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Surprises in Parenting & Giveaway

Monday, July 29, 2013

You plan, you shop, you decorate, you are showered with gifts.  You read the books, you listen to others stories. You buy  diapers, onesies, blankets, bottles, toys, and ever other item that the books say you need.  The nursery is ready for your little one.  You are least you think you are.

I don't think anyone is really ever ready to be a parent.  No matter how much you plan, organize, read, & buy, I don't think anyone knows what they are really getting in to.  For me, I thought I was ready.  I was ready to hold, snuggle, rock, love, play & change diapers of the precious little baby that was growing inside of me.  I was excited about the play dates that we would have & all the activities we would do together.  Then that sweet little bundle of joy got here & I had no clue what I was doing.  Swollen tatas that hurt to no end, sleepless nights, being covered in poop (how in the world can something so precious & little create such a big, smelly poop?), wearing spit up (I swore I'd never be that mom to wear spit up all day long, but then I quickly realized that I didn't want to do that much laundry), the crying, getting up in the middle of the night just to put the paci back in that baby's mouth (us moms really need to invent something that will keep that paci in).  Then they turn 2 & asking why, potting training (oh the accidents), not sharing, constant questions, bad table manners, time outs, spankings.  Being a mom is hard...really hard.  The work never ends.  There is always spit up covered laundry to do, a bottle to make, a song to sing, a story to read, a question that must be answered & a house & husband that need care too.  And that's one thing that surprised me about being a parent is no matter how tired I am or I think I can't do one more thing before I pass out in utter exhaustion, my body (& sometimes mind) keep on going.  I can work until it all gets done.  Mothers are the most selfless people-they have to be.  I didn't know I had it in me to be selfless.

And the other thing that surprised me is how much love & joy children can bring into your life.  I've never been more wore out, but filled with so much joy in my life.  They wear me down day in & day out, but one smile, hug, giggle, or 'I love you, Momma,' fills my heart.  It makes every dirty diaper changed, every kissed boo boo, every snotty nose wiped, the numerous times I've said no or explained why, so worthwhile.  These sweet moments with them always come at the right time.  God knows when us mom's need encouragement & I really believe that he uses these precious times with our kiddos to let us know that we are doing a good job and that He is with us every step of the way.  And I'm so humbled & grateful to see glimpses of Him in my children.

What are some things that surprised you when you became a parent?

Moms, have you heard of or tried Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment?  If you haven't, you must try it out!  We just started using it with B & it has worked wonders.  At the first sight of redness, I apply it to his little behind & it clears right up!

Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment was developed in 1963 by Dr. Forest M. Smith, Jr., a long-­‐time San Antonio pediatrician. WOOHOO for a Texas product! :) Its incomparable effectiveness has earned it the recommendation of pediatricians and pharmacists everywhere.  Dr. Smith's is now nationwide at Walgreens, and you can find your closet retailer at

In celebration of Dr. Smith's going nationwide, they are giving away a $50 gift card to Walgreens & a supply of their wonderful diaper rash ointment.  Enter below!  Contest ends Sunday,8/4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Foodie Friday-Pork Chops with Jalapeño & Cilantro Quinoa

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I love searching Pinterest for new recipes, and when I have time I love trying those recipes out.  However, there are some that I've tried & we have ended up throwing them in the trash & heading out to our local Mexican restaurant for some chips & salsa instead.  Not this week.  This week's meal was a hit!

The original recipe comes from Canadian Family, but I took the recipe & changed it up a little.

Pork Chops with Jalapeño & Cilantro Quinoa


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 4 pork loin chops, each about 1-inch thick

Quinoa & Lime Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 Cup quinoa

  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of one lime

  • 3/4 teaspoons salt, plus more for the tomatoes

  • 1/2 Cups (OR MORE) chopped cilantro

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 Cup generous cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook for 10 minutes. Add corn and continue cooking until quinoa is translucent and there is no tiny dot of uncooked starch in the centre, 1 to 3 more minutes. Pour quinoa and corn through a fine-meshed strainer. Run cold water over mixture to stop cooking process. Drain well and transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  2. In a small boil, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Toss dressing, cilantro, and jalapeño into quinoa. Add more lime juice and salt to taste.

  3. In a small bowl, toss cherry tomatoes with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside.

  4. In a small bowl, make a paste by stirring together olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt. Spread a thin layer of the paste on both sides of chops.

  5. Brush a large skillet or grill pan lightly with oil and heat until sizzling hot. Cook chops over high heat until browned on bottom, about 1-1/2 minutes. Turn them over and brown second side. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook chops for 4 minutes (if boneless) or 5 minutes (if bone-in). Turn chops over. Cover pan and cook until chops are cooked to taste, usually 4 to 5 additional minutes. Test for doneness by slicing into thickest part of chop.

  6. Add cherry tomatoes in with the pork chops the last 3 minutes to warm.

  7. Add more lime juice to quinoa salad, if needed. Make a bed of quinoa salad on each plate. Set a chop on top. Spoon cherry tomatoes on the side.

Seriously y'all--try it!  It's fabulous! I'm wasn't a huge quinoa fan until I made this & now I'm hooked!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Dining Room Makeover---Planning/Inspiration & Giveaway!!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

 We've been in our house for a little over 4 years & it's still a work in progress.  Somedays I wonder if I will ever get it exactly like I want it....very doubtful! Our dining room is one room that is in need of a revamp.  Everything is dark.  Our table & bar storage area were custom pieces made by a dear friend of our family's out of old barn wood.  I love them. The decor has been the same since we moved in.  I think it's time for a little change.


dining room1

dining room 3

Back in March I did a little shopping at one of the HGTV's Junk Gypsy's Garage Sale Wars & found this beauty....


I knew I wanted it to go in the corner of my dining room, but I've been waiting to figure out what color it should be.  And let's get real, I wasn't doing a dining room makeover 9 months pregnant.  Now that B has made his debut & we are settling in to a routine, it's time to get started on this dining room.  I've been looking around on Pinterest & here is my inspiration...

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[caption id="attachment_1233" align="aligncenter" width="500"][/caption]

Isn't it beautiful?!?!  I'm in love.  I love the color. I love how it's rustic, yet simple.  I'm on a hunt to find this paint color to paint the hutch & then the hard work will begin.

In the meantime, let's do a giveaway. I've got a great orYANY bag to giveaway.

giveaway1 giveaway2 giveaway3 giveaway4

***orYANY is not a sponsor of this blog.  I just LOVE their bags & wanted to share.

Winner will be announced on Monday, 7/29!! Good luck!

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This Season

Friday, July 19, 2013

I've been spending the majority of nap time today (my darling children's nap time, not mine), trying to update our blog.  I'm so behind on the kid's blog---like December 2012 & it's July 2013 behind.  Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll be all caught up.

But let's get real---life is crazy busy.  I knew being a mom of two was going to be challenging, but I really had no idea.  I thought I was exhausted while I was pregnant with Brady--haha, yea right.  And it's true, after you have your first & you finally get your head out of the fog you forget how draining it is to have a newborn.  Only now, I'm a mom of a 2.5 year old & a 3 month old----utterly exhausting, yet the best job in the world.  Brady isn't at all like his sister--she was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks; we are now at week 15 with him & he is still waking up.  He has reflux & I spend most of my days in yoga pants & tanks covered in smelly spit up.  But oh that precious little boy has my heart.  His little crooked smile makes all the sleepless nights disappear, that is, until nighttime comes again & I hear him whimpering at 2am.  He is precious & I love him so much.

This season of my life has really taught me that I can't do motherhood on my own.  God created us to walk along side of Him & allow Him to lead us through this journey.  It's a hard job & some days I would really like to pull the covers over my head for another hour & sleep, but I'd miss out on Emma telling me good morning in her little raspy voice & the sound of her feet patting our wood floors as she runs in to watch cartoons, and Brady's horrible bed head, giggles, and our morning snuggles.      These two kids give me a purpose that I couldn't have dreamed up on my own, but a purpose that God so carefully planned out, and for that I'm grateful & humbled.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward." -Psalm 127:3 

Family Photos & Newborn Pics

We had our family photos & Brady's newborn pictures done one week after he was born.  Our good friend & talented photographer, Chelsea Davis took our pics.  We love her, we love her work, & we are so thankful for her friendship (and so excited for play dates with her new little cutie)!  She got some great shots.

Em is checking out his umbilical cord...she thought it was poop.

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