Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CrockPotalooza: Ranch Pork Roast

Apparently crockpot cooking is super popular right now, and Kelly at Kelly’s Korner is hosting a link up for recipes.  I am all about crock pot cooking these days, so I’m looking forward to getting some good new recipes! 

The one I’m sharing is one I just tried last night and it was really good! 

Ranch Pork Roast


img via: bhg

It’s really simple and delicious!  I would serve it with mac & cheese and green beans.

Here’s a recipe card I made with the directions…

ranch pork roast recipe

{Sidenote:  The original recipe I found for this said to cook it 8-10 hours on low, but I’ve found that my crockpot tends to cook things a little quicker, so I adjusted the time.}

I also found a really great BBQ Chicken crockpot recipe that I blogged about here – BBQ Chicken

If you have any good crockpot recipes, link up and share!

Pin It!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Engaging Weekend!

Ha – such a clever title, right?  We just got back from Austin for a surprise visit to celebrate my sister’s engagement!  Her boyfriend (now fiancĂ©) proposed to her on Saturday and then surprised her with a big family dinner and a celebration afterwards at my parent’s  house with both families. 

We are so excited to be welcoming Eric into the family, and are equally excited that Hadley will have an uncle soon!  Hadley wanted to join in on all the celebrating, so she decided to show us all that she can clap now!   The video below was taken on our way to my parent’s house after surprising Katie at dinner at Hula Hut. 

Hadley is so excited for her aunt Katie and soon-to-be-uncle Eric!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and a 4 hour drive with an almost 8 month old is just never fun – no matter how you slice it – but we were so happy we could be there to celebrate with my sister and Eric. 

Hadley did everything in her power to keep the attention focused on her her best not to steal the show, and had a great time hanging out with family!


My parents bought her a little jumperoo to keep at their house for when we visit and she LOVED it!  This picture cracks me up.  Matt and I were joking that it looks like she has some serious road rage…


“Get outta my way!!!”

She really was having a great time – she was just cracking herself up bouncing and bouncing in there!

And a quick photo recap of the surprise dinner post-proposal. Smile 

Katie & Eric


The next day Katie and Eric came over to hang out with Hadley some more.  She wasn’t in a very good mood thanks to a very poor nap in the morning, but a quick glance and aunt Katie’s new bling had her calming down. ;)


Congratulations and best wishes to Katie and Eric! (I can never remember which one you’re supposed to say to the bride and which one you’re supposed to say to the groom – and the only reason I know it’s one or the other is thanks to Gilmore Girls. ha!)

Pin It!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prayers Needed

You may have noticed a new button in my sidebar, and I wanted to write a quick post to share that story (and to point it out to those of you who hadn’t noticed it.) 

Lindsey is someone I don’t actually know in real life, but I have been reading her blog for awhile, and her family could really use your prayers.  Her daughter, Kate, has a very rare genetic bone marrow failure and is about to undergo a complete bone marrow transplant.  They are in Children’s Hospital in Houston right now undergoing chemo to get Kate’s body ready for the transplant.  This sweet girl is just 12 months old and it just breaks my heart to read her story. 

Please keep them in your prayers – that she would have complete healing and a chance at new life with this transplant!  Pray also for strength for Lindsey and Alex – as a mom, I can only imagine that every ounce of pain Kate feels is felt ten-fold by Lindsey. 

If you want to help spread the word, you can grab a button on Lindsey’s blog

We're Finally Three

Pin It!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why I Stay at Home

Before I dive into the meat of this post, I feel like I need to write a disclaimer.  For whatever reason, there is an abundance of judgment that comes along with being a mother.  Judgment from society, from older and younger generations, and even worse, judgment from other moms.  I think we’re all guilty of it, whether we voice it or not.  Certainly everyone has judged that mom in the grocery store who can’t get her kid to stop screaming (until you become that mom).  Or the parents at the restaurant who let their child run amuck (ok, I still judge those parents – unless you’re at Chucky Cheese, highchairs have straps for a reason, people.)  All of that to say, I don’t write this post with judgment or as a criticism of moms who make a different choice for their families.  I’m simply writing because it has been on my heart for a couple of weeks and perhaps someone else might find encouragement in this.  That, and I hope Hadley can someday look back on this and know my heart and why I chose to stay home to raise her. 

In addition to the disclaimer above, I also want to say that I am well aware that this is not a choice everyone can make.  If you are a single mother, or need to work to provide for your family, I, in no way, mean for this to make you feel guilty or inadequate.  I know that we are very blessed that I am able to stay home.

Whew.  Ok, now that that’s out of the way…

I was at the doctor last week.  My mom came up to help with Hadley, and we decided to just bring her stroller and let my mom push her around while I was in with the doctor.  Well, Hadley is having a bit of separation anxiety, and my mom had only been here an hour or so before we had to leave for the doctor, so as soon as she realized I was gone, she started crying (Hadley, not my mom – ha).  I had to give blood after the appointment, so once again, Hadley screamed the whole time I was gone.  Since the lab was open to the waiting room, we could still hear her screaming.  I apologized to the nurse and smiled.  She looked at me (sans smile) and said “You a stay at home mom?”  I said that yes, I was, and explained that Hadley was hitting the lovely separation anxiety phase (that almost all babies go through, right?).  She replied (again sans smile) that I’d “better do something about that or else I won’t ever be able to go anywhere.” 

Now, I know a lot of people hate getting any kind of advice from anyone when it comes to motherhood, but I think I’m an exception.  I actually like hearing from other people moms.  I like hearing what worked for them and what didn’t.  I do not, however, like being told that I’m doing a disservice to my child because I choose to stay at home with her.  This isn’t the first comment of its kind, either.  I’ve had comments like this from friends and strangers alike (albeit, not quite as blatant), and it just makes me wonder when becoming a mom became “not enough.”  Why do people feel the need to save their old identity rather than relishing in their new identity?  (sidenote: I’m sure that had I decided to go back to work, I’d have gotten just as many comments judging that decision.)

The choice to stay home was probably a little easier for me than some, seeing as how both my husband and I had moms who stayed home with us.  It wasn’t a foreign concept to either of us, and was something that we both saw the benefits of growing up (even if we didn’t enjoy it then, we see it now.)  I realize, too, how truly blessed I am to have a husband who is supportive of this – both in that he works hard at his job to provide for us, and also that he encourages me to be here. 

That said, I believe that staying home with your children is a calling.  One that God equips women for in a unique way – there’s a reason we are the ones who carry the baby and the ones who can provide nutrition for babies.  I know it’s not for everyone to stay home, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.  Staying home is hard.  The only thing easy about staying home is how easy it is to lose your mind most days!  And I know if we are ever blessed with more kiddos it will be exponentially harder.  But this is my lot and this is my blessing.  And the bible promises that we will not remember our days because we are consumed with joy (Eccl. 5:20)

Over the past few weeks I’ve come across a few articles about this topic and I thought I’d share the links to those… If you don’t have time to read all of them, the first one is my favorite. 

And for those of you who don’t want to read any of them, here are a couple of my favorite take-aways:

Biggest reward for you or your family having you as a SAHM?

I think the biggest reward is the security and confidence it gives my children. They know I am around and have chosen to be with them over anything else!  They know I used to teach school and gave it up to be with them!  They also know that there is no other place I'd rather be.  How reassuring would that be to know there is someone out there who loves you so much that she didn't want to miss part of your life?!”


“At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.”

All of this is really to say that this is my choice for my family, and I just simply don’t understand the point of judging other moms for their choices for their families.  “Working” or “non-working,” I really feel like it’s important to support each other for our similarities rather than focusing on our differences. 

Pin It!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pinnable Me: Pinterest Recipes

I’m linking up to Paw Prints & Pastry Bags again for her Pinterest link-up.  If you’re on Pinterest, you should join in the fun! 

This week, I thought I’d share some of the recipes I’ve been pinning, and review a couple that I’ve tried.   (p.s. Can I just tell y’all how annoyed I am that I can’t get the picture and the source link to line up?  I am not a fan of Pinterest’s “embed” feature.)

First up – Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken


I’ve made this recipe twice now.  The first time I really liked it, the second time, not so much.  What changed?  Well, the first time, because I wanted to cook baked potatoes in the crock pot at the same time, I used foil packets for the chicken.  Not only does it make clean up 10x easier, but apparently it can make or break the dish as well.  I used frozen chicken both times and the first time (with the foil packets) Matt’s review (said through mouthfuls of chicken) was “mmmmm, you could totally sell this stuff!”  So I think that’s an A+ in his book. 

The second time, I decided to forego the foil packets, and the chicken came out still flavorful, but really dry.  And I had a bigger mess to clean up, so save yourself some time and use foil packets!  p.s. – y’all know what I’m talking about when I say foil packets, right?  My mom looked at me like I was crazy when I told her about that…

The next recipe I made was Cheesy Chicken Lasagna


This one was just okay.  Not great, but not bad either.  We had a fair amount of left overs, which tells me that Matt probably gives it a solid B-.  There just wasn’t a whole lot to the dish (which admittedly is one of the reasons I pinned it, thinking it would be an easy meal to throw together).  Maybe if I made this again I’d throw in some mushrooms, green peppers… maybe even some broccoli or something, and maybe some sour cream to cut the ranch seasoning down a bit.  Or maybe I should just look for a new recipe…

I made this Parmesan Tilapia recently, too. 


This one was just okay.  I’d give it a solid B.  The parmesan “crust” sort of just slid off the fish while it was baking, and was a bit too salty for my taste.  The best, and easiest fish recipe I’ve found to-date is this one…


I blogged about that one before I had even made it, and it has quickly become one of our weekly meals.  It’s easy, I always have the ingredients on hand, and it’s tasty! 

The last recipe I made was these S’mores Bars


These were amazingly good.  A++.   I had to hide the container of them from Matt so that there would still be some left when our families came in town.  The first batch I put in the oven, I over-baked (is that proper English?  over-baked?  Doesn’t that sound weird?) them a little bit (which I always do with our oven, you’d think I’d know better by now?), but even that batch was really tasty.  They just got better from there, and were (in our opinion) even better if they were kept in the fridge and eaten cold. 

This is just one of the many reasons I am addicted to Pinterest.  I love seeing all these recipe ideas, even if they aren’t all the best dishes ever, it’s fun to try new meals! 

Pin It!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Comparison

I love looking at old pictures.  It’s funny to me that Hadley will have more pictures from her first 6 months than I probably have from my first 6 years.  I take SO many pictures of her you wouldn’t believe it.  I probably need to buy some more back up hard drives to store them all.  Anyways, I was digging through my old baby book and some old pictures I have of Matt and found a few from both of us around the same age as Hadley is now. 

The only ones I could find in similar poses are these…


And for comparison:  I’m the first one, Matt is the second one.  I don’t actually know how old Matt was in that one, but assuming his Christmas pictures weren’t taken too far away from Christmas, he’s probably about 6 1/2 months old.


Here’s a couple more of me around 7 1/2 months…


And a similar one of Hadley -


I really don’t think she looks much like either one of us in our baby pictures.  Maybe a little more like me, but I feel like just looking at her, she’s got more of Matt’s side.  It will be so interesting so see if she favors one of us as she gets bigger!

Pin It!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unintentional Blog Hiatus

Sorry about that.  Apparently life got a little busy and I am just not getting caught up on the blog.  We’ve had family in town the past couple weekends and have just been having too much fun enjoying life! 

Here’s a quick re-cap iPhone-photo-style. 

First up – Hadley has figured out how to pull her bows off her head.  This is how I found her after our drive home the other day.  The actual bow somehow wound up underneath her in her car seat.  Ha!


Matt’s parent’s came in town, and his sister drove up to our part of town two weekends ago.  We did lots of eating…


Hadley couldn’t miss out on the eating…


and sleeping… 


and laughing!  This might be my favorite video of Hadley yet!  Don’t mind the little caterpillar toy wrapped around her leg.  She was playing with that before the laughing started and we hadn’t taken it off yet. 

Hadley had a doctor’s appointment for a little rash around her eye, and while we were waiting she discovered the joy of paper.  Literally – the girl went nuts over the paper she was sitting on.  This picture was taken before she all but destroyed everything within reach.  Maybe that’ll teach the doctor to keep us waiting! 


We also went to meet daddy for lunch, and Hadley had such a fun time getting some extra daddy-time in during the week!


And last, my mom came up last weekend to help with Hadley.  I had a doctor’s appointment, hair appointment, and then we had a dinner to go to with some of Matt’s coworkers.  It was so nice to have an extra hand with Hadley during the week, and an extra shopping partner! 


Hadley is showing off her new dress!  She had a lot of fun going shopping and getting to pick out some new outfits with her Nana!

Whew! Ok, now we’re all caught up.  I know y’all were all losing sleep wondering what was going on over here!

Pin It!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hadley’s 7 Month Photo Shoot

Here’s your monthly picture overload of Hadley.  Enjoy (said mainly to the grandparents)!


Pin It!

Hadley: 7 Months

Seven months old, today!  Hadley Ann, how are you growing so quickly?  You are such a sweet joy in our lives and we are so thankful for the past 7 months with you!  If your daddy happens to work late and misses seeing you before your bedtime, he sits outside your door like a little puppy and begs me to let him wake you up!  You are SO loved little girl.  It’s amazing to me that the Lord can love you more than we do, but He does, and I pray that you find that at a young age!

No doctor’s appointments this month, so these stats are just guestimates :)

  • Weight: 20 1/2 lbs (we used the Wii fit to do this one, so it’s super scientific)
  • Height: 27 1/2 inches
  • Diapers: Size 3, but we just started a box of size 4s at night
  • Clothes: Pretty much all 9 month or 12 month;  I even have a couple of 18 month shirts that aren’t that huge on you. 

Still no teeth for you, sweet girl.  You seem to go in spurts of really bad teething symptoms, then we’ll get a week or two break, then it’ll come back with a vengeance.  I was looking at my baby book, and I didn’t get my first tooth until just shy of 10 months, so if you follow suit, we’ve still got awhile!  We’re all praying it comes sooner, though!  It’s rare for me to catch a picture of you when you don’t have something in your mouth for those gums…


A box full of toys, and all you wanted was the spatula.

This month, in addition to getting your shots for your 6 month appointment a bit late, we also had an appointment at the Scottish Rite Hospital here in Dallas.  Your pediatrician (Dr. Khouri – we switched to her last month) referred us because we noticed the fat rolls on your legs were asymmetric.  That can be a sign of hip dysplasia, so she wanted us to get it checked out.  You did so well at the hospital – smiling and talking to the doctors and volunteers there.  The only time you were unhappy was during the ultrasound they did on your hips – but I think that you were just a little hungry and getting tired.  We were relieved to find out that your hips looked great and the doctor’s blamed the asymmetry on the fact that we’re not all symmetric, and you’re a little bit “healthy” as they called it, so it is more obvious. 

We said goodbye to some of our closest friends this month, as well.  Your first “friend” (I use that word loosely because most of the times y’all were together, one of you – usually you, Hadley – was crying) Brynn moved to China for 2 years.   We sent them out in style by going to Joe T’s in Fort Worth and keeping you girls up WAY past your bedtimes.  It’s hard to believe that when they come back to visit we’ll have to re-introduce you two each time!  Hopefully before too long you’ll remember her and they’ll get back to Dallas!


Speaking of friends, this month you saw a lot of them!  We got to see the McDermott’s (mommy’s friend Liz from GSD&M) twice!  Once in Austin to eat, and then once in Dallas (to eat again – we do that a lot).  You got to see our friends James & Kaylan again (the last time you saw them you were just a couple weeks old) and James’ parents when we went out to Lake LBJ, and our friends Dan & Katie (you love Katie – you’re always so content when she’s holding you!) when we went to eat at Chuy’s.   You also saw from of mommy’s friends from teaching Amy and Melissa and their kids for a play date.  You had fun watching the big kids play!  And, you got to meet daddy’s cousin Erin and her boyfriend Harold this month, too, when they came over for fajitas (are you seeing the theme around eating?  It’s no wonder you’re such a chunk!).  And last, you met mommy’s friend Sara (for the second time – you were just a couple weeks old when she first met you) when we, once again, went out to eat.  Whew!  We had a busy social calendar this month!

You are still a great eater.  In addition to everything you’d had last month, you’ve now also had: pumpkin, parsnips, chicken, turkey, sour cream (on accident – mommy was cooking and your hand was too quick for me), mango, zucchini, cantaloupe and watermelon.  You eat solids 3 times a day now and usually have about 4 ounces worth at each meal.  In addition to that, you still nurse 4-6 times a day, but they are pretty quick sessions.  We haven’t tried a bottle lately, but you are slowly getting better at drinking water out of your sippy cup.


Trying out some cantaloupe in your mesh feeder.  And a piece of a mum-mum (rice teething biscuits) on your tray.

Your sleeping habits this month were not so great.  I’m blaming it on teething, but honestly, I don’t know what the deal was.  Fortunately (*knock on wood*) you are back to normal, but you were wearing me out for a few weeks, there!  I can’t even write out a “normal” schedule because you were all over the place.  One night you’d wake up just once, the next you were up 7 times and screaming until I nursed you.  Maybe it was a growth spurt, maybe teething, hopefully just a phase that we are now done with!  The last few nights you’ve gone 11-12 hours sleeping and napping 2-3 times a day for 40 minutes – 2 hours at a time. 

You FINALLY rolled on your own from your back to your belly this month.  I’m pretty sure you’ve been able to do this for a long time, but you saw no use in it, because you don’t like being on your tummy.  You’re still not using rolling to get around, but I will be thankful for the ability to put you in one place and have you stay there! 

This is right after you rolled over to your belly for the first time… I think you were going after your ball.


And this is how I found you after your nap the other day!  That is not how I put you down!


Girlfriend, you are in-de-pen-dant.  You have never been a snuggler, and when someone is holding you, your arms are always out.  Daddy calls it your “wings out position.”  Just like this picture below (which was your first time to ride in the cart without your infant seat!)


Now that you can sit on your own really well, you don’t love diaper changes or getting dressed.  You know that you can see more when you’re sitting, so you don’t like being put on the changing table.  This makes it extra fun to change or dress you when you’re tired and cranky!  ;) 

One of my favorite developments this month, though, is your babbling.  You’ve babbled here and there for a month or two now, but you really kicked it in high gear these last couple weeks.  You just tell story after story after story and I absolutely melt at hearing your sweet little voice.  A typical story goes something like “dadaadaa, ga ga goo, boo baba, lala, ahhyaya yaya  ya ya yaa.”  Then you’ll finish it off with a high pitched squeal that I think only little girls can do.  I can’t wait until those words have real meaning and we can know what’s going on inside that adorable little head of yours!  Your babbles alone just make us stop in our tracks to thank God for the blessing you are in our lives!  Here’s a quick video of your babbles – sorry for the bad lighting.  You were on your changing table, and when you see the camera, you stop what you’re doing, so I couldn’t let you see.  Also, please ignore my annoying baby-voice.

Not a day goes by that your daddy and I don’t thank God for entrusting us with your life, Hadley.  I hope you will always know how loved you are!  You are such a treasure to us!  We love you!

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...