Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sand, Waves and Fun - Here We Come!

We are off to Siesta Key this week! I can't wait to stuff my face with seafood and finally get a tan on this pasty white skin. I'll try to ignore the fact that I'm going to look and feel like a beached whale. This will probably be our last kid free vacation for quite some time so we are going to enjoy it!

See you soon! I'm so close to a Miami Vice (virgin, of course) that I can almost taste it. Yum!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our 2nd Anniversary

I really can't believe it has only been two years since this day...

I know it's more normal to say how quickly it has all gone by, and it most certainly has, but I can't believe that everything that has happened since that day has happened in these two short years. It seems like we have been together so much longer and that is a good thing.

We celebrated yesterday since we would have the full day together and marveled at how far we have come. How much better we know each other, how much more we love each other, and how many wonderful things have come from us being married.

I couldn't imagine my life without this man. He totally gets me and there's nothing better than that. I have no doubt that he loves me every single day even if that day isn't so great. Before this year is out we will truly have a family which will bring on even more learning experiences. I'm sure it won't always be a smooth road, but there is no one else I would rather take that ride with than him.
I love you Michael and look forward to the many, many more years to come!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Place to Lay His Head

Finally! Our little boy will have a place to sleep at night. Although the room is still pink, we did finally make a decision on a crib.

And yes, I did find bedding as well, but I'm not quite ready to share that just yet (hence the reason this pic is in black and white). I am oh so sneaky! We finally decided to purchase our crib and other things at JC Penney's. Excitingly enough we also got free shipping which was a huge plus and it came with a free crib mattress. Perfect!

The only cribs that I have really liked have been the sleigh crib style. Unfortunately they also tend to show all the hardware. Fortunately this one had a lot less showing than most. We also struggled with the color. I wanted an espresso or cherry one initially, but after finding that wonderful white dresser at the flea market, we decided to go with white.

Hopefully we will be able to add in enough blue to make it a little more boyish, although I have to admit that the whole boy/childish decorating is not something I have mastered quite yet. I do think that the nursery needs to be more to the parent's liking though at this point considering we will have to be in there so much in the beginning. There will be some fun elements for sure though to keep him interested and entertained. Once he forms his own little opinions we will definitely decorate more to his taste!

The only complaint about the crib I do have is that it had a couple of chips (nothing major) but I think we can cover that up with some paint. Also it had a ridiculous amount of stickers on it. I spent lots of time trying to pick them off and I still need to attack them with goo-gone.

I'm still waiting for a couple of things to come in that I have ordered, I've picked out paint, and have a few projects that I need to tackle. I am putting the nursery purchases back on hold though for a little while, because this month is unfortunately shaping up to be a budget busting month. Between car problems, nursery purchases, and a vacation coming up...our wallets could use a rest.

Oh me, the costs of getting ready for kids! Yikes. The start up cost is not fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happiness Project - Focusing on Relationship Issues

...for other posts related to the Happiness Project please check out my side bar.

Chapter 2 of the Happiness Project is entitled Remember Love. Although the majority of this chapter dealt with marriage, which I'll get to later, the part that I needed to read the most was really about other relationships. This hit home with me because, without getting too specific, I do have a person in my life that I have a damaged relationship with and was a source of unhappiness in my life.

Last year I focused on just letting things go. I had a lot of hatred built up along with other insecurities that really needed to be addressed. This person and I stopped all forms of communication and to be honest - it was for the best. It gave me the time to sort through a lot of feelings and to decide what to do about it with a clear head.

In March of this year we actually began communicating again. It is nowhere near a regular relationship and I honestly can't say at this point if we will continue to be in each others lives, but what I can say is that I'm learning how to deal with it more effectively and when it comes to happiness - that's what matters most.

There are two very important things I have learned this year. The first is forgiveness and the second is that you can't change others, only yourself. For me they kind of go hand in hand. I learned that for my own health I needed to forgive this person even if they didn't forgive me. Without forgiveness, I couldn't free myself of the hatred I felt. Without forgiveness, I couldn't look for a fresh start. Without forgiveness, I couldn't deal with things calmly.

Forgiveness is so much easier said than done. It means that you have to let go of all the thoughts of "but they did this" and "but that's on them" and "well if they hadn't been like this". You honestly have to let it all wash away and that is not easy. It doesn't mean that you have to let them do those things all over again, or even have them in your life, but you have to let go of all the negative thoughts.

After the forgiveness, I focused on the fact that I personally could never make this person change their ways to my liking. The only person I have control of is myself. Through that knowledge I am now able to control my actions better. This person may try to get under my skin and make me blow up as I used to, but now they can't because I am in complete control of my actions. I may not be able to control how they react, but with my new outlook I can better manage myself and control my own temperament and the things that come out of my mouth.

The third thing that I learned from the book is that I should stop expecting people to acknowledge things that I have done. They don't have to send me a card on my birthday just because I have sent them one. They don't have to praise me for a meal I cooked or thank me for something little I have done for them because in all honesty I am doing it because I want to and that should be enough. I used to feel a little bit jaded because I felt like people didn't appreciate me or the certain amount of effort it took me to do certain things, but after reading this I realized that it is true...I am doing it for myself because it makes me happy and there is nothing wrong with that.

Overall my biggest lesson this year is that I have to make the choices in life that I can live with. I have to do things for me, and I don't say that in some individualistic way that I never think of anyone else, I say it because in order to make other people happy, I have to be happy. If I take the time to really think about the choices that I make in life, I can remove all the bad feelings of guilt, remorse, anger, shame and envy. I can really be a happy person and that knowledge is truly freeing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's to Eat? Wednesday - Fresh Cherry Pie

My favorite pie is cherry and a couple of weeks ago, I had such a strong craving for it that I just had to make one.

Fresh Cherry Pie


2 tablespoons uncooked quick-cooking tapioca
6 cups (about 2 pounds) pitted sweet cherries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (15-oz) package refrigerated pie dough
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (I was totally cheap and used regular sugar)


Place tapioca in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Combine tapioca, cherries, and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; toss well. Let cherry mixture stand 30 minutes; stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll 1 (9-inch) dough portion into an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge of plate. Spoon cherry mixture and any remaining liquid into dough. Roll remaining (9-inch) dough portion into a 12-inch circle. Cut dough into 12 (1-inch wide) strips (I used a pizza cutter for this); arrange in a lattice pattern over cherry mixture. Fold edges under; crimp.

Combine 2 tablespoons water and egg white in a small bowl. Brush the egg white mixture over dough on top of pie and sprinkle dough evenly with 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Shield edges of pie crust with foil, and bake an additional 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is thick and bubbly. Cook pie in pan for 45 minutes on a wire rack.

(Yum! Recipe thanks to

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beans, Beans, Beans!

It's been amazing to watch our little garden grow. Our pole beans are now toppling over the trellis and the fence and we have green tomatoes galore.

You just really need to click back to my post from 5/25 to truly appreciate all the growth that has taken place in such a short time.

We have solved some of our over crowding problems by putting metal rings around the bush beans to keep them in place and by tying back the tomato plants. Things seem to be going better and look a little less messy as well.

We actually have several squash blossoms blooming and one little squash starting to grown. I can't wait for fresh yellow squash. Yum!

We have found a couple of pests. We have identified our eggplant destroyers as flea beetles and have recently purchased some organic spray to help get rid of them called Ecosense. I sprayed it today and will surely update you on it's results. We also encountered some really nasty slugs today and have plans to set out beer traps tomorrow.

Our biggest success so far has to be our bush beans. Look how big they have gotten!

Here are all the beans we harvested today off of our 1st bush bean plant. We actually have 3 more bush bean square sections that are not quite ready just yet because we planted those from seeds. This one had a little start since I bought it in plant form.

After we harvested I began to prepare them for freezing. I have read that fresh beans only keep about 3 days in the fridge so I decided to go ahead and freeze them so I had a little more time to do what I want with them. Hint: Be on the look out for bean recipes on What's to Eat? Wednesday in the near future.

The first step to the freezing process is to cut off the ends. You can also cut them into thirds if you like, but I decided to leave mine whole since I don't really have a plan on recipes yet. After you do your snipping you rinse them off and drain.

Now bring a large pot of water to boil and drop in about 4-6 cups of beans. Cover with a lid and let boil for 4 minutes. Get a slotted spoon and drop them into an ice bath for about 5 minutes then drain.

Finally dry them off a bit and throw them in a freezer bag. I used three 1 quart bags for this particular harvest and filled them up halfway. That way I can just thaw what I need when I need it. Put a date on them and throw them in the freezer. They will stay good up to a year. Yay! Fresh beans for a while!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Very Overdue Pregnancy Update

When was the last time I did a pregnancy update? Week 18? Week 17? Wow. I'm so behind. Honestly I have been so scattered lately it's not even funny and yes, I'm going to totally blame it on pregnancy.

So anyways, I'm currently at week 23. I've been a slacker at taking pictures and making them blog worthy so the last pics I have to show you are from week 19 and 20. I have week 21, but for some reason blogger wants to make it upside I said screw it. Here is a glimpse at all the growth that has taken place...

...and I would venture to say that I've grown a lot more in the 3 weeks since this last picture.

I have been feeling great the only complaint I have is that my back has been hurting lately. I think that might be due to the 4 hour canoe trip we took over the Memorial Day weekend. Don't worry I did absolutely no paddling, but I think the bumpy ride was enough to cause some pain. Basically now I am bath lover. I pretty much take one every other night now and it's awesome and helps me go right to sleep.

Our last few doctors appointments have been pretty uneventful. We went over the ultrasound pictures with our doctor and everything was as it should be. I have gained about 12 pounds so far and I want to say a bulk of it was due to the week and a half of candy cravings I had. I'm going to have to be careful with my sugar intake from here on out to make sure I keep myself in check. Not that 12 pounds is a bad place to be, it's perfectly normal, I'd just like to keep it that way.

There has been some progress on the nursery which I plan to share soon. We've also picked a name but I'm not quite ready to share just yet. Baby boy has also received his first gift from my good friend, Amy who happens to be the first person to have sent me a wedding gift as well. She is on top of it!

How cute is that froggy wrap for bath time??? She also sent us the Coldplay Lullaby CD which I have yet to listen to, but I'm sure it will be wonderful.

Oh and I haven't told you the best news yet! I have been feeling him move since about week 19 and each week I can tell that he is getting stronger and stronger. Today for some reason he has been kicking really low which is kind of a weird feeling. When we did our ultrasound, the tech informed me that the reason it had taken me so long to feel him was because my placenta is mostly in front where my belly is instead of towards my back. It's nothing to worry about, it's just added extra padding causing me not to feel the baby as much.

I think that about wraps up all the updates for now. I just have to say that I feel so blessed to be having a wonderful and mostly uneventful pregnancy experience and I hope everything continues to go as smoothly.
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