Monday, September 16, 2013

Six Month Update

Welp, I've hit a record of not blogging for six months.  But instead of feeling like a failure, I'm just going to laugh and be okay with that. I've had plenty of time to write, post pictures, etc. I just haven't wanted to and that is okay. How many people read this thing anyways? I know I have one new reader today - shout out to my coworker, Kate! I'm totally blogging today because she sent me her blog and inspired me to at least give an update on what our family has been up to lately!

So here it goes!

Since February, our family has had many ups and downs, but I'm thankful to report that our whole family is healthy and happy at the current moment. I emphasize the healthy part because in March, this is what Addie looked like:
Poor thing fell onto a toy :(
and then in July she had an unfortunate run in with a chair at church which required five stitches at Blank Children's Hospital.

She enjoyed some special cuddle time...until the doctors
arrived to do the stitching, then it was game-over. 
Also in July, Chris and I learned that we had a miscarriage with our second child. There's a ton that goes along with experiencing this that I won't get into publicly, but we'd appreciate continued prayers for this as it's a long process of physical and emotional healing. God has been extremely gracious to us throughout everything and we have grown, learned and experienced many wonderful things through a not-so-wonderful situation. 

And our last health scare was with my dad, also in July (it wasn't a great month for us), he had a large (I mean, LARGE) tumor removed from his back and then had several complications with that. But thankfully, everything came back cancer-free and he is back to his normal self now! :)

Despite all that craziness, we thoroughly enjoyed the spring and summer in our new home. We LOVE having a fenced-in backyard and a three-season porch. It has been such a blessing to be able to host our Bible study each week and a variety of other events. We just love living in Windsor Heights! The house across the street  and another house up the street are for sale right now.... I'm just sayin' ;)

We also have been able to host my best friend from high school, Heidi, and her daughter, Kiley, for the past few months. They are just a joy to have living with us! Obviously, there are some pretty crazy moments and adjustments that occur when you suddenly add another adult and a 3-year-old into your household, but overall, it's been great for both girls and really special for Heidi and I to reconnect!

The girls absolutely adore each other....and like to match from time-to-time. 
So sweet (they did this all on their own!) 
Playing their favorite game called "ready, set, go!"
Heidi and I cooking for our Bible Study during Community Care Weekend
The summer was filled with many trips to the zoo, parks and pool, bike rides (courtesy of my parents giving us their old bikes!) and of course an ice cream cone on most nights. I think Addie is going to struggle as it starts to get colder outside - this girl would live outside if I let her!
Loving the "waterslide" in our backyard.
We had several pool parties at other friends' houses this summer. 
Addie and Daddy enjoying the hippo water fountain at Blank Park Zoo.
Bike rides are exhausting!
She loves her ice cream! (and this dress apparently -ha!)
While we have enjoyed the summer-fun, we are looking forward to the coziness of fall including crock pot meals, hot cider, lots of football games, sweatshirts, orchards, playing in the leaves and so much more! 

Maybe my coworker, Kate, will help me stay motivated to keep posting. Now that I've done this, I've realized again that it doesn't take very long and I do enjoy doing it... I just need to do it! Anyways, we'll see when the next post happens! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Recipes!

For about six months, Chris and I have been trying to avoid eating out, especially fast food, whenever possible and it's been fantastic! We have eaten fast food once since Christmas and I can honestly say that even the thought of McDonalds kinda makes me want to throw up (which is crazy because I used to loooooooove it). We aren't quite ready to jump on the healthy-eating train, but we are trying to be smart about what we eat and trying to save money!

I'm also enjoying trying new things. I tried juicing, but it takes so much fruit and veggies to make such a small amount that I've abandoned that idea and am sticking to smoothies which are much more tasty and make a lot more. I've tried quinoa, spinach and squash, but I'm still just not a big fan. If anyone has any delicious recipes using those items, let me know!!! I have also been trying to make recipes that I can make a lot of so we can either freeze leftovers or take them for lunches since I'm working a lot more these days. 

Here are a few of the successful dishes from the past month or so. They aren't all "healthy" but they are healthIER than eating out: 

If you have any questions about these recipes or want to suggest a few - send them my way! Our household is doing well. Addie continues to learn new things each day and is simply a joy to be around! We are counting down the days to spring (35) when we can finally use our three-season porch, grill-out and of course enjoy WARM weather!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Meyer Family Update!

I haven't posted for three months...ha that's slightly embarassing. Oh well. A lot has happened since Addie's birthday (in October), so I will try to summarize what's been happening in a cohesive way!

First of all, WE MOVED! Most of you probably already knew that, but Chris, Addie and I now live in the city of Windsor Heights. We absolutely LOVE it! It is a bit crazy how everything worked out, but the short version is this: my sister bought our old house, we found a new house that we love, my parents are incredibly generous and helped us out, Jason Rude is an incredible realtor (if you ever move, you should use him!) and with interest rates extremely low, everyone got an amazing deal!
Our new home!!!
(It's too cold to take a photo today, so I just took this one from Google)
Addie was such a good helper with the move.
She loves helping her daddy sweep!
Similar to most people, we also had a very busy holiday season. We were able to host my family for Thanksgiving in our new home and absolutely loved spending quality time with my mom, dad and sister, Kelly. We were sad that my oldest sister, brother-in-law and niece were unable to make it, but they just moved to Seattle! We are hoping to save up and take a family vacation out there someday in the near(ish) future!

For Christmas, we traveled to O'Neill Nebraska for a few days and then drove back for a few with the Meyer family. The day after Christmas, we did a progressive brunch with the entire family which was so fun! Addie enjoyed opening gifts and spending time with both sets of grandparents and most of her uncles, aunts and cousins. And of course I couldn't resist dressing Addison in a fancy outfit for Christmas!
She's so cute!
And big!

A fun bonus of living in Windsor Heights is that Santa comes around on the fire truck and visits all the kiddos! Chris and I were very confused for a few moments when we heard the sirens going off, but we looked outside and there he was! Addie loved every moment of it.

After Christmas, Chris and I went to Omaha, NE for our church's annual Faithwalkers conference. Grandma and Grandpa Meyer took Addie for a couple of nights so Chris and I could be "baby-free" for  a little while. It was great to be able to focus and spend time with our friends, but we were very ready to see Addie bear after being away from her for a couple days. 

We really enjoyed some time off work and lots of time with family and friends. Now we are just trying to get back in some sorts of a routine. Chris is in training for the next two months with Nationwide and resumes classes at Drake for his Master's degree next week. I think it's going to be a pretty brutal semester for him as I've heard his professor is intense..... His dad. :) He also will continue to lead worship at Walnut Creek in Windsor Heights for second and third services.

Things will be a bit crazy for me for awhile too as I am going to be working three days a week at Iowa Health instead of two to help my department out for the next few months. Also as of January 1, I took over as the wedding coordinator for Walnut Creek Churches. Oh, and Addie and I have Maddie Klein with us on Thursdays too! Soooo with these things, trying to raise a crazy 15 month old and being a wife to a very busy man, things might get pretty interesting around here! 

I have about two dozen recipes that I've made in the past three months that I've been meaning to post, but I'll have to wait for another window of "baby-free" time for that! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Addie's First Birthday!!!

On October 6th Addie turned one! I can't believe it has already been a year since we got our first glimpse of our gorgeous daughter. I don't think I really believed it when people told me that the first year would fly by, but I definitely think this past year went by WAY too fast!!

We celebrated her birthday with a party on Friday night. We were BEYOND blessed by the event. So many friends and family were able to come, play and celebrate with us. We are incredibly thankful for the love and generosity people showed towards Addison. Here are some photos from her big birthday bash!

Katie Skillman helped me with all of the party decorations
including this banner! 

Addie's grandma, Brita, wasn't able to make it to the party, but
she definitely out-did herself with these two AMAZING puppy cakes!
Addie still shrieks and giggles at pictures of these. 
I went a little overboard and made eight pies for the party. Thankfully,
Chris is quite the baker and helped me out a ton!
I should have known that Addie wouldn't want to destroy her
cute little puppy cake. This girl LOOOOOOVES
dogs! After about ten minutes and some parental
encouragement, she started nibbling (in the daintiest
way possible) part of it. 

Daddy helping her test it out.
"Here daddy!!!!!"
Digging in....

But once it was all over both of her hands she was....
"ALL DONE!!!!"
Birthday girl enjoying the church's play place. 
Happy first birthday, Addison Renae!!!!
We also had her 12 month check-up this week and she is doing excellent across the charts! She's quite the averaged-sized kiddo now. Here are the stats:

Head size: 18 inches = 71%
Weight: 19 pounds, 11 ounces = 47%
Length: 29.5 inches = 51%

The downside to her 12 month check-up was that Addie had to get 5 shots and blood work done (talk about a rotten birthday gift!). Addie did extremely well in the clinic and barely cried, but about eight hours after getting the shots, she spiked a really high fever. Now, two days later... we are finally on the upswing after two reaaaallllllllllllly (I mean, REALLY) long nights with little to no sleep. Yay!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Scones


3 cups biscuit baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup 2% milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup cinnamon chips (or chocolate or white chocolate chips)
2-3 Tbsp cinnamon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. Mix baking mix and sugar.
  3. Whisk together yogurt, milk and vanilla. Then add wet ingredients to dry just until moistened. 
  4. Stir in cinnamon chips. 
  5. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 10 times. 
  6. Pat into a 9 inch circle. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and cut into 8 wedges. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Marsala Pasta

I absolutely LOVED this recipe. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it since I am obsessed with the traditional version of chicken marsala with mashed potatoes, but I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. It's a much lighter meal that traditional chicken marsala. Oh, and be sure to add yummy mushrooms - the original recipe didn't have them. 

Also, if anyone would like to make this sometime soon, I have a lot of leftover marsala wine that you can't really use for anything else. Let me know and you can have it! I also have some fresh basil and parsley! 

From Taste of Home magazine
"Delish Pesto Pasta with Chicken Marsala"
Yield: 6 servings

4 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup marsala wine
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped (I added these)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup 2% milk
1 envelope creamy pesto sauce mix
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink; remove from the pan. 
  2. Add garlic and lemon peel to the same pan; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add wine, lemon juice and mushrooms stirring to loosen browned bits from the pan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the cheese, milk and sauce mix. Add chicken; cook until sauce is slightly thickened.
  3. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with herbs. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Onion Rings

The other night, Chris and I both had an odd craving for onion rings. We didn't want to go out to eat so we decided to attempt to make them ourselves. We went to the store and bought onions (duh), a candy/oil thermometer and oil. We decided to go with a basic recipe since this was our first attempt. Overall the recipe was okay, but I am going to try a few things differently next time.

Here is the original recipe (I forget where I found it):
Yield: 6-8 servings

3 large sweet onions
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
cooking oil for deep frying

  1. Peel onions, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Separate rounds into rings. 
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, seasonings, and baking powder. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg and milk. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, blending well. 
  3. Dip onion rings into batter, then drip into deep fat at about 365°. Fry until golden brown, turning to brown both sides. Remove to paper towels or brown paper bag to drain thoroughly. Sprinkle with a little salt before serving.
Next time, I am going to add extra flour to the batter to make it thicker, seasoned salt and garlic powder to boost the flavor and I will fry them for a bit longer on each side so they get crispier. Overall, not a bad first frying experience!