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.
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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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