Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hello Again Sweet Tooth


My first trimester I could not believe that I didn't really like sweets. I have been obsessed with sweets for as long as I can remember. I am one of those people who always wants something sweet. I could eat brownies for breakfast, cookies for lunch and cake for dinner (and probably have at some point). I will make half batches of cookies or brownies to have just a little something. Or I'll bake and take the rest to work so I don't consume 3 dozen cookies by my lonesome.

Needless to say, when I found myself not wanting anything sweet early in pregnancy, I was baffled. I would fix hot chocolate (one of my winter favorites) and then be totally turned off by the first taste. Possibly even more than the nausea, I was worried that this would last my whole pregnancy. No ice cream or cookies or cake or brownies...or chocolate for 9 months?!

Thankfully, my aversion to sweets was short lived. By around week 15, my taste buds were back to their normal selves. And now for the past week, all I've been craving is ice cream, peanut butter, and chocolate. Last night I broke down and searched for a recipe with peanut butter and chocolate. I decided to try Paula's Peanut Butter Blondies.


Paula is a friend of ours who is one of those notoriously good cooks. Anything she makes is always yummy. I also love trying out her recipes because they're flexible. It's easy to adjust a lot of them based on what you have on hand. This blondie recipe, for example, has toffee in it, which I didn't have so I just left it out.

Paula also has an amazing cookie recipe. The great thing about it is you can take the same basic recipe and add just about any mix in that you want...chocolate chip, white choco chip blueberry, oatmeal, etc. These blondies are kind of the same way. She has many different variations on her blog. Definitely check out some of her recipes!

Paula's Peanut Butter Blondies 

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 pkg chocolate-covered toffee chips (*I didn't have these)
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips


Beat butter and next 3 ingredients until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add in milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.


Stir in toffee chips and chocolate chips. Pour batter into lightly greased 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 for 40 mins or until done.


I halved the recipe last night and baked it in an 8x8 dish. It was perfectly done at 40 mins. I also added some chocolate icing on top. Told you I love me some sweets.


We also had some good progress with the house today. We now have gutters! *Hopefully* it will no longer be raining inside our house anymore. This is the first time this year I've actually been looking forward to some rain...even though I did enjoy the beautiful weather today.



We also got a deal on another dumpster and have confirmed that they are finally going to come get the overflowing dumpster in front of our house that one of our neighbors decided to contribute a mattress and some other goodies to. I know our other neighbors will appreciate this!


Roof and gutters done. Next up, windows!




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pink or Blue???




Andy and I had been looking forward to finding out little baby's gender for months now. I couldn't wait to be able to call the baby by his or her name, and especially to stop referring to it as "it" instead of he or she. During the first trimester, I was leaning towards thinking it was a girl because the heart rate had been so high (179 & 150s) at our appointments. Of course that's just one of the many Old Wives' Tales predicting gender out there.


Well, Monday we got to see our little one again on ultrasound and found out that we are having a...


BOY!

We are so excited to meet our little boy this summer!

We were also thankful to see that everything else was normal and healthy as far as the ultrasound could show. Thanks once again to all of you for your continued prayers for us and our son =)

We had a little "reveal party" at work to tell everyone the news and that's what the cupcakes are from. It's been fun getting to share with everyone!

In other news, we have a new roof on our house! The roofers came and worked tirelessly last week and did some great work. The way the ran around on top of our steep roof was pretty amazing. They sat on pieces of foam to give them traction and keep them from sliding off. We were excited to see that the new roof has already gone a long way in helping with the leaking issues inside the house. Next week, the gutters should be going on, and we'll be continuing the clean up.

Roofers hard at work

This weekend, Brandon and Elizabeth will be finding out where they match for residency. We can't wait to find out! It's been a big week for exciting announcements. We are excited for you guys! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes you next on your journey!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life as a Preggo


Well, since it's the main thing people ask me about these days, I thought it was about time I did a little post about being pregnant. So far, I have been blessed with a fairly comfortable/healthy pregnancy. Weeks 8-13 were definitely the hardest so far, but I've been feeling better and better the past several weeks. Around week 13, the nausea started to lessen, and my appetite started to come back (then took off running last week). The past 2 weeks, I've finally started to get my energy back. So all in all, I'm feeling the best I have since becoming pregnant. Yay!

The most amazing part of being pregnant so far has definitely been feeling the baby move! I had been antsy to finally feel it for several weeks, and was hoping I would "just know" what it was when it happened. At 16 weeks, I finally started feeling the little one move, and it's been wiggling around ever since! Baby seems to like to move most when I'm eating breakfast and dinner, and at night when we're watching TV or sitting on the couch. I think feeling the little one move has helped make it feel more real that there really is a baby growing inside of me. That movement is a constant reminder to me of the absolute miracle that it is to be blessed with this little life. It amazes me that God has chosen this way to bless us with children. It's also incredible to think that without me consciously doing anything, our baby is growing a heart, fingers, toes, even little eye lashes. What a miracle!

I've finally started "showing" which also means lots of my clothes are getting too tight now. Andy was sweet enough to take me shopping for some maternity clothes on my birthday, and that was quite an experience! At first glance at the maternity pants I thought, "there is no way I'm going to like wearing these!" However, once I tried them on, oh my, I wanted to wear them right out of the store! They are so comfortable! I may never go back to wearing a button fly =). At least maybe I can keep them around for Thanksgiving dinner. I thought it was pretty funny that they had a pillow with a velcro strap around it in the fitting room that you could put on your belly to see how your clothes would fit when you were further along. I also don't think I have ever appreciated getting to wear scrubs to work as much I do right now. Can't get much more comfortable than that at work!

Only a few more days until we get to find out baby's gender and I can finally call it "he" or "she" instead of "it". We do have our names picked out too, so we'll be able to call him or her by their name. Names were actually kind of easy since there was pretty much only 1 boy name and 1 girl name we could agree on. That made the decision surprisingly simple! Early on in the pregnancy I was thinking it was a girl, but lately I've felt like it could go either way. Guess we'll know one way or the other by this time next week!

That's about all the interesting info I can think of sharing right now. Next post: Baby Boy or Baby Girl?!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lately


Life lately has been a bit of a whirlwind! Here is February in a nutshell...(with the very few iPhone pics I took last month)

1. Home Reno - We have spent most every weekend working on the house. This has included (but is not limited to)...
- Tearing out the plaster walls & removing the wooden slats underneath...so basically stripping everything down to the studs.
- Scooping up tons of plaster
- Filling dumpster #1 with 16 TONS of stuff we tore out of the house. 16 tons...they literally weighed it
- Deciding what the final layout of the house will be...where to put laundry, can we fit a master bath, where to put the closet if we make a bath out of the closet, etc.
- Having what seems like a bajillion quotes done on everything from roof, windows, electrical, flooring, sheetrock, and insulation
- Wondering if we are crazy and reminding ourselves that this IS a good idea

All 16 tons of our demo

We've had a few setbacks here and there, and we are SO ready to be done with demo. However, things have gone pretty well so far. If things continue as we hope, we will have a new roof and some gutters on by this time next week. Hopefully this will help it to stop raining inside the house =)

I also cannot say enough about how amazing my parents have been in helping us! Melissa and I were talking this weekend about how they pretty much put us to shame when it comes to home projects. They have been tireless workers and there's no way we could get this done without them! (thanks guys!)

2. Family Time - as mentioned above, my parents have come to help, and Andy's fam got to come for a visit too! We had a fun weekend hanging out and showing them the house. Our nephew Enoch let us know that he thinks we are going to have a girl. He also says I have a baby in my tummy and I say "yum, yum"...as in I ate our baby =)

Sleepy pup

3. Pregnancy - I am planning on doing a post on this soon, but things are going well! We find out in 1 more week if little baby Sanders will be a "he" or "she".

4. Our Faith Family - We continue to be blessed by our church family and are amazed at what God continues to do here in East Lake. We have gotten to spend some really good time with our church and neighbors this month, and we've been so thankful for that.

5. We've also gotten to squeeze in some time with friends here and there. I got to make a trip to Auburn too to be a part of the ACSC girls' retreat, which was great! Auburn changes so much every time I go back.


That's been the past month in a nutshell! March has already gotten off to a great start since some of my fam got to come visit this weekend. We did a little work on the house and got to celebrate my birthday together!