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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baby Update

In case you don't follow Little Lucy Lu on Facebook (and therefore, didn't see the update after my appointment yesterday), I wanted to post a quick update here so that you're not worrying about me! :-)

The ultrasound went perfectly!  There is just nothing better than seeing and hearing your baby's heartbeat, is there!?  Tears of joy and relief were definitely streaming as soon as that flickering showed up on the screen.

Baby had grown exactly the right amount since the last ultrasound three weeks ago (actually, was measuring one day AHEAD of what the last scan showed! yay!), and everything was in just the right place.

Baby was even wiggling around for us!  So cute!

So .... we are looking GOOD!
And I couldn't possibly write this post without thanking all of YOU for your comments, messages, emails, texts, phone calls, and prayers.

I wanted to share one message, in particular, that a reader sent privately.  I will not use her name, and I hope she doesn't mind my sharing this, but it is such an awesome testimony of God's presence in this situation and the power of prayer ....

Dear Bec~ 
I know you don't know me from Adam, but I've been following your sweet blog for a little less than a year now. (You had me for life at your awesome ladder laundry rack...I'm still searching for "the" ladder!)
I feel compelled to send you this message because, a few months ago I'd been reading your post of the day and started thinking about how cute your family is and the thought of "she should have more kids, I wonder whats up with that?" went across my mind! Low and behold, a week or so later you explained your fertility issues. I started praying for you and your family and at that point was going to send you a message saying so, but life got in the way...sorry. Your announcement the other day about your pregnancy was an answer to so many prayers. 
I just want you to know that I believe God placed you on my heart to pray for and you have become a daily blessing and faith builder in my life, even though we probably will never meet in this lifetime. I'm as happy for you and your family as I would be for any of my closest friends! Congratulations and God bless you!!

I wouldn't know where to begin to tell you how blessed I am by the messages like these.
(And there are many!)
I am so fortunate to have not only my real-life friends and family praying for us ... but so many of you, as well.  It is just too awesome, and I don't know how to thank you all!

Please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to express your love and concern.  And for those of you who may not comment or send messages, but are still holding us in your prayers -- I appreciate you, all the same!

Every prayer counts!
(This is the verse that's been written on my old window chalkboard for 5 1/2 weeks now ... :-)

So true.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pregnant.

I'm still getting used to using that word.
And realizing that it applies to ME.

This post is not going to be what I originally intentioned for today.
(Though truth be told, I am having the hardest time even processing the thoughts in my own head right now ... so putting them out into print seems nearly impossible.)

I was planning to tell you about how this all even happened (with NO "help" -- no fertility treatments, no acupuncture, no supplements, no ovulation kits).  And how I've been feeling (tired ... sick off and on ... tired ... terrified ... tired ... overwhelmed ... and tired).  And other fun stories like that ....

But, the truth of the matter is ... we are not home-free yet.
This pregnancy has, unfortunately, not been without complications.

I've had a lot of spotting .... well, not a lot of spotting .... but a little spotting, rather frequently.
To say it is nerve-wracking is an understatement.
The only reassurance I've been able to hold onto throughout the past five weeks is the fact that I experienced the same thing with Lucy's pregnancy.
My body is just weird.  And overreactive.  And I highly dislike it.

So you're probably wondering why I would make the big announcement for all the world to see when I don't even know what the outcome will be .... ?
Well, first of all ... I just couldn't wait any longer.
Whether you know me in real-life - or just here on my little blog, you know that I'm pretty much an open book.  I tell it like it is.
Not being able to share what is really going on in my life was killing me!
And bottom line -- if anything were to happen, I would want the support.
I would need the support.

So ... here's the latest:
Last night, I got a call from my doctor, letting me know that my hormone levels have plateaued.  She is concerned (even though it is common for hcg levels to plateau after 8 weeks - and I am 9 weeks now), and has ordered another ultrasound for first thing this morning.

If you're not busy around 7:00 a.m. (PST), we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

I am terrified enough about being pregnant the way it is .... but throw a few monkey wrenches in the mix, and I've pretty much officially entered "looney bin" status.

Please Lord, let me see that heartbeat, nice and strong this morning ....

Thanks for your prayers!  They are appreciated more than you know.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Best Post EVER.

I hope you're ready for this .... because I have been dying to share it with you for weeks and weeks!

There are really no words that seem sufficient to preface what I'm about to show you, so I'm just gonna get right to it.

(A HUGE thank you to the lovely Lacey Meyers of Lacey Meyers Photography for this photo!)









And now, because I STILL have no words that seem sufficient, I'll just mention a couple of things today ... and follow up with more tomorrow.

  • If you don't know why this post is an EXTREMELY BIG DEAL, I would invite you to click HERE to read our infertility story.  (Yes, it is ironic that I finally had the nerve to post that story three short months ago .... and now look where we are!)
  • We are overwhelmed at the awesomeness of God's power in this situation.  What a humbling reminder that only God (not the doctors!) knows what the future really has in store for each of us.
Truly blessed and lucky, beyond all understanding!
And I am so very thankful for the many friends and fellow bloggers out there who have been praying for us -- and who will now share in our JOY!
Thank you .... a million times over!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{P}in Love .... Breakfast of Champions

I just created a new pinboard on my Pinterest account:  Breakfast of Champions.
(Please tell me I'm not the only one who is constantly thinking of a new subject for a pinboard!?)
And by they way ... if you're new to Pinterest?  My advice:  make a pinboard for EVERYTHING.  You might think it's a better idea to consolidate ideas (i.e. "Holidays" in lieu of a separate board for each holiday), but believe me .... if you don't do it now, you'll wish you had later! 
Just some friendly advice.
'Cause I'm friendly like that. :-)

But now .... after creating this board (and repinning all of my breakfast-ish pins there), I am HUNGRY.
Let me show you some of the breakfast yumminess on my to-make-SOON list:

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
(from Real Mom Kitchen)
Blueberry Coconut  Macadamia Muffins
(from Cooking.com)
Strawberry Lemonade Scones
(from  Munchkin Munchies)
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies
(from This Chick Cooks)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(from My Baking Addiction)
Simple Breakfast Casserole
(from Bran Appetit)
Broccoli & Italian Sausage Egg Muffins...
(from Snacking in the Kitchen)
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
(from Our Best Bites)

And this one ... I've already tried and LOVED:
Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake
(from Alexandra's Kitchen)
Anybody else ready for breakfast now? :-)
Which one makes your mouth water the most?

Oh, and FYI ... you may not want to miss tomorrow's blog post.  
It is my favorite post ever.  
Yep, EVER.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Little Bit of Life: Sunshine

We've just had the most glorious weekend in NW Oregon.
It was SUNNY!
And not just sunny ... but WARM!
Like, we're talking 80 degrees WARM!
(Thank you, Lord!)

Here's what happens around here when we get two days of sunshine:

  • I actually want to get out of bed in the morning.  (I know.  Profound.  Pathetic?  Probably.)
  • My house gets cleaned. 
  • My laundry gets folded.
  • The yard gets mowed.
  • The garden gets planted.
  • The weeds get pulled.
  • The lilacs start to bloom.
  • Lucy spends at least 8 hours a day outside (and loves it!).
  • My toes see the light of day ... hello, flip-flops!  I've missed you dearly.
  • I get to go shopping without my raincoat or my umbrella.
  • I get to wear sunglasses! (If you follow me on Facebook, you saw that picture already!:)~
  • The patio furniture gets to come out of hiding.
  • We barbeque and eat out on the deck.  TWICE.  
  • Daddy/daughter fishing trip down at the pond. 
In other words.....
It was heaven.
And in other words .....
I got more done in two days than I have in the last two weeks.
Okay, probably two months.

We may not get a whole lot of nice days for 8 months out of the year .... but let me tell you, when we do?  We sure do appreciate them!

Lucy, enjoying her strawberries on the deck ...

And sharing with Stella! :-)

 Chasing Daddy and the lawn mower around ....


Until he finally lets her on....
 and lets her drive!

Pure joy!

We're headed for 80 degrees again today .... I'm thinking an extra-long recess is in store for my kinder cuties this afternoon .... :-)

Yes, my blogging is still a little sparse lately.  
And no, I still haven't shared my other story like I mentioned I might do today.  I will soon.  I promise. 
I think you'll forgive me after you hear it.  


Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Lovin' ... Kitchen Gadgets Top 10

Centsational Girl has a cool link party happening with favorite kitchen gadgets .... so I thought I'd jump onto the bandwagon!
By the way, if you don't know Centsational Girl -- you have been living under a rock should.
She has lots of exciting stuff happening right now, too!  (New contributor for Better Homes & Gardens!?  Hello!?)

Anyway.
Moving onto the best kitchen gadgets in my kitchen (according to me).
In no particular order...

My KitchenAid hand mixer.  
Yes, I have one of the big suckers, too .... but to be honest, I like my little ol' hand mixer better!
Call me crazy.  

My new KitchenAid immersion blender.  
The model I have (a Christmas gift from my mom!), has two other attachments, too.... a food processer and a whisk.  
Those things come in SO handy!  Almost anything I need to chop up quickly (i.e. onions, chicken, tomatoes, etc.) gets thrown into the food processing attachment!  
It's rad.  



Basic nylon tool set from Pampered Chef.  
I absolutely love these utensils.  
I've had them for YEARS and they still look (more-or-less) like brand-new.  
And I use them ALL THE TIME.  
(P.S.  this will not be my last mention of Pampered Chef ... approximately 85% of my kitchen consists of Pampered Chef, so I'll just apologize for the repetitiveness now!:)~

Tongs.  
I LOVE tongs.  
These particular ones are Pampered Chef (I warned you), but I also have two other brands, as well .... and I love them all equally.  
For cooking, for serving .... they're just a handy tool!

Cutco knives.
Before we had Cutco, we had those ones from the department store that everyone has (that starts with an H!?).  
Yeah.  I'm here to tell you .... compared to those?  
Well, there just really is no comparison.  
Yes, these are a pretty penny.  
But they are WORTH every one of those pretty pennies.  

For measuring dry ingredients ... I love this stainless steel set from All-Clad.
They could double as weapons if you get in a bind, too.  
These suckers are HEAVY!
They mean business.  

For measuring liquids .... it doesn't get any easier than these babies.  
Easy read measuring cups (from Pampered Chef!)


For mixing (and storing!), I LOVE the Pampered Chef's batter bowls (the small AND the large sizes!)
It is SO awesome to be able to pop the lid on and put it in the fridge if you have a little extra!

And my other FAVORITE mixing/storage bowls are these (also from PC).  
They have silicone on the bottom, too -- so no sliding around the counter while you're mixing!
I don't think there is a better set of mixing bowls out there! 
I use at least one of these pretty much every day!

And last but not least .... a total luxury item, but --
if you want to make sure your cookies don't EVER burn, you need to get yourself a Silpat.  
These things just rock my socks.  
They are especially helpful for me because I am notorious for not hearing the timer -- or checking the cookies and intending on leaving them for "one more minute" - and in actuality, coming back in 5 minutes!  
The Silpat saves me every time! :-)
Do we share any of the same favorites?  
Got any MUST HAVES I'm forgetting? :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mommy Moments Photo Challenge

12 photo prompts, inspiring YOU to capture YOUR mommy moments.  
Check 'em out ....
How FUN would it be to capture these moments from your everyday life?  
And you have nearly a month to do it!  

Inspired By Family Magazine is teaming up with The Hollie Rogue to offer this fun challenge.  

Oh .... and did I mention there are GREAT prizes!?  
(Like YOUR CHOICE of a Shabby Apple dress!!!!)

And I am thrilled to be a judge .... (so be nice to me! Haha!)

Head over HERE to read through the contest details .... or to link up YOUR mommy moments posts and photos.  

Feel free to grab to button to share on your blog or your photo posts ..... spread the word!
Inspired by Family Magazine
I look forward to being inspired by the creativity of your awesome photos!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Bit of Life: A Momentous Occasion :-)

Okay, so this post is going to be a tad-bit pathetic .... (much like my posting, in general, lately, huh?)
Sorry ... I think I mentioned that things are a little extra-crazy around here right now....?
Yep, things are just BUSY!
The beginning of the school year and the end of the school year tend to be that way!  And even though we're still almost two months from kindergarten graduation, it is now that all of the preparation starts -- not to mention lots of field trips and other fun, end-of-the-year activities!
(And hopefully I'll be able to explain more about everything else soon, too.)
Maybe next Monday.
(Maybe not.)

Meanwhile.
A momentous occasion.
I think I may have mentioned in my Easter post last week that Lucy got her first haircut!?

The sad thing is .... I wasn't even there!!!
Last weekend was super busy for me, and my mom (Nana) was headed to the salon for her hair appointment, so she offered to take Lucy along with her!

My cousin, Sheryl, is our AMAZING hairdresser.  And it sounds like Lucy had no hesitations jumping right up in that chair to get her hair cut!


*Note: 
Nana took this photo with her phone.  Nana hardly knows how to turn her phone on, much less take pictures with it, so it's pretty miraculous that we got a picture at all .... she knew I would want a picture, so I'm glad we at least got this one! 

(Lucy's hair is a little extra wild when it's all brushed out .... afro, anyone?!:)~  

I kind of can't believe I waited three-and-a-half years to get her hair cut, but those curls are just too darn cute!
Thank goodness, they're still there ....
Just a few less inches of them. :-)
...Which, coincidentally, means much less trauma at hair-doing time .... those curls are a nightmare to comb through every morning!
(By the way -- if any of you have great products for detangling curly hair without having to wash it every day -- I'd love to hear about 'em!)

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about a REALLY cool photo challenge that I get to be a JUDGE for! 
I'm hoping YOU will want to enter!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

{P}in Love ... Party On!

I'm just in a party kinda mood today .... I think all of the (3 1/2 days of) sunshine is getting to me!  Woohoo!
I've got ALL kinds of party-worthy FUN on my Pinterest boards, so I thought I'd share a few with you today!

I'm lovin' this beautiful Spring garden party from Hostess {with the Mostess}-- so feminine and pretty!

Or another Springtime party idea -- a Peter Rabbit party! 
You seriously MUST click over and check out all of the ADORABLE details!  
Totally awesome!!!

These perfect little Flower Pot Cupcakes would be the perfect treat for a Springtime party, too!

Moving on to sprinkles .... sprinkles are the BEST!  
And these next few treats are full of 'em!

Party Popcorn! (from she wears many hats)

Funfetti Cake Cups! (from Moose Mouse Creations)

And Cake Batter Cookies! (from Cookin' Cowgirl)
I am SOOOOO making these ASAP!

These aren't quite sprinkles, but jelly beans and marshmallows are pretty close!
What a sweet idea for a party treat or favor!?  

No party is complete without a couple good beverages to wash down the goodies!
This next pin qualifies as BOTH!
Whipped Root Beer Float Cocktails (from Dine and Dish)
(yes, please!)

And HELLO!? 
JARGARITAS, anyone!?  
TOO. AWESOME. 
Who's coming to my party!? :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ree & Me, v.3


It's time for another tried-and-true recipe from my (imaginary) BFF, P-Dub.
(Click HERE for the backstory.)

This one is a recipe I bet many of you have already tried .... it's an oldie but goodie!

Chicken Spaghetti
(found in her first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

As always, my photos don't do these dee-lish recipes justice, so simply click HERE for Ree's recipe and lots of beautiful pictures!

But just to prove to you that I made it .... here you go:




This recipe has everything that is good ..... pasta, chicken ...... and cream of mushroom soup.
I have a theory:
(Are you ready for this?)
If it contains cream of mushroom soup, it's delicious.
The end.

This casserole is comfort food at it's finest.
My family LOVES it.
Just ask Lucy .... :-)
Oh, and don't tell Ree .... but even though the real recipe calls for a whole cut up fryer to be boiled down, etc .... I just shredded some baked chicken breasts.  (Or you could even use a rotisserie chicken!)
I know.  I'm a rebel like that.
Actually, I just hate boiling whole chickens.
It kinda grosses me out.
I know, I know -- then I don't have the wonderful homemade stock .... but stock-in-a-box seems to work just fine at my house!
And hey, if boiling chickens is your thing ... by all means, have at it! :-)

Give me a holler if this is one of YOUR favorite Pioneer Woman recipes, too!
And click HERE to see past Ree & Me posts!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Little Bit of Life: Easter 2012

I love Easter!
It is truly a CeLeBRaTioN!
And no matter how many times I hear the amazing message at church on Easter morning, it never ceases to overwhelm me and bring goosebumps to my skin and tears to my eyes. :-)

This year, Easter with Lucy was SO much fun!
It all started approximately 1 minute after she woke up ..... she could not WAIT to get outside to see if the Easter bunny had been here!
Unfortunately, she didn't wait long enough for Mama to put her crazy hair back in a ponytail, so she spent most of that egg hunt looking like this:
Haha!  


Hello, my little Easter bunny :-)


Then it was off to church where Lucy was VERY excited about the party happening in her class!

And after church, we headed to Grandma's house (my grandma's house) for dinner .... and another egg hunt, of course. :-)
(prepare for photo overload!)



Did I mention the SUN was actually SHINING here...?
We actually hit 70 degrees!
That's a miracle in itself, let me tell you!  

(Did I mention I LOVE this girl...???)




Oh, and she got her first haircut this past weekend, too!  
Thank goodness she still has plenty of curls. :-)

And the best thing the Easter bunny brought?  
A bubble gun! :-)





I hope you all had a beautiful Easter celebrating with your families!  
Happy Monday!