May 23, 2013

When Ya Gotta Have Something Brown....

Looks.....delightful, doesn't it?
Actually, it was!  It's called Lentil Soup with Ground Beef and Brown Rice. I don't know what possessed me to try this soup, because the picture on this lady's blog didn't look much better.  I am sooo glad I did, though because not only is it amazingly delicious, but it's under 200 calories per cup, and one cup fills me up.  And that rhymes.
I didn't realize we didn't have carrots, so I omited them from this recipe.  I did use the balsamic vinegar, but it didn't need salt.  We were also out of beef broth (Way to plan ahead, Karen.)  so I used vegetable broth.  I did end up adding more broth than they called for. 
I know it looks like a pile of brown food.  And it is.  But it's so good, and so I think you should try it.  :)  And then I dare you to take a picture where it looks appetizing.  I double-dog dare you.

May 22, 2013

Here's the Skinny...

Mike and I have been trying really hard to get into shape since Charlie was born.  Mike has been doing AWESOME.  He has lost about 19 pounds, and looks amazing.
 End of February
 End of May (Isn't he a handsome guy?  I tend to think so.)
I have losing very slowly, but surely.  I'm not counting the weight loss from the first 6 weeks since it was purely post-baby stuff, but I've lost about 6 pounds so far.  So that's pretty fun.
End of February

End of May

A Day in the Life...

My life is not exactly glamorous.  It mostly consists of laundry, dishes, and diapers.  Oh, so many diapers.  It also consists of a pretty amazing husband and three sweet little kids.  All 3 or under.  At least for a month or so.  So if I act a little crazy, blame the tiny ones.  Just kidding.  Kind of.
So, a glimpse into my life.
Taking Pictures:
I look like I have completely lost my mind.  Oh well. :)  Andrew has started asking us to take silly pictures of him, or of him and us.  This was the result of ours.

All of the Mike/Andrew ones turned out super cute, but this one is my favorite.  Andrew came in once when I was doing the dishes and watching Dancing With the Stars (don't judge).  He LOVED it.  He always asks to watch "the dancing show" and so I sometimes will find a fun dance or something online and we'll watch it together.  He always acts it out, and I think this was one of those times.  Look at that hand.  CRACKS me up.
Getting a haircut:
I finally got around to cutting Emmie some bangs.  It was beyond the ridiculous point and I just couldn't keep a barrette in her hair to keep it out of her eyes.  I thought it actually turned out pretty good, especially considering my guinea pig is also super squirmy and was brushing her teeth at the time. 
Mike also gave Andrew a haircut and did a good job as well.

Holding Charlie:
As much as the kids adore Charlie, they really haven't been interested in holding him at all, until recently when Andrew has wanted to.  This is a bit of a problem because he often asks AS he is picking him up (yikes) but I think it's sweet.  And speaking of sweet, check out the little sneakers Charlie boy is wearing.  Pretty adorable.

Sometimes seeing each other:
This picture was taken after church and home teaching was over, in Emily's room, blocking the door so Andrew wouldn't come in again.  It's really hard to get pictures together, fyi.  Sometimes I feel like I don't see Mike as often as I'd like, but I sure do love the times when I do!

Being Sick:
Poor little Emmie was so sick for a few days.  She was stumbling around the house, with her hoarse little voice asking us to hold her and just generally being super pathetic and sad.  Let's just suffice it to say, we are so grateful our baby girl is feeling better.

Taking More Pictures:Andrew LOVES taking pictures.  Here's one of his favorites.  A few of his other favorite things to take pictures of?  Floors, Charlie's carseat, his knee, and pictures that make me look like I have 10 chins.  :)

Andy and Emmie are both obsessed with Charlie and his tiny little features.  Andrew loves to tickle him and I heard him say to Charlie when he woke up crying, "I know.  It's hard to wake up sometimes, huh?"

Sometimes I feel like he's just along for the ride.  :)  He is just so cute.

May 16, 2013


He's never looked better.
I love this guy.  He is so nice to me, and so nice to our kids, and so nice to his family, and to everyone else he comes into contact with.
At the funeral, Mike's mom's cousin (not sure how that translates.  1st cousin once removed?) said to me, "He's too good to be true."
And it's completely true.  I love my Michael.

May 15, 2013


When we were in St. Louis, we decided to make a trip to Grant's farm to see the animals and let the kids feed the baby goats.
This is me and Charlie (before he had a blowout diaper, covering himself, me, and the Moby wrap).  He liked eating the wrap.  :)

The whole trip was worth it, if only to hear Andrew's laughter when he first got into the pen and the goats started eating his shirt.  He sounded so sweet, and had such a good time.

Emily looked so cute in her "pretty pants" and followed the goats around the pen saying, "Hi goats!"
She was a little concerned when the goats started eating, because they got so excited.  She liked to watch while I fed them.

It wouldn't be a trip to Grant's farm without one parent or the other having to rescue at least one kid from the over-excited goats.  He was fine, but they were a little stampy with those hooves.

Little Fish

We were in St. Louis last week for the funeral and stayed in a hotel.  The kids were excited to hit the pool.
Charlie just chilled in his suit and took a nap.

 Em loved the pool (and looked remarkably cute in her pink suit) but REALLY loved the hot tub.  "Mama, I want relax."  Then she'd lay back and float while one of us held her up.  This girl is just too much!!  :)
I was there.

Andrew had such a blast, and tried swimming for the first time really.  A funny story - I was pretending there were sharks, fish, etc in the water and would quickly move away with him while saying, "Ahhhh!!! A shark!!!"  Then he said, "No, Mommy.  It's just a fish that not bite.  They just swimmin' and sayin' hi."


Stands for GQ Baby.  And he is so very cute in everything he wears.  Even if he looks freaked out in this photo.

May 12, 2013

My Mommy

I've recently been thinking about all the things my mom did for me when I was younger.  There were a lot of things that at the time I was unaware were major sacrifices for her.

1.  Waking up to take me to early morning seminary every morning.  This was EARLY - like we had to leave at 5:45 kind of early.  And I didn't really realize how tired she must have been, because I was so focused on how tired I was. I'm grateful to her, however, because going to study holy scriptures before school each day made me a stronger person and brought me closer to the Savior.   (Oh, and did I mention that we lived 20-25 minutes away from the church, so she had to drive close to an hour, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day working with elementary school kids, only to come home to do all the cooking, cleaning, dishes, and other motherly duties? Only to wake up at 5 am to read her own scriptures and get ready for the day. Ok, I think I just passed out from exhaustion just thinking about it.) 

2.  Every month, the youth from the surrounding area would get together and have a dance from 7-10.  I LOVED going to dances, and was happy to be able to go.  My mom would take me before I got a drivers' license.  (And maybe afterwards, too.  My mind's a bit foggy.)  Often, my friends would invite me to go with them to get ice cream or something afterwards.  I would always beg my mom, and sometimes I would get to go.  This was super duper exciting to me, and I had a blast.  I was thinking about this the other day, and realized that that poor woman had to drive me (I can't remember, but I would guess it took 30-45 minutes to get to the Stake Center) to the dance, sit around for 3 hours (after spending a tiring day taking care of her family, plus fulfilling all of her church callings), and then would often wait around while I hung out with my friends.  I imagine the last thing she wanted to do was sit around and be bored while I spent MORE time hanging out with my friends.  But because she loved me, because she was my mom, and because of her kindness, she did it.  And it means more to me now than it ever did 15-16 years ago.

Not every sacrifice was of the shuttle-bus variety.  Sometimes it was waking up with me in the middle of the night while I told her my scary dream.  (Which I completely made up by the way.  Totally untrue.  I just wanted to talk to her.  Don't judge- I was 7. :) ) She sat with me and tried (effortlessly) to help me not freak out about my math homework.  She made me meals she knew I would like.  She hugged me, and made me feel like I was an important part of her life.  She had six children, but I never once felt like I was lost in the midst of them.  I always knew that I could count on her.

And I still do.  And I love her more now than I ever did.  Thanks, Mom.  I love you.

May 5, 2013

A Sad Goodbye

Sometimes people are put into your life to forever bless you.  Michael's family is definitely of that variety.  Mike's grandpa passed away last week.  He had been sick for a few months, and although we are sad because we will miss him, we are also grateful that he is where he isn't in pain anymore and can be with those he loves that have gone on before.  I'm thankful for my knowledge of a Savior who died and conquered death.  But I'm still pretty weepy around here.  I have found that we have a shocking lack of pictures around here of this sweet man. 

Charles John Peat wasn't technically my grandfather.  I met him close to 8 years ago.  In that time, however, he became as dear to me as any blood relation could be.  Here are a few of the things I loved about him.

 Near the end, speaking was very difficult for him.  He was in pain, and was often hard to hear and understand.  And yet, when we visited him the week before he passed, he asked me how my sister's family and the foster twins were doing.  The fact that he not only remembered them, but made the effort to inquire after them, showed me the caliber of this man.  He remembered people.  He loved people. And he was a very caring person.
 He loved his grandchildren, as well as his great-grandchildren.  I'll always remember him saying, "Well, hiya, Andy!" to our little buddy.  We've taken to calling Andrew Andy lately, and for me, this is partly why.  It just fits now.  It was no accident that we named Charlie Charles.  If our baby grows up to be like his great-grandfather, I will be happy.
 He remembered what I was interested in.  He would ask me about my life and months later would ask about those things again.  He made me feel very valued and loved.  I really appreciated that. 
 He was always observing.  He liked to sit and watch the birds or just read a book.  He loved his home, and enjoyed good old-fashioned peace and quiet.  He was a man of few words, but never neglected to observe people and help when he could.  We always knew we could count on him and that he was on our side.  I love him so much.
He served our country in WWII.  He had three children that he loved dearly.  He lost his own little Charles when he was very young, and I am so happy to think that he can finally play with his little boy again.  He loved his wife, and took care of her.  He loved his 9 grandchildren, and all the little great-grandkids.  He loved to read.  He loved funny stories.  He loved birds. He was a wealth of knowledge. I knew that he loved me and cared about me. I was proud to call him Grandpa, and I loved all the times I spent with him.
We love you, Grandpa and will continue to do so, until we meet again.
Will someone please pass the Kleenex?

Kids and Goodbye Ducks


Oh, Emily.  You are hilarious.  She LOVES wearing this bucket on her head.  She can't see a blasted thing, but that doesn't seem to phase her in the slightest.  She'll wear it for a good 10 minutes at a time.

 Our friends the Talbots and the Reynders came over this week to play.  It was nice to have them here, especially since it was such a nice, warm day.  Porter showed Andrew how to make chalk outlines of themselves.  He sat (relatively) still and loved it.  As soon as he was finished, Em laid down for her turn.  She always wants to get in on the fun.  Such sweeties.
 The ducks had grown WAY too big for our house, and the smell was...not great.  Mike changed their home almost daily, but they were eating bowl upon bowl of feed and....well, I think you can use your imaginations there.  They were still so cute, but the kids' enthusiasm had wained as well.  Before we left for the gym on Friday, we said our goodbyes ("Bye, guckies!  Thanks for visiting us!  Have a fun time with your mommy and daddy.")  While we were at the Y, Mike came home from work and took the ducks to his co-worker.  When we got home, we found a little bag.
"Andrew, Emily, & Charlie,
Thanks for letting us come live at your house.  We had fun.  It's time for us to go back & live with OUR Mommy and Daddy in our nest.  We had a fun visit.  We love you; visit anytime.  Quack quack & enjoy this little gift from us.
-The Duckies"
On an unrelated note, my kids have the best daddy in the world.

 Andy and Emmie listened, very excited to hear the note from their duckie friends and then were overjoyed (just believe me, it's impossible to get a good picture of them in situations like this) to see a Little Einsteins DVD.  Andrew was grinning from ear to ear saying, "I like it!  I like it!  I like it, Mom!  I realllllly like it!  I like it."  So I'm guessing he liked it.  After his initial excitement, he said he needed crayons and paper to write a thank you note.  (Hey, I've taught him some manners.  Yippee!)
 This was dictated to me by a very cute Andrew.
First off, Mother Nature is seriously confused.  Snow on May 3rd and 4th?  Freezing temperatures?  Okay, weirdo.
We've wanted to get a tag-a-long bike for Andrew for a long time now, but they're pretty pricey, so we haven't.  Mike looked on Craigslist and found one this week!  They were selling it at a very reasonable price, so we snagged it.  Guess who thought that was fun?  And yes, they are adorable.
We have a good time around this joint.

May 4, 2013

Never Grows Old...

"Me dub you, Mama," says the tiny kitty carrying around a sock in her mouth.
"I love you, too" says the mama watching her little gal growing up to be such a sweetie pie. 

May 2, 2013


This is my relationship with my hair - grow it out, cut it short-ish, grow it out, cut it short-ish, grow it out, cut it short-ish.  I've never had a long hairstyle that is actually a style.  (Short hair really hasn't worked on me either.) 
Did that make sense?  I haven't slept in almost 3 months.
Anyway, my friend Meagan volunteered to save my poor hair.  Not only is she an amazing friend, my gym buddy, eerily like me, but also a kick-booty cosmetologist.  I love my new haircut, and am excited for my next haircut.  :) 
Right before heading over to her house

My new hair.  Yippee!

AND she showed me how to curl my hair.  Yay!  I am so excited to try it out.
Thanks to my bosom friend, Anne Shirley.  I mean, Meagan.