Monday, September 30, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Do Over

I would like a do-over for Monday. It was actually our 7-year anniversary, and although Adam tried to get the day off to take me out somewhere, he was unable to.
It started like a typical day, with Ryan waking me up shortly after 4am to go potty. While I was waiting for him to finish, I became aware of the sound of trickling water. And it wasn't coming from Ryan, but rather the kitchen. I figured it was the kitchen sink, so I mentioned it to Adam as I got Ryan back into bed. Well, I don't think I have ever seen Adam get out of bed that fast.
Turns out a water pipe under our sink had burst and flooded half the kitchen. (Thank you God for giving my son a full bladder......otherwise the water would have been running another hour before Adam got up!). We used every towel we own to soak up the mess. We pulled out our appliances in order to clean the water beneath them and check for damage under the floor.
It could have been a lot worse. We spent most of the day cleaning up the mess and going to Home Depot.

Except then we tried to put gas in my car, and it wouldn't work. It had been acting strange earlier that week at the gas station, so we decided to take it in to get checked out. By this time Adam had been given the day off (yay, we got to spend our anniversary together!). It turns out that a tiny little spider had crawled into the gas tank filter inside my car and built a web, making it impossible to fill up my tank with gas.

In the midst of all the fun, I accidentally spilled coffee on my laptop. And the keyboard stopped working. Hence no blog posts until now. My laptop has a new keyboard now! This sure was turning out to be an expensive day.

The boys behaved themselves, though.
Adam still owes me dinner out for our anniversary. I'm putting it in writing so he can't get out of it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Awana and Independence

Ryan started Awana last week at our church. It is a children's program where they learn verses from the Bible and play games and do projects based on their verse for the week. It meets one evening per week and the parents do not stay during the 1.5 hour meeting. As I dropped Ryan off last week for his first Awana class, I realized what a big milestone this was.
This was the first time I had ever dropped Ryan off somewhere (other than at grandparents' house) and then left. It felt really strange. I was excited for the mini-break (to go home, put Lucas to bed, and do the dishes!) but at the same time, a little sad.

Ryan is becoming more independent each day. He's actually growing up. Most of the time, I can't imagine him ever growing up and getting older. It is hard to explain, but I kind of feel like he's going to be a little kid forever. Logically I know this isn't true, but it still feels that way. So watching him walk into the classroom without hesitation makes his growing independence really hit home. And it makes me appreciate his dependence on me that much more.

I can't imagine what his first day of Kindergarten will feel like in a couple years!

In the meantime, I have some really adorable artwork to look at on our refrigerator.

Monday, September 16, 2013


As a Christian, I believe in the power of prayer. When I hear about a friend who is sick or going through a difficult time, I almost always tell them I will pray for them. I believe that God always hears our prayers and the intentions of our hearts behind those prayers.

Now I have a confession to make. Sometimes I tell people I will pray for them, and then I don't. I honestly intend to, but I get distracted by something and forget.

This really hit home with me the other day. An acquaintance of mine lost one of her children. When I heard the news, I immediately stopped what I was doing and prayed for her family. But what if this had been one of those times that I forgot? If something bad happened to my family, wouldn't I want people to pray for us? To actually pray, and not just say they did?

The Bible tells us not just to pray, but to pray continuously, without ceasing. God desires for us to come to Him in prayer over anything and everything. I would love to get into the habit of just talking with God throughout the day, as if He is a friend sitting next to me. It is hard to remember when I have two boys demanding my constant attention, but it's something I'm definitely striving for.

How do you incorporate prayer into your life?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lucas: 15-Month Checkup

Lucas had his 15 month Dr. visit earlier this week.

First up was checking his ears, since he is currently on antibiotics for yet another ear infection. He has had 2 double infections and 1 single in the last 6 months, which means that if he gets one more in the next month or so, the doctor may want to put tubes in his ears.
The medicine he is on right now is Amoxicillin plus some other medicine, making it a really strong dose of antibiotics. The Dr. recommended giving Lucas lots of yogurt to get the good bacteria back in his tummy. Yogurt has been on the menu every day here!
 The good news is that both of his ears look great now.
Here are Lucas' 15-month growth stats:
Weight: 23 lbs 14 oz (63%)
Height: 31.75 inches (66%)
Head: 18.75 inches (69%)
His height and weight have finally caught up with his head! Interestingly, Ryan was an inch shorter and a pound lighter at this exact age.
Lucas' development seems to be right on track. He is a little behind in speech, but I'm not worried because he is definitely trying to communicate with us a lot these days by pointing and jabbering and nodding his head.
I mentioned to the doctor how Lucas has been very attached to me lately, wanting to nurse and be held all the time. Some of it might be due to being sick recently, but the doctor thinks he needs to start learning a bit of independence by being apart from me more. His exact words to me were "hire a babysitter once a week for a couple hours and leave!".
We also talked about Lucas' terrible 2's behavior. Biting, throwing tantrums, throwing food....pretty much throwing everything. He suggested having a little area where we can contain him for a timeout. I'll have to work on that one, since Lucas is a little Houdini who can wiggle out of everything.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stitch Fix!

I am so excited to share something new with all of you! I recently cleaned out my closet and got rid of any clothes that no longer fit, were purchased in the last century, or were too corporate-office looking. What I was left with was a couple pairs of jeans, a few t-shirts, and a few nicer items to wear to church. My closet was looking a little sad. But unfortunately, shopping these days is a little  lot harder than it used to be. Did you read this post?

Enter Stitch Fix!! It's an online company that acts as your personal stylist. For $20 you sign up and fill out a detailed survey about your body type and style preferences. You can even include specific instructions about what kind of clothes you need for your lifestyle (I'm a Mom of two young messy boys so don't send me anything that requires dry-cleaning). Your personal stylist then picks out 5 articles of clothing and sends them to you. You try them on and decide what to keep and what to send back. Shipping both ways is free! If you keep an item, your initial cost of $20 is applied towards the cost of your clothing purchase. Oh, and if you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire order. Following so far?

When I first heard about it I didn't even consider signing up. It sounded expensive and extravagant and for people younger, richer, and more hip than me. But then I kept hearing rave reviews about people getting their "fix". I had a little birthday money left over to use, so I talked myself into trying it. I figured if I hated everything, I'd only be out $20, and at least it would be a really fun experience. What woman wouldn't love having clothes hand-picked for them?
My "fix" arrived a day earlier than expected, which was a fun surprise.
My initial peek at the clothes was encouraging....some fun colors and stripes. I was so excited to try everything on!
My stylist wrote me a little note about why she picked out each item for me.  They sure know how to make a girl feel special!
So here I am in the clothes. I apologize for the bad was late, I had a headache, most of my makeup had worn off, and my photographer wasn't exactly enthusiastic about his assignment.

First up was this long necklace. I have been wanting a long necklace like this, but I wasn't crazy about the combination of green and gold. It looked a little old to me, and not good quality for the price. If it was a better color and price, I may have kept it.
 My second item was this maroon dolman shirt. I liked that it was incredibly soft and felt really comfortable on me. The color was good for fall/winter, but I already have one dolman style sweater and don't necessarily need another. The price was a little high for me, so I decided to return this one. Plus, it reminded Adam of a duck's webbed feet.

Next up were these fun blue skinny jeans! I had specifically requested a pair of colored skinny jeans, so I was happy they sent these. They are super soft and fit really well. I'm not super adventurous with my style, so I think this color is a good introduction to colored jeans for me. The price was reasonable, especially after applying my $20 initial credit towards the purchase. I'm keeping these!! Now I just need to figure out what to wear with them in the winter.
When I saw this dress I liked the combination of gray and teal stripes. But summer is coming to an end and I don't see myself wearing this type of dress into the colder seasons. After trying it on I was more than convinced that it was a NO. The color did nothing for me, not to mention that it was a bit too short. It also made me look really top-heavy. Sending it back!
 Finally, this horrible striped tank. I was disappointed with this one, mostly because I had requested "no sleeveless". I tried it on and hated it even more. It was just huge and ugly and unflattering.
One thing I loved were these little cards that came with each item. They show two options for styling each item of clothing, and it gave me some great ideas of what it in style right now. And I know my stylist was listening when I requested clothes that would work well with my light denim jacket. Many of the clothes were shown paired with a jean jacket.

If you are considering trying out Stitch Fix (and you should!!) please please pretty please use this referral link. If you provide my name as a referral, I get credit towards a future purchase!

Overall I loved my first Stitch Fix experience. I can see how this could become addicting, because I already want to order another box! After each box you give your stylist feedback about what you liked and didn't like, so they learn more about your preferences. Going forward, each "fix" is supposed to be even better and more customized to your style and taste. I dare you all to try it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hamburger Soup

As I type this, I am sitting on our front porch watching Ryan swim in his pool, and it's a sunny 80 degrees. I know it's only the beginning of September, but I can't help but get excited about Fall. I love all the decorations and activities, and of course, the food. Soups, chili, stews....they are just so comforting and delicious. And hot. I thought I'd share a recipe with you all today that I plan on making later this week, once it cools down about 10 degrees or so. Low seventies is good soup-eating weather, right?

This soup reminds me of my childhood because my Mom used to make it. She passed the recipe along to me, and I love making it for my family. It contains ingredients that I almost always have on hand, so it's helpful for cleaning out my freezer and pantry. Ryan and Lucas will eat the flavored ground beef from the soup, although I'm still working on getting them to try the carrots and other yummy stuff. We like to serve it with a generous helping of parmesan cheese and some sourdough bread.

Serves 6 ~ Make the whole recipe and freeze the leftovers!

Hamburger Soup
2 lbs ground beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each pepper, oregano, basil
1/8 tsp seasoned salt
1 package onion soup mix
6 cups boiling water
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup celery, sliced crosswise
1/4 cup celery leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1/3 cup dried split peas
1 cup elbow macaroni or any small pasta

In a large saucepan or soup pot, brown meat in oil. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, seasoned salt, and onion soup mix. Stir in boiling water, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare celery, celery leaves, and carrots. Add to simmering mixture with split peas and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Add macaroni and simmer for 30 minutes longer, adding more water if necessary.

Pass the parmesan and dig in!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Can't Turn My Back

Can't turn my back on these boys for one second.
Case in point: Yesterday I caught Lucas drinking out of the dog's water bowl. Less than an hour later I caught him drinking out of his big brother's potty. I had previously rinsed it out, but still. Gross. Just gross.
I guess it's a good thing he's on antibiotics right now for an ear infection. That should kill any extra germs he's ingested, right?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hair Poof Be Gone

I have a lot of hair. Most people who know me probably know this. But most people don't see me right after I blow-dry my hair. It's a little scary.
I could totally be the "before" girl on a shampoo commercial for fighting frizz. Don't you think?

Here is another shot from the side, so you can really see the volume of my hair in comparison to my head.
I pretty much never have time to do my hair these days. About twice a week I wash it, sleep on it, and then put it up in a ponytail in the morning. On the rare day that Adam is at home and I spend the time washing, drying, and flat-ironing it, it looks something like this. Decent, but nothing special, considering it took me over an hour to tame.
I've been wanting to change it for a long time. I wanted to cut it short, although I do know that short hair doesn't necessarily mean "easy" hair for me. It will still be a giant frizzy poof. So I took the plunge and got it cut yesterday.

Verdict? Ehhh, I don't like it. My last words to the stylist before she started cutting were "Please don't make me look like an old soccer Mom".
 Now I feel like I have a frumpy soccer Mom haircut. No offense to moms with kids who play soccer. I'll probably be one of those within a couple years. I just really wanted to look a little more stylish, but I feel like I got some sort of 1950's haircut.

Here is my hair today, after being slept on. What I've realized is that I wanted not just a haircut, but someone else's hair. Sleek, shiny straight hair. I guess I was expecting a miracle hair cut.
Here's the back.
Sometime when I have a spare 1 or 2 hours (ha!) I'll try flat-ironing it and see how that looks. I know people tell me to be grateful for my thick, healthy hair, but I'm just not right now.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Adam and his brother got together recently and built Adam a bike to cruise around on. All the boys wanted to test it out!