Thankful for November

Obviously, I think I have a lot to be thankful for. I often mention little things in my posts, but I really want to put it all out there for my own reminder. Maybe I will remember to check this when I am having a bad day, or wake up grouchy for no reason. I’m a lucky girl and I need to keep that on my mind as often as possible. Each week this month, I will post a recap of what I am thankful for that week. They may be big things or little, odd or completely expected.

You should do it, too. If you do, link your blog in my comments section each week, so we can give each other a virtual high five. Join the Thankful for November party! Please?

This week, I am thankful for many things…

  • My awesome sister, Kaylie. She baked delicious cupcakes and I ate one for breakfast. Then she went to Target with me and watched New Girl’s Halloween episode. We really are a lot alike. Scary.
  • My pantsless child, who figured out how to take his pants off today.
  • My husband and his extra long lunch break phone convo today.
  • All of my family for celebrating Halloween and not thinking it was ridiculous to take 3 babies under the age of one Trick or Treating in my neighborhood. Also, for not judging me when we ran out of food.
  • Heat, electricity, running water and a home that is in one piece. My heart breaks for those who have been affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy. I couldn’t imagine being in the position that some of them are in and it saddens me to think that many have lost loved ones. I wish I could do more.


31 Days- A Little Town Called Love

When we first started talking about our future, and where we wanted to end up, we wanted to live in a town that we could love. We wanted all of the amenities, but none of the hustle bustle of bigger cities. Schools, location, and community for extremely important to us, too. For me, personally, I wanted to live in a place that felt like home. I wanted to walk around town, visit mom & pop shops, eat at non-chain restaurants, celebrate with festivals and community gatherings, go to a library with B, and all of the other “small town” things that make my little heart smile.

Our tiny house is in exactly that location. We live off of a dirt road, so there is virtually no traffic. We have any type of shopping you could need all within 20 minutes. The grocery store is only 7 minutes away. The library system and school are some of the best in the state. But the best thing… this town celebrates EVERYTHING!

One example of that happened this past weekend. We had our annual Boo Bash and it was our first time going. It was so great! Everyone dresses up their kiddos and walks in parade formation to each of the downtown businesses for trick or treating! We dressed B up (in his awesome Monkey costume!) grabbed a quick bite at one of the best quick Mediterranean places ever, and hit the pavement. Talking with some of the other “town-folk” and seeing all of the cute costumes was a total blast.

So, I have to say that the most fun part of Making Our House A Home has been exploring our little town. It has so much to offer and I know that we are only scratching the surface. I can’t wait for what we uncover next!


31 Days – New Heights

I always pictured what my life would be like at this stage of my life and daydreamed of what kind of wife and mom I would be. I thought about my house, my yard, my job… didn’t we all do that? I seriously thought I’d be married at 22, 5 kids (all boys!), living in the Father of the Bride house in some small, cozy town. I honestly new I wanted to be a mom and nothing else really mattered. With B growing every day, and starting to walk and CLIMB, I have been thinking a lot about what home really is.

When we found out we were pregnant with B, I was in shock. I didn’t think we could have kids, honestly. We weren’t exactly planning on having any kids yet, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face as I saw the two little pink lines. We created something special, together, the two of us, and I couldn’t wait to hold this new little person in my arms.

Everyone always tells you how fast it goes by. They say that you blink and everything changes. I cannot even begin to explain how right everyone was. I may only be 11 months into this whole mommy thing, but the past 20 months (since finding out I was pregnant) are a total blur. I vaguely remember the amazing feeling when B first started moving and watching his foot swoop across my stomach. I remember the hospital and Nick holding a cold washcloth on my head while the nurses kept reminding me to push. I can picture the oddly warm December day that we finally were able to bring B home after his NICU stay and walking into our apartment feeling complete for the first time in my life. I remember the first long nights and all of the times I woke in the middle of the night, barely opening my eyes, to cuddle B back to sleep. I remember the first smiles like it was yesterday and all of the trips back and forth as we worked on our new home. The first night away and the rolling over, sitting up, and new teeth. But, I don’t remember every day in between all of that. I don’t remember the frustration or the stress over money, bills, cars, neighbors, or sleepless nights. I don’t remember the random fights we had because we both were so sleep deprived, or the countless times we had to run to the store after we had already put on our pajamas.

He has proven that I am capable of far more than I ever thought I could be.

It is beyond crazy to me that all of these things happened in such a short amount of time. I cannot believe that this little person hasn’t been in our lives forever. I almost don’t remember what our life was like before him and I know I wouldn’t trade this for those days in a million years.

This little person, this tiny little thing who has grown into a full fledged boy, is what makes our house a home. He is the difference in all of this. We hated our apartment, but we loved it when we brought him home to it. We were exhausted while working on this house, but he brought so much energy when we’d get back after the long days. There is a constant need to clean, organize, cook… but I can always count on him to take me away from all of it. Even just for a little while.

I’m lucky that my home is someone I can always bring with me, no matter where we go.

xoxo


31 Days – Eat breakfast, maybe this bananas foster french toast.

(Don’t miss the AMAZING, drool worthy, breakfast recipe after my blabbing.)

It is easily the most skipped meal of the day. How often are you in a mad rush to get out the door and completely breeze past breakfast, grab a cup of coffee and go?

I think, for me, making breakfast has to be a conscious decision. It isn’t something that comes naturally for me for some reason. I LOVE breakfast foods, and make them often for dinner, but usually just go for a bowl of cereal or some toast if I am lucky. As B grows up, I want to make meals around the table a top priority. The husband and I are not table eaters, especially now that we have the little munchkin crawling around while we try to quickly devour our meals so that we can catch him before he goes to the cold air return grate and starts sticking his fingers in the holes.

One thing that I think our home needs is a steady breakfast routine, at least once a week. I’d love to keep a consistent schedule, but Nick works super early (I cannot fathom waking up at 5am, cooking breakfast and staying awake.) and doesn’t always have weekends off. So, we tried making breakfast on one of his days off and it was wonderful. I can’t explain it, but I got to cook something new, spend time with my two favorite guys, and start the morning with a relaxed mind. This NEEDS to happen more often.

Bananas Foster French Toast

  • 2-3 Fresh bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 6-8 pieces of thick bread, I used Texas Toast
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup of dark rum, or 1 tbs of rum extract
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (I used walnuts, they were cheapest!)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • whipped cream

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a sauce pan, melt the stick of butter and mix in the brown sugar, and rum (or rum extract, add a couple tbs of water if you use extract). Let simmer on low/medium heat while you make the french toast. Stir occasionally.
  • Heat a frying pan or griddle, and melt a small amount of butter to create a non stick surface.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture for 3-5 seconds on each side and place in the frying pan. Cook as many pieces as you can fit at a time.
  • Flip pieces when the underside looks golden and place onto a baking sheet.
  • When all pieces are cooked, place in oven to ensure a cooked center, for 7-8 minutes.
  • While those are in the oven, place sliced banana, raisins and nuts into the sauce and stir gently. If you stir too much the bananas turn to mush.
  • Pull french toast out of oven, set on plates, top with sauce and whipped cream.

My mouth is watering just thinking about this. It is a sweet, sweet breakfast so I like it served with a tall glass of ice cold milk. Yum!


31 Days – The Little Things

Everyone always tells you to spend time doing the things you love, don’t waste hours worrying about things that you have no control over and to take time to soak up the beauty around you. Easier said than done, right? I am not sure why, but it is always in the back of my mind that these things, this time, is so important and somehow it all just slips away. Before you know it, a week, a month or even a year has passed right before your eyes.

Lately, I have become more aware of all of this. I’m not sure if it is that I am getting older or that I have a child of my own, but time just seems to keep going faster and faster. Today, I tried my best to heed the advice of so many. I tried to take in all of the little things. It has actually been a goal of mine over the past few months, but this whole “make our house a home” thing is forcing me to make it a higher priority. I have to admit, I really like it.

When I find myself getting stressed about bills, projects, or just life in general, I unplug and spend time destressing. Usually, I pick up the kiddo, turn on some Sam Cooke, and groove it out on the “dance floor” (aka the living room). Other times, we pick up a book and read, or he just chews on it. Ten months old is a little young for anything else. Ha!

This past weekend was a very nice chance to get back to normal for me and the husband. We have been non stop since buying the house and it is rare that we have the opportunity to just be us and have a good time. Our really awesome friends invited us to their wedding, which was at a hotel, so we packed up our things, dropped the little man off at my mom’s, and hit the road. It was nice to be around friends, cocktails, awesome music and a room that I didn’t have to clean with breakfast I didn’t have to cook. ;)

On Sunday, one of my very best friends had her baby shower. I am dying to meet her little guy. It was a big surprise when she told me she was having a boy, since all of our friends and family have been having girls. I am have been dying for a boy for B to grow up with. I was thrilled with their news. Celebrating their baby shower, with friends who I have known for years, was a wake up call, to say the least. Yes, she looked amazing. Yes, it was a fun shower with lots of gifts. But really, what hit me was how fast this time really is flying. I do not feel like high school graduation was 12 (eek!) years ago. I definitely don’t feel like I have been married almost 5 years. And most of all, I don’t feel like it was over 10 months ago that the love of our lives was born.

So, I guess this post is just a little reminder to myself, and to all of you out there reading this, to take some time to take it all in. Soak up all of those little things that we breeze through every day. Before you know it, 10 years will pass by and you’ll wish you had the chance to do it all over.

A little side note, life was back to normal shortly after our awesome weekend. We walked in to a dog who pooped about 12 small piles in the house and peed all over, even after my amazing mother in law visited and let him out. Then, the following morning, I stepped in a pile of cat puke from my cat who likes to eat every last piece of food as quickly as possible and then throw it up. I think it is some sort of a protest for us being gone longer than a few hours. The kiddo peed through his diaper and drenched his sheets at 4am. Our washing machine overflowed all over the laundry room. Welcome home, mama!