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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 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



Monday, November 28, 2011

You Know It's Christmas Time...

...when Crisp has his Santa hat on!!


Today was my *6th* day on call in a row and yes, I got called in every single day. Twice on Saturday for a total of 10 hours and twice today for a total of 4 hours. Needless to say I have felt a bit discombobulated these last few days and have pretty much lost track of what day it is. I really wanted to get my Christmas decorations up this weekend so I was very happy when I had time today!

We recently got our new router and streaming media device all hooked up to our TV and I discovered how awesome Pandora is! Any artist I love is on there--Charlotte Church, Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams, Michael Buble....on and on! So I listened to my faves while I transformed my house. It is 100x more awesome than the digital music channels were that we had with cable.

Here is the finished advent calendar I have been talking about! It is hanging on a wall right in my entry way so it is the first thing you see!




It is all felt and handmade by me! It took a LOT of time and patience but I am very happy with how it turned out and I know it will last for years to come.

I also made a little plush Santa (Nick said it looks like a voodoo doll) to move along in each spot while we are counting down to Christmas.


Now I just need to make one more crocheted stocking and put our names on them, then they can be hung on the mantle! It is so funny how every single year I forget how I decorated the year before and I end up putting things in all different places! And it is always a test to recall how in the world I got everything to fit into the totes...

I also have a couple pictures from our Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's on Thursday:



Brad was really good and had a blast playing with the older boys! We were planning on heading down to Foster to see Nick's family but had to cancel b/c I got called in that evening and Brad was cranky.

Tomorrow will be my first official day off since last Monday so I plan on enjoying it! I am going to finish up the decorating, maybe bake some bread, do some couponing, crochet some presents...

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Soapbox

Black Friday seems like an appropriate subject to relay some of my opinions on! Feel free to not read if you don't like other people's opinions...

Those who know me are aware that I am a pretty traditional, old-fashioned kind of girl. I value holidays, traditions, family time, dinners at the table, etc. Now that we have a son I feel these times are even more important for him to experience and remember growing up.

It saddens and angers me how it seems that every year becomes more centered around money, presents, gadgets, the latest and greatest...keeping up with the Jones' you could call it. I think it is ridiculous that almost every store opened at midnight (or earlier) last night just for black Friday sales, but almost equally ridiculous that there are people out there who are waiting in line for hours or days, spending hundreds of dollars going from store to store.

When did Christmas become this evil monster that people try to appease by blowing their budget on useless items that will be forgotten by February? When did businesses become so callused that the common employee who can't spend the holiday at home doesn't matter? When did shoppers become so blinded that physical harm is done in the name of a good deal?

I'm sure my opinions are in the minority--they usually are! But I employ the sentiment that the path of least resistance is not always the best path to take.

To play devil's advocate, I can empathize why some people feel compelled to be so materialistic--it is because that is what society jams down our throat every second of every day. Commercials, billboards, circulars, sales and gimmicks....companies are forever trying to make it "easy" to stay up-to-date and have the world at your fingertips. Almost every adult and now almost every child has the mindset that they can not live without their "**insert device name here**" and there is no end in sight.

Keep in mind that even just TWENTY years ago cell phones were rare, computers were for the rich, people would physically visit each other and write letters instead of just social networking. It is scary to think where we will be in another twenty years.

I realize that I have brought up two different subjects here but they are both part of the same entity--materialism. Christmas is NOT about the number of gifts you get or give, and life is not about how many different portable electronic devices you have. If you are able to afford tons of gifts for everyone on your list then good for you! If you don't have trouble keeping eye contact or conversations going without pausing to (rudely) check your smart phone for updates then congratulations! You are in the minority.

I'm sure if I had the fancy gadgets that I would love them, but I'm also sure that I would soon get to the point of feeling like I NEED them. And that is why I am putting up such a big fight. Thankfully Nick and I are on the same page with this about our own lifestyle and about Brad, so we will do our best to enjoy a simpler existence and all of the things in life that can't be replaced!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Recipe and a Gift

Some of you may have heard of Pinterest....some may not have. You will see a link -----> to follow my boards if you do have an account! Anywho I found this neat recipe for 2-ingredient Lemon Bars and decided to try it! (I also had a coupon for the pie filling)


You only need a box of Angel Food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling:

You gently mix them together in a medium bowl (I used a spoon to mix).....


...then pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until done!


The original recipe said to bake for 20min but mine were still gooey. I ended up baking for 35 min total and that was perfect. Sprinkle with powdered sugar then serve! YUM.

I have been working on handmade gifts for family and friends this Christmas. The most recent one I finished is a hat and mitten set for my almost-3-year-old niece Zoe!



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Monday, November 21, 2011

My Turkey Dinner

Yesterday at 5pm I hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner for my dad and my inlaws to join us in. I always do one of our own, and then we travel to my mom's for her dinner with the rest of my family.

I cooked the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes/gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cheesy cornbread, deviled eggs, and a pumpkin cheesecake. My MIL brought rolls and a cherry cheesecake, my dad brought Italian mac and cheese, and his girlfriend Virginia brought cherry pie! It was a feast and we were all stuffed afterward!

Here is little B eating an extra hard boiled egg...




It was finally cold yesterday so we decided to build our first fire of the season for everyone to enjoy!! It was lovely to sit by.


^My MIL Penny, SIL Sarah and niece Zoe

^My dad holding hands with his new girlfriend, Virginia (I hooked them up ;)



^Nick's best friend Terry also joined us in the festivities!

We all had a great time and after everyone left I hurriedly got the kitchen cleaned so that I could relax and digest!! My mom's dinner is Thursday at noon, then that evening we are driving down to see the inlaws and have dinner with them.

I have been working on some crafts lately that I will be posting about soon. I finished the advent calendar! It turned out marvelous and as soon as I get the rest of the Christmas decorations on the wall I will take a pic.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friends and Crafts

I didn't personally take any pictures of my friend's birthday party, but here is one that they took of us trying to get the kiddoes up on the gladiator game. Me and Brad are on the right!


Here is one of Brad in his room...he was being quiet in his room so I went to check on him and he had snagged one of Nick's extra keyboards and was playing with it.


I don't know if had mentioned the project I was working on, but it is a handmade Christmas advent calendar! It is all out of felt. I took features I liked from ideas on the internet and put them all together in my own design.





In the picture of the tree, it is not sewn down yet but I have since sewn it all together on the background. It was very labor intensive and took all of my patience, but it was worth it knowing that this will be hanging on our walls for many years to come!

The squares are going to be pockets and I'm going to make a plush felt Santa to move along in each pocket as we count down the days to Christmas. I'm sure I will end up putting chocolates or something in each pocket to eat as we count! If the boys can keep their hands off, that is.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Where Were You on 11-11-11?

I worked an early shift yesterday so that I could make it to a friend's birthday party in Shawnee. He is also a veteran so it was a double celebration! Brad went with me, but Nick couldn't make it because he was at a wedding rehearsal that he is Best Man in.

My MIL and SIL watched Brad until I could get home from work. They got him a BK happy meal and this is him enjoying his toy before we left for Shawnee...


My friends had rented a paintless-paintball setup and an inflatable gladiator game so the adults had a blast with those! The paintball was crazy--we all came out with more than a few wounds but it was worth it! They also had a bunch of good food, and I stayed late afterwards to help them clean up and get the babies ready for bed. As you can see, Brad passed out on our way home!


Nick left early this morning to do prewedding pictures and we joined him at the church at 11am for the ceremony. Here is Brad being good before we had to leave the auditorium when he started fussing....


We rejoined them for the reception and enjoyed some food and chat at a table with mutual friends. I don't get to see my hubby all fixed up very often!


Here is the bride and groom:


...and here is Nick and his longtime friend Brian. They have the same birthday (one year apart) and have been close friends for over 15 years. When Nick and I started dating we spent a lot of time all hanging out so even I have known him for almost 10 years!


Brian is also an avid guitar player so of course the groom's cake had a picture of one on it!


After the wedding I went to my mom's where both of my brothers were and Brad had fun playing his cousins for a bit. I plan to relax and enjoy the rest of my weekend!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

My Week Late Halloween Post

I was really busy right after Halloween and didn't get around to posting, then we got a virus on our computer and I LOST my pictures! Thankfully I had uploaded these few to Facebook so they were saved.

Up until the last minute our plans were up in the air! We wanted to meet with friends and trick-or-treat together but I had to work late and one of them had a class. But we both got away early and all met at my house just in time for after dark fun!

We all got in our costumes and started hitting up the neighbors all around us. There weren't as many participating as I remember from last year, but we did get a late start and they may have already closed up.

This pic is my favorite of the night: Nick in his ape costume holding Brad's hand ♥


After a few houses, Brad got pretty good about keeping his hat on and carrying his bucket (until it got too heavy).

Here we are at the house getting ready to head out: Me and Brad, Rachel and Jet, Zoe and Sarah

These are the kiddos waiting at a door for candy!

This is my sister-in-law Sarah and her little girl Zoe.

The Winn family

We all had a great time and the weather was just perfect. I threw a couple pizzas in the oven when we got home and we stayed up late watching a scary movie and snacking together!

So I'm sure most people have heard but we had a pretty big earthquake here in OK Saturday evening. It was actually the biggest in the state history--a 5.6! There was a 4.7 real early Saturday morning but I was asleep and did not feel that one. For the big one I was crocheting on the couch while Nick was at the gym and first I heard the cabinets rattling. Then when I started to feel the shaking I knew it was an earthquake. It lasted for at least a minute and got the chandeliers swinging back and forth. Nick missed the whole thing b/c he was on the treadmill :)

We had another one tonight and this time Nick and I were together in the kitchen. It wasn't near as strong--no swinging lights. The cabinets rattled for a bit and we could feel a little shaking. It was a 4.7 aftershock. Such craziness! I looked up the strengths of the last couple months' worth of earthquakes in CA and they are all 2s and 3s on the scale. So ours are way stronger than theirs! I did see on the news that several people in OKC had severe damage to their houses unfortunately.

In other news, I have been busy recently with several custom crochet orders! It is that time of the season that I love! Yesterday I actually made something for myself--a crocheted cowl scarf. I really wanted to make a grey one but didn't have enough yarn so I made it brown with an accent of green. I will take a pic of it soon for you! Next I want to make my little boy one!
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