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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Best Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

So I promised in my 5 on Friday post that I would return with the recipe for hubs' Nan's peanut butter pie recipe. Let me start by saying I didn't even know I liked peanut butter pie. I didn't expect it to taste so delicious. Yum. Yum. Yum. You should definitely make this!!
 Sorry, I know that half eaten pie's not pretty, but I forgot to take a picture before we dove in!
You will need a graham cracker pie crust, 4 oz of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of confectionery sugar, and 8 oz of Cool Whip. Mix it all up, put it in the pie crust, stick it in the fridge for a bit so that it sets up nicely, and devour it. Enjoy! :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet Owl turned Angry Bird

Yesterday we decided to take our little owl to the Harvest Party at church. They had tons of free food, a train ride, bounce houses, trunk or treat, and lots of other activities for the kids. It was very crowded when we got there and Em was fascinated by the bounce houses. She really wanted to get in one of them so hubs took off his shoes and climbed in with her and her two cousins. She loved it! She couldn't balance standing up so she sat down and bounced up and down. She had a blast.... until it was time for her to get out. She threw a major tantrum complete with kicking, crying, and screaming... We tried to distract her with other things but the line for the train ride was too long and she wouldn't calm down so I ended up leaving with her while hubs stayed with his mom and Emerie's cousins. I knew she was exhausted after the meltdown that she had so I put her in her crib as soon as we got home and she was asleep within minutes! Poor kid. Here are some pictures of the cutest owl! I didn't get any pictures of her meltdown, although I kinda wish I had just so I could show her down the road! :)
 She says "foot-a-ball". 
Love my little owl, even when she is an angry bird. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 on Friday!

So glad it's Friday! We've been so busy this week and I'm ready for a weekend with my sweet little family. :)
Linking up with Darci and friends for another 5 on Friday. Join the fun!
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{ONE} Last night was parent conferences at my school from 6-8 and hubs had to work as well so my parents watched Em for us. We missed her! Can't wait to spend the weekend with her and take her to the huge Harvest Party at our church on Sunday afternoon. She has the cutest costume... she's an owl! I hope she will keep the hood of the costume on (she hates anything on her head, which destroyed my dreams of adorable girly headbands). I'll post pictures on Monday!
{TWO} I've ran three times this week (four if you count the run I am planning for this afternoon). It's not a huge accomplishment but it is for me because we have been busy and I haven't been motivated to run until this week! I hope I can keep it up! These are pictures from a local trail that I ran on Sunday. It's a paved path along a river. Nice scenery never hurts! :)
{THREE} Hubs' grandma made me a delicious peanut butter pie just because she knew I liked it when she fixed it a few weeks ago for dessert. I was so excited and it was so delicious that I ate it in just two or three days. I know that in yesterday's post I promised the recipe but I haven't had time to ask her! I'll get it from her this weekend and post it as soon as I can. She said it's super easy and it is so so so good!
{FOUR} It has gotten cold here... it was sleeting a little when I picked Em up at the babysitter's and another teacher said it was flurrying at her mom's house! Crazy. Is it too soon to wish for a snow day?! Haha... Kidding, mostly.
{FIVE} This sweet girl turned 17 months this week! I can't believe she's almost a year and a half. She is so much fun right now, I'll try to do an update on her next week!
(Excuse my messy post-run hair)
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Losing Control

This is going to be a quick post because our laptop cord keeps shorting out and the computer shuts down when it does that. It's hit or miss so I'll just do a quick week recap.... Monday we had our women's Bible study celebration night. We finished the Wonderstruck study by Margaret Feinburg. It was a fun study and in another week or so we are going to start a new study called Unglued. Looking forward to it!
Hubs and I went to life group on Tuesday night and had so much fun. The series we are doing in life group is called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. It's about being a follower of Christ vs. a fan of Christ. One of the questions we discussed is what we gave up to follow Christ? That's a tough question to answer. I can tell you what I gained... forgiveness, grace, mercy, peace, love, acceptance... the list goes on and on. What did you gain is an easy question, but what did I give up? Did I lose something? I'm still not sure how to answer that. I didn't really lose friendships because most of my friends are Christians and the ones who are not don't force their beliefs on me and are open-minded. The only answer that comes to me (right now) is that I continue to lose control because of my desire to be a follower of Christ. Control of what tomorrow will bring, control of my circumstances, control of my choices, control of other areas of life that I try to be in charge of. It's a learning process and I fail daily... I'm a control freak. But that's where grace and mercy and forgiveness come in. It's been a really interesting series and I'm having so much fun talking with our friends about it.
Okay, that's all for now... be back soon for 5 on Friday (yummy recipe coming your way). Wish me luck as I have parent conferences at school the next two days!
Quick P.S. --I've ran three days this week... Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. That my friends is a small miracle. Wooohooo! :)
 Have a great Thursday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Love to/hate to....

I have lots of friends who run. They do 5K's, 10K's, and half marathons (by the way, who's going to be the first to do a marathon? Not it! :-P). I have done one 5K. One. That's it. I trained for it for about 3 and a half months. I was so proud of myself. I ran 4-5 days a week for those three and a half months. I even ran when I was on vacation through the streets of Missouri and Oklahoma and on the hotel treadmill. And then I ran that 5K at the beach without stopping to walk. That was my goal and I accomplished it. Hurray! Then I stopped running. I wish I hadn't. I wish I had kept it up and signed up for more races. Did I absolutely love running and racing? No. But what I did love was the sense of accomplishment that I felt after I did it. I loved the way that I felt... full of energy and healthy. But it's hard. It's hard to make yourself leave the house and drive somewhere to run. It's hard to walk out the front door some days and run down the road and back. So I stopped running.
This morning I was catching up on some blogs and I came across this video. I was so inspired that I put on my running shoes (which are still in great condition because I bought them when training for that solo 5K), and I went for a run. It was a beautiful day, cool and breezy... the bright and colorful trees painted a gorgeous view while I struggled along. I ran until I was too tired to run, then I walked until I could breathe again, and picked the pace back up. I didn't feel amazing when I got back from the run. That's okay. I may never feel amazing after a run. But what is important to me is that I got off of the couch and did something that will benefit me in the long run. Physical therapy has helped my neck muscles get stronger and I am hoping that running will only add to that physical strength. I want to come home in the evenings and cook dinner and play and run around with Emerie without wishing I could lay on the couch because my neck is bothering me. I am running for health, but also for Emerie. I want to stay healthy for her so that I can enjoy life with her. Maybe one day she and I can run together... So here I am. Starting over with running --again.  Loving it and hating it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

5 on Friday!

Finally Friday!! Here's a recap of our week. :) Link up with Darci and friends to join in the fun!
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{ONE} Monday night we had the opportunity to go to an annual fundraising dinner for a local Christian based women's health clinic. Tim Tebow's mom, Pam Tebow, was the keynote speaker at this pro-life event. She was funny and sweet. Her stories were really remarkable. If you haven't heard her testimony you should Google it. It was a really moving story. We are thankful that we had the opportunity to be a part of the evening. While Pam Tebow was a wonderful speaker, I felt the most powerful speech came from a local young woman who was helped by this Christian clinic. It was such a sweet testimony, it made me cry and then I nearly lost it when her daughter came on stage to give her flowers! Melt this momma's heart.
{TWO} Tuesday night we had life group at church and we are really enjoying it. We've made some new friends and are looking forward to hanging out with them. This was the second night in a row that we were out past nine. Poor Emerie... she goes to bed at 7:30 so she was sooooo tired when we picked her up from my parent's house. She took a 3 hour nap every single day this week!
{THREE} Wednesday and Thursday were uneventful and we were so thankful for that. The only semi-eventful thing that occurred was when Emerie climbed into the bathtub (that was filling up with water) fully clothed. Don't panic, hubs and I were both in the bathroom with her, she's just a fast little thing and wanted to take "bafff" so badly. :)
{FOUR} Thank you for the prayers for my sister. God is so so so good. The 2 inch mass that the radiologist/doctors saw on the x-ray of her lung was NOT THERE on her CT scan. Gone. I can't tell you what a relief that was to her and to our family. One of the doctors even said that it was a God thing. He is good. Thanks for your prayers!
{FIVE} Another friend of mine found out that they are expecting a sweet little baby in April. Ahhh all my pregnant friends and sister are kicking my baby fever up a notch. Haha! Our sweet little baby is growing up right before our eyes. 
(P.S. She does have other pajamas, I promise. She always seems to be wearing these when I get my camera out at night!! :))

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Memories in the Messes

My house is a mess 99% of the time. Our tables and furniture are always cluttered and covered with baby toys, board books, sippy cups, and various other objects that Em has picked up from somewhere in the house. We call it Hurricane Emerie. Most days I try to pick things up and put stuff away after she goes to bed (because really, what's the point when she's awake and running wildly through the house?). Other days I am just so tired from working all day that all I want to do is lay down on the couch or curl up with the computer and blog or pin recipes on Pinterest after she goes to bed. Those days I feel guilty. Guilty that things are out of place, that the dog hair didn't get vacuumed up that day, that the toys didn't make it back in the toy baskets, or that the dishes are still laying in the sink. But as I reflect on the day, does all that stuff really matter? Memories were made in the messes.
I'll remember the evenings spent sitting on the floor reading books and knocking down Lego towers. I'll remember her giggling while she fed the dogs from her highchair. I'll look back on her excitement when she discovered all of the new "toys" in the tupperware cabinet. And that's what life is about. Memories in the messes. So tonight I am savoring this beautiful mess. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend was relaxing and family filled. Emerie slept from 7:30 Friday night to 9 am Saturday morning! It was so nice to sleep in. She's been doing so well sleeping through the night now. We've really enjoyed it. :) Saturday I hung out and home then went out with my sister for awhile. We went to Target and Ross (where we always go) and I enjoyed a salted caramel mocha frap from Starbucks. Yum. It was a much needed pick me up. This weather has been so blah lately. It's been raining for days now and I am so anxious to get outside and run/walk/hike etc. Sunday we went to hubs' sisters house for our nephew's 10th birthday party. Emerie loved looking at their turtles and she kept saying "oh wow!". It was adorable.
 Hugging her cousin Carly goodbye. :)
We ended our weekend with a relaxing evening at home. Emerie played with the dogs like she always does. She got on Piper's back and said "giddy up" while bouncing up and down. I had to remind her to be gentle and love the dog. Haha. So thankful we have patient pups.
 A girl and her dog. Love.
We have a busy start to our week and I am hoping that the week begins with sunshine. :)
Happy Monday friends!

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 on Friday!

Friday.Friday.Friday. I am so happy you are here. This has been a week. Joining Darci and friends again... link up and join the fun. :)
 
{ONE} Emerie normally sleeps well but decided to get up three times Monday night so I've been tired since then! My class has been a little wilder than normal due to Spirit Week at school (and the rainy weather with no outside recess) so I am worn out and grateful that the weekend is here. :)
{TWO} I am loving this toddler stage... Emerie talks nonstop and she knows so much. I can't believe all of the things understands. She gives the sweetest kisses (and sometimes grabs me by face to give them)... but I can see the terrible twos are upon us. She has started throwing some tantrums and even lays down on the floor for some of them! I try not to laugh but it's hard. It's also hard not to give into her. She has us wrapped around her little fingers and it's so easy to just give her what she wants to stop the screaming. Haha. We are in trouble.
{THREE} My older sister has had some health issues lately and it's been a scary journey for our family. Thankfully the doctors think they know what is going on with her and she is starting to feel better now that she's on some meds. She has to have a CT scan this afternoon so if you wouldn't mind whispering a little prayer for her, our family would greatly appreciate it. (Thanks friends!)
{FOUR} Hubs and I joined a life group at church and we are currently doing a study called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. It's been really thought provoking and interesting so far.
Not a Fan, a book by Kyle Idleman
{FIVE} The sunsets have been really amazing lately and if you missed my post yesterday, this was what our evening looked like Wednesday. Perfection.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Listening

My mind is so full. So full that I can't really put my thoughts into words. I think I am in a listening phase with God right now. Even at Bible study Monday night I didn't say much during the study and I didn't say anything during the study portion of life group Tuesday night!! Those of you that know me know that is so unlike me, but I have so much on my mind that I don't know where to start. I'm in the process of figuring it all out I guess. I've been thinking about a lot, ways to serve others, where I am with my walk with Christ, directions to go in all aspects of life. I'm learning a lot too. So I've been absorbing it all this week instead of always trying to run the conversations with God. Listening to Him can be challenging. You have to try hard. Sometimes He's really obvious, like when He put this sign in my life during a difficult time (you can read about that here if you'd like).
Sometimes, like last night's sunset, He just wants to remind me that He loves me (and you!) and life is beautiful:
Amazing right? I almost missed it... I happened to look out the front door while sitting on the couch and was so surprised by the beauty that I ran out with my camera to capture and enjoy God's blessing in the sprinkling rain. My soul needed it. But sometimes we miss those things. We get too busy, too rushed, too tired... and we miss it. I don't want to miss it. Those moments. I've been trying to find joy in the everyday.
I am also reminded every single day that I am so blessed because of these sweet blue eyes.
So I apologize if my blog's been quiet this week... I've spent my week listening. I can't wait to share more with you!
Be back tomorrow for 5 on Friday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

5 on Friday

Time for one of my favorite weekly posts... 5 on Friday! Linking up with Darci and friends. :) Join the fun.
{ONE} This week has been so busy. I had women's Bible study on Monday night, physical therapy and Lifegroup on Tuesday night, grocery store on Wednesday, and then hubs had to work Thursday evening so I was flying solo with Emerie last night.... and work has been wearing me out big time this week. I need sleep. But life is full and happy. I can't complain too much. :)
{TWO} I've got lots of things on my fall bucket list... visit a pumpkin patch with Em, go on a trail ride or take a horseback riding lesson with hubs, do a leaf pile photo shoot, go on a few more hikes before it gets too cold, date night at the local drive-in movie theater (we were given two tickets at child birth classes before Em was born!), go to a U.Va football game, and make another pumpkin or apple dessert. Just to name a few!
{THREE} This video is so precious. A 4 year old girl couldn't sleep because of fireworks and her dad helped distract her by singing with her. So so adorable.
{FOUR} We don't have big plans this weekend... hubs will be hunting Saturday so I'll be spending some quality time with my girl. We might try to cross something off of the fall bucket list on Sunday. :)
{FIVE} So glad we hiked last weekend since the Shenandoah National Park is now closed due to the government shutdown! I don't blog about politics so I'll just leave you with a picture of this cutie! :)
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I've been learning what it means to be thankful lately. I've been reading the One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp for the past month or so and it's focus is on being grateful and finding joy in everyday life. Ann's book One Thousand Gifts is about her life and how she began to write down all of the things, big and small, that she is thankful for each day. She keeps a journal at her house and when she has a moment that she is thankful for she writes it down. I've been doing the same thing with this devotional... though I mainly write in it at night as I reflect on the day and I thought I might share some of the things I've written down over the past month or two.... I have so much to be thankful for and I've noticed that every single day that I've written in the journal, there is something about my sweet Emerie. She is certainly an amazing blessing. Here are a few things that I'm thankful for lately...
-a new coffee mug
-swinging on the front porch in the morning
-a new church that fills us each week
-a husband who did the dishes and vacuumed
-courage to join a Bible study
-sponsoring Estefani through Compassion
-physical therapy and the reminder to trust in God because "we are always safe"
-a babysitter who follows Christ
-the ability to apologize and forgive
-Emerie running, dancing, laughing, and talking
-rest and healing
-Isaiah 44:22 "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, yours sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
-Emerie saying "how much" when we ask her how much we love her
-veggies from a local garden
-a fun hike with a bear encounter
-dinner on the grill
-rubbing noses with Emerie
-free steaks
-a husband willing to work on days off to provide more for us
- a big, soft bed
-warm coffee
-supportive parents
This list could go on forever. I am really enjoying this devotional because I am reminded each day that I am blessed, regardless of my mood.
Hoping you find yourself blessed today!