DSC_4013To say the birth of my daughter hasn’t been one of the biggest highlights of my life would be a complete lie. Anyone would know that. I over-picture, over-talk about, over-love my little girl. She has been an absolute joy to raise these last 2.5 years. We knew we wanted more than one child, so when we were ready we tried for number 2. Needless to say, we were successful! 

This pregnancy has been completely different from the first. Morning sickness, discomfort, insomnia, sciatic pain…all while still working full time and raising a toddler. But one thing has remained constant; the questioning of what’s to come. The transition for our family, for little M, who the world revolves around, and the question a lot of mom’s going from one to two may have: how can I love another child as much as I have loved the first?

Little M is just so special. She brings joy to all she meets, greets every stranger, throws tantrums like you wouldn’t believe, is super witty and expressive, loves to “shake it”, sing, make goofy faces and give a hug and kiss until “mmkay, all done”. She is smart, playful, stubborn, and a sponge.

I do worry about how she will be as a big sister. I pray over the bond her and little G will have. I pray over her heart and mind being open and understanding right off the bat with this transition. I pray over our family as we prepare financially. And I pray over little G that he is a calm, chill guy who will just fit right in with the crew. I pray over my husband as he takes on a lot of responsibility for our family – that God blesses him in his career and provides for our family as he has so done in the past.

I am looking forward to all the good times that are coming. I am praying for strength and patience during all the hard days that are coming. I am saying ‘thank you’ for all the blessings we have and are given daily. DSC_7860lr

All during my pregnancy I craved a fresh sandwich with loads of ham and turkey. The problem? You can’t have ham and turkey while pregnant unless you want to scorch it first and make it like a weird piece of leather. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Since we had about a million camping trips planned this summer, I needed to come up with a lunch meal that would be easy, fast and something that would pack in the cooler well. Enter the most delicious Chicken Salad. I used a recipe off the can, but added in a few of my own additions, and this completely hit the spot! DSC_3920

Ingredients:

(2) 12.5 oz cans of Chunk chicken breast, drained

2-4 Celery sticks, cleaned and diced

1 cup dried cranberries

1 to 1.5 cup Mayonnaise (to taste and texture)

2 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Honey dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup pecans (optional)

1 head of romaine lettuce

12 croissant rolls

Directions:

  1. Drain chicken breast and place aside in large bowl. I usually take a fork, or whatever I’m using the mix, and start to smash and separate the chicken as I put it in.
  2. Dice the celery sticks into small pieces and add to the chicken.
  3. Add the cranberries and pecans.
  4. Add the mayonnaise and honey and start to mix all together. I sometimes add more mayonnaise as preferred to taste and texture.
  5. Add the salt and pepper, mix again, taste. Add more if you need to!
  6. Chill for an hour or more.
  7. Cut open the croissant rolls for a sandwich with the lettuce, or use the lettuce as a lettuce wrap for a delicious, healthy meal!

Enjoy!

Everyone loves a nice wreath to hang on the door, especially when Fall comes around! I love the look of burlap wreaths and wanted to try my hand at making my own so that I could add some of my own style into it. It was surprisingly easy, once I got the hang of it, and was a perfect Crafternoon activity.

You will need more burlap than you think – and so I will suggest buying more upfront. If you don’t use it all, you can either return some that is unopened, or find something else to do with it! Burlap is so versatile and looks good with many different colors, especially in the fall.

I wanted to make a wreath that I could have up year round, so I added white accents to it. It felt light for the Summer, and will transition nice during the Winter.

Supplies:

12 inch metal wreath

2-3 rolls of burlap

1 roll of lace burlap (optional)

Moldable wire

Scissors

Decorative pieces (flowers, wood letter, etc)

Hot glue gun and burlap string (optional for wood letter fastening)

Directions:

  1. Gather up all the supplies and give yourself a workspace with plenty of roomDSC_3758
  2. Unroll the burlap and weave the wire through the very top. Leave about an inch of wire on each end, and cut the wire with the scissors. DSC_3759
  3. Fold the burlap in half and then half again. DSC_3763
  4. With the top piece gathered that has the wire weaved through it, grab the top and bring it through the first inside wire of the wire wreath. Choose any starting point on the wire wreath. DSC_3764
  5. Fasten the silver moldable wire around the first inner wire of the wreath. DSC_3767
  6. While holding the burlap that was just fastened to the inner wire, gently pull up the burlap about 2-3″ in the first row. Repeat for rows two and three. DSC_3771DSC_3772
  7. Taking your hand, bunch up the three loops that you just pulled through the wire wreath. Holding them securely, pick up the metal wreath and take the fabric hanging from below (the excess fabric connected to the rest of the roll of burlap) and twist the single burlap fabric 2-3 times. DSC_3773DSC_3775
  8. Take the fabric that is hanging below the twisted part and feed it back up through the first metal wreath ring (as you did in the beginning) and do the 3 loop feed again. DSC_3771DSC_3776
  9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 all around the metal frame. DSC_3778DSC_3781
  10. You may want to turn the wreath over and “fluff” the burlap as you go, to make sure you are evenly distributing the burlap. DSC_3783
  11. Optional step: Add in lace detail burlap. I added the lace burlap right into the frame, as I had done with steps 6 through 8 leaving one whole section lace burlap only. I then took one long strand and fed it throughout the middle for added detail. I did this by just looping the lace ribbon through the middle metal wreath frame every 3-4″ section. DSC_3784
  12. Also optional is to add any decorative details you may have picked up, such as flowers, wood letters, etc. I used these lovely white flowers that came with metal ties attached. I simply attached the flowers by using the metal fasteners and fastening it to the wire wreath or directly on the burlap, depending on placement. 
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  13. I added the “D” by hot gluing burlap string to the back of the letter and tying it around the wreath. Its a bit tricky to get it on tight enough that it holds it on straight. I used a bit of trial and error with this part! DSC_3792

It’s done! I love having this welcome me home everyday! It’s a lovely piece that brightens up my entryway and welcomes guests to our home.

Let me know how your wreath turns out!

Busy. Busy, busy, busy.

I had a friend look me square in the face and bluntly say “You guys have been way too busy.” It was one of those times where you wanted to get offended, but felt that conviction of how absolutely right they were, so you could only humble yourself. Being busy doesn’t please God. There is no check-in with how many things you can do in one summer. I think we didn’t hear that memo.

I have a terribly hard time saying “No” to things. I either feel like I will be left out, miss something, or just want to be included in everything. It’s a problem. Something I wrote about before. 

It’s hard to say the summer has been fully fun with all of the jam-packed activities we have had. Between dinners with friends, concerts, family reunions, camping trips, AZ sister trip – that sounds like one full summer of adventure. It definitely was, but there is a need to sloooow things down. I feel it in my bones. Or maybe that’s the 7month pregnant body talking…

I think God was also trying to tell us to ‘just stop it’. While the summer was full of activities, there was also something that went majorly wrong. You would have thought we got the hint. We didn’t. Let me recap for you:

  1. Memorial weekend, Riffe Lake camping: Last minute planning gave us very little to choose from when it came to campgrounds. The one we picked was tiny, wet, located on a steep hill with no water access. It was a shame to even call it “Riffe Lake Campground”. It was a small, private campground that while fun for those who want to party till the wee-hours would love {we’ve been there, no shame in that, just not there now with a toddler, tent and a pregnant angry mama}. It was so bad on our first night {people yelling and screaming until 4am, inappropriate ‘boot knocking’ in the showers (that’s just nasty), and everything being freezing and wet} that we packed up our site and went to a friends property nearby. While it was wonderful to be there, the neighbors having a domestic screaming match, again into the wee hours of the night, didn’t help to save the trip from being what it was – a complete disaster.  riffelake
  2. Alta Lake: Way to pick the hottest record weekend in WA to go camping in Eastern WA…the temps were set to reach 110+ and we were going to a campground that had been scorched the year previous {no tree coverage}. Our AC went out an hour into the drive, and no one could fix it in time. Did that make us turn around? Of course not! Thankfully we were going with friends so my pregnant self and the babies could ride in their air conditioned car, while the poor boys got to sweat out a few pounds doing “hot car yoga”. altalake
  3. Oregon Family Reunion: Something my husband looks forward to every year…couldn’t make it because I had to be hospitalized during the week prior. This was a time we did listen and didn’t push it – but still one to add to the crazy summer. 20150730_204914
  4. Lake Chelan: We had been looking forward to this “long camping vacation” for the whole year. Lake Chelan is my absolute favorite place to go. Sadly, the forest fires happening in and around Chelan were giving our group a bit of worry due to smoke hazards. The trip was about to be canceled/changed last minute, but thankfully we had friends going early that were able to let us know that the smoke wasn’t too bad. We toughed it out and went, and there was a bit of smoke in the mornings which caused us a bit of discomfort and sickness the week after we got home. lakechelan
  5. Bumping Lake: Another family trip we look forward to every year. At this point in the summer, I’m already a full 7months pregnant, feeling exhausted, and just ready for it all to be over {real trooper there}. We had heard that the lake was so low, no boats could be in the water and that the bees were pretty bad. Again, did that stop us?? NEVER! We arrived to it being windy and freezing {why do I forget that we are in elevation every year?} and the bees. The bees were horrible. Swarming, landing on food, landing on children. Everywhere!! Then the smoke rolled in. The smoke was worse than Chelan and was all over the Western part of the state. We stayed the whole weekend – through frigid cold nights, bees, low water and smoke. And then on the wonderful drive home, going over my favorite pass {sarcasm} I turn to see my daughter vomiting everywhere in her carseat. I’m done. IMG952729

You definitely can’t say we didn’t have a lot of adventure! There were a lot of good times and memories made through this all, but I pray that we keep this summer as a lesson to not overbook ourselves. And can someone please point me in the direction of the podium to receive my award and give my speech about being pregnant with a toddler while still working full time AND still doing all of this?? Oh wait, that’s right, there is no award for being too busy. That was my point.

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What a quick and delicious dinner!!

I found the Veggetti in the As Seen on TV section at Target and had to try it out. I love zucchini and am a carb lover to the extreme, so in my effort to cut back on carbs and try to make my toddler eat vegetables {I’m hilarious…toddlers eating vegetables…} I thought I would try out a simple recipe.

Ingredients:
3 zucchini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 container of crumbled goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
Veggetti kitchen gadget

Recipe:
1. Use the thin side of the Veggetti on the 3 zucchini
2. Cut the zucchini up a bit to give better strands
3. Put olive oil in a deep sauce pan and saute the zucchini noodles for about 6 to 10 min on medium heat
4. Try a noodle to see the consistency is to your liking at 6 minutes. Saute for more if you don’t want any crunch.
5. Carefully drain the little bit of liquid from the zucchini.
6. Drain the sun dried tomatoes from the oil and put in pan with drained zucchini
7. Put the goat cheese crumbles in as well
8. Add salt and pepper and tiny dash of cayenne pepper.
9. Saute together until cheese is melted into sauce.
10. Serve up and enjoy!!