Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Handsome

Happy birthday, my sweet man.  So patient, gentle, and kind.  Your commitment to our family is completely unshakable and I adore you for that.  If I'm having a rough day, you can charm me with your smile.  You delight in the laughter of our daughter and I can see you melt with every expression she sends your way.  A faithful man of God who is my partner in prayer as well as life.  Every night, when I kiss you goodnight and see you across my pillow, I thank God for this path He has chosen for us, and where ever that path may lead - I'm safe because I'm with you.  Happy birthday, my sweet man.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

From the kitchen this week

Lobster: boil water add a dash of salt.  Add lobsters to boiling water for 15-20 minutes for 1-2 pounds.  Remove, rinse quickly with cool water, and serve with melted butter.

 Sugar cookies:  I did not make these from scratch unfortunately, but it was late and Corey's co-workers gobbled them up anyway.
Gourmet burgers:  melt 1/4 cup of butter with 1/4 cup of Worcester sauce, add patties and cook to taste. (Only flip once)
Caramelized onions and peppers: melt butter in a large sauce pan add garlic and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add 1 large sliced onion and 5 sliced bell peppers.  Season with a touch of cracked pepper and salt.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft and onions are caramelized.  Turn heat down to a low medium and add a dash of parsley and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.  Serve hot or room temp.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Garden Prep

Meet the mini gardener!
 We have all been getting very excited in anticipation for planting season!  So far my progress has been:  leveling the area for the raised beds, setting the raised beds, and spreading fertilizer on the soil.  Word on the street is that plants like poo, so naturally, I spread some horse manure.  I still have a long way to go, the husband and my dad are going to Lowe's to get the topsoil needed to fill the beds today and my indoor vegetable starts are not yet hardened.  But we are getting there!
I had to transplant some tulips to the front flower beds
Getting a science lesson with Daddy: Earthworms
Pitching in!
While I was transplanting the tulips, Daddy and baby staked up a floppy butterfly bush.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Being irish and looking the part, I consider this my kind of holiday.  So from this pale, freckly, auburn haired, light eyed lady to you: Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Preparing for Starters

With this fabulous burst of spring weather, the gardening bug has already bitten me.  I thought it would be a great outdoor activity for us to start some little seedlings, getting them ready for the raised garden beds in the back yard.
It felt good for everyone to get some hands in the dirt.

Of course there was a break for some power car maintenance with my always enthusiastic helper.

Eventually, a few of the starts made it to the sun spot on the dining room table.  There they will stay until hardened enough for the raised beds.  I do plan on getting some other starts planted this weekend, pictured here are only sweet peas, beefsteak, oh-boy tomatoes, I'm thinking we will be needing a bit more variety than that!  My husband's only request is cucumbers. Easy enough.
In preparation for maintaining, harvesting, and canning the garden, I browsed the isles of the Green Valley Book Fair with my husband, Mom, Dad, and babe in the Boba wrap and I found what I think are the basic essentials for gardening:
The Homestead Handbook: The back to basics guide to growing your own food, canning, keeping chickens, generating your own energy, crafting, herbal medicine, and more.
 Incredible Country Store: Potions, Notions, and Elixirs of the Past and How to Make Them Today
  God's Wisdom For Your every Need.

Yep, I think I'm as prepared as I'm going to get.  This is our first year of starting a garden of our own (we've always had a large family garden at my parents house, just not here), so I'm hopeful but humble.  I plan on fumbling my way through this planting season and I'll try to keep the blog updated with any successes/failures and what I think I did right/wrong.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It was a far from perfect day.  A day full of trudging through stores, taking care of the not-so-fun errands.  My arms trying to push a loaded cart while holding a 32 pound toddler who simply will not sit in the buggy without a meltdown.  After check out I attempt to load our loot into the trunk of the car but fail miserably as everything topples out of the warehouse boxes, some rolling under the car.  I was exhausted, she was reacting to my frustration.
When we got home, I carried her inside, sat her in the living room and it was as if the previous 3 hours had never happened for her.  She was back to where she was comfortable, I was still drained.  After the groceries were put away I was hoping to fall into the recliner and relax for a bit while she played.  But when I sat down she began the process of enthusiastically trying to tempt me with every toy she could put on my lap.

It was then that it finally clicked for me.  She didn't understand that we had a challenging day, why should she?

The week prior I took her to the park to enjoy one of our few warm days in March.  I was very engaged in playing with her, crawling through tunnels and sliding down slides, when a woman who had been watching her children from the park bench tapped me on the shoulder and said "You are just the best babysitter!"  I smiled and explained that I am in fact her mother. (Imagine, a mother doing that?)

Kids don't understand that you may look silly to others.  They don't understand that you've had a bad day, or that you need to decompress for just five minutes.  They shouldn't have to.  Our limitations are ones we set for ourselves and when you do that it is perceived and mimicked by your children.  (skip to: "But Mooooommmm fill in the blank.")

I'm working on this, I still have the rare days where my husband comes home and I ask him for "just 5 minutes" to do this or that.  But I have taken the hum-drum "woe is me" out of my voice.  My dear child is not a burden but the largest blessing I have ever known.  Our choice to have me be a stay at home Mom is not a chore but a gift that my husband works very hard to provide.  I can not allow myself to make these imaginary boundaries, but I will work to see that my daughter sees joy in every moment, love in every action, excitement in every possibility, and a positive reflection on every day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Been Missing

I have attempted many times to get back into the swing of blogging again.  I felt as though I needed to catch up on all of the things happening between posts.  I can't do it.

After losing my Grandpappy in January, I have tried, drafted, and failed to put into an essay of sorts, what an amazing figure he was in our family.  So I think I'll keep it simple, because well, he was a pretty simple man.

He was steadfast.  Iron willed.  Strong.  Constant.  A Provider.  Hard worker.  He knew what hard work was and he didn't shy away from it.  He also knew that family was always a priority.  As a grandchild, I always knew, without it having to be said, I was loved and cherished.

I miss him terribly.  I miss Grandpappy, Nana, Grandma, and Uncle Timmy so much sometimes it hurts.  But as my side of the family gets smaller we also get so much closer.  Phone calls and visits become more frequent.  That's the blessing of having parents that live 5 minutes away and being one of four siblings - we have each other to lean on, to bring each other up, and to remember so much greatness we've shared.

I am so proud of my family, the way I was raised, and where I came from.  And Grandpappy started that.  Thanks Grandpappy.  I love you.
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