Mommy is thankful for...

Now that I'm a Mom, my list of things I'm thankful for has changed and grown, immensely.  I need more help now that I'm a mom.  I need more things now that I'm a mom.  I need more support now that I'm a mom.  So, here it is, in no particular order...what the mommy in me is thankful for...

  • Decaf Starbuck's lattes.  Grande style.  Talles don't exist too much in my world anymore.  Plus, the Starbucks reward program is an awesome way to earn free drinks and coupons!  

  • Amazon Prime/Amazon Mom.  Diapers, wipes, toilet paper, laundry detergent...anything you can possibly want at incredible prices, plus Amazon Instant Video comes with Prime and you can get unlimited streaming of movies and t.v. shows.  It eliminates trips to the store, which means more time with my little man.  At $79 a year, you can't beat it.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DBYBNEE/ref=nav_prime_join  

  • MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I joined this group of women last year and have made lasting friendships that I am grateful for on a daily basis.  This group helps me to regroup and refocus on my relationships with my friends, family, and heavenly Father.  Find a group near you at http://www.mops.org.  

  • Speaking of friendship, I am thankful for my friends!  My mommy friends, my Morningside friends, my Ottumwa childhood friends, my friends that are moms, my friends that aren't moms, my journey group friends, my cooking club friends, my teacher friends.  I love them all and don't know what I would do without them!  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures with my MOPS friends.  We need to get some pictures, ladies!  

  • Shutterfly, Walgreens, and all other online photo sites.  They make organizing and printing pictures, books, and gifts so convenient.  Online shopping is my weakness.

  • Grandmas and Grandpas.  Luke has the best.  (I know all you parents out there are thinking the same thing about your child's Grandmas and Grandpas.)  What would we do without them?  They love Luke, babysit Luke, and love to watch him reach all the milestones almost as much as Kevin and I.  We love you Grandpa Gary, Grandma Diane, Papa Jeff, and Grandma Kathy!

  • My journey group.  The women have prayed for me, laughed with me, and supported me the past few years.  They are amazing, Jesus loving people and I am so glad Kevin and I get to wade through life with them as friends.

  • Pinterest.  It eats up the few extra minutes in my day, but makes me so happy and gives me lots of ideas that I would NEVER come up with on my own.

  • The Hasleys, Forristalls, Hughes, Hines and other cousins, aunts, and uncles.  They smile when they see Luke and are always willing to play with him, cuddle him, or distract him...which is imperative at family gatherings. 

  • Fitsugar.  I am not a trainer and know absolutely zero about fitness and nutrition, even though I played basketball until my early twenties.  When I have a small window before Luke gets up, I put on one of these videos in the basement and 10 minutes later I feel ready for the day.

  • Mail!  I love letters, packages, magazines, anything that gets put into my mailbox.  It's one of the most exciting parts of the day here on the Trail.

  • My amazing husband.  I'm not going to get all mushy on you, but he is the peanut butter to my jelly and the macaroni to my cheese.  He is the best father to Luke and the best husband to me.  He loves watching Luke while I run an errand or get a drink with friends.  He tries so hard to be successful at work and at home and he loves us beyond my comprehension.  His faith is incredible and I am blessed to be his wife.

  • Nail and hair salons.  I love my hair person, Tristan.  She is amazing and it is a treat to go Luke-less for an hour and get my scalp massaged.  I am not a person who gets my nails done every week or month, but will splurge on it for a special occasion and it. is. the. best.  

  • Annie's Macaroni and Cheese.  If you haven't tried it, you must.  I have always been a Kraft girl, but when Luke came along I didn't want to give him any artificial colors (get with the program, Kraft!) as long as possible.  This stuff rocks and Luke gobbles it up, even when I dump some veggies in.

  • My mom.  I already mentioned Grandmas and Grandpas, but my mom has a very special spot in my heart.  Not only has she been an outstanding mom to me, but now she is my best friend.  She has talked me through major meltdowns and situations that I didn't think I could handle.  She has turned me to God more times than I can count and has taught me that He is the one who has me...all the time.  Words cannot describe what she means to me.

  • Wide open spaces.  Living on the Trail has the advantage of lots of space.  I love that someday I will be able to send Luke outside to play and roam and explore.  For right now, I love that we can take walks together and take in the fresh air.

  • Wood burning stove.  Last winter there were times when we lost electricity and our wood burning stove is what kept Luke's fingers and toes nice and toasty.  

  • Jesus.  He has brought me through many lows and has comforted me when I needed it and given me strength when I needed it.  I called on Him many times at 2:00 in the morning when I was up with Luke during those newborn days.  He was there and He will never, ever leave.

  • Luke.  He is the reason I get to be a Mommy.  He brings Kevin and I such joy.  For example, today we were elated that Luke began holding his cup on his own.  It's the little things.  He is definitely something to be thankful for and I praise God everyday that He has allowed me to be Luke's Mommy.

What are you thankful for?  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Happy Birthday, Grandpa Gary!

Yesterday was Gary's birthday.  We had a mini celebration, but are going to celebrate again next weekend.  Gary is such an incredible Dad and Grandpa.  He and Diane did a amazing job raising Kevin...I might just be a tad bit bias.  Happy Birthday, Gary!  I hope you celebrate all week long!


Peanut Butter Rolo Cookies

This Peanut Butter Wednesday recipe was made last week.  I had bunches of Rolos left over from Luke's party and decided I needed to use them up because I was eating them by the fist full during Luke's naps.  So, I thought, why not add more calories and put them into cookies?  Brilliant.  

I found this recipe over at designed decor and they are yummy.  Not too many ingredients, but you do have to refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes and make a nice little place for the Rolo in each cookie.  

This past weekend we headed across the state to Dubuque, Iowa.  My mom's side of the family lives in Dubuque and we made the trip to celebrate a great man, my Uncle Jeff.  He passed away a year ago November 15 and left behind an amazing wife, two daughters, and lots of family and friends that miss him everyday.  My aunt Janet, Jeff's wife, along with their daughters and my grandma, had a bench dedicated to Jeff down by the river.  It is a beautiful place to remember Jeff and I look forward to seeing him in heaven one day!  

Our family got together on Saturday evening and it was great to catch up with them all and remember Jeff.  I brought these cookies and they were quite a hit, although I forgot to put some bread in the container, so they were a tad dry from the drive over.  No one seemed to notice, but me.  If you love peanut butter and caramel, please try, because they are good!  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Rolo Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
24 Rolos

1.  Cream butter and sugars together.  Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla.  
2.  Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour, and salt.  Do not over mix.
3.  Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
4.  Preheat oven to 350.  Take a scoop of dough and split in half.  Put Rolo in bottom half and then cover Rolo with other half.  Make sure all sides of the Rolo are covered.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.
5.  Bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes.  Place on cooling rack.

our family on the bench...kevin was taking the picture


Happy Belated Birthday MOM!!!

I know this post is a few days late.  My Mom's birthday was Friday.  She is an amazing lady and one person I can count on for pretty much anything.  She has been my counselor, supervisor, disciplinarian, cheerleader, and best friend.  She is my one and only Mom and I thank God He put me in her care.  I love you, Mom!

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