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 8 and 2 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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

O Tannenbaum

"It's the hap-happiest time of the year!" Before I get to the tree pictures, I wanted to show the 3 couches that I helped my dad narrow his choices down to after an evening of shopping:

The first one is my favorite! After he picks a couch and chair combo, I am going to sew him coordinating valances for his two sets of patio doors in his house. Fun fun! I am also going to surprise him and take him a little tree with lights to have for Christmas. He needs a little festivity in there!

Today I napped after work, then when I got up it was go-go-go! We got lots done though, and I am happy about that. I got my oil changed finally (it had gone waaaay too long) and we didn't have to wait long at all for it. It was cute watching Brad run around the cars in the showroom. The salesmen all thought he was adorable, and Brad was eyeballing another baby about his age that was there too.

After that we headed to the store to pick up some new lights for outside since ours burned up, then we went to pick out our tree! There were several that were freshly cut, and the price was perfect! They were already bound up, so we just put it in my backseat and stuck it out of the window. After we got it home, Nick bounced off the old loose needles then got it set up in the tree stand inside. Brad "helped" me decorate it while daddy was outside putting the new lights up.

I put Brad down for a nap before I was done, then Nick helped me finish getting it set up and we moved the dining table around just so it wasn't cramped in there. I love the tree! It is probably 7ft tall and oh so lush!!

I filled it with water and put a nice tree skirt around it, then set up my other little tree in the downstairs guest bathroom. This is the tree we put all of our special ornaments on.

And these are a few of my favorite ones...

The best for last! I can't wait until Brad is older and we can tell him all of the little stories behind each one.

In other news, Nick has already gotten a response back on one of the jobs he applied for recently. It is doing contract work for HP. Of course it is still tentative--he is waiting on some emails and has to take some tests online. But we are keeping our fingers crossed! My college boy graduates in just 3 weeks, and I know God is in control of his future.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crafts and Giving Thanks

Let me start off with the crafts I got done this week amidst the holiday chaos! I finished this aqua and black mohawk hat for Brad a couple of days ago, and I finally got pictures of him wearing it (while I chased him around the house for about 20 minutes). He looks adorable in it, and it may just fit him next winter too! These are listed in my store for sale *hint hint.

A couple weeks ago mumsy and I took a trip to my fave fabric store when they were having a big Veteran's day sale. Some of what I picked up was fabric to make myself skirts! I finally got one of them done Sunday night. Nothing fancy, just a simple elastic waist and neat hemline. I used my measurements for the length and whatnot. It comes right under my knees, and goes fabulous with my new boots!

On to the holiday photos! Today I took a short nap after work, then got up and Nick helped me make sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and cranberry sauce. We all 3 got dressed in our finest and scooted out the door to be at mom's by 3pm.

My brother Eric and his wife Teri were also there, and the food was plentiful! Mother had been cooking for the last two days, and everything looked (and tasted) wonderful.

After eating, we all relaxed in the living room and digested while we talked for a bit. Some got a bit too relaxed...

We had a great time with our family, and I love the home cooked holidays every year! Tomorrow mother and I are going "Black Friday" shopping--no, not at 3am! She is coming to my house around 8:30am and we are hitting a few stores in Norman just to see what good deals we find. We aren't looking for anything in particular, just getting out to see the crazy shoppers and have a good time together! When I get home, the turkeys are coming down and the Santas are going up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens!

The cooking for Thanksgiving 2010 has officially begun! My big dinner is tomorrow, so I started today and got a few things knocked out already. It is a "Lazzaro" tradition to always have an Italian dish at Thanksgiving in addition to the usual fixings. So this year, mine is going to be homemade ravioli and sauce! I made my favorite filling--ricotta, spinach, and parmesan--then stuffed and sealed 48 ravioli. I froze a little over half of them for later on, and the rest will be used tomorrow. I wish I could have eaten one, but they have to be cooked first. I'm sure they will be to die for!

The dessert on the menu is a light and fluffy pumpkin pie. It isn't your typical thick baked pie. This is a recipe I made last year and it was so delish I vowed to make it every year. I also wanted something else and was going to make pumpkin spice cupcakes. But at the last minute, I ditched those and decided to try a new recipe for pumpkin gingerbread loaves. Everything was from scratch, and it made a huge batch of batter! It made two large loaves, and I had to bake them 30min longer than the recipe called for because the middle was still raw. Man did they smell good! After they cooled, I made cream cheese frosting and put a thin layer on top. I am taking the smaller one to work Tuesday night for my coworkers to enjoy.

The weather today was typical of November in Oklahoma--warm and windy. It probably got up to 75. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy weather like this, but in the SUMMER and not the end of November. Anywho, we went for a walk around the neighborhood, then let Brad run around in the leaves while it got dark. He thought it was a hoot when we would throw leaves on his head!

The rest of my menu for tomorrow includes sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, yeast rolls, TURKEY, whole cranberry sauce, and dressing. I will begin cooking early in the morning! I picked up my 17lb fresh turkey today and that sucker has to bake for about 5hr! Good thing my dinner isn't until 5pm! Lots of pics to follow ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Musings and Pictures

I've been going a bit picture crazy the last few days. Brad just seems to be growing so fast! I want to capture every cute thing he does. I imagine every other mom out there is the same way though.

I got a call yesterday from the picture studio where we had our holiday photo taken last year. They said I had won a free 8x10! I asked what the catch was, they said no catch, just pay for any extra sizes/poses I want. So we all dressed up in our winter sweaters and went in this morning for a photo shoot! They took several poses, but we agreed on a family one for the 8x10. I didn't order anything else at that time, but I may when the pic comes in on Dec. 1st. Here is Brad's outfit for the picture:

Isn't he a cutie???!!!

He loves to get into my kitchen cabinets and pull out random things and carry them around. He also likes to leave little trinkets in my bowls and drawers, like outlet protectors or plastic animals. He's a mess!

Yes he likes to eat apples! He mostly likes to take a bite of mine while I am eating one. So far he has been such a good eater! He went thru a sort of picky phase awhile back, but he seems to be over that now.

I have amped up the cooking lately! I turned 5lbs of apples into homemade cinnamon and brown sugar applesauce (YUM). And today I finally made homemade pesto! I have had the recipe for a long time, but never could bring myself to buy some fresh basil because it's a bit pricey! I finally bought some this week at the store, and that way I HAD to make it or else the basil would go bad. You are supposed to use a food processor (which I don't have) but I used a blender. It was pretty hard but I managed to get it to work. We had some tonight on tortellini and OH OH OH it was delish!! I called my dad immediately to let him know what I had done! All of my Italian ancestors would be proud.

With the holidays on us, and Brad becoming old enough to enjoy them, I have really been thinking lately about how different I feel after becoming a mother. It is a feeling that you can't really describe or prepare someone for--you just have to experience it on your own. Before we had Brad, we really just hung out and did whatever we wanted at whatever time. We didn't really have to plan ahead for things like traveling--just made sure the cats were fed and that was about it!

We also didn't have big holiday plans or traditions. Sure we had a family dinner and I decorated the house, but as far as special little things there wasn't much. But now that we have Brad, we are both very aware of just how much of an effect we will have on his life. In 20 years he will look back on his early childhood, and I can only pray that he has warm and loving memories of how he was raised. This awareness of power is intimidating, and it makes us want to do the most we can to make his childhood fulfilling. I want to do all of the little things that kids remember, like bake cookies with him, go trick-or-treating, fill his stocking early Christmas morning before he wakes up, leave a Easter basket by his bedside Easter morning, read the Nativity story by a fire on Christmas Eve. A child will remember those moments forever, and I have the power to give him those memories. How humbling!

I despise watching the news...more and more it seems every single time I involuntarily catch it there is a new story about some poor infant or toddler that was abused and beaten to death. It bothers me very greatly, sometimes probably more than it should. It keeps me up at night and I think about it for days. At first I feel immense anger at this horrible people who should have never had children and should be sterilized. Then the grief and sadness sets in for this helpless baby who didn't ask to be put on this Earth and only knew pain and hatred it's short life. Even now, tears come to me as I try to imagine how a human being could be so violent with an innocent child. And then I see that the courts aren't going to charge them with murder because they plead GUILTY. Why is killing a child not murder? Does a baby's life have less worth than an adults? Do they think that only a few years in prison will "reform" these killers and keep them from ever harming another child?

I only get peace when I remind myself that they will have to stand before God and be judged, and that innocent child is finally out of pain.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Purchases

I have been thinking of lists of things that I need to do or get for this holiday season upon us. I recently got a couple of different linen-type fabrics on sale at my favorite fabric store that I intent to make skirts with (for me). That led me to think about the kind of shoe I would wear with them! One that is kind of popular for the cooler months is starting to grow on me--the knee high boot. I don't have any, and have never had any like this. They are dressy and chic, and just right to wear with a nice knee-length skirt. I searched several different stores and websites and found the perfect pair (and price)!

I took Brad shopping with me yesterday and that had this pair at the store! Only two sizes were left, and thankfully mine was one of them! I also got my little one his first pair of winter boots. They are the most adorable things! They are dark blue and fleece insulated. They look super warm, and I can't wait to see him toddling around in the snow with these on!
One of the times I was at Michaels recently, I noticed a new Christmas village piece that I knew belonged in our collection. It is called "Tune Up" and they were out at that time. I checked back yesterday and found out that once their village shipment is gone it will not be replaced! Thankfully the Michaels store by my mom in the city had 3 left in stock. I immediately placed a phone call to her for her to PLEASE run up there and snatch one up!
She called me back shortly thereafter and told me she had gotten the last one! And they are 40% off this week so that made it even better. Here is the piece:

Isn't it the cutest!?? It reminds me so much of Nick's car, and in a few years this could be the exact scene in our driveway of him showing our little boy how to fix engines. I dream of the day that Brad has the endless knowledge of cars that Nick has. Maybe even one day he will want a classic car of his own!
Lately even more than ever, Nick and I have been clinging to each other not only as spouses, but as best friends. Throughout the years we have had to both take a deep look at our friends and realize that some of them have not grown in the same direction that we have taken our lives. After so many years with some of them it can be hard to accept, but then again sometimes the decision is made for you. We realize that we are each other's rock, and when we move to New York we will only have each other for awhile until we get settled. And family of course!
That is another thing that we talk about: families. My family is very close and active with each other, whereas Nick's family is more passive. It is very hard to get them to come over for a holiday or family dinner. There is always a reason why they can't. Thankfully my family has stepped in and taken Nick in as their own. He has been a part of my family for almost 8 years now! I think my dad especially enjoys our get-togethers because they can sit around and talk computers or cars, and Nick is one of the few men he knows that can keep up on his level!
That's all for now, I have been keeping busy scrapbooking our activities of the summer and fall. I need to get caught up before all of the holiday pictures are taken....


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adventures at a Pumpkin Farm

I am proud to say that Nick is done with going to class! He still has an online one, but his finished his other classwork early and doesn't have to worry about going back anymore! I am just so proud of him and how far he has come over the years. I can't wait to see him graduate! To celebrate, I made him a nice steak for lunch today, then we went to the city tonight for a nice dinner together.

Since he got home early, I figured it would be the perfect time (and perfect weather today) to use up a "coupon" I got online at groupon.com for a 2-for-1 admission to a pumpkin farm here in Norman including 2 pumpkins. I had to use it by Nov. 13, and they were supposed to be open everyday until dark. After some difficulty finding it, we finally saw a sign and managed to find the windy road that led to the "farm".

As we pulled up to what looked like an office, I noticed there wasn't anyone around--not a soul! No cars, no people, no animals...this farm was supposed to have hayrides, a petting zoo, etc. We looked and looked, still didn't see anyone there. I started getting upset because we only have a couple more days that could use this coupon, and I was bound and determined to get some pumpkins!

I parked and Nick walked up to the office, which turned out to not really be an office at all but some sort of display area for pumpkins and gourds. There was just a sign that said if you want to buy a pumpkin, put the money in the box. Yes there was a little metal box on a desk, and prices written on the pumpkins. That was it! There were cute displays of pumpkins all over, and haystacks and a play area with slides and such, just no one there to run everything! I told Nick, you know what? I don't care! We still took pictures, and had a fun time, and played on the slide, and took 2 pumpkins! I put my coupon in the box and we went on our merry way :)

I do feel disappointed that we weren't able to get the full experience that we were expecting, so I do plan to email the website to let them know about our situation. Otherwise Brad enjoyed climbing on the hay and playing with pumpkins!
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