Friday, January 28, 2011

Away We Go

Fifteen months ago we did this:

We fell in love with our cute little 1923 craftsman style house and took the plunge into home ownership.  More than homeownership, we took the plunge into making a home in a city that we had only intended to live in for a 2 year residency.  We took the plunge to turn friends we had made here into our family, to let our lives lay down roots and bloom here.  And these past fifteen months have been the best.  We are surround by two of the best sets of neighbors ever, we have cooked out, played cards and laughed with friends we have enjoyed some of the best successes in our careers to date.  This last success has led to an unexpected change for our family. 

It is with great sadness and excitement that we announce we are moving back to Texas.  A sign that looks quiet similar to the one we are holding above already rests in our yard and in a yard in Texas there should be a similar sign that represents the promise of a new house we will make into a home.  There are so many people and things we will miss in Indy and there are so many things we are looking forward to as we try to imagine our new life in Texas.  But this time has been blessed more than we could imagine, we know we will keep up with our Indiana family and that we will make new friends that feel like family in Texas.   

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Update, Week 30

I have been really bad about baby updates on the blog but luckily I have been better at documenting it on paper for my scrapbook (maybe I will post some pictures later!).

Anyhow, thought I would post a little update since we are at one of those big mile markers--30 Weeks! The post is a little late since we were at 30 weeks last Friday, but this week has been hectic (more on that in future posts).

I am still feeling really great.  Like the energy flipped on like a light switch when I went from the first trimester to the second, I could almost instantly tell that I was in my third trimester by the sudden drop in energy.  The other thing I suppose of note is that I can tell that I am slowly leaving the "I am cute and pregnant phase" and entering the "I am big and pregnant phase."  It is taking a bit longer to find an outfit in the morning that I feel cute in.  Not a completely big deal, but if you know me, I like dressing and feeling cute. 

I still have the pain in my right hip that I have had off and on since week 10  but other than that I am a pretty happy camper.  I do have to say though, I am having a harder time bending over to pick things up gracefully.  I am thankful that Ranger takes care of most food tha gets dropped in our house.  My weight gain has been pretty much on track for what it should be and I haven't had any swelling yet in my feet or anywhere else. 

Our little girl is doing great.  I have a hunch that she is going to be easy to put on a schedule since her active times are pretty predicatble--very wiggly but on a schedule.  She moved head down about week 26 and the doctors think she will just stay that way.  Sounds like she is a planner like her momma and just wants to be ready.  That means that her butt is already up in my stomach and ribs.  A few weeks ago, when she would stretch out, her butt would push into my stomach giving me this strange sensation like I had a knot in my stomach and needed to swallow.  Now at week 30 she is big enough that when she stretches her little butt pokes out from this side of my ribs creating a nice, hard, uncomfortable bump. 

At 30 weeks the ultrasound showed that she is roughly 3.5 pounds and measuring 31 weeks along.  This is not really a big deal except that we had some discrepancy amongst doctors in the begining about how far along I actually was and when my due date was (I am pretty sure my doctor finally just step out of the room, flipped a coin and came back in with a "decision" to keep the original due date, despite the specialist advocating to chagne it).  Even at 8 weeks when all babies are basically the same size, she was measuring a week and a half or two further along.  She did the same at the 12 week ultrasound and so forth.  So we either have a big baby (which would totally be out of character for my family history) or little miss may surprise us with an early debut.  Who knows!  But since the average baby puts on a half a pound a week for these last 10 weeks, let's just say I am a bit worried.  Our next ultrasound is at 32 weeks so we will find out more then!

Allong with total size, she also happens to be excelling in head size.  no surprise there, since both momma and daddy have big heads (we can't buy "one size fits all" hats).  But at the last ultrasound the doctor kept saying, "she has a really big head."  He then explained that while she is only 30 weeks old, her head is measuring at 32 weeks.  But of course he followed that up with "but I am sure that means she is really smart."  Good recovery ultrasound tech.

Other than that she is look basically perfect.  Her heart and all the other organs look great and so does everything else that goes into helping her grow and stay healthy and safe.  We are getting impatient to meet her, but not too impatient, as we still need to take our birth classes here starting next week!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Baby, But Not What You Think

For about a year now I have had a total fantasy to own my very own DSLR camera.  I want better pictures and I want something that can capture live action better than a point and click, which doesn't cut it for wiggly or moving things.   When we found out that we were expecting a baby my desire for a better camera just sky rocketted.  This process took a while mainly because I take forever to make major purchases and rarely ever spend this kind of money on anything.  Luckily, along with my slowness to pull the trigger on big purchases God gave me the insane capacity to set savaings goals and make them happen.  

So last Saturday T and I went to Roberts Camera the local camera store here in Indianapolis and Carmel.  I had done tons of research but I still wanted to go and hold the camera and look at it and talk to someone before I pulled the trigger.  I also wanted T's input on it.  And I have to say, the people at Roberts were amazing!  I cannot say enough about how positive the experience was at Roberts.  They were great about listening to my needs and budget and making suggestions about what equipment was best, what I would need first, what could wait.  Plus they offer free classes to beginners if you purchase your equiptment there.  Also thier prices were better than the big box stores.  Can you tell it was positive the way I am going on about it? 

So here she is--The Canon Rebel T2i.  We decided to go with the T2i because of the extra megapixels and because you can run an external mic when recording video.  Did I mention it records video?  Oooh and I got a tripod and a remote so I have all these fabulous plans to shoot our family portraits!  I can't wait to capture our little baby and all our new family adventures. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nursery Decor, Part 3

Next up for our nursery decor post is the art work and accessories.  A few of these pieces are not yet here and up on the walls yet, but they should be here any day now and I can't wait! 

First up is this adorable print from Tuesday Mourning's etsy shop.  She has so many adorable prints I could see in our little girl's room but like the rest of the art in our house we liked this one because it reflects our family's commitments and love for one another--what better things to surround our little one with!

Next up is the ABC Animal Print from Fancy Print's etsy shop. 

And our third little etsy find is from Sugar Fresh's shop.  This shop's prints are so bright and fun I could see them popping up in future rooms. 

One item I have contimplated purchasing is this giant letter initial from Anthropologie:

The only problem is that like most lovely things from Anthropologie the letter is sort of highway robbery!  However, when I was telling a friend of mine about this crazy expensive letter for the nursery she said, "well look on the bright side, you kiddos name is not changing.  You can just incorporate the letter into everyone of thier rooms you design."  Good point.  Let's see if T and our bank account appreciate that argument. 

Finally, our lighting fixture.  We went with the smaller MASKROS lighting fixture from Ikea.  And I will just go ahead and say I LOVE it.  It helps tie the nursery in with the rest of the house, adds some softness to a room that has dark, heavy wood furniture and adds a bit of girliness to the tan walls. It creates that boyancy and playfulness.   

We had an electrician come in and install it (since I made a promise to T and my mother that I wouldn't do electrical work while pregnant) along with some new fixtures in our living room and library. 

Now as soon as I can get these prints in and up on the wall I will do some picture of all this decorating pulled together. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Goal for 2011

I enjoy blogging, in fact I enjoy almost everything about it, the writing and reflecting and connecting with family and friends around the country.  However, I must confess that I am a fast and furious blogger.  I don't have much time to blog between a job that demands 50+ hours 7 days a week, being a wife, keeping up a house, and having a life in the real world so I cram blogging in and write my posts on the fly.  But I confess that often I don't proof my posts and only sometimes run the spell check.  Is this the kind of blogger I want to be? Not really.  Is the kind of writer I am in my professional life?  Not at all.

I have a dear friend and author that reads this blog (Hi Judy!) and I deeply respect her in so many ways.  Everytime I post a blog post and then look at it and see it has typos I think of her, but I also think about what kind of writer I am outside of this handy dandy personal blog and what kind of writer she and my other writer friends have encouraged me to be.  So my goal this year is simple, to do a better job proofing my posts and when possible do a better job writing my posts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Night's Dinner

This is a long over due post, but considering I just pulled out the last pan of this delicious mancotti from the freezer to heat up for the family, I suppose now is as good a time as any to share this tasty recipe. 

I found this recipe in a cookbook one of my girlfriends shared with me back in college called Crazy Plates: Low-Fat Food So Good You'll Swear Its Bad for You which is now discontinued. It has been a major winter staple for many years now.  I usually only make it about twice a year, because it take a while (about 30-45 minutes) to prep and it makes so much that you have enough to freeze and breakout through out the winter.  So even though its a bit of work, its tasty, low fat and does great in the freezer.

Here are the ingredients:

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces

1 cup each grated carrots, grated zucchini, and finely chopped mushrooms

3 tbsp minced, fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp dried

1 tbsp minced, fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried

1/4 tsp black pepper

4 oz light cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

12 manicotti shells or about 20 shells

2 cups of you favorite low-fat, tomato based pasta sauce

1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese (2 oz)

To make filling:

1. Spray a large, non-stick skillet with non-stick spray.  Add garlic and onions.  Cook and stir over medium heat until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.

2. Add chicken, increase heat to medium high, and cook until no longer pink. 

3. Add carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, basil, oregano and pepper.  Cook for 3 more minutes. 

4.  Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.  Stir in ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.  transfer filing to large bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes. (Added tip: after about 10 minutes stir the contents to ensure that the warm inside portion gets turned to the outside of the bowl to cool as well)


5 While filling is chilling, cook manicotti according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water and drain well. 

6. Using a teaspoon, stuff shells equally with filling.  (see below)

7.  Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce over the bottom of two baking dishes. Arrange 6 stuffed manacotti (or 8-10 stuffed shells) in each dish. 

8. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti and sprinkle with mozzarella.

9. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let cook for 5 minutes before serving.


Home Sweet Pup

The pup has been home for a day and I can't believe how much he was missed! Life is so quiet with out our crazy little pup!

  He is healing well and I hope with a day or so the smell of the vet and being hurt leaves and his normal sweet cardboard, puppy smell comes back.  Until then Ranger will just be lounging in his new bed he got for Christmas and catching up on the DVR. 

Every Place

I am a planner and love dreaming about the future and then setting goals to make it happen.  However, one of my biggest personal and spiritual commitments is to be present in the now.  I once explained it to a friend this way.  My mom was a stay at home mom and when you ask her about being a mother, she used to say every phase was her favorite because there was something fun and exciting and new about each phase her children would go through. 

This is how I have approached my life.  I don't want to spend my days romanticizing or criticizing my past or spending my time thinking the best is yet to come, but live in a memory of the past or an expectation of the future that never existed or arrives.  I want to look back on my life and be able to say "each part of my life was the very best part of my life" but I want to be wise enough to know it and appreciate it at the time. 

For me this is deeply rooted in my faith life and a sense that gratefulness is at the heart of our relationship with ourselves, others and the world.  I want to practice being grateful, to see what is great in each moment, transition and challenge in life. 

I am not saying that challenges have not been a part of my life or will not, but I just don't want to be ungrateful about the other great things that are going on at any given point in my life, for the new opportunities and for the way that each moment in my life whether good or bad has had a way of carrying me to somewhere new and suprising and always wonderful. 

And to that end I want to make sure one of my monthly features on the blog in 2011 includes a "very best list", highlighting the very best of what is going on this year and what I have to be grateful for because this year is going to be full of challenges and adventure and I want to stay present to all the good that is in store.    

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Recap, Part 2

The week of Christmas we spend mostly relaxing.  T binge golfed.  Seriously, I think he golfed something like 54 holes in 3 days.  And I scrapbooked like crazy on our book from our San Francisco vacation.  It was glorious.

On the Thursday after Christmas T's parents arrived to spend an evening with us at my family's home and celebrate the Christmas holiday.  My mom cooked a big turkey dinner for the celebration and we hung out and opened gifts. 

Here's our folks together. 

The rest of the holiday I didn't take any pictures, but we had a great time. 

Christmas Recap, Part 1

I am a bit behind on doing recaps from over the holidays, but life has been super hectic with another little project I will be sharing here on the blog soon.  In the meantime here's a peek into our Christmas! 

We love spending the holidays together--we may be a small family but we are an awesome little family. So on Christmas Day T and I woke up to T's very first white Christmas!  He was so excited! 

We made a big brunch with Monkey Bread (a family tradition of mine), egg casserole and a huge bowl of fresh fruit!  While breakfast cooked we openned gifts and just enjoyed each other's company.  After breakfast and a little more relaxing we got cleaned up and headed over for a big lunch with friends and then off to church.  It was a wonderful day. 

Two days after Christmas we headed to my home town to see our family.  Everyone was really excited and my mom and step-dad planned a wonderful evening for us to celebrate the holiday together.  However, since my mom had already hosted two holiday celebrations and had one more to go we did catered Mexican food--yum! 

T and I in front of the tree at my family's house.

Me and my sister K--isn't she adorable?

My mom, me, sister K and soon-to-be sister-in-law A!

Yes, you read that right--soon-to-be sister-in-law! That's right!  My brother proposed to his girlfriend a few days before Christmas so not only will there be a baby and my sis's graduation this year but a wedding too!  2011 is going to be so exciting!

Here's a pic of T and my mom...and K! 

Our Poor Puppy

Over the holidays we took Ranger to his favorite place for training and boarding.  He LOVES going to the trainers for a week of training, every time we pull in the drive he wags his tiny hiney off.  He loves all the trainers and I have on occassion suspected that he might love it there a bit more than our house with the way they spoil him.  In fact, several of the staff have said they would love to take Ranger home with them.

But while he was there he decided to get in a bit a scrap with a German Shepherd mix--our trainers were mortified as this have NEVER happened in the history of thier facility.  Leave it to Ranger to set new records, blaze new trails and get into trouble. 

So the last week and a half Ranger has only been home one night, as he has been in and out of the vet getting patched up and then re-patched up.  The above picture was between surgery #2 and #3 while he was at home with us.  He is sporting a TCU colored sports bra/bandage (although T insists that its a "vest").  Now he is home safe and sound and doing well, sleeping in his bed. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lucky Guy

Back at the begining of December I recieved an e-mail or read on a blog that Diaper Dude was doing a giveaway for the holidays.  I forwarded it on to T in case he was interested in entering the contest and didn't think much of it.

A few weeks went by and we were in the car headed somewhere when T said, "hey remember that diaper bag giveaway you sent me, I like, won. I thought it was a fluke but I e-mailed to verify and we won a $100 diaper bag"  Way to go husband! He then went on to say that it was actaully a contest and that he got chosen from all the entries.  Apparently he had to leave a commet on thier facebook page commenting on why he would like the bag and how he would use it.  T said all the other entries were lame things like "we are having a baby" or "to help my wife out" so T in all his humor and creativity said something to the effect of "I can use it haul diapers around when my daughter is a baby and beer around like a portable cooler when she is older and I have to chase boyfriends off."  My husband is a genius (or at least a little funny) because he scored us a free $100 diaper bag

So it came right before Christmas and I snapped this picture of T with it when he opened the package. Cool, very cool!