Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me Monday- Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

It's been awhile since I participated in "Not Me" Monday.... but for some reason, this past weekend provided me with many "Not Me" moments....

*On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I dared to venture out to our "budget" grocery store, Winco. I actually had a list with me, a rare thing that really needs to happen more often. In my quest for French Fried Onions for the green bean casserole, I did NOT wander around the store for approximately 10 minutes in my quest. And while wandering, I certainly was NEVER tempted to just steal some French Fried Onions out of someones cart when they weren't looking....that would be terrible. Instead of stealing, I decided to ask a lady who had the French Fried Onions in her cart where they were and then upon finding them, I got the last one!!! And when the person behind me expressed their sadness over me taking the last French Fried Onions, I didn't have an evil grin on my face as I walked away because that same person had cut me off earlier by the cranberry sauce!!! Evil grins are not very Thanksgiving-ish!!!

While in the ice cream section, I did NOT encounter the most vile Grandma who had some choice words for the crowds in Winco. I did NOT have a horrified look on my face as she uttered pretty much every swear word in the book and when she caught me looking at her, I did NOT give her a judging glare. Grandma's, of all people, should not be walking around the grocery store swearing!! And certainly not while shopping for Thanksgiving!

In the pop section, I DIDN'T go a little overboard and proceed to buy nearly all of the Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash 2 liters that they had in stock. I certainly DON'T struggle with an addiction to this beverage and I totally DIDN'T just get up and pour myself a glass after salivating at the mere mention of this delicious drink.

Upon checking out at Winco, I for sure did NOT purposely choose the longest line just so I could read this week's People magazine while waiting.

And in the end of my trip, I did NOT have to repent and ask for forgiveness for my sinful thoughts of stealing French Fried Onions and judging Grandma's....

Okay....that's enough about my Winco shopping trip! Who knew so many "Not Me's" could occur at the grocery store.

Other "Not Me" moments this last weekend....

*On Wednesday night, I was NOT so tired that I totally screwed up my fruit salad recipe, only I didn't discover it until the next morning, which was Thanksgiving. Out of frustration, I DIDN'T just put a jacket on over my t-shirt and pajama pants, totally unshowered, and drive to Fred Meyer where I did NOT run into a friend's husband while checking out. And upon running into him, I DIDN'T sprint out the door after wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving, in hopes that he wouldn't see that I wasn't even wearing socks with my Dansko's and pajama pants; pink and orange striped pajama pants no less.

*I have NOT been wearing glasses for the last two weeks because I can totally get away with not wearing much makeup with them....

*Last week, I DIDN'T find a binky that had been missing ALL day in Emersyn's shirt at the end of the night.....what kind of mother doesn't notice a binky in her own child's shirt??! :)

*I am NOT currently in denial of the large amounts of laundry that need to be done and I am TOTALLY NOT the kind of person that just washes a load of what we need for the next couple of days and leaves the rest. I also do NOT hope and pray on every day off that my husband has that he would magically fix our laundry pile and that I will walk into our room, free and clear of any dirty laundry. What kind of wife would that make me???

*On Saturday, I did NOT pour a bunch of baby oil into Emersyn's bath thinking that you couldn't really over-moisturize a child with eczema. Upon getting Emersyn out of the bath, I DIDN'T nearly drop her several times because of her slick skin, and our bathtub water did NOT look like an oil spill had occurred. While blow drying Emersyn's hair, I did NOT keep attempting to dry what appeared to be wet hair but it was really oily. I then didn't have to put her hair in a super ugly pony tail with NO bangs because of the oil retention that her hair had absorbed; a pony tail that stood up entirely on it's own...the rubber band was almost unnecessary.

*While standing on a chair decorating my Christmas tree, I did NOT accidentally knock my daughter over while moving the chair, causing her to skin a little piece of skin on her nose and cry giant alligator tears to her mother's horror. I would never be SO passionate to finish decorating my tree that I would endanger the nose of my daughter, nope, NOT ME!

Well, those are MY "Not Me" moments.....I am sure NONE of you can relate to ANY of these!

Happy Monday!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mama Leone's Chicken Soup

Mama Leone's Chicken Soup
(makes about 15 cups)

1/2 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenders
2 teaspoons kosher salt plus extra for chicken breasts (divided)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus extra for chicken breast (divided)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
8 cups chicken broth (can use low sodium)
1-14.5oz can diced tomatoes in juice
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both side of the chicken breast and lightly sauté. When cool enough to handle, dice the meat and set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Saute the onions and celery until the onions are translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, tarragon, oregano, paprika and remaining 2 tablespoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes Add the flour and stir until well combined. Slowly whisk the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the reserved chicken breast and simmer 10 minutes more. Just before serving, stir in the spinach.

As you see in the picture above, I didn't cut up the spinach....I had already served the soup to our guests and just wanted to get the spinach into the bowl.

I have served this to lots of different people and have yet to find anyone that doesn't think it is exceptionally good!

I discovered this soup at a deli downtown several years ago...before I was married even. I loved getting a cup of this for lunch with a roll. Then, by a stroke of good luck, I saw the recipe for this soup in the newspaper and I cut it out to be saved and cherished forever!

Bon Appetit!

Zoo Lights

On Wednesday night we went to "ZooLights" at the Oregon Zoo here in Portland. We bought a membership this last fall and with the membership comes free admission to this exhibit, which is normally about $11/person! Wednesday was the "member preview" night so I was thinking there probably wouldn't be THAT many people there. Also, it was the night before Thanksgiving so I hoped that everyone would be home cooking up a storm. Boy was I wrong! :)

We went to eat at Baja Fresh and then headed to the Zoo.....on the way there, there was a sign on the freeway that said "Zoo Parking Lot FULL. Use shuttle lot". Not a good sign! We parked at the shuttle lot, got out our bundled little baby, stroller, blankets, etc. and prepared to load a school bus which is not easy to do with the bundled baby, stroller, blankets, etc. :)

Emersyn's first ride in a school bus. I don't think she was impressed! Twin came along for the ride too, of course! :)

Finally we arrived to the Zoo! :)

Overall, it was a pretty cool thing to see but let's just say that I am glad it was free. If we had paid full price to see the exhibit, I would have been pretty disappointed I think.

The highlight of the night for Emersyn was watching the live Jazz Band. She heard the music in the distance and started dancing like crazy in her stroller, frantic to get out. I wish I had a video of it! We went over to listen to the band and Emersyn just danced and was TOO cute!!

Watching the Jazz Band with joy on her face! Love it!!

Giving the otter a high five.

I had read that in order to REALLY experience the ZooLights for all it's worth, you had to go on the train. It was $3/person with Emersyn free so I thought, that isn't too bad. It was pretty lame! We waited 45 minutes which for a toddler is like an eternity and for some reason, half the lights along the train route were either out or just not on. FAIL! I don't regret out experience....just am not in a hurry to do it again! :)

I am so excited for holiday things to do this season! Emersyn seems to have caught a bit of a cold and I can't help but think if it is because she was out in the cold for so long that night. We kept her good and bundled up but there is only so much you can do I guess. She needs to build her immunities anyways....we are going to the Frozen Tundra for Christmas after all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Emersyn's Second Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving this year! We got to sleep in a little bit and then woke up and watched the Macy's day parade as a family! I have always loved the parade but being the night owl that I am, I usually slept in past when most of the parade was on! Not any more since a certain little lady has entered my life! :) It was fun to get up and enjoy a quiet morning. I did have to run to the store because of a fruit salad emergency (more on that on Not Me's gonna be a good one) but other then that, the morning was pretty uneventful.

We headed over to Brett's parents house at about 1ish. I brought rolls, fruit salad, a Costco pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. It was pouring down rain which made it no fun to haul stuff in and out of the car but we survived.

Right away, a Scrabble game began! :) Emersyn was on her cousin Genevieve's team!

Emersyn's first time wearing Gymboree hair clips....I LOVE THEM!!!

Brett LOVES Scrabble. It's okay. :)

Emersyn in her "new" highchair....Brett's grandma brought it up with her. It was the high chair that Emersyn's Nana used when she was a baby!

Playing with Uncle Brock and his laser pointer.

Cousins. Genevieve is 12 and Annabel is 5. Emersyn insisted on holding the freaky bunny baby during the picture.

Cousins last year!

My ambidextrous baby. :)

Cute cousins coloring. :)

We left around 7pm. I was INSISTENT on us finally getting our tree up that night and we did! But before we got everything out, we "called" Grammy and Grandpa via Skype in MN!

Emersyn loves chatting with her Grandparents in MN!

Crazy hair after the piggy tails come out.

We had a great Thanksgiving and I hope you all did too. It is so nice having a long weekend. Emersyn definitely has a cold and so we are laying low this weekend....I can handle that!! Today's agenda: laundry (the dreaded task), finishing decorating the Christmas tree, working on my Anonymous Bible Study, reading some "Crazy Love" for book club on Tuesday night, snuggling with my snotty nosed baby girl, giving her a bath and massage in hopes of making her feel better, and running to the library for some books when Daddy gets home. I reserved us some books to read while in Minnesota this Christmas, including one that HE requested I get him per the Dave Ramsey show's recommendation on parenting's called "Strong Fathers; Strong Daughters- 10 secrets every father should know". I am so blessed to be married to a man who takes parenting seriously and wants to be the best father that he can be.

Happy Saturday everyone!!

My soup turned out great yesterday....will be posting recipe soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Five Question Friday

My Little Life

Happy Black Friday!

It's that time again...."Five Question Friday" hosted by the lovely Mama M.

1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree?

We have a lovely fake tree that we invested in a couple years ago. Brett and I have always had work schedules that make it so we don't get days off together on the weekends....well, it's no fun to go cut down a tree in the middle of no where when you are the ONLY people there, trust me. Plus, it would take us weeks to finally find time to go out and get one and that would bum me out. I LOVE having our tree is so beautiful. I will be posting pics of it soon. We just finally bought real ornaments for it a couple years ago too...the first 4 year we were married we mainly used the silver bulbs that were leftover from our wedding reception (we strung silver ornaments from the ceiling of our reception site with fish wire and only used candle light to light the room so they looked like stars....incredible). We used the silver bulbs and then some red ones from the dollar store. It was simple and cute and ours. :)

What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family?
I LOVE that Brett is just as into Christmas as I am, maybe more. He loves the music, movies, all of it! Our favorite tradition includes going to Peacock Lane, a street of old houses in East Portland that decorate for Christmas. We have gone to it every year since we have been together, with the exception of last year because of the blizzard we had.

3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if many calories do you think you consumed yesterday?

YES, Thanksgiving is VERY celebrated at my house!!

Yesterday we had turkey, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, mashed potatoes (although I didn't have any mashed...not because I was being good, simply because there was NO room left on my plate!!), cranberry sauce, broccoli salad, fruit salad, rolls, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes.

Makes me hungry just thinking about it all again. Also makes me excited for Christmas dinner!! :)

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas, yet?

YES!! As of last night!!!! A friend is coming over for lunch today and I plan on chatting and decorating my tree. I am terrible about sitting still and having a conversation. Multi-tasking brings me joy.

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Sugar cookies that my husband makes!!! They are really thin and have frosting....the secret to the cookies and the frosting is the dash of almond extract in each of them, but just a little. A little goes a long way, trust me!!

Today we are taking it easy. Brett left his car at his parents last night by accident, LONG story. :) Anyways, Ems and I had to wake up early to take him to his car but I rewarded myself with a coffee. We went to Fred Meyers and picked up a few things that were a good deal, as well as some groceries and now we are home for the day!! We went to ZooLights on Friday and Emersyn has some slightly green boogs. Hahaha, just typed out boobs first...that would be an interesting sight. :) ANYWAYS, I am hoping that she gets some fantastic naps today!! I am having a friend over for lunch and then some other friends are coming over for dinner and "Settler's of Catan". Any other Settler's fans out there? Don't be ashamed.... :)

Well, gotta get baby girl to bed for her morning nap (which she is taking again recently), clean up, get the soup on for tonight (Mama Leone's Chicken Soup...will post recipe later, it's delish), and enjoy this day that the Lord has given me! Wish my hubs was off but he gets nearly 10 days off for Christmas so I will choose to be thankful for that instead of being bummed about today.

Happy Black Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

THIS I am Thankful For.....

For my sadly not used enough washing machine; for Emersyn's undying love of rice and kidney beans; a Wednesday babysitter that loves my daughter, cooks and CLEANS...this I am thankful for.

For family near and far; the blessing of two cars; my kitchen island's breakfast bar....this I am thankful for.

For a husband's love that is unconditional; for a daughter whose name is untraditional; for a Lord whose faithfulness is uncomparable....this I am thankful for.

For the ability to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal; for finding Gymboree tights that are a super good deal; for a group of friends that inspire me and keep it real....this I am thankful for.

For a comfortable bed to climb into, a warm place to relax and lay; for showing my strawberry blonde daughter how to fold her hands and pray; for a cup of coffee and early morning snuggles to start off a new day.....this I am thankful for.

For a daughter to prepare a nutritious breakfast for; for a friend who cut out a coupon for a candle I adore; for that moment of enjoying God's creation on Hawaii's beautiful ocean shore.....this I am thankful for.

For neighbors that make us dinner and give us their daughter's hand-me-downs; for my husband's job that he enjoys in a tall building located downtown; for Emersyn's giggles when her daddy tickles her, the most adorably silly sound.....this I am thankful for.

For a friend that offered to pick me up a crockpot at Target on Black Friday; for the Lord's protection as I drive my van down the dark and rainy highway; for my brother's odd obsession with a pop song this summer that was sung by a girl named Miley.....this I am thankful for.

For a community of bloggers that inspire me and crack me up; for the many blessings that seem to overfill my cup; for the God given hope and joy that reminds me never to give up.....THIS I am thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Less Words Wednesday









the view

of a sweet

little lady

in the backseat,

clapping along to a Hillsong DVD;

staring intently at the




in fact

that you might

have to

pull over

to snap

a picture

so that you

never forget what a precious

sight it is.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections on "Anonymous"

My Tuesday morning Bible Study of Esther has ended. In many ways I am bummed because it was such an AMAZING learning experience but in some I am relieved. There was a LOT of homework that went along with the study, homework that started to overwhelm me a bit and I wasn't always able to finish which drives me crazy. I hope to have the opportunity to do the study again. I am sure I was only able to glean a small fraction of all that can be learned from such an amazing story.

Our church goes on a hiatus during the holidays in regards to Bible Study but one of my sweet friends Sheri offered to do a study at her house in the meantime. At first I hesitated because of how busy life is. But I always think back to that pie chart of my time. The biggest pieces in that chart NEED to be my family. What accounts for the rest of the chart though? Facebook? Blogging? Watching TV? I think that diving into God's word and becoming a better woman needs to have a slice of that pie. Emersyn takes a morning nap so while she is at her Nana's on Tuesday, her mama's gonna be enjoying the fellowship of some quality ladies and diving into a good book!

We are reading "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chloe. The tag line is "Jesus' hidden years...and yours". The book is broken up into small chapters; you could almost read it as a devotional. Some of the thoughts really stuck with me and I thought they might be an encouragment to some of the ladies that I know who read my blog, lurkers you know who you are...I don't want to mention any names (Vanessa). Ha!

She begins the book talking about trees. She talks about how lush and beautiful they are in the spring and summer and how the fall and winter comes and strips away the leaves. She says, "Though my skin prefers their role in summer, somehow my soul prefers their lessons in winter. Then, when growth pauses, the trees have often become my teachers. What the plenty of summer hides, the nakedness of winter reveals: infrastructure. Fullness often distracts from foundations. But in the stillness of the winter, the tree's true strength is unveiled......And so it is with us. Seasonally, we too are stripped of visible fruit. Our giftings are hidden: our abilities are underestimated....Abundance may make us feel more productive, but perhaps emtiness has greater power to strengthen our souls".

She has such an artistic way with words. What a blessing to able to view a time in your life that is as cold and stark as winter as a time for the Lord to strengthen our infrastructure. I long to be that sort of woman.

The book is entitled "Anonymous" because that is how we can feel sometimes. She talks about how the first 30 years of Jesus's life were insignificant by our standards but really, God was at work the entire time. So many times in our life, we feel that we are treading water...not really making a difference...not seeing the fruits of our labor, our ministry, our time. It can be frustrating in a society that encourages instant gratification.

Alicia often talks about God wasting no ones time. She says that times that are unseen aren't unimportant by any means. She spoke of traveling to China and participating in a feast. She said that they served many courses and each one was significant; there weren't any "filler" entrees. She said that she would often reminisce about a past course or anticipate what was coming next; and in the meantime the course that lay on the plate in front of her grew cold and didn't taste as good as it might have had she just enjoyed it.

Friends, I am so guilty of not enjoying the now at times. I really feel like I went through a season of hiding because of insecurities and fears, even in the last few years. But certain events that occurred this summer really pushed me into the arms of my Savior and made me abandon many of those fears and surrender my insecurities. It a daily surrender mind you, and one that doesn't always happen or come easily. But still, I think I got caught up in the lie that if I looked better, THEN I would be in a position to minister and encourage others. Or if I didn't have to work; then I could REALLY be more effective for Christ. But winter came over the summer (ha!) and revealed my infrastructure....and I didn't like what I saw so I changed it!

Ever since having Emersyn, I am so challenged to just take things one day at a time. The enemy knows how to bother perfectionists....just make us mess up once and then the whole day is just ruined, a waste. Since becoming a mother I have had to realize, I may not have time to do ALL the laundry. But one load WILL help and does make a difference. This theory runs true in so many areas for me.

I love how Alicia ends the chapter and I will leave you with these thoughts....

"Throughout Jesus' hidden years, he demonstrated one of the great forgotten virtues of our time: patience. But how can we practically follow Jesus' exampe and be patient when God-sized dreams pound in our souls? Seasonally this struggle has been agonizing...But there is quite a bit of room between self promotion and uppter passivity in our stewardship of God-size dreams. At present, I am attempting to rest in alert availability. "Alert" because I am not living in denial of the dreams in my heart. "Available" because God is a gentleman and I am quite comfortable waiting for Him to open doors. Truth is, I do not have enough character to walk through doors I open for myself.

I liken God's purpose to a pure but unpredictable river. Impatient self promotion actively seeks out a speedboat to outrun the current and rush towards the future. Fear of failure stands on the banks cautiosly to observe before getting her feet wet. But perhaps obedience simply wades into the center and lets the current of God's presence set the pace, be it swift or still.

Because after all, is not our true aim and aspiration just to be near God? Jesus seems to exemplify this perspective. Whether "Not yet, my Son" tucked him away in obscurity or "Now is the time" made him the news, Jesus appears to have walked unstressed and unhurried. His peaceful pace seems to imply that he measured himself not by where he was going and how fast he could get there but by whom he was following and how closely they walked together.

Patience grows well in such soil. She is the ally of a sould that makes God is't primary pursuit, because in this journey called life, regardless of the scenery, such a sould is deeply contented in the Company. "

Beautiful thoughts. I could have written this entire book out.......

Blessings to all my blog friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday- Thanksgiving Edition

1. Turkey or Ham? Turkey....but ONLY with cranberry sauce!! Can't eat turkey without it!!

2. Favorite side dish: would have to be a toss up between stuffing, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. Geez....carbs are the enemy!

3. Favorite dessert: good old fashioned pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream!!

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not? Not. If there is some killer deal that I just can't live without, maybe, but Brett has to work that day and I am not sure that I am brave enough to go into the crowds with my baby girl by myself!

5. If so, what's on the top of your list? I do need a new crockpot...mine is in rough shape. Also need a new set of tupperware. So if they are practically giving away these items somewhere, I might venture out. :)

6. Going out of town or staying close to home? Staying close to home!

7. Hosting or helping? Helping...although I offered to host!

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving: whenever we have it with my family, we always do communion which I think is really special.

9. What do you do after dinner? Clean up and hang out. I am bringing a book this year! Ems can have fun playing with her cousins, Daddy can watch football, and Mommy can READ!!

10. What are you most thankful for this year? TOO MANY THINGS TO LIST!!! I am most thankful for my family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Dream Come True

A couple months ago in our church's bulletin, I saw a note saying that a new pictorial was going to come out. Defnition of pictorial: a directory with pictures. :) The last time our church had a pictorial done was when I was about 14, so about 14 years ago. I wish I had a copy of the picture to show you but I don't. That is probably okay's not pretty, ha!

As cheesy as this is, I got REALLY excited about having our picture taken for the pictorial. Olan Mills does them and by participating, you get a free 8x10. It wasn't the free picture that excited me though, it was the prospect of having photographic evidence of God's blessings in my life.

If you have read this blog EVER, you know that it is never lacking in pictures. But this is different. Driving up to our church to have this picture taken with my husband driving and baby girl was a dream come true.

The girl that was pictured in the pictorial under my name 14 years ago had no idea what she was in for. She worried and agonized over the plans that God had for her, not trusting entirely and often thinking that she could do things better. Instead of taking the Lords hand, she decided that she could do it on her own for awhile. She made choices based on selfishness and instant gratification. She was insecure and sought approval from man, not the Lord. Little did she know that only two pages away in that same pictorial, under the "J" section, her future husband was pictured with his family. If only she could of heard the Lord whispering to her with giddy excitement "just you wait until the next time your church does a'll never believe what that picture will look like!!!".

Fast forward 14 years. The girl that is pictured THIS TIME has a different last name and has lost the giant glasses (praise the Lord). :) She has learned that all that agonizing and worrying that she did for all those years was silly and pointless. She is able to walk in confidence not because of WHO she is, but because of WHOSE she is. She was able to surrender her plans and be content in the Lord and reap the blessings of this contentment. She can hardly listen to worship music without bawling in gratitude to the Lord for saving her from herself. Her life isn't perfect by any means and her list is long of goals and desired habits to be acheived. But she is happy and the joy of the Lord is her strength. Her husband and baby are the most incredible blessings that she could have ever imagined, but they don't complete her. Her identity is found in the Lord, not in being Brett's wife or Emersyn's mom. God's grace looks different for everyone. Sometimes I feel guilty because I am so blessed to be married and so many of my friends are still waiting for Godly husbands. However, I truly believe that everyone can be JUST as happy as I am, just in different ways. God longs to be gracious to us ALL, and each of our stories are handwritten by an incredible Author.

So, I present to you our first "official" family photo. It's awkward. The blue background is hideous. My neck is no where to be found because of the way the photographer kept telling me to turn my head. My daughter's hand is odd looking because I had just grabbed it from out of her mouth and then we snapped the picture.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Google Search

SO I have one of those counter thingy's at the bottom of my blog. It's fun to see days when my blog gets lots of visits. There isn't any real point to the counter, kind of just for fun.

The website that hosts the counter is able to provide you will all kinds of info, like how many people looked at my blog each day, what time of day was the busiest, the source of my blog traffic (like from Facebook, other blogs, etc.) and many other fun facts. One of the sources that comes up is "Google searches". So someone has done a Google search using a certain phrase and something in my blog came up for the search. It even tells you the phrases that someone looked up and how they then linked to your blog.

Some of these phrases were interesting is the list of the last 20 keywords (that were searched on Google) that led people to my blog:

1) "baby name emersyn"- well duh, I can see why they were linked to my blog. :)
2) "emersyn grace patti and brett"- hmm...obviously someone was looking specifically for us.
3) "how can i thank my best friend for what she does to make me feel special on my birthday"- ???? what??? I googled this phrase and sure enough, my blog popped up third on the list, it was my post from saying "happy birthday to my best friend" on Brett's birthday.
4) "sunshine chicken catalina dressing"- linked to my recent Cranberry Chicken Recipe
5) "candy corn blessings"- my post on candy corn cupcakes
6) "emersyn"- obviously. :)
7) "THINGS IN MOMMY'S PURSE"- ??? linked to my post on Emersyn walking around with my purse.
8) "why is it good to have a baby brother" ??
9) "birthday scraps for aunty" ??
10) "baby, dryer, brother"- HAHAHAHA, linked to my post about putting my baby brother in the dryer when he was around 6. It was partially his idea too, don't judge me!!
11) "how to win a man"- referred to this post featuring Emersyn's advice. Ha ha, some poor single gal googled this topic and found my one year olds advice...I wonder if any of it worked out??
12) "show me some honey moon photos"- oh my.
13) "life's little blessings plate"
14) "emersyn grace"
15) "biggest 1st birthday"
16) "Emersyn Grace"
17) "have party give blessing for baby birthday "
18) "oregon garden resort stayed room"
19) "blessings to a one year old"
20) "naughty honeymoon photos"- ???!?!?! There are NONE of those on my blog, I assure you of that!! I think my blog popped up because I did put honeymoon pictures up (very G rated ones mind you) and then I always say Emerysn is naughty so it linked the two up. Hahaha!

This was amusing to me. I hope it was to you as well! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Emersyn and Ellie

Emersyn and Ellie- November 2008

Emersyn and Ellie- November 2009

On Saturday, Ellie and her mama Sarah came over for a dinner play date. Emersyn refused to nap earlier in the day so she slept during part of their play date. Little stinker. Sarah is a great amazing woman; she is getting her masters, runs marathons and chases around a toddler. If that doesn't qualify you for "amazing" status then I don't know what does. I also value her friendship, very real and no pressure.

It was fun to watch the girls play and I had a good time catching up with my friend. In the past, we have always met at the mall or somewhere but it is so nice to be at a house and just be able to relax and not have to keep that close of an eye on the kids. :)

Sarah, next time we are heading out YOUR way!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Favorite Things


Buddy the Elf really says it best, I do love to smile! :)

One of my sassy bloggy friends Keely decided to do a "Favorite Things" bloghop and giveaway! Fun fun! Here is just a sampling of my favorite things:

These are absolutely my two most favorite things. But you probably already knew that. :)

Honda Mini-Van
This is the make, model and color of my minivan. Yes, I am a mini-van mom and I am proud of it! A couple girls were over at my house last week and they said "we never imagined you in a mini-van". I think they were trying to give me a compliment. :) I LOVE MY VAN. Have you ever driven one? Brett and I BOTH wanted one long before we had kids even but thought it would be silly to get one without the need for a carseat in back. :) I know there is a certain image that comes with a van, an image most people might try to avoid. But me? I don't care about image, I care about my stow and go seats, DVD system in the back and super low, practically interest free payment!

I don't scrapbook. I don't put pictures in albums. I don't journal. I blog. It is so much fun to keep track of memories, share my thoughts with others, and enjoy a community of other mama's that inspire and encourage me!
The Jessica Simpson "Dafa"

This shoe changed my life. :) I am on my second pair of black flats, have another pair of brand new black ones still in the box, waiting to be used once these ones wear out. And I bought them in brown. If you can't tell, I am a big fan. They are super cute, have just a little bit of a heel so you can wear them with skirts or slacks, and can be dressy or casual. LOVE THEM!! (You can't get them anymore, unless you get them on eBay I think)

Glade Soy Candle in Pomegranate & Cranberries

I bought this candle for $5.99 somewhat impulsively at WINCO the other day. I can't stop burning it; it smells SOOOO good!! And the fragrance really travels throughout the house which is nice. I highly recomend this candle!!
MacBook Pro

I used to think that Mac people were all fanatics and overly obsessed with their computers. But then I got one for a really good deal. And now I am a fanatic. I LOVE this laptop!!!

Mariah Carey's Christmas Album

I have loved this album since I was in high school. Come on girls, you all know you have sang "All I Want For Christmas" with a hairbrush as a microphone at least once in your life... :) This is my all time favorite Christmas album and I can't wait to listen to it this year and dance with my baby girl to the upbeat songs. :)

Play Kitchen @

This is all that Emersyn is asking Santa for Christmas. Our neighbors have the same one and Emersyn LOVES it!!! I love that it is red, gender neutral that way! Emersyn's favorite part: all the doors that you can open and shut. Too cute.

Not much explanation needed here. :)
Those are some of MY favorite things...what are some of yours? :)