Monday, February 28, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 32 Weeks

I can't believe there is only 8 more weeks until Emmalee Caroline is here!

This is a really bad picture of me, but a really good picture of how big my belly is!

Brant and I had another sonogram this morning to check on her growth. Well the Lord definitely heard our cries because this baby girl is growing so well that they are not probably not even going to have a 36 weeks sonogram as originally planned!

  • Size of the baby: As of today's sonogram, she is 4 lbs, 6 oz!!!! Definitely bigger than average, but only 16.8" long, which is right on target! Growth is no issue here!!! (And FYI, says the 32 wk avg. weight is only 3.75 lbs!)
  • Total weight loss/gain: 28 lbs - but only 2lbs in the past month!
  • Maternity clothes: YEP! My clothing options are becoming more and more limited!
  • Gender: It's a Girl! Emmalee Caroline Williams
  • Movement: Yes! Not only can I feel her move, but you can watch her!
  • Sleep: Starting to get difficult. I get up more often and its more difficult to get comfortable at night.
  • What I miss: Being about to move around freely - I can't bend down very well, I seem to literally roll myself out of bed, and it is getting more and more difficult to do the everyday tasks!
  • Cravings: Not really craving anything.

I cannot tell you how relieved Brant and I were this morning to hear that Emmalee is growing so well. So since we know that she is already 4 lbs, 6 oz., anyone want to take any guesses on what her birth weight will be????? My guess is 8 lbs, 10 oz.

Her room is almost finished! I'm going to Canton on Saturday with Sister and I hope that I get everything I need to finish her room while I'm there. I promise to post pictures as soon as its all ready!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dont' Forget About the Giveaway

Just a Reminder!

You have until midnight on February 26, 2011 to enter the Great Grabbie Designs blog design giveaway!

One Basic Custom Blog Design!
Custom Header
2 or 3 column design
White or Colored posting space
Coordinating decorative blog background
PLUS: A free signature for the bottom of each of your posts!

Its simple to enter. All you have to do is ONE of these three things...however, each item below allows for an entry into the drawing! So you can have an endless number of entries!
  1. Follow the Great Grabbie Designs Blog
  2. Leave a comment on the Great Grabbie Designs Blog
  3. "Like" the Facebook Page
  4. Refer someone else to the Great Grabbie Designs Facebook Page! (NOTE: the person must leave a comment on WHO referred them for you to get credit! The referring party gets an entry PER referral!)
Good luck!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On A Cooking Spree

So you guys know I am on a cooking spree when I keep posting new recipes! I think its because I just finished organizing all of my printed, hand-written and magazine recipes. I had to many Cooking Light magazines on my shelf that I just tore out the recipes I wanted to keep and threw the magazines away. So now, all of these recipes that I had lying around are now neatly organized in a binder. So I feel like I owe it to the recipes to makes some of them!

So last night, I made another Rachel Ray recipe that was SOOO easy and quick, but was wonderfully delicious - Chicken Cacciatore Subs!

I changed up the recipe just a bit because Brant is not a fan of mushrooms, so here is the Williams version of the Rachel Ray instructions. (My version was perfect for 2 large sub rolls stuffed to the brim...Rachel's is for 4 subs).

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, sliced, seasoned with a grill seasoning
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, or 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper (I used yellow and it was delicious in this)
  • EVOO
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Tony's seasoning
  • sub rolls
  • sliced provolone cheese
Slice and season your chicken breasts. Cover skillet with non-stick spray and put chicken in skillet over medium heat. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until done (depending on the thickness of your slices). As chicken is cooking, slice your onion and bell pepper. Remove chicken from skillet and set to the side. Dribble some EVOO in the pan and add onion and bell pepper slices, and all the spices to the pan. Cook for approx. 5 minutes or until onion and pepper are soft. Pour in chicken stock and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken and let simmer for about 5 minutes. While sauce is simmering, heat oven broiler and broil your subs - sliced open. Remove from oven when sides are browning. Stuff your subs with your chicken and sauce. Place slices of provolone on top and stick back in the over for about 2 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt!

I have to tell you that when I told Brant what we were having for dinner, he didn't seem thrilled. But as soon as he tasted them, he really liked them! They were delicious! I will certainly be making these again.

After dinner, we watched Monday night's episode of "Chuck." Do you watch Chuck? It has got to be one of our favorite shows! It just makes me laugh!

Well we got a good laugh out of this episode because Chuck's sister and BIL just had a new baby. Well they couldn't get the baby to go to sleep and the next day, they walk into a store holding the baby carrier looking like they had just been run over by a truck. Brant immediately burst out in laughter because he knew this may very well be us in 2 months! I think I have a good idea what to expect only because I have been around babies all of my life, but Brant has no idea what this is going to be like! I'm sure we'll have some pretty humorous stories to post!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Blog

Great Grabbie Designs has a new blog...and with a new blog comes a GIVEAWY!!! Check out all the details here!

The Scare

This past weekend, our youth had Disciple Now. When I was growing up, D-Now was one of the most exciting times and definitely a weekend I ALWAYS looked forward to. As an adult, it is still something I look forward to. Brant and I love helping and being a part of this weekend for the youth at our church, Walnut Ridge.

If your D-Now experiences are like my experiences, then you know how crazy things can be and how drastic stunts can be! Well this year, one of our youth ministers decided to scare one of the youth boys out of bed! This video is CRAZY - hope you enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: No one in this video was hurt or damaged physically. Walnut Ridge not held liable for any emotional damage.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Children's Place

Children's Place is having a huge sale right now that ends today AND you can order anything online from Children's Place and it is FREE shipping!!!! TODAY ONLY!!!!!

Go here to check it out!

Pink Jobs vs. Blue Jobs

It seems that everywhere I turn the past few days, everyone is discussing the role and chores of the husband and wife.

One of the local country radio stations, KCSC, talked about it last week. One of the radio personalities, Brother Van, shared the division of responsibilities between he and his wife, Sherri. When they talked about it on-air, they were discussing how Sheri's list seems to be things that need to be done daily, while Brother Van's list is just an occasional job. And yes, each of these people have full-time jobs. Then I saw this article on Yahoo today. So it got me to thinking - how exactly are things divided up in the Williams house?

For us, it is simple - we share the responsibility. Now typically, I do the cooking, the laundry and the cleaning and Brant handles the trash, the pets, and the yardwork. But I can also tell you that if I ever ask for my husband's help in any of the things I do, he gladly helps me, but then I gladly help him when he needs me to feed the cat or help him rake the leaves. And yes, I certainly do the grocery shopping because I would honestly hate to see what Brant would come home with! But for us, I also have to take into consideration his job.

Friday started baseball season for DBU. That means that 1-2 times a week, Brant will be working until 10, and most of his Saturdays are spent at DBU as well. If there is a baseball game at the school - Brant will be there. And it is the same for basketball season. So yes, there are often times that I take on most of the responsibilities for keeping out home running, but I also know that Brant would do the same for me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Well I have had a very busy week and it doesn't look like its slowing down. We have just been working on a huge project for work, so it early to rise and late to get home. But, I still want to be able to cook a decent dinner for Brant. Well last night I grabbed a recipe from one of my Cooking Light magazines - Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

This was really delicious and have a GREAT flavor! I would definitely recommend it!!!


  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine (I just used spaghetti b/c I had it in the house)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

2. While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic and shrimp; sauté or 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, pepper, basil, and oregano; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste and lemon juice; cook 1 minute or until slightly darkened. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, and diced tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until thickened. Return shrimp to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over pasta.

Recipe from Cooking Light - for full nutrition information, go here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day Full of Love

Well my Valentine's Day started out kind of crummy - I had to do the 3-hour glucose test because I failed the first one. If you have never had to do the 3-hour, let me just emphasize that it is NOT fun! You have to fast for 8 hours, and then can't eat until the test is that's 11 hours of not eating! And when you're pregnant - no food equals no fun!

But after my test was over, I went and had plenty of protein at Chipotle - the best burritos of all time (in my opinion)! I felt a little better, but I am still weak and tired...and my head hurts! But oh well - its all for baby girl, right?

Well for Valentine's Day, Brant and I decided to forgo gifts this year - I mean we have a baby coming and need to save all the money we possibly can. We plan on going out for a nice dinner this weekend, but we would rather spend tonight at home, snuggled up on the sofa and watching our favorite shows! But for dinner, I promised to make one of Brant's (and my) favorite meals.

Salmon Croquettes (Cooking Light style)
Roasted Asparagus

For dessert, I think I'm going to try these Chocolate Souffle Cakes!

What are your plans for the day?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Update on Sullivan

From Ashley's blog:
Sullivan's prognosis is not is a rare form of cancer. There is no cure for this horrible disease that has chosen his precious body in which to reside. Jason and Kristie have chosen a less invasive chemo treatment plan that will not destroy Sully's face and will allow them a little more quality time at home. He will begin chemotherapy tomorrow, and they are hoping to have him home early next week. Please join me in praying for a miracle for Sullivan, and for comfort and peace for his parents Jason and Kristie, and big brother Jackson

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shrimp Gumbo Casserole

(Picture stolen from Kelly's Korner's Recipe blog...
only because I didn't take a picture of it last night! )

Yesterday was a cold, icy day here in North know, the kind of day when you just want to sit by the fire. And if you are like me, on this kind of day there is nothing better than some type of warm soup or something really tasty to eat. So I tried something new - Paula Deen's Shrimp Gumbo Casserole - Kelly's Korner Style. Kelly's Korner Style just means that I added rice like she did.

This was soooo delicious! If you like gumbo, this is a great dish and can easily been changed or altered to add your favorite ingredients or seafood (or chicken if you don't like seafood).



  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning (just salt, garlic and black pepper)
  • 1 cup chicken or fish stock (about 1 1/2 cups if you add rice - see note below)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 10-ounce package frozen cut okra
  • 2 cups shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and deveined
  • (This wasn't in the recipe but I added 1 1/2 cups of rice to thicken it up some and it was good that way!) NOTE: You might need to add a little more chicken stock to your mixture if you add the rice. I (Ashley) added about 1/2 a cup more.


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 12-ounce package corn muffin mix


In an iron skillet, saute onion and celery in oil. Add bay leaves, thyme, lemon-pepper seasoning and House Seasoning. Pour in stock and add tomatoes and okra. Cover pot and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shrimp.

To prepare the topping, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together egg and milk, add to muffin mix, and combine until just well-blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls on top of hot shrimp mixture, leaving the center uncovered. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Ashley's notes: As I said, I added a little more chicken stock because of the rice. It worked great. I also added about 1 tsp of Cayenne pepper to give it a little spice - Brant and I love some good, spicy gumbo. You could easily add crawfish or crab meat to this dish to add more meat. This was really, really good! Brant and I loved it.

If you make it, let me know what you think, and let me know if you changed your's up a bit!!!

Urgent Prayer Request

A friend of mine, Ashley Patterson, posted this urgent prayer request on her blog this morning.

"Is this one of the sweetest faces you've ever seen? This is Sullivan. his mommy, Kristie, sits at my MOPS table twice a month and also goes to our church. He is 2 years old and last week his parents took him to the dr. because he was having trouble with his vision. They immediately sent him to Children's Hospital and since then have found 4 malignant tumors in his little body. he has a rare type of cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. He can't see right now and only wants his mommy to hold him because that is his only comfort right now. It just breaks my heart. He has an older brother who doesn't understand what is going on right now either. Please add them to your prayer list as they begin radiation soon because chemo is not an option at this time. they are all physically and emotionally exhausted but are trusting in God as best they can. I just can't imagine. Please visit their caringbridge site with more updates.

I can't imagine what this family is going through at this time. Please pray for the healing of this baby boy, for his parents to be comforted, and for his doctors to have wisdom and knowledge of how to treat this disease.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Best Baby Basics

Babies, babies, babies - that seems to be a very popular topic for me and many of my dear friends these days. In my Sunday School class alone there are 6 ladies that are pregnant, and 3 that have recently had babies.

Now I have grown up around babies - my Sister has 4 of them - and I would say that handling babies comes naturally to me. However, each day I am beginning to learn that there is a HUGE difference in 'being good with babies' and being a good mother! So this past Saturday, I was thrilled to be invited to a "Baby Talk" Brunch where the 3 new mommies sat down and were very open with us about their deliveries, and mommy-hood. It was so fabulous - they gave us motherly advice and then told us about several products that they believed were true 'lifesavers" for them and their babies.

Needless to say, I left the brunch and headed straight to Babies R Us to change and add a few things to my registry.

So I thought today would be a great day for each of us to talk about the things we have either 1) heard were lifesavers, or 2) would recommend to any new mom.

The Best Baby Basics

The Sleeper Gown WITH ZIPPERS.
I know that snaps are easy, but zippers are a cinch! My Wal-mart has several different designs right now, so I went and stocked up on Saturday. These are really great for daddies, or at least I hear they are!

The Miracle Blanket
One of the ladies was telling us that she originally thought her daughter didn't like to be swaddled. What she discovered was that her daughter actually loved to be swaddled, but she had been doing it wrong. Well the Miracle Blanket solves that problem! To see this amazing product in action, check out the Miracle Blanket website.

The Sleep Sack
Another new mommy told us that her baby's nursery is one of the coldest rooms in her home. Well that is the same for Emmalee Caroline's nursery. This mommy said that it wasn't a big problem until her baby was old enough to kick off his covers during the night. The Sleep Sack was perfect for her. It giver her baby room to kick, but allows them to stay covered so they don't get too cold! I have 2 of these on my registry now!

The Swing
After the brunch, I ended up changing the swing I initially registered for. This is the actually swing I desire - for 2 main reasons: 1) it is battery operated and also power-cord operated. If baby wants to be in her swing 24/7, then she can, and I won't have to buy stock in Energizer! 2) there are two different swinging positions - front to back, and left to right.

And lastly, one of the greatest baby inventions of all time:
The Gentle Vibrations Nail File

Mommy #3 told us about this product and I think it is genius! For any parent, or soon-to-be parent, we have either lived a horror story about clipping baby's nails or at least heard a horror story. This is an electronic nail file that simply uses light vibration to smoother and shorten baby's nails with the emery board tip. They had this at my Babies R Us for less than $10. I have a feeling that this product saves babies and mommies lots of tears!

So now join me in the "Best Baby Basics" post today and link it back here! Let all the new and soon-to-be mommies know what you think are some of the best and essentials for bringing home baby!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tomorrow's Blog

On Saturday, I went to a baby talk brunch with several ladies from my Sunday School class. There are currently 6 of us that are pregnant and three new mommies held a little brunch for us to talk about babies. One thing they did was take time to share with us some of the items that they couldn't live without - or things that their babies loved.

So tomorrow I am going to be hosting a blog hop about the best of baby basics. If there are certain items that your baby loved, or items that you felt were life-savers for you and your baby, post about it! New mommies want to know what has worked for you!!!!!

Hope to see you back here tomorrow!!!!!

SheShe Made Made My Day

Well the other day in THIS post, I listed some of my favorite baby shopping spots. SheShe Made was one of them. The owner, Ashley McWilliams, create bows, clothes and everything in between for your little ones. I had emailed Ashley awhile back and asked her if she would make a few gowns for me with some material that I had found.

Well the gowns came in yesterday and I have to tell you that it just made my day! They are so adorable and Ashley has exceeded my every expectation. She was even able to make a few coordinating burp clothes for me.

Go check out the SheShe Made website and see the great things she can create for you too!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some Southern Cookin'

So this weekend, I was in the mood for some delicious southern cookin'!

Saturday night, Brant and I have tried Paula Deen's Orange Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with a Kick. Both were absolutely DELICIOUS! The sweet potatoes left me wanting more just because of their flavor and the meat was so yummy. I will definitely make these again.

On Sunday, we had some good friends over for lunch and I made Rachel Ray's Chicken and Peaches. I had seen Rachel make this on her 30 Minutes Meals show one day this weekend when we were iced in. It didn't necessarily sound great, but it looked divine! So I tried it and it was absolutely fabulous! I really think this might be one of my new favorites. You can use any fresh peaches - since you are cooking them, they don't even need to be ripe because cooking will bring out the natural flavor. I served this with roasted new potatoes and green beans...a true southern meal!

Now I just need to finish my menu for this week! What's on your list to make???

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Days


The weathermen predicted we might get 1-3", in actuality, we received about 5" - which is crazy for North Texas! Some areas received as much as 8". The bad part is that the snow covered up all the ice, which made it a bit difficult to drive.

Here's a few pictures of the snow at our house.
(the front of our house)

You can see how thick the snow was in these two pictures.

This is our porch table...look at how high that is!!!!!

So what do you do when you're stuck in the house???

You relax in your favorite chair!

You sit by the window and wonder what the white stuff is!

You play in it!!!

Sit by the fire!

Work puzzles!
(even with missing pieces)

Or you just this pup!
(I got busted taking his picture)
What did you do this week???

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Well if in-utero movement is any indication of personality, then I have a feeling Ms. Emmalee Caroline with be ALOT like her father - calm and laid back. Every 2-3 hours I might feel a little movement and a kick or two, but that's about it. Now she does have a sassy side to her, just like her Mama, but those "episodes" are few and far between. Maybe she will be just a calm as this picture, or at least I pray she will be!

Like much of the nation, we here in North Texas have been iced in for a few days. I am finally back at work today, but only because of a husband who drives a big 4x4, off-road-type of truck and who graciously drove me in. But the past two days have been spent working from home, watching movies and TV w/ the hubs, cooking and getting some things done in the nursery. I also might have found a few great online boutiques for baby clothes!
(I am LOVING this little outfit - I definitely think this belongs in her closet!)
(This is who I bought EmC's John Deer dress from and definitely plan on a few more purchases - Great stuff for GREAT prices)
(LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her stuff! She is making Em's coming-home-from-the -hospital outfit!)