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Friday, May 30, 2014

Day in pictures

Yesterday I documented our day in pictures (no edits, no fancy filters, just my iPhone). I usually whip out my phone a few times a day if Ford is doing something cute but I thought it would be fun to take pictures of our random happenings. So... I present to you... a day in the life of a 9 month old and his mama.

Jon let me sleep in so he could have some extra time with Ford between business trips. He was back on the road that afternoon so I got some extra z's and quiet time. 

Cinnamon Life or yogurt with granola is my go to breakfast

Ford's down for a nap... this means chores and laundry for me

I managed to brush my teeth and put on some makeup at 10am...forgot to brush my hair, whoops

Ford had a blast at a water themed playdate (not pictured, the mountain of guacamole and strawberry margarita I indulged in)

Ernie can't let me out of his sight and loves hanging in Ford's room. Nursing before nap

Ford is into EVERYTHING these days...blinds are so fun.

He is pretty brave these days, trying to balance on everything, including Ernie.

Baby chasing is rather exhausting so we head to the grocery store to stock up for company this weekend (thank God for food pouches, great distraction while shopping).

Note to self, never get the "fun" shopping cart ever again. It is basically like driving a boat in New York City. Longest. Shopping. Trip. Ever. 

I am collecting formula for Austin Life Care so we picked up and sorted donations. Ford was so interested in all the cans... ironic because he never took a bottle... 

Rotisserie chicken, cauliflower, cucumbers, and yogurt were on the menu tonight...someone was having an emotional dinner.

The result of the above picture was a nice long walk with our neighbors to chill out. 

This is cheating but I can't NOT post these videos of Ford in the bath! First I notice he was crouching and popping up and realized he was playing peek a boo with me. He loves when Jon and I hide from him and pop out, it is so cute watching him learn and mimic us!

Then he just couldn't shake the giggles. 

Bedtime came quickly after bath was over and I finally got the chance to relax. Since Jon was gone, I ate leftovers standing up in my kitchen,  caught up on DVR, and sit down with my computer. When Jon is not traveling, we try to be intentional with the time we have alone and play games, sit on the deck, or just talk, so when he's gone, I try to be productive with blogging/computer stuff/crafts/chores/etc. And balance that with relaxing or sleeping. 

One more check on this boy and I am off to dreamland

Ford and his cousin Embry will be reunited later today! We are looking forward to a fun weekend with family. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for weekend pictures :).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Approaching Him

Today's Jesus Calling really had me thinking. Well, it's rare for it not to get me thinking but after reading this morning's devotional, my mind is dwelling on a hard truth. 

Is there a right way to approach God? Am I being obedient in when I approach Him? 

Taking a deeper look into my relationship with The Lord I see a steady balance between pressing into Him during the dark hours and singing His praises in my triumphs, which got me I living in His joy and peace in the mundane? Do I look at my everyday routine and recognize it is full of His mercy and love. It's so easy for me to call out when I am in need and to give thanks when I feel full but in the everyday movement of life I tend to neglect Him as my sounding board. Early mornings with Ford, late nights with my husband, a fridge full of food...these are His everyday gifts. He wants our hearts during the darkest trials, the brightest blessings, and the normalcy of our everyday lives. Nothing separates us from His vast love.

He knows precisely what we need to draw near to Him. He hand tailors provisions for our very needs. Do not reject His gifts, find Him in every situation. -Jesus Calling

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Panera Mac & Cheese

Panera Bread has the most delicious macaroni and are living under a rock if you haven't had it! It's rich, creamy, and filling. If you don't have a Panera in your area or you realize you eat way too much of it and need to save your dollars, you're in for a treat! This recipe is a copycat of Panera mac and cheese and boy oh boy is it GOOD. It took less than 20 minutes to prepare and made lots...perfect for leftovers. Ford even gobbled some down, and by gobble I mean shovel by the handful. 

Ingredients- makes 8-10 servings
16 oz bag small pasta (I used shells)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup white flour
2 1/2 cups half and half
4oz white American cheese, torn into small pieces (I had to get this at the deli counter)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp dry mustard seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank's)

1. Cook pasta according to packaging and drain
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot and add flour. Whisk and cook 1-2 minutes. 
3. Pour in half and half and whisk until there are no lumps
4. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer 8 minutes until sauce thickens and bubbles
5. Remove pot from heat and slowly add cheeses, stirring to combine.
6. Stir in mustard, salt, and hot sauce
7. Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce and stir to mix completely
8. Heat 1-2 minutes on low
9. Serve hot, enjoy!

original recipe

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

Last night as we were going to bed, Jon and I were talking about how awesome the past week has been since he hasn't traveled for work. For mamas whose husbands travel a lot, you know how I feel. I was almost mourning the fact that he's back on the road this week because I've thoroughly enjoyed his company and help. 

In light of Memorial Day, I also felt guilty for missing my husband when he travels just a few days a week. Jon is never more than a road trip or short flight away. I can text him throughout the day and he stays in the comfort of clean and plush hotels. He always comes home. This post by my friend Caitlin was enlightening... reminding us that Memorial Day is not Veteran's Day. Yesterday we celebrated the men and women who have lost their lives for our freedom. The mommies and daddies who didn't come home to their husbands, wives, babies, and comfortable homes. Knowing how many parents play the roles of both mom and dad while their spouse is deployed is very humbling. Those long nights where I am counting down the hours until Jon's arrival home are something so many military spouses long for. Knowing when their spouse (or son, daughter, brother, sister, etc) is coming home. What a luxury I have!

Today I stand as a proud grand daughter and daughter-in-law to 4 veterans and an even more proud American that I live in a country where complete strangers fight for my freedom. Thank you!

This weekend we were able to enjoy lots of family time, naps, tons of rain, BBQs with friends, and even a night out sans baby. Why do 3 day weekends seem to fly by quicker than a normal weekend?!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Facts

1. Today is our last day of MOPS for this semester :-(. Ford made treats for all his teachers and we will be doing a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party in hopes of cutting 50 shoes!

2. Yesterday Ford napped almost 5 hours total and slept 7p-630a this morning....who is this kid?

3. Earlier this week we visited some sweet friends and their 12 day old baby boy Judah. Ford was ALL about him and gave him some nice, non gentle, pats
4. I took an intro to Young Living Essential Oils class last night with these ladies and it was awesome! I've been using a few oils for about a month and look forward into diving deeper. What's your favorite way to use essential oils?

5. We put up baby gates this week... dun dun dun. Ford is into everything and quiet the daredevil. He is working on standing on his own! 

6. We've been spending lots of time on the deck this week eating dinner al fresco and playing cards. I love having Jon home during the week.

7. As of Sunday Ford will have spent more time on the outside vs inside. Took this picture when he turned 40 weeks and hard to believe I cooked him in that belly for another week!

8. Did I mention we put in an indoor pool?

9. I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of the Thrive Moms Prayer Team. I love this ministry! Moms doing life together. If you need prayer or support, visit here

10. Date night tonight and 3 day weekend for Jon!

What's going on in your life? Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finish This

My favorite recipe is...these chocolate chip cookie dough bars. My mom's been making them for years and they have to be the easiest and most delicious dessert ever. Want to wow people at a dinner party? Make them. 

I believe in...forgiveness. Colossians 3:13, "forgive as the Lord forgave you." I've shared about the gift of forgiveness and how to forgive on my blog, would love for you to check them out. 

I need to set boundaries...with my time. Since having a baby I've gotten better at saying no and not over committing myself. Laundry can go unwashed, errands don't have to be done all in one day. The "old" me would cringe but babies don't keep, I am working on living in the moment. 

I began living when...I met Jon. I led a happy and content life before meeting him but he unlocked spontaneity in me, helped me find a confidence I seemed to have lost, and together we sought the Holy Spirit in our relationship. 

I'll keep you safe, you keep me wild

Linking up with these ladies (Nicole {Three 31Lisa {The Coastal Chicster}and Becky {The Java Mama} Jen {The Arizona Russums}) for a weekly series called Finish This. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pretzel Bread Baguettes

Last week Ford was pretty darn sick with a nasty cough and I quarantined him for a few days so he wouldn't spread the germs (that didn't stop him from giving me a million slobbery, open mouth kisses though). One of the days I was getting cabin fever and decided to look through my Pinterest boards and actually make something that wasn't a dinner entree. I've kept a board for different types of breads I want to make sometime in my life (croissants, tortillas, Focaccia) and immediately chose this delicious pretzel bread baguette recipe. I've had pretzel bread sandwiches at a few different delis around here and to say I am hooked is an understatement. I was pumped to find that we had everything I needed in my pantry and I got to work. I won't lie to you folks....I ate half a baguette in 1 afternoon and split the other half with Jon the next day. Topped with butter or Nutella, this bread makes my mouth water! There are a few steps involved so be sure to follow the directions carefully

1.5 cups warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
4.5 cups white, all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten

1. If you have a stand mixer, things will be a lot easier. I however do not, so I used a big bowl and my hand mixer.
2. Stir together the water, yeast, and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.
3. Add in the flour, salt, and melted butter and use mixer to mix until the dough is formed
4. Place the ball of dough in a greased glass bowl, covered with Saran wrap and let rise for 1 hour
5. Punch down the dough and form into two evenly sized loaves. Place on parchment paper and let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 425 to prepare.
7. Heat 2 quarts of water in a big pot to a boil and remove from heat
8. Sprinkle in baking soda and stir to mix. 
9. Turn heat on low so the water is a slight simmer
10. Now you will "poach" each loaf of bread for 30 seconds per side. It helps to use slotted or wooden spoons. Basically you are letting the dough loaves bath for a minute.
11. Place poached loaves on a greased cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg. Top with salt.
12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. I baked mine at 26 minutes and it was perfect. You want the top to be brown like a pretzel but not burnt.

original recipe

Monday, May 19, 2014


Today is a good Monday. Our weekend was full, Ford slept in 5 minutes past 7am, and I don't have to share my husband with the road this week! Last night at a graduation party, Ford had his feet in a pool and was happy as can be. Summer, I am ready for you! This week will include pool trips, our new water table, dinner on the deck, and enjoy actually being outside before the blistering heat arrives.

A re-run of our House Hunters episode aired last night so if you are new, welcome! Hard to believe we filmed the show almost 2.5 years ago when Ford wasn't even a thought in our minds. Ford told me he appreciates our matching fixtures :).

We are so blessed by community at our church and had a beautiful send off to one of our favorite couples as they embark on their next journey in the army. Our original community group has multiplied into 3 groups and we are so lucky to get to do life with these incredible people! I never could have dreamed to have friends who become our family. 
These are the smiling faces of parents who successfully put their baby down and got to enjoy a wonderful night!

We made it to 4 of the 5 parties we were invited to this weekend and we wrapped it up with our dear friend Amalia's graduation fiesta. Ford was a hit, I sure do love watching other people love on him!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken Sandwiches

I am always looking for easy crockpot recipes to feed a crowd. This particular recipe came to the rescue when we hosted my family for a last minute Mother's Day lunch and I knew I wouldn't have time to prepare food after church. I love recipes where I have all the ingredients on hand too. This crockpot BBQ beer chicken did not disappoint!

Ingredients- serves 8-10
3lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8oz bottle of beer (I used a Shiner)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce, 16-18oz
Sandwich fixings- buns, specialty cheeses (Muenster was delish!), jalepenos

1. Place chicken breast in the bottom of the crockpot
2. Mix in spices, beer, and BBQ sauce
3. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low depending on your crockpot
4. Be sure to shred the meat as you go
5. Serve warm on buns and with toppings of your choice!

original recipe

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ford 9 months

9 months!!! I feel like I blinked and we are here, 3 months until Ford's first birthday. As crazy as this phase is (crawling, pulling up, into everything), I love it. Ford is such a happy and active baby and I really love playing with him now. My favorite is when he pulls up on me and crawls all over me, pure chaos and pure joy.

Weight: 20lb 15oz- 73rd % (I must have measured wrong last month but he has lost weight since becoming mobile)

Height: 28.25in- 46th %

Head circumference: 47.5cm 98th %

Well check Dr. appointment: we had Ford's well check this morning and he did great! He is getting difficult to wrangle because he wants to climb on everything but he was so brave and didn't even wince for an iron heel prick. Our doctor was proud that he is waving, clapping, crawling, pulling up, eating table food, sleeping, etc. She said at 12 months they do some "tests" to rule out autism but she can already tell Ford is not autistic from his eye contact and social cues. We did find out that Ford is anemic so we're going to add a multivitamin. We don't go back until his 1st birthday...someone hold me!

Health: Teething has been hard on this little guy this month but he's still SO happy so I can't complain. He woke up on Mother's Day with a fever and couldn't shake it for a few hours so we had a nice lunch at home with my family and napped the rest of the day. There is lots of ear tugging and pain when he lays down :-( so sad. 

Nicknames: 75% of the time Jon and I call him Booga. I also call him Shmookie, Shmooka Bear, Bear, and Jon calls him munchkin

Teething: Ford got his first tooth on April 17th at 8 months, 1 week old! It was the bottom right tooth and within 4 days, the left came through. 

Clothing: depends on the item and brand. Ford wears 12-18 month shortalls and one pieces, 12 month jammies, and 12 month shorts and shirts. He moved up to size 3 shoes and is wearing a 12-18 month swimsuit.

Diapers: cloth during the day and Huggies Overnight size 4 at night.

Eating (milk): so the bottle strike is back. I tried a bunch of different kinds of formula and he hated it so we have thrown in the towel. We plan on weaning by his 1st birthday so there is no use in pushing a bottle. Ford nurses 5 times a day, every 3-4 hours.

Eating (solids): no more purees and eating 100% adult food, yay! Ford has tried lots of new foods this month and with the exception of honey and nuts, I will pretty much give him anything. He often shuts his mouth and turns his head when we try to give him a new food but if we shove it in, he quickly realizes he likes it. Loves: greek yogurt, strawberries, roasted zucchini, sweet potato wedges, tuna, chicken, turkey sausage, cheese, Ritz crackers, frozen veggies (peas, carrots, corn), apple sauce, watermelon, cantaloupe, mac and cheese, pasta, pizza crust, pepperoni, scrambled eggs, egg/banana pancakes, fruit pouches, cheerios. Ford loves water in his sippy cup and actually drinks it these days instead of letting it run all over him. 

Sleeping (night): Ford is sleeping through the night but is very inconsistent. If he wakes up before 6am, we do CIO which doesn't happen often but if he gets up after 6am I nurse him and try to put him back down. Some days he will go back down until 7:30-8a and somedays he will play in his crib. He goes down about 7:15pm every night so sleeping until 6:15 is 11 hours. We are going to try to stretch his bedtime to later this summer but come 7pm this boy is a crank. He sleeps in his crib on his belly, in a sleep sack, with a few loveys. 

Sleeping (naps): hit or miss this month! Last weekend he took a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon which hasn't happened since he was a newborn. On a normal day he naps 1-1.5 hours in the morning and 1-1.5 hours in the afternoon. We've pretty much cut the 3rd nap of the day unless his afternoon nap is less than an hour. 

Social: I think I will say it every month, this boy is a social butterfly. Just today we were at the grocery store and he was "ehhh!" "ahhhh!" "eeee!" and so many people came up to talk to him. He is incredibly easy to make smile and so far hasn't had any issues with going to other people. He loves his teachers at MOPS and the ladies at the gym daycare. It makes my mama heart so happy when people tell me how smiley he is!

Likes: zooming around the house in his walker, plugs/cords/computers/chargers, Ernie, throwing the ball for Ernie, his busy box, swimming in the bath, playing "boo", being tickled, Mimi's glasses, a wooden mallet from a xylophone (he carries it around everywhere), bath books, foam bath letters, swimming at the pool, swinging at the park.

Dislikes: Ford has gotten used to Simply Saline every night but occasionally he will fuss for a second, he doesn't like when we take dangerous objects out of his hands/mouth, and he does NOT like the sound that the door stopper makes (picture below). This month Ford has shown some "separation anxiety" and I put it in quotes because he is fine going to other people but he doesn't like being left alone. He also doesn't like sleeping in....

New this month:
  • Crawling! Ford started crawling on April 21st and is a maniac! He is comfortable crawling on carpet, tile, and wood and of course he is into everything.
  • Pulling up and climbing on everything--- in his crib, on his activity table, on the couch, on people...aye yi yi
  • Can go from standing to sitting on his own
  • Echoing sounds we make
  • Waving on command
  • Signing "food" in addition to "more"
  • Recognizing mommy and daddy when we ask "Where's mommy?" "Where's daddy?"
  • Loves to play with daddy's glasses. You can ask him "where are daddy's glasses?" and he smiles and grabs them
  • Saying a specific sound for "Ernie" (video below)
  • Shooting his basketball into the hoop (video below)
  • Giving hugs, so stinkin' cute!
Fun things we did:
  • Went to Chicago to be with family
  • First trip to the neighborhood pool and loved it
  • 2 trips to the lakehouse! 1 with family for Easter and 1 with our community group.
  • Celebrated Ford's first Easter
  • Went to baby yoga at The Little Yoga House
  • First bubble bath... loved it but ate lots of bubbles
  • Took Mother's Day pictures

Mama: doing great! I've been blessed being surrounded by mommy community and loving this season with Ford. The closer we get to weaning, I am trying to make healthier food choices since I won't be able to use breastfeeding as an excuse to eat what I want, ha! I enjoy getting "me time" and going to the gym, I took my first class since I was pregnant and loved it! I also got to spend time with my girlfriends from college this weekend at a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I had so much fun and got to relax without worrying about Ford's every need... and yes I was that mom who was showing pictures of her baby at a rooftop hotel pool to a bunch of guys on a bachelor party trip ha! Ford had a fever on Mother's Day so we didn't leave the house but he put on a show for his Mimi and Papa and let me take a 2 hour nap. No breaks in this motherhood gig but there is no other job I'd rather have.

Daddy: Work has taken Jon away more than usual this month which is great but he hates missing out on Ford time. He swears Ford grows each day he is gone and loves spending one on one time with him so mama can get a break. 

What we are looking forward to:
  • Starting swim lessons this week! After seeing what a fish my friend's 13 month old was, I made the decision to start lessons with Ford...water safety is incredibly important to me and I know we will have a blast.
  • 2 graduation  parties, a going away party, and a baby dedication lunch all within 24 hours next weekend!
  • Our last MOPS meeting of the semester, we are doing a Sole Hope shoe cutting party which should be fun.
First crawl! Caught on camera 

Ford's word for "Ernie"

Ford shooting the basketball

Ford waving bye bye

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