Friday, November 29, 2013


Here's a peek into our Thanksgiving feast yesterday! It was a long day with lots of people, eating, dishes and speed Scrabble. As usual, Matt's fried turkey was a hit and a huge source of entertainment as we watched the bird bubbling in a vat of oil. (I'm telling ya, I'll never go back. 40 minutes in the fryer and you get the most moist and flavorful turkey you'll ever have.) 

We got good use out of Matt's new cocktail shaker! I made some cranberry punch for the kids and me to sip on while the adults indulged in cocktails and margaritas. I missed the tradition of sipping on champagne during appetizers, but I will say that it saved me a lot of stomach room to not drink something so bubbly.

I think I'll share that chocolate cream pie recipe later this week, it was SO good. I made homemade pie crust for the first time too! Since Matt's gluten free, I usually get away with crustless pumpkin pies but this year I just went for it. Yum. Have I mentioned my appetite's back?

I'm so excited it's finally Christmas time! We kicked off the season with a couple showings of Home Alone, a few servings of leftovers and some Christmas decorating. I've been feeling a little out of sorts since we have been living out of suitcases since April (exaggeration...we have a dresser now), but I decided I wouldn't let it slow me down from some good ol' fashioned Christmas. We still aren't sure what's next for us, but we better decide soon! I'm getting close to the halfway mark of this pregnancy, how did that happen?

In the meanwhile, we are so thankful to be living at the Clother's and SO happy to be able to spend holidays with them while we're living away from family. We are blessed!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

15 weeks

Finally, finally, finally reached the end of my first trimester a couple weeks ago. I kind of thought I'd wake up on the day of my 14th week and feel 100% better. It didn't really happen that way, but I'm starting to feel a lot less nauseous and a lot more energy. I was greeted into my 2nd trimester by a couple gnarly migraines that flare up from time to time, but honestly I'd take blinding head/neck pain over feeling sick to my stomach any day.

And just in time for Thanksgiving, my appetite is back! Mostly. These past few months I've been saying that I should volunteer my super-smelling nose powers to the FBI or something. I could smell the soap on Matt's hands after he washed them for hours and it made my stomach turn (enter: peppermint essential oil stirred into scent-free soap). Half the time it wasn't even my nausea that kicked my appetite, it was the idea of having to smell whatever was cooking. Or look at it. Or clean it up afterwards. My sweet, patient husband kept me properly fed and abided by all my obnoxious preferences. It's going to be a long time until I can eat salmon again. Ugh. Or until I can type the word out without flinching..

Some of my favorite snacks and meals are plain pasta with butter & parmesan cheese (actually, that's always a favorite), tangerines (I eat about five every day), ginger mints and the occasional bowl of cottage cheese. Maybe. Meat or other forms of incredibly high protein always immediately relieve my nausea, but it takes a lot of convincing to keep those down. 

Matt and I were able to spend the weekend with my family earlier this month. It was so wonderful. The Northwest was on it's best behavior while we were there; no rain, crisp air and exploding colors on all the leaves. I felt so good that weekend too. I had a lot of social energy from being around family and friends, my parents provided all my favorite snacks and their soap smelled really good. It was such a great weekend, but of course it blurred by. It was so hard to leave! Spending time with my family really made the pregnancy feel real. At that point, no one else really knew and it was the first time I'd seen my mom since I told her over Skype almost two months earlier! Isn't she a good secret-keeper? (I almost told her the day after I found out after receiving a text from her that read "I had a dream last night that you were pregnant, are you?" Sheesh. That mother's intuition runs deep.)

It was such a gift to be able to spend time with family, tell a few people in person about the news and experience some fall weather. It's just starting to get cold down here (as in, we turned the heater on for the first time all year about two days ago) and feel like fall/winter. Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite. Christmas season is my favorite time of year, and I feel like Thanksgiving is a great kick off to that. I love how relational it is, I love how much food there is, I love getting excited for Christmas and I love my husband's fried turkey. This will be our third Thanksgiving spent in this house with Alan & Cynthia. They have graciously invited us to join them year after year as none of us have family in town! Today I'm baking a few pies, prepping a few side dishes and maybe sneaking a little Christmas music in.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

3 months

Matt and I are really excited to announce that we're expecting a baby! 

Four pregnancy tests, three ultrasounds and 300 Saltine crackers later, it still feels really surreal that I'm pregnant. But the more people find out, the more real it becomes! Especially since I'm starting to show now. There's no going back! The picture we're holding is from our ultrasound at 11 weeks. I had a little scare and my doctor sent me off to get an ultrasound done right away. Matt rushed over from work and came bursting into the room just as the technician was finding our little babe on the screen. The baby was so active! Kicking (we saw toes!), squirming and turning upside down. We both just fell in love. It went from just feeling like I was experiencing an incurable case of the flu to remembering that there is a baby in there causing all that trouble! I'll never forget the look on Matt's face when he saw our baby rub their face with their little fist. (Note: there is only one baby in there, just not sure what pronoun to use yet!) So, so, so priceless.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A birthday and a DIY

A couple weekends ago, we celebrated Matt's 29th birthday. Lucky for us, it was on a Friday! We had dinner together (at his favorite barbeque place, of course) and then came home and enjoyed cake and cards with our housemates. I've finally mastered his favorite cake: gluten-free devil's food cake covered with Grandma's seven minute frosting. (Anyone else get a little intimidated making family recipes? Sheesh. You would've thought I was competing on Chopped or something.)  We had a really fun night and he loved all his gifts! I never get tired of celebrating that man. I am so thankful for his life and I still can't believe I get to be such a big part of it.

 Matt's been mixing drinks at home lately and trying out old fashioned recipes. We don't even have a shot glass, let alone anything else a proper bartender would need, so I decided to get him a few drink necessities. I tracked down a vintage cocktail shaker and thought I'd add a little recipe book alongside it. 

I aged plain white paper by dying it with black tea and I loved the way it turned out. The moisture gives the paper a great aged texture and the tea gives an uneven, streaky look. It was perfect! This would be a great way to distress gift tags, a banner, envelopes or anything else you think needs a touch of antique.

It's really easy. All you need is the paper you'd like to dye and a few bags of black tea. 


Dip the tea bags in a couple inches of boiling water until they are just moistened. Rub the teabag across the paper (careful, it's hot!), dipping it back in the water if necessary. Color will fade when you need to get a new tea bag.

Allow paper to air dry. I only did one side of the paper and it turned out great, but doing both sides would provide even more color and texture. 

I wrote down a few old fashioned drink recipes and tucked the booklet inside his cocktail shaker. He loved it! Now all we need is an excuse to host a cocktail party....