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This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 7 and 1 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between



Monday, August 22, 2016

Bean and Bacon Soup + Pasta Fazool (Fagioli)

Who doesn't love bean and bacon soup? Yes those delicious little cans of condensed goopiness that you add some water to for a quick meal. Well I decided tonight to try my hand at a homemade version, and I have to say it is spot on!

Pasta fazool, or pasta fagioli, may not be as common but it is as delicious! It is basically pasta and beans. I grew up with my family using the bean and bacon soup as a base, then adding the pasta to that. I still do that to this day and it is one of our favorite soups! It goes great on a cold day with a grilled cheese or rolls.


4c chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 chopped carrots
1tbs minced garlic
1 can cannelini beans (or great northern beans) not drained
2 slices raw bacon, diced
*optional* 1 1/2c small pasta for pasta fazool

Add all ingredients except pasta into medium pan. Simmer for 30min, stirring occasionally. Add pasta if desired and cook an additional 10min or until tender, then serve!


Of course, in my house we put cheese on top of everything!

If you add pasta it thickens up nicely, otherwise there is a good amount of broth.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Special Trip

I don't think I ever posted, but the Saturday before last I got a new car! Not brand new of course, but good enough! It's a 2010 Kia Forte (6spd manual!) That had only had one owner. I'm a little sad it doesn't have an Oklahoma plate any more, but this is just one one more thing to transition for us. The best part is that I payed for it in cash, so no car payment! Woot!


I quickly got a chance to break it because later that day I got the call that my grandfather in Ohio had passed away. I arranged to take the boys and leave Monday morning.

Murphy's Law got me once again by rendering my trusty GPS useless as soon as I left my driveway. I had never used it on my phone but thankfully I figured it out and was able to find my way there with little trouble. It was about a 6hr drive to just north of Cincinnati and naturally we hit rush hour traffic that slowed us down. Jacob didn't nap much but they both passed out shortly before we arrived.


My mom, step dad, and brother Eric were already there when we arrived so we got a very warm welcome! I hadn't seen them in almost 3 months, and hadn't seen my Ohio family in several years. My aunt Diane was so kind to let me and the boys stay the night with her!

This was their first time to meet Jacob but of course he was shy and only wanted his momma.







It was so so nice to see everyone and catch up. The funeral was the next morning and I saw many more extended family members there. However I did not take pictures, I felt that would have been a little tacky considering the circumstance. It did inspire me to work on convincing people to arrange another official reunion!

These pics are from one of the last times I saw my grandparents. I took Brad there when he was 3mo with my mom for a short visit. My grandpa performed a dedication ceremony on him. He was a minister for most of his life.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Niagara County Fair 2016

On Sunday we ventured out to Lockport, NY for the county fair! I had heard it was a small simple one which is right up our alley. The parking was free and it was only $3/adult admission.

We were starving so our first stop was food! We grabbed a bite and sat at a shady spot in front of live music.


After that we headed to the midway and got tickets so Brad could pick his rides. He rode ones I thought would be too scary, but he loved them! Just like I used to be at his age. Jacob enjoyed looking around at all the crazy sights.


We saved the ferris wheel for last, and of course I rode that with him! We got a great view of the area and the country beyond it.


Lastly we headed over to the car show where they had some awesome hot rods to see. They were from all over, even Canada!


The boys had a fun time even though it was hot, and we look forward to making this our new annual tradition.

I have another event this week to post about so check back later.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Science is Fun


On Sunday afternoon we all headed into Buffalo to check out the Buffalo Science Museum. We originally wanted to check out another beach, but there was a chance of rain so we changed it to an indoor activity.

The museum is 4 stories of all different exhibits from bugs to dinosaurs, space and earthquakes. Brad loved it, and I'm sure some day Jacob will too. There were a lot of interactive and video displays for kids to enjoy.




Friday, July 22, 2016

Collision Calamity

My new little Honda of only a few months has met its demise. I got in a wreck the other day with my two little ones while running errands. It was purely an accident, I was pulling out of a gas station parking lot on a crazy intersection with busy traffic and didn't see a big truck coming fast out of no where. I'm quite lucky because half a second different and he would have T-boned me on the driver side.



It's the first real accident I've ever been in (as a driver) and I was very shaken up. The air bag deployed and my seat belt kept me very firmly in place... So firmly that I am developing bruises across my hips. Thank God the boys were buckled safely in their car seats so they were both unmarked.

The other driver just had a small dent and scratch on his truck and was very kind and helpful, as was everyone who came to our aid. A woman who lived right there brought us drinks and offered to cancel her appointment to stay with us! I called Nick at work and he showed up as they were towing my broken car off.

I'm so glad we are all OK, I know it could have been so much worse. My insurance company was awesome with the claim and arrangements were easily made. I didn't have the optional rental car coverage on my policy so I do have to pay for that.

I went in to work that night and they were kind and gave me a good pt assignment in the ICU. Thankfully I'm off for a few days now so I can try to rest and take care of business.

Life is just full of surprises for us!
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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Easy Cheesy Tuna Casserole


This easy and delicious casserole is a family favorite! It is classic comfort food that the kids will love and you can whip it up in no time with things you already have in your pantry.

1 box Mac and cheese
1 can peas drained (or 1c frozen)
1 can cream of mushroom
1/2c shredded cheddar
1 can tuna drained

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare Mac and cheese according to directions. In 8x8 pan combine all ingredients except cheese. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top. Bake 20min until cheese is melted.


If you like, you can also add something crunchy on top for a fun texture, like potato chip crumbles or French fried onions! So yum.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Independence Day in the Empire State

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4! Our family tradition for almost a decade has been to go out to my dad's house for a cookout and fireworks until late into the night. It was so fun, and over the years more and more family ended up joining us. This was our first year to be completely on our own so we made the best of it and headed out to the spot where our town was having their display.

It was at Niawanda Park in Tonawanda about 3 miles from our house. The park is along the Niagara River, just south down the river from Niagara Falls. We got there around 7:45pm and staked our claim on a prime waterfront spot looking west toward Grand Island. We set up our chairs and let the kiddos run around until firework time at 9:45pm. This was 2 hours past their usual bed time, but they both did great!









The atmosphere was so good, and the weather could not have been more perfect! It was warm when we got there but as the sun went down it cooled off to the low 70s. If there had been a breeze it would have been chilly! There was live music and people everywhere enjoying themselves. It definitely had a great small town feel. The firework display started shortly after dark, and lasted about 30 minutes. The kids loved it!
 




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We missed our family, but now we are on our own and it's time to make new traditions with our little family! Hopefully some of them will come visit soon so we can share how amazing our new location is.

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