Thursday, November 24, 2011


It seems like this year has been a whirlwind, but one full of blessings and so much learning and growing for myself and our little family.  Today, on Thanksgiving, and on every other day of the year I am completely grateful for this little life of mine and everything that touches it.
I am grateful for my wonderful husband.  He makes me laugh like no other and stills sends tingles down to my toes with just a look.  He's pretty easy on the eyes too.  I feel like we started out as babies all those years ago and now look at us and everything that we have learned almost 11 years later.  I'm glad he chose me to walk along beside him.   

I am so thankful for a happy, healthy, adorable little girl.  She has one spunky little attitude.  She's learning so much and at such a fast rate.  I am just amazed to watch her discover the world around her.  She truly was an answering to many prayers and tears.  She is definitely our little miracle and I'm proud to be her momma.

I am grateful for my friends and family, who have taught me, cried with me, cheered me up, and made me laugh. Life would be nothing without the people who touch it.  So, if you are reading this, thanks for anything and everything you do to brighten this place up.  :)

I am blessed to have a roof over my head, a job I enjoy, coworkers, who make even the bad days worth it, food in my belly, a car to get me from point A to point B, clothes in my closet, access to health care and medicine, access to education with the ability to learn, enough money in our bank account to provide us with the things we need and a bed to lay my weary head on at night.

I am pretty much grateful for anything and everything, even the bad things that have taught me something new.

On a less serious note, I am grateful for pumpkin pie or really any pie, pancakes, being able to make baby food, sweaters, boots, Nola's headbands, bananas, peanut butter, tights, Top Chef, date nights, skinny jeans, clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, holidays were you just eat for days, music, Pandora, Christmas trees and music, ice cream, iPhones, texting, internet, Pinterest, toys that keep a little girl entertained, my array of cookbooks, houseshoes, comfortable pjs, eyeliner, clean sheets, food trucks, long weekend vacations, tutus on little girls, cameras to capture little moments, coffee, coupons, cool fall nights, and long enough hair to wear in a bun.

Hope each of you has had a happy Thanksgiving filled with happiness, warmth and plenty of food!  I can't wait to get my eating on for the next two days!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You gonna eat that cornbread?

I've been a busy bee in the kitchen this week. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I'm sure the trend will continue. After weeks of having take out and processed crap creep into our house and into our mouths, I'm finally getting my groove back in the kitchen. This whole mother thing is no joke. They'll be a separate blog post on that one. I'll do us all a favor and save the whining for now.

Not only have I made some delicious meals this week for myself and Mr. O, but our fridge is stocked full of yummy fresh ingredients, some of which will be used on Thanksgiving, and I've also made our little Nola girl some baby food! Yes, I'm high-fiving myself right now because I am that cool.

On the dinner front, I've made a pumpkin, barley and sausage soup, a classic pot roast cooked with potatoes, carrots, and celery with sautéed brussel sprouts on the side, eggplant ratatouille served with a fried egg on top and whole wheat French bread for dipping and spaghetti with the sauce I have spent years perfecting. Sometime in the midst of all the Thanksgiving feasting, I'll be making chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto and sage with maple carrots and a salad on the side, a tamale pie, and whatever my hot husband wants for his birthday meal.

For Thanksgiving on the O side of the celebration, I'll be making roasted brussel sprouts with apples and bacon, cranberry salsa, and pumpkin bread with pecan filling. On my family's side, I'll be making the cranberry salsa, the same pumpkin bread and carrot souffle. Have I mentioned how much I love this holiday? I'll be working on the actual day of Thanksgiving, so think of me while your stuffing your faces and also keep these things in mind, if you are frying a turkey be very careful, watch your fingers while chopping any vegetables, be very careful and enlist help with lifting your turkey out of the oven with all of it's hot juices, and if you are outside playing with your family watch out for holes, hills, and other people because you do not want to be visiting me at work or any other ER employee on the day of feasting!

Finally, for my little love bug, I made three foods, sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon, sautéed zucchini with Yukon gold potatoes with a little cilantro mixed in (this one is a little slimy in consistency, so I'm not sure how it will go over. Better luck next time, $7.00 organic zucchinis) and puréed apples that I baked stuffed with prunes and sprinkled with cinnamon. I'm kind of hoping she won't like the apple one because that sh*t is delicious! Just upping my street cred by dropping words that need to be bleeped in a paragraph about baby food making. :)

Obviously, I'm tired. I should be sleeping with my snoring husband. Leave a comment if you want any of the recipes, I'd be happy to share. Ooh, and tell me about any fabulous things you are making for the holidays. My vault of recipes could always use more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shortening a month into a week

So, my whole monthly posts on all the good things that happen have kind of gone out the window, since Nola is here now.  To be honest, I was always having to go look at my calendar to see everything that happened in one month.  I found myself forgetting to mention great things that would happen too.  So, I needed a solution.

I've decided to switch from monthly posts to weekly posts.  That way, I don't forget anything and, if all goes well, I should have at least one post a week.

So, here's all the great things that happened last week.

.  Nola's temp finally breaking and seeing that girl's energy come back  .
.  visits at work from Mr. O & the girl  .
.  walking the greenway with Jessica and Layla  .
.  good news from Nola's renal ultrasound at Vanderbilt  .
.  getting in my car that was on empty to find a full tank of gas  .
.  safe travel to Gatlinburg  .
.  a great sister-in-law who watched our house and dogs  .
.  buckeyes  and pecan logs  .
.  warmth from a fireplace  .
.  Nola laughs .
.  bear stories  at candy stores  .
.  games of Last Word (Worst birthday ever!)  .
.  first family hikes  .
.  grilled steaks and great salads .
.  afternoon coffee stops  .
.  dancing bears  .
.  seeing B hold a baby  .
.  great times with good friends  .
.  The Next Iron Chef  .

Hello, food. Goodbye, good smelling poop.

Yes, that's right, Nola is eating food now.  She's been eating organic brown rice cereal.  That child loves it.  Seriously, it's like she was starving.  I bought the things to make her some sweet potato food, prune and apple, and some zucchini and potato baby food.  I may not have stuck with the whole cloth diaper thing, but I'm making her food dang it!  Here are some pics of her enjoying her first meal.

Big girl in her high chair for the first time.

Hmm, food.

Unsure about this whole food thing.

She loved it!

Gatlinburg 2011

Last year, we spent the weekend of Halloween with our friends, Bridget and Derrick, and another couple in Gatlinburg.  We actually told them we were pregnant that weekend.  We decided to keep the tradition and go again this year.  This time without the expecting announcement and, instead, an almost 6 month old in tow.

We rented the same cabin from last year, which is awesome.  Aaron and I had the whole first floor because of rooming with a baby.  Initially, we were worried because neither B or D or Derek and Sarah have kids.  Kids are still a few years off for them (Right, B?  Rice Baby 2012).  Let me just say though, our Nola girl was a rockstar.  Minus one major breakdown at breakfast on our way out of Gatlinburg, due to the fact that it was naptime, she was amazing!  Sarah kept saying, "I can't believe what a good baby she is."  Way to represent, Nola!  We even went on 2.2 mile hike.  That would be one way, folks.  She smiled, slept and cooed the entire time.

I'm hoping this remains a tradition.  Maybe next year, we'll have another announcement or someone else will.  Maybe we'll go sans baby.  Who knows?  What I do know is it's nice to get away for a long weekend with great friends.

Hanging out at the cabin

Improvising bath time at the cabin.  Yes, I cleaned the sink beforehand!

This girl loves a bath now.

B with her walking stick

Tuckered out before we even started.

D with his big stick


First family hike.

Two of my favorite people

Uncle D and Nola.

Me and my mans.

The girls.

The boys.

B & D.

Derek & Sarah


Cutest baby ever!

Strolling around Gatlinburg.

Nola & her daddy.

Aunt B & Nola

One deck at the cabin.