Happy Birthday, Grandpa J.

Grandpa Lee would have been 75 years old today (actually, it would be Oct. 1, but since we are just an hour and a half away I figured I could fudge it a bit :) ). Not a day goes by I don't think about him. Some times I miss him so much it hurts as much as it did 11 years ago. I know that one day I will get to see him again...and I'm rather jealous at times that he's with the Lord away from this world.... :) I'm so thankful for the time I did get with him, though, and for the legacy he left.
Happy birthday, Grandpa. I love you. I miss you.



amazing books and a prayer request

If you are looking for an amazing series to read, this is it. It's a romance, tear jerker, historical, fiction all in one. It also is challenging and convicting in terms of realizing how easy we have it as Christians in present day America! I first read the series in high school 9 years ago and I read it just about every year. I picked it up again last week and am as enthralled now as I was the first day I started.
The first two books follow three main characters: Hadassah, a Christian who is captured in Jerusalem by Roman soldiers who assume her to be a Jew. She is sold into slavery and it follows her new life in servitude, how she grows in her faith, loves her owners and shares the love of God and eventually the message of Christ while risking the threat of the arena (at the time, Christians were the lowliest of low and were thrown into the arena during gladiator matches as entertainment so people could watch them torn apart by lions)...its so convicting to read about her faith and trust in the Lord...I come away so challenged every time.
The second character is a wealthy Roman named Marcus, he is the son of Hadassah's owners. the book follows his journey as he grows into a man, falls in love with Hadassha, learns about Jesus, and...well...you have to read it to find out :)
The third character is Atretes, a German soldier and tribal chief's son, who is captured in a battle with the Romans. He is eventually sold to be trained as a gladiator. The third book focuses solely in on him and how he learns about Jesus...the first 2 follows his amazing and anger-filled journey as he rises to be the most loved gladiator in in Rome.
I know I don't do these books justiced, but SERIOUSLY...consider reading them. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed.
Please pray for Tommy, Amber and Miles. They are back in Des Moines now, but Miles is still in the hospital. They are really starting to feel the strain of Miles' hospitalization and I don't think that things are going the best for them right now (he's doing okay, but I think they've had some not-good news lately)....please please pray that the Lord will give them strength to continue and trust in Him.



blueberry mess

We got Addy these mesh bags (from Target) that are specifically for babies who don't chew and swallow food yet...but they can still experience different foods, textures and practice chewing without getting bits of food or seeds...they just get juice :)

I like to get frozen fruits (blueberries here, but I also do strawberries, melons, bananas) and she'll just chomp it until whatever is in there is mush :) I think it feels good on her sore gums too. :)



here we go...

Adelyn cut her first two teeth yesterday morning. She's got her bottom central incisors coming in! I laid her down after feeding her at 5am and she woke up a little bit later just freaking out like something was wrong. I went in to check on her and everything seemed okay, so I rocked her a bit and laid her back down. A few minutes later she woke up again crying, so I just brought her into bed with Nick and I and she fell back a sleep until she woke up for the day at 6:45am.

I was home sleeping that day b/c I'm on overnights at the hospital this week. My mom called me later in the afternoon and was like "she has her two bottom teeth coming in!" I was like "what?! well that explains why she was so upset this morning...her teeth were cutting through".
I was thinking later how much I love her gummy grin! I love that she's getting her teeth, but I'm mourning the loss of her gummy kisses when she gnaws on my jaw with her gums :) It hurts a bit now if she gets those two teeth just right.
My baby is growing up :) I'm happy and sad all at the same time.....so here we go....what else is next? crawling maybe? I'm not ready for that yet, but we'll see..... :)



better for you(?) buffalo chicken salad...yumminess

I LOVE cooking shows...when I was holed up in the freezing weather with a newborn :) I discovered television. We still had cable at the time, so the "world" was my playground. One show I came to enjoy was (don't laugh) Cook Yourself Thin on (again, don't laugh) Lifetime.

They took some everyday not-so-great for you dishes and recreated them with healthier ingredients...it become one of my little projects to try some of their recipes and they were actually pretty good. One that Nick and I like (me more so because it's fairly quick and super easy) is the Buffalo Chicken Salad. I tweak it a bit when I make it for Nick's and my taste...but below is the original recipe. It's pretty good. Let me know if you try and what you think.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

4 chicken breasts
Planko bread crumbs (usually in the Asian section of the supermarket)
chopped lettuce

2T. hot sauce
1t. apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. salt
1t. brown sugar
~marinade chicken breasts for 10 minutes
~coat chicken with Planko bread crumbs (you can use a little olive oil brushed on chicken to help
help crumbs stick easier)
~bake chicken on wire rack for 12-18 minutes at 400 degrees

bleu cheese dressing:
2T buttermilk
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4t. pepper
1/4c. bleu cheese crumbles
~mix dressing and salad
~top with cooked chicken



time with family

My brother, Josh, came home this weekend from the Navy. We haven't seen him since he left in May. It was so good to spend time with him...and so hard to say goodbye.
We all were over at my dad's for lunch on Saturday....lunch at Mom's on Sunday...and then everyone came over to our place today for brunch before Josh had to head back to the Chicago area. I'm not sure when we will get to see him again....hopefully we can make a trip up there soon....but we definitely miss having him around. :)



who decides "too many" or "not enough"?

So I read this blog tonight and I think she totally nailed it.....I've had quite a few discussions this week with co-workers and patients (it's a common discussion with patients, "how many kids do you have? do you want more? how many?") and I figured it'd be okay to blog about it b/c it helps me organize my thoughts a bit better :)
When people ask me how many kids Nick and I want my answer is usually "I want 5, he wants 3, so we are going for 4"(Nick usually adds "but we are taking it one at a time"). Now I understand there are so many factors that play into that, but God willing we can have 4 kids (or 5...whichever :) ). I usually get the some version of the same reaction "what? are you nuts?" "can you afford them?" "why?" etc.... this is where I get a little irked (yes, I just said "irked"). Yes, we can afford as many kids as we want.....they aren't going to have everything they want and we can get really good at second hand stores, but we would be just fine......no, we aren't crazy.....and why not?? I love kids...Nick is an amazing dad...more warriors for the Lord :)
I don't understand why some people get so affronted by the thought of more than the American standard of 2.6 kids....why should everyone be held to that number? Whether a family adopts or gets pregnant...some people do just fine with one....others can have a soccer team. :)
I know there are some exceptions and in some cases it wouldn't be a good idea to add another body to the brood...but who gets to tell a family they have "too many" kids or "only" a few?
I remember a friend of ours was pregnant with twins...she was out somewhere and had her two young ones in tow.....someone saw her and gave her a look of pity and was like "you poor thing I feel so bad for you" (or something like that) and she thought "why?". When she told us that story I thought she was dead on. Why? Obviously they weren't going for twins :) but God blessed them with 2 more and you don't need to feel sorry for them!
Okay, so I know some people are now thinking "what about the people who don't mean to have more or get pregnant?". I don't know...again, there are so many exceptions and circumstances... but what I'm talking about now is a husband and wife's CHOICE to have more children (whether adopting or getting pregnant).
On the flip side...I have heard people say "they only have one" or "they just have 2 kids"....I know that some people don't mean that as it sounds, but those that do....why does everyone have to have more than one or two?? I have a friend from school who will be the first to admit she is not the "motherly" type :) but she has always said that she could see herself wanting to have a baby if she ever got married b/c that child would be part her and part him...but no more than the one :) Anyway...what I'm getting at is that it's her decision....whether she brings them into this world herself or adopts.
I know everyone is going to have an opinion and it is something we could go around and around about and I think there are good arguments for both sides...like I said, though...I am addressing the part where people think I'm nuts for wanting 5 kids.
In the meantime...if you see me years down the road with 4 kids and tow and pregnant with #5 (as Nick is gasping for air right now at the thought) :) don't feel sorry for me....no matter how tired and ragged I am.....I have an amazing husband who is my partner in parenting :) I will be blissfully happy with our amazing little terrors gifts.




Nick and I have always joke that we play the reverse of the traditional male/female roles.

He likes to talk about anything and everything...more specifically his feelings, thoughts and emotions. I, however, would rather think through what I'm thinking/feeling than share (there are exceptions in everything, though, where I am more the female and he's more the male :)).

He's generally more emotional that I am...although there are definitely times when I am the emotional one and he thinks I'm going nuts (pregnancy was a major reversal of emotions).

He gets mad at me because I get in "the zone" when I'm on the computer or reading a book. He or I has to shut it off or take the book away b/c I can't pay attention to what he's saying and do what I'm doing at the same time. I get frustrated with him b/c EVERYTHING is a big deal. He nags at my driving to the point where I won't drive with him in the car anymore. He picks up after ME....AFTER I spent most of the day (between taking care of Adelyn) cleaning the house and putting things away.

We have spent the last 3 1/2 years figuring out how to "deal" with each other...how the other one works...how to love the other person the way they need to be loved.

Having Adelyn definitely has changed everything (as those with kids already know). On top of that, Nick has been working on getting his masters in Agronomy from ISU (go Cyclones!) and spends alot of nights studying. Between his studying and our taking care of Adelyn...we have had nill time alone. Nick has said a few times he feels like we're just roommates right now.

Of course I got irritated b/c at the time I thought he was implying it was my fault (this was the female side of me)...then I thought he was exaggerating and over analyzing (the "male" side of me). That night I was more aware of our time. After Addy was in bed, I grabbed my book and he sat on the other side of the room studying. I got to thinking that he was right. We were in the same room, but not talking. Part of me was completely fine with this...especially since he needs the quiet to study for class. Another part of me started to miss the nights we would sit and talk...or have time just to be together...

We went (FINALLY) on our first date since February this last weekend. Zeb and Bekah came over with Claire to watch Addy for us (thank you thank you!). It was suddenly so weird to me to be alone together...but I loved it. We went downtown to eat and were able to sit and talk. The minute we sat down, Nick said, "conversation about Adelyn is off limits". :)

Where am I going with all this? I do not know. I guess this is just me getting my thoughts out there so I can sort them out better :) Nick and I knew before Adelyn was born that our time together was going to change and be in short supply...but it still catches you off guard.

You know those people you see at restaurants who go through their ENTIRE meal without saying a word? I don't want to become like that. I know we won't always have something to talk about (and I'm completely fine with that)...but I don't want to lose our connection. I want to stay connected with my husband...and I don't want him to be just my "roommate".

With that thought...this is where I have to go beyond my "comfort zone" and be more willing to talk about anything and everything...even when he thinks its a big deal and I definitely don't. :)



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