Our summers usually consist of lots of visits from people and vice versa.  It's just that time of year when it's easy to travel and I LOVE that.  It also helps that I don't have to go to work in the summer. This past week we had our friends Kelly and Kevin visit from Michigan, along with Luke, their 20 month old, and Ryann, Kelly's friend.  We spent the week at the Quarry, playing inside, and took a trip to Once Upon a Child in Omaha.
Once Upon a Child is this amazing gently used clothing place for kids and babies.  They buy and sell kids clothes.  I found lots of fun stuff for Baby Boy Forristall for next summer, including a Beatles t-shirt, which I'm sure will become the grandparents' favorite.  They have stores everywhere, so click on the link here to see if there is one near you!
Here are some pictures of Kelly and Kevin's little family:


You are my sunshine...

Last weekend we had a little baby shower for Shelby, who is about to have a little baby...boy or girl (she doesn't know yet what she's having).  We had a wonderful time and Shelby was showered with love and gifts.  Shelby just finished her little one's nursery with the cutest theme: you are my sunshine.  It is absolutely adorable and will be perfect for her little guy or gal.  Here are some pics from her special day!


Lovin' Summertime

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Quarry, our local swimming hole, is one of my favorite things about summertime.  After revealing last week that we are having a boy, my family took off for the Quarry to bask in the summertime.  There was just a tiny little problem...the gray sky and the rain falling from it.  The kids were anxious to go swimming, so we decided to head over and wait it out under the shelter.  After telling the kids, only 10 more minutes about 5 times, it finally cleared off and they were able to play on the rope swing and get toes deep in mud.  I love these summertime days and these sweet little faces.  How do you spend your summertime days?


Frosting filled cupcakes

For our gender reveal party I debated between doing a layered cake and cupcakes.  It was a very hard decision (like deciding between a cookie dough blizzard and a snickers blizzard...haaard), but finally decided on individual cupcakes.  I wanted to make them myself and was a little nervous about the task, but I was pleasantly surprised when they actually were super easy!

First, I made the cupcakes and let them cool.  You can use a mix, recipe, anything your little heart desires.  I had to remind myself that I couldn't lick the spoon...this was NOT easy!  No raw eggs for this pregnant lady.

Next, I made the frosting mixed with blue food coloring.  I put the frosting in a Ziplock bag and cut off a corner.
Then, I used a sharp knife to cut a small cone-like hole in each cupcake (top big, bottom little).  I squirted a tad bit of frosting in, cut off the bottom of the cone (this is important) and stuck the top of the cone back on.  If you don't cut off the bottom of the cone, you will have frosting squirting out the top...and in my case, that would have ruined the surprise.  The best part about this step is you have lots of little pieces of cupcake to sample...

Finally, I frosted them and put the cupcake toppers on...and that was it!  It literally took me an hour tops.  I love things that turn out great and only take a wee little hour!

Please let me know if you try them and how they turn out!


Our peanut will wear...BLUE!!

Kevin and I are having a baby boy.  A sweet, lovable, (probably a little ornery if he's like his parents) little baby boy.  We couldn't be more excited, although we would have been excited having a little one dressed in blue or pink.  The pregnancy is going smoothly and everything looked good at our last appointment.  About two weeks ago, our little guy weighed in at 13 ounces.  I'm sure he's at least a pound by now, at week 20...crazy!
To share our exciting news, we had some family and friends over for a gender reveal party.  After voting, a light brunch and mimosas (for everyone else), everyone grabbed a cupcake for the reveal.  These cupcakes were so easy to make and I was so happy I did them myself (I will post about these later).  After one bite, everyone discovered that Baby Forristall will be a boy!  It was so much fun and I am so thankful for all the amazing people we have in our lives that will love our baby boy when he arrives.  

our blackboard before the party...my family already voted

cupcakes and hershey bars

about to find out!

it's a boy!

kevin and i-we didn't realize we both were giving hints with our blue/green outfits
p.s. it's only orange juice in that champagne glass

the blackboard towards the end of the party


Chow (pregnancy style) in Chi-town

Kevin and I have been on our annual visit to Chi-town the past few days and have thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds...and especially all the tastes that a big city has to offer.  Our friends, Anne and Pete, are always gracious and amazing hosts and this visit was no different.  We spent the weekend at their place and enjoyed some incredible chow.

Being pregnant has changed my palette quite a little bit.  Anything normal, boring, and comforting is what my belly craves.  Think: mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, etc.  I know, boring.  Because of this change in my palette, this trip to Chicago was slightly different for me.  
We love to explore new places and new foods with Anne and Pete (and they are so great at finding these places), but this time it was extra challenging because I was looking for options that also please my pregnancy palette.

We ate at two quaint little restaurants for our dinners Friday and Saturday evening.  They both served New American style dishes and although the food was delicious, my favorite part about these places was the atmosphere and small little touches that made these places special.  Some of those little touches included: a ping pong table (and yes, we did play), a record player with lots of vinyl to choose from, vintage glassware, and under the stars seating.  Friday night's place was called 'ada street' and you can find info. here.  There were lots of interesting and fun things on the menu, which we ordered, but I opted for the picnic dinner, which included fried chicken...definitely met my pregnancy palette.  Saturday evening we went to 'lulu cafe' and their website is here, where I slurped up the spaghetti (SO GOOD).  If you ever find yourself in Chicago, these places are definitely worth a try.

On Saturday morning we were promised breakfast from Pete and he delivered.  He made waffles with strawberries and homemade whipped cream (I am trying this when I get home), sausage, and cheesy eggs.  Pete is so great in the kitchen and it was so sweet of him to cook us up a big breakfast to start our day.

Sunday morning we headed to the farmer's market, since it's one of my favorite summer time things.  One of the first places we saw was a crepe cart.  I LOVE these flat, pancake like morsels of goodness and let's just be honest, there are not many crepe options in Macedonia, unless I'm making them myself.  I got a crepe with chocolatey Nutella.  I always forget about Nutella, I am going to buy some when I get home.  It was absolutely the best thing I could have had for breakfast that morning.  Perfect. 

We were able to enjoy a White Sox game on Sunday afternoon, where I enjoyed a plate of corn and pretzel.  Kevin had a very large braaaaaat.  As yummy as it looked, I'm pretty sure it's good I didn't partake (Kevin had a teensy bit of heartburn that night, the picture says it all).  

After the game on Sunday we headed to our hotel and to dinner.  We ate at Pizzeria Uno, which is a deep dish place in downtown Chicago.  The gooey cheese and tomato sauce were the tastiest parts and was worth the short little walk.

Last, and probably one of the best things I ate in Chicago, was a grilled cheese sandwich from an Italian deli.  I had been craving one of these since Saturday night, after Anne and I watched Sandwich King.  This grilled cheese sandwich was grilled perfectly and the three cheeses on some sort of yummy bread made me want to eat this everyday.  I am definitely going to re-create this at home for summer lunches.  I think I'm going back tomorrow before we leave to figure out the cheeses and the bread...and to get another one.

Chicago has been a great food getaway and I am excited to go home and try to create some of my favorites.  Thanks Anne and Pete for an incredible weekend!


Strawberry Parfaits

I have been meaning to post this recipe for weeks now.  I found this recipe for strawberry parfaits on this amazing Italian cooking blog and they are just so dang yummy and really simple.  No baking required...just some mixing.  I love these parfaits for two reasons: it requires a pound of strawberries! and they are in individual servings.  I just love individual servings.  Here is the recipe, which I found here.  The only change I made was to omit the amaretto, but you couldn't tell there was anything missing.

the recipe made 4 large servings...definitely could be made into smaller ones

i just think these are so cute!


A few of my favorite things...

Iowa summers are all about the sunscreen, sunshine, swimming holes and anything and everything outside.  I know some people love to stay inside in the coolness during the hot summer months, but I am not one of them.  I LOVE being outside in the golden, lovely hotness and don't mind sweating a little to enjoy it.  Because it is nice and warm out, there are a few things that I absolutely adore about this time of year.

First, farmer's markets.  This tops my list as one of my favorite things about summer time.  When Kevin and I lived in the Old Market, it was a Saturday morning ritual.  I love the flowers, the fresh produce, the pepper jack bread, the enchiladas, breakfast burritos, raspberry danishes...you get the point.  And I love just walking around, browsing and sampling all that people from Omaha (and the area) have to offer.  I usually go to the Old Market farmer's market on Saturday morning, but on Sunday I visited the Aksarben farmer's market and was just as impressed.  It was more spread out and had lots of fun music and performers.  Now I have two days a week where I can enjoy one of my favorite summer time activities.

so cute

one of the booths at the farmer's market
When the sun is getting hot and the air dry, there is nothing better than taking a dip in our local swimming hole.  Our swimming hole, 'The Quarry', is equipped with a rope swing, dock, slide, and high platform.  There is also camping available, but Kevin and I tried that once and figured out we're not the 'camping type'.  It's a great place to take a raft and just float in the water or to have some serious play time.  I have been taking my nephews and niece here for the past few years and am happy that this year we are just a five minute drive away!  It might become my afternoon getaway after weeding the gardens this summer...

jumping off the dock at the quarry
Another thing that's great about these hot months is having my nephews and niece for a few days over summer break.  They always come to my house for 'vacation' and we always have so much fun.  One of our stops is always The Quarry, along with the downtown fountains and slides.  The kids always get a chance to make their own breakfast and dinner.  Some of their past creations have included: make your own pizza, make your own sundaes, dirt cups, and blueberry muffins, just to name a few.  And we usually try and do something in Omaha they've never done before, which is starting to become somewhat of a challenge.  I am looking forward to seeing them in just a few short weeks for their 'vacation'.

making blueberry muffins last year
This last favorite thing will be a little different this year, but I think it will still remain a favorite.  The College World Series is always in Omaha and Kevin and I have gone the past 4 years.  We don't necessarily go to a game, we just go for the festivities.  Our friends Anne and Pete always come during CWS and we always have an incredible time.  Last year was the first year at the new stadium downtown and it was exciting to live so close to all the action.  The reason I say this year will be different...well, we live about 35 minutes away now, I'm pregnant, and Anne and Pete are coming to Omaha at a different time.  I don't know how much I will like taking in the festivities this year, but I am definitely going to give it a try!  It starts in just under two weeks and my family is going to try and go to a game opening weekend.  We'll see if it remains a favorite!

shelby and i last year at cws

These are a few of my favorite summer things and I am so excited that the hot weather is just getting started...there are at least 3 more months left!


18 Weeks Update

Yesterday we were 18 weeks along in our pregnancy journey.  Kevin and I have been lucky enough to feel the little guy or gal move around the past few weeks.  At first, I didn't know if it was really the baby moving, but after a few nights of little nudges and bumps...I knew that our little peanut wanted to say hello.
So, we have a new tradition that will last for the next five months.  Every night I lay down and wait eagerly for our little peanut to wake up.  He or she will move around and once I feel him or her (I can't wait to say just him or just her) I will inform Kevin of the movement and his hand is on my belly waiting for the next kick or punch.  It's definitely my favorite part of the day....it's an amazing substitute for a glass of wine!
As far as our baby's growth goes...our little peanut is about 5 1/2 inches long and weighs 5 ounces, which is about the size of a chicken breast.  This week our baby is working on yawning and hiccuping, I might even be able to feel those hiccups here soon!  Also, our baby has fingerprints on his or her fingertips and toes.

God knows me well, because I haven't been sick at all during this pregnancy.  He knows I'm a wimp and He knows what I can and can't handle.  Thank goodness.  I feel so, SO blessed, because I know friends that have been sick and according to their stories...it does not sound like fun.  There is just one thing that makes me a little queasy...green, spiky, tall asparagus.  Our garden has been full of it for the past month and a half and poor Kevin has had to eat ALL of it.  The asparagus is now done for the year and I know Kevin isn't missing all that green stuff on his plate.

We have a doctor's appointment coming up next Thursday and we absolutely can't wait to find out if we get to call our peanut a him or her.  We are having a gender party to celebrate this important information and can't wait to share it with friends and family!

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