Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baby Urges

A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting little Bailey Kate (6 lbs 8 ounces, 20 inches long, born on 10/16/12). It seems like yesterday we were just having the baby shower for Jill! Now her beautiful baby girl has finally entered this world. I'm so excited to watch Bailey grow up with Chloe! Hopefully they will become good friends like Jill and I have become!

Bailey was so sweet and content the whole time I was there. I really enjoyed being able to hold a newborn again (as if the baby urges haven't been strong enough already for me!) Chloe is getting so big so fast... she is no longer a baby but a toddler. It won't be long now before we will be ready to give Chloe a little brother or sister!

Little Bailey:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Outdoors after a Busy Week

Last week, I was really busy helping my amazing friend, Sarah, prepare for her wedding. Since I was one of her bridesmaids and Chloe was the flower girl, I had to run around and buy last minute items that we needed. Not to mention it took about 3 trips to the Mall and 2 trips to Target to finally find a classy outfit for Max to wear! I managed to get everything I needed in time for the wedding on Saturday though, and we all had such a wonderful time.

The wedding was beautiful and perfect! I was so nervous about how Chloe would behave as the flower girl, but she sat in that little wagon like a beaming princess as the ring bearer pulled her down the aisle. Then Chloe slept through the whole reception in a room out back which gave Max and I some time to just enjoy ourselves. Hopefully, I will have pictures of the wedding to post on here soon. Congratulations, Sarah and Tim!

In addition to preparing for the wedding, last Thursday, Max and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. I couldn't be happier that God put the two of us together, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with that amazing man. I love you, Max!

This week, I'm trying to make up for lost time and catch up on the indoor and outdoor chores. Yesterday, I finally did some yard work while Chloe took a nap because winter is fast approaching! I weeded out all my gardens and raked the front lawn. When Chloe woke up, she was ecstatic to be involved in this process. She would love to spend every waking minute being outdoors!

Chloe especially enjoyed playing in the garden dirt:

Time to go work on the inside of the house today... Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Back on Track

It seems like forever since I've written about how I've been doing with eating right and exercising.

This summer, I was actively devoted to living a healthy lifestyle. I consistently blogged about my progress through that journey, and inadvertently my blog readers held me accountable each time I posted. I think I was able to encourage them, and I know they encouraged me, giving me strength to continue what I had started. Thus, it was so easy to blog about goals I accomplished and hurdles I overcame.

On the's more difficult and embarrassing to blog about failures. I need to be honest though and can't pretend that living a healthy lifestyle is always just a bubbling joy. The past month my exercising has been slim to none, and my eating habits have been whorish boorish (accidentally put whorish instead of boorish...haha).  Truth is: we are all human and mistakes are bound to happen.

I'm not really sure how I got so off-track. Sometime just before Chloe's birthday party, I think I just got so busy and exhausted, not to mention my hormones have kicked back into high gear (welcome back, Aunt Flo!). Whatever it was, I ran to food through my anxiety instead of turning my anxiety over to God. It is frustrating to feel like I've backtracked, but I'm not going to let one month keep me from being healthy for the rest of my life. This moment, right now, is all that matters.

I'm 3 days back into eating right again so I think it's safe to say I'm finally back on track. I'm hoping that me stumbling onto the beaten path for a couple weeks will actually be just as encouraging to people as when I was following my healthy plan to the T. Nobody is perfect and fall-outs will take place (even month long fall-outs). I'm just trying to stay positive and do the best I can today. The days of past are gone and there is nothing I can do about it now.
Philippians 3:13–14
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Before I end this, I need to share another quick verse that my mom shared with me:
John 6:34-36
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
When I'm feeling anxiety or stress, I can't run to food for comfort which leaves me ultimately sick and unhappy. I need to run to Jesus, who is my "Bread" of life! I never thought about that verse in this context before but it was so helpful. Jesus is the "food" I need to comfort me during my weak moments.

This is a picture from my deck this morning. It's not too great of picture but it still represents a morning where I felt so much of God's peace surrounding me. As the sun rose through the mist and the trees, God seemed to be illustrating his love and forgiveness by saying "It's a new day, move forward with Me!"

I hope you all have a fantastic Columbus day! Move forward with God by your side. You'll never regret it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Although there are loads of butter and sugar in this pumpkin bread is the best I've ever tasted.

My mother-in-law, Wendy, made it this morning for "Mom's Group", and all us mom's fell in love with the bread. It was so moist and sweet. I swear that for every bite, an Hallelujah chorus sounded. Wendy got the recipe from Streaming Gourmet, and I immediately made the recipe when I got home. I added some cream cheese frosting drizzle and oh boy....yum...

Recipe from Streaming Gourmet

♦ 3 cups all-purpose flour
♦ 1 tsp ground cloves
♦ 2 tsp ground cinnamon
♦ 1 tsp ground nutmeg
♦ 1/2 tsp salt
♦ 1 tsp baking soda
♦ 1/2 tsp baking powder
♦ 3 cups granulated sugar
♦ 2 sticks of butter, really soft, half melted
♦ 3 large eggs
♦ 1 (15 oz) can of pure pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle (Optional):
♦ 4 oz Cream Cheese Softened
♦ 1/2 Stick of Butter Softened
♦ 1 1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease bottoms and sides of two medium loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

Blend Sugar, Butter and Eggs together on medium speed until fluffy and creamy. Add the pumpkin and combine well.

In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently until fully combined. Pour evenly into greased pans. 
Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean the top is golden. 
In the meantime, blend together the Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients until smooth. Set aside. When Bread is done, cool 15 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer to cooling racks. Place the frosting in a ziplock bag. Cut one tiny corner off and drizzle the frosting onto the bread, or if you prefer, just heap spoonfuls of frosting to individual slices =P.