Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some of my favorite recipes lately

Some of my go-to favorite dishes. All of these recipes or ideas were given to me by friends. It’s so nice to be inspired by other people so I thought I’d share what I like because you might enjoy the same. :)

This idea came from Smitten Kitchen: Mediterranean baked feta with tomatoes

A friend introduced this dish (and this website) to me, and that same weekend I made it two times. This recipe is so me! I love how all the ingredients are fresh and healthy. Here's a tip: this can be an expensive dish to make just once, but if you make it more than once in a week you won’t waste the leftover ingredients. I have eaten it alone for dinner or with some crackers. It’s also something my husband enjoys which makes me happy! In fact, he loved it on top of pasta. 





My friend inspired me to make this soup and I used the 100 Days of Real Food recipe. 

Here are the ways I modified the recipe:
- I did not put any bacon in the soup. However, my husband probably would have enjoyed the bacon.
- I also cut up carrots really small to add more veggies to the soup.
- I did not blend the soup because I like the texture of the small pieces of broccoli and carrots. I guess everyone has a different preference on how they like their soup.


Apple carrot muffins I don’t know about you, but I love muffins. They're even better when they are made with natural ingredients. I went through a phase this past January where I made these muffins quite regularly.

Ways I modified this recipe:
- I have made this recipe with and without carrots and both ways are delicious.
- I have used agave instead of honey a few times because I was all out of honey and both ways turned out great.


Another Smitten Kitchen recipe. I don't have a picture of this because it was eaten very quickly! I thought this was a fantastic sweet, chocolate treat. 



This turned out really great and even Patrick enjoyed it. I love how it's colorful, fresh, and healthy!



What about you? Do you have any great recipes you'd love to share?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sophia's big girl room

          Sophia moved into her big girl a week ago. She's transitioned into her room pretty well because we've been talking about her new room for a few months and she helped "build" her new room.
          Patrick has been working on the trimwork for about two months and just finished last weekend! It would not normally take that long to complete trimwork but he only got a few hours on the weekends to work on it. I'm pretty sure the power tools would have woke her up from her nap and then we'd have a very grouchy toddler on our hands which is not fun for anyone!  
          We had great people paint the room and they finished in one day. Please let me know if you need some painters. Patrick's worked with them for years and we were very pleased with their work.

          Sophia loved helping her daddy put her room together. Here are some pictures of the progress of the room and the two of them working together. 


"I got just the tool you need, Dad."






"Mom showed me how to use the glue, dad. So, I got this."
G-Bob even helped with the room
"You're funny, G-Bob!"


She had to test out the paint before the painters came.



Tada! The empty, finished room!

Pat is going to build drawers for these openings on the right



Friday, April 4, 2014

Thinking of the future-Races!

So, since I only have 27 days until my due date I have started to think about races again. I know-it’s crazy! But, even though I’m a mom I need to still be me, right?

In fact, I was just looking at some old photos on my computer of past races. I can’t believe I’m due with baby #2  May 1st because last May I was running the Frederick Half Marathon. It's amazing what can happen in a year. 

Last year Sophia raced with me for the first time. Here we are at Francie's Family 5K. I hope to run with both girls in the stroller for this race next year. 

Running with friends
So, now is the time for me to start making some goals. This past weekend was the Mission Ten Miler  in Frederick, MD. It’s a local race that starts late in the afternoon every year. When I first heard about how late in the day the race started it did not sound appealing to me because every race I’ve ever done has been early in the morning. However, I recently thought a later race might be better for me next year because I’ll have two little ones and maybe I’ll get some sleep the night before. Lol I can dream, right? So, anyone else planning on doing the Frederick Mission 10 miler with me next year?

Another goal: I’d love to do another triathlon next August or September 2015. 

Here are some old photos from racing that were inspiring me:

Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon 2009
Here I am about to start the swim
At the finish for the Iron Girl 2009 
After the race Iron Girl 2010
Beautiful sunrise before the Iron Girl Triathlon 2010
About to start the bike leg portion of the race

Rumpus in Bumpass International Olympic Distance Triathlon

Here I am just getting out of the water after the swim waving to my mom and cousin. The weather was miserable that day and the swim was so cold. My arms were freezing and the water took my breath away. I almost quit after the swim because it was so rainy and I was a little afraid to bike in the rain but by the time I got out of the water the rain had stopped. As I was running towards the transition area after the swim my uncle encouraged me to finish the race and said, "You can do it. Keep going!". So, thanks for encouraging me because I was able to finish the race!

Running to the finish line at Rumpuss in Bumpass
Poor Scotty was soaked from the race


Who doesn't dance with their dog before their swim wave starts?
Biking into the dismount area
Crossing the finish line
Good friends!
Columbia Triathlon Olympic Distance 2011

 I competed in triathlons from  2007-2011. The Columbia Triathlon was the last race I competed in because the following year I had Sophia and I have not participated in a triathlon since. I know I will do a triathlon again soon. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

God whispers

I don’t always like to share personal things on the blog but here goes…

Has God ever whispered to you before? Let me give you a few examples of how God has whispered to me in my own life.

Back in 2007 there was a young girl in my class whose parents were traveling to Africa. I was immediately intrigued and curious as to why they were traveling there so I asked the little girl and she simply said, “to feed the orphans.” At that moment my heart dropped, the holy spirit was pulling at my heart and  speaking to me through the eyes of this young girl in front of me. After her parents came back from their trip I met with her mom and she shared her experiences with me. After much prayer I realized God was calling me to travel with Heart for Africa and go to a small country in Africa, Swaziland. This trip was an experience that changed my life!

When I was 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant (with Sophia) Pat and I went walking in Brunswick. We walked for 3 miles and it felt like forever. I remember we talked about how we wanted to have our children close together. But as soon as Sophia was born I have to admit having another child was furthest from my mind. I couldn’t wrap my head around having even one child, and I had no idea how people could have multiple children. I was so sleep deprived and hormonal. However, as crazy as it is I knew when she was 6 weeks old that I wanted to have another baby someday -- hopefully two years apart. Here we are today and we are expecting our second daughter May 1st and our little girls will be 25 months apart.

We traveled to Denmark for vacation when Sophia was 3 months old. On our flight home there was another couple traveling beside us who went to Europe with their two young daughters. Their daughters were 8 months and almost 3 years old. It was really strange, but undeniably God whispered again. I just remember thinking how the couple reminded me of Pat and myself because of the way they interacted with each other and their children. I thought maybe it was God’s way of saying "you’ll have two little ones soon." At the time I obviously didn’t know if we were going to have another girl or a boy, but I do think He was preparing me again for the future when He made me notice that family with two little girls.
Traveling in Denmark
Just today I was encouraged at the grocery store. I’ve been feeling pretty tired this week and the weather hasn't helped because it’s been cold and snowy. I was in line at the check-out when a woman  came over to me and said, “I just have to give you a compliment that someone gave me when I was pregnant. You don’t look pregnant from behind at all. I didn’t realize you were having a baby until you turned around and I saw the baby.” I thanked her and my eyes started to tear up. I tried not to let her see that her comment made me all emotional. I love how God can use people to encourage you when you’re feeling down or need the extra love. It really wasn’t the comment itself that made me feel loved, it was the fact that she was so genuine and sincere that really made me feel loved. So thanks for the love today - whoever you are! 

How about you? Have you had moments in your life where God has prepared you for your future?

If you haven’t, I dare you to pay attention because oftentimes He speaks so quietly we can miss what He is saying. Just be open to what He has in store for you. I hope this encourages you today. Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sophia's 2nd Birthday!

Sophia turned 2 years old on Saturday March 22nd. We were blessed to celebrate with some family and friends. Thank you friends and family for being in our lives. 


We ordered all the food from Wegmans and were very pleased. It was a lot easier to order than have to worry about making food. 
Loving on Aunt Cara
Playing with cousins
G-Bob entertaining the little ones





She was not a fan of being sung "Happy Birthday" to. Just like her momma ;)

Yum!







Grandaddy and Grandma Helen
Cousin Amanda even had fun at the party



They were so cute playing together
All the little ones enjoyed walking in and out of the door.
Thanks for coming to my party!
She even had a hug for Mom-Mom (her great-grandmother)

Hugs
Thanks for celebrating my 2nd birthday with me!