Monthly Archives: February 2014

Back in the kitchen…

Yesterday my loving mother came over to help me clean my kitchen!

Now listen – I appreciate a ‘clean’ house – I obsessively pick up and put away dishes and toys – however, I don’t necessarily clean too often…

Like, I’ve dusted like 3 times in the last 5 1/2 years since we’ve lived here…and I try to clean my bathrooms regularly, but usually I notice they need cleaned when yellowing appears in the toilet bowl or bathtub…and I never vacuum (because that’s Joel’s job! Ha, he does it quite often though), and I LOATHE cleaning my gas stovetop and oven.  Mom knows this, so she brought her bag of tricks over to help me 🙂

While we bar-keeper’s-friended the grime out of everything, we COULD NOT get the grates on my range clean!  Of course, I looked on pinterest to find I had already pinned the easiest way to clean the ranges.  I shall try this out tonight, now that Mom dropped off some ammonia (have I mentioned she’s the best?!).  I used another pinterest trick to clean the microwave out, and finally, for the 1st time ever, successfully understood how to use the auto-clean on my oven and woke up to a clean oven! (After I swiftly wiped out the ash…).  What’s next to do after you have a clean kitchen?! COOK AND BAKE AGAIN!

After the holidays at the end of the year (filled with family time and family meals) , the hospital stay when Olson was born (where I eat for ‘free’), and our friends and family showering us with meals when we returned home – I HAVE NOT COOKED IN 2 MONTHS!

We are beyond blessed to have so much provided for us!  Yet….it all comes to an end eventually 🙂  While I do still have a few frozen meals left in the freezer, today marks the first day I have technically cooked since before Christmas!  I made our FAVORITE dish, taken from this blog: Spicy Smoked Sausage Mac and Cheese

I am not super-technical when it comes to recipes…I generally look at them once, remember the ingredients (for the most part) and then look in my cupboard and fridge and make it with what I have – adding in our favorite spices or extras of our favorite foods, and ALWAYS dumping in any vegetables I can find

So for our Spicy Smoked Mac and Cheese, I use: olive oil, smoked sausage, onion, minced garlic, 100% whole wheat pasta, canned pasta sauce, chicken broth, frozen spinach, yogurt (usually, today I had JUST dished out the last of it to the kids for lunch – so I substituted it with a package of cream cheese and some milk…because that’s the same, right?!), and shredded colby jack.

YUM – I cannot wait to eat it!

Have any recipe suggestions for me as I’m getting back into cooking?!


Oh Saturday morning…you did not go as planned.

Last Saturday my morning was terrible.  All my expectations were shattered.  I’ll spare you the whiney, annoying details to my pity party – but let me tell you, it was rough.

Have you ever had a day like that?  Nothing spectacular was planned, but you had expectations that weren’t met and suddenly, it was the worse day imaginable.  AND you didn’t get a nap in.

When I could finally humble myself just enough to talk to Joel (instead of only cry – which I had been doing for 5 to 6 hours), we were laughing within minutes about comments like, “I don’t really want to fight with you.  It’s just that I am SO ANGRY and I have no one else to fight with.  If I fought with any of the other people that live here it’d be abusive.”  🙂 Aren’t post-pregnancy and nursing hormones beautiful?!  It really brings out the best in me.

ANYWAYS – God restored me in the middle of the night while feeding Olson with this:

So thankful for His mercies that are new every morning…on Sunday morning, Olson and I stayed home to rest and regroup and I watched the first sermon in this series by Andy Stanley

And then turned on Pandora while I was finishing the laundry and heard this amazing song – another redeeming moment God gifted me with:

How has God brought you out of your yuck and into His presence lately?!

5 weeks old!

This sweet doll baby: Olson's firth month 017Is 5 weeks old!!!!!!!


Man he’s cute.  And huge.  He’s wearing a 6 month onesie in this picture taken today because he weighs NEARLY 13 POUNDS!!!

Yeah, I know. Whoa.

What a blessing he’s been to our family.  He has calmly slipped right into our routine and I am so thankful for this newborn to provide me with so many opportunities to be patient, selfless, and gracious.  God has so intricately woven His lessons into each experience of our lives.  THANK YOU GOD for gifting us with sweet Olson and all the lessons that go along with him 🙂

Here are few photos of our first month 🙂

first bottle!Olson's firth month 002Meeting family 🙂 Olson's firth month 004 Olson's firth month 007 Olson's firth month 011

Keeping ourselves entertained with a photo session 🙂 Olson's firth month 020Mylin busted her nose last night 😦 poor Rudolph…) Olson's firth month 021 Olson's firth month 022

Love this little man!!!!

The best DADDY ever


Draper Christmas '13 056

Olson Emmanuel 009

Olson Emmanuel 033

snowed in! 017

snowed in! 020

snowed in! 021

Obviously, he can do anything and no feat is too great for this strong, loving daddy!

To top it all off, on his first day back to work, he left us surprise notes for when our day started

(he feeds my love language well: SURPRISES, that’s a love language, right?)

snowed in! 025

snowed in! 026

We love you, Joel and are so thankful you are our (husband) and DADDY!