Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Jenni Anne!

I have been meaning to post this post for about 2 days now, but we have been too busy celebrating. My sweet baby girl turned one on Thursday. That's right she is a July 4th baby.

Now, her journey to being a little firecracker was not a smooth ride. For starters, I had four doctors tell me that I was unable to have children, but God had other plans. The day we found out we were pregnant with Jenni Anne was one of the happiest days of our lives. It was an amazing journey, but it was not an easy one. I went into preterm labor at the beginning of my third trimester. So, I spent all of June on bed rest. I wouldn't have made it through that month had it not been for my amazing husband, family, friends, and some Saved by the Bell, Army Wives, and Nicholas Sparks.

Jenni Anne wasn't due until August 5, but here came July 4 at 2:45 am. I woke up for my usual midnight snack and bathroom break, when I realized that my water might have broke. I wasn't quite sure right away, so what did I do? I went to the kitchen, opened the cabinet, got my usual scoop of peanut butter, poured a glass of milk, and prayed to God that I would know what to do. I wasn't scared of the baby coming or my water breaking. What scared me was that it was still 1 month away. She would be considered a preemie for another week. I called my mom, woke Caleb up, called the doctor and headed to the hospital.

When they confirmed that my water broke and I was officially in labor, I looked at Caleb with a mix of joy and fear in my eyes. We were so excited to meet our baby that we have prayed for, but we just wanted everything to be okay. The labor part was a little more complicated than what was expected, but I still had faith that God was going to let everything be ok.

When Jenni Anne finally arrived into the world, she wasn't breathing. I was too worried about what was going on with her to know that I was losing a lot of blood. Come to find out I almost had to have a transfusion, but I had no clue. My mind was focused on what was happening with my baby girl. Why wasn't she breathing? Why wasn't she crying? Was she ok? Why wasn't anyone telling me? All the why's were flowing through my head for what seemed like eternity, but what was actually less than a minute. They gave her a few breaths of oxygen and she was great. She was perfect. All 4 lbs. 13 oz. and 18 in. of her. Absolutely perfection.

We were worried about her heart, lungs, and everything. The nurses looked at us and said, "You have one strong baby girl. She is a fighter." Those words are still true for this little girl. She has been through it all.. staying in the NICU after we had to go home, RSV, MRI, eye surgery, acid reflux, reflux in her kidneys, hospitalized 2 times, multiple ER visits, febrile seizures, glasses, torticollis, delayed on crawling and walking, and those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. This baby has been through more than any child should have to go through in the course of a year. Many people would ask how could God do this? and I have to admit, I have thought why so much, but the truth is that He is preparing her to be a strong person. All of these struggles this young are building her up and I can see that now.
The day Jenni Anne was born.

5 Days old in the NICU

12 Days old

1 Year Old

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Recipes+Crafts+Amazing Friends= One Great Pinterest Party

Do you ever get on Pinterest and pin so much stuff, but never actually follow through with making it? That is definitely me. I love me some Pinterest, but mainly because there is so much on there that could make my life easier. Great organization tips... New recipes, so that Caleb doesn't have to eat spaghetti or roast every night... Creative ideas for my classroom... And the overload of crafty things to do. With all of this in mind, I decided to have a Pinterest party.

The point of a Pinterest party is to make a recipe that you have found on Pinterest to share (preferably one that you have never made before, that way you can cross it off your want to try list) and the materials that you need to make a craft or DIY project. This way you get to mark some things off of that Pinterest- To-Do List. 

Here are a few of the recipes that we had. Click on the link to send you to the recipes:

Beer Dip- Beth
Individual 7 Layer Dip- Katie Dale

I made:
Barbeque Pizza
1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust (or another crust of your choice)
Sticky Fingers Sweet Carolina BBQ Sauce
2-3 Cups of Shredded Beef (I used a chuck roast cooked in the crockpot)
3-4 Cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 Vidalia Onion Sliced
Spread Sauce over pizza crust (save some for the top), add beef, onions, and cheese. Top with remaining BBQ sauce. Follow the directions on the pizza crust.

The Sarasota
1 bottle of Barefoot Moscato Wine
1 can of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
1 Liter of Ginger Ale
Crushed raspberries
Mix together and enjoy! P.S. this is SO delicious!!!

They were all delicious! I cannot choose which one that I liked better. 

These delicious recipes came along with amazing crafts.  
Two of my sorority sisters, Tessa and Beth, came and made Chalkboard painted wine glasses. They turned out great. Here is the like for them:

Liz made precious cards that she is going to use to give as gifts. I wish I would have thought of that. She also made hair bows for her daughters.

Katie Dale printed out 3 5x7 pictures and painted an 8x10 canvas. She then Modge Podged the 5x7 onto the 8x10. She made 3 of these and gave them as gifts. They are so pretty!

I did something a little simpler. Jenni Anne's 1st Birthday is coming up and I got Quart sized wide mouthed mason jars and tied red chevron around them. I am going to use them as the center pieces for her birthday party. I am so excited about it.

Have you found anything good on Pinterest that you would like to share? Leave your comment! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cooking Momma!

So, this summer has brought a new hobby to my life... cooking. Now, don't start thinking that I am all of a sudden this great, awesome cook, but I am getting there (I still prefer my husband's cooking though).
Last night I made a delicious roast. It was so easy and quick and DELICIOUS!!!

Easy Chuck Roast:

1 Boneless Chuck Roast
Minced Garlic
Beef Broth

Get one large onion. I prefer vidalia. Cut it into eighths and then cut each eighth in half. I like to cut it this way because the pieces aren't too small or too large.

Then, get your roast and rub minced garlic, fresh ground salt, and pepper on each side. Put the roast in the Crockpot and add your broth and onions. Cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours (it all depends on the size of your roast.

I served it with Bob Evan's Mashed Potatoes. They come in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. They are the easy and delicious. All you need to do to make them homemade tasting is add a little butter, salt, and pepper.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I have a long awaited date with Mr. Sunshine!

I spend all year just waiting for summer. I love summer! The smell of the air right after a summer storm, relaxing with a good book, spending time with family, shopping with friends, and grilling out are just a few of things that I look forward to in the summer. The one thing that I wish summer had more of was time! That's right. Too much to do in the summer and not enough time to do it in. But I am going to forget about that and spend the next 3 weeks of it enjoying my sweet family. Time flies by. It is hard to believe that my sweet baby girl is about to have her first birthday. I guess that is another thing to add to my list of what I love about summer :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sweet blessings in disguise

It seems that I have several posts that start with, "It has been a while since I have posted....." Well, it has been a while since I have posted and there has been a lot going on. Sweet Jenni Anne had eye surgery for something called Tosis. I had never heard of it before she was diagnosed with it. It is simply a fancy word for a droopy eyelid. We went to a fantastic doctor in Atlanta that wanted to wait until he it was absolutely necessary to do surgery. He wanted to wait until she was a year old to do the surgery, but changed his mind when the eyelid started to block her vision. The surgery went very well. They inserted a little sling in her eyelid that helped keep the eyelid open, this is made to mimic the muscles that never formed. Why are you posting about this, you might ask. Well, the main reason that I am posting about it is because I couldn't find much information online to inform me, and help me through the process. I didn't know that her eye would stay open for a week or so while she was sleeping, or that she would look a little different when she looked at you. It was really hard for Caleb and I at first. Our little girl, who was only 8 months old, had to endure pain and there was nothing we could do about it. I would do it again in a heart beat even knowing all of this. Why? Well, I would do it for the look on her face when she was finally able to see well. It was the most amazing, indescribable moment. She was looking around with a face of awe. I never realized how much it was keeping her from seeing. I am so glad that we had a doctor who knew exactly what he was doing and was able to support us through this time.

The week of her surgery brought more exciting news. My husband got a job! That's right. Our prayers were answered. The Lord knew that Caleb needed to be home for her time in the hospital and the recovery of her surgery. We are so blessed that this job came at exactly the right time. We may have hoped that it would come sooner, but I don't know what we have done if it did. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Italian Chicken via Pinterest

I came across a pinterest recipe this weekend and imediately thought, I have to make this for dinner! Which would turn into... Caleb will make this for dinner. My husband is a great cook and I would rather have his cooking over my own any night.

The recipe that I found is Italian Chicken from Our Story. It looked delicious and fairly easy to make so, of course we tried it.  (The original recipe can be found here)

Italian Chicken
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (in half)
5 Roma tomatoes
2 Garlic cloves
Regular sized can of artichoke hearts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of All Purpose flour (because the chicken will be EXTRA Juicy)
2 pinches of sugar
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper

Core and chop the tomatoes. Use a potato peeler to shave the 2 garlic cloves. Drain the jar of artichokes and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper and flour and mix it all together. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and put in a baking pan. Add the tomato and artichoke mixture.
Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and bake until it is almost done. Add your cheese and
put it under the broiler for a few minutes, until it is golden brown. Make sure you keep an eye on it, or you will have burnt chicken for dinner.
Take it out when the cheese is golden brown, sprinkle the basil on top and you have a delicious meal ready to eat.

Difficulty Rating: 1.5/5 (1 being easy and 5 being hard)
Taste: AMAZING, Delicious

What to pair it with?
Angel hair pasta
Thin asparagus
We added a little feta cheese on top and it was extra delicious!

Try it and let me know what you think!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Moist Chicken Recipe

I made a delicious dinner tonight. This is one of my favorite dinners that I make. I am not the best cook, but I am learning. This one was actually hubby approved.

What you need:
4 chicken breasts halved
1 cup of Greek Yogurt (or low fat sour cream)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning salt
Sliced mushrooms
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Slice mushrooms to the thickness you prefer.
Cut chicken breasts in half and place them in a 9x13 baking dish.
Mix yogurt (or sour cream), Parmesan cheese, and seasonings together.
Put mushrooms over the chicken and pour the yogurt (or sour cream) mixture over the chicken breasts and mushrooms.
Put it in the oven for 25 minutes.
Take it out, put bread crumbs evenly over the chicken, and put it back in the oven for 20 more minutes.
Take it out and Voila... a delicious dinner is ready to be eaten!