Saturday, December 20, 2014

Take a Bow

Our Christmas vacation has finally started today and we have not budget from the couch or our pajamas all day long. This is one of the many things I adore about my three year old. Most of the time her activity level is unbelievably high and I can barely keep up with her, but then other times she will spend the whole day snuggling and watching movies with me. I attribute this to the fact that she is only allowed a certain amount of TV time during the week so when she has a day to veg out she is going to take full advantage of it. We have a lot in common.
She had her Christmas performance this week at school and was such a ham. She literally bowed after all her songs. She waved to everyone coming in the door. We also had some moments when I was holding my breath like midway during a song when she decided to grab the microphone. I was mouthing stop it from the crowd and praying the whole thing didn't fall on the group of unsuspecting toddlers standing next to her.

I had to make sandwiches for Avery's Christmas party, but because my week was incredibly busy with it being both of ours last week of school, I ended up getting a big container of Pimento cheese from Costco and a container of Buffalo Chicken Dip from Publix and making sandwiches with those. They turned out to be delicious and made my life much easier.
Since it was our last week of school too, we did some fun crafts with the kids. My coworker is very crafty and she designed these glasses for one of the snowmen we made.
How adorable are those? Our sweet little girl in our class who wears glasses was overjoyed. We also got some amazing gifts from our parents. I am really going to miss those kids when it's time for the baby.
I had a lot planned for Christmas break, but I think I will spend most of the time relaxing with my family. We have a ton of house projects to start, but they can wait until after the New Year. This is our last Christmas together just the three of us and I really want to soak it all in.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yummy Pumpkin Bread

When I realized I was going to be pregnant during the winter I was overjoyed. I knew I could hide the areas I wasn't crazy about in jeans and sweaters. I did not factor in the Holidays and all the extra good food that is at my fingertips. I've eaten my weight in chex mix and cookies this week. My favorite food I have baked so far has been pumpkin bread. One of my coworkers gave me this recipe and I am absolutely in love with it. I've already made it for my family and friends. I'm also including it with my gifts for Avery's teachers. Thought I would share the recipe.
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Heat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and ground cloves into a separate bowl, then stir until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth. Grease two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans and dust them with flour. Evenly divide the batter between them. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans by inverting them into a rack and tapping the bottoms. Slice and serve.
*This recipe makes two loaves.
I was blessed to have this girl help me with my baking.
Want to see what happens when you let a three year old mix flour?
It gets a little messy. Our end result was this:


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

24 weeks and 16 to go

I cannot believe I only have 16 weeks left of my pregnancy. And that's if she doesn't come early. Avery came at 38 weeks so I want to make sure I am ready by then just in case. We have been insanely busy getting ready for Christmas and all the activities that come with it. I only have two days left of school and I am planning on our family spending this weekend and the rest of the Holidays in a more relaxed state than the one we have been in the last two weeks. I finally had Jared take a bump picture today. I'm really bad at taking those every week. I'm trying to make sure I write stuff down so I don't forget everything.
My pregnancy cravings are tortilla chips, French fries, grapes, salad with Italian dressing, and the buffalo chicken dip from Publix. I feel pretty good except for a good amount of hip and knee pain. I keep growing out of my clothes and finding maternity clothes has proven to be no easy task. I'm not crazy about any of the maternity sections the stores in our town have to offer and I don't want to spend a ton of money on clothes I will only wear a couple months. The only maternity specific clothes I own are one pair of Old Navy jeans and a black shirt from Target. Everything else I have found at regular stores and just upped a size. My favorite store has been Forever 21. I've bought most of my tops from there.
All those tops were under 30 dollars. I started having to take picture of myself in the dressing room before buying because there is a fine line when it comes to buying non maternity shirts for your pregnancy. I ended up buying a poncho and looking so much larger than I was all because I didn't snap a picture to see what it looked like first. My husband tried telling me this in a nice way the minute I brought it home, but since he spends the majority of his time in t-shirts and jeans I didn't listen.
Avery has been keeping us amused lately. She felt the baby kick for the first time and was a tad bit freaked out. I have a feeling we are going to have some jealousy issues when the baby gets here. She told Jared that the baby would be his girl while she would be mine. The other day she went with her Emmi to the mall and informed me that "no Mommies or doggies" were welcome. She is such a mess. Much like her Mom.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My family doesn't need a perfect Holiday

As usual, I went into the holidays with Pinterest inspired dreams. I dreamed of a perfectly decorated tree and a house that Southern Living could do a feature on. Of course this was completely unrealistic for many reasons, some of which included being almost 6 months pregnant, having a very lively three year old, teaching preschool part time and the small fact that we just moved into this house two weeks ago and it needs a good amount of fixing up. I'm not even completely unpacked, Avery's bed still needs a bed frame and I was distraught over what color scheme to decorate our mantle. I felt like a hypocrite when we started our Advent this year. I was encouraging my family to focus on Jesus this season and here I was mentally checking out during our reading and going over the 100 things that were on my to do list.

It was no surprise when I found myself in a complete emotional breakdown this weekend. And it was the best thing that could have happened. Because God is so gracious and always seems to draw me back even when I'm at my craziest, I realized something. My family doesn't want perfection. They want relationships. And I miss out on all the relationships when my focus is stuff and trying to attain something that isn't even possible in the first place.

Think about your kids. Do they care if you burn the cookies or do they just enjoying baking with you? When we are in the car and Avery pleads with me to sing Anna's part in a song from Frozen, she doesn't care that I can't carry a tune. All she cares about is that we are having a great time singing together.

I do not want to miss out on the best part of the Holidays this season. The memories I make with my family. This season only lasts for so long. I'm going to blink and it will be gone. There will be a time when I will no longer be tripping over a toddler and feeling a precious girl kick in my stomach every night. And I don't want myself or my family to miss out on the greatest relationship of all- the one we have with Christ.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back to reality

We had a such a good, but incredibly busy Thanksgiving week. It did not feel any where close to a holiday week since we spent the majority of it moving. It is so incredibly great to be at home and settled. I have a ton of house projects I am looking forward to doing, but that will happen slowly.

Avery was escatic about being around her cousins. It was all she could talk about. That and eating "animal turkey". While unpacking boxes Thanksgiving morning, we watched the parade and someone was overjoyed when Taylor Swift performed.

I can't believe how good she did the whole time we were moving. Of course having empty boxes for her to play with helped. We havent even started with getting our Christmas decorations up. Our garage is like a sea of boxes. I am not looking forward to wading in those to find our ornaments.

During the move I had these two constantly at my side. There is nothing like unpacking with a toddler and poodle in your space.
We spent Thanksgiving day at my Moms house. It was a great day and flew by too fast. I ate so much food I could barely haul myself up from the couch.
I discovered last week that Forever 21 has some great tops that can be used as maternity shirts. They are priced good too. Saturday we had Avery's Christmas pictures done and while getting ready she came in my bathroom to show me that she had curled her hair.
Crazy thing is she probably did a better job than I do. Today we were back to our normal routine.  Now I am counting down the weeks to Christmas break. Over the holidays I decided to change my blog name too if you have noticed. After Tuesday I'm going to go ahead and change the address to Thanks for making the switch with me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All I do is yawn, yawn, yawn

We are still in the process of moving and I am beginning to feel like I'm drowning in boxes. Moving while 5 months pregnant is presenting a challenge. Since I'm not graceful without a baby bump, and a complete klutz with one, no one will allow to me to lift anything heavy or maneuver stairs. Unlike my middle school cheerleading tryouts, this ability to trip at anytime is now working in my favor.

I decided to go ahead and paint Avery's room before we put her bed in. This was the first time I have ever painted anything except the paint by numbers pictures I do with my toddler. When I told my husband of my plans, he was skeptical to say the least. However I pulled it off leaving only a few areas that needed touchups. When he told me he was impressed this morning, I felt like I had just won an award. I may get really crazy next week and attempt to make my own Christmas wreath.

I am exhausted now. Even Avery fell asleep in the car on the way to Costco tonight. One minute she was talking a hundred miles a minute and the next completely passed out. Since we still have a good couple days of moving left, I'm trying to conserve my energy by not going to the gym this week. At least that's the excuse I'm telling myself. I'm hoping we get settled in enough to be able to relax all Thanksgiving day.

Best part of the move for Avery is all the boxes she is getting to play with. Wish I was having that much fun with moving. Seriously though I am very thankful with how fast we are getting things done and can't wait to be entirely moved in.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We got the keys to our house and are all so excited. We have an insane amount of stuff to get done and things to update, but I couldn't be happier. We are actually moving into the house we have rented out in the past. It is smaller with only three bedrooms. We debated selling when our renter's lease came up, but felt like God was calling us back to this little place. It is affordable, manageable and doesn't stress us every month when bills come. I cannot even explain the difference in our lives after doing Dave Ramsey's financial peace plan. It is such freedom to live within our means and not be stretched thin trying to "buy stuff we can't afford to impress people we don't like" (that quote is from a book by Randy Alcorn). It does need a lot of updating, but I am looking forward to working on it. Before I wouldn't have even bothered because I always saw the place as a temporary house instead of a home, but God has really done a work on my heart. One thing that has helped too has been reading blogs by women like The Nester, who make every place they live a home. I have learned so much from the wisdom of those ladies. 

Packing and moving is pretty much what we have been doing all weekend. I ran to Target today to look for some sheets and ended up trying on some maternity tops. I made the mistake of trying on leggings in their dressing room and walked away determined to start my Brazilian butt lift workout tomorrow.

I can feel where the baby is laying sometimes in my belly from the outside of my tummy and had Avery touch it yesterday. I told her it felt like the baby's bottom. She looked at me shocked and reminded me that we do not touch other people's butt. It was hard explaining myself out of that one.

We will be spending the rest of this holiday week getting moved in and situated. I can't wait to be settled. Hope everyone has a great weekend!