2013 // Our Year in Review

Although our year was filled with so many wonderful blessings, it was a really hard year for our family as well.  This third pregnancy really took it’s toll on my body physically and emotionally as I struggled to keep up with my three girls.  Landon working two jobs was hard on him, and hard on our relationship. When we found out we were expecting another little one, we didn’t know how we would be able to afford another baby.  BUT…God proved Himself faithful even when I had lost hope.  We always had exactly what we needed. He provided (and is still providing) in so many ways…even the “little” things.  I have battled loneliness, and He has reminded me time and time again that He can fulfill that void if I let Him.  He has trusted us with four beautiful children.  When I felt like a failure as a mother, He has reminded me that He makes no mistakes, and I’m not a failure to Him. I’m so thankful He doesn’t give up on me! I’m learning….so much about Him…about being a wife…about being a mother.  I wouldn’t have known how good He has been to us and how He takes care of us, without going through some hard times. I’m looking forward to 2014, and what God has in store for our family.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.”  Romans 5:3,4

Here are some of my favorite moments of 2013…

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.57.21 PM

New Year // Battled RSV & Bronchitis // Trip to the Zoo // Lily & Lauren moved out of their cribs

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.27.30 PM

Twins were potty trained using the 3 day method // We got snow! // Grandma & Grandpa came to visit

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.30.25 PM

Landon turned 28 // Thankful Landon’s eye was spared in a work accident // Saw a double rainbow // Celebrated Easter

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 1.08.54 PM

Found out we were expecting a baby on April Fools! // We ran The Color Run // Saw our sweet Beckham for the first time // Found out we would be having a Thanksgiving baby!

IMG_2234

We announced our pregancy // We went on a wonderful vacation to Destin // Brooke graduated from her k4 program

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.52.37 PM

Lily & Lauren turned THREE // We found out we would be having a little boy! // We went to the Kiddie Park

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 1.30.22 PM

Trip to San Antonio // Met our sweet nephew Beaux // Brooke stuck a bead up her nose which came out 5 weeks later in the bathtub

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.33.17 PM

Tamara turned 31 // We got to see Rascal Flatts in concert // First day of school // Tamara went to SC

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.33.45 PM

Brooke turned FIVE // Went to the Tulsa Fair // Completed Beckham’s nursery // Baby Shower for Beckham

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 1.41.21 PM

Made lots of s’mores on the patio // Trunk or Treat at rejoice // Halloween

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.43.41 PM

We celebrated 6 years of marriage // Met our sweet Beckham // Had a wonderful family Thanksgiving

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.42.45 PM

We got snow!!! // Christmas parties at school // Beckham’s first Christmas // Grandpa & Grandma came to visit

Advertisements

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Cookies

get-attachment
 I’m pretty sure I might have consumed a pound of butter last week.  That’s no exaggeration.  I forgot how hungry (and thirsty!) you get when you are breastfeeding.  Since I did some baking over the course of the week, I would “sample” the cookie dough, then “sample” the finished product.  Since I didn’t get my fill of butter and sugar, I decided to make these cookies today while the girls were eating lunch.  I LOVE pomegranate.  I’ve also been dying to bake with it, so I knew this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod would be a great one to try.  She uses white chocolate chunks, but I used Dark Chocolate chunks.  I’m sure both combos would be equally delicious, I just love dark chocolate. Plus, the pomegranate and dark chocolate cancel out the butter and sugar in my opinion.  🙂

get-attachment (1)

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup dark chocolate chunks/chips (or white chocolate)
1 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper

In your mixer, cream the butter and sugars until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks.

Make the cookie dough balls with about a tablespoon of dough (or use a cookie scoop).  Tuck several pomegranate arils into the cookie dough ball.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes until transferring to a wire rack.

ENJOY!!!

After the baby bump // 4 weeks with Beckham

This is my last and final “installment” of After the Baby Bump.  These posts are more for me to remember the funny details of our first month…when I look back at when the girls were newborns, those first few weeks were such a blur!  I wish I had written some of those memories down!

one month

I can’t believe it has been a month since we met our sweet boy.  I remember being so excited about spending Christmas with him, and it’s only TWO days away!  I can’t wait to celebrate the birth of our savior with my sweet family!

This last week went by super fast with the last week of school, Christmas parties and holiday baking!  Especially Thursday. I loaded/unloaded Beckham’s carseat 16 times.  I’m counting that as a workout…which I needed after sampling too many Christmas cookies.

One Month
I don’t drink coffee daily.  When I make it at home it’s with those instant coffee packets.  I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning.  So I poured myself a diet coke, and was heating up some water for the coffee.  I poured the packet into my diet coke, and took a drink.  I don’t recommend the combination.  

Question of the day:  “Do you get sleep at night”.  My answer is usually “Yes…as much as possible with a newborn”.  This is my vague answer…because it seems if the baby is sleeping, and I give a detailed answer, I’m awake all night.  Like last night.

My personal daily goal : SURVIVAL.  The house is a mess…the laundry is folded on our formal dining table…the elf on the shelf is nowhere to be found…we haven’t done any of the normal Christmas traditions this year…BUT we are surviving.  Together…as a family!

The kids were dressed so cute yesterday for church.  I didn’t get a photo.  The adorable reindeer bow tie went “missing” after someone used it as a headband.  I found it last night in someone’s PINK dresser.  When we got home from church, Lily couldn’t get her tights off in time…yep she had a little accident.  Those darn tights…if only they knew how hard it was to get four kids in their sunday best.  🙂 The outfits are in the wash…I’m hoping to get a photo as soon as I muster up the energy to get everyone ready again.

One month full of some very sweet memories.  The girls are still fascinated with their brother and love him so much.  He is the first thing they ask about in the morning.  I won’t lie and say it’s not hard…we are still having some nursing and colic issues.  Like I have to keep telling myself…it’s for a season.  These “issues” will get better, and are so small in the scheme of things.  I am thankful for the support of friends during this time to give encouraging words and prayer!  I’m learning a LOT this time around about how to be an encouragement to other moms in this season of life, through the blessings that we have received.

Christmas Cookies // Peppermint M&M Chocolate Cookies

IMG_8521

It’s the first day of Christmas break for the kids.  This morning we ate donuts, painted our toenails and made these cookies!  I just can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner.  I love Bakerella – she makes the cutest cake pops, but she always has the best recipes for other desserts as well.  I bought some of the white chocolate peppermint M&M’s last week, and when I saw this recipe yesterday I knew we just HAD to try it.  It’s a yummy one.  I liked this recipe because the peppermint was very subtle and not overpowering.  This would be good with any type of m&m’s.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and more chocolate?  🙂 Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Peppermint M&M Chocolate Cookies
Recipe from Bakerella

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa (she uses dark, but I used regular)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspon salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white chocolate peppermint M&M’s
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Combine the flour, cocoa, soda, salt and coffee crystals in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until blended.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until creamy.  Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll into balls (mine were about 1-inch balls) and place on cookie sheet.  Press a few chocolate chips and M&M’s on top of the dough.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Christmas Cookie Favorite // Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Poor Ginger.  She has been neglected this year.  I haven’t done one thing with our little elf this year.   Yesterday, I thought it would be fun if she brought the girls some special bite sized cookies after nap time.  These are my FAVORITE cookies of all time – so easy, simple, and yummy.  It took me a whole day to bake one batch of cookies, but they did get baked…and they are pretty tasty.  I had to pack them all up and give them away, because I have no self control around these cookies.  This recipe makes about 45 cookies…depending on how much cookie dough you “sample”.  🙂

Ingredients:
2 sticks (one cup) of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup sugar for rolling
Hershey kisses, unwrapped (reese’s cups work well too!)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth.  Add the sugars and mix for 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time until creamy.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and mix until just combined.  Add in the milk.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes

Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in the sugar.  Place on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake at 375 for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and push a kiss down into the middle.  Return to the oven and bake for 3 more minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!

After the baby bump // 3 weeks with Beckham

I’d like to say we are back to “normal”, but we are still trying to figure out what our new normal is.  I CAN say that I have been getting through each day a little easier.  I have a hard time finding time to even sit down (unless i’m nursing), but that’s life with four kids under the age of five, I guess!  The biggest challenge of each day is waking up the three littlest ones to load them up in the car and take Brooke to school.  Christmas break starts Friday, so I will get a little break from all the loading/unloading for a couple weeks! I love blogging about all these memories, so I can look back later and smile as I read what these little years have been like for our family.

Week 3

My meals have consisted of pretzels, ham, animal crackers, chocolate chips, raisins and apples.  Again….not the healthiest of options.  It’s taking some major willpower not to make a batch of puppy chow.

Last Thursday night I attempted to make my first “real” dinner in the kitchen.  I went big.  Spiral honey ham, sweet potatoes, green beans and rolls.  Unfortunately, with all the chaos going on, I burnt 3/4 of the meal.  Tears. Were. Shed. Thankfully the spiral ham was spared, because we have been eating that all weekend!  Did I mention how thankful I am for all the meals our friends brought over those first couple weeks???  I’m resorting to crock-pot/freezer meals this week.  🙂

My personal goal each day is to take a shower.  I might smell like Old Spice body wash because I keep forgetting to get to buy my own, but hey….I’m clean.

I still have to fight falling asleep in those middle of the night feedings.  Last night, Beckham spit up all over my shirt, and I was too tired to change, so I crawled back into bed….because I thought doing two loads of laundry would be easier when I woke up (?!??!?).  I’m embarrassed.

I have made it to the store with Lily, Lauren and Beckham two times in the last week.  One time I lost my keys in the store when they fell out of the bottom of the shopping cart.  This morning I forgot my wallet…and didn’t realize it until after I scanned all my items in the self checkout.  Thankfully, I haven’t forgotten any of my children yet.

Have I mentioned that life is a little crazy right now?  There isn’t a lot of time for myself…Landon and I are too tired at night to have a conversation…I don’t get to keep up with friends as much…we stay “in” a LOT…but this is just a season.  We love our kids so much that we are willing to make these sacrifices for them.  I keep telling myself it’s just a season. They will never be as little as they are today…and I’m really trying to soak these little years up.

Candy Cane Puppy Chow Recipe

Candy Cane Puppy Chow

I love puppy chow.  We make it WAY to often around here….and I seem to be the only one that eats it. I saw a recipe for this candy cane puppy chow on Pinterest!  I just happened to have all the ingredients in my pantry, so I thought I would try it!  The only change I made was using 3 candy canes instead of 6!  Easy & Festive!!

Candy Cane Puppy Chow
Ingredients
 
5 cups Chex Cereal
10 ounces (one bag) Andes Peppermint Baking Chips
1 cup powdered sugar
6 (or less according to your liking) candy canes, crushed finely

Instructions
Melt the baking chips in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring often until melted.  Pour over the chex cereal and fold gently until the chex is fully coated.  Place the coated cereal into a large baggie and add the powdered sugar and crushed candy canes.  Shake until all the cereal is coated with the powdered sugar.

Enjoy!!!