.

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 a 6 year old boy and a baby boy (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Early Celebration

Today we had an early birthday party for Bradley at the park so that our family could celebrate with him before we left. His birthday isn't until the end of next month, so we'll do something special with him then too!

It was super casual--just pizza and cupcakes. He invited 4 friends from his class but none of them showed up... Thankfully all of my family came! Brad had a fun time playing and enjoying his presents.










His main present from us was a new bike!! He will be able to grow into it and ride it for many years. My dad got him a new helmet, so he was ready to go!



Of course Jacob had fun eating pizza and grass while toddling around.





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Monday, May 16, 2016

A Trip With a Mission, and Jacob's First Flight

On Friday the 13th we flew with Jacob to Buffalo, NY with one mission--to find a house! We will be renting after we move while we are getting settled in, then we will look for a Victorian house to buy later on. Bradley stayed with my mom and I'm sure he had a fabulous time. Jacob went with us on his first big trip, and it was just as "fun" as we thought it would be..... We all survived in one little hotel room however, and the best thing is that we found a house! However you will have to wait until the next post to see it.

We flew from OKC to Baltimore, MD and had a 3hr layover there. Jacob napped for about 30min on the plane but for the most part he stayed entertained and kept us on our toes.





In this small world I ran into a former coworker on that plane who was heading to Baltimore for a conference! From there we had a short flight to Buffalo and landed around 830pm. We got our bags and rental car and finally made it to the hotel just after 9. Our room had a leaky toilet so they moved us, then we couldn't find the pacifier... Then we had to make a food run for milk and McDonalds. By the time we got to bed it was around 1130pm. We were all exhausted!

Our hotel is an Extended Stay hotel, so all the rooms have a full kitchen which is nice! It makes the burden of sharing a room with a toddler for 4 days a little more bearable.


The next day we had an appointment with a Realtor to view several rentals in and around Buffalo. She was very nice and we followed her in our car. The first one was a duplex in a beautiful neighborhood on a culdesac and a great price... But as soon as we pulled up she found out it has just been rented the day before. We looked at it anyways just in case, but as we were leaving I noticed a For Rent sign right across the road so I took down the number! We looked at a few more, but they were more than I wanted to spend on rent. We ended the afternoon with a couple more potential houses for Monday.

On our way back I called the number from the sign and arranged to go see it that evening. Well just before we went there, the Realtor called us to say the deal had fallen through on the duplex we looked at and it was now available! We decided to still look at the other one, and ended up loving it as soon as we walked in. The owner lives on one side and has maintained the house very well. He not only does all the yard work, but he will also do all the snow removal in the winter!!!! It's the perfect price and in an awesome neighborhood. I will show pics in another blog....

The next day we took a trip into downtown Buffalo to see the hospital I'll be doing my travel assignment at....



Today on our last day here, we of course had to go into Lockport and eat at our favorite Chinese buffet! We have eaten here every time we come to NY. Jacob loved it. 


Then we drove by the little hospital in Lockport.


From there we headed east to the outskirts of town.



I wanted to go see a house for sale that I've been eyeballing for almost a year online. It's in Gasport and is on 2.5 acres. We had to drive over this one lane bridge over the Eerie canal.







It is about 3,000 sqft I believe and has lots of potential!! Nick said he got a creepy feeling from it...

From there we headed north to see another of our favorites: Olcott! A beautiful quiet town on the edge of Lake Ontario.






Jacob had a fun day out, but he was ready to get out of the car and stretch his legs! We ate in for dinner and enjoyed a quiet evening on our last night here. We head home tomorrow afternoon, then it's back to work for me!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Vegetarian Taco Pizza (with TVP!)

 

This vegetarian taco pizza is a super quick and easy idea for dinner! It is a healthy alternative to regular pizza and you can't beat a yummy meat-free recipe. You can easily add any of your favorite taco toppings to customize the flavor, including sour cream, avocados, or salsa.

Vegetarian Taco Pizza

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1c TVP (what is this?? Keep reading!) with taco seasoning
  • 1 can fat-free refried beans
  • 1/2 can rinsed black beans
  • 1c chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1c shredded sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to temperature listed on Pillsbury pizza dough container. Unroll and stretch dough onto baking sheet and bake 10min until starting to become golden.


While dough is baking, prepare your other ingredients.When dough is golden, remove from oven (leave the oven on!) and spread refried beans to the edge. Sprinkle seasoned TVP evenly next, then black beans, then onion, then cheddar on top. Place back in oven for another 5-7min until cheese is melted.



Remove from oven and place the remaining toppings on top! Slice and serve! I opted to keep the cold toppings in bowls so that we could easily reheat any leftovers without having wilty lettuce etc. on top.


Yum!! You could try this with a thin crust dough, or even on a pita or other "pizza" crust of your choice.

Ok so now if you don't know what TVP is, then you must be very intrigued! Well here is what the bag looks like that I use:


TVP = textured vegetable protein. It is defatted dehydrated soy crumbles. It is the same thing they use for fake bacon bits--minus the other chemicals and colors. It has lots of protein, fiber, and vitamins/minerals. I get mine for just under $3 at Sprouts for a 10oz bag that I can make several meals out of. The crumbles at least double in size, so it goes very far! You rehydrate it (1:1 ratio dry TVP to liquid) with boiling water/broth in about 2-5min and season it however you want for the recipe you are using it in.

For this recipe I seasoned it with my own taco seasonings--salt, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. I always add either chili powder or paprika to it when I use TVP just to help darken the color for aesthetic purposes. You can use it in almost any recipe that calls for ground beef/turkey!

Some of the meals I have made with it include goulash:


.....and cheesy homemade "hamburger helper".


It is an excellent option for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or just wanting to be health conscious and eat less meat. We rarely eat red meat so this is a great alternative. Plus you gotta love the low price! Go get some and Google "TVP recipes".....you won't be disappointed.



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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Change is in the Air


Well folks, our time has come! This has been in the works for 7 years now! We first tried to sell our home in 2009 the summer that we had Bradley. Then we tried again the summer of 2013 without luck. We listed it for sale once more on March 23, 2016 and almost 4 weeks later we got not one--but TWO offers! We are over the moon excited about this next chapter in our life and I can't wait to bring you guys along with us.


Every time we listed it for sale we knew that whatever was meant to happen would happen. It was out of our hands and we would be flexible with God's plan for our life. Looking back, we can now see some big things that we needed to be here for.



Yes we are moving to NY.......Western NY to be more specific, not NYC. Huge difference! 99% of the people we tell this to picture us moving to downtown Manhattan. That is not what we are doing. Our end goal is to get an old Victorian house on some land that we can make our own to grow old in.

If you would like to read about our previous "research" trips that we've taken to WNY, you can read here, here, and here for the first trip in April 2011, and here for our second trip in July 2012. We have definitely put work into the details, and are not going into this decision lightly!

We will miss our family greatly and wish we could take them with us! I just hope they make an effort to visit us and actually see in person the life that we are building.

The timing works out perfectly with Bradley finishing 1st grade and the summer beginning. We have a very generous cushion of savings that I have amassed in preparation for the big move. I will be doing a travel nursing contract that will earn enough money during the summer to be able to take off during the holidays (and snow season!). Nick also has several job leads even! Everything is lining up and we can't wait to see what life has in store for us! I will use this blog to journal the process and our adventures once we get to our destination. Please follow along!


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Thursday, April 14, 2016

366 Days = 1 Year Old!



Yes this big guy had to wait an extra day for his birthday because it is a leap year, but it was worth it! He is now a one year old with a ton of energy and on the move! Here are the stats:

Weight: 21lb 8oz
Length: 30.5in

At 1 year old you:
  • Sleep around 11hrs at night and rarely wake up in the middle of the night
  • Tend to be an early riser
  • Take 2 two hour naps during the day
  • Use a sippy cup great and are drinking milk, water, and formula
  • Eat what we are eating!
  • Still wearing cloth diapers, and a size 3 disposable at night
  • Are getting too long for your 12mo clothes
  • Still have dark blond hair and blue eyes
  • Are cutting your 8th tooth
  • Can stand and balance but haven't taken steps yet
  • Like to point
  • Say mama, dada, and bubba
  • Use your paci when going to bed
  • Love to go on trips and walks








We had his birthday party on Sunday and all the family came! I made a hot dog bar with all of the fixings and cake and ice cream for dessert. Jacob got to eat his first cupcake and of course he loved it!







I resurrected Bradley's "1" hat that I made for his first birthday and brought it to life for one more day!



He was very tentative with the cupcake at first, but once he got into it he loved it!




It has been an interesting year that went by fast but slow at the same time. We all survived and thankfully we are starting to get some sleep now! This boy is full of energy and I think he stole it all from me. I know big brother can't wait until they can chase each other around!


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