Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blessings

Watch this video and follow along with the lyrics below. You have no idea how much I've needed to hear these words. Sometimes a song is all it takes for me to feel better.





Blessings by Laura Story


We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Tasty Tuesday



With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees in South Mississippi, I think it's safe to say that summer is in full force. I love delicious, fresh salads during summertime. My aunt and I invented this recipe after tasting something similar a friend brought to supper club. It took a while to perfect, but our seafood pasta is the best!

Seafood Pasta Salad

2 bags pasta (your choice)
1 lb. steamed shrimp
3 packs imitation crabmeat
3 LG jars pimientos
Celery (about 5 stalks)
Onion (about 1/2)
Mayonnaise (about 1 cup)
Italian dressing (1/2 cup - 1 cup)
Salt/Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the pasta. While it's cooking, mix together mayonnaise and Italian dressing to form a sauce (you can do this according to your taste). Add salt and pepper to the sauce. Cut up shrimp and crabmeat into bite size pieces. Chop onion and celery. Mix together pasta, crab, shrimp, pimientos (drained!), celery, onion and dressing. If it looks too dry, add more mayo/Italian. Refrigerate. Tip: Do NOT skip on the pimientos. It is the secret to this recipe.

You can eat this by itself (I like to grate fresh parmesan on top!), with crackers or you can pile it on top of a salad. This recipe is quite expensive, but it makes a TON of salad so go in halfsies with somebody and take it to a cookout! Enjoy :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Motherhood Monday



Babyproofing

It seemed like MaryCollis would never get to the age where I'd have to worry about wires, outlets and breakables. But she has been on the fast track ever since she learned to sit up, and it seems like walking is just around the corner. It's like overnight she went from laying on her play mat all day to crawling all over the house, so I haven't gotten around to babyproofing. Our rent house is relatively safe and fortunately very small so I don't have to worry too much about her getting into things she shouldn't.

My pal Shannon's house has a brick fireplace about a foot off the ground, and I'm certain that I would spend the majority of my day trying to keep MaryCollis away from it if we had one of those. Ily B got me some outlet plugs a couple of weeks ago, but that's as far as I've gotten with babyproofing. There are just so many things that you can't do anything about that I don't see the need in doing any of it. You can't put padding on all the furniture. You can't keep her from losing balance and hitting her head once in a while. You can't keep them in a bubble and out of harm's way, so why do any of it?

I'm of the mindset that you shouldn't babyproof your house, you should houseproof your baby. They need to learn the meaning of the word "no" and understand that certain things are off limits. I realize that just because you tell them "no" doesn't mean they will obey it, but they will learn eventually. Now I'm not saying that you should just let your toddler roam freely and if he gets into the cleaning supplies, oh well. But I am saying that I will not be putting locks on all my cabinets. I will let her explore but keep my eye on her at all times.

Chad and I discussed buying a play yard ("baby prison" for those of you who watch Cougar Town) so I could get a few things done during the day, but I've almost ruled it out. MaryCollis started crawling at 8 months, so I feel certain she'll be walking before her first birthday... and I'm almost positive a toddler will not appreciate being locked up and would probably figure out a way to get out. So I just don't see the need in spending $150 on a baby pen that will only serve us for a few more months.

Do you guys have play yards? What is your opinion? How do you keep your LO's out of trouble? Have you done any babyproofing? I'd love to know!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday



Those of you without children might not find this Friday's post as fabulous as those of us that do have children, but here goes anyway. MaryCollis started working on finger foods a couple of weeks ago, and just when I thought she would never grasp the concept I discovered a few new treats. When she first started finger foods, I tried Puffs, tiny bites of cheese, pieces of ripe banana, yogurt melts and bits of soft pear. She really liked the bananas and would tolerate everything else but couldn't get used to the new texture of hard foods and certainly couldn't get used to feeding herself.

So I went another route. This week I gave her Cheerios, Mum Mums, Mild Cheddar Lil Crunchies (Cheetos for babies) and Club Minis. In a word - obsessed. She takes those Cheerios straight to her mouth. I'm not sure what the different is in getting a Puff in your mouth and getting a Cheerio in there, but apparently there is one. She is liking Puffs and yogurt melts better but she really prefers the Club crackers, Cheerios and Cheetos. I mean, who wouldn't?

I didn't even know they made miniature Club crackers. So this week, that is my fabulous find. If you are trying finger foods with your LO and aren't having much luck, I highly recommend these little fellas:





Thursday, May 26, 2011

Theatrical Thursday



Chad and I went to the picture show last weekend to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (aka Pirates 4). I'm not sure if it's because I was less than impressed with the film or if I was super tired from my whirlwind day, but I could barely keep my eyes open for the 7 o'clock showing. Going into the theater, I knew the movie already had two strikes against it: 1) Two of the main characters were not back for the fourth (and almost ridiculous?) installment - Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom and 2) Much to Chad's dismay, I really don't care for Penelope Cruz.

Despite my views on Cruz, she was actually okay in the film. It wasn't quite as funny as the three before it, but it definitely had some funny parts. I even laughed out loud a few times. Johnny Depp was great as always... but then again, I'm pretty sure I would love him in anything. He's so weird and gorgeous and quirky and delicious. Much like Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, there's something oddly attractive about Johnny Depp in the Pirates series. Though I'm certain he smells of rum and sea oats, I have the strong urge to kiss his disgusting cavity-filled mouth. Weird? Probably. So bottom line: I didn't just love the movie, but it wasn't terrible either. And Johnny Depp is yummy. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday




Spring Art Walk in downtown Laurel

Farmers' Market


Shower for Hopey






Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday


Chad is low-carbing it to shed some unwanted poundage before we head to the beach. Last time he did low-carb, I found this amazing meatloaf recipe that we both decided was the best meatloaf we'd ever tasted - even if you aren't trying to watch carbs. So I believe I'll have one waiting for him when he arrives Friday evening.

Mexicali Meatloaf
Yields 8 servings (5g carb and 1g fiber for a total of 4g net carbs and 28g protein)

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. mild pork sausage
1 cup crushed plain pork rinds
1 can (4.5 oz.) diced mild green chilies
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes or shredded
3/4 cup salsa (milkd, medium or hot, as desired)
1 egg
2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin (THIS is the secret weapon)
1 tsp. salt


     Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and knead it until thoroughly blended. Dump it out onto a clean broiler rack and form into a loaf (it will be a big loaf - about 3 inches thick). Back for 1.5 hours. Tip: Chop the onion quite fine for your meatloaf. If it's in pieces that are too big, it tends to make the loaf fall apart when you cut it. The Mexicali Meatloaf may crumble a bit anyway because it's quite tender.

I believe last time I made it I put it in a loaf pan, and it turned out great. I'm not a huge fan of doing my meatloaves on a broiler rack, but I'll let y'all know how I do it this weekend! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Motherhood Monday


Crawling

As you saw in last week's Wordless Wednesday post, MaryCollis is on.the.move. And I mean she is really moving, buddy. I've heard lots of moms say they can't remember why they ever wanted their babies to crawl because it creates so much more work, but I have to say that I'm kinda loving it.

Yes, she's into everything she can possibly get her hands on. Yes, she hits her head about 37 times a day trying to get to something that she can't get her hands on. Yes, I have to get my behind off the cozy couch every 30 seconds to remove her from imminent danger. But the great news is she no longer gets frustrated that she can't go anywhere, and she loves to follow me around the house. I'll say, "Come on, May! Let's go put your clean clothes away!" and here she comes.

I don't want to wish her life away, but I can't get enough of all these amazing milestones she's hitting. I look forward to her walking and talking... and I'm really excited about being able to take naps together and not worrying that she might fall off the bed... or piling up and watching an old Disney movie from my childhood as we snack on peanut butter crackers. Such fun and exciting times to come.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday



My card reader decided to stop working Wednesday before I could get my "Wordless Wednesday" post up, and we can't have that. So Doodle and I hopped in the car and drove the .75 miles to Walmart. We slipped in the side door by the automotive section (one of the greatest tricks in the world), and we were in and out within 5 minutes. I found this tiny little thing for less than $13.
Oh, Walmart, if I didn't hate you so much I think I could love you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I have been dying to get some up-to-date photos taken of MaryCollis since she started sitting up on her own. We were supposed to take 6-month photos over 2 months ago, but MC's allergies would act up, then it would rain, then we'd get a cold snap or it'd be too hot and so on. But Tuesday's weather was perfect, so Erin and I took MC to the Rogers-Green House/Museum for some big girl photos.






Raz is pretty modest when it comes to her talents, but seriously y'all... she can do it all. I try not to ask her to do a whole lot for me because when I do ask her to do something it is usually something big or something that will take up a lot of her time. But I just can't see spending hundreds of dollars on having some stranger take photos of my baby girl when one of my dearest friends can take such gorgeous photos for free! :)






I'd give that sweet little blonde haired gal anything I could but there's not much I can offer her in return except a meal every once in a while and free babysitting when she and Mitter decide to have churrens of their own. I'm sure I'll have to pay her back big time one day but until then I'll just appreciate her talents and the generosity God gave her. So thanks Aunt Ewin.... me and baby durl wove ewe!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Play date with Pey Pey

Peyton at 9 months


First time in a pool!


Emma



"See Mom, I told you I could pull off white jeans."



Is there anything cuter than a tiny behind?


MC has been ON.THE.MOVE. since she started crawling. Check it out:


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dear MaryCollis

You are getting too grown for your own good, sister. You are independent and self-sufficient. Nobody - and I do mean nobody - is going to hold you like a baby or treat you like one either. You are not a cuddle bug at all - you are on the move and don't care for giving hugs or laying your head on my shoulder. A big girl in every sense of the word.

At 8.5 months old, there are so many things I love about you. I love how you make a squealing sound as you crawl around the house. I love the gasping sound you make when you think you're drowning as water splashes in your face. I love how excited you get when you see your Doc and Gamma. You love to be swung by your arms or legs, and I love swinging you. I love how you cock your head to the side when you're observing something new. I love that you love to be outside and hope that you always do. I love the sweet coos you make while sleeping at night - it reminds me of my papa and all of his "hmmms" and "uh-huhs."

You are a treasure and blessing to us every day, sweet girl.

Love, Mommy

Tasty Tuesday



In the spirit of summer, I thought I'd share with you one of Raz's barbecue recipes. It is the easiest and most delicious shredded bbq I've ever tasted. I have tweaked the recipe just a hair to cater to my tastebuds (aka more sauce and more onions). Enjoy!



BBQ Sliders

Beef rump roast
2 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray's original BBQ sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup water
Sister Schubert's dinner rolls (the big ones)
Dill pickle slices
Onion slices for topping

      Put the roast in a crock pot and sprinkle the onion and garlic powders on top. Pour one whole bottle of sauce on top and cook on low for 6 hours. Drain the liquid and grease, then tear apart the beef and add it back to the pot. Pour the other bottle of sauce on top, then add the quartered onion and minced garlic and continue to cook on low for 2 more hours. Toast rolls, then top with shredded barbecue plus a couple of pickles and onion slices. It's amazing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motherhood Monday


Postpartum Depression

I have been wanting to do a blog on postpartum depression for quite some time, but I didn't know exactly how to go about it. I don't know many mothers who are forthcoming about the ups and downs, hormone changes and emotions you go through in the weeks after giving birth. As far as I could tell I was the only person in the world who wasn't just over the moon with their new life... and it made me think something was horribly wrong with me. But more and more of my friends are having babies, (and my friends and I have a firm "keep it real" policy) so recently I began to see that I wasn't alone. As a matter of fact, the people who are blissfully happy with their new life and have no feelings of sadness are either an aberration or they are lying.

My whole life I have wanted nothing more than to be a mother. My mom still jokes that as a 3-year-old when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would reply very matter-of-factly that I wanted to be a mommy. I'm sure all the adults thought it was really cute, but I was serious. Yes, I have a master's degree and I enjoy working, but there is nothing that I was born to do except be a mother. I changed my major 5 times at MSU and never really felt right in any of my chosen fields but my stance on motherhood never wavered. But then the baby came. And nobody really goes into detail about what happens in the following weeks and months. It's all "congratulations" and "we're so happy for you" while you're pregnant. Yes, you automatically assume that you will lose sleep and the baby will cry at times. But nobody tells you anything beyond that.

My friend Jenna said it's because nobody wants to remember it. Once the newborn days are gone, you repress those memories because if you don't you'll never have other children. I think she must be right because anybody who vividly remembers the newborn days and still wants to go back for seconds is crazy. I'm not even sure if my husband or my family knew I was suffering with PPD because I tried my hardest to act like I wasn't. After all, what kind of man can leave his wife alone with his newborn while he travels for work if she's depressed? I mean, don't depressed people want to harm their infants?

I didn't want anyone to think that I would ever put myself or my child in danger - it's not really like that. Which is why I wanted to write this post. If one person can read this and know that they are not alone and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, it's worth it. I was finally able to work myself out of the funk through exercise (walking every day with Jenna is like therapy), social organizations (having adult interaction helps when you're a stay-at-home mom), work, rest and spending time with friends and family. The older MaryCollis gets, the better she sleeps and the more self-sufficient she is... which of course means I get more sleep and can get some work done around the house.

I think those early days of not having time to brush your teeth, let alone get out of pajamas and having an 8-pound infant attached to you 24 hours a day is just exhausting on a level that women without children cannot possibly understand. It tests your patience, your marriage and your sanity. So if you are suffering or have suffered from PPD, just know that it gets better. It's temporary - just like the infancy of your newborn. They will not be so needy for very much longer, and you will work your way out of the foggy days. Promise.

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