Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Currently {2}

Thinking about: How I should be cleaning my kitchen instead of blogging...

Reading: This and this. As we get closer to the idea and possibility of another baby, anxiety seems to set in regarding childbirth. My childbirth experience was less than my ideal. Don't get me wrong, I know that the most important thing is that Ted and myself are healthy. And thankfully, there were no serious complications. But, when you spent nine months preparing yourself not just for a vaginal birth, but a natural birth, it's a little heartbreaking to see all that preparation go straight out the door and straight into surgery without a chance to truly process what is happening. Nine months later and I still get emotional remembering how it all transpired. I think about what if's...what if I had changed doctors earlier?  What if I had a doula? What if we hadn't gone to the hospital so soon?  Again, I know what's most important, but after 45 hours of labor, serious sleep exhaustion, very raw emotional state and feeling like you have no choice anymore, it's hard to just get over it. If we have to have another c-section, I want to be better prepared and have a plan for both a natural birth or c-section.

Listening to: I don't really listen to music regularly. In the car, I listen to talk radio or Dave, I'm not 64 years old. On Friday night, Jason and I had an impromptu game night with Scrabble, wine and some Pandora. It was fabulous! Jason has been getting into Springsteen after seeing him on Jimmy Fallon.

Watching: Speaking of Jimmy Fallon...I adore him. Thank goodness for Hulu! We usually catch up on Jimmy Fallon every few days. He is so stinkin' funny! I hope he's still "Jimmy" when he moves to the Tonight Show. 

Also, still watching Sister Wives. I know, I's ridiculous, but I can't help it. I just watched one of the wives give birth at home and...I was B-A-W-L-I-N-G. Seriously, tears down my face. Not just the show that's ridiculous, I. AM. TOO. 

Thankful for: Beautiful weather. I know I talk about missing Iowa a lot, but I honestly do not miss it right now. I don't know if I could handle the bone-chilling temps they are facing in the midwest. It's been way below average in most of the country. I am extremely thankful to be in an area that is above average right now. Ted and I took a little 3 mile jog/walk yesterday and it was so wonderful!

And...this sweet boy is NINE MONTHS OLD! Every single day I am thankful for him. It is so amazing to watch him grow and see him learn new things every day. I love watching him play, seeing his face light up when his dad comes home and exploring our whole house...a million times a day. Pure, sweet bliss.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recipe: Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes

Jason told me to get him some "breakfast stuff" for the mornings before work to try to dispell a recent donut problem. The real problem...Jason doesn't like breakfast food.

Jason: Can you pick me up some breakfast stuff for the mornings?

Me: What do you want? You don't like cereal, hot oatmeal, yogurt. You don't like breakfast food...

Jason: (interrupts) I like pancakes and bacon.

So, there you go. Problem long as I make him pancakes and bacon every day, we are Good. To. Go. Yeah, good luck with that one, babe.

I found this recipe and thought it was worth a shot for "breakfast stuff". As always, I made some adjustments. :)

My Recipe:

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Line 24 baking cups in a cupcake tin.
  • 5 cups old-fashioned oats (I used half old-fashioned, half sprouted oats)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water (may be a little more or less, basically to soak the oats)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp flax meal (soak in 4 Tbsp water) 
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds 
Mix all wet ingredients (bananas, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, flax meal), except for water. Mix all dry ingredients (oats, coconut, choc chips, salt, chia seeds). Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add water to fully soak the oats. (It should look like a banana bread batter). Scoop into baking cups and then bake for 20-24 minutes.

You can eat right away, refrigerate or freeze. They are super yummy after 15-20 seconds in the microwave.

Now, the real test...


Some changes I will make for the next time:
  • No oil
  • Use 1/2 cup almond butter instead of peanut butter
  • Add dried blueberries or cranberries

These were soooo easy to make and tasty too!!

Anyone else have a delicious and healthy breakfast recipe to share?


It's time to jump on this Currently bandwagon with A Mama Collective...It's been on my to-do list every week, but then something always seems to distract me and I forget. So here goes!

Thinking about: My word for the's DISCIPLINE. I need to be more disciplined in everything. In the way I eat - as I type this, I'm eating chocolate chip cookies. But at least they are from Whole Foods, so they are healthy right? Jason recommended we do a little Paleo eating for a few weeks...then he recommended cheeseburgers for dinner. So the word of the year is DISCIPLINE. I want to be better about eating, exercising, cleaning my house, keeping it clean, budgeting, blog more...basically I want to be more productive with my days. 

I'm also thinking about my new job that I will be starting and I am so excited for it! I am working with a private tutoring company and I can't wait to get started with some new clients. This job is so great for so many reasons. I will be getting paid more...wahoo!! This means I can work less hours and still contribute to my family. Which really means I get to spend more time with my little family. I also get to continue using my degree and work with young people. It's a win-win-win all around!

Reading: I'm actually pretty pleased with myself because I am actually reading a real book! Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. HI-LAR-IOUS! Jim Gaffigan is a great, clean comedian. He's a family man too. I love reading biographies. The last one I read was this. Rob Lowe makes me swoon.

Listening to: My sweet little Ted in his room...not sleeping. He's been so active lately and he seems to think that means he does not need his afternoon nap...or really any nap at all.

Watching: HIMYM. I heart Ted Mosby. 

I'm also slightly ashamed to say I am totally hooked on Sister Wives. Anyone else?! I can't help it! I am so intrigued by their choice in lifestyle. I have to admit, their sisterhood is impressive. I know I absolutely could not share my husband, nor do I think it's right, but I admire the bond of their sisterhood. And I think they are a little crazy. ;-)

Thankful for: My sweet, sweet friends. Seriously, I get a little down sometimes missing my family in Iowa, but then God reminds me of why we are where we are. It's all about COMMUNITY. We are truly blessed with some amazing friends. A few weeks ago we celebrated Lord's Day with 20 of our closest friends and 25 of their kids. (And there were quite a few who couldn't make it). We truly are blessed beyond measure and I am so grateful. 

And just because no blog is complete without a picture, or two...

So proud of himself

Seriously...can't handle the adorable-ness

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christmas in Iowa

I've mentioned before that I am extremely blessed to have such a wonderful extended family. They truly are the best! I was raised with all of my best friends and playmates being my cousins. My mom is the oldest of eight children. I have 26 cousins on her side of the family and now there are 26 great-grandkids too! I knew before Ted was even born that I wanted to spend his first Christmas in Iowa (I would love to say every Christmas, but we'll see). Even better, it was five other babies first Christmas too! 

Photos of Christmas Past

 Started with just a few...

 ALWAYS have family photos

Taking my role very seriously

Patiently waiting...

 Only 17 cousins this year...

Girls only!

We got too old for pageants...

 Let the games begin!

Because of all these amazing people, Christmas has never been about gifts to me. I learned at a very young age that it really didn't matter what I got on Christmas morning...the highlight was always spending Christmas Eve with all of my cousins. I can never remember what gifts I got, but I remember when I got to play Mary in our family's annual Christmas story. I will never forget my uncle starting the "We want presents!" chant just to drive his sisters' crazy! I remember having a cousins' talent show and games galor! But most of all, I know that when I am in their presence, laughing and sharing memories, I feel blessed beyond all measure.

Six babies first Christmas!

 Psych up for the baby crawling contest...

Ted meets Santa...

 Ted's first Christmas!

I told you - family photos EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR...

And this amazing lady is my grandma...she is the root that holds this whole family together. Almost 93 years old, she is the greatest example to me of what true family is. Her love is unconditional, her faith is unending and her prayers are unceasing. If my life is half as blessed as hers, I will consider myself lucky. I don't want Ted to miss any of her Christmases...

 Chillaxin' after the party...

 the next generation with Santa and Grandma Millie...

The ultimate baby whisperer...

This year, it wasn't just about Christmas Eve with all my cousins. It was about Christmas in Iowa with my immediate family. My mom and dad, sister and her new family, my brother and his family, my nephews, Jason, Ted and I being together. I can't even remember the last time we were all together for Christmas. It warms my heart just to think about it again. 

New cousins!

Snuggles with Grandma Mary


Helping Papa Lynn open his gift...

 Most of the grandkids...

 Family dinner at our favorite place!

This kid... :-)

Ted loves his Uncle Nick!

Even though Ted won't remember his first Christmas, I will remember it for him. I love telling him about all the people in Iowa who love him so, so, so much! I hope and pray that even far away, he will develop close bonds with his cousins in the Midwest, especially the ones that are so close to him in age.

Farewell for now, Iowa...back home we go!! My love for Iowa grows with every visit and I hope and pray we can make it back there often so Ted can have the experience of "cousins by the dozens" like I did. 

 weekly photo...Iowa edition

waiting for our plane...