Friday, March 30, 2012

Two weeks old

The past two weeks have just flown by! Little Lew has already grown so much. At our midwife appointment this week he weighed 8 pounds. His little cheeks are filling out, he studies our faces and his surroundings during his awake time, and he is starting to make the cutest little faces. With my parent's visiting this week we've been getting out of the house for a little  bit every day. We've gone on walks, eaten out for lunch, stopped by the new Whole Foods, we even went to a movie today! Im always nervous about how Lewis will do when we are away from home but all my worrying is in vain because so far he has been a perfect angel on all of our outings.

Listening to his dad play the guitar

monkey toes

With his Mimi and Poppy

Holding hands

Friday, March 23, 2012

The first days of Lewis James

What a wonderful week we have had with our sweet little boy. It seems like we just brought him home yesterday and at the same time its as if we've had him here with us forever. Our very own little Lew. While I was still pregnant I often wondered how I would feel meeting my little boy. As soon as I saw his little face I was in love. Its so hard to describe the feeling, its overwhelming at times. Its so different from the love you have for your husband, the love you have for your parents, your siblings, your nieces and nephews. Indescribably wonderful. Everything about him is so precious: his tiny lips, his soft hair, the little cooing noises he makes, the weight of his warm body when we hold him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Best-Ever Meat Loaf

I first had this delicious meat loaf at Nate and Sharon's house. Lets just say it really is the best-ever meat loaf. Thanks Shay! I have adapted it in a few places but it has stayed true to its name


  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup siracha or chili garlic sauce
  • 1/8 cup ketchup (alternatively you can just use 1/4 cup ketchup if you don't like or don't have siracha)
  • 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb ground Turkey
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats 
  • In a large skillet heat oil and add onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook until softened (about 3 min)
  • In a bowl beat egg and stir in onion mixture, chili sauce + ketchup,  and worcestershire.
  • Add in ground turkey and sprinkle with oats. Mix until combined
  • Press mixture into a loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and let stand 5 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chili Blanco with Chicken

This is one of my go to white chili recipes. My mom would make this a lot when I was at home and I always loved it. Now I love making it for my own family! You can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. I'll put some notes to the side regarding things that I have changed

Ingredients ( chicken marinade):

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 medium jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Ingredients (soup):
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (I use 3 or 4)
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped ( I use a red and an orange pepper instead)
  • 1 pablano pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
  • 1 bottle light beer ( I use corona)
  • 2 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 16 oz can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed ( I use 2)
  • juice of one lime
  • plain yogurt
  • Make the marinade - combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and add cubed chicken. Let sit for a few minutes or longer in the refrigerator 
  • Heat oil in a large pot and add chicken. Saute for a few minutes until the chicken becomes opaque
  • Add additional oil and saute onion, celery, leek, bell peppers, cumin, oregano, pablano and chilies
  • Add beer, stock, and beans. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes
  • Add lime juice and salt
  • Serve with a spoonful of plain yogurt (or sour cream) on top!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lemon Pepper Pappardele with chicken and deconstructed kale pesto

Long name for a recipe...I really don't even think deconstructed kale pesto exists but it kind of sounds like it falls into the modern cooking trends so there ya go. I adapted it from this recipe for lemon mushroom Pappardele.

Lemon pepper Pappardele with chicken and deconstructed kale pesto


  • 1 package Lemon pepper Pappardele from Trader Joe's ( can substitute any other noodle)
  • 1 lb chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, and ripped into pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced thinly
  • 1/4-1/3 cup pine nuts
  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cook cubed chicken in a skillet over medium high heat with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • remove chicken from skillet, turn heat to low and saute the onions and mushrooms until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid and the onions are soft
  • cook noodles per package instructions. Add the kale at the very end, blanching for 30 seconds or so. drain and set aside
  • Combine noodles, kale, chicken, and the onion + mushroom mixture in a large bowl or pot. Add remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

40 week update: a humbling journey

Wow, 40 weeks! Somehow I just never expected to actually be full term. I was really kind of hoping the baby would come like...yesterday.

How does it feel being 40 weeks pregnant some of you might ask. It feels like... a lot of work! Its funny how even the simplest things take more time and effort than ever before; rolling over in bed, bending down to pick up a sock, washing my face at night! Both Jeff and I are so excited to meet our little baby boy, we fall asleep every night wondering if it will be "the" night. The excitement builds a little more each day and with each day also comes frustration and worry. Will I have to be induced? What if the house isn't clean? What if he isn't here by the time company starts arriving? What if there is a giant earthquake which sets off a volcanic eruption which leads to a tsunami and we can't make it to the birth center?? I know, I know, its scary. Crazy thoughts from the brain of a pregnant woman.

The most beautiful thing about the last few weeks has been seeing all of the ways that we have been blessed and also humbled. Pregnancy truly is a humbling journey. I have learned that I can't do it all. Physically it is impossible for me to do everything by myself at this point. I first started to understand this when my workouts began decreasing in duration and intensity. Now at 40 weeks my physical limitations are even greater (its hard to put on pants). Mentally and emotionally I can't do everything by myself. My hormones have been so crazy lately, I have no idea what's going on in there and if I did Im pretty sure I would be unable to control it. It is humbling knowing that, even now, although Im pretty much constantly on the brink of crazy, I have a husband who is loving and tender and understanding.

I think the most humbling thing about pregnancy thus far is learning to accept the generosity of others. We have been blessed with such a wonderful community here in Washington both friends and family. These past few weeks especially people have been making and bringing us meals, picking up things for us at the store, buying us flowers, throwing me showers, even inviting us over for the afternoon just to talk and eat delicious pie. I am astounded at the depth of people's kindness to us. I never realized how difficult it is for me to accept help and gifts until now. Accepting a meal from a friend is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done! Other's generosity has revealed the stinginess and thoughtlessness of my own heart and that my friends is humbling.

It is hard to wait for the baby to come but such a wonderful gift to have so many caring and loving people around us, supporting us during these last few days (weeks??). So, with all that we have been blessed with in mind, we wait in anticipation for the newest member of our family to arrive!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Meals

Oh Seattle weather. This morning it was dark and snowy and now it is sunny with not a cloud in the sky! What a crazy day

Last weeks meals were all awesome. Of course, chicken pot pie is always a win here. The chicken tacos became chicken burritos which was probably good because I have been wanting a burrito for a while now. Here is what we have on the menu for this week. I haven't decided what to make for Wednesday, either leftovers or going out with friends!

Monday - Lentils with spicy ground turkey(soy sauce/braggs amino acids+siracha/garlic chili paste = heavenly), veggies, and sweet potato
Tuesday - Spinach tortellini with turkey meatballs and roasted beets
Wednesday - ?
Thursday - Dinner from Heather!
Friday - Cheesy Chicken Enchilada bowls with salad / veggies

39 Week update

One week to go until my tentative due date on March 13th! Both Jeff and I definitely feel ready to meet our little boy. It is so exciting thinking about maybe getting to call Jeff at work to tell him Im in labor! This past week I spent a lot of time getting the apartment and nursery organized and ready to go just in case he decides to come early. Birth center bag is all packed with clothes and snacks for all of us. The nesting instinct is definitely running rampant right now. Almost every day I do a load of laundry and clean everything I can. It just feels so good to have everything in its proper place.
38 weeks

39 weeks

Im still feeling good this week. Definitely more aches and pains then normal. My arms have started falling asleep at night and I have carpel tunnel in my right wrist because of the high volume of blood in my body. I generally toss and turn most nights but feel pretty good throughout the day! My ankles are starting to look a little swollen. I just noticed them this past weekend so I am going to try and remember to put them up as often as I can. Workouts...I wouldn't really call them workouts at this point. I have been going to the gym every/every other day just to walk for a little while or ride the bike. I get tired so much more quickly so I want to keep up my strength for the big day!

The baby is doing great too! He is still head down which is awesome. Still moving throughout the day, poking his little arms and legs out all the time. It seems so strange that there is a full grown baby in there! He is probably around 7lbs or more and has most likely reached his full length. My next midwife appointment is on Thursday so, if he doesn't come before then we'll see if I've made any more progress. Such an exciting time!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sharon's Visit!

Sharon flew in last Thursday night for a visit and we had such a great time. We spent some time getting ready for the baby, relaxing, doing projects, and going to my baby shower! With both of us being pregnant it was nice taking some time to rest and catch up.

On Friday we ran errands and got a few things to make baby wipes! It was such a fun and easy project. Here are the supplies you will need if you want to try making your own:

  • 1 roll of paper towels (cut in half)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs baby wash
  • a few drops tea tree oil
  • a tupperware or bowl with lid that seals to put the 1/2 roll of paper towels in
  • cut paper towels in half and place one half in container of choice
  • mix other ingredients together and pour over the top of the paper towels 
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Place lid on tupperware and turn over, allowing the paper towels to absorb the rest of the liquid for 10 more minutes
  • Take the lid off and gently pull out the cardboard center of the paper towels. The last square of the baby wipes should be attached to it and come out as well (like a box of tissues) but if not just reach in and fish it out
Here is a little Youtube tutorial to give you an idea of what the end result looks like (we didn't take any pictures).

On Saturday we went to my baby shower hosted by my sweet friends Kerri and Kim. It was amazing! Wonderful decorations, delicious snacks, fun games, and lots of good conversation

I am so blessed to have such good friends and family