This Christmas is VERY Merry!

beskow snow

Hello there! I apologize (sort of…not really) for the super long hiatus I’ve been on! The months of November and December have been action-packed, to say the least. And it isn’t to say I haven’t wanted to post over the last few weeks, because believe me, I really, really have! But since I no longer have a reason to keep quiet….here goes! We are experiencing our own little Christmas miracle this year–

that’s right: Baby #2 is on the way!!! Cassidy is going to be a big sister and we are THRILLED. I’m 12 weeks along and due late June/early July. And of course, feeling rotten. ;) Actually, the rotten part is (hopefully) almost done. I was pretty sick for awhile (i.e. the first 2 months) and had NO desire to eat food, think about food, or blog about food. It’s still not great, especially at night, but I really feel like I’m on the downhill slide.

We’ve talked to Cassidy about her new brother or sister, but I don’t think she quite getting it. We’ve got 6 months to get her used to the idea, though, and I’m sure she’ll start getting curious as soon as I start showing a lot more.

So now you know the reason for my disappearance. Thanks to those of you who missed me and sent me messages to check on me- that was greatly appreciated! After the holidays I hope to get back into blogging and back to a more normal version of myself (who knows, maybe I’ll even find the energy to change out of my pajama pants every now and then!). Until then, I want to wish you all a VERY merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Have a wonderful time with your friends and families and don’t forget the real reason we celebrate each year!

Share:




Guess What…!

ZuZu

We got a new playmate for Izzy! Meet ZuZu, the newest member of our family! :) She’s about a year old and we *think* she’s part Chihuahua, part Maltese. Who knows, though.

ZuZu 2

(just look at that spotted little tummy!)

For quite awhile now, I’ve really been feeling like it was time to adopt another dog. Izzy is such a fun-loving, playful girl, so we didn’t feel it was quite right for her to be an only “dog-child”. As much as Cassidy loves pestering Izzy, we still thought she could benefit from a non-human friend. As sheer luck would have it, out of the blue, a friend of ours announced she had rescued a little dog from the side of the highway and was trying to find a good home for her. Honestly, ZuZu was nothing like what we thought we were looking for in a new dog, but once I met her, I was convinced she was the girl for us!

It all depended on how she interacted with Izzy and Cassidy (no pressure, Zu!). We brought her home and let the dogs run wild together in the yard. At first, Izzy wasn’t sure how to react to all of ZuZu’s energy, but she got the hang of it and eventually, they started playing really well together! Success!

We took ZuZu to the vet and got her all checked out, microchipped, vaccinated, and spayed, then promptly brought her home to STAY! Here it is a month later, and ZuZu and Izzy are best buds- they play SO well together (all the time!). She is so gentle and sweet with Cassidy and has our entire family wrapped around her little paw! We all love her so much already and Joel and I are SO happy we were lucky enough to adopt her! Welcome to the family, ZuZu!

zuzu and izzy

Share:




Vacation Photos (part 2)…

galv 18

galv 6

galv 24

galv 23

galv 25

galv 32

galv 31

galv 30

galv 29

galv 22

galv 3

galv

galv 5

galv 14

*sigh* Until next time, Galveston!

Share:




Vacation Photos (part 1)

Howdy folks! I told you we were gearing up to take our very first family vacation. Well, it happened last weekend. And surprisingly…it rocked. Every aspect of it was wonderful (except for the hellish car trip home…that made us both rethink this whole parenting thing). Here are a few pictures from our trip to Galveston, Tx. (all photos are unedited. Frankly, I’m just too lazy…)

galv 10

galv 8

galv 11

galv 12

galv 13

first time on the beach- she was terrified of the sand!

galv 16

galv 15

galv 19

galv 7

galv 27

galv 21

galv 17

galv 20

Needless to say, she slept VERY well each night…

More pictures to come soon! :)

Share:




Ugh, Blogging…

I’m going to be real honest with you for a second. I’m sick of blogging. Each day I find it harder and harder to sit down and write a post. Usually because I’m too busy/too tired/whatever. But mostly because, frankly, I’m just tired of it. I’m too lazy to style my food, so my pictures suck. There’s nothing I can say in my post that hasn’t already been said a billion times. I’ve been blogging for 5 years, people. It’s been said.

Blogging is a different animal nowadays. When I first started this blog back in 2008, it was pretty simple. We cooked, we photographed, we blogged. It seems like now there are like, 10 added steps! We cook it (not necessarily because it sounded like great recipe, but because we think it might be a big hit on pinterest), we style it, we photograph it, we blog it, we submit it to various food photography sites, we pin it, we post it to our facebook, twitter, and instagram, and then we do the whole thing over again the very next day, because if we let off the gas pedal for even a little, we might lose our followers and our advertising revenue will go down, all the while, finding time to go to countless seminars and conferences learning how to better our blogs, become masters at SEO, and learn how to get the maximum exposure on pinterest. Well, I’m in trouble….because I hardly do any of that! Imagine the cloud of worry constantly hanging over my head because I’ve fallen off the blogging horse and can’t seem to get back up. What will happen to my blogher ads? What if I lose readers? My pay will go down considerably! ‘My pay’?? Seriously?! Gross, Amy.

Then I log onto twitter/pinterest/feedly and see so many fellow bloggers selling out and proudly doing some random company’s advertising for them. Is that what we’ve become, bloggers? An advertisement for someone else‘s stuff? If every post you create revolves around a product that someone paid you to talk about, I think you’re missing the point. I’m tired of good bloggers trying to sell me on cell phones/potatoes/coffee makers/yogurt/WHATEVER.  But even that isn’t the real reason I’m sick of blogging.

There is a particular post that has been sitting in my drafts folder for almost a year now. It’s a cursed post. Seriously. Every time I sit down to finish the dang thing, something ALWAYS happens to prohibit me from typing a word. I’m not kidding- the post draft contains one picture…but not one word. This morning, I decided to sit down and just knock it out in one setting. Just plow on through and get it finished! And then this happened:

photo 1

And this:

photo 2

 [heart = melted]

Seriously, HOW can I, in good conscience, sit there and blog while my sweet baby looks like this?! I can’t. That’s why I barely get any blogging done anymore. Because I refuse to do it while Cassidy is awake, since that’s our time. When she’s napping, I try to use the time for a shower or cleaning or napping myself. By the time bedtime rolls around, honestly, I just don’t feel like it. That’s my time with Joel, and the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a laptop.

I know. There are LOTS of blogging moms who find time to do it all. Pretty much all of my closest blogging friends have kids- little kids!- and they find plenty of time to devote to their blogs while giving ample attention to their children. I guess the difference between them and me is they’re not burned out. I need to find purpose in my blogging again. And something tells me it has nothing to do with stats, ads, or pinterest. I know that every time I wait a week in between posts, I lose readers. I know that. But it also means I’m doing something far more meaningful with my time- whether it’s swinging in the back yard or pretend cooking with Cassidy, lounging in bed watching Psych re-runs with Joel, or having coffee with my mom and sister. When I finally do find my blogging purpose again (and I will), it’ll be because it was on my schedule and not my readers’ or pinterest’s or my sidebar ads’. So there.

Phew. It feels good to get that out! Any other bloggers out there feel my pain? Share it with me! I’d love to know how you refreshed yourself and your blogging! Hopefully I’m not alone, here. :)

Share:




I Will Praise You In This Storm…

tornado4

On Wednesday, May 15th, my little town witnessed a massive and destructive tornado. I’ve written down the story and shared lots and lots of pictures over on my family blog, A Little Something Lovely, and I hope you’ll take the time to click over and check it out. Thank you for being patient with me the past couple of weeks as my family and I get our lives put back together.

Also, thank you to my friends, family, former co-workers, and fellow bloggers who have called, texted, emailed, tweeted, and facebooked us to check on us! And an  especially big thank you to each and every one of YOU who have been so kind and supportive to me and my family during this time. You are all wonderful.

Click here to read the story.

tornado5

Share:




Mother’s Day…

dedication2

Yesterday was a special day. Obviously, because of Mother’s Day, but also because our baby girl, Cassidy was dedicated at church. For those of you who aren’t familiar, in some churches, after a baby is born, the parents will have them dedicated. Basically, it’s a ceremony where all new parents line up in front of the congregation, and dedicate their new baby to God, promising to love them, pray for them, and raise them to be followers of Christ. In turn, the church also promises to keep the new parents in their prayers and help them in any way they can. It’s a sweet little ceremony that is meaningful and special to the parents. Our whole family was there, which made it even more special to us! Joel and I were so happy to take part in this and will remember it always!

dedication5

It was especially meaningful for me, because I was asked to sing. Here’s a little tip: don’t ever agree to sing a song about watching your baby grow up ON Mother’s Day, and ON the day your own baby is being dedicated. Yikes. I may have had a teensy meltdown in the middle of my song. Luckily, every mom in that room understood completely.

My whole Mother’s Day weekend was wonderful. I have the most thoughtful, sweet husband who cherishes me and makes me feel like the world’s greatest mother, even when I don’t deserve it.

I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day and felt as appreciated and loved as I did!

dedication4

Share:




Happy Birthday, Cassidy!

4 copy

Well, folks, my baby is one today. My baby is one today. Let that sink in. My precious, soft, cuddly baby girl…is no longer a baby. We’ve just crossed over into toddler land. A toddler. How. Did. This. Happen?!

How could this be, when, just yesterday we packed our bags and headed to the hospital absolutely terrified?

Just yesterday tears rolled down my cheeks as I heard my baby cry for the first time.

Just yesterday Joel and I brought our sweet bundle home and began the most terrifying/satisfying/tremendous chapter of our lives.

It was JUST YESTERDAY. So how can this be, that suddenly I have a toddler walking around my house babbling sweetly, giving me high-fives, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, and saying, “oh myyyy” constantly (seriously- we have a little George Takei on our hands….)?

However it happened, time somehow sneaked in and stole my baby from me. It didn’t matter how many pictures and videos I took or how hard I squeezed her as I rocked her to sleep every night…it happened. She’s one. Next up, college.

6 copy

Before I get too caught up in my own emotion, here are a few fun 12 month stats for the birthday girl:

As I mentioned before, yep…we’re walking. Full-on walking. It’s freaking adorable.

Eating solids like a boss. Spaghetti is still the favorite, but animal crackers and green beans run a close second. Meatloaf has also proven successful.

This girl loves shoes. Especially putting on the shoes. If I hold a shoe up, she’ll stick out her right foot every single time and let me put her shoes on her. If I take the shoes off, she’ll bring me said shoes and promptly stick her right foot in the air, just waiting for her shoe to be put on. She doesn’t seem to care much about the left foot. She’s perfectly satisfied with just the right shoe on. Adorable, this kid!

Still an awesome nighttime sleeper. 12 1/2 to 13 hours every single night. Naps, however, are a different story. I’m lucky if I get one hour long nap a day out of her.

She’s started trying to climb everything. And a dish got broken yesterday afternoon. We may need one of those onesies that says, “I’m why we can’t have nice things” on it. ;)

You should see the little red curls on the back of this kid’s head! Too much cuteness!

Still only 5 teeth, but she’s currently working on 2 new ones right now (fun times).

And now, here’s a short (hilarious) video of her walking. (turn up your volume; the sound’s the best part):

Happy birthday, Cassidy Grace. Your Daddy and I love you more than life itself!

P.S. I apologize for not updating sooner- I was literally locked out of my blog. Seriously. Something about a corrupted database…I dunno. Joel fixed it, though, so we’re back in business! So sorry for the absence!

Share:




Hi…

Ok, raise of hands: who, out of all of you out there, actually cares about the goings on of my life?? Maybe 3 total?? ….oh well. It’s you 3 that give me motivation to keep blogging. Most people just look at the pictures, search for recipes, and leave the occasional comment (one of the most recent ones being: “will this still taste good if I stick it up my a**?”. Interesting….and the answer is most definitely yes, anonymous commenter….yes, it will.) ;) And that’s perfectly wonderful. I LOVE having people who love food reading my blog. Love it! I know for most of you, this is just a food blog, period. But for those 3 of you who actually like my non-food posts, thanks a million. Really.

Things are zipping right along for us- most of our boxes are unpacked, I’m getting things hung up on the walls (blank walls are so sad…), and the faux fireplace my dad, Grandaddy, and father-in-law have been building is almost finished (it’s going to look amazing!). We’ve actually met a bunch of our neighbors, too! Izzy enjoys socializing with her fur-neighbors behind us (two Westies and a Schnauzer- so cute!) and she’s settled right in. She absolutely loves her new backyard; there’s plenty of room to run, lots of sunshine, and dogs on every side of the fence! It’s so nice having a sense of “community” again (something we definitely did NOT have in our old town) and we’re loving being back home. I love my new kitchen and have finally been able to cook a few meals and have family over. I can’t wait to give you a tour of our house! :)

Our 6 year anniversary was this past Sunday and we celebrated by buying each other iPhone 5s, going to our favorite restaurant Saturday night, then taking it easy all day Sunday. Wow, 6 years of marriage (love you, sweetie!)!

Cassidy is 8 months old and more beautiful and funny than ever. She amazes me every day and I feel like the luckiest mommy in the world! She’s been working hard on learning to walk- she’s taken a few steps and I think we’re getting pretty close! She also waved “bye-bye” twice today, which, obviously makes her the smartest, brightest baby in the world. Of course. I’ve been working really hard (and long) on a post all about homemade baby food- breaking it down into easy to follow steps, tips, and recipes. I seriously can’t wait to share it with you!

I’ve got some good stuff coming up on the blog- a wedding shower post for a dear friend, homemade baby food, and some fun Halloween treats! Stay tuned!

Share:




She’s Here!

Well, our sweet Cassidy Grace is finally here! She’s only a week old and we’re already totally and completely smitten (of course, we were smitten at first glance!). She has my hair (red!), eyes and smile, and Joel’s dimples (yay!) and cheeks. She’s just gorgeous! I went in to be induced last Tuesday morning, but ended up having to have an emergency c-section (our girl was just too big!) and Cassidy was born at 8:09 PM. Of course that’s the shortened version and maybe I’ll write the long version soon, but for now all you need to know is that SHE’S HERE! And she’s absolutely perfect…

We were in the hospital 4 days and had a wonderful experience there. Cassidy had so many visitors and wonderful presents! Everybody’s doing great now, although it’s a big adjustment and there’s lots of learning as we go! Even though we’re completely sleep-deprived, Joel and I are the happiest we’ve ever been and our little girl is the greatest blessing we could have ever received!

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, support and encouragement throughout these nine months. It’s been an incredible journey and my life will forever be changed in the best possible way. I can’t wait to watch this little girl grow (just as long as she does it as slowly as possible!) :)

 

Share: