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.


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.



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!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A month ago, I was incredibly down and lonely in this little house and feeling very sorry for myself. The last couple of weeks, and this upcoming week are jam packed with fun-ness. Henry and I sat down for Sunday morning breakfast and I realized that he hadn't eaten a meal in his chair since Thursday lunch since we've been out and about so much. Monday is usually my babysitting day, but I got the early call and we didn't have to go over. This doesn't happen too often, but when it does it never fails that it ends up being perfect timing. Henry was able to sleep until 7:15 for the 3rd day in a row! He was up during the night a couple of times, but sleeping in that late is fantastic for him. In fact, he's already resting again--don't know if it will turn into a nap, but it is awfully quiet. He has some major catching up to do on sleep!

The weather is going to be gorgeous this week! I'm happy to see the sun again. I liked the first one or two gloomy days, but as much as I love fall, I wasn't quite ready to see summer be completely gone.

Well, I hope you all have a great start to your week!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh me. Oh my.

This isn't an actual picture I took, but it's pretty much exactly what we just ate. RJ's uncle is a chef and is in town, and he and RJ's bro and fam and some friends met out at Saylorville at an amazing shelter and had ourselves a seafood boil. Henry downed about 5 mussels, 2 cobs of corn, and potatoes, and I ate so much shrimp that if I think about it now I almost get sick. It was so amazing. I had never eaten a boil before. We lined the picnic tables with newspaper, dumped the food on top and all sat around and just dug in. Awesome!
Tomorrow it's the farmer's market and a gourmet meal made by Uncle Chef. If only my appetite was at 100%.....
I partook in a garage sale all day at a friend's house in Ankeny. It was a lot of fun to socialize and Henry took a killer 4 hour nap in the basement. I may be going there everyday for nap time from here on out.
Here's to a good weekend. And here's to maybe a little chance that the rain will stop?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Woo Hoo this week has gone quickly! And it's been a really good one. I've been able to get out so much more the last few weeks and it's amazing what that can do for your mood.

I'm painting a football themed room this afternoon. I love painting little girlie rooms, but it's always fun to do some major boyish stuff too.

Gee, guys. My gender vote count is 50/50. Duh. I could have figured that one out. :)

Rumor has it that we're going out to eat at Latin King this evening with some family. I hope the plan sticks! I've been wanting Italian food and I've only been to Latin King once and it was years ago. I don't really have any cravings, but if I see a certain food or read about it, I must have it or I will not survive. Yesterday it was Spinach and Artichoke dip. Now it's puppy chow. So here's a great recipe I got from my friend Jenn. I've used it a ton. It's so good!! (and easy)

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 cup artichoke hears chopped (1 can)
½ cup frozen spinach thawed
8 oz cream cheese
½ c grated Parmesan cheese
½ t crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ t salt
1/8 t garlic powder

Boil spinach and artichoke hearts with 1 cup water in small saucepan over medium heat until tender. Drain excess water. You may need to squeeze it out so the dip isn’t runny. Heat cream cheese in a small bowl for 1 min until soft. Add spinach and artichokes and stir well. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Serve warm with crackers, chips or bread.

RJ's cousins are putting together a Charlton Family Cookbook for Christmas. His family is full of good cooks/bakers, so this is going to be amazing. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just so you know....

Old Navy (Merle Hay, at least) is an extra 50% off their clearance clothes. And they have got a TON of little kid clothes left! I found the sale yesterday and was able to only spend $1.05 and felt good about it and then went back today and did a little more damage. I have to admit that I bought 2 little girl dresses and a pair of shoes. I figure I can always bring them back, or I'm sure there will be some girls coming soon that I can give them to! They were just too cute and only $3. Could you resist it? I'm sure I'm having a boy, which is great!, but I figure there's no harm in looking at cute little girl clothes until I know for sure. Right?

It's been a great week so far. I'm feeling really good and although a nap still does me good and I'm in bed awfully early, I'm feeling some energy come back. Could it be the 2nd trimester feeling goodness people talk about? When I was pregnant with Henry I was working 10 hour days plus overtime so if I did have a burst in energy I certainly didn't feel it. Anyways, it feels good. My appetite and love for food isn't back to normal, but that's fine with me! It will be soon enough.

Have a lovely rest of your Tuesday! I'm heading off to a MOPS meeting tonight and then it starts next Friday. Can't wait!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

RJ informs me that I say every weekend is my favorite weekend, but this one really, really was! We went for a cold, picnic supper on Friday night at Walnut Woods and then met RJ's bro and family at Drake Diner for dessert. We had the whole screened in patio to ourselves so it worked out perfectly for the kids to run around and play while we got to chat. Saturday we woke up early and went to Raccoon River park to play and go on a walk. Again, it was really cold, but so fun. I love getting out and doing stuff like that as a family. RJ worked all afternoon, but was able to get home for supper so he and I got to have Friday AND Saturday night together at home. This never happens and we loved it! Sunday was a great day spent with our church family.

Henry was so clingy to RJ this weekend and would barely come to me. It was pretty sweet to watch how obsessed he gets with his daddy. Tonight we've enjoyed an especially goofy child and now I'm listening to Henry while RJ gives him his bath. Good stuff.

I love weekends spent doing things spur of the moment and getting out and doing as much as we can as a family. It was fan-tabular.

I will be 13 weeks on Wednesday so to celebrate I let myself have some caffeine. Oh, how I've missed you, Coke!

My very talented and gracious friend, Alisa, redid my website. Check it out. Isn't it the coolest?

Pictures from the park

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meet my new babysitter. RJ made this in high school and his mom brought it down last weekend. He hasn't touched another toy since we got it.

Don't you love how his hair blends in with the white sky?

The cemetery across the street from the park. Creepy and beautiful all at the same time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stop Parking Like That!

Okay. I don't like to complain too much, but I had to do it. I was sick of hearing myself complaining about this without doing anything about it. The parking situation on our street, thanks to the Dahl's construction, is ridiculous! People are parking for the entire block from 34th-35th street, making it a one lane road, making it impossible to see if anyone is coming before you turn and only can you see when you've already turned onto Woodland, and then if someone is coming one of you has to back up so the other can get by. SO I made myself a call. Hopefully I'm not the only one who's done it. The police were quick to get me off the phone and said they'd send someone over so I'll believe it when I see it. And did I mention there is a No Parking sign that should protect half of the block that is being completely ignored? Why can't people just follow the rules?

Alright, enough of that.

The weather today makes me absolutely giddy. I can't wait for Fall!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This time last year

Don't you wish you could go back to when your babies were real little just to give them a squeeze? I barely remember Henry as a baby. He was not a cuddly fella and wouldn't let me just snuggle with him, but he's making up for it lately by sitting in my lap a lot more and giving lots of hugs.

Today is going well considering it's the "day after" a vacation. Those days can be touchy! As long as I don't mention the word daddy so that he doesn't run to the door crying, we'll do okay. He gets so attached to RJ after a long weekend. It's sweet.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Good Labor Day! But no pictures....:( We had a great weekend with RJ's family. Played games, chatted, went for a hike, grilled, and went out to eat, out to eat, out to eat. RJ's parents left after lunch today and then the 3 of us took big naps. It was great. Henry's in bed already to make up for 3 nights of staying up past his bed time and not sleeping too well through the night. And now tomorrow it's back to normal. RJ goes back to work, but it's already Tuesday so the week will go quickly!

We have nice, free weekends until the end of Sept when we're heading up to MN for the John Piper conference. Can't wait!

Cheers to Labor Day.


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