Friday, December 31, 2010

I'll Love you 'Till the End

 I just want to see you
When you're all alone
I just want to catch you if I can
I just want to be there
When the morning light explodes
On your face it radiates
I can't escape
I love you 'till the end
I just want to tell you nothing
You don't want to hear
All I want is for you to say
Why don't you just take me
Where I've never been before
I know you want to hear me
Catch my breath
I love you 'till the end

I just want to be there
When we're caught in the rain
I just want to see you laugh not cry
I just want to feel you
When the night puts on it's cloak
I'm lost for words don't tell me
All I can say
I love you 'till the end

From our first dance until our last....I'll love you 'till the end.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

White after labor day? Why not!

Just a few more days until the hubs and I celebrate 2 years of wedded bliss.
Some days it feels like forever, not in a bad way, just feels like we've been married a long time....other days I realize we're probably still officially considered newlyweds.  When do you lose that status anyways?  3 years? 5 years?
Last year I was newly pregnant on our anniversary so it was kind of a bust.  If I recall we watched the ball drop on the east coast (11pm our time) and were asleep shortly after.  Woo hoo party animals!
We didn't even stay up long enough to toast with our Champagne flutes I'd drug out of storage or to eat our year old wedding cake.
This year we actually have plans to go out (sans baby!) and the thought of what to wear sends me into panic mode.
Two years ago it was kind of a no brainer what I was wearing.
This year, though only 4 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight (go me!), my body is still a little wonky from that whole growing a baby situation.  Nothing fits right.  Everything hugs in all the wrong places.
Luckily I trekked out yesterday and found something that was over the top fabulous and makes me look like a supermodel will work.  AND it was on sale.  Even better.
You'd think I could stop looking.  Nah.  That would be too easy.
While driving to work today (my favorite thinking time) I thought, how fun would it be to wear a white dress in honor of the occasion?  All the stars are rocking wintery white dresses on the red carpet this year so apparently I wouldn't be committing total fashion suicide.  Plus it's New Year's Eve so I kind of think that gives everyone an excuse to wear something a little out of the box.  After a little help from my pal's what I found.  I think they're nothing short of fabulous.

I'll probably still end up wearing what I bought....but it was fun looking!  Maybe next year.  And maybe I'll pair it with some red.  Who says you can only wear your wedding shoes once?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tasty Tuesday ~ Breakfast Casserole

I wanted something quick and easy for Christmas morning so I ventured over to one of my favorite and found this little gem.
It says you can prepare ahead of time, so I made it Christmas Eve morning.  It was so nice the next day to only have to pop it in the oven and an hour later have a delicious breakfast!  Best part is it reheats really well.  I know what you're thinking, reheated eggs?  Gross.  But I finished the last piece this morning and it was still as good as the first day.  I'm thinking it could make the perfect New Year's Day breakfast as well!  Enjoy!

What you need
This isn't my actual casserole...but pretty darn close
1 pound ground pork sausage (I used Bob Evans good, highly recommend)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten (I used 6 per the recommendation of several reviews)
2 cups milk
6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
8 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
(Next time I may add some sliced green onion for flavor and a bit of color)

How to make it
1.Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain.

2.In a medium bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch (I used a smaller pan, 11x7 I think) baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.

3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

4.Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

Bon Appetite!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Are you ok?

A few weeks ago my doctor asked me this at my yearly checkup.
I immediately knew what she was referring to and instantly burst into tears.
The weeks leading up to the holidays were hard.
Almost harder than the initial shock.
I found myself crying almost everyday....usually in the car on my drive to and from work.
But sometimes just out of the blue, like sitting on the floor, wrapping Christmas gifts.
I started to wonder if this was normal.
Was I ok?
I guess.  About as ok as anyone would be.
I'm certainly no expert in the grief department.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her and I find it hard to believe this emptiness will ever go away.
Some days I feel more sad than others....and some days I feel mad.
Everyone keeps telling me she's still here, just in a different way.
I know they're trying to help...but for me it isn't helpful at all.
She's not here.  Period.
I just haven't figured out what's best for me.
I'm not depressed.  That I know for sure.
  I still smile and laugh and am happy most of the time.
I still enjoy all the same things I did before.
It's just different now.
Christmas Eve was horrible.
There was this giant elephant in the room that no one really wanted to mention.
We eventually all shared our tears and got through it together.
Christmas Day was better.
I can't explain why or what was different....but a mere 24 hours later and it was already a little easier.
Today I awoke and felt like a huge weight had been lifted.
We did it. 
The holidays are over and we all survived.
And you know what, I think I'm going to be ok.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and happy holiday!
May your New Year be filled with love and laughter!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas with two firsts

I've tried really hard this year to keep the Christmas spirit alive for Jamie's first Christmas, but sometimes it's hard when I know it's also our first Christmas without my mom.  Thankfully he's too little to understand why his mommy is so sad and hopefully one day he'll help me rediscover the magic of Christmas, cause this year it just seems lost.  Someone sent my dad this poem and I wanted to share it with all those other bloggers out there who are celebrating a different kind of first Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas from Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintry nights.

I still share your hopes
and all your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say all your prayers.

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd.

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place.

You don't have to be
perfect all the time
He forgives you the slip
if you continue to climb.

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
in a new special way.

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.

Merry Christmas Mom

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it time yet? Is it time I can't wait.

I LOVE this comerical.  Like fast forward through the commericials on the DVR but stop for this one LOVE.  It makes me remember what it was like to be a kid..... trying to sleep the night before Christmas but how you were just so excited you couldn't. Kinda makes you wish you were a kid again....cause there's nothing better than being a kid at Christmas!

PS The song is Toy Jackpot by Blackalicious and you can download it for free at  This may or may not of totally made my day!

PPS You know who else can't wait for Christmas?  This guy!  His new high chair came in last night and we couldn't resist putting it together a few days he knows the difference anyway!  Doesn't he look like such a grown up boy....bring on the solids mom!
Hey mom!  What's up!  Like my sweet new ride?
Hmmm...what's this....
I bet I can get it in my mouth.....
Merry *Almost* Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Wednesday ~ Holiday Edition

Oops.  I forgot all my recipes yesterday so I had to do a post switch-a-roo!
This year I will be hosting Christmas for the first our new house....with a new baby!  Talk about a lot of pressure!  Thankfully my dad is an awesome cook and helped plan the menu.  I'm sorry I don't have pictures...but we haven't made any of it you'll just have to imagine how delicious everything looks!  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Christmas Menu
Beef Tenderloin with a Merlot Sauce
Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes
Almond Green Beans
Cranberry Salad
Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Merlot Sauce
(This sauce is nothing short of amazing....I almost don't even need the beef, I could eat it straight up.  It does take a loooong time to cook though, so if you make it...allow plenty of time)
1 ½ cups chopped onions

1 ½ cups chopped carrots
1 ½ cups chopped celery
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons black pepper corns
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 bottle merlot wine
1 10 ½ oz can beef broth
1 10 ½ oz can chicken broth

Saute onions, carrots and celery in oil until soft. Add tomato paste, lemon peel, pepper corns, bay leaves and rosemary. Add wine and let cook down a few minutes before adding beef and chicken broth. Cook until reduced by at least ½. Strain sauce and discard vegetables & seasonings. Cook sauce until thick consistency.

Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes
(I think my hips widened just writing this recipe....but it's soooo freaking good)
48 oz of shredded raw hash brown potatoes (thawed)
1 pint of half & half
2/3 lb velveeta cheese
1/2 lb butter
1 med onion chopped
green onion chopped (use enough of the chopped white and green parts to add some color)
salt and pepper
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

Melt the velveeta and butter in the microwave

Mix everything together - potatoes, melted butter/cheese mixture, onions.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer all to a 9x13 pan sprayed with PAM and then sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.  Bake at 350 for about an hour or until hot and bubbly.

Almond Green Beans
(These are a holiday staple in my house, so much better than green bean casserole)
1 pound fresh green beans
4 T butter
1/2 t oregano
salt/pepper/sugar to taste
2 slices ham, chopped
3T almonds

Clean and cook beans.  Drain, rinse with cold water to preserve green color and stop the cooking process.  Melt butter in pan, add beans oregano, salt, pepper, sugar and ham.  Mix and heat until warm.  Top with almonds.

Cranberry Salad
(This is not your typical cranberry salad, it's actually good.  I've served it to many an anti-cranberry eater and converted them.  It's just that good)
2 reg boxes raspberry jello (any red jello works)
2 c boiling water

Mix and let slightly thicken

1 small package cream cheese
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 pt sour cream

Beat these ingredients together, then add the jello mixture.  If you're using electric beaters, it will tend to splatter...a lot so be careful.

Pour into mold and refrigerate.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie
(I've never actually made it, but it looks delicious!)
1/4 c plus 2T caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 Graham cracker pie crust
1/2 c plus 2T chopped pecans, divided
2 pkg (3.4 oz each) Vanilla Instant pudding
1 c cold milk
1 c canned pumpkin
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 8oz tub cool hip thawed, divided

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust, sprinkle with 1/2 c nuts.

Beat pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended.  Stir in 1 1/2 c cool whip.  Spoon into crust.

Refrigerate 1 hour.  Top with remaining cool ship, caramel topping and nuts before serving.

Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Grinch that stole Christmas

I keep reading all these posts with everyone's favorite Christmas traditions and I got to thinking....doesn't anyone have that one thing about Christmas that annoys the living crap out of them?  I know I do.  In fact within minutes I was able to come up with husband said I was being a Scrooge.  Whatever.  Bah Humbug.  I know I'm not the only one out there.....

***Disclaimer. I'm not a total Grinch I swear. I've decorated the tree, strung the outside lights, baked the cookies, wrapped the presents, sang the carols....just thought this would be a fun little twist on the 8,215,524 Merry Christmas posts I've read***

Blue Christmas Lights
I don't mind some blue, but everytime I see a house entirely lit up in blue....I wonder if they're Jewish....cause blue makes me think of Chanuka....not Christmas.  Where's the red and the green people?! (And if they are Jewish and trying to get in the Chanuka spirit, right on!)

Why bother lights
While we're on the subject of lights.  What's with the one bush?  Or the one lame, crooked strand of lights that isn't even long enough for your entire house.  Next year put a little more effort into it.

Home Alone
This is NOT a Christmas movie.  It's a movie about a boy who gets left behind and has to fight of burglars.  The fact that it takes place at Christmas does not in fact make it a Christmas movie.  Whew.  Feels good to get that off my chest.

Christmas Tree Peeps.
Peeps are Easter candy.  Don't make them tree shaped and try to pass them off as anything else.  I'm not buying it.

Decorated Cars
What's with the wreaths strapped to the front of the SUV or the garland wrapped around the luggage rack of the ole family mini van.  The newest trend?  Rudolph cars.  They don't make me feel more festive, they make me want to run you off the road.  Don't decorate your's stupid.

Kids only Cards
I love picture cards....we send them out every year.  But it really bugs me when I get a card from a friend and the only picture on it is of their kids.  Seriously?  In 12 months you couldn't find one decent picture of yourself?  I get it.  You think your kid is cute.  But you're my friend and I'd like to see you too.

M&M Cookies
Adding red and green M&M's does not in fact make these Christmas cookies.  It just makes them cookies you'd make any other time of year with red and green M&Ms instead of regular ones.
Christmas Shoes song
You know the one.  Where the little boy is trying to by shoes for his mom.  It's horrible and depressing and there's nothing fun and Christmasy about it.  Let's not even mention the fact Lifetime made a movie about it.

So come on.  Release your inner Scooge and let me know your "can't stands" about Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The one with 1,398,847 cookies

Ok.  So that may be a bit of an exaggeration.
But Saturday morning...afternoon....and evening my dad and I baked a LOT of cookies.
My brother had this genius idea that we should give Christmas cookies to some of our wine accounts and since he doesn't know a spatula from a measuring cup thought I was the perfect person to help.
So kitchen aid mixer in hand my dad and I got to work.
I'm not sure what the final count was, but I don't care if I ever bake another cookie again!

 Butter anyone?  And this was only half of it!
There were brownies....
and mint marvels....and gingersnaps oh my!

Our little elf was D-O-N-E by the end of the night!!

Wish I could FedEx a plate to all of you, they were delicious!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things......Mom Edition, Volume 1

So now that I have four months under my belt as a mom, I like to think I'm practically an "expert."
And what kind of "expert" would I be if I didn't pass along my fabulous mom tools?
Can you sense the sarcasm?
Either way, I always liked getting "real" mom reviews of things when I was pregnant and thought I'd pass along my faves to you!
Here they are in no particular order.
Oh, and no one is paying me to do this, though I wish they would......these are simply the things that help get me through the day.

Tiny Love Crib mobile....aka "the birds"
 Jamie LOVES his "birds."  He loves to stare at them.  Talk to them.  Laugh at them.
I love his "birds" because it gives me time in the morning to brush my teeth and pee in peace.
Plus it plays Mozart and Bach, so I like to think it's totally making my kid smarter.

We've had this since Jamie was one month old and it still reigns supreme.
The best part is the mirror at the top of the arches.
My narcissistic kid could stare and laugh at himself all night long.

 Now I know what you're thinking.  Isn't this the same thing you threw at the wall?  Why yes, yes it is.  However once my husband made that piano his bitch we got it assembled it quickly became my favorite toy ever.
And after the playmat, I didn't think anything would be as fantastic.
Oh, and Jamie thinks it's the bees knees too....though his little toes don't quite touch the bottom yet and he hasn't figured out that the seat turns, so every so often I move him around so he can play with all the toys, but he's rather partial to the pandas!
Thanks to Baby Einstein I am once again able to cook something besides cereal for dinner.

I know.  I talk about these a lot.
But they're fabulous and deserve all the press they can get.
And much cuter is a cow printed butt than a paper covered one?!
Plus I like to rub it in all the nay sayers faces that told me it would never last.
 Not only am I still using them,
but I've proven their superiority to disposables to even the biggest doubters.
I've even got our daycare on board with them!
I prefer snaps, but have plenty of velcro as well for daddy and daycare.
Our fave brands are BumGenius and Flip but we've also tried and had success with Applecheeks, Happy Heiny's, Blueberry and Monkey Snuggles.

Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
(That's my husbands foot in the corner.  Apparently I was embarrassing him by taking pictures at Target and he refused to be in it, though he shares the love for this stroller)
This thing is the shit.
How any parent survives without one is beyond me.
You haven't truly lived until you've driven the City Mini.
It folds like a dream. 
The car seat adaptor is awesome while he's still in his infant carrier. 
And it corners like it's on rails.
I might love it more than my husband.
Ok, maybe not....but it's pretty close.

We aren't using them quite as much now that the weather is turning colder, but this fall they were a wardrobe staple.  Perfect for those days when you needed just a little something more, plus diaper changes are a breeze when you aren't wrestling with pants.
And who can resist a man in football leggings?
I know I can't.

Wow.  Trying saying that 3 times fast.
Anyhoodles....this is the king of all diaper bags.
Remember my first baby purchase?  The oh so coveted Coach baby bag?
Yeah it doesn't even compare.
When you're juggling a baby in those bulky infant seats and about 8 million other things, having a bag continually falling off your shoulder is about as annoying as it gets.
Throw this thing on your back and your hands are free.
Plus I get more compliments on the fabric and how it's not the most heinous bag ever like so many others.
Function AND style?

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy
So Jamie doesn't actually have eczema but I was looking for a lotion that packed a little more punch for his little chapped cheeks.  I had tried regular baby lotion, adult face moisuruzer, A&D ointment, a baby balm I use on his bottom from time to time.  Nothing worked.  His poor cheeks were constantly red and chapped.  I happened to see this at Target one day and thought, what the heck.  One night was all it took.  ONE and they were as soft as can be.  I've actually started using this stuff on my own rough spots, it's like the wonder cream! 
We've only had this a week and it's already made the list.
That's just how awesome it is.
I was trying to decide how to keep my little man warm now that winter is here.
Apparently the ever popular JJ Cole BundleMe is like the devil and a huge baby death trap, so that was out.
You also aren't supposed to use a bulky coat under the car seat straps...again with the baby death traps.
Blankets are annoying and he just kicks them off.
So WTF are you suppose to do? 
Cause all those judging eyes are on you when you've taken your baby out into the cold.  *gasp*
This was the perfect solution.  It fits right over the top of the infant carrier, zip up the bottom, Velcro the top and voila!  Snug as a bug in a rug!
And according to all the safety death traps here.
Today I had him out in just jeans and a tee-shirt and when I took him out of his car seat he was toasty warm.
Love it.

That concludes this edition of my favorite things.  Stay tuned for future editions as I continue to perfect my role as expert mama.