Friday, November 13, 2009

Ellen

So, now that I work part time, I have discovered the joy that is The Ellen Show. Everyone knows dance is a huge part of my past, and how much I love playing games, so it really is the perfect show for me (not to mention when she gives away cars, or pays bills, or gives money to people in need it kinda makes me want to cry which is really embarrasing to cry during a talk show). I think Daisy might like the show too (or maybe she just likes to be diaperless):
You might be asking why she is diaperless, and that is because I was in the middle of changing her diaper but her bloomers were in need of a good rinse in the sink, so while I did that, I let her lay on a blanket in the living room. So then she peed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Done?

I have had a hard time blogging lately, in case you couldn't tell. While there are things I think are exciting and many yummy recipes (like last nights seared tuna steaks with a ginger cream sauce and steamed artichoke), adorable moments with Daisy (ie: recent pumpkin patch visit and zebra halloween costume), etc. I am just not sure I am committed to telling the internet about all of it. So, forgive me as I take some more time to stare at my daughter and decide. You can stare at her in the meantime too.
video

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garden and Gun

If you are wondering where I have been, well I was in Europe. Yes, I wrote that correctly, EUROPE. I went to Switzerland and Austria as Micah was the best man in a wedding there recently. So, of course many posts coming on the trip and all the fanciness there, but first, before I left, I encountered this magazine in Whole Foods:


I don't have the words. I took a picture on my phone because I didn't think anyone would believe me that this magazine existed and I was sure I was not going to see anything like this in Europe. So when I wanted to be reminded of what it was like to live in America, well, I just looked at this photo. (okay, in truth, it never came to that. I didn't look at this once but I knew I had the option.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Fancy Dress for a Fancy Little Lady


My brother's girlfriend gave us this dress for Daisy and I was so excited to dress her up in it. It finally (sort of) fits, so we went to a baby shower with her all dressed up! Congratulations Jody, we can't wait to meet your little girl!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A little something

I recently picked up this black head-band and thought I would share it with you. I think this is a fun accessory, super cheap and adds just a little fanciness to any outfit. You can find it at Forever 21 for about $4!

And when I say "recently picked -up" I mean my husband sent me on a surprise shopping spree to Kansas City with my friend Liz, while he and Liz's husband watched Daisy all day.


Yes, I took those pictures on a white burp cloth which I realize is the complete opposite of fancy, but hey, did I mention how my husband sent me on a shopping spree?

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Dedication Gift


Micah's mother gave us a really sweet and sentimental gift for Daisy's dedication, Little Visits with God. It is a devotional book that she used to read to Micah and his siblings when they were growing up. This book is such a special treasure and I am looking forward to reading it to Daisy her future siblings too.

Notice the coffee stain? I will likely be adding my own to this book as well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Daisy's Couture Dedication Outfit



We had Daisy's dedication at church over Labor Day weekend. An event for which all my in-laws generously came in to town. I couldn't decide what to dress her in for the occasion and considering I had just started working again, I didn't have time to really go shopping. So, I got it in my head that an all white tutu would be just precious for the occasion and that was something I could make! I was struggling with what else she should wear to go with the tutu and a friend of mine offered her daughters dedication outfit, unfortunately, it was already out on loan, and a couple months too big for Daisy, so while I didn't borrow it, it gave me an idea of what to do for the rest of Daisy's outfit- add huge white satin ribbon bows to each shoulder on a white onesie! Well, I think the outfit turned out just precious and I made it in one day working on it on and off throughout visiting with my husband's family. What do you think?


So, if you want to make this tutu, here are some simple directions:
1. Get a piece of elastic, I used 1/2in. Measure the width around you want the tutu to be, and cut to that size. Sew the two ends together to make the circle.
2. I purchased 1.5 yards of white tulle and probably only used about 1 yard of it, but I wasn't sure how much I would need. I cut the tulle in about 1-2 inch wide pieces and about 8 inches long and then I tied, as in a knot, around the elastic with the knot on the outside.
3. Tie and tie some more strips of the tulle, squishing them together tighter and tighter until the tutu is about the thickness you want!
4. I then tied a half-inch ribbon into a bow and hand sewed that on the to the front of the tutu.

For the onesie, I used 1.5 inch satin ribbon and tied it in two equal size bows and sewed them so that they wouldn't come undone. Then I sewed those on to each shoulder, and tacked the looped part of the bow down on the front and back of each shoulder (so it wouldn't get in her face).

To dress your child in something like this, it will require two people, and a video tutorial so that you will have to figure out on your own! (really, each time it took Micah and I together to get the tutu on and off)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Once Upon A Friday- my first blog post ever

Years ago, when it was really cool, I started a myspace page. I have since closed it, but that was my first place where I wrote a "blog" entry. My husband reminded me of it today when he wanted me to tell my in-laws this story that I wrote, so I thought I would share it with you too. It is a personal and funny story taken from my life from about three years ago, and it is probably one of the most un-fancy days ever!:


Current mood: amused
Category: Blogging

Once Upon A Friday, is a true story taken from a day in the life of none other than myself, Cheryl Newman. I preface the story with that, because otherwise it may be a bit too unbelievable to believe that anyone could have a day quite like mine was on the 12 of May, in the year 2006.

It all started at 1:30am that Friday morning; well really I suppose the trauma you could say actually happened around 9:00pm the evening before, when my mother first steped on a 50 year old, rusty nail from a floor board on my brother's new-to-him house, but my story begins at 1:30am. My dad woke me up. Part of the disorientation I experienced at this point was because I have temporarily re-located to our upstairs gameroom for a bedroom, as my 96 year-old great grandmother has taken over my bedroom. As most 1:30 am wake-up calls are, it was an emergency, "Cheryl, can you please take your mom to the emergency room." So naturally, I jumped out of bed and got dressed. After 20 minutes of trying to figure out which hospital to go to so that insurance would cover it, we just decided to go the one downtown (a good 25 min. drive from our house). The hospital story has some elements to it that do add to the insanity of the Friday but pale in comparison to the ones coming up, so for the sake of brevity (which I realize I have already lost), I will pass over the details of my mom not removing her hand from her bottom so the nurse could give her a shot, but instead asking if she could just talk because it was much more enjoyable than the alternative. We left the hospital around 3:30am about which time the anesthetic began wearing off for my mom. So we went to WalGreens to fill her pain medication prescription and antibiotics. While there I decided to do a little grocery shopping as Great Grandma gets cranky if she does not have protien in the mornings and we were currently out of eggs, milk and bacon. "Taint funny McGee," is the phrase we are currently hearing, while she shakes the longest pointer finger in the world, if things aren't quite how Grandma thinks they should be (including her breakfast). We are still trying to figure out where the name "McGee" came from and who decided a proper usage for the word "taint" could be followed by "funny McGee" versus the dictionary definition of: "(tnt) v. To affect with or as if with a disease. "

One prescription hydrocodone pill later, we made it home. By the time we made it home, the pain was unbearable, and putting her swollen and infected foot below her head was not an option. We tried hopping, tossed around the idea of sleeping in the car, and finally arrived on a combination of a crab walk/scoot with her right leg in the air to get my mom into the house. Twenty minutes into our neighbors thinking I am dragging my drunk or dead mother into the house, she made it to the doorstep, (and please picture this) she lay on the floor, lifted her arms up to me and asked me to drag her to a couch. (we tried taking a picture to commemorate the event, but all I got were pictures of her on the floor) Another pain pill later and almost a call to an ambulance to come manage pain, I decided to wake my dad at 6:00am to help me.

By now you are probably wondering where my dad has been; well, being the responsible and thoughtful daughter that I am, and my father turning 50 in March, not to mention his incredible digestive wonders we often hear/smell, I scheduled a colonoscopy for my dad and it happened to be that Friday. So, all Thursday and through the night to Friday, he was relegated to staying close to a toilet due to the laxitives they had him on for the procedure. 6:00am I went to bed for about 4 hours to be woken up by a phone call from my brother, panicked about my mom and to check and see if the infection had spread (I thought he had information or news that developed in my short nap, but everything was fine). Too late, I was up now for the long day. Well, then my grandma appeared fully dressed for the day wearing her nightgown, blue gingham pants underneath and then she somehow found my closet and borrowed a white polo shirt of mine to wear on top of her nightgown, no bra necessary. I let her alone in her new outfit and made her the protein filled breakfast I had purchased at 4:30am. Just before my dad and younger brother were to leave for the hospital, my grandma shat her pants. We keep her in adult diapers for such occasions as these, but nonetheless, it is always messy. To spare myself from dry-heaving and anyone that reads this rediculously long blog, I won't go into detail, except to say that cleaning her up was followed by giving her a shower. That sounds reasonably harmless, except for the fact that my childhood allergy is still strong. When I was very young I told my parents, in all sincerity, "I am allergic to gross things," of which cleaning a great grandmother's dirty diaper is one. My allergic reaction this time was unfortunatly seasless dry-heaving.

So, finally a break, mom is asleep, Grandma is clean, and then a phone call. Jordan let my dad drive himself to the hospital and now the hospital won't start the procedure until someone is waiting there with my dad. Our housekeeper was at the house so I felt comfortable she could handle any certain emergencies while I drove my brother downtown to drop him off. Since I obviously was not going to make it into the office today, I decided I should take advantage of the time and exercise. I jumped on the trampoline, ran around the block and came inside to check on everyone, jump on the trampoline, run around the block and check on everyone, repeat, and repeat again for 40 minutes. (jumping is good for the lymphatic system, and also to make you appear crazy to the barely English speaking housekeeper.) Shortly after that, mom summoned me for a bucket, the pain pills finally hit her stomach and they were not settling well. She didn't want me to be there for that, so in consideration of my allergy, I assured her it was no problem to run away at that moment. I went to hide. I hid, by myself, upstairs in my new makeshift bedroom for 10 minutes. On my way down the stairs I meet my brother who had just returned from the hospital with my groggy father, asking me if I can clean throw-up because he will dry-heave. I politely gave him his turn at it.

The rest of the evening had minor events in it, enough that it was in line with handicapped day, in a nutshell they included my father arguing with me in his sleep (twice) and not remembering it, my grandma in 30 second to 2 minute intervals, informing me of my father still asleep on the couch and trying to take him to a bed that she did not know the location of, intermitent moans from my mom, making dinner, and me leaving town on my scheduled trip to see Micah's brother graduate from OU. I fortunately have a kind and selfless girlfriend who was willing to take a shift with my disabled family, so I left town and drove with my boyfriend to Norman. It didn't take long before I was laughing at the day and then falling asleep in the car. Before I catch you laughing, let me say, "taint funny McGee."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My husband is 32!


Micah turned 32 on September 1st. (I realize some of these posts are a little out of order- but hey, I'm a new mom and get to these things when I can!) Here is his daughter giving him his first ever present from her (dirty diapers not counted):


It was a framed photo for him to keep in his office of this picture:


We celebrated with margaritas and dinner downtown at El Guapo on his actual birthday, and then when his family came in town they babysat and gave us a night out! We played golf together and went to a sports bar and grille for dinner and to watch the first OU game of the season. I love him and look forward to spending the rest of our days and birthdays together!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some New Books


I recently finished a book recommended to me by a dear friend of mine, In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. Great writer is he not but there were a few really great thoughts I walked away with after reading it. While the main point of the book is to no longer let obstacles be what hold you back in life, but rather use them as a springboard for progress and consider them an opportunity; I think what I came away with was the reminder of just how big my God is. Most of my readers actually know me personally so it comes as no surprise that I am a Christian, as in someone who believes in Jesus as God. If you know me, you also know that while I have truly had a blessed and incredible young life filled with amazing people, memories, experiences and opportunities, no life, including mine, has been without its share of disappointments and limitations. However, those disappointments and limitations should not necessarily be a reflection that my God is limited but possibly rather that my faith, my response to life, freedom of choice and action by others has been the reason for those disappointments or limitations. So, to share a few quotes with you of what is sticking out to me after reading this book. This quote is from a section where he talks about, "the way we grow up spiritually is by becoming more and more like a little child."

"We internalize limits. We grow up and grow old. What is worse, we become small people with a small God. I think part of Neos is training the limitlessness of youth. Regaining the idea that we have been created by a limitless God to have limitless dreams and imaginations."

Mark also includes this quite by Dorothy Sayers.
'The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore- on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him 'meek and mild' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for curates and pious old ladies."

My God is not tame, He is not mild, He is not limited; what would happen in my life or your life if we truly understood that idea and removed the limitations we have put on ourselves and on God?

Now for a complete switch, here the book I am about to start reading, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. While it is an Oprah book club recommendation, I don't go to Oprah's church. I did just hear it is the largest church in the US. Have any of you "attended"? (attended is in quotes because I believe it is all online).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to Fanciness

So, I know my blog has taken a bit of a detour into the personal realm and less on fancy things, so with the help of fellow blogger, Kristena of Thimbly Things, she found some new fanciness for me to post about and well, I wanted to share it with you. I love etsy because it shows people's creativity, and this is such classy, delicate and pretty way to use lace. Here is my favorite piece of The White Owl collection:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Precious


Precious!
Nuff said.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I forgot to Drain the Grease!


I was once again inspired to make a delicious dish by The Pioneer Woman- coq-au-vin. This was going to be my come back dish- my come back from, "I just had a baby I shouldn't have to cook anything fancy for a few weeks." The flavor of this dish is truly exquisite and I would highly recommend anyone making this dish (I did use baby portabello mushrooms instead of white). I didn't take pictures of how mine turned out and I wish I would have just for you readers because well, I forgot to drain the grease. So, I had to let the dish settle and cool, and then drain as much of the grease as I could before we could eat it! When done properly, the picture above shows you what it should look like, and here is the recipe. Like I said, you should make this one, just remember that all important step of draining the grease!

Also, in all fairness to my "come back", I am not all the way back. Micah is almost home from work and I have not done anything for dinner but am instead blogging and he will be leaving to play softball. Guess it is a fancy powerbar for dinner tonight!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A fancy Island

So, my talented family, including my husband (Second Assistant Director), my brother (writer and director), and father (executive producer), have been working on a children's DVD series for about 9 years now, Pahappahooey Island. I think we released the first episodes around 2000 to television, but in the last year, we created two new episodes and added a character voiced by Joyce Meyer. Yes, the same Joyce Meyer you know who sounds like a man (as in her voice is that deep), and has an incredible ministry that reaches millions worldwide EVERY day. Well, the first of these two new DVD's, What About Me!?, was released in Wal-Marts yesterday around the U.S.!

As you can probably tell from the title, this DVD teaches the valuable lesson of sharing, playing together and thinking of others instead of yourself all the time. So, if you have a child, or know of a child between the ages of 3-30, you should definitely go out and buy this DVD! (please pass the word on too!!!) For more on the series, visit the web-site www.pikids.tv.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An Update On Becoming a Parent


It broke- the post-partum baby blues are fading! I hesitate to say this too quickly and jinx myself, but the past two days I have felt much closer to normal. There is definitely still some adjustment to a new way of life happening (to a slower yet somehow more sleep deprived state), talking mostly to an infant who doesn't talk back and of course still healing physically, but overall, I feel I a close to being back to myself. It helps that with each day we learn a little bit more about Daisy, and our efforts at a routine are starting to pay off as well.

I do have new sympathy and understanding for other moms and their partners, and especially any mom that goes through baby blues or post-partum depression. It truthfully is hard to admit that you are struggling with that when everyone else is so happy and excited for you. I started taking lots of Omega 3 Oils, probiotics, made as much of a mental decision as I could to work on my attitude so that it wouldn't affect Daisy, and listened to praise and worship music. My mom reminded me of the verse, "put on a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...", scripture works! Now, I just need to help Micah recover from having to take care of two dependant people!

Feel free to continue praying for us, but I did want to give an update that we are doing better! Below are a few more pictures of us as a new family! Happy two week birthday Daisy!!!

Two days after coming home from the hospital, we took a trip to our backyard.
Micah is a very doting and loving father.

She likes to praise Jesus too; and all on her own.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On Becoming a Parent

On Wednesday, a week ago today, I officially became a mom. I had been anxious for this day for the past few weeks wondering when she was ever going to come. I knew I was standing at the precipice of a huge life change yet I didn't know when my life would truly change forever- it is like riding a roller coaster in the dark, you know you are climbing the really steep part slowly but you don't know when the bottom is about to drop out from under you. I can't describe the feeling of seeing our daughter for the first time. When they placed her on my stomach right after being born and she let out her first cry I was completely overcome with surprise, joy, excitement, awe at how beautiful she is, love for my husband, and of course hormones. There really is no other moment in life like that moment. I loved the visitors who came to the hospital as I wanted everyone to see our new beautiful baby, and there was also a measure of assurance and back-up at the hospital because of the staff- I knew they could take care of me and I knew they could take care of Daisy. Going home...that is a different story.

After two nights and three days in the hospital, we were released to go home. We made the 2 minute drive after taking 5 minutes to make sure Daisy was in her car seat correctly - really we could have walked home (well, at least Micah could have while holding Daisy). Micah drove like an old lady, of his own admission, to our house and we unpacked our new baby and all the gear and gifts we had with us at the hospital. Daisy started crying shortly after getting home so we put her down for her first nap in her crib, made our way to the living room, had a champaign toast to becoming a family of three, and then we both cried. We were all the sudden overwhelmed with the responsibility and the mostly unknown and small known of what lay ahead. This feeling continued to evolve with each cry from Daisy that we would hear over the next couple days to what I now can define as feeling a lack of confidence. Regardless of the dozen or so books I read while pregnant on parenting, it was as if I hadn't read a single one, I didn't know how to feed her, didn't know why she was crying, didn't know how to organize my life anymore, didn't know how to put her on a schedule even though I had printed multiple and brought them to the hospital, I just didn't know how to be a parent. We had lots of visitors over the next couple days, family in from out of town, my own healing and recovery still to be had, and not to mention once again the crazy amount of hormones that go through a woman post-partum. Those added to the reflux episodes, one in which Daisy was choking, and unexplained evening and afternoon of crying, and also trying to figure out a schedule for all of us led to me feeling completely inadequate, in over my head, and un-confident as a parent. It is easy now for me to see how "baby blues" are very common. I am still a little weepy when I try to talk about my feelings over becoming a parent. Fortunately, I am not alone in this; I know these same sentiments have been shared by many a new parent, and my husband has had his own moments where he feels similarly, Micah has also shouldered a couple of the more difficult crying episodes where I had not felt capable of easing her discomfort.
I did cut out dairy over the last 48 - 72 hours (the days are running together still a bit), as well as tomatoes, onions, garlic, citrus, strawberries, eggs, peanuts and a few of the other known foods to cause issues with reflux and gas in babies. Since then, it has made a huge difference. Daisy doesn't have unexplainable crying episodes, the schedule is getting a little more defined, we have a happy and content baby, and Daddy and I grow in confidence with each successful feeding, wake and nap time. It looks like it will be a bland diet for me for a while, but it makes such a difference in both mine and Daisy's day. Micah and I also spent some time praying together, re-reading On Becoming Baby Wise the parenting method we personally chose to follow, and developing a little more of a plan for how to shape our days as a threesome. I know I am still hormonal, I know the rollercoaster has taken off and my life will never be the same again and I know I have a great partner in Micah to help me on the journey. I think in the next couple weeks there will still be moments where I will not feel confident in what I am doing, where I will feel overwhelmed by the change that has taken over my life (and only by something that weighs a little over 6 pounds,) but I also know that parenthood has joys unspeakable in our future. It is going to be something for me to work at to find a new life rhythym, to have confidence in God working in me and God working in Micah to know that we are prepared and have what it takes to take care of Daisy and shape her into the person God has destined her to be. I was warned by a few new moms that the post-partum period can be intense, and it is without a doubt - it is everything you think it would be and more.

Our Little Flower is Here


Daisy Renee Barnard was born on July 22nd, weighing in at 7 pounds and 5 ounces, and 19.5 inches long. She was surprisingly petite in my mind as I was expecting an 8 pounder since both myself and Micah weighed in at over 8 lbs at birth. By the time we left the hospital, she was just a slight 6 pounds 13 ounces. Really, I can't get over how tiny she is!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Friendly Reminder


Micah and I have been purchasing one large piece of meat at Sam's and then cutting it into individual steaks. Well, he tends to cut them a little large for me, so I have him cook about half of mine at a time. So, with the remainder steak we had ready to be grilled one night I decided to make the classic black and blue salad. So, this is just a friendly reminder of what an incredible taste confection the following can be:

Grilled Steak
blue cheese or some other soft, pungent cheese
roasted red onions and Brussels sprouts
lettuce
tomatoes
herbs (basil in my case)
Balsamic Vinaigrette

So, my friendly reminder is to make this salad at least once this summer!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grilled Gruyere and Zucchini Sandwiches with Smoky Pesto


From a useless amount of airline miles (useless meaning I can't get a flight out of them for years to come), I have instead used them for magazine subscriptions including Food and Wine (and my guilty pleasure- Entertainment). I recently cut out this recipe from Food and Wine and it was SO wonderful I had to share it.

1 cup packed basil leaves
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. hot smoked paprika
3 tblspns. olive oil, plus more for brushing
salt
one 8-oz zucchini, cut into 4 lengthwise slices
2 English Muffins, split
4 oz. Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese cut into 8 thin slices (I used Chevre' as I was out of Gruyere)

In a mini food processor, combine basil, garlic, and paprika and process until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually pour in 3 tblspns. of olive oil until blended. Season the pesto with salt.

Light a grill (or use the indoor stove kind like I did). Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cute each zucchini slice in half crosswise.

Grill the English muffins, cut side down over low heat until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto, then layer 2 zucchini pieces, and top with cheese. I ate open-faced, but you can close the sandwiches and grill again until the cheese melts too which is how the original recipe says to do it.

MMMM, good! It is also a fancy sandwich if you ask me; I think it would be great for picnics or when doing brunch with friends. (I served alongside a mozzarella caprice salad)

Friday, July 24, 2009

What is Your Guess?

So, today is my official due date. Since, I am writing this in advance and not in real time, I more just wanted to schedule a post to go up on our actual due date. So, what do you think- is she here yet? Do I still look like this?

(me at 36 weeks)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Fancy Gift

So, these kinds of finds are really much more why I decided to start this blog in the first place than the recipes or random notes I now post. When I was looking for gifts for the hostesses for one of my baby showers, I came across these extra fancy dish gloves. I couldn't resist, and got these, along with an aromatherapy scented dish gel for each of them.



I realize dishes are incredibly un-fancy, but I thought this could make them a little more fun to do. It is all about the every day, mundane things that we can find fancy that make life that much more enjoyable!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Failed Nursery Decoration Project

A friend gave me the great idea of using an old window pane as a wall decoration in the nursery. It really was a great idea that I was excited about, but I failed to execute it very well, and it has now turned into hours of work, three cans of spray paint, scrap-book paper, and well finally trash. The idea was to use it as a unique picture frame, but when I purchased the window I was not sure exactly how I was going to use it so I probably didn't pick out the right one. So, I cleaned, sanded, scraped old paint, iron/glued on fake sides to hide the metal, rope and cracked wood on the sides (I needed to pick one that would hang the opposite way), spray painted it orange, and then after realizing that the age was still going to show through the orange, I decided to buy the crackle spray paint that would make it look purposefully aged, so the natural flaws would blend in instead of look as if I had tried to cover them up with the orange. Well, the crackle spray paint ended up turning out like white splotches and didn't crackle at all. So, basically, project is over, I am trashing this whole thing and I have moved on!
I have now decided to do this:I pulled this out of an Anthropologie catalogue along time ago and was going to do this in my living room but looks like the nursery gets it first. So, now I need to find some ornate picture frames (garage sale next weekend anyone?), spray paint those orange (yes, I will have to buy a new can!), and hang them on pink ribbons so I am still accomplishing my pink and orange combo with pictures. I have a baby picture of Micah and myself that I want to frame in the nursery, and then of course some of our sweet baby girl once she arrives. I am looking for 5 frames all together so if anyone has any good ideas of where to get some, let me know! Don't you agree that this picture is frame worthy!?!

Yes, it is my dear, sweet husband Micah!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fellafels and Salad


I randomly picked up a box of Falafel mix at the grocery store in an effort to get a couple somewhat healthy but also very quick-to-make meals. I made the baked version instead of frying them, and made a Greek yogurt sauce to accompany them and it turned out quite good. I also made a quick Greek salad to go along with it and used the same yogurt sauce as the salad dressing. So, if you need a quick meal, pick up one of the falafel boxes at the grocery store. I honestly don't remember what I put in the yogurt sauce (I think it included onions, mint, lemon and garlic), but a recipe for one was on the falafel box to get you started. So, not necessarily fancy, but still reasonably healthy and definitely quick!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I have been working on this summer
















It has been a summer of growing and firsts- growing a baby, growing a garden, and yes a first for both! I have a very bizarre back-yard. It is a giant hill that is so impractical for any use, other than to hide us from the neighbors up top, that we let it become completely overgrown and it is a free-for-all. However, there is a lower tier, separated by rail-road ties (I know you are thinking of how beautiful that must look), that has been quite useful this year. With the help of Heather, we weeded the lower tier, and planted, yellow & green zucchini, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, watermelon, lettuce, rosemary, basil and cilantro. I have been able to harvest quite a bit of the lettuce and herbs, but so far only one zucchini, and none of the others have produced yet. I have been a little impeded from giving it the true TLC it deserves due to growing a child at the same time which my pain tolerance doesn't really allow me to consistently weed the garden, fertilize, etc. As always, my husband has been a huge help and has watered, and once even weeded better than I ever did in that section. So, I thought I would show you a few before and afters.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Corn and Summer Vegetable Saute'


While at a recent doctor's appointment, I was leafing through their magazines and discovered a link to this - 20 fast and delicious summer meals. I wrote down a couple of the summer recipes and have enjoyed each one of them, so I thought I would share one of the new favorites with you. I happened to have my father and brother-in-law staying with us at the time too, and they both seemed to enjoy it. Especially for my brother-in-law, I think it was the most vegetables he may have eaten in the past year!

1 tblspn oil (coconut or olive is what I use)
1/2 c. chopped green onions (approx. 4)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. sliced okra (I couldn't find this at 3 stores, so I substituted with green beans)
1 c. shopped red bell pepper
1 finely chopped / seeded jalapeno
1 c. corn (2 ears)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 c. cilantro
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 1 min. Add okra, saute 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bell pepper and jalapeno; cook 5 minutes. Add corn, cook 5 minutes, stir in beans, cook 2 more minutes. Stir in cilantro, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I added chicken to make this a little more hearty (and because some people are skeptical of calling anything a meal if it is vegetarian.). The recipe also mentions shrimp would be a good addition, but we happen to not really eat shrimp. I also served with a side of lemon-y cous-cous as I was also a little unsure about serving this to company without a grain or side-dish and I happened to have that on-hand. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's a bird, a plane, a rash, a family, a firework, a pregnant lady


Our July 4th celebration was a lot of fun this year, but also a secret! Both Micah and I, as well as our dear friends, Jessica & Curtis (and their two kids) wanted a small, uncomplicated celebration. So, we combined our uncomplicated wishes, and came up with a great way to relax! We didn't tell anyone else of our plans so it could stay low-key (and because we were sneaking into Jessica's parent's house). I put on a bikini for the first time since pregnant, and we all went swimming, grilled out, and enjoyed each other's company while watching a variety of fire-works shows.

You might be asking what the title of this post has anything to do with the above description, well, here are some photos that will help fill in the gaps. (birds was just to get the quote started and I am sure there were plenty in Tulsa that day)

I had been craving some jalapeno poppers, the kind wrapped in bacon with cream cheese, and when I saw them recently published here on the Pioneer Woman blog, I knew I was making them for the 4th. Well, apparently with my super sensitive pregnant skin, cutting the jalapenos burned my poor hands and I developed this terrible rash that truly freaked me out for a couple of days until I was able to guess that most likely the burns, blisters and marks had to be from cutting over a dozen jalapenos. And here is what it still looks like, over a week later:(I have been hiding my hands in embarrassment ever since. A day later when it showed up, we were almost convinced I had preeclampsia and were on our way to the ER. Glad we didn't go after all just to be turned away for cutting a few too many jalapenos!)

While blogging, the TV is on in the background and we are half-watching a show on France and they were interviewing a photographer. He said the art of photography is , "showing life as it is, reflecting the world in which you live." If that is the case, I live in a world filled with beautiful children and families:


So, the plane part of the title comes in with this picture. I think I could double for the plane that landed in the Hudson Bay a couple months ago. Okay, just kidding, I know I am not that big, but still, wow!Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, enjoyed the freedom we have, and is grateful for our armed forces, and God's favor which has been upon America.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Officially Full Term!


I am officially Full-Term; it is safe for Daisy to arrive now! Unfortunately, she and I are showing no signs of being ready, or her actually being here anytime soon. So, I am trying to be patient, and make myself think of still needing to wait at least 2 more weeks before it is time for her to arrive. Granted, the nursery still isn't finished yet, so I could still use a little time to complete that project, but I am not entirely sure that is going to happen regardless of when she arrives.

Photos taken by Brenda Horan

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Fancy Shower

I had my second and final baby shower last weekend and it was so beautiful! I had a marvelous time, and was so incredibly blessed and showered with many useful baby gifts. The shower was decorated in the colors of the nursery - green, pink and orange. They had pink punch that everyone was drinking out of baby bottles (with a straw, not sucking through a nipple), delicious brunch food, and great decorations. So, here are some pics from the event.
The beautiful centerpieces, bottle with punch, and the tablecloths
were all in the colors.

Soon-to-be grandma (still working on what her name will be), and good
friend, Liz watching as I begin opening gifts.
A close-up of Micah and I's baby pictures which were hanging from
the food table's centerpiece.
Grandma "Suzu" (my mom), and I with some adorable baby hats
made by Gigi Graham.

The food table.
Look at the cute tablecloths! I have such great friends, and network of support from my church too that they would all come.
I was definitely standing by the food- it was so good! The centerpiece
decoration was a spray painted branch in orange, with baby picture of Micah and I, and baby accessories hanging from it, like bibs, spoons, teething rings, pacifiers...

It was such a fun morning, and an incredibly memorable event and welcome to the world for Daisy. Thanks to everyone who was able to come and for all the amazing and helpful gifts! This is one loved little girl that is about to be born.