Friday, June 26, 2015

Take 154

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
We had a fun Father's Day celebration around these parts last weekend! We made it to the Leeper Park Art Fair in downtown South Bend... and we walked away with two of these beauties!
Well, I should say, we walked away with one, and then on Sunday Brian suggested I go back and get a matching one for our dining room table, which I gladly did. The best part? You can keep the flowers on the table when you sit down to dinner and everyone can still see each other's faces!
--- 2 ---
I have been slowly thinking about getting rid of things in our home we're not using and replacing things that are broken with working items... This week, I received our new swiffer, leaving the old one to George, who is beyond excited and I ordered the part to replace our electric griddle drip pan... Got an idea of which one would catch bacon grease better? :)
--- 3 ---
Brian and I have watched some "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" with Jerry Seinfeld. One tidbit that I walked away with is that Brian Regan is one of eight siblings: two comedians, two fire fighters, two school teachers, and two salesmen. WHAT?! Crazy.
--- 4 ---
I tried to make my own enchilada sauce this week. I have to admit, it was VERY easy. I made this recipe. BUT, I think I'll be looking for a different recipe with more interesting spices... Anyone have a favorite recipe they use?
--- 5 ---
This week, I believe George has made his first attempt at transitioning to one nap. Whoa, bessie. It has made the 5-7 p.m. hour quite the adventure, and have found that sitting him down for dinner at 5:30 (even if that means it's while we're cooking dinner), that it's better for everyone. It's hard to believe it... but we're all getting older in this house!
--- 6 ---
At work, we have a pretty standard amount of web conferencing type training sessions. You know... Log on to a web browser, call in, and mute yourself. Only, not everyone can do all three steps. I'm not sure I've ever been on a call without someone picking up their cell phone, answering a knock on the door, or simply being a serenade of typing in the background. It's quite amusing, actually. But, I digress.
--- 7 ---
When I was growing up, skits abounded. One year (I believe at an All Saints Party), Mr. P. sang "I'm a Long Tall Texan" and his several daughters stood in a circle on the other side, singing in high-pitched girl tones all of the response lines, "He comes from Texas, wears a teeen gallon hat!" Well, I've gone another 20? 18? years and never knew that Lyle Lovett actually sang this song. 
BUT THEN, I discovered that so did the beach boys!
I'll be seeing my sisters this weekend (HOORAY!!!) and don't worry, I'll be bringing this up to make sure everyone remembers this performance and confirm that I'm likely the only one who didn't know of it's presence outside of camp skits. Hah. (Oh, to be the baby in a family...)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Do you ever need a reason to celebrate? Last week was... hard. I don't know if it's true, but it's tempting to blame pregnancy hormones. For some reason, every mole hill felt like a mountain and nothing seemed to be enjoyable. Celebration was needed. There is so very much in our lives to be thankful for and I don't want to lose sight of that. Whatever the season, it's still a time for gratitude and celebration.

So, I share with you a small list. You know, to get the juices flowing. Feel free to join me! Let's be grateful. Let's celebrate... even when life is hard.

 This is the night we got engaged... I seriously married this guy. Celebration!
These are my people. Can you even believe it? I'm so happy about it. And we get to add to our number in 7 weeks! 
In the past year and a half, we've become members of the Monroe Park Grocery Co-op. This is a co-op that gets day-old organic produce from local stores and fresh produce from local farms. Our quality of vegetables and fruits has sky-rocketed in our home. It's fantastic.
I may be gearing up for the sleepless phase of newborn wonderful, but for now I have a 17 month old who sleeps through the night and allows me to do the same. Cheers to George and all of those nights of 9-10 hours of sleep I've gotten over the past several months.
My Mama is almost done with her last phase of treatment for breast cancer! This strong woman is my Mama and I'm proud of the way she's weathered this storm... And grateful to the Lord for restoring her to health.
We went to Mexico this year. Mexico. We sipped on fancy drinks, enjoyed the ocean, a water spa treatment and a ratio of one baby to a party of 8 fabulous adults. Awesome.
And that's not everything! I'm grateful for fresh flowers on our table, the opportunity to cook dinners and bake desserts, a husband who builds garden boxes, vertical growing supports, and protective fencing, for a good job that I love, for family surrounding us here where we are and supporting us and much, much more.

See? So much! Gratitude abounds. And I'll just keep on listing when the days are long, the exhaustion is heavy and the children are screaming.

And, maybe I'll have you over for happy hour, too, because that'll help me remember the many things there are to celebrate. :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Take 153

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
George's language is coming... though with no great speed. We have agreed upon his first word being Mama and we're fairly certain his second word was either wow or ball. (Dont' worry--Papa was close behind and is his most unprompted word to be used!) But I must say, I love it when he says slowly, "woooow!"
--- 2 ---
 In advance of camping, I made my first batch of homemade bubbles. I'll admit it's not the best bubble making liquid, but it does just fine. :)
--- 3 ---
I think it's unfair whenever any physical "blemish" is painful. So, it turns out I was disappointed to discover that varicose veins actually hurt. So, I'm trying out Nettle tea, despite being a non-tea drinker. The plan? A cup a day until baby arrives. So far, so good. I don't hate it... but who knows if it's doing anything. Herbal-awesomeness.
--- 4 ---
Speaking of herbs... I need basil help. Our plants are actually producing a fair amount this year! Unfortunately, not enough to make a batch of pesto, but too much to slip in to our daily meal planning... SO. I've made basil and garlic infused olive oil, I've served Italian dinners as often as possible and generously added basil and even added it to our batch of weekly hummus. 

Here are two questions:
1. How do I keep basil leaves fresh? Fridge turns them black and counter top makes them wilt. All of the recommendations I've seen talk about "branches", but I don't want to clip whole branches!
2. What else should I be doing with these leaves?? Drying them and saving them for the rest of the year?? What other recipes do you use? What else is spectacular when you add basil?
--- 5 ---
We're basically ready for baby #2 because George has started really contributing to our household... This little man puts away tupperware:
--- 6 ---
Do you know that Sunday is Father's Day?
Hooray for our Papas!
--- 7 ---
Speaking of Papas, three cheers for Papa picking up a kiddie pool! George was beside himself with excitement! 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy Campers

The bug bites of the weekend have (mostly) stopped itching and I've had a few (long) showers, so I feel a bit more prepared to share about our camping adventure from the weekend. While I know that some would NOT call what we did camping (cots, state park, real toilets and a shower, etc), someone like me, who never camped growing up, would very much consider this camping. Hah. Take what you can get, eh?

We went to Pokagon State Park with several other families, with roughly 9 kids between all of us under the age of... 7? So, here's a brief recap with some fun pictures for you!

We had been at the campsite for maybe an hour when I turned around and saw George sitting in poison ivy (which was growing everywhere). As Brian held him and I wiped him several times with wipes, I was basically chanting in my head that we needed to go home. We didn't. AND, George walked away unscathed. I'm so very grateful!
Food thoughts... because really, for me, vacation is majorly effected by food... Name brand s'mores were totally worth it. The extra cents to get fabulous real-deal s'mores were the way to go. We had PB&Js for lunch on Saturday and boxed wine with us for the weekend. Next year: deli meat and beer. (And yes, I said next year.) (NB: I made all the food decisions.)
George slept beautifully. It turns out having a sound machine in his room his whole (long) life paid off as the tent sounded... just like his room. 
We were supposed to get a lot of rain this weekend, and the Lord was merciful. The rain didn't come on Saturday until 11 p.m., after the adults had had some kid-free conversation around the campfire and we were able to set-up and take-down in dry conditions. Alleluia.
Brian is a champ. He married a non-camper and he puts in a lot of work to make these weekends fun for me... and I'm very grateful. I have had a lot of fun!

Oh, and we all felt a bit like this after we arrived home...
:) Signing off! ...From a frigid air-conditioned basement!