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!

Home at last!

We are so happy to be home with our little girl. Jenni Anne is doing so much better. She is eating well, sleeping, playing, and almost back on a normal schedule. It is so good to have my baby girl back. She may not be 100%, but she is slowly getting better. We went to the doctor today and he said it will take a week or so for the symptoms to be over, but about 6 weeks for her immune system to be back up. I just feel so helpless. I cannot wait for Georgia weather to get stable. Wait... who am I kidding? Georgia weather is never stable. It is 32 degrees one day, 60 something the next, and then back down. No wonder my baby girl and half of the ICU and hospital have RSV!

I am just happy that she is getting better and that we are home! We honestly could not have gotten through it without the prayers and support from our family and friends! Thank you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My help comes from the Lord

Another night spent in the hospital, but I am happy to say that we saw our little girl smile tonight! I cannot explain how happy that little smile made me. And to follow the smile, we were able to get a few giggles. I am loving having her normal-self slowly come back to us. I miss my happy little girl. But the good thing is, she is much better than she was when we came in. The hardest things is going to be to wait. They had to stop giving her the breathing treatment because they said that it isn't doing anything. The good thing is thtat she is completely off oxygen and almost off the IV. The bad news is that we don't really know that much. Some of the doctors and therapists say that she will be going home in a few days and some say tomorrow. I am not really sure what it is, but I am grateful it is soon. I am a little hesitant with her going home and still wheezing, but I know two things:
1. She is in the best place that she can be. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite is one of the best Children's Hospitals and they have been amazing at getting her better.

2, but most important. God. It is simple as that. He will not give us anything that we cannot handle. I went to look up the Bible verse that states that, but instead found out it is in fact not in the Bible. We get it confused with this verse, 1 Cor. 10:13 (NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. The Bible never says that He will not give us anything that we cannot handle, but the secret is to lean on Him and trust that He will get us through it.

I am leaning... and I am trusting

Psalm 121
I lift my eyes unto the hills,
Where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord, 
The maker of Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tongue tied

Lately, I have been a little tongued tied and haven't found the right words to write. I have caught myself thinking, "You have this blog where you have the opportunity to share... where are the words?" Honestly, I am not sure where the words went off to. I would like to think that the Lord tucked them away for a little bit, to allow me to spend a little extra time with my baby girl. The past few weeks have been busy at school and by the time I get home it is bath time, a little play time, dinner time, and then bed time. We try to fit a story in there when we can, but bed time usually comes in the middle of the night-time bottle. So, I am guessing this is where my words went to. They went to a little extra mommy/ daughter time.

Speaking of my sweet baby girl, she is now not feeling so well. On my husband's birthday, in December, we were at the ER with her. On my birthday in January, she was sick with the flu. Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and we spent the night in the hospital with RSV. To us RSV is just a little cold, but to a baby it can effect her oxygen levels. The last time she had it her oxygen levels were great and we didn't have to be seen at the hospital, but it is a little different story this time. Her oxygen levels aren't super low, but they also aren't where they would like them to be. She has been hooked up to oxygen all night and day, nurses have been coming in and out checking vital signs, giving breathing treatments, and fixing the beeping on the machines. Needless to say, no sleep for Mommy and Daddy. Baby, however is getting some much needed rest. I am just hoping and praying that she gets to feeling better soon. There is nothing worse than seeing your baby sick and knowing that you can't do anything more to help.

I was looking for a Bible verse that might help me, and the minute I came across this verse, I received immediate calming. I am going to end with it today. It is amazing how the scripture speaks to you just when you need it the most.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Friday, February 8, 2013


It is finally Friday! I absolutely love my job, but I also love weekends with my family. This is the first weekend in a while that we haven't had any big plans.... and to tell the truth, I am looking forward to it. It will be nice and relaxing.

Tomorrow, Jenni Anne and I will be going over to my parapro's house, with another teacher friend, to watch the last 3 episodes of Downton Abbey. Tomorrow night, we will have leftovers, and curl up on the couch to watch a movie. Then Sunday we will join our new small group and go to church service as a family. This weekend may not sound like much, but it is just what I want.

I am so blessed to have everything that I do! The Lord is so good!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Go Spread the Word...

Over the past two weeks, my mind keeps drifting back to a part of a sermon that my pastor preached. You're probably thinking, "Wow! You're still thinking about something that was said weeks ago?" Why yes I am.. Which must mean that it reached out to me.

He made the relation that spreading the Gospel is like a cure to cancer. If someone that you know is dying of cancer and is only given a short amount of time to live, and you found a cure to cancer, what would you do? Would you keep it to yourself? No!!! You would get it to them, make sure that they were cured and then you would share it. You may share it with a few more friends and then eventually the whole world. You wouldn't stop until everyone knew that you found a cure to cancer. WOW!!!

That is exactly like spreading the word, except we are often too scared of what people might think, or making them uncomfortable. As my preacher put it, "Make them uncomfortable." Spreading the gospel is not a cure to cancer, it is a cure to death. It is the gift of everlasting life.

So this is my challenge to myself and anyone who is up to it. Take that first step, share it with a close family member or friend. Then take it a little farther, and a little farther. You are holding the "cure" in your hand... what you do with it is up to you.

Go spread the word...

Mark 16:15-16
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The sweet blessing of friendship

I absolutely love when we get to spend time with good friends. Today my best friend Lea, Jenni Anne's godmother, came by with her boyfriend. She was in town and stopped by to visit her goddaughter, and best friend of course.

Lea and I have been best friend's since we were two years old. I am always so excited when she is in town, because we don't get to see each other as much as we would like to. She brought over mine and Jenni Anne's Christmas present and we were finally able to exchange our gifts. I am in love with the stress relief lotion and hand soap. She nailed it... stress relief is just what I need. I am even more in love with what she gave Jenni Anne... Two Arthur books. These books were very special to Lea and I when we were growing up. We used to read Arthur together when we were in school, watch the T.V. shows, play the board games, and collect the dolls. Marc Brown didn't realize what a special character he created when he made Arthur. To this day, I still love Arthur. I am not sure if it is that I still love the books themselves so much, or if it is the memories that surround them.

The Lord doesn't put people in your life on accident. He places them to come in at exactly the right part and in mine and Lea's case, well I guess He knew that we needed each other the entire time. I am so blessed to have her as a best friend.

Jenni Anne has no clue how special these books are. I hope that one day she will be able to share them with a true best friend.

Jenni Anne is the luckiest little girl to have her as her Godmother. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Wow! I cannot believe it is already 2013! Where did 2012 go? This time last year I was planning a Valentine's wedding with Caleb, teaching 2nd grade, and realizing that the Lord has bigger plans for me than I had ever imagined. Many said that 2012 was my year and I truly believe that it was an amazing year, but I know that the Lord isn't finished with me yet. I honestly don't think He is ever finished. I believe He is always at work, even when we might not be.

Here are some of my highlights of 2012:

After 6 1/2 years, Caleb and I were Married

 Finding out we are having a precious baby girl! 


Part of the Wahl family... Most everyone was team blue!

My Side of the family was split.

 My First Shower
hosted by my sweet Aunts and close family friend

I had the honor of being in one of my best friend's weddings... with Jenni Anne :)

Our little miracle was born... Our little miss 4th of July! 
Jennifer Dianne Wahl
4 lbs. 13 oz.
19 in. long

I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for my family. God is so good. We may think life is unfair, but just look. Look in the smile of my husband and I on our wedding day. Look at the innocence on my baby girl's face. Or the love in our eyes when we are holding her. We are here to glorify God and I think that all of my best 2012 moments are those that I can so perfectly see the Lord working in my life.

Happy New Year! May God bless you and your loved ones.