Friday, January 25, 2013

Secret Batgirl Lamp

Who get's wife of the year award?? I think I do!  My husband is a HUGE Batman fan, and I have to admit it's rubbed off on me. Check out this post to see our pregnancy announcement!

Any who, we are in the final stages of fixing up Sweet P's nursery.  I bought this lamp at a flea market for a couple bucks.  It had a really ill-fitting blue and white checked shade with it, but the base was pretty and feminine, so I got it anyway knowing that I could replace the shade.  I bought this simple pink shade at Walmart for $8.

Hubby and I have wanted to do something fun to incorporate "Batman" into Parker's room without it being to boyish.  The lamp gave me a great idea.  I traced an outline of the bat-signal onto black paper and cut it out.  Then I simply taped it to the inside of the lamp shade.  You can't tell when the lamp is off, but turn it on, and Parker has her very own bat-signal!  This is such a great way to include my husband's favorite thing in my daughter's feminine nursery =)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

One of my favorite chicken dishes is chicken cordon bleu.  But it can be a little time-consuming to make... especially when you forget to thaw the chicken before hand!   So here I was with all the ingredients for chicken cordon bleu, minus the chicken.  As I've written before, I have been trying to make casseroles to freeze for when Sweet P is born.  Raiding the pantry, I thought that with just a few added ingredients, I could try to make something new.

Here's what I grabbed*:
4- 10 oz cans of chicken
2- 6 oz boxes of stuffing mix
1 can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 cup milk
A package of deli ham (the kind that comes in it's own "tupper ware")
Shredded swiss cheese

*These are the ingredients for 2 casseroles- one to eat for dinner and one to freeze for later

I cooked the dressing according to package directions.  I combined the soup and milk.  I opened the cans of chicken and put two in each 9x13 casserole dish.  While the dressing was cooking, I sliced the ham into small squares and divided them into the two pans as well, and then I topped the whole thing with shredded swiss cheese.  Pour half of the soup/milk mixture into each casserole. Top each with half of dressing and a little more cheese.  I baked it in a 350 oven, covered in aluminum foil, for 30 minutes, then 10 minutes more uncovered.  It smelled amazing as it cooked!!  It tasted even better =)  My husband topped his with a little bit of bleu cheese dressing to make it even creamier.  If you like bleu cheese like we do, I highly recommend trying that!

So now I have a new recipe to put in the dinner rotation and another casserole ready to bake for later!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do Everything without Grumbling- Philippians 2:14

Our small group has chosen to read through Philippians this month.  As I was reading through the book, I came across this verse: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”  As I kept reading, my mind kept wandering back to that verse.
Last month, we read through the book of James.  It’s one of my favorites, and it doesn't take very long to read.  I was reminded of something we read in James 4 about submitting ourselves to God.  James writes in verse 2:
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
We covet, so we quarrel and fight.  We ask for things with the wrong motives.  How can we submit ourselves to God’s will for our lives if we so stubbornly and selfishly cling to our own desires?  Even times where we know God wants one thing from us, we argue thinking we know better.  Even if we do “give in” to God’s will, we do it with the wrong attitude.
Philippians 2:5 states that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  That is a big charge to undertake.  

6  [Jesus] Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Submitting ourselves to God doesn't just mean obeying Him with our actions.  There is an attitude that should accompany it. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”  When we are faced with something we don’t want to do, our instinct is to complain.  Even if we eventually do it, we have made sure that everyone around us knows that we didn't want to.  A big part of that comes from our pride.  We think we shouldn't have to do that, put up with that, etc.  At work several weeks ago, I had to make index cards with students’ names and id numbers for a test they were taking… all 1300 of them.  I had “better” things to do with my time.  That wasn't (what I thought to be) part of “my job.” I complained.  To my friends. To my mom. To my husband.  I made all the cards, but I was miserable the whole time.  And everyone around me heard about it.  And I made them miserable.  I did not have the right attitude in my work, and it affected me and everyone around me.   And making the cards was not something that hurt me.  It wasn't something that I was stuck with for the rest of my life.  It took 2 days and then it was done.  And I acted like it was the worst thing ever.
Can you imagine if Jesus had complained or refused to die on the cross for us?  He had done nothing wrong, yet he was beaten and killed.  And he suffered through it all without complaint, fully submitting himself to God’s will.  And our attitude should be like his, yet we complain at the smallest of things. 
My goal for the next 4 weeks is to follow the instructions of Philippians 2 and have a Christ-like attitude, doing everything without grumbling.  Whether that is something I’m told to do at work, something my husband needs me to do, or something that God is calling me to do.  It will be difficult at first (breaking habits always is), but it will be worth it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

33 weeks

It's crazy to think that Sweet P's due date is less than 50 days away.  This pregnancy has flown by!  And I am so glad. I am an "instant gratification" kind of person, basically saying, I hate to wait! Especially for something so wonderful and exciting that I've always wanted.  This has been a true test of my ability to give up control, and let God do what He does best.  I have always wanted to be the one in charge of a situation, but this has shown me that I can't always be, and there is someONE who has the perfect plan.  

I have been very blessed to have a mostly uneventful pregnancy.  We did have a scare at week 31. My blood pressure dropped way low, I was dizzy and nauseous, and something just didn't "feel right."  I called my doctor and she told me to come in right away, not to her office, but to the Maternity ward so they could do some evaluations and tests and check on the baby.

They gave me an IV and got my blood pressure back up.  It was scary, but I knew who was in control. Thankfully, Parker was still  comfy and cozy with no plans for an early arrival. I stayed home the rest of the week and weekend taking it very easy.  We went back to the doctor the next week, and everything checked out great. I am starting my every-two-week appointments now, so the end really is in sight! Hopefully baby girl stays put until March!

Also, I had my first baby shower two weekends ago.  It was way more than I could have ever hoped for.  I am so blessed to have the group of friends and family that I have to love and support me.  Everyone is so excited to meet Parker.  She is a very blessed little girl =)
Yes, that IS a handmade Dorothy dress =)

MIL, me, and my mom =)

How far along? 33 weeks, 4 days 
Size of baby: According to average, she should be somewhere around 4-5 lbs and 18-20 inches long.  I'll find out more accurately at the 36 doctor appointment.
Total weight gain: 25 lbs... I'm beginning to feel like a whale
Stretch marks? Not on my belly
Sleep: Getting better! Maybe because I'm more and more tired.  I have grown extremely fond of NAPS!
Best moment this week: Celebrating with friends and family at the baby shower. And getting thank you cards finished within a week =)
Worst moment this week: See above story
Movement: She moves a lot.  I have fun trying to guess what part of her I'm feeling.  She likes to stretch and roll.  
Food cravings: Ice!!! I can't seem to get enough.  Guess that'll be a good thing for delivery when that's all I'll be able to eat.
What I miss: Non-maternity clothes, especially dresses.  
What I am looking forward to: Another doctor appointment this week. Then an ultrasound two weeks after that.  Also, my husband and his friend have been working on refinishing the dresser I bought for Parker.  I got it at a thrift store. It's in great condition, just needs some paint and updates.  I'm looking forward to getting that finished so her room will be all ready for her!
Weekly Wisdom: Hit up thrift stores for maternity and baby clothes! I got 7 outfits for Sweet P and 4 shirts for me for just over $20 =)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti


I've been trying recently to make meals to stock up my deep freezer for when Sweet P is born.  Yesterday for dinner, I made chicken spaghetti.  It was a double recipe, so half went straight in the oven, and the other half went into the freezer for later.  Each dish made enough for my husband and I to have dinner last night, and lunch today.  It's a very easy meal and very satisfying, especially when the weather is cold and rainy like it has been here the last two days.

Chicken Spaghetti

Ingredients (remember: this is a DOUBLE recipe!)

4 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
2.5 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (to taste)
16 oz velveeta, cubed
16 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
optional- black olives, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes
shredded Italian cheese blend


Preheat oven to 325. Combine the first 4 ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and season to taste.  Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Turn heat to low.  Add cubed velveeta and stir.If you want to add any optional ingredients, do it now.  Combine with spaghetti noodles. Spray two casserole dishes with non-stick spray and separate the pasta into the two dishes.  Cover one dish and freeze.  Top the other dish with shredded Italian cheese blend, cover with foil, and bake at 325 for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

When you are ready to use the other dish, remove from the freezer and thaw over night.  Bake as directed.

This dish is so creamy and filling.  I'm glad to have the extra dish already made for when Parker is born (if I can manage not to eat it before then!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Where's the party?

Inspiration Spotlight is definitely still going on... just not on my page.  I was so enjoying co-hosting, but with everything going on right now, especially with the pregnancy, I'm not going to be able to keep it up. 

The party will still be happening every Friday at Dear Creatives.  If you've been linking up here, please click the link to her blog, and link up there.  It's a really fun party with lots of awesome ideas. Hopefully once everything settles back down, I can start it back up.

If you had previously grabbed a button, please grab a new one from Dear Creatives to make sure the button takes you to the correct link =)

Thanks for linking to Inspiration Spotlight!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maternity Pictures!

I am so blessed to have an awesome friend (Macey Ryan) that I've partnered up with to start a small photography side-business, Image 1:27 Photography.  We were super busy throughout November and December taking Christmas portraits and photographing two weddings.  I'd love it if we'd get enough business to do it full-time. 

I am even more blessed and excited that Ryan and I are pregnant at the same time!!  She just ended her first trimester.  We made a deal that she would photograph my pregnancy, and I will photograph hers.  She took the pictures at our gender reveal party, our announcements, and most recently, maternity pictures. 

These are by far my favorite pictures we've ever had done.  I love them more than our wedding photos!  We went to a field behind the church my husband and I attend during the last good hour of light before the sun went down.  That hour is called "magic light," and boy was it ever!