Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This weather has got me feeling giddy! I love the crispness in the air. I love putting on a sweater in the morning. I love having to use a big blanket at night. But my feet are having a hard time adjusting...they're freezing! It is definetely colder in our house than it was outside today and our wood floors are like ice.

One thing I enjoy about the cool weather is the clothes. I love to layer. I love finding a shirt I've had for years and layering it with a different shirt to give it a whole new look. It's cheap and fun. Today I tried the plaid shirt and belt trend. If I remember correctly, this plaid shirt was from a garage sale and it was for RJ, but it was a little too small so I've just kept in it my closet for years. I wore it when I was pregnant with Henry and I dressed up like Willie Nelson for a party and RJ was Johnny Cash. You know, we were members of the Highwaymen. Anyways....I put another garage sale shirt underneath the plaid shirt and put on a belt to tie it all together. I only got a few strange looks at Target, so I'll call that a success! Oh, and the lovely photo is courtesy of my favorite photographer, Henry.

 I've mentioned this boy's fascination with airplanes before. Particularly jumbo jets. Anytime there's a loud noise, it's a "Jumbo Jet!!". Last night he was rather, ahem, gassy, and had a rather loud...mmmm....toot....and said "There's a jumbo jet in my stinky!". Always trying to pass the blame, I guess.

 This girl is loving her rice cereal. Tonight was our 3rd night and she's a pro.

I'm also really looking forward to Halloween. I'm going to try and make Harper's costume. I had gotten the tights at Old Navy while I was pregnant for $.17 and knew they'd come in handy. The adorable onsie comes from Wal-Mart for only $3 and the toule and ribbon were just under $2, which I will use to make a skirt. So I guess she'll kind of be a pumpkin. Or just a cute Halloween baby.

We've had a fun week time with drinks at Smokey Row 
and half priced hot wings at Jethro's....good stuff.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipes from the Weekend

I've had a craving for sweet potatos lately....

We had a picnic at a park this weekend with some friends and thought it'd be a great time to satisfy my craving.  I searched the web for a cold sweet potato salad and couldn't find quite the right one, so I got a couple of ideas and made my own. It was yummy!

Sweet Potato Salad

2 large sweet potatoes, cleaned, peeled, and cubed

(I didn't measure anything, so these are guess-timates)
1 1/2 tbl orange juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl honey
1 tbl good stone ground mustard
freshly ground your liking your liking
1 tsp freshly chopped parsley

Roast sweet potatos at 375 for about 40 mintues, or until fork tender. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together. Once potatos are done, immediately pore over potatos (do it while they are warm so they absorb the flavors). You can eat it right away, at room temperature, or chilled.

I also made a cold pasta salad since RJ had a big run the next morning and didn't want to eat a big burger off the grill. I just threw some things together that I had on hand, so here you go!

1 pkg whole wheat angel hair pasta
black olives (I used almost an entire big can...we love olives!)
green olives (again, used a lot)
1 can diced tomatoes...didn't have any fresh ones
1 can chunk light tuna
1-2 tbl parmesan cheese

your favorite balsamic vinegarette (start with about 1/3 cup and add more if needed)
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbl freshly chopped parsely

Simple. Good. Fast.

Can be eaten hot at room temp or cold as well.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

6 months

This little peanut turned 6 months last week. I can't believe it!
She's pure sugar. I remember being a bit nervous to take her home from the hospital. She quickly became known in the nursery for her temper, but after a few months and really not too many bad-temper moments, she rarely cries. We went shopping with my mom and sister yesterday and she went from 11-4:30 without making a peep. She's happy. Content. Sweet. Sweet. Sweet. And has an incredibly contagious smile.

She also treated me to something special this weekend...she took a bottle of formula for the first time! I probably won't do it too often since I don't really have a reason too, but it will sure come in handy from time to time. And it allowed me to stay out and party til late...more on that later...

We had her 6 month appointment on Friday and she checked out great.
 She's 27" (90%) 15.4 lbs (about 40%)
She'll start cereal for the first time this week. I like to start 'em late.

She's started making sounds like da-da, ba-ba, etc, and it's just so cute.

I know what you're thinking. These pictures are amazing, right?
My very dear friend Alisa took them this summer.

Oh, sweetness. I love you.

We had such a great weekend here!! Friday we had a picnic with our ABF group and had a great time. Saturday I got to hit an hour of my Bible Study and then ran to the mall to meet my mom, sister, and neice. We hadn't seen them for about 2 months so we were very excited! We had a great time shopping and relaxing. Henry and Elise had so much fun together and it was so cute to watch. Then I got to go to a fun bachelorette party for one of RJ's cousins, Amanda. We started at The Cheesecake Factory, a little scavenger hunt in the mall, and then back to the hotel to open presents. It was so fun! 4 of RJ's aunts were there and 8 cousins. Such a great group of crazy, fun women. I got home at 10:30 at night and felt like I was sneaking in. My amazing husband went out of his way to make sure I could have the best day possible with my family and friends. He is truly the best.
I love him.

And that's that. We've got a fun week this week with a wedding on Saturday to look forward to. Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sculpture Garden

We met a friend down at the sculpture garden and my, what a beautiful day! The grand opening is this weekend so there were lots of tents being set up, but it was still pretty cool to walk around and look at everything. This first sculpture used to be in the lawn in front of Mr. Pappjohn's house...I think it's a much better fit here.

The one above is my favorite.

The one below is kind of creepy.

The one below is.....interesting....

Trying to get 3 little kids to sit still is always pretty tricky, but always worth a try.
That's our friend Dane. He rocks!

 These 2 certainly love each other.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For Reals?

Tomorrow is seriously only Thursday? It's for reals only Wednesday night right now? Last week we were nice and busy with a little something planned to do every day. This week we've just had one planned event and time is-a-draggin'.  Not in a bad way...we're having fun hanging out, but tomorrow is ONLY Thursday for crying out loud!

So, I think we may check out the new sculpture garden downtown tomorrow. This is a pretty big deal for our small city, and some of the sculptures look quite interesting. It's times like these I wish I had one of my old art professors behind me explaining it all to me.

So who wants to join me? You? Okay, see you there!

Harper turned the big 6 months today. I'll save her extra special post until later...her appointment is on Friday...always fun to hear the stats on how she's doing. Then it's on to the big stuff. FOOD. She'll be starting on cereal this weekend. I hold out as long as possible on solids, basically because it's just so nice and convenient to only worry about nursing her. I am excited though, to see how she reacts. Oh baby girl, how did you grow up so quickly?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recipes and Baby Names

I was asked to make a meal for this gal last week since she just had a really cute baby boy. I already had a pork loin ready to go when I got the call, so quick looked up a recipe for pulled pork via crock pot. I found one that looked good and then changed it a bit to go with the ingredients I had on hand. Here she is:

Pulled Pork Rub:
1 Tbs ground black pepper

1-2 Tsp Cayenne pepper (I left this out for the new mommy, but used it when I made it for our family the next day)
2 Tbs Chili powder
2 Tbs Ground cumin
2 Tbs Dark brown sugar
1 Tbs Dried oregano
4 Tbs Paprika
2 Tbs Table salt
1 Tbs Granulated sugar
*This makes a big batch o' rub, so make it in a little container so you can save the leftover for next time.*
I rubbed this mix into the pork loin (or whatever kind of pork you have) and put it in the crock pot with a few cups of chicken stock....though if I had had me some apple juice, I would have used some of that as well. (The recipe did call to do this and then wrap it in saran wrap for about 3 hours and place in the fridge, but I didn't have enough time for that.) I set it on high and about 6 hours later, shredded it, discarded the fat and most of the juice left in the crock pot, and placed the pork back in with some BBQ sauce for about 20 more minutes. I didn't have any BBQ sauce so I searched again for a recipe and found this:

BBQ Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1 tbl mustard
3 tbl worcesteshire sauce
2 tbl cidar apple vinegar
1 tbl lemon juice
3 tbl brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (again, I left this out for the new mommy)
a squeeze of honey

I may never buy BBQ sauce again! It's way more fun to make your own. So I made this for our family over the weekend and we're still enjoying the leftovers. This will be on our winter menu quite a bit!

Apparently in the new Parents magazine, there is a baby name list showing the names that will be HOT in 2019. Guess what #10 for both boy and girl are?? Henry and Harper. Not that we thought we were naming our children the most unique names ever, but I guess we'll have to get used to hearing their names at the grocery store a lot more often. Oh well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Catching Up

Woah...I forgot about blogging there for a second. We were a little bit busy last week and I was a little bit tired so I caught little naps with the kiddos a few too many now I'm playing catch up.

 This little thang is going to be 6 months old on Wednesday. I can't believe it! She is quickly proving herself to be the easiest baby of all time and is just pure sweetness. Her 2 1/2 yr old brother crys more than her. WAY more than her. Sleeping situation: slept through the night early on for a month or so....then had a week where she slept horribly back in July and has been recovering ever since then. This past week she slept through the night again a few times,(woo-hoo!) so I think we're getting there. 2 nights ago she went from 7:30-6:30, but then last night was up 3 times. I know we're all sleep-deprived mamas, so there's probably no need to say how much that wears me out. It's funny. I've had this conversation many a times and after Henry's horrific night-sleeping habits, I've been one to encourage letting them cry it out. Funny how when it's me back in the saddle that I can't imagine ever doing that again! One thing with Henry was that he slept horribly at night (and progressively got worse the older he got) and only took cat naps during the day. Once he slept through the night (after making him cry) the naps improved drastically as well so it was worth it. On the other hand, this little girl takes 2-3 hour naps during the day and overall is getting better and better the older she gets, so I'm going to just keep on keepin' on with what we're doing. And man, ain't she sweet?!

 We had a family picnic Friday night and had a lovely time. Henry likes to wear his shades upside down and on his forehead and you had best not tell him any differently. He continues to crack us up all the time with the things he comes up with. And have I ever mentioned how obsessed he is with airplanes? All day long, he's either flying an airplane through the air or he himself is an airplane. Or a helicopter. Or a jumbo jet. Or a rocket ship.


 Have you ever tried taking a picture of your child while swinging?






 got it.....


The rest of our weekend was great too. We started our church community group last night and I'm so excited about it and to see how God uses them to grow our church closer as a family.
This week is a nice, quiet week for us, which I'm really looking forward to because the next few weekends for us are completely jam-packed. Should be fun though!
SHOOT. I forgot to watch Oprah today. I rarely watch her anymore, but today they were having a flash back to the 60's with a Mad Men new favorite show....ah well....did any of you see it?

Hope you all had a great Monday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

__________ Brownies

Take a can of _________.
Rinse and Drain them. Put them back in the can and fill to the top with water. Then puree in your blender, food processor, magic bullet, or what have you.
 Mix with a box of brownies.
Follow baking instructions on box. 

And dig in!
The secret ingredient? BLACK BEANS. No joke, people. They taste just like chocolate brownies! But without adding eggs or oil. They have kind of a spongy texture, but really yummy. There is a recipe that does the same thing, but doesn't use a boxed mix....that one's next on my list, but this one sounded oh-so-easy.

**Warning Update: You probably shouldn't sit down when they're fresh from the oven and eat the whole pan. Not that I did, or anything. I really didn't! But I'm just saying I wouldn't try it in fear of what might happen. If you know what I'm sayin'**

Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Weekend

RJ and I are usually great at going on dates, but since Harper was born, well......we're not so great anymore. I was in desperate need of time away from my babies and for some time alone with my man. So Saturday night we went out for a really nice dinner at Alba down in the East Village where we enjoyed our meal outside. Goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto, a salmon burger with fries, the best veggies ever, and pineapple with coconut ice cream for dessert. The food was great. The service was great. The weather was great. The company was perfect. We hit a coffee shop quick and then headed over to a movie at the Fleur. It was good, but I could have totally done without it. I was so tired-I'm getting so old! I even fell asleep for about 5 minutes, but other than that it was a perfect evening. Thankfully Haper took her bottle with no problem. She's only been given a bottle a few times the last couple of months so I'm always worried that she'll start to refuse them, but she was a champ. After church and lunch yesterday morning, we all took naps until we had to go back to church that night. It felt so good!

Hope you all had a great weekend as well! On the agenda this week: lots of fun playing and more decorating updates....once I get started I can't stop....and our MOPS starts on Friday. I think this year is going to be a super one!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Here's a plain little shade I just put out. It's a bit big for the base, but I kind of like it.

I got out some junky, broken jewelry and some twigs from outside.

And made this. It's supposed to be a bird. 
But you know how an idea in your head is like, the most amazing idea ever? And then you try it and it's like, not the most amazing thing you've ever seen? I like it, but love? Not quite, but I'm going to stick with it and see if it grows on me.

So this arrangement needs some excitement. Maybe changing the black on the clock to a green? Or somethin'? 
I feel like I'm always on the verge of going crazy-overboard-obsessive with decorating things. There are so many cool blogs out there that I can so easily get sucked into. I like decorating and making things out of nothing, but I don't like it when I get crazy about it. It's so hard to find a balance. And all you friends of mine have such fun homes that give me so many ideas....well, stop it already!
This week has gone pleasantly quickly and has been fun. We went up for the whole day yesterday to visit my dear friend, Alisa and her boys. It was so fun and just what I needed. Thank goodness they're only 1 hour and 20 mintues away. Perfect for a day trip and it's a really pretty drive. And it was nice to talk and remember the time we dressed up for the Halloween dance our senior year like "we got struck by lightening". I mean seriously? We started our clothes on fire.

 And we STANK.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day '09

We stayed at a friend's house and enjoyed views like this:
Above is the main house, below is the garage with an apartment above which is where we stayed.
More lovely scenery:
The apartment above the garage has a cute room with a bed perfect for Henry, one for mom and dad and a pack and play for Harper.
We made breakfast in the little kitchen.
And ate breakfast on the little deck.
And went on a ride in the kayak. (just the boys)
While I took pictures of my pretty new dress.  
 Harper lounged around with me.
And daddy fished.
And Henry played.
And I relaxed.
And attempted to read a little bit of a book RJ brought.
We had some friends who came to ride in the paddle boat.
And fed them "s'mores".....marshmallow dipped in melted chocolate bars, sprinkled with Oreos.
 And I lounged around some more in another fun dress.
We had so much fun, but you can see the exhaustion in little Henry's face the next morning. But of course I managed to get a sweet shot of the two. They are just obsessed with each other. It warms my heart so much to see the love they have for each other.
We had a great time as a family. Hopefully we'll make another trip out to the lake house this fall. It's so beautiful and peaceful. I even took a nap outside in a deck chair. Oh, it was lovely.  I was way bummed to come back to reality, but this is going to be a fun, short week. 
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend as well!


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