Sunday, December 14, 2008

Top Ten (Vol.2)

10. I am completely done Christmas shopping (now, if I can just get them wrapped).

9. So far, Kael has had two vegetable baby foods and has had no reaction.

8. There is only one more week until Bryce's surgery (seems weird to be thankful for that but I am just ready for it to be over with).

7. Kael is completely sitting up now (with no help and never falling over) which is great for entertainment purposes : ).

6. I am in a 10 lb weight loss competition with a friend and I am finally getting motivated. I want to lose 15-20 all together.

5. Chris only has one more week on his surgical pathology rotation and then it is on to autopsy which means a lot less hours. Yay!

4. Our neighbors

3. Our home

2. Rachael Ray held Kael's hand :0)!

1. All of my boys...seriously thankful for them this week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Top Ten

Sunday is going to start being Top Ten day on my blog. This is a list of the top ten things that I am thankful for in the last week. The list will contain all kinds of things...simple and meaningful. Make your own Top Ten list on Sundays. It is a great way to reflect on the last week and take time to be thankful for even the small things.

Top Ten things that I am thankful for this week...

10. Trader Joe's (dairy free chocolate covered pretzels, dairy free chocolate chips and Charles Shaw Cab Sauv for $2.99)

9. Benadryl

8. Brio train table for $50

7. Christmas shopping and decorating is almost complete

6. My old community group experience from Heritage

5. Bryce is TOTALLY potty and night :0)! There will be no more diaper buying in the house (Kael is in cloth)!

4. My sister and brother-in-law trusting in God's plan

3. Newhope Church (I am so ready for the membership class in January. We missed the last 2 because Chris has been getting home at 8 or after almost every night. We are really ready to get plugged in.)

2. Chris being on vacation for 3 days

1. Being reminded to SLOW down and focus on Him during this season and always

Friday, November 21, 2008

Coming soon to Cary, NC...

I am SO pumped!! Rachael Ray is coming to B&N in Cary, NC on December 12th for a book signing for her new cookbook, Big Orange Book. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!! It was the very first thing out of my mouth when Chris got home last night! Thank you to Tiffany Clements for telling me about this. I am not sure she really wanted to tell me since she really wants to go as well. She is a good friend. I'm not sure she could tell how thankful and excited I was through Facebook chat : )! Thanks, Tiff!!

I absolutely LOVE Rachael Ray! Anyone who knows me well knows that I make Rachael Ray meals religiously at our house! I would make her meals every night if we weren't on a tight grocery budget. I have two of her cookbooks and I am about to have a third when I go to the signing. I am really hoping that I don't act like a little schoolgirl when I go. I am all worried about what I will say to her when I see her. Isn't that CRAZY?? I mean, she is just a person. How silly!

Here are some of my favorite recipes (Most of these I can make without a recipe now. If any of these sound good to you and you would like the recipe and can't find it online, just let me know):

Classic Rachael Ray Cookbook
-Curry in a Hurry with Jasmine Rice (I seriously make this once a week. It is Chris' favorite. I use Patak's mild curry paste...found in ethnice food aisle in the grocery store. I also leave out the raisins.)
-Zesty Chicken Cutlets Parmigiana (The marinara sauce for this is SO easy. I use this now whenever I want marinara sauce.)
-Chicken Fried Steaks with Creamed Pan Gravy and Biscuits
-Herb Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese (just as a side)
-Wild Mushroom Risotto with Tuscan Style Chicken with Rosemary (serves a large party but I just cut the recipe in half)
-Rosemary Chicken Breasts, Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli, Tomato and Onion Salad (This was my first Rachael Ray recipe. I timed it and it really only took me 30 minutes. I used to make this once a week as well. I can't have the ravioli right now because of the no dairy diet so it is just not the same. The ravioli is SO easy and great as a side with ANYTHING!!)

Rachael Ray Yum-O cookbook (This is my new one that Chris got me for our anniversary this year so I haven't tried a lot yet. It is a family/kids cookbook.)
-No-Thyme Quick Chicken with Smash Broc-o-tatoes and Gouda Gravy
-Dracula's Transylvanian Goul-ash
-Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers (I use the Flip-Sides crackers instead of pretzels)
-Whole-Wheat Mac-n-Cheese for the Family
-Chicken with Rachel Ray's Apple Cider Gravy or Skillet Barbecue Gravy (both are SO easy and fast!)

These I got online:
-Marinated No-Mystery Meats (a marinade and gravy that can be used with any meat...awesome!)
-Brandied Tarragon Cream Chicken with Camembert Rice (great for company)
-Manny's Manly Meat Sauce
-Cinnamon Peaches with Sugar Biscuits and Whipped Cream (so easy)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Love You More Than Cheese

I thought some of you would want an update on Kael. I took Kael to the Dr yesterday to have them check his poop and look at his eczema. She tested his poop and found NO traces of blood. Yay! This means that the no dairy diet is finally making a difference. I can rest easy that his stomach is beginning to heal and that I am not cutting out dairy for no reason. It is a lot easier to "say no to cheese" when it is for your baby! She said that she doesn't think that I need to cut anything else out. I told her that his eczema seemed to get worse when I tested dairy the other day. She says that it probably just irritates his skin and that his eczema is mainly because "he is just an allergic kid".

She asked if we have any allergies in our family. Well...let's see. My mom and I both have A LOT of skin allergies. My mom also has late onset asthma. My nephew just had his tonsils/adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears because of his allergies. My niece is allergic to cow's milk. Bryce has skin allergies including one to mercapto mix that we just discovered (my grandfather was also allergic to it). So....I think we have the whole allergy thing covered : ).

I am happy to know that we are coming closer to a solution. The Dr is getting us in with a pediatric dermatologist at Duke. She thinks we need to go back since his skin is not getting better and he is so young. The other Dr had put him on a steroid foam that was working. However, this Dr doesn't want us to use it for an extended period since it is a steroid. Chris and I totally agree. She is hoping that the dermatologist will be able to give us something that is safer for him.

I love you more than cheese, my dear.
A Leiderkranz won't do.
Mere Roquefort wouldn't please, my pet,
if I could be with you.

I love you more than cheese, my dear.
I have no need of food-
no Goudas, Muensters, Bries,
my love,
I'm just not in the mood.

I'd give up Provolone
if you would have it so.
If you'd give me a
kiss, please,
then Swiss cheese
I'd forego.

Of Philadelphia Cream
I need no longer dream,
for I love you more
than cheese.

By: Sandra Boynton
Scroll all the way down to the last set of songs and listen.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here are some pics of Kael in his new Bumgenius cloth diaper and Bumgenius leggings...too cute! I went to buy one today at a store here in Raleigh while I am waiting for the other two bumgenius diapers and the WAY CHEAPER Growing Greens cloth diapers to get here. I think I am going to like these!

Home, Sweet Home

Well, I am home after being gone for almost 2 weeks. I left on the 28th of October and got back yesterday. I went to Johnson City to see my dear friends before they moved to Colorado...bittersweet. Then, I went to my parents in Greenville, SC. I had a wedding on the 1st and 8th of November (both in Greenville) so I just decided to stay for the week. Chris came down over Halloween weekend, but he couldn't get any more time off. It was GREAT to spend so much time with my parents and sister's family! Bryce had a BLAST playing with his cousins everyday! We really had a wonderful time. It is SO great to be back home with Chris! Bryce and I missed him like crazy! I don't think Kael had any idea that we were somewhere else : ). Now, I am trying to get all of my laundry done. I am getting cloth diapers in a few days so I need to be caught up on all the other laundry so I don't get behind. That is all I have to do though since my wonderful husband cleaned the house for me before I got home. It is so nice to come home to a clean house! While I was gone, I decided to change everything that I am doing with Kael to see if I can see improvements in his skin. I changed his soap already. I spent WAY too much money on some kind of organic soap that is free of anything that might break him out. I am also switching to cloth diapers and wipes. I ordered them last night. I was VERY reluctant at first, but now I am kind of excited about it! I will not have to buy anymore diapers since Bryce is potty trained. That is going to be AWESOME! I am also taking him back to the pediatrician to see about getting him tested for allergies so I will know what food to stay away from. My mom is coming up next Monday to be here for Bryce's surgery on the 18th. She is going stay at home in the morning with Kael and then bring him to the hospital for me to feed him. I am glad she is coming to help! Well, I just wanted to give you an update. I am going to take a shower and go to a store here that sells cloth diapers to see if they have any different ones (from the ones I ordered) that I want to try. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New favorite mommy product

So, I have found my new favorite product! Both of my boys grew out of their infant carriers (byrce in weight and kael in height) by the time they were four months old. This makes going to the grocery store very difficult. With the infant carrier, you can just put the carrier in the grocery cart. Without it, it becomes a challenge. I can only use the Bjorn baby carrier for short periods. It starts to hurt my back after about 20 minutes. I think with Bryce I just put him in the grocery cart and placed blankets all around him to help him sit up. It works, but I was constantly repositioning him and forgetting to take blankets.

I was at Babies-R-Us the other day and discovered the neatest thing...Nojo Secure-Me Travel Seat. I used it today and it works GREAT!! I am not the fond of the pattern, but it is the only one they carry in Babies-R-Us. I did find a really cute pattern on line that is brown with polka dots but it does not come with the part that covers the bar on the grocery cart. I really like for the bar to be covered so I don't have to worry about him putting his mouth or hands on any grocery store germs : ). I am so excited to have found a solution to my grocery store dilemma. WOOHOO!! You can click on the title of this blog and it will take you to the site to see the product.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Love Dare Day #9

Chris and I started the Love Dare book (the one from the Fireproof movie). It has been SO wonderful! It really just makes you think about how you treat one another every second of the day. You definitely don't need to have a marriage that is on the rocks to benefit from this book. For us, it is all about slowing down and paying attention to each other...particularly during the week when we don't get much down time together. Chris is in residency and we have 2 boys that keep us VERY : ) busy. Chris and I didn't get much "newlywed" time in our marriage since I got pregnant 2 months after we got married. This book is really bringing the "newlywed" phase back into our marriage. We are actually getting to take time (in between diaper changes and throwing bouncy balls) to learn even more about each other than we already do. I know this book is going to grow our relationship even more. I would highly recommend this book to ALL married couples!! We are on day 9...31 more to go, but it won't stop there : )!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've not been as good at posting as I was in the beginning. We've been busy around here. This morning I am packing to leave for Asheville. We are going to stay with the in-laws and go to our college homecoming. Chris and I always look forward to going back to Mars Hill. It is always nice to see everyone. We are supposed to go to Wild Wings on Friday evening. Mars Hill always reserves it for MHC alumni. I am going to test Kael on taking a bottle today. Pray he takes it or I won't be able to go.

I know I haven't posted about Crazy Love in a while. Honestly, I have only read the first 2 chapters. I am still as crazy about it, though. I just haven't had the time to read it. Now, Chris and I have started the Love Dare so it might be a while before I finish reading Crazy Love. I can only do one at a time : ). The Love Dare is good...hard, but good. It really helps you to realize how you talk to one another especially in stressful times. I will try to keep you updated on our Love Dare journey.

Kael is having some trouble. He had eczema and blood in his stools. The MD thinks he might have a dairy allery. I am on a dairy free diet until I go back to see her next week. We shall see. She gave me a great combination of things to use on his cradle was really bad. She had me take mineral oil and a plastic comb to lift up the scales. Then, she had me shampoo it with selsun blue shampoo. No more cradle cap...yay!!! He looks so much better since I took him in. He was starting to look kind of crazy with his scaly scalp and red skin. She gave us a prescription foam for his eczema. So far, it has worked really well!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A new home...

So...Chris and I have been in Raleigh for three months now. Honestly, it seems like we have been here for a year (and I don't mean that in a good way). We absolutely LOVE the area and we have the best neighbors ever! Our neighbors have definitely made this a much better transition. However...I still miss my friends like CRAZY!! is the good part...we found a church!!! YAY!! I can't stress enough how excited we are! It is called Newhope Church and it is in Durham. It is exactly what we have been looking for. The pastor, the people, and the worship are all incredible. God is doing BIG things at this church. We are so excited just to be there! We really believe that this church is going to be our new church home. Thank you to those of you that have been praying for a church for us. I really don't know how people go without a church home. I can't imagine doing it for much longer than we did. The community aspect of it is so crucial. I praise God for sending us to this church! We are so grateful!

You can click on the title of this post to take you to the church website.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Surgery for my baby...

Hello all! I just got back home in Raleigh (still feels weird calling it home) after being gone for a week and two days. I am SO glad to be back with my hubby. I had a GREAT time with family and friends, but I missed him! It was nice to get away for a while and see some more familiar faces. I left Greenville at 7 this morning because Bryce had a dr appointment with a pediatric urologist at Duke. Our pediatrician thought he had a inguinal hernia (for those medical people). It turns out that it is not a hernia but a hydrocele. For babies, hydroceles will most likely go away on its own within the first two years. However, since it is just now presenting in Bryce then the dr says it will most likely not go away. The urologist says that it could cause him problems if we don't take care of it. So...Bryce will be having surgery to correct it on November 18th. The surgery should only last an hour and Bryce will be able to go home the same day. The surgery itself is very minor. The only thing I worry about a little is the anesthesia. It is a little scary. However, I know God is in control and it will be okay. Thank you for your prayers. Pray for me to be strong as they are taking him back. I don't want him to see me being worried because I know he will be able to tell and get scared. Thanks!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Every second

So...last week Bryce had to go to the emergency room. He is COMPLETELY fine now so don't worry. However, the whole experience was terrifying. I won't go into detail, but he got really sick all of the sudden. We thought he had swallowed or drank something that he wasn't supposed to. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. We never did figure out what the problem was. I am convinced it was not a virus. I wish I could explain all the details of why I think this. You just had to be there or hear about his symptoms. It was not my son. It was so weird. Anyway...I really never even thought for one minute that I could love Bryce anymore than I did because it was so much. However, Thursday changed that for sure. Man, I love that kid. Thursday made me realize that I need to treasure every second with him...good and bad. Every second. I thank God for getting us through that day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ten things...

Ten things about this weekend...5 good and 5 bad.

5 good things about this weekend:

#1 Chris was home...YAY!
#2 Bryce and I got some one on one time at the pool!
#3 Bryce said, "Hmmm...licious" and rubbed his tummy while he ate honey rabbit cookies.
#4 Chris got a movie Saturday night and surprised me with a coke and a new flavor of Ben and Jerry's Sorbet...yummy!
#5 We walked across the street with "da boys" to pick up a pizza for dinner tonight.

5 not so good things about this weekend:

#1 I took my car on Friday to get a weird sound checked out and they told me it would be $1000.
#2 My car broke down on the same day that I took it to get it checked out. We paid $70 to have my car towed ONE mile!
#3 We didn't get to try out another church because the boy's car seats won't fit in Chris' car.
#4 I was supposed to leave today to see my family but I don't have a car.
#5 Hmmm...ok pretty much the bad things were all caused by my car and I can't think of another one : ).

We were very blessed that I was by myself when my car broke down. The boys were all at home. I was just a few miles down the road picking up a movie for Chris. Also, PRAISE GOD for having the money to pay for my car to get fixed!!! He is SO good even in the bad!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stop praying??

Weird title, I know. That is what I thought when I first saw that it was the name of the first chapter of Crazy Love. I am planning on writing at least one blog on each chapter. It is more for my benefit because it will keep me accountable and help me to work through what I am learning. I think Chris is going to read this with me which will be really neat to do together. However, that means he is taking it to work with him tomorrow and I have to wait till tomorrow night to read chapter 2 : (. Anyway...back to not praying. Obviously, it is not supposed to be taken literally. It is just to stop and be in awe of God before even speaking. It is to "stop talking AT Him" and start by sitting in silence and just being in awe. What if every time before I pray (even when praying before a meal) I just sit in silence and think about how HUGE God is and then start praying to Him? Go and watch "the awe factor of God" video on the books website. Wow. It is the most amazing thing. I will forever have those images in my head to help me remember just how AMAZING and BIG God really is. As my friend, Mendi, would say...SHEESH! Francis Chan gives a long list of things in this world that are truly amazing. They are things that really make me wonder how people can think it was all an accident. I don't want to give any of them because I don't want to ruin it if you are planning on reading it. There was one thing he said that really hit home with me about this. He says, "His handiwork and his creation all echo the truth that He is glorious". Seriously...with everything in creation that is so incredible and shows He is way bigger than we can ever imagine, why can't I remember to scream His praises every second of every day??

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another link for Crazy Love...

You should also check out this video of Francis Chan interviewing a 9 year old boy that read Crazy Love. It is pretty cool! Click on the title of this post to go to the website and look for the video titled "Jacob Herren".

I'm addicted

Well, I think it is official. I am totally addicted to this blogging thing. I used to tease my friend, Jessica, about her addiction to looking at blogs. Sorry, Jess : )! I think it is pretty interesting everything you can do. I mean, I can write on my blog, driving down the road, using my cell phone. Ok...don't worry, I won't do that!

I am hoping to feel better tomorrow so I can go to the bookstore to buy a new book: Crazy Love by Francis Chan. You can check out the link under "Link Love" on this blog. I am really excited about it! If anyone has heard about it or has any thoughts on it let me know. He has done a video for each chapter of the book. I am hoping that it will help me to become more in love with my Savior!

Monday, August 18, 2008


I just thought this was interesting. I have never been one to "boycott" a business because of things they believe or for what they do with their money. However, my reason was because I always said if we boycott every business that does things we don't agree with, we will never go to any business. Well...I think this guys reason not to boycott businesses is MUCH better than mine :0)!! Read on the title of this post to go to the article.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My birthday

Yesterday, my sweet hubby reminded me (not that I needed reminding) why I married him. It was my birthday. He was being very sneaky. After he got home from running some "errands", he made me drive around the neighborhood for about 20 minutes. When I was told I could come home, he took the boys and put them down for their naps. Then, he walked me upstairs into our bathroom. In our new home we have a garden tub that I am completely obsessed with. He had bought candles and bubble bath from Bath and Body, my fav cookies (geneva...pepperidge farm), crackers, cheese, a bottle of wine, a book, and a girly movie. He also bought one of those trays that sits on the bathtub to hold a book and candles. It was SO thoughtful!! What an amazing birthday!! I had said at one point that I wanted some bubble bath for our bathtub and he took it quite a few steps further. It was very thoughtful of him to think about giving me some much needed alone time!!
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