summer. We headed back down on Sunday afternoon to try and get through the blizzard in day light. There were some areas where we couldn't see too well, but the roads weren't bad at all so it only took us an extra 30 minutes. All in all, it was great! I love spending time with RJ's family. The children get along well and so do us adults. Henry loves his Pop-pop and it's so fun to see the two of them. I just wish we could all be together more than twice a year! Henry only went to bed at his 7:00 bedtime once all week, so he's already down for his nap and I'm hoping for a nice long one......
The clothes got unpacked and went straight into the washing machine so we can get ready for our next trip up to my parent's house. I'm really looking forward to that as well....especially to see my new baby niece!
Hope you all had a great weekend. This Christmas season has been such a joyous one for our family and I hope it has for yours as well.







Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday

I'm wasting some time before I have to paint. RJ just left to work and Henry is in bed.

Last night we loaded up our little family and went to McDonald's to grab some supper and then went to Jolly Holiday lights. Henry got to sit on my lap and eat his chicken nuggets. It was a lot of fun! Then we went to church to our Christmas "box party" where we package up lots of boxes for Hope Ministries full of essentials. Great time. This morning, Henry treated us to sleeping in until 9:15!! So naturally, I was up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. Don't you hate it when that happens? By the time the boys had gotten up, I had baked a whole batch of cookies and worked on 2 paintings. We ventured out to Keller's Kountry Store by Dallas Center and then to Pickett Fence Creamery. I highly recommend both, especially Keller's! (thanks for the tip, Londa!) It's a tiny shop full of both healthy and regular foods. I got a ton of supplies to make a great batch of granola and some very fun sprinkles for Christmas cookies that were seriously way cheap! Then we ran a few errands and got home to nap. I love days of making little trips as a family. Those are my favorite.

Tomorrow is the children's program at church and RJ's work has a kid's Christmas party in the afternoon. Can't wait! It will be Henry's first experience meeting Santa. Could be interesting....

Now I've got 2 more paintings to work on and then we're heading on to our vacation! I'm so excited. We're surprising RJ's brother and wife and their little Sophia at the airport on Tuesday. We haven't seen them since early summer so we're pretty pumped. We've got a great week planned with them and RJ's family, including A Christmas Carol in Lanesboro, baking, presents, a night in a hotel, and hopefully a Vikings game. Excellent! This really is, and already has been, my favorite Christmas season yet. Gonna turn on the lights, light some candles, play some music and get painting.

Happy Saturday, everyone.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I got these a-stinkin-dorable pjs the other day at Old Navy. I can't pass up cute pjs--especially when they're only $2.80! :) Once I got home I took them out of the package to imagine the cuteness of them on a little girl and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I want this in baby girl's nursery! This here will be the mural on my little girl's wall. I keep changing my mind with how things will look, but I'm ready to just decide and stick to it. And most importantly get it started! I want the walls white with lots of silver and glittery things and bits of fun color:

Here's my little workshop lately. Just a few more orders to go and I'm done! Wow, it's been so enjoyable painting this year without doing craft shows at the same time like last year. That was just too crazy. I may do it again someday, but so glad I'm not right now!
On my Christmas list....A friend told me this changed her life as far as the kind of activities they do as a family. Sounds good to me!

We had a really busy day today and one in store for tomorrow again with babysitting and painting a mural at a friend's house. Should be fun! Hopefully Henry cooperates well so I can get it done without him pulling at my leg. I'm starting to wonder if he's sensing the change that is coming and that's why he's been so clingy. Sometimes I think it's really sweet. Sometimes it makes me want to scream. Sometimes it hurts my belly. I'm also hoping I won't have to tell him to stop whining 125 times like I did today also. Oh well. He's asleep now and I'm having some nice alone time while RJ is working and then I suddenly forget how frazzled I get during the days because the house is so peaceful.
Oh, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a great movie. Almost 3 hours, but really didn't notice it. Plus, Tuesday night if you bring your own bowl you get it filled with popcorn for $.50. Free movie passes. Cheap popcorn. Hot date. Good time.
Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here's the beauty!
I think she looks like my brother. I can't wait to see Elizabeth and baby Charlton grow up together.
I just noticed that my baby countdown is under 100 days! It's suddenly seeming kind of close, and my belly is feeling it too. Oy. I don't remember these pains until I was about 9 months pregnant with Henry. Maybe it has to do with carrying around a 2 year old on my hip? He's in a phase of wanting to be held a lot. He says "hold you" all day. How can you turn that down? He's also afraid to walk on the snow so it's a must to hold him outdoors. This little boy is a puzzle. He can be so outgoing and wild and not afraid of strangers and then be afraid to walk on snow, but I love that mix.

Elizabeth Angell

I was completely wrong....my brother and his wife welcomed into the world a baby GIRL! Praise the Lord that she's a healthy little thing and everyone is doing well. I think we were all a bit surprised because for some reason we were certain it was going to be a boy, but of course I'm so excited! So now my parents are equal with 4 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. Sounds pretty perfect to me. :) Elizabeth Angell joins Jack and Maggie. Excellent.

We got a special treat of a snow day. RJ didn't have to start work until 9:30. It was so nice to actually be able to eat breakfast as a family. I absolutely love that RJ gets his Friday afternoons off, but this means he leaves every morning at 7 so he can work longer days. It's amazing how much nicer my day feels when I have him around to start things off with.

It's not even 9 and Henry is already taking a nap. This could be a good or bad thing. We'll have to see how things unfold.....

So I didn't buy an advent book, but RJ found a blog with some great devotionals and and a song to sing, or another activity. I really enjoy it, but Henry not so much. Probably one of those things that will just get better with time.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday

We had a great weekend! MOPS was so fun on Friday and we made a couple of super cute crafts that are sure to become a regular in my household. That night, we brought Henry to a friend's house and we headed to his work party downtown. We had huge visions of winning one of the stellar prizes, but came home empty handed. It was still fun, though. Saturday was a completely lazy day and yesterday was lovely too. Last night after church we watched the movie, Once. It was so great. Very simple story line, lots of great music (it's a musical, in a non-typical musical way), and great accents. I added the song that won the Oscar a few years ago for, Falling Slowly. Love it.
Tomorrow night we get another date and are going to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We got free passes to see an early screening. Can't wait!

I'm off to finish up some painting orders and take a quick snooze before Henry gets up. I'm exhausted today. I made a cheesecake last night but didn't start until 8:30. Dumb idea. Do you know how long it takes for those things to cool down?!? But I'm so excited to try it!

Here comes the snow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday!

Hello all.

This year I'm interested in learning more about observing the Advent season. I'm going to try and get to a bookstore and get a book about it with devotions and such even though I'm a few days late. Do any of you and your familys have some good ideas to pass along?

Today is December 4th. In exactly one month, my little baby is turning 2. Oh, where did the time go? This was our Christmas picture we took about exactly 1 year ago. Henry was crying and crying and found out the next day that he had a bit of an ear infection. I still kind of feel bad for taking him out in the cold like that. What torture! I'm planning this year's picture for Friday afternoon. Can't wait......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday

I can't believe I went out this morning, but I just had to. Wednesdays are my one main day where I can do whatever I want so I have an inability to stay home! I did get a great deal at Baby Gap on this:
Isn't that just pure cuteness? My brother's wife is having a baby any day so I could not resist it. They don't know if it's a boy or a girl.....my guess right here and now is that it's a boy.....??

Christmas 101.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I love real ones, but we got a nice artificial one a few years ago when we lived in an apt so I want to get some good use out of it. I'd love to take the kids to get a real one when they're older.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually after Thanksgiving, but this year a few days before.
4.When do you take the tree down? After New Year's
5. Do you like eggnog? Never tried it. RJ loves it. Probably gone through a couple of gallons already. Gross.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Barbie Hot Dog Stand
7. Hardest person to buy for? Parents
8. Easiest person to buy for? Girls
9. Do you have a nativity scene? A snow globe one and a little kid one.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Don't remember...
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I see a good sale!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yes....
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sweets
16. Lights on the tree? Lots of white ones, though I am starting to like colors again.
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Little bit of both.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We don't have a strong tradition for that yet. Growing up we could talk my mom into opening them up any time. She always got too excited!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The stores on the weekends.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Anything glittery or sparkly.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Meat and potatoes.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I don't have a list so anything will be fun!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bowl Full of Jelly




Of course a baby girl is way sweeter than jelly, but it does feel appropriate (and justified) to have a large belly this time of year. I love being pregnant over the holidays! I'm 25 weeks, which doesn't sound very far along, but when I say I only have 15 weeks left it sounds much closer. Yipppee!


We had a fantastic Thanksgiving and no pictures to prove it. We saw both of RJ's extended family on Thursday and Henry survived his first day ever with no nap with flying colors. Then his parent's came back to our house and stayed until Saturday. We watched some Christmas movies, went on a walk, did some shopping and ate some great food. Friday night, the grandparent's took the kids and RJ and I went out with his brother and wife and had a blast. It had been years since we had gone out with them with no kids! We ate at Django and it's now officially my favorite restaurant. We had been there before but it was just for dessert. If you need a place to go on a fancier type of date, I'd highly recommend it!
We had a nice Saturday evening and Sunday as a family and ended the weekend with fish chowder and America's Funniest Home Videos with RJ's bro and fam. Can't get any better than that.
I should not be blogging right now, so I must end. I just made a list of all the painting orders I have to get done and it's up to 10 and I'm excited to get them started. I'm going to try and get them done by next weekend so I can actually paint some things to give as gifts myself.
Must....get....busy!


RJ, all I want for Christmas, is you. Sing it, Mariah!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thank You!

We've been trying to get Henry to say "Happy Thanksgiving", and "Happy Thank You" is as good as we can get. I've decided I like that phrase better anyways.

I had one of my favorite weekday days yesterday. Henry was in a stellar mood, which always makes for a good time. He played well, gave me lots of hugs and kisses, we read lots of books, and all around fun. Last night I went out with 2 of my dear college friends, Sarah and Alisa. I have made some great friends since college, but there's nothing that bonds you quite like living with someone. I admire these ladies so much and always enjoy our meaningful and challenging conversations. We met at Biaggi's. I hadn't been there in so long and I almost forgot how amazing it is. I had my favorites from when I worked there, Bruschetta and Caesar Salad, and then an amazing lemon cake for dessert. It was great.

I had a bit of a scare the other night with some bleeding. I didn't have to go in, but after talking to the doctor we decided that everything is okay. Plus, this baby is moving more than ever. I'm thanking God that me and the baby continue to be healthy.


I have another fun day today meeting some other friends at the mall for playing and shopping. Sometimes I feel guilty having so much fun.

RJ is doing all his weekend cleaning plus his regular cleaning tonight so I won't see him until the morning. I can do this. I can do this. Plus, I've got lots of cleaning and preparing to do for our company. Can't wait for tomorrow and the weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, Monday

Henry treated us to sleeping in today. I had to actually wake him up to go babysit, which doesn't happen very much. It's been a long couple of weeks of waking well before sunrise.
Henry's been a tester lately. We've had our greatest moments with him lately and also our hardest, but knowing full well the hardest is yet to come.....He's talking more and more and it's so hilarious, but he's also been disciplined more the last couple of weeks than the rest of his life combined. Obviously, I guess. He is just getting older. Oy! But I'm trying to be thankful that he is starting this phase now before the baby comes so we can work on it and adjust to it. Even though I know it's going to last for a long time!

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving! I want to make a very concious effort to really reflect on what we're thankful for this year. And it's so much. We're going up to spend the day with RJ's extended fam and then spending the rest of the weekend at home. Can't wait!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

For the first time ever, we've decorated before Thanksgiving. We've also been listening to a ton of Christmas music on our record player and watching lots of Christmas movies. Don't worry. I won't forget about Thanksgiving...I love that holiday too....but I was so excited to come home from an outing on Saturday and see that RJ had gotten the decorations out. This is looking to be the best Christmas ever....
We've cut back a ton on presents this year and I've really enjoyed it. RJ and I have a $10 limit for each other. The adults on my side aren't doing presents, but "adopting" a child instead, and instead of adult presents on RJ's side, we're getting a hotel room in Minneapolis. So it's just a few presents for our nieces and nephews and I've had a great time picking them out. I love the simplicity of it and I love looking forward to the basics of the season. Obviously, focusing on Christ's birth and hopefully finding some great pageants and cantatas to go to at some near-by churches.....driving around looking at Christmas lights.....sitting at home by the tree and listening to music....baking cookies for friends.....and not waking up with a "holiday" hangover because things got too hectic. Yes!







We had a fantastic weekend! Friday, I had a great time with some moms at a MOPS play date, babysat Friday afternoon, and went to a great party that night for our Adult Bible Fellowship class. Saturday my mom and sister were in town and we went shopping all day and then RJ and I went out with some friends for Chinese. Today....we skipped church...and had one of our best family days ever. Played at home, walked to the park, went out for ice cream, and watched a Christmas movie. After being so busy it was nice to just enjoy each other and take it easy.
Hope you all had a great weekend as well!




Thursday, November 20, 2008

5 Things....

The 5 Things Game



10 years ago...

1. I was a freshman at Central College. Go Dutch!
2. I lived in an all girl dorm.
3. I was a sociology major.
4. I loved the cafeteria food. Seriously. CUIFS (Central University of Iowa Food Service)was great.
5. I had no idea where my life was heading.



5 things on today's "to-do-list"

1. Do the stupid dishes.
2. Get a dishwasher.
3. Work on 3 big paintings for my sister.
4. Take a little nap. Hopefully.
5. Eat a slice of chocolate cake.



Snacks I enjoy

1. Popcorn with Parmesan cheese.
2. Crackers with cream cheese.
3. CANDY
4. Special K
5. Tums



5 Things I Would Do if I were a Millionaire!

1. I'd like to say I'd give a lot of it away to people who seriously need it, but I'm sure I would also:
2. Pay off our school loans.
3. Finish our unfinished attic.
4. Buy a Volvo station wagon for the fam and a Jaguar just for fun.
5. Take RJ to Leiden.



5 Places I have lived

1. On a farm outside of Albert City, IA
2. The dorms in Pella, IA
3. The dorm/apartment place in Leiden, the Netherlands. I was the only American on the floor and had to share the same shower rooms with BOYS. Yuck. Yes, I kept the door locked at all times.
4. St. Louis Park, MN
5. West Des Moines and Des Moines



5 jobs I've had/still have:

1. Walking/riding beans
2. Biaggi's
3. American Express Life Insurance
4. Sticks
5. Artist



I don't have anyone left to tag because all my friends have already been tagged by someone else. I think I need some more blogger friends.....

Last night we went to our annual Thanksgiving feast at church. It was a lot of fun and is a nice little kick start to the holidays. Tomorrow night we have a "high school" party at our friends house for our adult Bible Fellowship class. We have to dress like we did in high school and bring our favorite song from the era. Think I'd get kicked out of our sweet little Baptist church if I brought some Salt-n-Pepa?

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday and random pictures

Henry's guitar for Christmas. It might be a little too "killer" right now, but I can't wait to see him open it and then put it nicely as a decoration in his room until he's older. Inspirations for the nursery...

RJ's chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Mmmmm....


Phew. I ran around from 6:30-4:30 yesterday and did absolutely nothing last night. This body wears out a lot faster than it used to. I made pull aparts for a food day for RJ, babysat, met RJ at his eye doctor appt to pick him out some glasses, painted a mural, and went to playland. Playland was not necessary, but it was on my way home and sometimes it sounds so much more relaxing than coming home where Henry is all over the place. He played for 45 minutes and I didn't have to move once. Lazy, yes, but I was so tired. I needed it! Today I feel refreshed and ready for more. Henry is playing in the bathtub clothed. I just checked on him and his socks are wet. Yuck. But he's loving it and that's good for me right now.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bargains

I really don't stay home with my child so I can shop anytime I want to. It might seem that way sometimes, but it's not my priority. I don't always mean to catch amazing sales and then call every one of my friends to tempt them into buying clothes too. I'm just trying to be helpful. I was just heading out to the burbs to do some grocery shopping and thought I might as well stop at Old Navy as well, but never intended on walking out with 20 items for under $10. I mean really. I didn't plan it! But it was amazing. I don't think they were supposed to give me an extra %50 off all of the clearance stuff, but that's just how it happened. And my kids are going to look gooooo-ooood. :) So will all his little buddies who got to take advantage of the amazing deals too!

I got Henry's Christmas gift off of Craigslist. Yes, I am painfully cheap....and proud of it! He's getting a killer guitar. I've decided that as far as gifts go, I'd rather make a bigger deal out of birthdays (and even then I'd never spend much) than Christmas. I want Christmas to be full of fun traditions, family, church events, Christmas lights, but not presents so much. If I get them used to it now they won't whine about it later.

Henry took a 5 hour nap yesterday and then had a fever, so the chocolate cake didn't get made, but it's going to today. I usually am big on making them from scratch, but I gave in and bought a mix. The frosting will be from scratch though.

I hope you all have a great day! This was a completely unexpected good day for us. I was really sad the weekend was over, but now I'm giddy with excitement. I got good deals and got to meet up with a friend on the spur of the moment. Excellent!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

29!

What a great weekend. The ultrasound was excellent and confirmed that yes, it's still a girl! Now I feel 100% confident in turning the nursery girlie. She was sleepy during it and we saw her yawn. It was sweet. I can not wait to meet this little miss. She had always been measuring a couple of days smaller than our due date, but she's right on track now.

Yesterday, I went with my niece to a craft show in the morning and then RJ and I went on a date Saturday night in Ankeny. It was very nice, of course.

Today, RJ turned 29. 29! I read a lot of blogs where the wife writes a really sweet letter to her husband and I love that, but RJ requests I keep that stuff private so I must honor it. Oh, but let me just say that this man only gets better and better every year. I love him beyond words. He's my favorite person. Ever. Triple-dog ever. And I can't believe this means we only have one more year lefts in our 20s.....

Since we had all fun he had to work this afternoon. Henry is taking a killer nap to make up for his early morning habits, but once he wakes up we're going to make a huge chocolate cake.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday!

Today should be great! I'm heading to a consignment sale this morning and then an ultrasound this afternoon. Our niece and nephew are coming over at 5 and then spending the night. All sorts of fun stuff.

We went out with a couple in missions last night who have spoken at our church a couple of times. It was so encouraging. Their goal is to spread Christ's love through art. Awesome! They aren't ones to "evangelize" and hand out tracts, but to develop sincere relationships first and then disciple them. It was so refreshing to hear. I look forward to what may come from all of this in the future, wether it's helping them with art projects around our metro, or where ever else!

Henry did amazingly well with the time change last week. Somehow it made him sleep in later. He slept past 7 some days! This week he's back to the old time and up around 5:30 or 6 completely ready to start his day. We leave him in there for a while, and it usually ends in a long time of screaming. Hopefully next week will be back to normal! Our newborn has a very good chance of sleeping better than our 2 year old.

I bought my first bottle of Tums for this pregnancy last night. With Henry I finished my last one the night before I had him. Too bad it isn't true that my baby will have a lot of hair.

Hope you all enjoy this day and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Burrito Abby's Chicken Tortilla Soup

I changed the a few of the ingredients and measurements, so I decided I could change the name too! (It was named after some guy named Joe) This is super yummy. My man loved it. That makes all the work worth every second.

1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 red pepper diced
Saute in olive oil lightly. Then add:
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Saute for additional 3 minutes.
Stir in:
3 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Pour 2 cups of warm soup into a bowl. Whisk in:
2 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream.
Stir in:
1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded.
Serve with chips or crackers. Yummo! Sorry, but I just watched Rachel Ray. I try to just watch the last 15 minutes of her show where she only cooks.

I just met a friend at the mall and she had recently taken her daughter to the chiropractor for some issues and we had just had a chiropractor speak to our MOPS group on Friday so I'm flooded with all sorts of new information. I am completely sold on this. Anyone have any experience with going to one for your children? I'm completely new to it, but excited to give it a try...

I'm enjoying this stage in life right now. I'm pregnancy-tired, but when are we not tired. So yeah, I've gotten over it. I love Henry's age. He is learning so much everyday and trying to say so many things. We love sitting at the table during supper trying to get Henry to say things like, Jesus loves me, Barack Obama, Bob Costas, etc, etc. It's trying as well with his mini-tantrums and his listening/obeying skills, but I still enjoy it. Sometimes I feel like there were so many wasted days in his life. So many days where I didn't take joy in all the opportunities, but I'm learning here and I've got a lot of time left to do better.

RJ felt the baby move last night. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beaverdale Holiday Craft Boutique

The first one to respond that they want to go with me to this fabulous craft show gets a prize!! Okay, not really, but it's seriously a really fun show with funky and traditional crafts. Come on ladies! How about coffee and some shopping?!?! It's this Saturday from 8-3 at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Beaverdale. I plan on going right away so I can get back early and have a fun-full Saturday.

Have I rubbed it in yet that RJ and I are going on an amazing date Saturday night? We haven't been on a date in at least a month which is WAY too long for us. I'm pretty big on having at least 1 or 2 nights out alone a month. Es muy importante. So, yes. I'm chomping at the bit!

My niece told me the other night that they are having a Winter of Soups. What a great idea. I've already made Chili, Baked Potato Soup, and Pasta Fagioli soup. Tonight I made a Tortilla soup. I'll post the delicious recipe later. I love soup.


Henry grabbed an extra large carton of eggs in the grocery cart today and flung it up in the air without me seeing it. All 18 eggs came out, but thank goodness there were only cracks and no breaks. I already had all my groceries in the cart. What a mess that could have been.

Later.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas is in the air....

Isn't it great!? This is our first Christmas season with a record player and we have inherited a lot of Christmas records. I love it. Normally, we don't start up the Christmas tunes until after Thanksgiving, but there's just something about that old scratch of a record that we just couldn't resist. Well, I would play Christmas music all year round, but that's just me...

The first song on my new music list is from one of my favorite Christmas albums by Sufjan. I adore it.

We had a great weekend! MOPS was excellent Friday morning. That night we stayed home and didn't do much, which is always nice. Saturday I went to a great baby shower and then helped a friend who had an art booth at Two Rivers. Tonight we had a church gathering at Walnut Woods in a shelter with a huge fire place. Good times.

Our ultrasound is this Friday and I'm so looking forward to it! We have a new girl name on our list now.......:)

Have a great week, everyone.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baby!!

We went to see baby Dane last night and brought his some of Henry's fun gadgets to play with. He is so stinking cute and it makes me so excited to hold a newborn again!

MOPS is this morning. It's going to be a good day!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

It's over. No more commercials, but still all you hear about on TV. Of course it will be like that for a while still, but what do people talk about besides politics these days? I can't remember anymore.

I set up a MOPS moms night out at the mall last night. Only one person showed up, but it was a great time. We ditched the food court idea and went to Cheesecake Factory and did some shopping. I got some maternity shirts at Baby Gap that were an extra %25 off of clearance. They were $2.47, meaning I got them for $1.85. Seriously, people. That's great. And if you happen to be a friend who gets my hand-me-downs, be very excited.....:) That's actually how I justified it. Even if I just wear the shirt a couple of times, someone else can get some really good use out of them!

Today we are completely free and I'm really excited. Yesterday I babysat, painted a mural in some one's kitchen, and then went shopping. Nothing hard. All fun. But wore me out. I'm ready for some downtime. I'm also ready to do some baby shopping for Baby Dane's baby shower this Saturday! My friend, Jenn, had him on Halloween. He was 9lbs 9oz. I can't wait to see his chubby-goodness again.

Like I mentioned before, we are cat sitting. I'm not used to cats. He's super cute and likes to cuddle with my neck, which I am not a fan of, but he's definitely a kitten. And I did not realize that cats don't listen to commands like dogs. I already have someone in this house who has a hard time listening to me. Now I've got 2. It's been fun though and Henry is completely in love. He will be sad for a long time and will probably be saying "Ki-ki go?" for months after he is gone.

How about them gas prices?? I saw $1.84 yesterday and I'm sure on my way out today it will be lower. It seems to drop twice a day lately. Now, remind me please, why were the prices so high a couple of months ago? And how can they suddenly be dropping so much??

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday today! It's going to be our last warm day....

Monday, November 3, 2008


My sweet niece, Elise, turns 4 tomorrow. She's quite the little lady.

We're cat sitting our nephew's cat, Martin. We've had him since Saturday and he'll be here until Thursday. Henry is coo-coo for ki-ki. (kitty)

I'm tired.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Man. I've been such a good little, er...big, sleeper lately, but I just won't have any of that this morning! I'm finally giving in and just getting up hoping to sneak a nap in later.

Clementine. RJ and I have loved this name ever since we saw one of our fav movies for the first time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. We talked about it last night. And talked. And talked. And talked. Is it too weird? You know, is it too celebrity?? I was looking at a baby name website and it was under the Titanic category and it just looked so sweet. And of course her nickname would be Darlin'.

Henry went Trick or Treating last night with his cousins. The whole seeing someone dressed up in a costume thing really sent him for a loop. He can be such a sensitive little guy, but that is one thing I love about him.

Oh, the election. Has it caused division in your lives yet? :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gone. It's gone. My last Sticks piece if forever gone. Yee Haw! I never thought it was going to sell and then out of the blue I got an email on a Craigslist ad I had posted over a month ago. I do have a tinge of seller's remorse, but I'll get over it real fast. It was huge. There just wasn't a good place for it. And I was just SO over it. Yippee!! Now only if we didn't have to be responsible with the money.....

Hope everyone is having a great week! One of my friends had a baby boy and now I'm anxiously waiting on the next one. Oh, how I love little babies! This pregnancy is starting to feel so long because I daydream all the time about holding our little lady. It can not come soon enough!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Apparently, my grandpa was taller in my mind, or he shrunk, or maybe a little of both, but either way, isn't he cute? This 90 year old still has it all together and it's so great to see how strong he is. A lot of stories were shared about him that day and a lot had to do with how particular and neat he is about his clothing and house, etc. Why couldn't I have gotten any of that!??!
We had a great weekend with my family.
We met my sister and her family for supper Saturday night and my little 5 year old nephew, Ben, was so excited to give Henry a present. It was $1 from his allowance. He told his dad when he got his allowance that he wanted to give some to Henry. That is just the sweetest thing these ears have ever heard. It was so fun to watch Henry play with his cousins. Again, it was a great time!
This week will hopefully bring about 2 new babies in our church family and I can not stinking wait to hear the news.
Lasagna is cooking in the oven. I crave Italian food these days. And chocolate. And orange juice. And popcorn. And Laffy Taffys. And.......

Friday, October 24, 2008

90!

My Grandpa Bloom is turning 90! Can you imagine what it would be like to live that long? He's about 6'2" with big strong shoulders and never seems to age. Both of our familes are full of tall men, but somehow my dad ended up being only 5'11" with a brother who's 6'4". He's my last grandparent and I don't get to see him too often so I'm really excited for his big party on Sunday in Minnesota. My grandma passed away when I was a senior in high school after a long illness and then he remarried a sweet lady named Ardie (10 years younger!) about 7 years ago. It's really quite sweet.

We'll be seeing all my nieces an nephews as well and I'm really excited since we don't all get together very often anymore.

Henry and I are off to see a friend who is in town from Nebraska and we're going out for lunch. This will be the 3rd meal this week with friends. It's been a good one!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Room makeovers....

Big boy room.
Baby girl room.

The office will become Henry's room. I've collected an odd mix of boy stuff from pirates to cowboys to puppies. It's an olive green color, which I think I'll keep, but am thinking of painting some sort of border in a turquoise-y color too. I'm really excited to do his room, but it does make me a little sad that he'll be out of the nursery....

Baby girl room. I like funky and I like sweet, shabby chic. Which way do I go? I think I'm leaning more towards the elegant, softer side with hints of funky/eclectic. Like getting a chandelier and painting this on the wall:



But I don't have the best wall space for this, so I'll keep searching. I've got a l o n g time to think about this....
I had a great time at the mall today with my great friend and her sweet boys. It was great.
And I'm pooped.
Happy, rainy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby!

I have 2 good friends expecting a baby this Friday and then on Monday, so really any time! Neither know if it's a boy or girl and the anticipation is killing me. I'm so excited to hear the news! And to shop for a little baby present. :)

I got a call about the ultrasound yesterday and they scheduled me for another one in a month because they didn't get clear enough pictures of her heart and face (her chin was tucked into her chest most of the time). In a month they'll be able to get a clearer view. So I'll be excited for another chance to see that sweet little pea and to get confirmation again on the gender, especially since we've all heard stories of the technician getting it wrong.

Henry and I are going to run some fun errands today and then I'm going out with a friend for supper tonight. She's expecting in February so it's always fun to chat about pregnancy woes. Basically, a majority of my friends are pregnant right now. And I love it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Henry finally fell asleep, RJ is out working, and I'm enjoying some nice time alone. My hands are freezing! We gave in and turned the heat on a bit this morning, but it takes a long time for an old house to warm up.

Girl. So strange. And exciting! During the first part of the ultrasound, we were talking about the baby saying, "he", and then switched to "she". The ultrasound technician remembered us from our one with Henry. She's super nice and looks just like Catherine Zeta-Jones with short hair. Seriously. It's been weird to not have to think of boy names anymore, though we'll have a back up just in case! And it's been fun to focus on girl names. Favorites so far: Stella, Collette, and Jane. And no matter what, the middle name will be Bloom (my maiden name). I've wanted to use that for years, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to. My mom and I went shopping after the ultrasound for a baby gift for one of her friends so of course I looked at the girly stuff. I have to admit, I like baby boys clothes better, but I'm sure I'll get used to the pinkness and love it too.

My heart is going to purely melt to see RJ holding his little girl. The same that it did to see him holding his son. It's so awesome to watch your husband become a father.

Now, on to my sweet baby boy. Henry had a horrible night Thursday and RJ brought him in to the doctor while I painted little faces at our MOPS carnival. Turns out he had himself a good ear infection. Poor little guy. He's already acting so much happier and being goofy. The season is just beginning.....runny noses, colds, flus, and sore ears. Oh joy.

What am I doing blogging on a gorgeous Saturday?!?! I'm off. Happy Day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Well......

my final guess was wrong. It's a GIRL! And more importantly, she's healthy!! We're still a bit surprised, but rejoicing in the fun news.

Happy weekend, everyone. More next week!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday

What a gorgeous day today. Freezing this morning and absolutely perfect right now. I was up well before the crack of dawn and had lots of thoughts running through my head. I've decided I don't want to write about politics except for this: Since when has it become a bad thing to vote for who you want to be president, even if they happen to be a 3rd party, aka Ron Paul (or anyone else)? Yes. I get it. They have no chance of winning. I get it! But seriously, wouldn't you rather vote for someone you "believe" in (for lack of a better term) than just going with one of the other guys? Not saying I'm going to do it. I'm not 100% decided on it all yet. I found a blog through a blog of a guy I've never met and there were comments back and forth about people voting for Ron Paul and the next person saying, you can't do that because you're throwing your vote away, and on and on. I just like the thought of us voting for someone, not against someone. But, I am also glad that however, or if, you vote, that the decision is completely yours!

And that's all, my friends. I welcome any of your comments! :)

I hope you all enjoy this beauty. Can't wait to update about the baby!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just went to the below mentioned sale. It was okay. Everything goes half price on Friday so you could tell people over-priced their stuff to compensate. I did get Henry a winter coat though, so task accomplished! And a cute pair of shoes for him for this Spring and a cute little sweater dress for fun. :) Even though this week I'm totally feeling it's a boy!

The other night, I made Italian Sausage Sandwiches that were so yummy. We've eaten leftovers and tonight I wanted to change it up a bit. So I took the meat (which is hamburger and ground sausage in a red sauce), added some ricotta cheese and corn and heated it up. Baked some Ciabatta bread from the store, sliced it, and put it under the broiler with cheese on top. I put the meat mixture on top of that and then put a fried egg (the kind where the yolk is still runny-- what's that called?) on top with Parmesan cheese and ate it like an open-faced sandwich. Anyways, this probably sounds completely disgusting, but it was so good! And a fun way to make leftovers appetizing for the 3rd day in a row....
We went to Backyard Adventures today. That place is great! Henry is still free for the next few months, so we will for sure be going back. Often. Henry just wanted to swing all day so he shouldn't be too worn out, but he fell asleep on the way home at 12:45 and is still sleeping. On days where I really need him to take long naps, they're always short. On days where I wouldn't mind if they were short because we had some errands to run, their monstrous! He's been sleeping in lately without getting up around 5 0r 6. Love it.

I really want to get to this sale: http://www.kid-daze.com/
Momma needs some new pants. Henry needs an everyday-type winter coat.

Maybe I'll do a politics post someday when I have some good time to get it all out. I find others so interesting so I might just have to take my turn.

RJ was just saying last night that we should get rid of the internet. This is not the first time for that discussion. No, we don't NEED it, but it's so nice to have some type of communication with the world. And I just plain like it.

We found out that RJ's work gives a great reimbursement if you join the Y so we're thinking about it. Again, we don't need it, but it would be fun. The pool, classes, a place to go on a cold day, and on and on. I like the thought of "exercising" while pregnant. I'm talking no more than a walk on the treadmill, people. I like the thought because obviously it wouldn't be for weight-loss purposes so it'd just be fun. Henry could play in the nursery and I could have some good alone time. Whenever I try to start exercising and dieting outside of being pregnant I get frustrated too easily. No pressure here!

2 days until I stinkin' find out what kind of baby we're having! I've been so anxious for this, but this week I've also been thinking about the, oh yeah, this is also when I find out if everything with the baby is okay. Obviously, that is more important than the pink or blue.
Oh, I can't wait to see him/her jumping around on the screen!

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I think my hotmail just sent out emails to everyone on my enourmously large, contacts from 5 years ago, list. I don't know what to do. Please help. And PLEASE don't click on any links! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday!

I was not ready to get up this morning, but what can you do? We had a great weekend here doing nothing. We went on a good walk Saturday morning and ate at Brueggar's on the way back. For some reason I have been craving that place and needed to get it out of my system!

Today is baking/cooking day. I'm bringing a meal to a church friend and am looking forward to holding their sweet little boy. On the menu is Alisa's Dutch Apple Bread and Giada's Meatball Heroes. For this family, it's Italian Sausage Sandwiches. I guess it's a sandwich kind of day.

I'm also picking up a double stroller from someone on Craigslist. I've been looking for a long time and decided to just do it. Ones that are in good condition seem to always be at least $75 so I didn't feel like holding out for the small chance I'd find a good one for any cheaper. The one I found is a nice, neutral color and was only used twice. Hello!?!? Isn't it cute?



I'm off to start cooking. Happy Monday!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gorgeous!

What a perfect Fall day! I have a feeling this will be the prime fall foliage weekend and I can't wait. We don't have anything planned so it should be fun to run around and do whatever.

I met a couple expecting their first baby downtown last night in their condo. It's being renovated right now, but you can tell it's going to be amazing. It's on the 15th floor with awesome views through huge windows, a huge deck, and some gorgeous bathrooms and kitchen. Wowzers. I was really nervous, but there was no need because they were incredibly nice. So once the nursery is painted I'll head on down and do a super cute flower/bug theme all over the walls from floor to ceiling. Should be fun!

I've been thinking a lot about baby names. Any good suggestions? I need some good boy ideas....

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Starting to feel....itty, bitty, teeny, weeny baby kicks. It's been for a little bit but I just wasn't sure. There's so many rumblings that go on in your tummy that I'm never quite sure, but now I am. I think. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In honor of Baby Gap

Like I said, I went to the fancy mall today. I've heard that Baby Gap does their markdowns on Wednesdays, so if I happen to be at the mall on that day, I usually stop in and never find anything. Well, today was my day! If you can't tell, below are 2 cute girl romper outfits, a boys button up shirt, little bloomers, and leather shoes all for........$10! The shoes are for Henry and the rest are gifts, except one of the rompers or the shirt will be for baby Charlton. Great deal, huh?
Henry and I had to practice our Gap pictures. Please, someone else do this too. I linked it in my last post and put it in orange so you can see it. It's just something fun to do. And if you do it too I won't feel like such a dork. What a pose, huh? Great week, I say.






Do you realize what time it is? Do you realize that Henry is still sleeping?!?!?!!! He was up at 2, but I'll take this any day. When I say he is sleeping better he's not sleeping straight til morning without waking up, but it's better. Update: It's about 8:15 and he's still sleeping. I can't imagine having a child who slept this late everyday. Wouldn't it be grand?

I had a craving for chicken lasagna. Eating chili for 5 straight days will do that to ya. So Henry and I packed up and went to the grocery store. Upon arriving, I realized I forgot my wallet-- thankfully before I even got out of the car! So we went back home and I figured there was no sense driving back to a different store when Dahl's is so close and gas is so expensive. I try to stay away from Dahl's except for bits and pieces, but you know, I do love that place. There's always lots of cute, rich, old ladies, regular folk, people I'd be scared to meet on the street alone, and just plain strange ones. And I love it. I ended up using rotini instead of lasagna so Henry would be able to eat it better and it was yummy. Now I'll have to eat the enormous amount for the next 5 days.....I wonder what I'll crave then?

My belly is getting huge! The big ultrasound is next Friday. In this final stretch, my gut still says a girl, but I think my final guess will be that it's a boy. I can not wait to find out!!

I'm meeting a friend at the fancy mall today with her little girl. I went to the un-fancy mall on Monday and had the playland all to ourselves. I can guarantee that won't be the case today. I haven't been there for months though so I'm kind of excited.

You know you want to enter your child in this. You know we all think we have the cutest kids ever. So go ahead and do it already!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Perfect Fall Cookie...or anytime, really.

Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup vanilla chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag dried apricot ( I usually cut each apricot in half so they are more evenly distributed.) I made them this weekend and I didn't quite have a full bag of apricots, so I cut them up small and also added a handful of Craisens. Delicious!

Bake @325 for about 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven of course. For some reason I have burned these a couple of times, so I usually take it low and slow.

These are my favorite cookies, hands down. I got the recipe from a cute little store I used to work in called Picketts. Inside Picketts, there was a cafe called, The Flying Pig Cafe.

Happy Fall!

Baby

Happy Monday!

Today is a great day. Henry has been so fun the last few days. I now realize that he's been a little "off" for the last few months. Or so it feels. Not a constant crabbiness by any means, but very sensitive, clingy, and not his usual happy self. Sometimes you just don't realize it until they are acting normal and happy again. All 4 of those stinking eye teeth have poked through now, so maybe that was the problem? He's pretty much sleeping better also. Score! We had to make him cry a few early mornings last week and I think it's paid off. Not fun, but worth it for all of us. Cuz I need my sleep too....Again, I didn't realize how tired I was until I actually got to sleep more. He's down for a nap and I'm seriously excited for our afternoon when he wakes up.


RJ's brother and wife are expecting a baby 10 days before us and we hadn't talked about names with them until last night. And could you believe that we have the SAME names for a boy and girl?? Their #1 boy name is one of our top contenders and one of their favorite girl names is RJ's top contender, but not quite mine. Uh, weird? It's Simon (love, love, love) and Cosette, which I think is beautiful, but I have some other favorites too. They find out today what they're having and I can not stinking wait to hear the news!!!

We had a great weekend with a fun Oktoberfest on Saturday with RJ's bro and fam and some friends. It was awesome.

I've got lots of painting projects to do this week and I'm meeting someone in their "downtown condo" Thursday to talk about a mural for their baby room. Yes, I'm freaking out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Isn't it a little sad that I'm on my way to bed and it's not even 9:00 yet? I think I'm still worn out from last weekend. This baby growing business is a lot of work!

I started to watch the debate, but I'm so over this election. I'd rather sleep.

I had a fantastic day today and tomorrow is MOPS! It's going to be such a fun one.

Growing up, did your school serve cinnamon rolls with chili? Ours did and it was amazing. I made a big batch of my black bean chili tonight and walked my crying kid to the store to buy some refrigerator cinnamon rolls. Yummy. If only my evening appetite would get back to normal so I could enjoy my food again! I don't remember this problem when I was pregnant with Henry. Don't worry, I make up for it plenty during the day.

I was 16 weeks along yesterday. I'm hoping to feel this baby very soon.

Are you getting sick of my songs yet? Well, too bad if you are. :)

Later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday

Henry just brought me a blanket, stole a pacifier from out of his crib, and came to sit on my lap. Yes, I'm a sucker for that. He can only have his pacifier when he's sleeping, but I give in and let him have it if he cuddles. It's funny how he know this too. He just sat in my lap cuddling for about 5 minutes, gave me his pacifier, and got down to play. I guess we all need some down time, huh.

I think we'll go out and about today. It's always a hard day the day after a vacation when Henry gets so attached to RJ. A walk sounds nice. So does Target.

I'll write a more inspiring post later....

Monday, September 29, 2008

2 more things.....

#1 I ran into Rochester this morning by myself to go to Old Navy because it has a maternity section, only to find all the clearance in that area and extra %50 off. Score! I just got a few tops and a sweater for $10. It was mostly summer gear. How fun is that though!

#2 I've been requested to give my gender guess. Alright, here's the lengthy version.

I hate being wrong. Really, I do. So this is hard to me. :)

My complete "mommy instinct" is that it's a girl. For real. I feel quite confident in it. I have a lot of little differences in this pregnancy so it's made me wonder, could it be a girl or just simply a different pregnancy? I have no idea what to expect with a little girl, but I would certainly love to experience both little boys and girls. However, ever other part of me says it's a boy. I can see RJ and I having all boys. I love little boys. They're sweet, wild, crazy, sweet, and just plain weird. I have to also say that I seriously love dressing a little boy more than I could have ever imagined. From skulls to ties. It's great. I love the responsibility of raising a man, even though it's a bit overwhelming at times. If it's a boy, Henry would have a little brother and I would love that. If it's a girl, Henry will have someone to help him master his sensitive side and someone to torture for life. That's great too. Either way would be awesome!

So you see, if it's a girl, I can say.....I was right! I had a feeling it was a girl!

And if it's a boy, I can say.....I was right! I knew it was a boy!

So long Minnesota!

What a fantastic time! We got to Chatfield Tuesday evening to RJ's parent's house and Henry cried happy tears when he saw his Pop-pop. It was great to see my in-laws and catch up with them. Wednesday RJ's dad, RJ, Henry and I went to Lansboro and took a scenic route back to Chatfield. It is such a gorgeous area with lots of little towns with adorable little cafes. It's so hilly and lovely.

Thursday, RJ and I said goodbye to Henry at around 9 and left for Minneapolis. We started off at the Aster Coffee Shop by the stone arch bridge. One of the many places I love about that city. It's so beautiful! Then it was off to Uptown to our favorite bookstores and used clothing store. A French film matinee at the Edina theatre and the Edina Creamery for dessert. Supper at the Convention Grill and then to RJ's aunt and uncle's house to visit and get some rest. It was a perfect day. We made great decisions and enjoyed every bit of it. When we have so many favorite places to go and only get up there once or twice a year, it's really hard to decide on what to do! Friday morning we headed over to Grand Ave in St. Paul. Had breakfast at the Amore Coffee and walked up and down Grand. I love this area also. It was a gorgeous day for walking. We got a baguette for lunch and then headed to meet our friends at IKEA/MOA for some shopping before the conference started. The Desiring God conference was great. We heard awesome sermons by some incredibly passionate speakers. I am planning on listening to them all again! I'm sure I'll blog about things I learned in the days/weeks to come....
After the conference on Sunday we all headed to Stillwater for lunch and then RJ and I said our goodbyes and went back to Chatfield to see our little boy whom I missed so much! It was so great to have alone time with RJ. SO great. Really, quite amazing. My favorite part of all of it was just walking around, talking without being interrupted, and just good, free fun. But 3 1/2 days without little Henry is a long time. It's our longest in fact. When we left today, RJ's mom repeatedly thanked us for leaving him there and asked when we're doing it again. How's that for an open invitation????

I'm off to bed, folks. RJ has the day off tomorrow as well so I need to be rested up for a party-good time in our good ol' city.


Lansboro

St. Anthony Main area by the Stone Arch Bridge
Cafe Amore
Baguette for lunch
My favorite. Diners.
Best ice cream EVER!
We saw so many great independent films at this theatre. I love it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby did great yesterday. We got to hear his/her heartbeat (a strong 153) and set the ultrasound for Oct 17th!! I don't think I kept track of Henry's heartbeats, so I figure if I blog it I will at least have it down somewhere. Until you can feel the baby move, that heartbeat is the most precious thing ever. Man, I can't wait to feel those kicks.

I've got a busy afternoon filled with busyness and getting stuff done and hoping Henry takes a monsterous nap. I won't be blogging again until next week. Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My little boy is sleeping and I'm waiting for RJ to get home so we can go to our baby appt! RJ came to the last one, but we thought it'd be fine to bring Henry with and because of that RJ was out of the room and didn't get to hear the heartbeat. So, he's very excited to hear it today. This is going to be one of those quick 5-minuters, but then my next appt is the big ultrasound when we get to find out what kind of baby we're having!! I can not wait. I'll leave my guessing/trips through the wives tales for another day though. I've got lots of ideas.....:)

I was in a Bible Study a couple of years ago with some great gals, and we've finally decided to start 'er back up again so the gang is coming over tonight. Should be a good time.

Alright, more baby talk later. Happy Monday and Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In honor of Fall.....

An amazing chili recipe!!

Black Bean Chili

8 ounces bacon (about 8 strips) cute into ½ inch pieces
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tbl fresh garlic or 1 tbl garlic salt
¼ cup chili powder
1 tbl cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
2 cans (16 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (28 oz) tomato puree
table salt
tomato juice

1. Fry bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tbls fat, leaving bacon in pot. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook. Stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened and begin to brown (about 10 minutes). Increase heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, another 3 to 4 minutes.

2 Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and ½ tsp salt. The chili at this point is very thick. If you like it that way, then just bring it to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Otherwise, add tomato juice to get to the right consistency for you; (I add a good 4 cups or so) bring to a boil and then simmer. Beef should be tender and chili dark, rich and thick. Adjust seasoning with salt.

Enjoy!

Minnesota

Ode to Minnesota.

This ode neither rhymes nor has any attributes that would attain to a normal ode, but here goes.

I once fell in love with a man who lived in Minnesota.
I'd drive hours to this state, very quickly, to see this very man.
I once woke up at the crack of dawn to surprise this man at Northwestern College without having a clue as to where I was going. I figured St. Paul couldn't be too big.....
I quit a job at Sticks that I'd only had for 2 months, without having another job, and moved to this state so I could be closer to this man.
I spent the first 8 months of my married life with this man there.
Then we moved back to our home state just south of Minnesota. (And Sticks eventually hired me back!)

I always love to go back to Minnesota with this man that I love.
It has so much more than that stupid, big mall. Yes, it's fun to shop there, but seriously, there's so much more.
I love driving by our old, somewhat cruddy, first apartment and neighborhood in St. Louis Park, baby!
I love going to Uptown and Lake Calhoun.
I love going to Punch Pizza, The Edina Creamery, and The Edina Grill.
I will always have a slight fascination with the state of Minnesota.
And I will always love the man who introduced me to it.
The End.

This morning, I walked in to get Henry from his crib and he had thrown his diaper out and was in his little birthday suit. The first time, folks. Thank goodness it wasn't dirty, though I'm sure that's coming quickly....

More interesting posts to come tomorrow and then it's a week long break from this here blog world....

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's the first day of MOPS today! It's going to be a good day....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Partially Wordless Wednesday

Partially because we've had a super (fun) busy week and I'm worded out! I've had loads of great conversations with some great gal pals. That always does me good. And Henry's had a blast in the meantime too. So, here's our week so far.....

this was actually a couple of weeks ago, but what a tricky position to get stuck in, eh?

totally boy




to totally girl

totally looking like a 5 year old


totally keeping an eye on the neighbor's cat

I'm tired!

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