Saturday, September 25, 2010

17 Weeks!!

Well, I have made it to 17 weeks - hooray!! Feeling good still, minus the allergies! This means in a week and a half I will have my 18 week appt and in 3 weeks we will have our big ultrasound...though we are not finding out if it is a boy or a girl :( My husband is so sweet and selfless, but there are a few things he's very opinionated about...and this just happened to be one of them, well this and names...
So stay tuned! :)

Just wanted to say how much I miss my nephews and neices...I remember getting to watch Jack and Caleb last Fall when D & A went to a Bears game and now they are in Virginia :( Very hopeful to see all these little ones at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas!!

And last but not least...we have come to an agreement on the house price and signed a new contract this a.m....crazy! We are SO excited! Inspection is Thursday and hopefully all will go smoothly. Here's a sneak preview from the MLS listing - more to come :)

Youth group

Just wanted to share a couple photos from our Youth Group - we are loving it. This has been a great Fall so far!

Here is a fun one from Fall 2009 at the Orchard - can't wait to go back this year!

And a last photo...this was a fun and shocking morning event...never have had a squirrel just hanging out outside of my window before :) He was really cute and he just kept looking at me!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Productive Weekend!

Well, despite a bit of a migraine and some bad allergies, it was a great and productive weekend! I had some time to myself on Friday after having a headache all day, so I just rested, watched Letters to Juliet and made a late dinner of chicken and rice. It was really good - is it weird that I had never made that simple recipe with the rice, water, cream of mushroom soup mixed with chicken on top?? ha...

Saturday, we picked up a pull out couch that we bought from a thrift store in downtown wheaton and an ikea desk and armoire that Joe found on Freecycle. It's pretty crazy - people just list things they want or have to get rid of and it's all free...
So we borrowed a Land Rover made three short trips all around north wheaton and now have three great new pieces for the potential new house...

here is a new picture of the desk from

Here is a picture the owner took of the armoire - pretty nice for free eh???
we think we will use it in the baby's room if all goes as planned :)

So we had a guy friend help us move these items and I was wanted to make him a decent dinner since he was staying and hanging out awhile after, so I made another homemade macaroni&cheese recipe from Family Circle magazine. I just love their recipes. They have provided me with several great homemade mac & cheese recipes over the months that I've subscribed...

Four Cheese Bacon Mac from

Four Cheese with Bacon Mac

1 box (1 pound) cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2 percent milk
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded colby-Jack cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese (6 ounces)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.

2. Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain. Meanwhile, in medium-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan. Add butter.

3. Whisk in flour until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in milk. Stir in onion flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. In large bowl, toss together cheddar, colby-Jack and mozzarella.

4. Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 11/4 cups of the cheddar mixture. Toss bacon pieces with remaining shredded cheese.

5. In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Pour half into prepared dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture. Repeat layering.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil and broil 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

It was VERY good and the boys loved it. It made a full 3 qt pan size, which means plenty of leftovers!!

I also made a Chili since it's rare to find one without tomatoes and beans.....Joe is a little picky when it comes to those two items. So I found Chili Con Carne in the Oct. Family Circle also and had that going in the slow cooker last night. We will hopefully try it tonight!

Chili con carne from

Chili Con Carne

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 pounds boneless beef round steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
3-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
3 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
Sour cream, sliced avocado and cilantro for garnish (optional)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, draining any accumulated fat. Remove beef to slow cooker; reduce heat to medium. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet; add garlic and onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Scrape skillet contents into slow cooker and add corn and 3-3/4 cups water (enough to cover by 1 inch). Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.

3. When there is 1 hour cook time remaining, stir together corn meal and 3 tablespoons water. Stir in cornmeal paste, remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; cook for 1 more hour or until thickened. Garnish with sour cream, avocado and cilantro, if desired.

So with that - sorry for the novel... I can't wait for fall! I still need to get me a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks and make my first pumpkin bread, but I'll get there. And hopefully the first frost will bring allergy relief for me! :)
Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Photo from

People have been asking me about if I have had cravings, and I answer no not really. I've eaten A LOT of fruit, but I am realizing the past week or two that when I get an idea in my head about what I want for dinner that I HAVE to have it or I'm reallly disappointed! AND I start thinking about it around 9:00 in the morning...haha :)

So here is what I am planning for tonight! It's from the Pioneer Woman (she is awesome) her recipes are fantastic - some are crazy unusual or a little complex and some, like this one, are totally easy. She is so funny, gives fun advice on makeup, clothes, etc., her confessions are hilarious and she really makes me want to live on a farm :) Definitely check out her site if you haven't before:

Recipe: Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 8

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (15 Ounce Each) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Dash Of Sugar (more To Taste)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste
Fresh Basil, Chopped
1-½ pound Fettuccine
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)

Made it last night - it makes A LOT of servings - I forgot that PW has 4 kids :) But it was VERY good and super easy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I'm all over the place I suppose!
Watching the sound of music while I put away summer clothes and fitted shirts that will be of no use to me, hanging up some borrowed maternity clothes...and a folgers commercial came on and I was borderline between tearing up and crying. Oh. Dear.

Also - please pray for us as we decide between buying or renting. We are really trying to seek the Lord's will on this big decision. Thanks!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

14-15 weeks!

Wow, I can't believe I'm almost 15 weeks - this is all going by so quickly!
And Thank you Lord, we were able to hear the heart beat on Tuesday, such a blessing!
Here is a more in depth update, copied the format from a friend's blog :)

How far along? almost 15 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: still at a loss, around 4 lbs, but those were probably pounds that needed to be lost after my first appt :)

Stretch marks? Not yet, phew.

Best moment this week: Just seeing people so excited with us and just seeing my belly grow, makes it feel so much more real. Oh and of course hearing the sweet heartbeat!

Movement: Not yet, waiting for it though, should come within a couple weeks, Lord willing!

Food cravings: Not really...just eating a lot of fruit, eating less at meals (shockingly), just not as hungry overall. Guess I expected it to be very different than that, but I'm pleasently surprised...I don't want to get HUGE!

Gender: It's a surpise, names a a surprise too, so don't ask, haha :)

Labor Signs: nope!

Belly Button in or out? In - it's weird though, the more stretched my stomach gets, the more open my belly button becomes...strange!

What I miss: Oh nothing really, not too much has changed :)

What I am looking forward to: Picking out room decor and getting everything together in the next few months, having my stomach continue to grow and feeling more and more connected to my little one.

Milestones: The little one is the size of a lemon - that seems big to me!!