Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Single Parenting is hard

So Mark left this morning to head to Chicago.  I was so sad to see him go, and that was even made worse because I was sick.  I am feeling a lot better this evening as I write this entry, so hopefully it is on it's way out.

I had a rough night, but I woke up this morning thoroughly planning on heading to work.  I tried to get Monroe and I both ready, but I realized I wasn't feeling good at all, so I ended up staying home today.  It was very nice to be able to take it easy.  We both just rested and took it easy.  I did realize how horribly hard single parenting would be.  How do people get anything done.  It's nearly impossible!

Mark spent today with a realtor checking out homes for us to rent.  We wanted to buy, but we knew we really needed to get to know the lay of the land before we committed.  He went to about 9 houses and he feels pretty good about a few.  Hopefully one of the prospects works out!  Be praying!!!

We talked to Mark on ichat this evening.  I really think Monroe knew that was daddy on the screen!  She is definitely a daddy's little girl, so she was excited to see his face and hear his voice...I doubt she was as excited as I was.  Man, I miss that guy.  It hasn't even been 24 hours and I miss him.

Tonight I've been trying to pack as much as I can.  I have started taking down the decorations.  It doesn't really look like I've made a dent, but I will keep trying to work on it.  I really wish that I could get this whole place packed up before Mark gets home tomorrow:)

I just had to stop and wipe a tear.  I have American Idol on in the background.  I usually hate the audition weeks, as the people are so crazy and are clearly there just to be on tv.   Well, I got caught up in the story of this little country girl from Tennessee.  She really wanted to get out of her small little town.  Well, anyway, I was crossing my fingers that she wouldn't be one of those atrocious candidates.  Luckily, she was really good.  They all put her through to Hollywood and she was just so happy and so was her family.  It may not seem very touching, but it was.  I've alway been a crier.  Oh man, just wait for the Olympics!  They always have those amazing stories about these people that overcome all odds to be there...I can't stop the waterworks!

I just went to check on the sleeping monster...Monroe.  The hulk had returned.  Somehow she had managed to work herself out of her clothes once again.   I truly don't know how she is able to accomplish this feat.  I mean, they are those metal snaps!  Sometimes, I have a hard time getting them undone.

It is still sinking in that we are leaving in a week.  It just doesn't seem real!  I am so used to my life here now, and I'm having a hard time thinking of starting all over again somewhere else.  I just try to keep focusing on the positives.  It will be so nice to live near Mike, Melissa, Mason and Max.  How fun for  the cousins to be the best of friends.  I am so excited about that!  

Well, I better run.  I need to feed the beast:)  Here is a picture we took tonight.

This is a picture of Monroe showing off her newest trick...holding her own bottle.  She's pretty proud of herself.  

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Meal Plan Monday

I  just realized that I am supposed to have a meal plan for this, that's not going to happen.  I think I will put the meal plan stuff on hold until we get moved.  Is that okay? 

I did manage to find a very yummy looking recipe that I would like to try out for Au Gratin potatoes.  Doesn't the picture look so good?!!  I am going to give them a try this week, but other than that, I have no plans.

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 1 Hour
  • Difficulty Easy   

  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.
In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful. Delicious 

Mark is flying to Chicago on Wednesday to find us a place to live.  We decided it would be best for us to get that all nailed down as soon as possible.  I think the stress was starting to take a toll on me.  Most people when they are stressed can't sleep.  I guess I am polar opposite, because all I have done is sleep.  I am trying to snap out of it! 

We had a nice weekend.  We spent some long awaited time with the Heinrichs!  We had so much fun.  They have the sweetest little guy, Colton.  He is almost 6 weeks old and is just a precious guy.  He was having some sleeping issues (what baby doesn't) and Mark taught them the art of swaddling.  He is the master.  Mike and Melissa taught us and we felt we needed to pass on the torch.

When Monroe came home to live with us we found that she was the most fitful sleeper.  Her arms and legs would be going a mile a minute and she would inevitably wake herself up.  It was rather frustrating...especially because she was sleeping in a bassinet type thing, right beside us.  Mike mentioned that we should try swaddling, as it worked for Mason.  We did, but she managed to get out of it.  What we didn't realize is that we weren't doing it tight enough.  You have to do it so tight that they loose the will to fight, and they have nothing left to do, but sleep.  It was a miracle!  She started sleeping better right away. 

We still swaddle her every night and for most naps.  We now use the "Swaddle Me" product which makes the whole process even easier. Swaddle Me Link

I would recommend that product to any new family.  I know it won't work for every baby, but it proved to be a lifesaver for us!  If you're curious how to swaddle a baby, here is a great utube tutorial that can help.

I better run.  I have lots to do.  Have a great Monday.  Love you all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Windy we come!

So big news!  We are moving to Chicago.  We decided last night and since then, things have been crazy.  We are trying to leave Florida by Friday, January 22!  That's 2 weeks away!  I don't think it has even set in.

I had to turn in my letter of resignation today!  How sad!  I love my boss...I love my job...I love my coworkers.  I will definitely be sad to leave AHS.  I am excited about my new job, though.  I really feel like it is a good fit for my skills and interests.   

Monroe has started doing something funny.  If you cough, she copies you.  If you cough twice, she coughs twice.  She thinks it's hilarious.  Actually...I do,too.  Mark and I get a real kick out of it. Will I post a video of it?  No, because the kid still won't let me document any of this hilariousness.  Classic Monroe! 

Anyway,  thank you so much for all of the prayers.  We truly feel the Lord has led in our decision.  Love you all!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To move, or not to move....that is the question.

So for a couple of months now, we have been toying with the thought of moving to Chicago.  In November, Mark was asked to interview for a position at GlenOaks Hospital and a few weeks ago, Mark was offered the job.  We weren't really sure if it was a good decision or not and we have really dedicated the whole situation to God.

My preference was not to have to work, but I finally I realized that financially I would need to at least work part time.  The idea of moving and having to find a new job was so overwhelming to me.  I even started to wonder what I could even do.  Teaching positions usually don't open up in the middle of the year, and I figured that I already would have caught wind of any recruiting positions at any of the hospitals in Chicago (we have 4 AHS hospitals in the Chicagoland area). be honest, a normal recruiting position didn't appeal to me at all.

So anyway, yesterday I get a call from the HR recruiter at GlenOaks (we know each other through work stuff).  She wanted to see if I would be interested in a position titled, "Volunteer Coordinator".  She went on to describe the position and I about peed in my pants on the phone.  It sounded wonderful.  I would be recruiting people to volunteer at the hospital.  I pretty much would develop the position from the ground up.  They said they want someone with creative ideas to find new ways to reach people and someone that enjoys public speaking!  The best part? is part time and has a very flexible schedule.  That is exactly what I was wanting!

This definitely made me more excited about the prospect of moving.  I know it isn't for sure.  I haven't even interviewed yet, but the director said she thought it would be a perfect fit for my skills as a recruiter and a teacher.

I am so sad about the possibility of leaving all of our wonderful friends here in Orlando.  We truly have met the most wonderful people here.   Most of our friends are pregnant or just have had a child and I know it would be a blast to have Monroe grow up with them:(.  But the opportunity to live closer to family, would be amazing.    I also love the idea of being able to settle down somewhere.  I am so sick of apartment/condo living.  It just isn't the same as having a home.

So anyway, the Murrill's need your prayers.  We really want to make the right decision for our little family.  We should know sometime today whether or not we are going.  WOW!  I never would have dreamed three years ago, that we would be such movers and shakers!  Thanks in advance for your support and love!

If we do move, we have already decided to make a trip out of getting there.  We will be stopping at important locales throughout our journey.  First stop....Memphis, to see our other half, the Baughman's.  Second stop...Tulsa, to see our Oklahoma family.  Third stop...Kansas City, to see our Kansas family and then on to Chicago.  Sounds like a blast.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A new year, a new way of doing things...

So, since having Monroe, my exercise regime went from 3 -4 times a week to, um let's see....well...carry the one....0 times a week!  Yes, I's embarrassing.  I cannot blame the little lady for my weight, because I lost my baby weight about six weeks after I had her.  I have just started gaining again in the last few weeks after  my workout schedule fell off the face of the earth.

So anyway, I am being realistic with myself.  I probably won't be able to work out as much as I could before I had Monroe, or even right after she was born and wasn't working.  I work full-time now, and we recently dropped our gym membership.  I just couldn't justify leaving her with the gym daycare while I worked out, after leaving her all day!  It just seemed selfish.  So anyway, I am going to continue to walk with Monroe and have decided to focus on portion control for 2010!  I am a lover of big...err, huge portions.  I always take seconds and I eat fast, so fullness doesn't catch up with me until it's too late.  It doesn't help that I LOVE food and I enjoy the act of eating so very much.  It is so fun.  If you know me at all, you know how true this is.  So my goal is to cut it in half.  I am also going to try to slow down while I eat and really enjoy every bite.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Monroe is definitely get more and more fun everyday.  She cracks me up.  She has started singing/talking all the time.  She is so silly.  I would show you on video, but the kid is video shy.  It is so annoying...she'll be doing all this hilarious stuff and every time we go to capture it on video she immediately stops and becomes as stoic as a statue!  Then as soon as I shut it off, she starts again.  Do you remember that cartoon of the frog that dances and sings show tunes for that guy and when he tries to show people, he acts just like a normal frog?  I feel like that poor guy!  I will keep trying.

Another one of my goals is to be more organized with my meal planning for the week.  I have decided to post my Monday Meal Plan every week (fingers crossed).  I will try to include recipes if I can.  Here are our meals for this week:

Monday:  Peggy's Vegetarian Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes (Sorry, not allowed to share this recipe, unless you email me and beg for it..and you swear not to tell Peggy :)

Tuesday:  Taco Salad

 Lettuce (chopped)
Tomato (chopped)
Celery  (chopped)
Cucumber (chopped)
Olives (drained and chopped)
Cheese (grated)
Black beans (drained and rinsed)
Crumbles (cooked on stove...allow to cool for a few minutes)
Ranch dressing
Chips (fritos or tortilla chips)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl to taste.  Enjoy!

Wednesday:  Mexican Baked Potatoes and Salad

 (this recipe is for 6 servings, I only make 2)

6 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 c shredded RF Mexican blend cheese
14 oz yellow corn

1 cup sour cream
½ c salsa

Pierce potatoes and bake 1 hour @ 425 or until tender. Combine cheese, sour cream, and corn. Split potatoes lengthwise and top each with 1/6 cheese mixture. Top with Salsa.

Thursday:  Creamy Vegetable Casserole


  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) Kraft Philadelphia® - Cream Cheese Spread Garden Vegetable
  • 1/2 to 1 cup seasoned croutons


  • Prepare vegetables according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in soup and cream cheese. Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with croutons. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 6 servings.
Friday:  Taco Soup 


1 bag crumbles
2 cans corn
2 cans pinto or black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can sliced new potatoes
1 can rotel
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing mix

 Cook crumbles in soup pan until browned.  Add all ingredients--do not drain cans.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with fritos, cheese and sour cream.

Okay, so there's my plan.  Will I stick to it?  I don't know.  We'll see.  At least it is written down and I have something to refer to.  Let me know what you are cooking this week.  I need ideas and recipes.  Love you all!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Year in Review

2009 was a pretty amazing year for the Murrill's.  It brought us the best gift ever, Monroe.  When thinking back over the year I thought I would post some pics of some of the highlights...enjoy:)

Celebrating a new year!  Who knew there was a little Monroe in my belly!

The First Ultrasound

Family Pictures

Valentines's Day Party at Church  

Tim's Birthday Camping Trip

Mom and Dad come for a visit

Belly's Getting Bigger

Mike, Melissa, and Mason come for a visit!  They announce they are pregnant!!

We found out we were having a girl!!!

10 year highschool reunion at Ozark

Incredible Tulsa shower at Vicki's

A visit to Chicago for work!  Two Preggies:)

Trip to Longboat Key

Baby Shower in Florida...two days later Monroe arrived!

Monroe is here!

Monroe's stay at the hospital due to her premature lungs

Nana and Papa meet Monroe 

Monroe's First Halloween

Nana and Papa visit for Papa and Daddy's b-days

Celebrating daddy's 28th b-day

Visit to Chicago to meet Max!!!

Grandpa and Grandma visit for Thanksgiving!

Celebrating Mommy's 29th b-day!

Monroe's first Christmas

It's truly been a great year!  God has been so wonderful and has blessed us in so many ways.  We can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for us.