Friday, January 31, 2014

Faith-filled Friday: Patience is a virtue - but it's really hard!

Hello all,

If there is anything that you must learn in life, it's patience. You're always waiting in line for something or for a timer to go off or the bell to ring or for traffic to move or all sorts of things. The campus pastor at my alma mater sends out an e-mail every morning with the title "Let each day begin with prayer." Yesterday's verse was from Genesis talking about how long Noah, his family and all those animals sat on the ark until it came to rest.

17 days and 7 months.

Can you imagine living in what's basically a floating barn for that long? I love animals and all, but I don't think I could do that. But they did!

I didn't think I could be patient in weight loss, but then 20 pounds went away in a little less than a year.

I wasn't so patient in waiting to meet Steve, but then he was in the right place at the right time for me to meet him.

I am trying to be patient with learning how to manage gestational diabetes so that when I finally get to meet our daughter, she's a healthy kiddo!

Whenever I think that I can't wait for something, I'm going to try and remember how long Noah was stuck on that ark with his family and all those animals for so long. And it's not just an endurance thing. God put a beautiful rainbow in the sky when it was all over promising Noah that this would never happen again. When you are patient, there will be a rainbow at the end of whatever it is that you're waiting out.

One thing that I'm waiting for:
To be able to eat foods without calculating all the grams of carbs! On the plus side, I got to eat a rather fabulous quesadilla last night with veggies and chicken.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mini Frittatas: Why haven't I made these before?!

Good morning Crushers!

As you know, I'm embarking on a low carb, low sugar diet for the next few months to keep this baby healthy. I'm swapping out my usual breakfast of oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins or cereal for a high protein, low carb option: eggs. However, you can only eat eggs so many ways. Plus, I like to stay in bed as long as possible in the morning before having to get up and get going.

Unless it's summer and I've got a race to train for, of course.

Anyway, I was watching the Biggest Loser, and I remembered that they made some Turkey Bacon veggie frittatas that looked amazing! I know that there have been lots of recipes for this floating around the Internet and Pinterest. I've even bookmarked/pinned a few of them. However, I never actually tried them.

Thanks to Steve having the day off yesterday due to another day of weather being in the high negative numbers (seriously, we had colder temperatures than most of Alaska), he braved the cold and went out to buy a bunch of veggies and eggs for me! Love that guy!

We didn't have all the ingredients from the original recipe from Jennie-O, so here is what I used and how I did it:

Breakfast Frittatas
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 dash parsley
1-ish tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 cup spinach, chopped up
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 slices of cheese, crumbled up
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Gear you'll need: A large bowl, a skillet, fork or whisk, a muffin tin, knife, cutting board, measuring cup and cooking spray.

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a skillet on the stove top, heat the oil. I did not measure the oil exactly, but I know it was not a full tablespoon. No need to add more oil! Anyway, throw all your diced/chopped veggies in the pan and cook until they are soft (about 5 minutes).

Lovely veggies! No idea why I can't rotate this darn picture...
While those are cooking away, mix the eggs, milk, cheese, and parsley in a bowl. I suggest a bowl that has a spout for easy pouring. Once the veggies are cooked, add them to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Mixin' it up!
Then pour or spoon about 1/4 cup of the mix into each muffin tin cup. This will fill it up about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until it's set.

Then enjoy! (Or put them in a sealed container and pull out two for breakfast the next morning - only needs about one minute in the microwave!)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Eating Clean for the Kiddo

OK, I maybe should not have posted that picture of pecan pie yesterday. It turns out that I have gestational diabetes! As many of you know, I try to eat really healthy. I really do! I'm a huge fan of fruits and veggies. Too bad I'm also a huge fan of OJ too. Hidden carbs...

According to the nurse, "You just have to eat like you're keeping a New Year's resolution and do a finger poke four times a day." I'm hoping that I can keep this all in check with diet and exercise.

Heads up: this blog is going to feature some very healthy dinners for the next 10 weeks or until the kiddo shows up! You will be seeing less noodles and carbs, and lots more veggies! Good thing I've been loving spinach lately...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Virtual Running Date No. 39: Cold? What cold?

Good morning Crushers!

I kid you not that the temperature in my car dropped from 20 degrees F to -1 degree F in the 25 minutes that it took me to drive to work. Almost all of the schools in the entire state are closed today for "dangerous freezing weather conditions". The governor actually called a state of emergency due to difficulties people are having in getting adequate heat fuel.

Before the temperatures really dropped, Steve and I took ourselves to a local county park to do some snow-shoeing and skiing. He skied. I walked. It was nice.

My spiffy snow shoes!

Curry Park
29 weeks and bundled up!
If it weren't for me holding my hands under the baby bump,
I'm not sure you'd be able to tell that I am pregnant since I was wearing so many layers!
Besides getting out and getting some exercise, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing are just plain fun! Snow shoes are a nice option for me right now since they have these spike things on the bottom so I can't slip on ice. The only problem is bending over to get them strapped on. I needed Steve's help. I can still tie my own shoes, thankyouverymuch, but the buckles were a little hard.

We went out for dinner and my pulled-pork sandwich was lovely, but let me tell you about this pecan pie. Yes, it's a horrible photo, but oh was it good! I don't normally like pecan pie, but this was just like a slab of caramel and pecans. With ice cream. I had about 5 bites and said Steve could have the rest.
We took care of that!
I have never found a recipe I liked, so I don't have one to share, but if you do, PLEASE share it in the comments. This pie may have to be investigated.

In other news, we worked on the baby's room this weekend. One wall is a dark blue, so my mom found these super cute vinyl letters. The only problem is that they are VERY DIFFICULT to put up. Not only because they lacked instructions, but because they were skinny letters.

Yay instructions!

Um, blank reverse side. You had one job...

The end result (after much stress and anger at a few words).
We also packed part of our hospital bag. Considering the crazy weather we have, I either over packed the baby's "going home" outfit or I didn't pack enough. Who knows?

That's it for now! If you went running this weekend, I salute you. If you did some other form of exercise, I also salute you. If you hid from the cold, I understand. It's chilly!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Faith-filled Friday: Proverbs 31

Hello Crushers!

Sorry if this post is much later than your normal reading. You're probably all, "She forgot us again..." Ha ha! Not true! I did remember.

I wish I could blame this all on baby brain, but in reality I was stuck at the hospital this morning for a 3-hour glucose test to find out if I have gestational diabetes. However, no one has called me back yet, so I'm going with "no news is good news". Also, I checked my online lab results thing, and it all says "Pending until Jan 27, 2014". So we wait...

I hope I sound all cool about this like the "wife of noble character" described in Proverbs 31:10-31.

When really, I was so ticked off to find out that I had failed the one hour test back on Tuesday. They also gave me the Tdap shot (covers you and the kiddo for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). So really I was upset because I hate needles and I failed. Which is all ridiculous since some people can't even have kids or they're on bed rest with triplets or something.

I might have cried when I found out that I had to do the 3-hour test where I had to fast for 12 hours before hand and I had to have 4 blood draws (aka 4 needles!).

However, I think I was mostly angry about failing a test. LAME.

Anyway, that's where I was this morning instead of here sharing about how you should not have my attitude, but instead go read Proverbs 31 and be like her instead. Always be like her.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Steve Cooks

Good morning Crushers!

I am back at teaching this week, so Steve has been awesome and made dinner every night this week so far. INCLUDING starting chili in the slow cooker this morning. He's a pretty amazing dude.

Now, there's always one thing that cracks me up when Steve makes his "howlin' mad chili", it's never the same! No two times are. He just buys similar ingredients and then looks through the cupboards to see what else he can add in. This will be interesting!

I'm just so thankful that he's willing to help out and make meals. Otherwise, we'd have the same old boring chili every time... ha!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Virtual Running Date No. 38: Baby stuff

Good morning, Crushers!

If this were a virtual running date, I would first confess that I haven't run. I probably won't run much until after the kiddo is born because it's icy and slippery and falling is bad.

My second confession is that I'm not a mommy blogger. Will I talk about baby food and toys and post pictures of my kid? Probably. Will I offer advice that is brilliant? Probably not. Will I at least share with you some cool stuff I find and maybe some things that work for me? Yup. Most likely.

If this were a virtual running date, I would tell you that this past weekend felt like it was all about babies. I went to a baby shower for a friend last Friday and it was really fun. We made mocktails, ate food (BLT dip?!) and talked about baby stuff and other stuff. Three women there were moms; three were prego; and three were just engaged. It was funny to hear every one's perspective on babies and care and what you really "need".

Speaking of what you want (more BLT dip?!) versus what you need, have you seen the baby section at a department store lately?! So much stuff. If you're reading this and you're registering for baby stuff, here are three pieces of advice:
  1. Do your homework before you go (I highly suggest the book Baby Bargains), but it's COMPLETELY OK if your sense of "dang that's cute" overrides common sense a few times. Can't leave the store without scanning that fuzzy pink onesie? SCAN IT!
  2. Pack snacks. Something that's an energy booster is a good idea. Plus, no one, and I mean NO ONE ever seems to mind a prego lady having a handful of pretzels or raisins. 
  3. Leave when you feel overwhelmed. 50 kinds of pacifiers and you're not even sure you want your child to use one? Feel free to skip that and come back later, if ever. 
Speaking of registries, I should go check that I took all those accidental doubles off the list...

So, this is a food blog, right? Baby shower food is pretty darn good. We had BLT dip (have I mentioned that?), sweets, veggies and dip, taco dip, and cheese and crackers. Fun finger food plus mocktails = a great evening friend shower. So nice!

I'm not allowed to know anything about my shower. I was just supposed to supply a list of names and addresses and I'm sure someone will tell me when to show up.

We took a baby class at our hospital over the weekend. It was very informative and fun despite talking about one of the messiest, but coolest things that your body could ever do. No cool food to mention there. They did give us snacks, but that's about it.

Yesterday, I did make jambalaya, which I'm fortunate to have leftovers of today! Sunday afternoons spent cooking while football is on in the background is very nice. As much as I wish the Packers were still on their way to the Super Bowl, I enjoyed a day where I could just be a football fan. If I had to pick a bandwagon to jump on, I'd go with the Broncos. I have more family and friends that live in Colorado, plus I really can't stand Seattle's coach. Ugh.

If this were a virtual running date, I could at least mention that I did safely walk on a treadmill for 2-3 miles at a stretch. Kind of boring, but it beats slipping on ice!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Faith-Filled Friday: Vendor Rave


Today's Faith-Filled Friday was inspired by one of my favorite print shops: Naptime Diaries. Not only do they make gorgeous art, but the husband and wife team are also planting a new church. They're basically amazing.

Since they were having a sale and I can't resist a great sale on amazing letterpress art, I just had to buy some for the baby's room. They have beautiful and fun art designed around meaningful Bible passages. They also have note cards and lots of other things. However, one of the gorgeous note cards had the following on it:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. - Philippians 2:3-4
Earlier this week, I was at the Woman's Club watching a documentary on happiness. It was amazing how it's the little things that make people happy once their basic needs are met. Compassion, helping others, being around others, and sharing were all sources of joy.

My mom is apt to say that "What's wrong with the world today is the constant 'ME' that people focus on. The world is full of too many people that put themselves first." I am fortunate to know a lot of people who break this mold and are givers. They give their time, money and talents to help others and make the world a better place.

Now, where would a person get the idea to help others? Perhaps from the ONE who has done it all for us? God gives us undying love, compassion and help. He shares everything with us including his one and only son who died for us so that we might share in eternal life. He is always near us whether we need him desperately or when we don't realize that we need him desperately. And really, when don't we need God?

Let's all take time to be happy by modeling after the God who loves us so much that he gives us the best example of all to be happy givers!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Virtual Running Date No. 37: It appears I owe you another one

Hello Crushers,

If we were on a virtual running date, I would tell you that it's been one of those days:

Between Friends by Sandra Bell-Lundy
I keep this cartoon at my desk because sometimes, you need to be reminded that if you can't say something nice, then you shouldn't say anything at all.

Mostly this has to do with other non-blog related stuff, but I will confess that it's been a little hectic around here. Between making art for the baby's room:
Can't you tell that's hand-painted with love?

Someone learned how to install floating shelves. BOO-YAH!

Pinterest inspired. And oddly lighted...

And getting ready to teach next semester:
That's my beast of a laptop from 2005.
It's been crazy. Fortunately, I have my freezer meal workshop tomorrow night. I'm VERY EXCITED to get to try out a bunch of new Wildtree products**. Here are the meals we're going to be making:
  1. Spanish-style garlic shrimp
  2. Italian marinated flank steak
  3. The best burgers EVER
  4. Smoked mozzarella and tomato meatloaf
  5. Chipotle lime fajitas
  6. Italian medallions
  7. Honey balsamic chicken drumsticks
  8. Crockpot chipotle lime chicken
  9. Adobo chicken (I'm actually making mine with pork)
  10. Mozzarella and tomato chicken pasta
Don't those sound good? Yum!

Uh oh, now the prego lady is hungry again...  Good thing I made Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie last night for dinner. That might mean there are leftovers to enjoy later!

**As always, I'm not getting paid or compensated by Wildtree in anyway. I just really like their products

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Virtual Running Date No. 36: I owe you one

Hello Crushers!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (belated)! Welcome to birthday week!

It's Tuesday and it's still very COLD. Like, schools canceled, businesses are closing early, high of -8 degrees cold. The thermometer is saying that it's currently -13 degrees, and I'm going to trust it because there is no way I'm going out there for more than a few minutes to test it myself. You can throw boiling water up into the air and see it turn to steam instantly.

Yes, really. See a video here. Yes, I know that's from Great Falls, but if my facebook friends are being truthful, then I know a lot of stay at home people who have tried it and it works!

Anyway, the move went great! We are almost all settled. Steve painted the baby's room and our room and thankfully, we didn't have to paint anything else! Most of the stuff on the walls have been hung and it looks like regular humans live there. Not just humans with boxes. WHOO!

For Christmas we got a freezer, so I've been working on filling it up with goodies. What goes in first? Chicken and 1, 2, 3 Lasagna. I also made huge batches of Steve's favorite Cranberry Fluff salad. Next week I'm hosting a Wildtree Freezer meal party, so I'll have a review of that coming up.

Here are a few photos that I would definitely be showing you if we were on a running date:
Me in front of the new house!

We quickly discovered that they never moved the furniture in the master bedroom to paint!
Thankfully, Steve is very good at painting!

Our first meal in the new house - soup and grilled cheese with sparkling grape juice!

Baby's first family Christmas photo!
Steve's favorite Cranberry Fluff (recipe below).
All the ingredients for making my Grandma M's Glug
(you can search for "glogg" in Google)
Delicious Cranberries getting chopped up.

Here is our room with a fresh coat of paint. And yes, we moved the furniture to paint.

Some art in the baby's room. I learned how to hang the floating shelf!
Recipe for Steve's favorite Cranberry Salad
2-3 cups fresh cranberries, chopped into fine bits
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 regular size tub of Cool Whip (not the giganto size)
1 bag of mini marshmallows

Directions: Mix all the ingredients until pink and fluffy. Store in a large bowl in the fridge or serve as a side dish for a holiday meal. Enjoy!