Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy 2nd Anniversary

Note: I scheduled this post about two weeks ago knowing that baby K's due date fell four days before our anniversary.  I am hoping she is here by the time this is published. 

Two years of marriage have flown by - who knew it would go by so fast?  My husband has truly been an unexpected gift from God because I never expected to get married (note to self: I should do a post on that someday).  Has it all been easy? No.  Has it all been worthwhile.  Definitely. 

Kelly - I am so blessed by your hardworking nature and the sincerity with which you approach all relationships. You are talented beyond words and I love seeing the way your problem solve and create with your hands.  You surprise me all the time with interesting pieces from your past and you make me laugh at the most hill-billiest of things.  I look forward to the next year of marriage with you, not to mention the following 57 after that!

Happy wedding day!
Happy one year! This was taken on our first date after having our son one month before this anniversary.

Easter 2013 - we are now a family of 3 1/2 as we approach our second anniversary! Hopefully a family of four...c'mon on baby K!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Is today the day?

Today is baby Katherine's official due date folks: May 24!  Since I am putting this post together a few days early I'm not sure if she has arrived...or not.  In my opinion, most likely not.  She seems pretty happy right where she is at and enjoys making me uncomfortable, giving me heart burn and terrible leg cramps at night.

I asked family and friends to weigh in on their estimated due date and her weight - I wanted to record what everyone guesstimated for future prosperity of course! If you were not on the email I sent out, or did not respond, and would like to, feel free to leave your guesses in the comments section.  If you are interested in a little perspective from HB's delivery, my contractions started on his due date but then it took me almost 48 hours before delivering (45.5 hours!) and he weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces, so apparently I grew a chunky monkey that took awhile to convince it was time to come out!

May 17 VerRona (sorry friend, this date has sadly come and gone!)
May 19 Uncle Paul
May 21 Stephanie
May 22 Amy G.
May 23 Greta
May 25 Becca M./Kir/Sherry/Grandpa G.
May 26 Carrie Pedreiro
May 27 Aunt Anna Banana/Grandma G.
May 28 Ann/Daddy aka Kelly
June 1 Holly ( surely hope she comes before this!)

Weight (bless everyone who guessed less than 8 pounds!):
7lbs 5oz Sherry/Becca M.
7lbs 8oz VerRona
7lbs 10oz Ann/Carrie Pedreiro
7lbs 12oz Sarah Schroder
8lbs 1 oz Grandma G.
8lbs 2oz Greta
8lbs 3oz Kir/Stephanie/Holly/Amy G.
8lbs 4 1/2oz Grandpa G.
8lbs 8oz Daddy aka Kelly
9lbs 1oz Aunt Anna Banana (My sister said she was being realistic...but 9+  pounds sounds terrible!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Whatcha Making Wednesday: Blueberry Crumb Bars

I adapted this recipe from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen.  I realize I just dropped her name like we're BFF's.  We're not.  She doesn't even know who I am.  But I definitely know who she is - I have been reading her blog for years (seriously).  I love most every recipe I try and rarely adapt them.  But this recipe wasn't sweet enough for me upon my first try.  I think that's my pregnancy talking though because I have had some serious cravings for sweets while pregnant with baby Wright #2.  I also just really like brown sugar so that is where I changed things up.  These blueberry bars are heavy on the crumb topping (just the way I like them) and could honestly be served as a sweet side to a breakfast or brunch or  you could easily add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make them a dessert.  Whatever your preference though, enjoy!

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar (1/2 white, 1/2 brown), 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.  These store really nicely in the fridge too!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Journey that Matters

I have been attending a women's only bible study for more years than I can count on one hand.  Although the group of women changes over time, and sometimes the entire group changes as I've changed churches, I wouldn't trade this female fellowship for anything.  If you are a woman reading this, and haven't ever studied God's word and shared your life with other women on a regular basis, I would encourage you to do so.  You will be encouraged, lifted up and reminded that you're not the only one experiencing your struggles, doubts or hardships.

Which leads me to the topic of this post - in the Beth Moore study Stepping Up, a Journey through the Psalms of Ascent I learned something that struck a chord in my heart for this journey of motherhood that I recently embarked on.  Before this study I was completely unaware that there was even a grouping of Psalms identified as the Psalms of Ascent; during my study of these 15 Psalms, chapters 120 through 134, I learned that they were a group of songs sung by Jews on their pilgrimage to the Three Great Feasts.  As modern day Christians we too are on a pilgrimage, maybe not to the earthly Jeruselum, but a pilgrimage nonetheless.  Since we are headed to the heavenly Jeruselum our hearts and minds need to be of the mindset that we are NOT stuck in park.  We are not living static lives.  We are on the way to somewhere.  Figuratively AND literally.  And God cares about how we live as we travel from here to there.

I don't know about you, but have you ever felt stuck in a situation or relationship?  Have you ever felt suffocated by your circumstances, feeling like things are never going to change or improve?  I'm not saying that is how I feel about motherhood but I will say I feel stuck sometimes.  I get in the mindset where I focus on single moments that tend to be really challenging or difficult and I feel like I am making no progress or as if things are never going to change.  Maybe it's a day where I feel unappreciated or buried in dishes and diaper changes.  Whatever it is though, I can't seem to focus on the fact that I am still on a journey to the heavenly Jeruselum and God cares about the life I live, moment to moment.  And that is why I was so encouraged by this study - my journey matters to God.  He cares how I live my life and I need to remember that I am not stuck.  I am on a journey and God is not looking for perfection out of me; He created me and knows that I am a broken vessel that makes many mistakes.  He is looking for a sincere heart and someone who loves Him and seeks to live my life more like Him everyday. And like any trip, the hard times will pass.  There will be better days ahead.  I don't know about you but that encourages me to remember to look forward to those days.

Psalm 84:5-7
[5] What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jeruselum. [6] When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. [7] The will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jeruselum.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Green Chile Cornbread

Whatcha Making Wednesday: Green Chile Cornbread

A few of my favorite recipes come from my mother-in-law and this recipe is included in that group.  If you've ever had a spoonbread you'll think it similar to this.  I love it when I ask my MIL to write down a recipe for me - she kind of laughs and then starts estimating what the portion size of the ingredients list is.  She always uses a little of this, and a little of that, so her recipes are very adaptable.  In my opinion this makes a tasty, quick side dish for Mexican food or any type of grilled meat.  Plus it is very kiddo friendly - HB loves this and when I served it last week he utilized his newly acquired skill of pointing and grunting "oohh."

Mix the following ingredients together and baked at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  (I realize that is a huge span of time but it is largely variable depending on how deep your dish is.  The shallower your pan, the shorter the time and vice versa.)

2 cans cream style corn
1 can diced greeen chiles (or 1/3 cup if you roast your own)
1 t baking powder
3/4 t garlic salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 - 1 cup corn meal
1 cup (or a good handful) of cheddar cheese
2 eggs

Sunday, May 12, 2013

HB's First Birthday - A Day at the Farm

We had fun celebrating HB's first birthday by having family and friends over for lunch.  Kelly pit barbecued beef and lamb - we had a ton of beef short ribs in our freezer and they turned out super tender along with a the few beef roasts and legs of lamb we mixed in. My sister made her awesome crock pot beans and my mom contributed the world's best potato salad.  We ended up  having way too much food but really enjoyed the company of  everyone who came.  I think my favorite contribution to lunch was the relish "tray" I made using a box of wide-mouthed pint mason jars.  I filled each jar with various veggies and then served them in the box - I thought it was an interesting way to display the veggies.

I was really looking forward to getting some fun pictures of HB eating his cake and as usual the little ham cooperated and put on a big smile for the camera!  Grandpa bent down to see how the cake was and HB was very sweet and fed him some cake.  However, when I bent down to see how it was he threw cake at my face.  What an angel, right?  I made a coca-cola cake, which tastes great, but isn't that great for layering because it is very dense.  It was supposed to look like a farm field to go along with our farm theme which I guess was kind of realistic after the frosting was goopy and the cake crumbs I was going to press on were kind of spotty.  Oh well, he loved eating it and I think everyone else did too!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Whatcha Making Wednesday: Comfort Meatballs

For some reason I took a small hiatus from cooking much while Kelly was home on vacation this past month.  One would think I might cook more since he was home more; not true this time though.  We've had a lot going on in our home life with various family members and each situation took a huge toll on this pregnant mama.  Emotionally and physically.  I finally felt up to getting my hands dirty in the kitchen again last week so I made Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meatballs.  I've paged past this recipe in her first cookbook many a time, but never had I been interested until now. I had my doubts about how satisfying the meatballs would be because as you will read in a moment, the ingredient list is fairly simple.  However, PW did not let us down this time. 

Meatball Ingredients
(I changed the original amounts listed in the cookbook because I wanted to use two pounds of ground beef instead of 1 1/2)
-2 pounds ground beef
-1 cup quick oats
-1 1/3 cups milk
-4 T very finely minced onion
-2 teaspoons salt
-Plenty of ground black pepper

4 T canola oil
1/2 cup flour

-1 1/3 cup ketchup
-2 1/2 T sugar
-4 T distilled white vinegar
-2 1/3 T Worcestershire sauce
-4 to 6 T minced onion

1. Combine ground beef and oats.  Pour in milk, diced onion, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine - or use your hands like I did! And unless you want to eat super dense, tough meatballs you'll want to use a gentle hand.  Roll the meat mixture into tablespoon size balls and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes - or as long as you need to feed your baby, change diapers, and put out any other "fires" among your children.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  (I like using a dutch oven type pot because it helps contain the oil splatters better and makes for a quicker clean up.) Dredge the meatballs in flour and then brown them in batches until light brown.  Place browned meatballs in a baking dish such as a 9x13 baking pan or a rimmed baking sheet.

3.  Stir together the sauce ingredients and spoon the sauce evenly over the meatballs.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

PW's last step told me to feed this to ravenous nursing mothers because this is the same recipe for meatballs that she craved when she was nursing her children.  So...all my friends who live close enough to make me dinner, don't forget I'm about to have a baby in 2 1/2 weeks

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Whatcha Making Wednesday: Homemade Salsa

My hubby goes back to work today after a month of vacation...tear, sigh, pout.  He is a firefighter and typically requests vacation for the majority of the month of April so he can lamb out our flock of 40 ewes.  I am grateful that he has such awesome benefits, vacation time being just one of them, and am especially thankful for the time he had at home for the past month.  Seriously though, where did the time go?  The month started off with a quick trip to Montana for my grandmother's memorial service and has since flown by as we celebrated our son's first birthday and made 50 gallons of homemade ice cream for various events (hubby re-built a 1 1/2 horse John Deere engine to churn 5 gallons at a time).  Today's WMW post is in honor of hubby - he makes great homemade salsa for guys at the fire station and here at our casa too!

Mix the following ingredients using a blender:
2 14 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes
1 small can of El Pato
1 bunch of cilantro (I included a picture of cilantro fresh from our garden - it is growing out of control!!)
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
garlic salt to taste

I like my salsa on the smoother side so I tend to blend the mixture too long for hubby's taste.  He likes it chunkier so sometimes he uses sliced, stewed tomatoes or you could even use a petite diced tomato and then just rough chop the veggies and give it all a good stir in a bowl.  Enjoy!