A Walk in the Park

Its been almost four weeks since the Princess had her birthday.  The weekend following, we went to a new park.  It is fenced in.  I love that.  I almost didn't have to watch my kids, except for the dangerous, high playground equipment and my curious kiddos.  Darn.  Also, they were being cute and having so much fun, that I tried to snap a few pictures.  Of course, I am only uploading those same pictures tonight.  Anyway, here are my beautiful babies.

These are a few of my favorite of Princess up close.....I love her expressions.

And here is Handsome.  The little turkey wouldn't look at me most of the day.  He was too busy running away, looking for the next big thing.  I'm also blaming his running for the lack of focus in the pictures.

And here is my rebel.  Already daring to be different.  Somehow, I actually have more pictures of Handsome than Princess.  That's not supposed to happen for a second born.  I guess he got lucky this time, especially, since it wasn't his birthday.

Which picture is your favorite?  Any chance my babies are starting to look like me?  I still see hubby when I look that them, which really isn't a bad thing.  I just assumed my kiddos would have some of my features, too.


Big Fat F

Some days, I just feel like a failure.  I rolled over and let(made) hubby get up with the kids.  Barely kept up with the messes the kids made, let alone extra laundry, dishes, or (gasp) clean the bathroom.  Had a short temper with the kiddos, hubby, whoever talks to me, and didn't make dinner.  Fed my babies fried fast food (which they actually ate all of).  Some days, I really don't like myself.  I know we all have them, but I usually prefer to keep them to myself.  You know, I'm selfish, I don't want to share my dirty secrets.  I feel Dark.  Dirty.  Un-lovely.

Somehow, there is someone who can look past my muddiness.  Someone who looks me the the eyes and thinks I'm beautiful.  Someone who loves me.

Often, I forget.  I wallow in self-pity.  I try to cover up.  Lately, I've been praying about this.  Sometimes I can't stand myself.  Song of Solomon tells a story of a common girl being courted by a king.  While this story can be interpreted in many ways, I believe the Lord is using it to illustrate how He loves me.  In chapter 1, verse 5, she says she is dark, yet lovely.  She makes a comparison: dark, like the tents of Kedar; lovely, like the curtains of Solomon.  The whole book goes on about their love story.  She begins as an immature girl, and grows to become a mature bride.  I am an immature girl.  I stumble every day.  I am dark.  However, my Lord loves me.  He sees in me what I am to become.  He thinks I am lovely.

One day at a time.  One step.  I know I don't have it figured out, but I do know I'm going to keep walking with Him.  Do you feel dark?  Are you hiding?  He can forgive.  He thinks you are lovely.

I've Missed You

Phew.  Its been a tough week or so.  I don't even remember how long I've been gone and I'm too lazy to figure it out.  15+ hours of CE done and 6 of those LIVE.  Hopefully, at least 50% of those are drug therapy related.  Thank the LORD for PharmCon and freece.com.  They have a library of home study CE and live webcasts several times per week of free and members-only-free CE.  I learned a lot!  A funny side note:  they are actually based in Myrtle Beach (Conway)!  How's that for ironic?  Considering I googled free+live+ce and that's was I got.
Hmm...so since I last posted, besides doing CE, I jumped back on the packing wagon.  I've organized more kiddo toys, packed toys, made a mountain of things to get rid of, suffered from allergies and drug side effects, and made lots of lists about moving.  I might actually start completing the things on those lists.  Anyway, I guess that's all for tonight.



Um, I need a Break

I'm really good at procrastinating.  I even wrote a paper about it in college and gave a speech in high school.  So it should come as no surprise I have LOTS of CE due by the end of March.  AND more to do by the end of June.  So, I'm choosing to (forced) take break from my normal blogging/reading activities in order to focus on my studies.  Hopefully, I'll even be smarter (more smart?) in a week's time.  Lots-o-reading, webcast-viewing, test-taking in store for me.  I know you are jealous; don't cry.  See you in April with lots more head knowledge about legal drugs and another renewed license or two.


I've been Punched

Here is the yummy punch recipe I made for the Princess's Birthday.  I think I found it at allrecipes.com.  They have so many different ones.  My hubby requested one that doesn't have pineapple in it, and I wanted one was bright pink or red.  I'm not too picky, right?  Ok, so I couldn't find exactly the ingredients listed:
  • raspberry-kiwi frozen concentrate
  • raspberry creme soda
  • raspberry sherbet
Here is what I used instead:
  • apple-raspberry-kiwi frozen juice concentrate (1 can)
  • red creme soda (2 liter) 
  • raspberry sherbet (1 quart)
  • frozen strawberries ( few scoops)
Place the semi-frozen juice in a large punch bowel.  Slowly pour in the creme soda.  Add scoops of sherbet and strawberries.  Enjoy!

I thought the punch was delicious.  So did my kids and in-laws.  My husband didn't drink any because he thought the strawberries looked like salsa?!? I think I'm gonna keep the recipe around for future birthdays/party occasions.  We don't drink punch very often, but I think it dresses up a party.

Have any of you found raspberry creme soda?  Or know what flavor red creme soda is?  Let me know if you try this and what substitutes you have to make, if any.


Bucket List

The move is coming up quickly.  Less than three months kind-of-quickly.  I have made list(s) of things I need to do in order to prepare for the Big Move, but lately I've been thinking of the things I'll leave behind.  The things I won't be able to do again, regional things, Kansas things, Lawrence and Kansas City things.  So I've started a bucket list.  Note: some things I can do in SC, but want to do in KS
  • Spend an afternoon at South Park
  • Have lunch with my girlfriends
  • Go to Worlds of Fun
  • Date night out at: PepperJax, Quinton's, the Burger Stand, Wa, Yokohama, Free State Brewing Company
  • Have ice cream at Sylas and Maddie's with the kiddos
  • Take good family pictures in green grass with wild flowers (its too early for sunflowers :(  )
  • Lose 10 lbs
  • Eat less processed foods
  • De-clutter my closet
  • De-clutter my kitchen
So, most of these involve food, which doesn't help with the lose-10-pounds goal.  Maybe I'll try to make a box with the list and update it as I complete them.  Do you have any suggestions?  What would be on your bucket list?


Bowled Over

Ugh.  West Elm sent me a teaser email.  I officially hate them, I mean, I dislike them for making home decor and housewares I need.  Like these beauties, for example.

I have a thing for bright mixed patterns, with a vintage vibe.  Or maybe its a modern vibe.  Whatever, I LOVE them.  While I'm dreaming of these amazing bowls, I might need to pick out some friends to keep them company. 

I think these mugs would do quite nicely.  I love their little pedestal.  Unfortunately, I am moving in less then three months (!!!) My goal of moving less is getting in the way of my shopping high.  Darn.  Practicality wins this time, maybe in three months I can make these babies mine.


Don't Forget Me

Hello, Handsome, when did you grow up?  What?  You've been doing this all along?  I'm not sure I gave you permission to do that.  In fact, I don't even remember you asking.  Oh your sister is growing up too?  I guess if she does it, there is no stopping you.

Let Mommy hold you for a bit, I need my baby cuddles.  You're so serious, Handsome.

Mmmmm..... cupcake.  I love your little face.  You are so sweet, I could eat you up.  I can't believe the Internets haven't heard about the baby boy diet. Delicious.


Have a Heart

The Princess celebrated her birthday in style.  I didn't go "all out" as I have in previous years, yet I still tried to make it special.  I'm not really one for corny themes, but I found plates and cups on clearance after Valentine's Day, so I decided to go with a heart theme.  After all, my Princess has stolen my heart.  She loves pink and purple, so I tossed in some red.  That's girl-y enough, right?

These are the treats.  Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I had them sitting out when she work up from her nap, probably not the best idea in hindsight.

Yes, those are sugar hearts.  I made a stencil out of wax paper, covered the cupcake, and sprinkled sugar, remove the stencil, and voila! lovely perfect hearts.

Before I knew what happened, she was in the chair with cupcake in hand.  Yes, she had a bite.  I made her put it back.  Horrible, mean Mommy.  She helped make the cupcakes that morning and Mommy wouldn't let her taste the batter or eat a cupcake.  I made her get dressed so we could go outside to take a family picture.

This picture took at least 30 minutes to get.  And it isn't even "perfect" but its my family.  The kiddos got to run around for a bit before I made them stand still.  Promises (threats?) of juice, cupcakes, and presents may have been made.

Can anyone say spoiled?  At least most of it was clothes or something small and easily packed.  I love how she finally knew what to do with wrapping paper.  Although little brother helped.  He's catching on quick.

After trashing my living room, we gave the kids cupcakes and sang "Happy Birthday".  For dinner, we had lasagna, caesar salad, green beans, and a baguette.  I also made a punch to go with cupcakes.  The kids really didn't eat dinner, but who could blame them when their bellies were full of "coo-cakes" and punch?  I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Princess!


Happy Birthday Princess

I think I blinked.  Today she is three.  The cliches are true, time does fly by.

My unexpected blessing.  The little girl I always wanted.  Nine months of misery, three years of joy.

She is full of energy.  Maybe that's an understatement.  My Princess has a mind of her own.  

She is beautiful. I love her.

My Princess, my ballerina, my little sack of sugar.
Today is your special day.  A day full of cupcakes and hearts, pink and red, bubbles and balloons.
Another special memory to treasure.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing our lives
with this sweet Princess.

Happy Birthday, Lovey.


Another wish list

When we move, we plan on taking as little as possible.  Kinda hard with a family of four and a billion baby things.  One plan in the works is to ditch a baby bed and buy a new big-girl bed for Princess.  I'm on the fence whether to get a twin or full.  It will probably come down to the kind of deal I can get.  I'm also stuck between wood or metal.  Today, metal is winning.  I remember having a white metal bed as a young girl.  Oh, Mom, why did you give it away?  I need it now!  Oh, right the moving thing, I don't want to move it.  :)  Anyway, here are a few I am dreaming of for my little princess.

Porto Bed Crate and Barrel
Love the gentle lines in this one and the dark metal.

Classic Iron Bed Pottery Barn Teen
Ironically, I like the white metal of this one.  I also like the details.

Lillesand Bed, Ikea
This one is simple, and its from Ikea, so it is cheap.  I need to see it in the store to determine the quality of it before purchasing.  Have I mentioned its cheap?

Vignette bed, Land of Nod

I think this one is my favorite.  It has nice details, gentle curves, but the most expensive. (I think)  I also love the bright pink bedding and the wall paper.  I adore the wall paper.  Crazy I know.

What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?

UPDATE:*********  My MIL has informed me her sister has an iron bed stored in her attic/basement/somewhere-in-their-house.  AND I can have it for Princess!  Yay!  Of course it will need cleaned and repainted, but I like the idea of having a family heirloom for my princess.  Of course I haven't seen it, but I'm not that concerned about the design aspect since it will be refinished.  Another reason I can't wait for June! 


Clean Day

Cleaning is overrated.  It dries out my hands, makes my house stink like chemicals, takes valuable time away from my family, and never lasts more than 5 minutes.  However, I suffer an emotional breakdown when surrounded by clutter, dirty dishes, mountains of laundry, and general toddler debris.  Seriously, ask my hubby.  I had one Saturday night.  On Sunday, we attacked the house while the kids napped.  Praise the Lord they napped at the same time.  It is refreshing to know a few areas are clean and re-organized.  We'll see how long it lasts.
Recently, I have discovered new cleaning products.  I love them.  It's called Mrs Meyers Clean Day.  They are good for the environment (nice plus) and smell awesome.  I want to buy more cleaning products because they smell so amazing; I need multiple scents. My current fave is lemon verbena.  Seriously, you should try them.  While I'm not really a hippie/Mother Earth freak, I do like the idea of not cleaning with harsh chemicals.  The products aren't antibacterial, which means I'm not contributing to resistant bacteria strains.  So while I still despise cleaning, at least I found a product that makes it a bit more enjoyable for me and keeps my family safe.  Check them out.


Where is My Reading Rainbow?

Once upon a time, I was never caught without a book.  I won a library summer reading contest when I was very small (I don't even remember how old I was, think less than first grade??) I got in trouble in middle school for reading.  Now, I read children's books to my kids, and somewhat be-grudgingly. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled my babies attempt to read books more then they eat them; however, my mind isn't challenged.  Especially when its the fifth time reading Green Eggs and Ham.
Reading has become an obligation.  I read for work, for continuing education, for Bible study, and for my child's entertainment.  I haven't been reading for me.  I want to change.  My husband has commented that I need  a hobby; a stress reliever from my job.  Maybe I can start to read again.  I need time for myself, educational time, quiet time, entertaining time.  Apparently surfing the internet and reading other blogs isn't enough.  Perhaps books can fulfill that for me.  My problem is, that once I start a book, I have to finish it.  Right NOW.  I suppose I might also be learning self control, since I'm too old to read until 4am.  In the mean time, both of us are reading books for our church small groups, so that will be my starting point.  I want to read a variety of books, ones for personal and spiritual growth, plus a few literary classics.  I'll try to update on my progress and recommendations.  Speaking of recommendations, do you have any?


Uh-Mazing Chicken

So its not really a secret my Hubby cooks most of the meals.  At least the ones that require effort and more than 5 ingredients.  I'm not really sure how he found this recipe, but its absolutely amazing and I'm not asking questions.  We (he) have made it twice, each time wonderful.  Its as close to the big "O" you can get while eating chicken. Anyway, here is our (his) version.

  • 5 springs of Thyme
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 Tbl unsalted butter
  • canola oil
  • 1 whole chicken 3.5-4 lbs
  • Four carrots, peeled, sliced so they were all even lengthwise, then in half, then into 1/2″ sections(we actually used baby carrots)
  • Two parsnips, peeled, sliced like the carrots
  • Two leeks, washed and sliced into circles
  • One rutabaga, the rind removed, cut up
  • One onion, peeled, quartered at the root, and the root left attached
  • Eight little red potatoes, whole ( we used fingerling potatoes once and liked them better)
(ok, so we really aren't adventurous vegetable people, we just used carrots, potatoes, onion, and celery)

Preheat oven to 475
Smash three of the garlic cloves, place them with the vegetables in a bowl.  Add 1/4 c canola oil, some thyme, and lots of salt and pepper.  Lots.
Remove the chicken from its packaging.  Hopefully, you bought one that doesn't have innerds.  If you did, remove them.  Rinse chicken in cold water and pat dry.
Smash the rest of the garlic, rub it and the thyme inside the chicken.  Rub the inside with more salt and pepper.  Trust me, it will be yummy.
Lovingly rub the outside of the chicken with canola oil, and, you guessed it, salt and pepper it, too.
Place the veggies in a large cast iron skillet.  High on the sides, shallow in the middle.  The chicken goes in the middle, surrounded by goodness.  Place the butter pats on the chicken breast.
The whole thing goes in the oven at 475 for 25 minutes.  Then, decrease the temperature to 400 for another 45 minutes.  We actually use a probe thermometer while cooking to ensure the internal temp gets to 165.
Bring the golden goodness out and tent is up with foil.  Let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Now, my hubby, being the unique creature he is, doesn't care for gravy.  How God can allow that, I'm not sure.  Under that chicken are savory juices just dying to be made into a gravy.  I'm hoping next time we make the chicken I can save those juices and work some magic.  Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet.
Eat the chicken and veggies right away.  Don't delay.  The first time, plan on eating half a chicken.  If you are feeding more than two adults, make another bird. I actually ate all my veggies and wanted more.  Ask my mom how much of a miracle this is.  The second time, I paced myself.  We had bread with dinner and I snacked while waiting.  I had left overs for the next day.  Absolutely, Uh-mazing chicken.  Let me know how yours turns out, if you make gravy, and if you share.


All Grow'd Up

Congratulations to my little brother (I'm sure he loves me referring to him as "little) on being accepted to Purdue!  He's going there for grad school.  Honestly, I'm not sure what his program of study will be officially.  I know it has something to do with history, probably American history.  I know, I'm a horrible sister, but I'm making up for it in this little shout-out, right? I'm proud of you Baby Brother #2!  It's been a long time coming, but you're that much closer to a "real" job!  Ha!  Seriously, I'm really proud.

Sorry, it's the only current pic I have.


There's a Spring in My Step

 I don't know about you, but I'm itching for spring.  I'm tired of the snow, ice, and cold.  I think my kids are, too.  On one of the nice days, we took the kids for a walk and snapped some pictures.  Well, hubby took the pictures, I chased the kids.  Most of the pics were of the kids running away from us.  It was beautiful, clear, 70-something, and WINDY.  Two days later, it snowed.  At least we have some pictures to remind us what beautiful weather and stir crazy kids look like.
Handsome running

Happy Baby Boy and Mommy

My Princess