Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cheesy Meatloaf

So this week has been cleanout the refrigerator and pantry week. I didn't go grocery shopping on Sunday like I normally do, so I've been "throwing" meals together. On Tuesday, I made a DELICIOUS meatloaf! Brant and I both loved it and the flavors were so savory. I had this mini-meatloaf recipe from Cooking Ligh, so I used it as a guide. But here is MY version of Cheesy "Clean-out the Pantry" Meatloaf!

1lb ground beef (use as lean as possible - I used sirloin)
1/3 cup crushed cheese n' herb flavored crutons
1 onion, chopped
2 TBSP minced garlic
3/4 c ketchup - use 1/2 cup in the meat mixture, then use 1/4 on top)
handful of shredeed parmeassan cheese
handful of shredded sharp cheddar
1 tsp oregano
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1 egg lightly beaten
good pinsh of salt and fresh ground black pepper

Turn on the oven to 425. Grease or spray your bread pan.
Heat your EVOO in a skillet and saute your onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
All all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Put in bread pan. Bakc for 25 minutes. Then put the remaining ketchup on top of the loaf. Bake for 15-20 more minutes.

I cannot tell you how wonderful this was! I am SURE to make it again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Advice...on Marriage!

Today Kelly's Korner is going a blog-hop on marriage advice. If you look at my post from Wednesday here, you'll see that Brant and I just celebrated 4 years of marriage - and it has been the best 4 years of my life!

Although I am by far no expert on marriage, I do have a few tidbits I try to live by in order to make marriage a happy one.

I hate fighting, and to me, there is nothing worse than fighting all the time. In marriage, I think you have to pick your battles. Don't fight over the small stuff because its just that - small stuff. I have a friend who gets mad (and stays mad) over the silliest things, yet she wonders why she can't have a long-term relationship. Who wants to be with someone who gets angry and yells because you didn't say "I love you" when they hung up the phone? So pick your battles wisely!

Respect is one of things that every one of us expects, but don't always give. As a wife, I have to respect my husband, but I also expect him to respect me. We value each others' opinions and listen to what the other one has to say. If you don't then our marriage would fall apart. How can you have a bonded relationship with someone if you don't have respect for them?

I think, or at least I hope, this one speaks for itself. But just in case you need some help do on a date, have a night out (w/out kids), put one some "cute" pj's...the stuff that keeps is fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

4 Years of Bliss

Today Brant and I are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. It seems like just the other day when we said "I do", but in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago because it just a few 4 years, so much has happened.
We began a life together.

We bought a house!

We have welcomed nephews into the world and spoiled the other niece and nephews. We have watched them grow and seen the Lord at work in their lives.

We have been through tragedies. We've buried and grieved for loved ones.

WE (yes we because I helped) have gotten Master's degrees and are working on a second!

We have supported each other through lost jobs and new beginnings.

We have traveled to marvelous places like Cancun and Hawaii.
(Yep - that me definitely pregnant in Hawaii)

We struggled for 2 years with an emotional journey of infertility.

But we cried tears of joy when we saw our prayers were answered.
And we sang His praises when this precious angel came into the world and changed our lives forever.

Mr. Williams, I love you more today than when I said "I do" those 4 short years ago. You have loved me unconditionally and supported me through the good times and bad. You are my very best friend and I cannot wait for the next 4 years, and the 40 after that! I will love you for the rest of my life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3 Months

Oh Sweet Love of Mine,
You are three months old and you have stolen my heart away. Don't get me wrong, you stole my heart the very day you were born, but these days have been so very special. You definitely know your momma and daddy and you love having us around. When strangers hold you, you look to make sure one of us is near. Sometimes, you get a little fussy and settle down as soon as your in my arms - its over joys my heart that you know your momma's touch.

Your sweet smile lights up any room and your "talking" is such sweet music. Your daddy and I can listen to you talk all day long, and still yearn to hear more. I still can't believe how lucky I am to be your momma.

You still go to bed around 9:00, but you sleep through the night now and wake up between 6 and 7. You eat about 4 ounces every 4 hours - usually 2 bottle during the day, but I feed you whenever I can. You have started going to Mrs. Regina's everyday while Momma and Daddy work. You love being around the other kids and Mrs. Regina loves holding and spoiling you. We are so lucky to have found someone so great to watch you during the day.

We have started letting you watch Baby Einstein videos and you love all the music and colors. You enjoy your tummy-time more and more each day and can prop yourself up on your forearms. You still love your swing and you like to be propped up so you can see everything going on around you. You still love your bath and any kind of water. We read books as often as we can and you love to read books at Mrs. Regina's house too.

My sweet little one, you continue to be the joy of our lives. It has only been 3 months since you came into this world, but I don't remember what life was like without you. This has been the best 3 months and I cannot wait to spend the next 3 month, 3 years, 3 decades with you. You delight my soul and fill our lives with gladness.

I love you my sweet angel,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Begging for Your Prayers

This morning I write begging you for your prayers. I found this blog yesterday from a prayer request on Twitter. This sweet couple prayed for a precious child and their prayers were finally answer, only have a tumor invade their child's body. Today, they take their child home to surround him with love the last days of his life.

As a mother, I sit here in tears this morning - my heart breaking in pieces for this mother and father. I honestly cannot imagine the pain and heartbreak they are feeling. I look at my sweet sleeping daughter and can't saying goodbye to her. Seeing her sweet grin while she sleeps makes my heart swell with joy, but I cannot fathom being this mother knowing that the smile you see may be the last.

So pray with me. Pray that this family has complete peace and comfort. Pray that they are surround with family, love and support. Pray that this sweet baby feels no pain, but that he goes to the arms of his Creator peacefully.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Kids Allowed

Before I was a parent, screaming children made me cringe! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a crying child, but a screaming child is completely different. What would make things worse was either 1) a parent who didn't care, or 2) a parents who couldn't control their screaming child.

But now, I'm a parent....and things have changed a bit!

Now I will be the first to tell you that Brant and I are INCREDIBLY lucky because Emmalee is not a screamer. If she is upset she will let you know, but once you address the problem (feed her, love on her, change her diaper, etc) then all is well. So I admit that I'm not quite sure how I would handle it if/when she were to scream inconsolably for no apparent reason.

But this morning on the news, I heard about a restaurant in Penn. that has decided to no longer allow children in its restaurant. No child under the age of 6 is permitted to enter the establishment. According to the Yahoo! article I read online (read the whole article here), "The owner of the "upscale, casual and quiet" restaurant explains to WTAE Local News, he's got nothing against kids in general, but their endless screams at public dinner tables are "the height of being impolite and selfish.""

I can fully understand the desires of the owner to maintain a certain atmosphere; however, does this go a bit far - to ban ALL children under the age of 6? I tend to side with Brenda Armes - another restaurant owner that article describes. She posted a sign that simply stated "Screaming children will not be tolerated."

Last Monday, when Brant and I went to the movies, there was a young toddler (I would venture to say under the age of 2) who kept screaming during the movie. First of all, I would have some choice words for that parent because 1) there was some sexuality in the movie, 2) there was a large amount of foul language, and 3) there was extremely violence. Shoot - I wanted to have a talk with every parent who brought their child under the age of 13 into that theater!! But the fact remains that having a screaming kid in the movie was incredibly disruptive.

So I do appreciate that the restaurant owner in PA wants to provide the ambiance his patrons desire, but does he have to completely ban all children under the age of 6? If he was in my neighborhood, he would lose our business only because Brant and I enjoy going out with Emmalee and if she was not welcome, then we would not feel welcome either.

So what are thoughts on loud children in adult places? Should they be ban? Should there even be a policy about it? Should the parent's be asked to leave if a child is too loud? I'm interested to see what you have to say!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

4th Weekend

Well I know that it has been a week since our long, holiday weekend, but I am just now getting around to posting some pictures. Sorry. I guess you could say that all of my priorities have been rearranged since I had a baby. Being Em's mom has been the funnest thing - EVER! I, literally, rush home everyday to get home to her so we can play and laugh together. Oh - just the joy of my life!

Anyways, last weekend was fun. Saturday we just relaxed around the house. Brant had a large paper due in one of his master's classes, so he was working diligently to get it finished. Em and I just played and cleaned house. I had been given a few Baby Einstein videos when Em was born, and I knew that children loved them, but the cover says they are for 6 months and up. Well Em has started to really focus on bright colors, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to turn one on...and she loved it! She was "talking" to the TV and all the animals on it. It was adorable. Can I just tell you how wonderful it was to spend the whole day with this precious baby?!?!?!?

Saturday night our good friends Chad and Jalah came over for dinner. We had such a great time eating, talking and playing "Jokers and Marbles."

On Sunday, we went to church and if you follow me on Twitter, then you might remember that a sweet lil' old man asked me if Emmalee was a "he or a she?" And she was wearing this precious little outfit. I just smiled and replied, "She's a girl".

After church, we came home, had lunch, took a nap, then went swimming at Aunt Cookie's house! Em liked the water. She has always loved her bath and since it it 105 here in good ole' Tejas (Texas in Spanish for all you foreigners - foreigners meaning not from Texas!), the water isn't that, she liked it! She played and kicked her little legs for about 15 minutes, then fell the pool! They say swimming makes you tired!

Monday, we hung out around the house until late afternoon. Then Brant and I went to go see "Transformer's 3" and let Granda and Grandad babysit Em. Mom has been begging me to have some alone time with her, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity and they were happy to oblige! The movie was good - long, but good. After the movie, we headed over to mom and dad's to eat some homemade ice cream and watch the fireworks. Em loved seeing all the bright colors in the sky, but was ready to go to bed as soon as we got home.

It was a great weekend for us, and I hope for you too! Today we are taking Emmalee's 3 month pictures and I am so excited about the outfits and bows that I have picked out for her! I hope you have a cool, fun Saturday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

She Might Be My Child

My mom said that Emmalee is beginning to look more and more like me when I was a baby. So we pulled out baby pictures!

What do you think?
I think she might be mine!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When You Don't Know What to Say

Have you ever been in a situation where you just didn't know what to say? I feel like that is the title of this chapter in my life right now - Shut Your Mouth, or Insert Your Foot!

There have been times lately where I will see someone who I know is hurting or going through a dark place in life, but I find it so hard to speak to them in fear that I might say something wrong. What if I bring back the pain of losing a loved one; or what if I spur on the tears of sorrow? The hard part for me is that I am talker. I love to encourage people and make them feel good, but what if you have no clue how to encourage them?

My parents have good friends that recently lost their youngest son at the age of 20. We saw them on Monday to watch fireworks at my parents house. What do I say to these grieving parents as I "ohh and ahh" over my sweet child?

At my office, there is a girl named...well, let's just call her "S". S and I were pregnant at the same time; she was due just a month after I was. S is a single girl in her mid 20's - no boyfriend, lives alone - but made some bad choices one night that changed the rest of her life. Almost immediately after finding out that she was pregnant after a one-night stand, she decided that she would give her baby up for adoption. Although I could never fathom giving up my child, I also had tremendous admiration for her and her ability to know that by giving up this child, they would be raised in a world far better than what she could supply.

We used to talk and compare our pregnancies all the time. It was just the status quo between us - it was also the only topic we ever talked about because she and I have nothing else in common. S had hoped that she would have a fast, easy delivery and would then get back to life, or at least try her hardest to resume life as she knew it. But that didn't happen for her. She spent 36 miserable hours in labor, ended up having an emergency c-section, and was sent home to recuperate without her daughter. All the while I was at home having the time of life with Emmalee after a very fast and easy delivery.

S came back to work just one week after I did although she had only been out 5 weeks and I was out 8. Today, we see each other walk down the hall and smile. We might say "Hi", but that is the extent of our conversation. I feel horrible because we used to talk and conversate, but today we just seem to be polite. The problem is...I don't know what to say. Does she even want me to say anything at all? Does she think of her daughter when she sees me? Do her heart ache when she looks down to see her flat tummy? I don't know, and I'm too afraid to ask.

So as of now, I simply pray because its all I know to do. I pray for John and Sharon as their grieve the loss of their son. I pray for S because I hope that she is comforted and that her heart is lifted even when the tears stream down her face. I pray because I know our God is bigger and our God is stronger...for if He is for us, then who can stand against us?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thoughts on a Friday

It's the Friday before a 3-day weekend which means I really don't want to be at work and my mind is completely scattered. Its interesting what thoughts you have when you're trying to work, but you don't really want to. So for you reading enjoyment, a glimpse into my head over the past 2 hours!

Oh my word, still 4 more hours until I get to leave!

I hope the rest of the day goes by fast.

I'm hungry - popcorn? Yes, please!

What should we have tonight for dinner?

What in the world is she wearing today? Does she know you can see through that skirt?

I wonder what Emmalee is doing right now?

Oh my - I don't know if I have a red, white and blue outfit for Em to wear Monday. We should go shopping tomorrow.

I need to work on my tan, oh, and getting my job done today.

I hope Dax isn't too hot outside.

I'm hungry - I should go pop the popcorn!

When is the next Twilight movie coming out?

I hope the prosecution is killing Casey Anthony's defense!

I need a new job.

What time is it, I'm ready to go home.

I wish I was still pregnant so I could eat whatever I wanted!

Maybe not popcorn - maybe a brownie from Starbucks!

I want to go home and play with Emmalee!

I REALLY need to get some work done!

Maybe we'll go out to dinner tonight.

Ummmm...this popcorn is delicious!

Only 2 more hours and I can go home to play with this baby girl!!!