Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is It Almost May?!

Is it totally lame that I really want a bird feeder for the back yard? Perhaps someone out there might surprise me with one for Mother's Day...hint, hint;) This way more little guys like this one can keep me company while I'm standing at the sink washing dishes.

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is May 1. Where did April go? I blinked and it was gone! The biggest highlight of the month was Brad's birthday. He turned the big 3-0. I used to think thirty was old. Ha! I turn thirty soon too. Perhaps thirty is the new twenty, but I think these fine lines around my eyes suggest otherwise.

Nothing extraordinary to report. Just livin' life and trying to enjoy these two little muskrats. They are growing and changing so fast. Too fast.

This sweet guy turned nine months old last week and will be taking his first steps before I know it. It just doesn't seem possible that he is this big!

This painting has been keeping me busy too and I finally got it finished last week. I was asked to donate a piece for the Junior League of Birmingham's Bargain Bash silent auction and this is what I came up with. Can you tell I've got saltwater and sand on my mind?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

I'm enjoying beautiful flowers my husband sent me  - just because. Isn't he a sweetie?

Yesterday, Addi came running into the kitchen and told me the quote below. I thought it captured her personality perfectly...

 "Mommy!!!!! Brud-der is getting SO BIG!!...I better go teach him how to do that."


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Going Gluten-Free & A Recipe

Breakfast: Van's Waffle with PB, Raisins & Granola

I have joined the gluten-free band wagon. Until recently, I thought eating gluten free was for hippies and health fanatics. Clearly not for me. For many years, I have been so very tired. Even after 8+ hours of sleep, I often felt like a nap was necessary to continue with the day. I was chronically fatigued. Then after Bradley was born, I started having migraines. The migraines were a game changer because its pretty hard to take care of two little ones when you are confined to bed. 

Goodbye Gluten Turkey Wrap with Hummus, Fruit and Chips

A change was in order so I started doing some research. I found that gluten was pretty much the root of all evil when it came to my fatigue and migraines. The gluten had to go and it really has not been that difficult of a change to make. My daily diet used to look something like this:

Breakfast: 3-4 servings of Frosted Mini Wheats or Honey Nut Cherrios (I like cereal a lot).
Lunch: PBJ or Turkey Sandwich with Chips
Snack: Cheese-Its, Pretzels or Goldfish
Dinner: A Protein and a veggie or two

Its easy to see that sugary,  processed carbs were the foundation of my pitiful diet. Its no wonder that I felt tired all the time! Now after a few simple changes my daily diet looks something like this:

Breakfast: 1-2 servings of Chex cereal or a gluten free blueberry waffle topped with peanut butter, granola and raisins.
Lunch: Turkey and spinach on a gluten free wrap with hummus, fruit and chips (I didn't say this diet was low fat:)
Snack: Banana or yogurt
Dinner: Protein with veggie sides

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Garlic Spinach and Cheese Grits (this is actually one of the most delicious things I have cooked in a very, very long time! I substituted chicken breasts, used my own recipe for the grits and sauteed the spinach in butter instead of EVOO)

I have been eating gluten free for almost 6 weeks now and I feel so much better! After only a few days, my energy level was through the roof and I haven't had another migraine. I will preface that I have also cut out caffeine and a few other things to help alleviate the migraines. However, this new regiment does not mean that I won't occasionally have a splurge or two...like that piece of chocolate chip pound cake and macaroni that I had at Easter:) After all, its not like I have a serious allergy to gluten. But really, I haven't felt deprived in the least.

Recently, I got a craving for potato soup (which can be made gluten free!). My mom used to make this regularly growing up. When I called my mom to get her recipe, she didn't answer her phone so I started perusing the web for the perfect potato soup. I couldn't find what I was looking for so I just made a recipe up on the fly and it turned out surprisingly delicious. Brad and I ate the whole pot in one night! I'm sharing my accidental yumminess and I hope you like it as much and we did:)

Chunky Potato Soup

5 slices of Bacon
4-6 Baking Potatoes chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely diced
4-6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
2 cups of milk (I used 1%)
2 tablespoons of butter
6-8 oz.  low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup light sour cream
Salt & Pepper
Green Onion

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and saute onion and garlic in drippings until onions are translucent then set aside (I like to give the onions a head start in cooking because I hate raw onion). In a dutch oven, boil potatoes in chicken stock until fork tender - about 8-10 minutes (you want the chicken stock to barely cover the top of the potatoes. increase or decrease the amount of chicken stock accordingly). Season the chicken stock and potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Once potatoes are done add onion, garlic, milk and butter to the dutch oven. Reduce heat. Simmer on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Add in cheese and sour cream and season again with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped bacon, shredded cheddar and green onion.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Happy Easter It Was

It is warm today and I have on shorts. My lily white legs are finally out of hibernation. Those that dare glance my direction may be blinded by the reflective glare they give off.

Thankfully, despite the rain, it was warm yesterday too so the kiddos didn't freeze to death in their Easter outfits. After church it was time for the annual Easter photo opt. Easter is one of those occasions in which pictures are required like - Christmas and birthdays - but I'm not sure why. Regardless, I feel that it is my motherly duty to capture the perfectly posed Easter portrait. 

My children saw this little photo shoot as an opportunity to torture me with silly faces, whining, crawling, crying as I acted like a complete moron in an hopeless effort to get them to crack one.tiny.little.smile. After 152 frames, I got a handful of images to document Easter 2013. I guess my moronic antics were worth it.

Lets face it, Easter really has nothing to do with the perfect picture of smiling faces wearing our Sunday best, but everything to do with remembering that we have a risen Savior seated at the right hand of the Father. 

This past week we retold the story of Christ's death and resurrection to Addison each night before bedtime. While reading these scriptures, I was reminded of the beauty and power of this perfect sacrifice - powerful enough to change the world and yet save a lowly sinner like me. I pray that even at a young age, these truths and promises will be written on their tender hearts.

On Saturday night, we read about Jesus' ascension into heaven. After the story was finished Addison said:

"I hope the Easter Bunny brings me a really big bouncy ball so I can bounce up to heaven and see Jesus." 

Me too Baby Girl. Me too.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2.2

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bring In the Spring

It is past my bedtime, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I think bullets to shoot straight to the point are in order...

  • The Big Guy has a new skill - drinking from a sippy cup. Addi Girl is taking responsibility for this achievement:)

  • We made Cinnabunnies. They looked cute and tasted even better.

  • My Camilla bushes have been in bloom for over four months now. They have never bloomed for so long. In an effort to spruce up for spring, I incorporated some white blossoms into a few arrangements using only clippings from my yard and a head of cabbage. 

  • A lush look for pennies. I say you can't beat that. Nope. Can't beat it with a stick.

  • Happy Spring!

Waiting on a Warm-up

It is freezing here. I thought it was supposed to be spring. Instead I'm shivering under my electric blanket. Punxsutawney Phil, I've lost all faith in your predictions. 

Last week was spring break around these parts, and it was pretty chilly and rainy. No big trips or vacations for us this year so we had to come up with ways to keep ourselves entertained.

Most of our time was spent lounging around the house in our pjs. I love a good pj day. 

When I walk into this little guy's room when he wakes up, this is what I see. Those two big blue eyes peeking over the top of his bumpers.

It takes everything I have not to nibble on those chubby little arms. I could just eat him up!

Despite the cooler weather last week, we did make it to the zoo with friends. I think everyone else in town thought it was a good idea to spend the day at the zoo too. It was beyond crowded and I hate crowds. There are forms of  terrorist torture that I might opt to endure instead of fighting for a glimpse to see the giraffes. 

Even though it was crowded we had a fun time with our friends and it was good to get out of the house.

One morning running errands was on the agenda and Miss Sassy thought it was appropriate to dress up for the occasion. Needless to say she got a lot of attention every where we went.

We also colored Easter eggs. Until last week I hadn't colored Easter eggs since I was a little girl. I think I enjoyed it as much as Addison did:)

I read several blog posts via Pinterest on how to achieve pastel hues or brilliant hues with egg coloring. And how to make fancy dancy designs nothing short of artistry. In the end, I opted for the easy route and used one of those Paas kits. It worked just fine and we had fun in the process.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Football Ready

March Madness is starting today but this baby boy is ready for football. Auburn fans can only hope that we score more touchdowns this coming season!