Monday, January 30, 2012

All Girl

I don't know how it happened because she's never watched a Disney movie, but Monroe loves the Disney Princesses.  I mean adores them.  She only wants to wear her princess jammies (handed down from cousin Kamryn) and when she has them on, she prances around like she's the most beautiful girl in the world (which, of course, she is).

When Blythe left an Ariel book and two Princess figurines here this weekend, I realized just how much she loved them.  I went in her room to put her to bed last night and she was lying on her bean bag reading the Ariel book with the little figures on her chest.  She HAD to sleep with them last night.  In fact, I went in her room about 45 minutes after I put her down, and she was singing to them.

I knew that I was going to need to get her something "Princess" of her own because we had to give Blythe back her things.  Today we went to the store and we came home with this...

It is a book with little figurines of all of the Princesses and a little mat to play with them on.  She's in love and has been playing with them all afternoon.

It's amazing to me how most little girls are so innately girlie. I haven't pushed it on her at all.  She was born loving pink, wanting to roll her hair, play dress up and put make-up on.

She's been a little "mommy" from as early as I can remember.

Rosie with her first baby.  

It's so sweet.  It will be fun to see if Keek's is girlie, too!  I'm sure we will soon find out.

So tonight after Zumba we decided to try something new and went to a Yoga class.  I have to say, I loved it.  It was so relaxing and I feel about 10 inches taller.  After I got past my initial fear of an accidental toot eeking out, I really enjoyed myself and I definitely plan on going back.

Well, it's been a long day and I better call it a night.  Have a good one!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lila Elizabeth

I can't believe this weekend is almost over.  Man, it just flies by.  We had a fun one.  On Friday, we went over to some friend's house for dinner.  On Saturday, we were headed to Sabbath School and Church, when we learned that Kaylee was in labor!!!  Yay!  By that afternoon, we got the text that Lila Elizabeth Baughman had arrived.  She is truly breathtaking.  I just want to kiss all over her.  Anca sent me some pictures of the little cutie that she took when she went to visit them today.   Isn't she just perfect?!

Congratulations to our besties!  We couldn't be happier or more proud of you.  You are going to make amazing parents to three kiddos!

After Church, the Nudd's came over for lunch.  Maria made the best soup.  It was a Potato Cheddar Soup, but was so unique because it had tomatoes and other veggies in it...hard to beat.  For dessert I made something that is now on my list of favorite things.  It's called a Pizookie.  I found a "cheat" recipe on one of the blogs I read.  It's really not a recipe at all.  You just use a bag of Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, mixed with an egg and butter and bake it in a pie pan.  After letting it cool for about 15 minutes, you serve it with ice cream, whipped cream and I used chopped roasted almonds.  It was pretty perfect as far as desserts go.

In the afternoon, the kids played and we just chatted.  We started talking about our weddings and we decided to pull out the old wedding video.  I LOVE watching my wedding!  It makes me smile every time.  I can't get over how much younger we look.  We were really just kids and it was hard to miss just how in love we were.  It's amazing how much deeper I love him now.  Monroe thought it was pretty great that mommy was a "Princess".

While we are on the subject of love, I forgot to mention the love dare for this week!  The dare is to make some alone time with God through prayer and scripture reading every day.  It mentioned how much better your relationship with your spouse will be if your relationship with God is growing and flourishing.  I have definitely found this to be true in my life.  I have to admit, it's a bit of a challenge to find any alone time to spend with God with kids, but I'm so glad and thankful when I do.

Okay, back to the weekend...Last night, we rented the movie Ides of March.  It ended kind of abruptly, but it was good.  It's hard not to like a movie with both Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.  Mark made his famous nachos and his Dad's awesome Salsa recipe.   We also had Shirley Temples.  I just love those!

Today was pretty low key.  We gave Monroe a much needed haircut.  We didn't do anything crazy, just shaped her up a bit.  I forgot to get pictures, but she seems pretty pleased with it.  She kept prancing around saying, "Pretty hair!"

I also ran to the gym and worked out.  Lots of laundry and cleaning later, and that brings us to now.   No big plans for the week, but I'm sure they will come.  Hope everyone had wonderful weekends.  I better sign off!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raleigh Trip

 The trip down was an easy one
 Both girls were pretty low key
 Mark showing the Duke statue who's boss
 The Keekster
 Big ole' blue eyes 
 Tijuana Flats...YUM! 
 Rosie's new suit
 Rosie loved tending to the babies 
 Kiki loved the museum 
 Driving the boat
 Trying the bike on for size
 Making shots 
 All worn out 
Having a blast.  

The trip to Raleigh was great.  I LOVE it there.  It has great shopping and is very easy to get around.   We also figured out that it's only an hour from the coast.  What a great place!!!  I can't wait to go back.

We spent the day at the Children's Museum and then headed to pick up Mark from his meetings.  We ate dinner at Noodles & Company.  We don't have one near us, and it just sounded good.  Then Mark wanted to head to Chapel Hill to check out the UNC campus.  It was crazy.  I couldn't get over how huge it was.  It was really neat to see.  I loved seeing "Greek Row".  Those houses are so cool.  It reminded me so much of our favorite show that sadly ended last year, "Greek".  I sure miss it.  

After the trip to UNC, we started the journey home.  We didn't get in until pretty late, but it was worth it.  We really had a good time and I always love trips with Mark.  He's so fun.  

Today we went over to Jackie's for lunch.  It was so good.  That girl can cook!  Then we headed home for naps.  I kind of had a bit of a break down tonight.  I have been feeling that I'm not able to get it all done and both of the girls cried pretty much all afternoon.   It was just one of those days.  I went to work out tonight and I'm feeling a lot better.  I think I just needed to get out.  Sometimes you just need a few minutes to yourself, you know?!  

Well, Mark just got home from working out, so I better sign off and spend some quality time with my main squeeze.  Goodnight! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big City Girls

I really shouldn't be allowed to diaper a baby in the middle of the night.  I am so out of it and no matter how long I've gone without a full night's sleep, my body and mind just can't seem to get used to it.  I'm always worried when I go into her room in the morning to see my diaper workmanship.  Am I going to find that I diapered the wrong end?  Will I have used a rug instead of a diaper?  I never know what I'm going to find.  Today, somehow the diaper was backwards.  That actually must have required more dexterity than regular diapering.  I amaze myself sometimes.

Today has been lovely so far.  Mark had to leave us pretty early, but we were able to sleep in a bit, well until 7:30ish (Remember when sleeping in meant 10 am?).  We ate a good breakfast and got ready.  Somehow, in the 15 hours we have been here, we have totally destroyed both rooms and used 100-200 towels/washcloths, so I spent a good amount of time straightening the place up.  Now, Kiki is napping and Rosie and I are just hanging out until she wakes up.  We then plan to start on our girls' day!  I'm not completely sure what it will include, but we are going to play it by ear.  It will most likely include at least one mall and probably one trip to Starbucks.

Wishing you all the best from Raleigh, NC!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Down with Duke!!!

I, of course, forgot the cord that hooks our camera to the computer, so I'll have to post pictures when we get home.  Our trip down went great.  We arrived right on schedule, even with a quick detour to Duke University for Mark to pay...what's the opposite of homage?...Well, whatever that is, he was doing that to Duke.  We both don't like Duke Basketball or Coach K, so we stopped and took some funny pictures on the campus.  Even though I don't care for Duke, I love being on college campuses.  It just makes me feel young and full of energy.  It really was a beautiful school!

After that we headed to the hotel to check in.  We have a lovely suite, so the girls have their own room area and we have ours.  After getting settled we decided to go to Tijuana Flats for dinner.  It didn't disappoint.  It never does.  It was so good.

We then went on a journey to find a Target.  We realized that the hotel had a very nice pool and we totally forgot to pack swimsuits.  We thought it would be fun for Monroe to go swimming so we were hoping Target would do the trick.  Well, we picked the one Target that was going out of business.  They had no men's or women's swimming suits, but they did have little girls', so we got Rosie the cutest little green one. We ended up piecing together some things for Mark and I to wear.  (No one else was at the pool with us, so it was fine that we looked a little ragamuffiny.)

As soon as we got back to the hotel, we changed and went down to the pool.  Rosie wasn't so sure about the water at first, but she ended up really enjoying it.  Kiki didn't love the water at first either, actually not at all, so she didn't stay in.  Finally, Rosie got pretty exhausted and started asking if she could go to bed.  We took that as a cue to head upstairs.   After baths, stories, songs and prayers the girls are both asleep and Mark and I are just relaxing.  Mark's meetings are super early in the morning, so the girls and I have a full day together.  I can't wait to explore Raleigh.

Well, I'm feeling like I need to get some shut eye.  Have a great night.  And in case you were wondering, I haven't gotten any pie yet.  I know you've probably been on pins and needles.  I'll be sure to keep you updated on the pie front.

Love ya!

Bring it on down to Biscuitville *

So we just passed a restaurant named Biscuitville and although I have no idea what it's like, I have a sneaking suspicion that I would love it.

The trip is going well so far.  You may find this hard to believe, but we got a later start than we planned.  I know, crazy, right?  Our estimated arrival time is 3:30.  Not too shabby.

The weather is amazing!  Its in the 60's and very sunny.  You can't beat it.  I better get back to my job of restaurant spotting. 

*you probably have to be a JT fan to get this title.

Monday, January 23, 2012

If I tell you, I have to kill you...

So my sickness only got worse in the night.  I really felt horrible, and although this morning I felt a bit better, I've pretty much remained sedentary all day.  Well, as sedentary as one can be with two children.  I started feeling a lot better this afternoon, but tonight it's back with a vengeance.  Hopefully this illness is on it's way out of town.  I do think that Kiki might have a little bit of it herself, so that's no good.

Tonight I made some of my Dad's famous Tomato Florentine Soup.  It's been raining ALL day, so it just seemed like the right fit.  I wish I could share the recipe with you, but it's one of those things that if I told you, I would have to kill you.  I don't want to have to do that, but believe you me, it is some very amazing soup.  We are actually having a little International food night.  I need to get rid of a few things so we are having Asian Crunchy Salad and Guacamole and Chips.  Yes, a strange combination of foods.  

 Asian Crunchy Salad
 Guacamole made with my handy new avocado tool from Melissa.  
Creamy Tomato Florentine Soup...So good! 

Mark has some meetings in Raleigh tomorrow and Wednesday that require him to be there overnight.  It's about 4 1/2 hours away.  I was so bummed for him to go because I just hate sleeping in our bed by myself.  On Friday, he texted and asked me if the girls and I wanted to go along!  Of course we would!!!  I've never been to Raleigh and I'm excited to get away.  Mark just let me know that they also have our favorite restaurant, Tijuana Flats!!!  Now I'm even more excited.

I don't know exactly what Raleigh has to offer.  Hopefully, I will be able to find us some fun things to do close to the hotel.  Our membership to the Health Adventure allows us to get into museums across the US for free and there is a participating children's museum in Raleigh, so there's a good chance we will check that out.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but almonds are kind of a big deal around our house.  We just love them.  Both of our parents love them, too, so we have both grown up eating them a lot.  My parents always ate them raw, but Mark's parents roasted them, and I have to say that roasting an almond sets it on a whole new playing field.  They are SOOO good to snack on.  If you haven't roasted almonds before you really should.  It's so easy.  Just set your oven to 175 degrees,  put your almonds on a cookie sheet, and leave overnight.  We store ours in mason jars for freshness.   If you are really looking for a treat, add some dark chocolate chips and some dried cherries.  I have to thank Mom Murrill for that little concoction.  Beware, it's pretty addicting!

 The Finished Product...Easy/Healthy Snack 

Michelle just posted that it's National Pie Day/Week.  I'm really thinking I need some pie.  It's not going to happen tonight, but I probably need to track some down soon.  Very soon.  I really like pie and much prefer pie to cake.  I'm trying to think of what my favorite kind of pie is, and I really don't know.  They all seem good.  My mom's apple pie is amazing.  I also love a good banana cream pie or maybe a french silk.  Razzleberry pie is pretty near perfect.  Have you ever had gooseberry pie?  It's got the best of both worlds--tart and sweet.  So many pies, so little time.  What's your favorite?

Well, I better rest up.  We have a long day of traveling tomorrow and I need to get well enough to eat pie.  I'll try to take lots of pictures of Raleigh to share, but don't hold your breath:)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Excuse Me, Please, Thank you

Even though I haven't felt too hot today, it has been a great day.  I woke up feeling pretty crumby, but after a little nap and some more Emergen C, I felt well enough to go to Asheville for a little girls' lunch/shopping trip.  It's always hard to eat out anywhere with kids.  I always find myself scarfing down my food (even faster than my normal quick pace) in case of some sort of an episode.  Today was such a treat.  We were able to enjoy our food and not rush a bit.

After eating we ran to the mall for some light:) shopping.  I ended up finding some little sweaters for the girls at Children's Place.  They aren't the cutest things in the world, but they were only $2.99.  You know me, I can't pass up a good deal.  After the mall, we went to The Antique Tobacco Barn.  It has the best antiques in Western North Carolina.  It didn't disappoint.  There were so many things I wanted!

Matching Sweaters for the girls 

By the time I got home, poor Kiki was starved.  I fed her and we both went down for naps and Mark took Rosie to the gym to play basketball.  She loves playing with her daddy.

We are really working hard with Rosie on her manners.  She's pretty good at remembering to say "thank you", but "please" and "excuse me" are things she forgets a lot, although we are starting to see improvement.  Today she tooted and said, "Excuse me. I tooted, please."  It may not totally make sense, but at least she's trying!

Oh, I did forget to mention one thing I got today.

Yes, it's just an old frame, but I've got big plans for it.  Our next craft night is going to involve turning old frames into awesome chalk boards for our kitchens.  I can't wait!  At $3.50, I really couldn't pass it up.  I haven't decided what color to paint it yet.  Maybe a distressed cream or red.

Here are a few pictures from Kiki's first taste of solid food...

 Not completely sure about it...
 Funny Face

I've gotten quite a few emails, comments and texts about the Vitamix.  I guess it's the way to go.  I will start saving my money.  Ashley texted me earlier and said that Costco sometimes has them on sale.  We don't have a Costco super close, but if you live by one and they go on sale, please let me know people!  

Well, I better go.  I'm feeling pretty yucky.  I just took some Tylenol and I'm going to have another glass of my favorite drink of the moment...

If you don't use this stuff, you really should.  We swear by it at the Murrill house!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Smoothie Queen?

Smoothies were going to be my new thing.  I happened upon a blog the other day and the girl had posted tons of healthy, amazing looking smoothies and I thought, "I can do that!"  So, I went out and got all of the necessary items to make it happen.  I bought LOTS of frozen and fresh fruit...I mean lots.  

This morning was my trial run and I was so excited about the new healthy smoothie-eating me.  I was also excited to share my smoothies with Mark and Rosie.  I plugged in my blender and revved that baby up.  A few seconds in and I realized something was wrong, very wrong.  It started making strange grinding noises and I could tell that after a bit, the blades were no longer turning.  I lifted the top part off of the base and found a big pile of black plastic shavings.   I can't be for sure what happened, but the little nubs that make the blender go must have just given up and shaved off.  So my blender is a goner, never to blend again.  What a bummer!  I'm so sad.  

I have always had my eye on a Vitamix.  I knew they were pricey, but oh my soul, I had no idea.  Those babies are CRAZY expensive.  I would have a hard time spending $500 on a blender!  I like smoothies, but I'm not sure I like them that much.  So what kind of blender would you recommend?  I need some help!  

Today was kind of nerve-wracking for me.  I had to help lead the praise singing at church.  I know it doesn't sound that overwhelming, but I haven't done it in so long.  I used to be the music coordinator at our church in Tulsa and that was my least favorite position of ALL TIME!  It stressed me out beyond belief.  Even though I ended up singing what seemed like every week in Tulsa, I still got nervous every single time and it was no different today.  It ended up going just fine, but I'm so glad it's over.  I think I was extra nervous today because I wasn't sure how Kiki was going to do for Mark.  She usually eats about the time of song service, but she did so well.  She didn't make a peep.

After church we went over to Jackie and Alan's for lunch.  We had a Mexican theme and it was so good. You really can't beat good Mexican, especially when enchiladas are involved.  Jackie can make a mean enchilada.  She actually made two different kinds!  For dessert, Maria made one of my all time favorite desserts,  Chocolate Layer.  I love that stuff. 

The highlight of the day was the special drink that Jackie made.  It's actually a pretty funny story.  We were all getting food and Maria and I ended up in the dining room before anyone else.  We weren't exactly sure where to sit but went ahead and found some spots.  Jackie had made a very fancy drink that looked incredible.  I couldn't wait to try it.  She had made special ice cubes out of different juices and then poured ginger ale over them.  I saw Maria take a drink and she said how good it was.  I grabbed my glass and took a larger than normal swig and I tell you, it was like I had been hit in the face.  It was horrible.  My mouth and throat burned and I couldn't stop coughing.  Maria saw my face and asked me if I didn't like it.  I asked her if her drink was really strong, but she seemed confused.  I also asked if hers tasted like balsamic vinegar.  Again, confusion, so I asked her to try mine.  I didn't want to seem rude or hurt anyone's feelings, so I tried to do it covertly.  That's when everyone came in laughing.  Apparently, I had unknowingly walked into a prank.  It was supposed to be for Mark, but I sat in the wrong seat.  Just my luck:)  I had, in fact, taken a big drink of cider vinegar...mmmmm.  I laughed so hard I cried.  Those Guytons really know how to make a guest feel like part of the family:).  

I'm not feeling so hot tonight.  I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat.  I hoped it would get better, but sadly, throughout the day it only got worse.  After we got home this afternoon, I took a nap.  I also have been drinking lots of water.  Mark went to get me some Emergent C too, so hopefully I can nip this in the bud before it gets too bad.

In other news, Kiki has now joined the solid food world.  I started Rosie a few weeks before she turned six months and I thought I would do the same with Kiki, especially since the doctor gave her the okay. (By the way,  SIX MONTHS!!!!!  How can my baby be almost six months already?!!!!)  We started yesterday and she's taken to it like white on rice.  Not only does she like it, she seems to be sleeping better, too.  I only had to get up once last night, which is quite an improvement.  We are going to take the solids pretty slow, though.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

I want to start making her food.  I always wanted to with Rosie, but it was pretty hard to think about while working.  I really need to get a cookbook for it, and yes, I will need a blender.  Those of you that have made your own baby food, do you have any suggestions?  

Well, I better get to bed.  Hope you all had a wonderful day.  Goodnight! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Young Love

Mark was so blown away by my closet that he took me out to dinner, so I didn't have to cook.  I knew he would be happy, but he was speechless.  I didn't tell him that I had been working on it and just waited for him to discover it on his own.  He was super surprised and has been extra flirty tonight.  I think I should organize more often;)!

I may have done some hardcore closet organizing, but I was less than stellar in the parenting realm.  I was trying so hard to get it all done before Mark got home, that I really didn't pay Monroe the attention that I should have.  I started feeling pretty badly about that, so in the afternoon, after her nap, we did an art project together.  She absolutely loves to paint, so I let her paint a little wooden frame.  She was ecstatic.  She kept asking, "Do you like it, mommy?"  So sweet!

Monroe had her first encounter with a clown tonight.  It didn't go well...not well at all.  She ended up crying through much of dinner and repeated over and over, "That's a really scary guy!" I can't fault her, though.  Clowns ARE scary.  What in the world was the guy that came up with clowns thinking?   I mean really.  They are so terrifying.

When I was cleaning out my closet, I found a box of all of the cards, letters and randoms that I had given to Mark when we were dating and newly married.  It was hilarious to read and see all of the mementos.  It warmed my heart that Mark had kept them all.  I found this envelope from a letter I gave to Mark right after we had gotten married and I had to smile.   I've written all kinds of words that describe Mark.  How did I have that much time on my hands?:)  Ahh...young love.

Front of Envelope
Back of Envelope

I also found this picture of me when I was a baby...(sorry, I didn't feel like scanning it)

It may be hard to tell from this picture of a picture, but I can't get over how much Kiki looks like me!    

Well, I better run.  I'm exhausted!  Have a great night!

I have a problem...

From the time I was little, I've had a real problem keeping my closet clean.  It's gotten better over the years, but it's never been good.  When I was younger I remember my pretty large closet getting to be almost 3 feet high with toys and clothes.  My friends would always make jokes about it and I wished I could be an organized person.

My real problem stems from the fact that I can't throw anything away.  Everything seems to have sentimental value to me (yes, I sound like the hoarder people).  I've started purging many areas of my life and I actually am MUCH more organized, but my clothes have always been tough for me to give up.  I can't totally explain why.

When I was living in Tulsa, Kaylee (the most amazing purger on the planet) came over and went through my closet with me.  We got rid of bags and bags and bags.  I really haven't done a humongous purge since.  I did get rid of a few bags full before we moved, but I knew I needed to get rid of more.  Today ended up being the day.  Maria, another purging queen, came over this morning and spent over two hours with me going through my closet, drawers and bins.  It was so hard, but so worth it.  I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning it all up and sorting it all.

I really do feel like a new woman.  De-cluttering and simplifying can be so therapeutic.  I also know that Mark is going to be so happy.  He HATED sharing a closet with me.  I had so much stuff I just didn't know what to do with it all.  So far I am getting rid of:

30 sweaters
28 tank tops
6 t-shirts
5 skirts
2 cropped jeans
6 cropped pants
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of shorts
2 sweater vests
2 pairs of pants
6 button up shirts
4 pajama/workout pants
13 dresses
16 sleeveless tops
6 blouses
19 shirts
2 suits
5 blazers
1 jacket
10 belts
4 pairs of boots

I still have 4 bins of pants, jeans and skirts to go through, but I was pretty worn out and decided to put that off for another day...probably tomorrow.  I also need to go through my shoes.

I wish I would have taken a before picture of the closet, although it would have been way too embarrassing.  I can show you a picture of our room during the process today (equally embarrassing).

 Where's Rosie?  My formerly clean room during the madness.  
 Doesn't it all make you a bit overwhelmed?  I thought I might loose it halfway in, but I pushed through!
The finished product! 
 This is Mark's meticulously organized side.  I'm so jealous of this guy's skills!
 My new and improved side.  It doesn't look amazing, but it's so much better. 
 These are the four dreaded bins that I have to work on tomorrow. 
A different angle.  

Anyway, I couldn't be happier to have it pretty much done.  I am also forever indebted to Maria for her help.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I have to be honest...I just got home from book club and I'm kind of sleepy.  I did have a great time and I can't wait until next month!  

Here are a few pictures I took when Kiki woke up this morning.  I sure love these girls.  Hope your Wednesday was a good one!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My whole body hurts right now.  I think I may need a full body cast.  The combination of 30 Day Shred and Zumba last night did me in big time.  Although I may never walk again, part of me is a tiny bit excited.   Hopefully, it will all be worth it.  No pain, no gain, right?  However,  I don't know how I will be able to do the Shred today.  I can hardly lift my hands above my head.  (You are my heroes, Tasha and Hanne! How do you do it?!)

I can't wait until this little Kiki girl is sleeping through the night again. It's pretty excruciating to get up a couple times each night to feed her.  If she wasn't so adorable things would be much harder, but when she smiles up at me with those big blues, my heart just melts.  I've been meaning to get some opinions on something.  Kiki has started sleeping on her stomach.  I know that everything you read tells you to not put them on their stomach, and I don't.  She flips there as soon as I lay her down.  Is it okay if they can roll themselves over?  It's pretty cute to see.  She also tucks her knees up so her little bottom is in the air.  I can't get enough of that kid.

Everything above was written at 3:30 in the morning.

I really shouldn't be allowed to write anything for people to read at that time.  I'm always pretty out of it, but what's a girl to do to pass the time during those early morning feedings?  What I don't understand are people who are up at that time because they want to be.  I check facebook at the wee hours of the morning and I'm astonished by how many people are posting updates at that time.  I guess I used to be more of a night owl, but those were definitely the days of the past.  I'm not much of a morning person either.  Catch me mid-afternoon and I'm all good.

Today, we went over to Jackie's for some coffee and a little recipe exchange.  I'm so happy to have some new fresh ideas for dinners, especially ones that have been kid tested, mother approved.  (I could totally go for some Kix right now.)  I'm really trying to experiment with new lunch ideas for Rosie.  Right now she's loving pita chips, humus and blackberries, but I know I can't give that to her every day.  My friend Nicole was a whiz at coming up with healthy/appealing meals for her kiddo.  I was always so impressed with her and copied tons of her ideas.  Now that I don't live close, I'm having to go it alone.  I guess I could get on Pinterest.  If you have any tried and true healthy kid lunch options, send them my way!  

Rosie has been so sweet lately.  This morning she came into our room singing "Jesus loves Me" remixed with "Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man".  Then she stopped and started praying for no reason.  What a great wake-up call!  Her prayers have started going on and on and on.  She prays for each of her friends (usually two or three times) and each member of our family.  There's really nothing sweeter than a little kiddo praying.  She also has started carrying her Bible all around the house.  She calls it her "Baby Jesus" Bible.  Her new favorite song is "The B-I-B-L-E" or in her case, "The B-L-E."  She adores anything Jesus and it just makes me so happy inside.  I pray that she never looses that!    

Tomorrow night is book club.  I really enjoyed the book, so I can't wait to see what everyone else thought.  I'm also getting excited just to go to it.  I've never been to one before and it sounds like a lot of fun.

It's almost 9:30 pm and I still haven't done the Shred.  I'm so dreading it, but I know I HAVE to do it or I'm not going to get the results that I want/need.  Mark just got home from working out and is trying to motivate me to do it.  I have convinced him to do it with me, so we better get started.  Goodnight!  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Dare Week 1

I thought if you wanted, you could join in on our love dare journey.  The dare for this week is, "to pray for the Lord to teach me what real love is and make me a loving person."

(It was amazing that right after we prayed this first prayer on Friday evening, we had such a "heart to heart" and I really feel like I did come to a greater understanding of what real love is.  Pretty cool.)

Last night's activity was so good that I feel like I really need to share.  It suggested you read
1 Corinthians 13.  After reading it once, reread verses 4-7 replacing the words "love" or "it" with your first name.  Then pray to make it a reality in your life.  It was pretty powerful to hear my name in the verse and really made me want to step up my game.  I know there are areas where I could be much more loving.  For me this activity was like looking in a mirror and seeing where I could improve.  My new goal is to be this person:

Stephanie is patient, Stephanie is kind.
She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud.
She does not dishonor others, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs.
Stephanie does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


I did the 30 day shred this morning, and let me tell you, it was tough.  It is nice that it is only 20 minutes and that the sections are only one, two, or three minutes long, but those 20 minutes are pretty intense.  Jillian said that by day seven you will start to find that you have a lot more endurance.  I'm praying for day seven.

I sold my kitchen cart today!  I always have Mark come home or go meet the people just to be safe.  Today I felt pretty silly when I asked him to come home and this tiny little indian girl showed up.  I totally could have taken her down if need be, but it's better to be safe than sorry, I guess.  We are getting closer to our goal of buying bookcases!  Yay!

Tonight after Zumba, I am headed to our friend Colby's house for a girls' movie night!  It should be fun.  I don't know what movie we are going to watch, but I'm excited to get to know Colby better and spend time with some other wonderful friends.

I have so much laundry to do/fold it's unheard of.  I don't understand how it happens so quickly.  Just adding one more tiny person has made it so much worse.  I guess that little person does seem to have at least one blow-out per day.  Do any of your have any special schedules or tips on making laundry more manageable?  I feel like I'm drowning in it all and can't seem to stay on top of it!  HELP!!!

Well, I better run and work on said laundry.  Love to you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Random Thoughts on a Sunday

So, fyi...writing a book is hard.  We have decided to do a nice trifold brochure instead...just kidding.  It really is pretty tough, though, and we've only been working on it a day.  We worked on the outline Friday night and ended up talking until the wee hours of the morning and I have to say, it was tremendously therapeutic.  I never thought I could love Mark more, but somehow I do.  I already feel like this book is bringing us closer and even if we only end up writing it for ourselves, it will definitely be worth the effort.

Our weekend has been really nice.  On Saturday we went to Church.  Monroe has really started belting it out during the songs at Sabbath School.  It's so cute.  I just love to hear that kid sing.  After lunch, we all had great naps and then watched my little brother, Stephen's ordination online.  I would have given anything to be there, but thank goodness for modern technology!  We are so proud of him and wish him the very best in his ministry!  

I stole this picture from FB and it's not very good quality, but it was taken at his ordination.  
Stephen and Michelle are the couple in the middle.

On Saturday evening we went over to our friends the Guyton's to watch the Bronco game.  I ended up eating WAY too much but it was all so great, I just couldn't pass it up.  Jackie had made nachos and a fresh blueberry pie.  We also had root beer floats.  It was so good, although I really regretted it when I woke up this morning.  The Guyton's are big Bronco's fans, so they were pretty bummed with how the game went.  I was sad for my new friend, Tim Tebow, but I wasn't too torn up over the loss.  I was pretty torn up over the fact that Miss Oklahoma didn't win the Miss America Pageant (we watched it during commercials).  She did win 1st runner up though, so there's something to be said for that.

I have to say that I didn't give Monroe enough credit.  Last week we decided to limit her binkie to naps and bedtime.  It was getting hard to understand anything she said because she always had that thing in her little mouth.  I was preparing myself for the worst.  I pictured horribly loud tantrums and a rotten week for all of us.  But she went and totally surprised us and has been just fine with the idea.  As soon as she comes into our bedroom in the morning, she says, "Here, Mommy!" and hands it to me.  She's had no problems and I am just so relieved.  Thank you for all of the tips!  I have appreciated each and every one.  I don't think that totally giving it up will be as overwhelming as I once thought!  Yay:)

I got something today that I have been really lusting after...

Yes, it's a steam mop and I couldn't be happier.  I spend hours cleaning my floor every week and I think this baby is really going to cut down on my work.  I love that it sanitizes the floor.  I already tried it tonight and I'm very pleased.

Mark found a new place to play basketball and tonight, Alan and him went to check it out.  I put the girls to bed and I am watching one of my very favorite movies, "Overboard".  I just love it.  I don't care how many times I've seen it, the last line of that movie makes me tear up every time.  So sweet!!!

I know I've said it before, but I love pretty much everything about North Carolina.  There is one thing, however, that could be A LOT better and that is the shopping.  The mall is about 30 minutes away and it's not good at all.  We decided to go anyway on Thursday and spent the afternoon there.  It was fun to look around and Monroe loved getting a cookie as a little treat.  There was a store going out of business and everything inside was 70% off of already reduced prices.  I found this painting for $8!  It reminded me of my two little ladies, so I had to get it.  

Look what came in the mail yesterday...

I'm excited to get started.  The cover makes a pretty big claim of losing up to 20 lbs in 30 days!  Isn't that crazy?!  I'll let you know how I like it.  Tomorrow's the big day:)

I'm sorry this post is so random.  I'll all over the board tonight!  Hope all is well with you and you all have a great start to your week!