Apr 27, 2012

Homegrown Salad & Balsamic Vinaigrette - recipe

I haven't talked much about our garden this year, I guess I've been a little consumed by the girls lately!

The lack of attention on the blog does not reflect the lack of attention of it in our lives. Most of you know the husband has quite the green thumb - I'm pretty sure he could grow just about anything!


Spring is my all time favorite part of gardening because of all the greens, onions and radishes. Although we don't have many flowers in the back yard, we have a surplus of salad ingredients growing. We'd rather eat our garden than look at it.

That's sweet p helping me with a day's harvest and the last picture, she's talking on her lettuce phone.

I have some salad ideas I plan on sharing soon so here's a super easy dressing recipe to put on those salads.

Balsamic vinaigrette is my absolute favorite dressing, especially when it's with feta, blue cheese or goat cheese. YUM. Next to homemade croutons, it's my favorite thing to put on a salad.


So here's what you'll need:

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
about 1 tablespoon herbs, I like a combo of oregano and basil
salt and pepper

Put it all in a jar, shake it up and that's it.

The picture above is one of my favorite dinner salads: mixed greens, sliced strawberries, grated carrots, sliced green onion, sliced radishes, fried goat cheese and slices of grilled chicken - I used the Tyson precooked chicken strips so all I had to do was heat them in a skillet for about 7 minutes! SO EASY!

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend.

Apr 24, 2012

Daddy's Shadow

I've been going to the lake and fishing with my husband for many years now - way before we were married and even before we started dating. That's like, sixteen years! Whoa.

Anyway, it was time to introduce our newest addition, or ingredient :) to our world of the outdoors. So, this past weekend we took a little trip to a nearby lake and let the girls run wild, I mean, we let P run wild and sister just ate, pooped and soaked up some sun.


Most of you know the husband noodles catfish. I posted a link yesterday to my sister's interview with him but here it is again if you missed it. That was last year. I can't believe how much Sweet P has grown!

Last year she just sat in my lap of in her little floatie but now she's daddy's little shadow.

She was so excited about all the water. As soon as we unloaded from the car, shich happens to be crazy more difficult with two instead of just one child, she ran to the edge of the shoreline and just kept pointing and saying, "waer." Yes, there's a lot of water, sweet girl.


Even though the water was still really cold, neither P, nor daddy could resist getting wet. Daddy had to check a hole for a catfish and P just had to see what the fuss was about. He found a stick and she found her's.




No catfish yet. Maybe next time.

We played in the sand as the sun went down and tried building some sand castles.

And this is the only picture of evidence that I was there, my feet.


And, because she's so stinkin' cute, another picture of my littlest one.


Apr 19, 2012

Embracing the Camera with My Girls II

I've been doing a whole lot of this.


I also haven't done much cooking lately, thanks to some amazing friends that have been bringing meals over for the last 2 1/2 weeks! Don't get me wrong, I still like to cook but it's been a huge blessing to have one less thing to worry about while we try to adjust to a new routine.

That said, I have made some quick little things here and there, including these baked blueberry donuts I mentioned last Friday.


If you didn't check out Joy's blog post about her baked donuts, go now.

And, if you've never tried substituting apple sauce for oil in muffin mixes, try it next time you bake. I made some quick blueberry donuts from a Betty Crocker muffin mix and used applesauce for the first time - it won't be the last. In fact, I probably won't use oil again when making those muffins. I honestly could not tell a difference.

So there, I embraced the camera with Emily and embraced my oven again.

Happy Thursday!

P.S. Did you read the update on my sister's post about the incubator project!? Totally amazing what her readers have accomplished so far. Go check it out, and grab a tissue too.

Apr 16, 2012

My Youngest Niece

She's in China right now.

The conditions are heart-breaking.

I'm ready to meet her and cuddle her and kiss all over her.

I know my sister and her family are million times more ready for her to be home.

Until then, we are all waiting.

But, there's something else we can do and you can help.

The orphanage she's in is in need of an incubator. Your gift of only $20 can help fund that needed incubator and you get to pick out an awesome print to keep as a reminder of the gift you made to help save who knows how many little ones.

Check out my sister's blog today to get the details and pick out your print.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Apr 13, 2012


Happy Friday! Here are some pictures I took the past week with my phone and instagram.


top left to right: Easter Sunday at our church's new campus, little sister was laughing and smiling in her sleep (you can call it gas but I'm not), I finally got Sweet P's hair into a ponytail!

middle left to right: my first trip to the store alone with my girls - it called for treats at Starbucks, we've been taking walks together and P likes to help push her "siss-er", nap time for the girls and I'm reading the Hunger Games

bottom left to right: little sister can be impossible to wake up to eat most of the time - this time it took 45 minutes to wake her up, P likes to push her baby "A-dah" in the swing and when she leaves her there it freaks me out, blueberry donuts inspired by Joy from Wildflowers Photography - she's responsible for me buying my donut pans and now I need some new cookbooks - check out her post, you'll see what I mean

Have a great weekend!!

Apr 12, 2012

Embracing the Camera


I love this girl so much and can't hold her enough!

She's the reason it's been a little quiet around here but I thought I'd check in to say hi and link up with the anderson crew while I'm at it.

Thanks for getting this picture of me and my girl, Chris.

Apr 9, 2012

Easter 2012

the cousins

getting a little help  



I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Apr 5, 2012

Embracing the Camera with My Girls!

I will make no apologies for all the pictures of my girls I'm posting these days. They're kind of consuming my life right now so it only makes sense that it's reflected here too.

I'm embracing my two girls and linking up with Emily.

Yes, these are all taken on the couch on different days. We like to relax.




I love them.

Apr 4, 2012


My actual due date for baby #2 was April 1 but after we met with our doctor on Monday, we scheduled an induction for Friday - if we made it that long. A Friday induction meant we had to be at the hospital Thursday night so my parents helped us out and let Sweet P spend the night with them.

It also meant that Wednesday night was the last night my family of three would be together, just the three of us and it would be the last night my Sweet P would be the only child in the house. We wanted to make the evening special so we took her to Incredible Pizza and had a celebrate P party.


She got to eat whatever she wanted, which consisted of cheese pizza and crackers, rode rides and stayed up late.


She was celebrated.

The next day we enjoyed some donuts and dropped her off at my parent's house later that evening. Then it was time to go to the hospital.


I wasn't induced with Sweet P and let me just say, it was very surreal. Not having any real signs of labor but going to the hospital, knowing the next day there will be a tiny baby in my arms - so strange.

Anyway, we got checked in, settled in our room and I got hooked up to all kinds of monitors. As it turned out, I was already dilated and having contractions, I just thought they were braxton hicks contractions.


A few hours went by an as my labor progressed, I was entertained by visitors and the sister-cousins.


A couple of hours later, the doctor came in and had to break my water (too much info? sorry) and then 30 minutes after that the nurse said the baby would be here in 30 minutes.

What!? They had just told me it would be anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Crazy!

Anyway, the nurse had me give a big push and then she called the doctor in.


Five minutes later the doctor arrived and 2 pushes later, he held my baby up and announced that we had a GIRL!

My little, 7 pound, 14 ounce Ava Grace.


The nurse placed her in my arms and I just sat there, amazed.


I had been worried I wouldn't be able to love her as much as my first or that I would love my first less somehow to make room to love another. I guess the Lord just made my heart bigger because I felt more love in that moment than I've ever felt. More love for Ava, my Sweet P and my husband - all at the same time.

I will never forget that moment.


After they cleaned her up, Eric went and told our family the news.


Then he brought Sweet P in to meet her sister for the first time.


Once we had some time alone as our new family of four, the rest of the family came in to meet our girl and share in our excitement.


I thank God for the blessings of two healthy girls, a strong husband that stands by me through it all and a big ol family ready and waiting to celebrate new life.

Happy Birth Day Ava Grace.


You are loved.



Aren't the pictures AMAZING!? Yes, I know, I am very lucky to have Ashley as my sister and so very thankful for her to spend the day in a hospital to capture these moments for me. I will forever cherish these pictures and the memories you captured so beautifully. Thank you - times a gazillion!