The First Year

I thought I could start this blog and stay motivated to keep it updated weekly. Obviously that was a lie! I’m three months late in posting Eli’s one year video. Better late than never I guess.

 

Eli,

I never really knew how much love could fill my heart, until I became your mother. I’m so thankful that God has entrusted us to care for you. Love you little man.

 

Summer Days are Flyin’ Away!

**Hmm.. not sure how I did this, but I wrote this post on Sept. 3 and thought I hit publish. Guess not. Sorry that it’s over a month later!**

I honestly feel like blinked. I closed my eyes for one second! Labor day is 2 days away, and up here it connotes the closing of summer. I love fall, but I get a pit in my stomach thinking about summer being OVER.. like O-V-E-R! 😦

With that being said: We had a fun summer. My brother David lived with us, I saw my family quite a bit. We took a trip to Grand Marais, Colorado and Ohio. We enjoyed a few rides on our boat and a couple swims in the lake. I had radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers from my garden. I picked sweet cherries, sour cherries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries! My freezer is full of fruit to keep the winter months bright! Mmm, I almost forgot that I canned/froze peaches! My favorite!

Here are a couple of my favorite memories from summer.

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Pushing on..

In many ways I told myself I wasn’t going to blog about this. I feel as though I can’t move on unless I get it out. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.

On June 18 I lost my best friend, Marybeth. We’ve known each other since the day we (well.. she) was born. We both grew up as only girls, with 3 brothers. We CLUNG to each other for support. We grew up as sisters. Marybeth had a disease called POTS, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. What many people would have let diminish their live’s value, she conquered. She lived everyday with a determination to touch someone’s life. She poured every once of energy she had into others. I could go on and on about the ways she inspires me, the memories we’ve made and the challenges she overcame. And maybe I will, one day. But for now, I will continue to process what life is like without her, trusting that the Lord stays close by my side in these barren days. ImageImageIMG_0272 46752_543896631508_7972892_n 96_506979603528_512_n 59_528389590938_599_nImage

A Remodel?

My husband is a builder, and a good one at that. He’s also a dreamer and a visionary. When were engaged  and planning where we would live after we were married it was decided that we would “remodel.” To most – the word remodel means new flooring, updated kitchen and possibly tear down a wall or two. To my husband the word remodel is synonymous with demolition. For example, check out these pictures of our first home….and yes, in the middle picture there is a truck hooked up to our house aiding in the demo process. It doesn’t even look like the same building! The only thing that remained in this house was the cast iron bath tub that was too heavy to move out.

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    And our current house!

Before..

Before..

During..(now)

During..(now)

 

 

My husband can walk into a delapatated building and have it completely redesigned in his head before I have time to walk out. He’s changing roof lines and I’m wondering how we can get rid of the ugly carpet.. I lean towards details, he looks at the bigger picture. He’s great at what he does, which is good because we’re always starting a new project. Our “old” new house was a cabin on a beautiful lake. We still have a ways to go. Right now the three of us are sleeping in a loft. It’s perfect for now, but as our family grows we will eventually need a bedroom. We have the foundation in for the addition, which probably won’t start for a few more months. And our garage, which is finished on the inside, still needs to be sided. Not to mention we don’t have a stitch of grass from all the excavation done last fall. I will keep posting pictures as progress continues!

A Family Outing

My parents and youngest brother came to visit us over Memorial Day weekend. It was a short, yet refreshing trip. I never ever thought I would miss living a day-to-day life with my parents like I have. Every little weekend trip they make up here brings me so much joy! 🙂 We spent Friday night at the house, enjoying dinner on the deck and watching Eli interact with his Juju, Pops and Uncle Daniel.

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My parents and I love to go to Delta Diner. It’s a small silver bullet diner, literally in the middle of NO WHERE! You drive through the woods for 30-40 minutes and then come to this little heavenly place. They serve in traditional diner style, no menus! They have about 10 options and a few daily specials. They serve a lot of local food and lots of fun combinations! They have an ungodly stuffed french toast, a saucy Mex-Benny which is Josh’s fav and daily special omelets which usually are my breakfast of choice. Saturday’s omelet was a brussels sprout, bacon asiago and garlic combo. It was delicious!! The diner also has great desserts.. so after eating a huge breakfast we somehow always find room for a chocolate peanut butter milkshake! I think you could call it gluttony.. but it’s worth it every once in awhile 🙂 It was an extra special trip that Saturday. Eli had his first egg! Made specially by Todd, the DD grill master. The Diner has really been a special place for our family. Josh and I have been there through all stages of our life together – dating, engagement.. We ate there the Saturday before Eli was born, E’s first trip and now his first diner meal!

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After the diner we headed up toward Ashland. We took at hike at St. Peter’s Dome/Morgan Falls. It’s a little hike that I did when I was a WWC student and a fun little day outing. We put E in the hiking backpack that my parents got for us for Christmas, he LOVED it! It was a great day and a great way to burn off the large amount of calories we consumed for breakfast 🙂

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We headed to Bayfield after the hike . My dad loves to see different parts of Lake Superior when he comes. We grabbed coffee and headed to the Harbor. Eli didn’t last long so mom and I were at the park while the guys checked out the boats. When we finally finished our site seeing for the day we grabbed dinner at another favorite restaurant and a birthday dessert before heading home. It was a day that was so full of the things that I love!

11 Months

We hit the 11 month marker on Monday. I know that I keep saying I can’t believe how old he’s getting.. but really! Where has my baby gone!?? 

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Eli and I spent Sunday afternoon walking around L&M, waiting to go to lunch! He was fascinated by the little chicks. It’s so sweet to watch him learning new things. 

 

I don’t feel like much has changed from 10-11 months. His walking has improved, and some days I think he’s going to be running in no time. We’ve started to let him feed himself almost every meal. He’s really great at picking things up and getting them to his mouth, I just feel like he doesn’t eat as much because it takes him so long. His favorite foods are sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa and bananas. The child will eat anything! Well, besides an avocado. 

We haven’t introduced any wheat or dairy products yet. I’m still working through my thoughts on optimal nutrition and have decided to hold off until I have a better understanding. 

Eli is a great napper, but a horrible nighttime sleeper. He’s up at least 2-3 times a night to eat. At 6 months I was certain it was just a phase, and by a year he would grow out of it. Now that a year is approaching quickly, I’m doubtful. I think the main contributor is that his crib is right beside our bed. Unfortunately, it’s our only option. So right now I’ll try to embrace the snuggle time at night. 🙂 

My brother David has been living with us this past month. I LOVE it! I’m not sure he enjoys his sister and brother-in-law being his only social life.. but he seems to be content enough to stay. There is something comforting about having your family around. Eli loves his uncle David and we are soaking up every minute of time with him. David’s a cadet at University of North Georgia and will be commissioning into the Army after graduation. Who knows where his military career will take him, so I’m relishing the special moments I have with him now. 

 

ImageHe fell asleep at his Auntie Angie’s house sitting up.. I think he was trying to stay awake to play with all the kiddos!ImageJosh trying to read Eli and Meadow a book. Eli had NO interest. Image

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He loves to gives kisses!Image

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First boat ride of the year! 

 

Always A Buckeye.. Photo Dump

My dad always jokes, “Inside every little Badger is a Buckeye waiting to escape.”

Secretly, I hope that all my children stand behind their momma and cheer for OSU. Any Badger children will be grounded during football season! 😉 (jk..)

I had three weeks, yes THREE weeks at home during April! We were planning on two, but circumstances lended themselves to three! It all started when my mom and grandma headed up to WI for a long weekend  visit. I really am blessed that my family desires to travel 13 hours in a car to come visit. We really hunkered down in the house the whole time they were here because of the snow. Tuesday morning we left bright and early to head to Milwaukee to visit my Grandma’s nieces and nephews, my second-cousins. I don’t think I had seen my second-cousins in over 10 years, so it was great to visit! They were super accommodating and made traveling with a 9 month old a breeze. We headed the rest of the way to OH Wednesday morning.

I have to brag – Eli is wonderful in the car. He’s made the trip to Ohio 4 times now and has hardly ever made a peep in the car. I know that not every child is like this. They either love their carseat or hate it, nothing you can really  do to change it. I’m counting my blessings that this child loves it, knowing that the next could be quite a different story!

OKAY.. I started the above portion of this post a MONTH ago. Our internet has been out for a few weeks and I haven’t been able to access the pictures I wanted to include. I’m sure I had much more that I intended to say, but I will just leave it with a photo dump of the trip!

 

Dad and Eli on our trip to GA

Dad and Eli on our trip to GA

First time playing in the grass :-)

First time playing in the grass 🙂

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Sadly, I had many more pictures. Some from visiting my brother at University of North Georgia, pictures at my dad’s fire station.. and just some fun pictures with family. My phone restored itself and I lost them ALL! I’m definitely using iCloud from now on.

 

10 MONTHS

I’m sorry.

It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. I had a post in the works, waiting for pictures… and then I left town! For 3 weeks!! I’m just finally getting back into the groove of everyday life.

 

While I was in Ohio, Eli turned 10 months old. The 1 year milestone is in sight and I find it terrifying!

Eli is 10 months old and a busy bundle of love. He spends his days walking in circles around my house, emptying our tupperware drawer, chasing his dogs and opening every cabinet he can reach. I really don’t think I learned what motherhood was all about until reaching this stage of mobility. By the time his bedtime rolls around, I’m exhausted. With that being said, I love being his momma. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He is the sweetest little boy. I really could not be blessed with a more easy-going baby. He’s just an easy-going-BUSYYY baby! 🙂

 

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Why I’m Becoming a Doula

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These past few months I’ve been in the process of getting my doula certification. I have always had an interest in childbirth, midwifery and natural labor. After experiencing childbirth for myself, my “interest” has turned into “passion.” There is something about a woman bringing her baby into this world that ignites energy within me. I have the desire to EDUCATE and EMPOWER mothers! I believe that any woman has the innate strength and ability to birth their baby, and in the majority of cases without medical intervention. My role as a doula is to recognize the mother’s inherent right to make decisions regarding her birth, and to support her in helping her attain her goal. My job will be to assist the husband or partner in aiding in the birth as much or as little as desired. I’ll be there to answer questions, provide physical and emotional support and help create a positive calming environment for the birthing mother and baby.

I started this process back in February. I have a stack of books and a pile of papers I have to get through in the next couple months. I’m looking forward to the workshops I have to attend and the experience I will glean! For now, I spend Eli’s nap time like this..

Doula Training

 A portion of the reading material..

Doula Books

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My husband and I CRAVE Asian food. When we get a chance to go to the cities we usually end up at Big Bowl or another Thai/sushi restaurant. I enjoy being in the kitchen. I grew up learning beside my mother and grandmother, who taught me well. I cooked for a summer camp in GA and I was the food service director for a small Bible college nearby. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I dread making dinner. They usually happen when I’m ill prepared and haven’t planned out our meal. Last night, I was on top of it and made a favorite of ours! Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. YUM!

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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (sliced or cubed)
1 Shallot, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari for GF
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2c. chopped peanuts or cashews
1/2 lime, juiced
Fresh Thai Basil and Cilantro to taste
Boston Bib Lettuce

Heat your oil in a large skillet. Add the minced shallot and garlic to the pan and cook until tender. Once your onion and garlic are tender add in your chicken and cook at med-low heat.Image

Add in your soy sauce and fish sauce and let the chicken simmer until cooked through. Add in your chopped cashews, cilantro and Thai basil. Keep on low heat until ready to serve!

I served these up with thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers with a peanut sauce on top! We also enjoyed a pan of stir fry veggies!

Thai Peanut Sauce
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 Lime – juiced
2 tsp. honey

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