Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby Girl!!


Well, we've got big news around here!  We found out on Monday that we are having a baby girl!!!  We are very thrilled and feel incredibly blessed.  She looks wonderfully healthy, and seems to be growing just fine.  She wasn't the most cooperative, and I spent about half of the ultrasound tipped upside down so they could get the measurements they needed, but I was happy to do it!  She's already got her legs crossed, just like her big brother did  :)  Here are a few pictures of our sweetie!

She's waving at us in this shot, and giving us a thumbs up in the next one! 
We're very excited, and can't wait to have pink things around this house  :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Heartbeat at a Time

One Facebook status from a coworker, a blog about a baby who spent time in the NICU, especially when combined with a rough day with my toddler, that's all it takes.  All it takes to wrench my perspective from where it should be, to make me believe the lies that Satan deceptively whispers in the back of my mind. You see, every now and then I let my mind wander from the Truth that I know, and I rely instead on the feelings and emotions of my heart. 

5 months ago now, I resigned from my dream job as a NICU nurse.  While I always hated leaving my family, I loved my job. I loved that every time I went to work I KNEW that what I was doing mattered.  I took pride in knowing that my attitude and how well I did my job could change the life and memories of a family with their precious fragile little ones that I had the privilege of caring for.  I loved telling people what I did, and how much I loved it. 

What about now?  Now I am home full-time with our boy, caring for our home and my family, my true dream job.  I love it, don't get me wrong.  I LOVE IT!  I was relieved to quit my job, knowing the stress it was putting on us, and it was not a difficult decision.  Still, sometimes at the end of the day when the house looks worse than it did in the morning, there's no dinner made when Danny gets home, and the laundry seems to have exponentially increased, I wonder...does this really matter?  When I used to leave work, I used to breathe a sigh of relief, refreshed knowing that I had done a great job for the 12.5 hours I was there.  Not in a prideful way, but I did everything I could to be the best nurse I could while I was there.  Now sometimes I wish I could go back, just to do something that matters.  Wow, that's even uglier than I thought when I type it out! 

The Lord is so kind to use different things to refresh my heart.  For me, it's usually a song, and it is no different in this case!  This song by Steven Curtis Chapman played the other day, and I have since bought it on iTunes and played it about 50 times today!  I wish I could imprint this song on the hearts of my sisters, my friends and all new mommas for sure!

One Heartbeat at a Time ~ Steven Curtis Chapman

You're up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are

So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
And you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Oh, maybe you just don't know
Or maybe you've forgotten

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

With every "I know you can do it"
Every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They're just like the drops of rain over time
They become a river

And you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
How you're changing the world
You're changing the world

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
Oh, I believe that you
You are changing the world
One little heartbeat
At a time

This looks different for all of us, but it is true nonetheless.  I'm not up all night with a screaming baby right now, I have been before though!  Right now, if I'm up, it's with a very silent little baby inside who just doesn't seem to let me sleep.  My "running all day at the speed of life" usually means things like playing silly toddler games all day and still trying to accomplish something, even though he demands I sit by him most of the time.  (And yes, I know, I don't have to, and much of the time I don't).  ;)  I very rarely feel like a beautiful woman, with my growing belly and usually snot covered shoulders. 

But still, right now, there are two little heartbeats and one big man's heartbeat that I'm caring for.  My energy is used up between the three of them :)  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love knowing that today when he got his shoes one (for the 3rd time), I was the one who tied them and got in a tickle fight in the process.  When he just needed to rock for a minute before his nap, it was just another minute with his momma that his little heart felt he needed, and I was here to give it to him.  THAT matters.  To him, to me, and to my Jesus.  I'm grateful that my Lord cares enough to show me in ways like this that what I'm doing matters.  May He show you the same thing as you go about your days!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chocolate class

Last weekend my hubby took me on a fabulous date!  We went to a cooking class based around chocolate, can't be bad right?!  He picked chocolate because he knows that this pregnant girl doesn't do well with all kinds of food, little of which is predictable from day to day.  :)

It was such a fun experience!  It kinda seemed silly to go out for a date night and cook our own dinner, but we both really do enjoy cooking.  Especially if I could have an assistant like our instructor who got all the ingredients out for us and cleaned up too!  Then I could definitely cook some fancy meals.  Sadly, I forgot to take the camera, but we never would've been able to take pictures anyway, we had food everywhere!  There were four couples there and one instructor, and we each made a different dish for the meal. 

We did find out that it was a dinner and dessert night, and made chicken mole on top of green chili bomba rice.  I'm not going to lie, this was one of the strangest recipes I've ever seen!  Anything that includes chicken, 3 types of chilis, raisins, peanut butter, chocolate and tomatoes just seems like it shouldn't go together!  While I don't think I'd make it again, I was amazed how it turned out.  I was trying to figure out how I would taste it without hurling, and I was able to eat almost all of it, without even gagging once.

There were two recipes that I absolutely LOVED and will definitely be making again.  The first was a strawberry salad with a chocolate balsamic dressing.  Sounds strange, tastes scrumptious!  This picture is from another website but gives you the idea of what it looks like.  (Sorry for the weird formatting with the following recipes, I've fooled with it for a while and need to get something else done other than this blog during naptime!!)

Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Dressing
spinach or arugula leaves
, or mixed baby greens
cucumber sliced

feta cheese
walnut or pecan halves (We didn't use these, but I think it would've added a lot to the salad, maybe some lightly candied pecans?)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup (25g or two squares) dark chocolate, 75% pure

Divide the greens between the plates.  Slice the cucumber length-ways, seed,
and slice it into half-moons.  Arrange the cucumber, sliced strawberries, and feta
cheese over the greens.  Drizzle dressing on top.

To make the dressing:  place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, add the
sugar, and dissolve it over a gentle heat.  Remove pan from heat and stir in
chocolate.  Leave to cool at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate or dressing will

All I can say is Yum Yum Yum!  Danny even liked it, which is saying a lot for a salad.  

 The second recipe I really enjoyed was the dessert chocolate ravioli.  It was a very quick and simple, but fancy looking dessert. 

Chocolate Ravioli with Raspberry Sauce
16 wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Granulated sugar, for dredging
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place 1 wonton wrapper on the work
surface. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon
of chocolate-hazelnut spread into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper
diagonally in half over the filling and press the edges of the wrapper to seal.
Place the ravioli on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining
wonton wrappers, egg, and chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to
reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Working in batches, carefully add the ravioli to the hot oil and cook until they
are golden brown, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer
the ravioli to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Then, transfer the cooked
ravioli to another baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while frying the
remaining ravioli. (The fried ravioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool them
completely, then cover and refrigerate. Before serving, place them on a baking
sheet and rewarm in a preheated 375 degrees F oven just until they are heated
through, about 7 minutes.)

Arrange 2 fried ravioli on each plate. Put small amount of raspberry sauce on the
plate. Dust the ravioli with powdered sugar.

Raspberry Sauce
(18-oz) package frozen raspberries in syrup
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste 

Combine sugar, berries, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; bring to
a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until sugar is
dissolved, about 8 minutes. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down
any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Remove from heat; cool completely.
Place mixture in the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-
mesh colander, and discard solids.
Again, these were so yummy!!  She already had the raspberry sauce made up, so we didn't make that, but it doesn't look too difficult.  

I am looking forward to incorporating these into some meals in the near future!

Friday, October 8, 2010

6 years!!

   6 years ago (tomorrow), you were the guy who made my day when you nervously leaned over at lunch and asked what I was doing afterwards, if maybe we could take a walk?  As if there was anything that would've stopped that!  I couldn't really give you a true answer, since that would've been something like "finding out what you're doing so I can figure out how to follow you there!" So we took our walk, and three hours later walked back around the lake to the rest of our friends as the new "CRU couple". 

   We took this picture not long after that!  Wow babe, did we look young!!  I was a lot skinnier, you had a little more hair.  ;) But you know what?  We have so much more!  Yeah, I'm a little (okay, a lot) chubbier, but you know what?  We are so blessed to have one beautiful little boy and another one we get to meet soon!  You might have a little less hair, but it's probably because that same little boy has pulled an awful lot of it out.  ;) 

   Most of the time, it's really hard for me to believe that it's only been 6 years!  You are such an important part of my life that it seems like it can't possibly only be 6 years, it must be a lifetime.  Seeing where these past 6 years have brought us, I can't wait to see where the rest of our lives will take us.  Even the last year has certainly not been what either of us would've expected! 

   I love you babe, I love our life together, I love our kids, and I am so grateful to our wonderful Jesus who has brought us to where we are, and will continue to lead us on.  Thank you for following after Him as you lead our family, and encouraging me to follow hard after Him as well.  I love you.