Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Stuff

**I need to go ahead and say that the comments (tweets, e-mails, and Facebook messages) you all have been leaving have been WONDERFUL!!! Keep them coming! Even if you see something that someone has already covered, let me know. When lots of moms say the same thing it makes me really take note. Thanks again! I feel much better already!**

Ok, so, as you ALL know, I'm pregnant. What you might not know is that I turned 20 weeks this past Saturday. Yep, that's right, I'm halfway there. I can't believe how fast it has gone and I've heard the next 20 weeks will go even faster. This is where panic sets in. I have bought nothing and I mean nothing for this child. Part of that is because buying things means spending money which is something we're trying not to do. The other part of it is that I don't know what to buy. I need your help! I know there are lots more people who read my blog than leave comments. That's what blog counters are good for. And I'm sure it's safe to assume that a lot of you readers are either a mom, grandma, aunt, cousin, caregiver, etc who know a lot more about babies than I do. Seeing as how this is my first child I'm a little clueless about things. I'm going to list a lot of things I need advice on and I REALLY hope you will ALL leave me a comment with advice on at least one or more of them. Please?!?!?!?!?!?!? Let me just tell you this list is random and if I've left something off you think I need to consider please let me know. So, here it goes:

  • Car Seat
  • Stroller
  • High Chair
  • Cribs
  • Rockers/Gliders
  • Baby monitor
  • Walker
  • Bouncy seat
  • Pack-n-play
  • Play mats
  • "how-to" books
  • baby books-for memories
  • swaddle blankets
  • pacifiers
  • bottles
  • thermometers
  • diaper bags
  • Certain clothing items you can't live without

Keep in mind our budget is small so although I want to hear your advice I probably won't buy an $800 stroller/car seat travel system. Although the one I did find that I love was just that. Nice. I have champagne taste on a water budget. :)

Thanks in advance for your help! If you have LOTS of great advice, which I hope you do, you can e-mail me instead of leaving a comment. My e-mail is linked on my sidebar and in profile.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Josh and I had a great Thanksgiving holiday. We had planned a while back that we would spend the day with his family instead of traveling around trying to see everyone. When I woke up on Thanksgiving morning I knew I had a LOT to be thankful for. The first thing I did was this...

...listened to Sadie's heartbeat. I am so blessed to have a friend who offered to let me use her Doppler during this pregnancy. It has been so much fun. I can listen to Sadie any time I want to. The first time I tried I couldn't find her HB and was a nervous wreck. Apparently I was looking in the wrong place. Since then I haven't had any problems.

Our first stop before arriving at Josh's grandparent's house was at Cracker Barrel. Isn't that what every normal person does on Thanksgiving morning? Eat a big breakfast first? Well we didn't exactly eat a big breakfast but it was good. And of course Josh made me a flower. It's what he does. After breakfast we headed to see Josh's family and spend the day with them.

Josh LOVES kids and he really loves his cousin's kids. This is Tillman. He has the best hair EVER (well he's tied with Ben)

Josh's Aunt Darlene (his mom's sister) with all of her family.

Josh with his mom, sister, and his sister's boyfriend. Sorry the picture is bad. I had to zoom from where I was sitting because I was too lazy to stand. :)

Josh with his sweet Papa. I must say that Josh's Papa is one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. I guarantee there isn't a person out there who has anything bad to say about him. He reminds me a lot of my Papa who passed away several years ago. I think that's why I've grown so fond of him.

Josh's cousin Logan with his fiance Crystal. They are getting married in a few weeks at Mt. Magazine, which is where Josh and I got married. I can't wait to go back up there.

Josh's cousin Ashley and his girlfriend Sarah. And of course Camden (he belongs to Nathan and Ronette)

Camden loves his baby sister, Emersyn. I happen to think she's pretty great myself.

It was so fun being around Emersyn because she'll turn 1 on Sadie's due date. So assuming Sadie is born around her due date she'll be this age next Thanksgiving. It's such a fun and cute age.

Josh was getting his practice in. I think being around Emersyn made us even more excited to meet Sadie.
Like I said before Josh and I had a great time with his family and can't wait to see them all again in a few weeks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I can hardly believe it is Thanksgiving 2010. Where has the time gone??? Like the years past this year I'm thankful for a lot of the things.

  • My salvation
  • My amazing husband and best friend
  • The wonderful families Josh and I have been blessed with
  • The best friends I could ever ask for...both old and new
  • A job
  • A place to live
  • Our church family

But this year there are a few other things I'm BEYOND thankful for...

" Thankful" really doesn't do my feelings justice. Humbled and blessed are probably better adjectives. I'm not even sure how to put it all into words. This year I'm also thankful for...

  • A positive pregnancy test
  • Being able to see our baby
  • Hearing the heartbeat
  • Finding out she's a girl
  • Learning that she looks great and is healthy
  • Feeling her move inside of me

For all of these things and so much more I'm beyond thankful. I don't take these blessings for granted. I know there are a lot of women out there right now who can't wait to be thankful for these same things. Knowing that helps me appreciate every single blessing of this pregnancy. No, it's not a lot of fun on my body, and yes, it's pretty uncomfortable, but I'm thankful for it all!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Upside Down Banana Pecan French Toast

Last week on Twitter my friend Caroline mentioned a recipe she was going to make for Thanksgiving. When I saw the words "Upside down banana pecan french toast" I knew I needed to try it. I immediately scooted on over to Sister Schubert's website to get the recipe. I'm sorry for my laziness because I'm not going to type out the recipe on my blog but PLEASE go to the website and try it. It's really easy and really yummy.

Here's what it looks like when it comes out of the oven.
And here's what it looks like after you "flip" it.
I served it with cinnamon maple syrup and it made it even that much better. If you try it, let me know what you think.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Twitter

Well, I know this might seem like a weird blog topic but it's one I've been thinking about for a while now. I just LOVE Twitter. Ridiculous, huh? Well let me tell you why I love Twitter so much.

I started my journey on Twitter the beginning of last year. I mainly joined because Kelly convinced me I needed to be a part of it. She said she loved it more than Facebook and she knew I'd love it too. I actually had a Twitter account set up from a while back I just never used it. I knew it was necessary I make it a part of my life once plans for So Long Insecurity -Overflow Atlanta were underway. All the girls going were big into it and I could not be left out.

It didn't take me long to really get the hang of how things worked. At first I was clueless about what I was doing but now I'd say I'm a pro. :) And Kelly was right. It is way better to me than Facebook. I think I like it more because I can be more open on Twitter. I have a lot more Facebook friends than I have Twitter followers and I like it that way. In fact I'm a little protective of who I allow to follow me. Twitter is safe for me. I can say what I want to about what's really going on and so often times I don't allow IRL (in real life) people to follow me. I know that sounds harsh and it's not the case with everyone. The truth is there are just some things I can say on Twitter that I can't say on the blog or Facebook because those audiences are a lot bigger. And for that reason I keep it small and simple.

One of the BEST things about Twitter is the people on there. I can't tell you how much encouragement, prayer, and support I have received from my Tweeps. :) A lot of the people I follow and follow me are also fellow bloggers but Twitter takes our relationship to a whole new level. You get to know people really well simply by what they tweet. And you realize that there are people all over the country that you can call friends.
I guess this leads me to what prompted me to write about Twitter. Over the last several months I've really developed wonderful friendships with some of my Tweeps. A lot of them are already moms so they have been great to give advice. Some are also into sewing and things so it's nice to have them in my circle. Most, if not all, are Christians so its easy to share about the Lord. And several are pregnant so that's really fun. In fact, two in particular are pregnant for the first time and we're all due within 4 weeks of each other. We tweet a lot but recently we've started e-mailing. The Lord has used these two ladies in a huge way. In a lot of ways we're in the same spot, going through the same things. I've been so encouraged by these girls and without Twitter (and blogs) we probably never would have known each other. I consider these girls my friends and I can't wait to share more "baby" stuff together.
I'm just so thankful for all the ways God has used Twitter to bless me. I know it seems a little silly but in the season of my life right now these friendships are priceless. It is so fun to live life together with so many wonderful people. So, laugh if you must, but Twitter rocks!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

I probably posted this recipe last year but since I have yet to label my posts I'm not sure if I did. Just in case I didn't I decided to post it. I can't take any credit for this recipe. Paula Deen has done it again with this yummy dessert. If you need to take something to a Thanksgiving dinner and you don't want to put a lot of effort in it this is the perfect option. Not to mention, it has 2 sticks of butter in it so you know it has to be good. I got this recipe and photo here but it's also listed below.

Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Cake


1 package yellow cake mix

1 egg

8 tablespoons butter, melted


1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread the pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey (hence the ooey gooey).

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

I should say that I love the flavor of pumpkin but I don't really like pumpkin pie. This cake is the perfect solution. So yummy. Although I didn't cut them up and make them all fancy they were a big hit at work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Josh and I got back Sunday night from a fun trip to Chicago with our friends Todd and Jenny. We planned this trip a few months ago because we all wanted to get away. And since we are both expecting babies in the spring we knew this would be a good time to get away before the madness began. Jenny, Todd, and I have been to Chicago before but Josh never has. I was so glad to be able to share one of my favorite cities with him. We had the best time. I have lots of pictures to share so consider yourself warned.

Wednesday after work Jenny and I hit the road to Todd's parent's house. Our husbands, both in the ministry, would join us later after Wednesday night church. We wanted to cut a little time off of our drive for Thursday.

Bright and early we hit the road. Todd and Josh did all the driving while the two preggos lounged in the back seat.

Our mother's sent us with some snacks for the trip. Just what we needed. :)

Not long into the trip we made our first, of many, Starbuck stops.
Then we stopped for a nice relaxing lunch.

Since Jenny and I are pregnant we needed (me especially) lots of bathroom breaks and other stops just to stretch our legs. We eventually made it to Chicago. We stayed outside of Chicago in Schaumburg because the cost was soooooo much cheaper. It's a nice suburb and had all kinds of neat things. We've (J, T, and I) have actually been to Schaumburg before so we knew what to expect. After checking into our hotel we headed out for dinner.

Enough said.

After a delicious dinner and dessert we all went to bed early to get rested up for our big day in the city.

Our hotel had a great complimentary breakfast and Todd made us waffles. They were so good!

We were all really impressed with where we stayed. It was so inexpensive yet it was very clean, spacious, and had great food. We will certainly stay there again.

We decided instead of driving into the city and paying to park we'd get a one day City Pass for the trains and buses. That was such a good idea.

Here we are about to get on the elevator at our train stop. Jenny and I avoided stairs as much as possible.

The Train

We made it. Yea!

We started out at Macy's so we could read the story in the windows.

This year's windows were based off of this book.

If you haven't seen Macy's window displays they tell a story with their windows. You go from window to window to read and see the illustrations.

Next up, the Christmas tree in Macy's. It was really pretty! After that we walked around the town some before heading to eat.

Todd was so nice to carry his pregnant wife's purse.

Michigan Avenue has some of the best shopping and it has great scenery.

Here we are by the river.

After some walking we decided to use our pass and get on a bus to head to lunch. Great decision.

Good times. When we got off the bus we headed to Gino's Pizza for lunch. Yum!!!! You have to wait a long time but it is so worth it.

Looks like some fellow hog fans have dined in there as well. What a beautiful sight!

We ate a little while we waited.

Delicious! We had to walk the pizza off some before getting dessert.
Sprinkles cupcakes! Woohoo! I had only been to the Sprinkles in LA and Dallas before going to the one in Chicago. Maybe I should visit them all?!

I got the Lemon Coconut and Josh got the Black & White

How's this for a lady ready to attack her cupcake?! Bring it on!

After dessert we walked and shopped some more.
Josh watched a little basketball while we looked around.

Then he milked a cow.
When we had enough of shopping we headed to Old Navy, bought some warm clothes then headed to Navy Pier. It's one of my favorite places in the city.

Josh wanted to drive us around the pier but that didn't work out. What a shame.

Here's the Ferris Wheel. Josh has never been on it so he and I rode it. It was neat to see the city at night.

Another thing I love about the Navy Pier is the shooting water.
By this time we were all getting really tired. We were ready to eat and go back to our hotel.
We got on a bus and headed to dinner at Ed Debevic's.

The waitress made us wear hats or she wouldn't wait on us. Ha. Typical Ed's.

The best part about eating at Ed's is when the wait staff dances on the counter. We almost missed it but we didn't. Bubbles, on the right, was our waitress. She was a pistol. After dinner we caught a train back to the suburbs and went to bed. We had a big day planned for Saturday.
Our Saturday morning started with breakfast (as if we hadn't eaten enough).
Walker Bros is so good!

And we were all really excited to be there. Every meal comes with pancakes so I knew I'd be served a feast.

A feast indeed.
We were so full after breakfast so we headed to Long Grove to look around. It was raining so that was a bummer. And it had gotten really cold. We managed to have a good time though.
No comment.

Josh found things to entertain himself while we all looked around. We eventually decided we were finished fighting the rain and cold and headed to a big outlet mall. It was freezing and we barely bought a thing so we didn't stay there too long. We headed back to the hotel for a nap. After we rested we went to Woodfield Mall. All I wanted on this trip was a Christmas ornament to remember our trip and at this point I hadn't found one yet. Thank goodness Macy's came through and I found the perfect one. I forgot to take a picture but I will. It's great. While I was looking at ornaments Josh found a friend.
We didn't stay at the mall long because we were starving. We went down the street to Maggiano's for dinner. We had to wait and hour and a half but it was worth it.

When dinner was over we went back to our room and went to bed. What a fun trip we had!!! We left early Sunday morning to head back to Arkansas. We were exhausted and ready to get home but I could go back this weekend if they'd let me.