Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friendsgiving 2017

We went to our first Friendsgiving last night and it was THE BEST time!  Matt and Katie hosted and we all stuffed ourselves to the brim.  My belly was so full of baby and food I just had to lay on the couch for 30 minutes.

 We all had a great, relaxed time.  The kids played, the adults ate and drank, and we just soaked up the time together.  I'm a little surprised we have never attended or hosted a Friendsgiving before but I think it's something that would be fun to do every year.

Matt's parents (who we love and have even vacationed with) were in town from Texas and made sure that this was a southern dinner to remember--Ryan and I said we have never been to such an extravagant, delicious Thanksgiving in our lives.  Seriously, we were all blessed so much!

There were SEVEN kinds of dessert, over a dozen side dishes and several different kinds of meat.  We were full and very happy to hang with some of our favorite people and enjoy delicious food.

It was a house full of little boys between all of our kids.  Not one single girl!

Gideon bull dozed his ham and managed to eat not even one bite of his dinner *sigh*.  How 2 year olds survive and grow is one of the great mysteries of the world

We are hosting Thanksgiving this Thursday for 10 adults and 8 kids.  Ryan will brine and roast the turkey as always and I'll be in charge of decorations, side dishes and desserts.  Everyone we invited is also bringing something to share which makes the load of hosting significantly easier.  We can't wait!

I read this quote from an author I have been enjoying lately, Shauna Neiquist: 

"Hospitality is when someone leaves your home feeling better about themselves, not better about you"

That is a a truly meaningful quote to live by as we host Thanksgiving next week, host Sir's birthday party next month, and open our house to friends and family in this holiday season.  And all year long

The adventures of Giddy!  He gets so jazzed over school buses and this one happened to be parked in our church parking lot for some reason before MOPS.  He was very thrilled to see one up close and personal.  Ryan, Giddy and I went to see the Star Movie Friday morning and Giddy did incredibly well.  He walked around a lot but the theatre was empty and I think he liked the movie.  We give the Star Movie a thumbs up!

Just another family picture I had to throw in there!  I had about 75 printed (not just this one) that I need to go pick up for our Christmas cards.  I wrote a Christmas letter this year I'll print off at Kinkos and then just add the picture to the envelope.  I haven't done it this was before so we will see if we like doing it that way

And finally, Fat Sir in his beloved carrier!  He is the chunkiest 11 month old and when he is being carried on Ryan's front, Ryan gets headaches and shoulder pains from the weight of that 24+ lb chubster.  We decided to strap Sir to Ryan's back to see if he would tolerate it and it's working out amazingly!  Ryan's back doesn't hurt and Sir still gets a front row view of the world.

I cannot believe this little guy will be 1 in just a month.  We are planning a Winter ONEderland party for him.  I won't always do winter theme (because no one born near Christmas appreciates that, but he's 1 and doesn't care) but the catchiness of "one-derland" was just too good to pass up.  He will be the absolute best with a smash cake and I already ordered his presents last month that I know he will be thrilled with.


I'll be looking forward to pre-Thanksgiving cooking and prep this week, the Macy's parade, a home full of friends and family, and a 3 day work week for Ryan!  His new schedule on four 10's are long and definitely exhausting Monday through Thursday but on Friday we are all thankful to have him home.  And when a holiday falls on a Thursday, he has a 3 days week.  HOLLA!

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

Luke 9:48

Friday, November 17, 2017

Baby Boy 11 Months Old


Age: 11 months!

Sir I cannot believe we have known and loved you for almost 1 whole year!  Friends and family have been saying it for the last few weeks, but this "baby" is ALL toddler!  He has the biggest feet, chunkiest legs, and is starting to walk!  He finds so much happiness just being around his favorite people, eating (of course), and trying to beat his previous step record (current is 5 in a row).  We love this chunky monkey with all his sweetness, laid back nature and tender little heart.

Weight: 24 lbs

Length: I don't know!  He hasn't been measured since his 9 month appointment

Sizes: He's pretty much exclusively in 12-18 month clothes.  Many of the 12 months are getting tight so I just bust out the next box!  He is in size 5 diapers and size 4 shoe (he is not a fan of wearing shoes).

Eyes: Blue.  They are still so pretty and clear and really pop when I dress him in blue, which is all the time!

Hair: Red!  It's so curly after the bath and will keep a little wave once it dries.  It's getting much longer in the back and Ryan and I both like him with longer hair so we will just let those luscious locks grow out.

Sleeping:  He has been fighting his first nap for some reason but always settles down and goes to sleep.  He sleeps from about 8:30-10:00 a.m. and then about 1:00-2:30 p.m.  He goes to bed around 7:00 p.m. and will sleep until 6:00 a.m. the next morning.  He's a solid sleeper once he's out and is always ready for his naps!

Eating: His favorite foods right now seem to be clementine, applesauce, bean/cheese burrito, yogurt, puffs, peanut butter and bread.  He despises avocado and egg.  This month he tried some very tiny and tender bites of steak, hamburger, cheese pasta, almond butter, pears and of course anything that we are eating.  He drinks 4 bottles and day and still averages about 30 oz of formula per day.

Milestones/Words: He is taking steps like it's his job!  So far his record is 5 in a row and it's so cute to see him toddle across the room.  He is getting up from standing unassisted and then balancing forever, clapping on command, puts his hands up in the air if I say "SO big!", babbles ma-ma and definitely understands when we tell him "no!".  He is so smart and just thriving.

Memorable Outings:  We went to the new dinosaur exhibit at the museum last week, family time at the library and lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory over the weekend. 

Favorite toys/activities:  His favorite toy is this squeaker snake toy that he loves to crawl around with.  He loves our colorful tunnel he can crawl through, climbing into the cabinets, banging pots, untying shoelaces, playing with a sensory board with locks on it, and anything that shakes or rattles.  Lately he has been more patient if you read to him and he of course loves to be in the carrier on Ryan or on our nightly walks

Funny Moments: Sir has been making this funny "panting" noise like a dog so if you mimic it back to him he LAUGHS and laughs!

Looking forward to: More of those steps!  Everywhere we go would be so much easier with two walkers.  Having Sir on the ground means everything ends up in his mouth and it's just a disaster to go outside or to the park and not have him in his stroller.  I think his world will open up more and he'll be even more content when he can walk.  Watch out for this fast little guy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Freezer Meals & Weekly Outings

I was able to get out last Friday with some of my favorite ladies!  We went to the Jen Hatmaker Mess and Moxie Tour in Denver and had a blast.  There were a lot of hilarious moments, teachable moments, lots of wisdom and some of the prettiest music I've heard in awhile by Jen's counterpart on the tour, Nichole Nordeman.  It was a life giving evening out just us ladies with no kiddos!


The next night we went to a friend's birthday party and the only picture I took was of Gideon eating his highly anticipated chocolate cupcake, yum!

We have had some surprisingly pretty November weather here so Gideon and I are all about getting out back while Baby takes his first nap.  We do chalk, ride bikes, and pretend like it's July!

  And also, how sweet are these boys playing together?  This is a verrrrrrrrry rare moment when I don't have to referee their interaction and save poor baby from the wrath of 2 year old Giddy.  But I'll take what I can get.


I've been doing more freezer cooking!!!  This is where it's at people.  I like doing this to prep for baby.  This week I added 5 more items to the deep freeze downstairs:


Lactation Cookies or as we call them "Boobie Cookies".  These are full of oatmeal, peanut butter, flax, chia seeds and more.  A really healthy option for me post-birth but all the boys like them too!

Ham/Bell Pepper/Tomato Egg Cups (we doubled this recipe so we would have breakfast ready to go for the week)

Coconut Chicken Curry (I halved this recipe since I haven't made it before and 3 lbs of chicken seems like A LOT of curry to get through)

Shepherd's Pie



Next up on the list of freezer cooking will be bean and cheese burritos for easy lunches, two homemade pot pies using left over turkey from Thanksgiving next week, and a few more casserole-ish dishes.  Every time I bake something for our family like cookies or muffins I will try to double the recipe or set aside half of what I make to go into the freezer.

This fat sir looks so old in his big boy shoes!  I can't stand how cute he looks in them but he is not a fan of wearing them yet

Finally, just a random picture of two products I'm thankful for with the boys lately.  I dissolve 1 tsp of the probiotic into Sir's bottle once a day and I stir in 1 tsp into about 1/2 cup of applesauce for Gideon to eat.  They don't even know it's in there.  I draw up the Cod Liver Oil (bubble gum flavored) with a medicine syringe and they both take it easily.  I really do not want these boys sick this winter with the new baby so we are washing hands, taking these two supplements and sanitizing linens often.

This week we are looking forward to: MOPS, seeing the new Star Movie with Gideon Friday morning, Friendsgiving on Friday evening, time with friends this weekend and a laid back Sunday at church and home.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

Hebrews 6:13-15




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nesting & Boy Adventures

Unlike my first two boys, with this third one I am bound and determined to be a little more prepared in the meal department!

Gideon decided his birthday should be about 2 weeks early (plus 2 more weeks if he was past his due date!) and I had intended those 2-4 weeks for all my freezer meal cooking.  I can't say my body was too sad to not be pregnant anymore though so thanks for that, kid!

Then when Sir came along, he flew into our lives like a hurricane and we had about 10 days to get ourselves situated for a terribly sick newborn discharging from the NICU.  Our meal train from friends and family saved us!

This little guy is going to make us a family of 5 and with 3 boys under 2.5 years old I definitely need to be a little more prepared.  So every day this week I have been baking or cooking something new to freeze.

This week Giddy and I made a quadruple batch of Morning Glory Muffins (I like these because they have fruits and veggies in them), yesterday I doubled a chocolate chip cookie recipe and this morning Sir and I cooked up Sausage Bell Pepper Egg Cups

I have more recipes I'll be making and sharing in the next few weeks.  I think if I start now (the first week of my third trimester ) I can have a pretty good set up by January!

Labeled and ready for the deep freeze!

I have been nesting like it's my job now that week 28 has been more kind to me.  We are getting the basement set up as a playroom for the boys in these colder months, I'm already writing our Christmas letter, I've been organizing baby clothing boxes and purging anything we don't need in our dang house.

It feels good and is probably driving my husband nuts!

Here are other pics of our week...

We went on an hour long walk yesterday around the neighborhood and to see the church construction.  Gideon was mesmerized by the backhoe.  The worker even waved to him which made his day!

THIS is how you drink coffee on cold mornings as the holidays approach.  Coconutmilk Holiday Nog in your coffee.  You are welcome.

This was Giddy going in for a kiss to earn a marshmallow.  This is sometimes the only way I can get him to be nice to baby.  Giddy is in a jealous mommy stage/on-and-off "terrible two's" and so we are working on rewards for positive, nice behavior :)  I go through bags of mini marshmallows like it's my job. No shame.

This rolly little blue-horned monster (my boys LOVE these Squigz toys) had some solo foster mama time last night while Ryan worked late and Giddy Lou had a sleepover with his Gram and Gramps.  We had a late evening walk while the sky turned pink, dinner, warm bath and snuggly story time.  I was thankful when Ryan got home though because I was TIRED!

Also if you have freezer meal ideas or meals/items that freeze well e-mail them to me or comment so I can make them ASAP!  I need all the help I can get!

A merry heart does good like medicine

Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Stomach Bugs & Inspiration

First, before I post pictures I wanted to share a link (below) to one of my favorite blogs: Hope Heals.  You HAVE to go read about this amazing couple, Jay & Katherine Wolf.  Their marriage, health story and faith journey is unbelievable.  There is a video with their full story which is definitely worth the watch, but the quick run down is Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke at 26 years old while her 6 month old slept in the next room.  I could not tear my eyes away from their story and I know you'll be inspired to!  

Their love for each other and Jesus just sparks a fire in my soul.  If I live my life and marriage half as faithfully as these two I think things would have gone pretty well.

The link below though is an article Katherine wrote recently on marriage and I have gone back to it several times today.  Just soak up her incredible wisdom on marriage, one of the absolutely most investments we will make.

Hope Heals

SO...our life.  We tried to have a few adventures this last week but a stomach bug hit our house hard and that meant sick boys (with *ahem* a big side serving of GROUCHY!).  The bug took out the boys and Ryan for about 48 hours each and somehow, mercifully, I missed it.  Thank you Jesus!

The last night of the boy's sickness and Ryan's first night of feeling utterly terrible was spent watching Toy Story.  Three of my favorite humans right there, all sick hot messes.


On Saturday morning (pre-stomach bug), Ryan and I took Giddy on a Mom/Dad date to the Colorado Railroad Museum.  He was so thrilled by the whole experience.  He ran to each train, pointed out all the bells and whistles to us and I think had a really great time.  

We went to cousin Xander's birthday party that same day and we should have known he was getting sick because his behavior was unbearable the rest of the day.  He threw up twice after we got home.  So we gave ourselves a big parenting trophy for not knowing he was sick.  Poor guy-we are sorry Giddy Lou!

Giddy exploring the trains!  It was clear, comfortable weather for a November weekend.

Giddy trying on a conductor's hat and exploring all around.  It was very kid friendly and there were several spots just right for his age.  We also bought each of the boys a train Christmas ornament to carry on the tradition I grew up with of getting a new tree ornament every year.

The boys and I are starting a new breakfast rhythm and so far I like it.  Ryan just started a new job as an Engineer at the City of Westminster (go husband!).  His hours are Monday-Thursday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm.  Oh yes, you read that right.  10 hour days with an hour lunch.

Ack!  I LOVE that he gets every Friday off but these days are looooooooooong.  

Anyway, I'm stretching each activity out as long as possible to keep these boys occupied.  Our new breakfast plan of course involves sustenance of the breakfast variety, coffee for mama and reading a few pages of our beloved Jesus Storybook Bible.  

Go buy 10 copies right now to have around your house and give away.  It is truly one of my favorite books we have ever owned.

This morning we read about God speaking creation into existence from Genesis; how He breathed life from nothingness and made all things.  So the boys and I "discussed" (me mostly talking to uninterested, food covered toddlers) about how our words matter and bring life.  God uses words to bring life so we want to use our words the same way.  We prayed for obedient hearts and to use our words to build up and encourage each other.

We have been dealing with a lot of yelling from one 2 year old redhead in particular lately and I for some reason think it's reasonable to also yell to get their attention and correct the bad behavior with the very behavior I don't want (genius! not.)  So we are all doing heart checks around our house and growing together!

I like this time with the boys.  They have their food and are occupied.  All I have to do is read and lead them in a little prayer and talk.  I think we will keep doing it until we introduce our Advent devotional in December.


Gideon's life just about sums up every adult's feeling about coffee and functioning in the morning:

How I feel before coffee in the morning...


How I feel once order has been restored to the universe and the heavenly angel's sweet nectar is in my hands...


Oh Gideon.  There is never a dull moment with this kid.

And this is a picture of our bath tonight.  The boys took a 35 minute bath to help the evening pass as we waited for Daddy to get home.  Of course Sir is chewing on something and Gideon is pretending to shave.

I hope whatever stomach bug is floating around Colorado misses you and you have a stomach of steel to take it on if you get it.  Here's to a healthy, better week!

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Romans 8:5

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fall Activities & Updates

 I haven't forgotten that I blog here!  It has been a rough few weeks of pregnancy-feeling ridiculously tired from insomnia and sciatic pain at night, still throwing up several mornings, and just being worn out from taking care of two very busy little boys.

I am a tired mama to say the very least.

But against all odds, this morning at MOPS I had a huge plate of hot breakfast, drank two hot cups of decaf coffee and soaked up the words of our Jesus-loving speaker.  She is a counselor and was so fierce and funny-she encouraged us in her talk about how to thrive in young motherhood and she really spoke to me me with some of her wisdom.  There are some quotes I wrote down from her talk:

"The greatest gift you can give your kids is to be healthy."

"Magnify the sweet and peaceful moments with your children.  Magnify them in your heart and spirit to get you to the next day."

"Do not do motherhood by yourself."

I'm figuring out how to live out all of those.  I'll let you know if I ever figure it out! :) Finding health and balance, resting daily, mothering in community and magnifying the sweetness and wins instead of just the exhaustion and fails.  

Other than growing a human and loving MOPS... we have been up to some hosting events for friends, adventures around Denver, and of course Halloween!

Giddy and Grumples.  Two naughty boys who love each other!

We have been spending one morning per week at the library.  The boys seem to really enjoy playing trains and exploring the toy section plus I can stock up on seasonal books for us to read

Ryan trying on Halloween costumes a little early!

The boys both got flu shots last week and ROCKED it!  Neither cried.  Giddy shoved a mini snickers into his mouth for distraction and Sir let me feed him a bottle while he got poked.  I was very impressed with both boys

Gideon's Gram and Gramps took him to a pumpkin patch two weeks ago. He went on a train ride, hay ride and even picked his own big pumpkin!  He had the best time

Our church is under construction so we walked up to watch the big bulldozers and heavy equipment.  The boys were mesmerized!

We heard about a free garden tour that was decorated for Halloween and it was supposed to be really cool.  It was TOTAL dud but it was still nice to get out last week.  The biggest win of the day was going to Panera for lunch and both boys were ANGELS!  Progress!!

It has been so cold some days so when we get out it's heavy coats, mittens and warm hats

This last weekend we hosted a Pumpkin Carving/Chili Party for our friends.  There are SO many kids between us all so thankfully it was 70 degrees and we all got to hang outside for the festivities.

We had white bean chicken chili, homemade birthday cake, and just enjoyed a few hours with good friends

Babies and baby carriers galore!

We celebrated two birthdays and FEASTED on homemade chocolate cake and cheesecake

Just a random shot of Giddy in his new favorite place-his toy box!  He lays down two pillows and then climbs in to hide away

On Halloween morning I hosted a Halloween playdate for several ladies and their kiddos here at the house.  We had snacks, a little craft and played.  It was a nice way to spend the morning


All the kiddos (minus Sir, so the picture could be posted to Facebook).

Gideon went trick or treating Halloween night and was totally thrilled!  He even let us finally get him in his bee costume. My mom made this costume for me when I was 2 so it was fun to see him wearing it.  Gid collected tons of candy and was so proud coming back to show me what he earned.  

Kids make the holidays even more fun and special.


We had fall family photos done like we do every year!  It was FREEZING and windy as all else but the boys were trooper and we got some great shots.  I want to post every single one but because of Sir's foster situation I will have to wait.  

Here are two sneak previews...



Crossing my fingers I have the energy to post more in November!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

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