Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Altus: Last month

This weekend we are packing up for the third time in two years. It's been a short three months in Altus, Oklahoma. I've been fortunate enough to have my best friend here for half of the time, and this next assignment for us will be our first one apart since our husband's were commissioned.  Not looking forward to a sad goodbye in two weeks.

Taylor will have his final checkride this Friday in the C-17 and then he will be finished here. It feels like it has gone by incredibly fast, and I'm thankful for that. We are anxious to get to our new home. Come Thanksgiving, I will be spending all of the holidays and the time in between with family. I'm incredibly excited to get some time with our families before we take off for Hawai'i. It will also be nice to have some help while Taylor is gone for SERE (survival and resistance training) in Washington. It won't be as nice living out of suitcases for 5 weeks, but it's worth it.

Our tickets for Hawai'i are bought and now it feels like the move to paradise is very close. Holidays at home, and then we start off the new year on Oahu.  I cannot put into words how excited I am to spend the next three years in Honolulu. It doesn't feel real yet, but it will soon.

Since I had nothing but time here, I picked up a new hobby. Crochet has been a good distraction.  YouTube is a great learning tool everyone! It taught me the basics and now I've become pretty decent.   
 Newborn Pumpkin Beanie
 iPhone Socks
 Mustard Boot Cuffs
 Newborn Tophat Photo Prop
 Newborn Witche's Hat Photo Prop
Levi is seven months old now and the sweetest little boy.  He continues to amaze me every single day. I never knew one little guy could teach me so much.  He is healthy, growing some serious blonde hair, and is on the brink of crawling. I'm not sure I am ready for mobility yet, but soon I won't have a choice.  Levi loves to scoot around and get up on his knees, soon he will learn to coordinate his very chubby limbs and then I will never be able to sit down. It will be exhausting and incredibly fun. 

I love our family. We've been through a busy 2+ years with pilot training, having a baby, moving three times (one "overseas" coming up), more training, and we're excited to 'settle down' as much as a military family can, for three years. I never even had the opportunity to really decorate Levi's nursery because we were moving so close after his arrival. Little things like that get me excited for settling down. 
It's Election Day. I hope everyone voted!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Altus: month 1

We are all settled in Altus. It's nice seeing the big planes fly over us all day. We were used to the usual trainers at Vance; our house was directly under the T-6 pattern. But these planes, the C-17 and the KC-135, just look massive when compared.  My husband will be flying the C-17 and my best friend's husband will be flying the KC-135. Every person who works on these planes has to come through Altus for training. Since a lot of our other friends are flying the same aircraft, we are running into a lot of familiar faces. Especially Academy faces, they seem to be everywhere. 
 C-17 Globemaster

Honolulu, Hawai'i down below.

My little boy had his first meal this week. Beech Nut Rice cereal. He loves eating from a spoon!

It was a lot of fun! We are entering into the world of baby food and I've decided to take my chance at making it myself. We are sticking with just rice cereal for now, practice food, the doctor calls it. But then we'll venture into the world of pureed green beans, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, carrots, and peas. 
Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas
If you're on a health kick.

Spicy Thai Noodles
These have quite a kick. Be cautious!

Creamy Tomato Pasta
My personal favorite. I love using fresh tomatoes.
Good things.


Monday, July 23, 2012

It's been a while.

Look how much this little boy has grown up! Levi has completely changed my life. He is the best thing to happen to our lives. The first weeks were definitely a challenge; getting used to mom-life. It was a hard routine without sleep and a lot of new responsibility. But I never even thought about any of that because all I could focus on was my perfect little boy.
We have crossed over into that sleeping through the night stage over the past couple weeks. Amazing. Levi goes to sleep at 9:00pm and wakes up at 7:30am.  He is 3 and a half months old now and I feel like it has gone by so fast! He has changed so much.
I know him like I know myself. I love how he coos himself awake in the morning and then gets the biggest smile on his face when his Dad and I come in to get him. He arches his back and stretches and then rubs his hands down his face. I'm assuming it's the equivalent of me rubbing my eyes in the morning. Then we hang out while Dad makes coffee and we each nurse our morning drinks: coffee, coffee, and formula. He naps around 2 to 3 times a day. You're like your mom and love sleeping. You love splashing in your bath tub. And love your monkey security blanket. Everything you touch goes straight to your mouth now. Drool stage. You suck on your hands all the time. You've already started to grow out of your pacifier. You like it when you're bored, but when you're trying to sleep it's only good for the first few minutes and then you get sick of it. You spend a lot of time under your nifty activity mat that has lights. You have started to reach for things, like Geoffrey/Sophie, your giraffe, and other toys.  You like to sit with your dad and watch TV, or youtube videos of snowboarding and C-17s. You make a lot of noise when you're bored. You love your swing! You are quite the chunker, no ankles or wrists :). You love it when mom tickles you and light up and actually laugh. Mom's new favorite sound. 
A lot of new exciting things are coming up.
Starting with Altus. We are moving again this Thursday down to a small town, smaller than Enid, around the Oklahoma/Texas border.  And then in six months, we will finally be in paradise. Hawaii. I cannot wait to fly over the island and think, This is home! It's extremely rough to plan for a move where you won't see any of your stuff for six months. So we have to keep out all the things Levi will need, including a high chair, plates and spoons, sippy cups, and clothes for him to grow into. Plus packing for ourselves. It'll be tough but it's only for 6 months. One step closer to Hawaii. 



Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Unexpected Delivery: it's a long one.

Well...these past two weeks have been the most challenging of my entire life. Easily. Where to start?

First, I slacked off on the blogging in the last two months of my pregnancy. Sorry! They weren't that exciting; I was so uncomfortable I was either going on walks or putting my feet up. Come 35 weeks, I noticed my ankles were swelling. Totally normal for a pregnant woman, yea? So I didn't worry too much about it.
That night, I woke up with some serious "bearing down" pain. Since I was approaching my 36 week, full term ish, marker, I figured it was just some pain from me starting to dilate. Which again is normal for a pregnant woman approaching 36 weeks. It usually takes from week 36 to 38-40 to dilate completely and deliver. By the next day, I was having more contractions throughout the day. Then by around 8pm, I decided to call the hospital. Mainly just to be cautious, I never once thought I could be in actual labor because I wasn't in extreme pain. And from what I saw in the movies and tv, being in labor really hurt. Anyways, I made the call in another room because I didn't want to worry my husband while he was planning for his flight the following morning.
The labor nurse said if I had more than 5 contractions in the next hour, to go ahead and come in and they would "check" me. Meaning check my cervix for dilation. Yikes.

The next hour came and went and I had 18 contractions all within two minutes apart. I guess that called for a late hospital visit just to make sure. I walked in the living room and very calmly said, "Babe, I've been having a lot of contractions so I'm just going to zip up to the hospital. Be back soon." Again, I had never thought I could really be in labor. Taylor started laughing, said "Yea right. I'm going with you." So we get in the car, not bothering with our hospital bag or putting in the car seat because we would be back later.

I'm all strapped up to the monitors when the nurse comes in to check them.  She stops and says, "Wow. If I was just looking at this I would say you are in labor. See this other monitor chart? That's another woman in labor here. Now look at yours." My contractions were blowing hers out of the water. Well, at least I'm not crazy, I thought.  For a while I thought I was just imagining the contractions. She decided to check me and again, "Wow. You're at 3 centimeters." Usually, woman are admitted at 4 centimeters. Since I wasn't full term, the Doc's plan was to delay delivery as long as possible. I was admitted to the hospital, started on meds, and there I waited. And waited. But my contractions pushed through. I was there four very long days until finally, my Doctor decided I could go home. I was told to take my meds everyday that relaxed my contractions in hope I could keep little Levi in there as long as my body could hold.

Since the Dr. thought I would deliver within the week, we asked our Mothers to head out here. The day they arrived, I went into labor. Since I was more aware of what the contractions felt like, I could tell when they were regular and after a few hours I said Alright. It's time. When we arrived they tried to prolong my labor some more, using a drug called Magnesium Sulfate. I've heard stories of it, bad ones. Vomiting. Loss of memory while on the drug. Extreme loopiness. Extreme weakness of muscles. My normal doctor was not on call that night, so I had a different doctor. When he told me they were starting me on the mag, I started crying. I was scared. After some convincing, I agreed to it.  It turned out I handled the drug very well. However, it made me a little loopy and very weak.

The following day, none of the meds were working, and I was still in pain. However, I was not progressing in dilation, which is the key factor of being in labor. You have to slowly dilate more and more. I stayed at 3cm. So technically, I was just contracting.

I had swollen up like a balloon. Every part of my body. My skin was so tight it hurt. They had diagnosed me with pre eclampsia. A condition where one's blood pressure rises and there is protein in the urine, and extreme swelling. If it isn't diagnosed early, you develop eclampsia, which can be fatal.  I exhibited all symptoms. I had tried to prolong taking pain medications as long as I could but by the afternoon I agreed to a pain killer. Immediately I felt relief.  Once my body relaxed, the nurse 'checked' me again. I was at a 4. So there it was, I was progressing. I was in labor. I would have my baby that day. Not only due to my progression, but because for pre eclamptic people the only solution is to deliver. There is no treatment.  It really was hard for me to grasp I was going to have my baby within that day. I thought I had an entire month left to prepare. To be ready for my son. To be ready to be a mother.

The nurse walked in and said, "Okay, the doctor will come in a few hours to break your water. We will go ahead and give you your epidural." Again, it really hit me that Levi would be there that day. I still wasn't crazy about not having my own doctor, but they're all professionals. The epidural went in fine, no pain at all. Again, almost immediate relief.

I don't remember much about the progression, I just remember a nurse coming in every few hours to check me. Which, thanks to my trusty drugs, didn't have me crying out in pain anymore. 6 centimeters. 8 centimeters. 10 centimeters. It was go time. Before I knew it, I was kissing my mother, mother in law, and sister as they left for the waiting room.

I figured I will spare you the details of the 'pushing' segment of the evening. I'll just say, do not think just because your given an epidural means there won't be any pain. It was the most I have ever felt in my life. I'm sure I muttered things along the lines of Nope, can't do this anymore. I CAN'T do this anymore. And lots of other things that I didn't mean but felt better saying out loud. Actually, I was distracted by the IVs I had coming out of both of my arms that burned with all of the activity. After two long hours of the most brutal pain I have ever felt, my son was placed on my tummy. There he was. Just perfect.

And what's wonderful is that God gave me a sense of peace. I wasn't worried about him being under developed or having any problems. I just knew he was healthy. After his exam, they brought him to me and said he was just fine. His lungs were fully developed after that extra week in my tummy. Hearing that he was perfect melted my mother heart.  He was finally here. Healthy. And all ours.

The next day I was still recovering from everything. My little guy ended up having some jaundice, and he was placed under these special lights for two days. It's very common, so I wasn't worried. But it was still hard seeing my baby with an eyecover, squirming under the warm lights, when he just wanted to lay with his mom.

The following Wednesday (two days after delivery) I was so excited thinking about going home. But I noticed a heaviness in my chest. I thought it was just my heart getting used to all of the extra blood and fluid now that my baby was out. Come 1am, I felt the most intense pressure build in the lower part of my skull. I felt it move from there, up to the top of my head and before I knew it I was screaming in pain. My blood pressure had spiked to 193/95. My pre eclampsia was rearing its ugly head again. Apparently it's very common for the symptoms to return after delivery for a few days, not longer than a week. I begged my husband to make it stop and he ran into the hallway to get my nurse. She was very calm, told me what was going on, and tried to get me to relax. But I couldn't control it. I was almost wailing. The pressure had moved behind my eyes and I felt like my skull was going to explode. I kept thinking I was going to have a seizure, a scary symptom of pre eclampsia.  My mom drove up to the hospital at 2am to hold my hand as they put me back on the magnesium sulfate. At that point I didn't care about the drug, I just wanted the pain to stop. They also gave me a shot of demerol (intense pain killers) to handle the pain. Slowly but surely, I felt the medicine spread through my veins, calming me. I didn't mind being groggy from the drugs for the next few days. I had lost almost all of my swelling which meant I was healing. That kept me in good spirits. That, and knowing if I was at home when this whole episode happened, I might not be here.  It was a blessing I was in the hospital.

Three days later, my doctor said the worst had passed. And those magic words How about we let you out of here today. We were going home. My baby was gaining weight and his jaundice was decreasing. So they said it was safe for both of us to be released.

So there it is. The longest, most challenging two weeks of my entire life. Amidst the whole thing, I have grown so much closer to God, praying my heart out every single one of those days. Now, we are home. And we could not be happier.


Friday, February 17, 2012

28 weeks

Sleep. I miss you.
This belly is getting much heavier and sleeping is getting much harder. It takes a lot of effort to turn over and to get out of bed. If Taylor is awake he'll usually give me a little push. Teamwork. My little man is liking the right side of my belly, he is always curled up there. I'm not sure what is wrong with my left side. He makes me look like I have a lopsided belly. Thanks.
So besides rarely getting a few hours of sleep at a time, this week hasn't been too bad.  A lot of work on a class fundraiser and a good house cleaning. My new year's resolution was to never go to bed with a messy kitchen/living room and to cook an amazing dinner at least four days a week. (Left overs for the rest) So far I've been good. But it's only February.
Now that I'm in my third trimester I should probably buckle down and finish up on the nursery. I really only have a few sewing projects to finish and some wall art to decide on. My wonderful friends are throwing me a baby shower next month and I am so excited. My parents, sister, and mother in law are able to come and that makes it even better.
My doc told me to start thinking of a birthing plan. Yikes. That makes this feel very real.  Some friends of mine are either very close to being due or have already given birth to their precious babies, and I'm a little jealous. I know everyone says the last two months go by the fastest but man, I want to meet you! I have your name picked out, your blanket and necessities all made, and your clothes hanging in the closet.  I can be patient though. For you.

Lately I have found myself in better spirits because of a new Bible study and new friends. I'm incredibly grateful that Oklahoma hasn't turned out to be so bad. Shocked, too. :) Since Taylor's and my Valentine's day consisted of me working all day and him flying until 9pm, we decided to do it right this weekend. We'll head into the city for some shopping and maybe some German food. My favorite.

This week my favorite recipe is probably a healthy broccoli fettucini alfredo. Unbelievable I know. Usually alfredo is full of cream and heavy calories but this recipe is made from a little bit of garlic, light butter, flour, and parmesan. It's super quick to make so it's nice when I don't really feel like cooking.

Broccoli Fettucini Alfredo


(This recipe makes about 8 servings. So it's a good idea to half it, unless you're feeding a ton of people.)

16 oz. dry fettuccine $1.63
16 oz. frozen broccoli florets $1.29
1 clove garlic $0.08
4 Tbsp butter $0.45
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.06
3 cups milk $0.94
1 cup grated parmesan $0.96
1/8 tsp nutmeg $0.02
to taste salt & pepper $0.05

STEP 1: Begin to boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. When it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander.

STEP 2: While the pasta is cooking, thaw the broccoli in the microwave and begin to make the parmesan sauce. Mince the garlic and cook it over medium heat in a medium sauce pot with the butter until the garlic has softened slightly (3-5 minutes). Add the flour, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more. This is the "roux" that will thicken the sauce.

STEP 3: Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the milk mixture until it comes up to a light simmer. As soon as it reaches a simmer it will thicken and should be able to coat a wooden spoon (see photos below). Turn the heat off and whisk in the parmesan cheese. Add freshly cracked black pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Make the sauce slightly saltier than you'd prefer if you were eating the sauce alone. Once it's spread out over the pasta and broccoli it will taste more mild.

STEP 4: Return the cooked pasta to the large pot that it was boiled in (with the burner turned off). Add the reserved pasta cooking water and toss the pasta to loosen it up. Add the thawed broccoli and then pour the parmesan sauce over top. Stir to coat everything in the sauce and then serve!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Home Stretch

I've heard from a few different places that 27 weeks marks the beginning of the third trimester, and then other places that it's 28 weeks. I decided to split the difference. I'm 27 weeks 5 days and finally starting the home stretch of this crazy adventure. It's hard to believe how fast everything has gone by. I'm ready for these last 12 weeks to fly by so I can be playing with my little monster.

So far I've gained 15+ pounds but happily gaining it all in my belly.  I'm in my last pair of jeans so I probably will have to invest in some maternity pants soon, ahh.  Hello stretchy waistband.  My appetite has gone crazy; I can eat all day.  I have to have a constant supply of grapes and apples or else I would just eat junk. Which still tends to happen. One trip I made to the commissary when I was hungry, ended up with me bringing home Snickers Ice Cream bars, Oreos, Muddy Buddies, and chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, I can never go there when I'm hungry again. If I don't keep it in the house I can't eat it. So it's all juices, fruits, and whole grain cereals for snack time.   Some old symptoms are popping back up, and some new. I have to pee every five minutes and I noticed I have these hot flashes.  This is the one time I could visit my sister's Arctic house and not be cold. I'm also drinking twenty gallons of water a day and my fingers are too swollen to fit my wedding ring on. Only in my hands though, I'm avoiding the cankles somehow.

We had some project time this past week. We decided to turn our coffee table into an upholstered ottoman. Taylor and I were getting tired of our feet falling asleep every time we put our feet up. So we painted the table with our new handy spray gun in the same charcoal gray as the nursery.  I found some great black and white honeycomb fabric at Hobby Lobby and purchased some foam and batting.
We love it.  And it is incredibly comfortable.  If we ever get tired of it, it could probably go at the end of the guest bed.

The rug I ordered for the nursery also came in this week and I decided to put it in the living room for the time being. It was 8 x 10 so it was plenty big, and we needed one for the area. It was dark gray and shaggy-ish so it's nice to sink your toes into, maybe I'll find a different one for Baby? :)

In our base housing we have this one awkward size room that is meant to be the dining room and living room. It's hard to make these bunkers look cute but I did my best. With our new rug I have to say it's at least cozy enough.
My little pup is the best!

The recipe this week is my favorite!!

Curried Chicken Salad

(left-over) chicken (2 breasts ish)
2 ice berg lettuce leaves
1/2 medium carrot
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp yogurt (or an additional 2 tbsp of mayo)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 heaping tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 onion powder
1/2 sweet apple
green onions
1 oz cheese
flat-leaf parsley

First, shred the leftover cold chicken with your hands into a bowl.
Chop the lettuce, peel and grate the carrot, chop the onion, and chop the apple.
Combine the mayo and yogurt into a separate bowl and add the spices then the parsley.
Finally add the chicken, lettuce, carrot, apple, onion, and cheese. Careful not to bruise the lettuce, I stirred with a big plastic spatula.

Toast some kaiser rolls and serve. Taylor liked to add a slice of swiss to melt on top of the rolls too. This recipe is one of our new favorites, such a mix of amazing flavor.

On this [blog] they show it step by step with pictures.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh boy

25 weeks pregnant and feeling extremely large today. It's almost as if I've doubled in size since last week. People are extra friendly now, so that's nice.  This week I have been going nursery crazy.  We have decided on this crib:

 We thought about getting it in a cool grey color, but sometimes grey can come out blue so we decided white was best.  Also, later on down the road if we have a girl we wanted to be able to use all of the big pieces again. White is very gender neutral. Maybe pair it with a teal or an eggplant for a little girl.

In my last post I talked about this amazing rocking chair my mother scored at a Pottery Barn outlet.
You can't see the bottom but the wooden rocking part is exposed.  It didn't come upholstered, so what you're seeing is just canvas.  This way I can pick out the fabric myself. I already have this soft, sturdy and easy to clean charcoal fabric picked out. It has a bit of texture which I love. I seriously cannot wait until this piece is finished! It is my favorite in the entire nursery so far.

I also mentioned how I wanted to re-purpose an old dresser as a changing table. Personally, buying one online I would be paying too much money to get flimsy particle board.  Luckily, I found one in a consignment shop outside of the city this weekend.
 It was in great condition and only needed a face lift. The $85 dollar price tag was extremely doable and I'm never afraid of some sanding and paint. We decided to invest a paint sprayer, we do a lot of painting, so this shouldn't take long. Another thing I love about this dresser is the amount of drawers and how deep they are. I'm going to find some great patterned paper and attach it to the bottom of the drawers.

 I found this elephant fabric through hours of searching online:
Now usually I don't like animal prints in nurseries because I think it's so predictable. But I fell in love with this. I love the little modern elephants. Paired with this soft poly fabric:
Will make up the other side of blanket, probably with the same chartreuse ribbon.  The elephants will also be on the crib skirt so the crib will definitely be the focal point.  Hopefully I'll have enough to include a little scrap on the pillow for my rocking chair. 

I decided typography was the best idea for the wall art. We wanted something a little more original than "you make me happy when skies are gray".  We found a few sayings from children's books, lyrics, and movies that I love but I need to decide on my favorites.  It's easy to get these made on Etsy and then get them framed with a pretty matte. Plus, these great paintings from Hong Kong courtesy of my sister:
Love the little monster.

Well, other than nursery overload this week was pretty quiet. Aside from my complaints about my lower back.  Taylor has become a pro at digging his knuckles just in the right spot, and I am very thankful for that. We are all signed up for our birthing class in March and I'm strangely excited about it. I know I'm going to learn a ton.  We have our 'plan' in mind but would love to know all of the info about all of our options.  Only 15 more weeks. Unreal.  I find myself going through his clothes repeatedly. Just looking and feeling his little clothes makes it all the more real that one day my little guy will fill them. I think about him every second of every day.

On the mom-front, I am trying to be as prepared as I can be. Babywise has proven to be the most insightful book I have read, and I am only on the fourth chapter.  In my personal opinion, I love how much it focuses on becoming a family and the importance of carrying on a marriage life.  Never stop dating.  It's also about the baby learning to self-soothe and a bunch of other things when it comes to parenting. I've heard some mothers hate the book but personally I love it.

Now for the recipe this week:

Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells
This has become one of our regular meals and we love it. Promise it won't disappoint!

15 jumbo pasta shells
1lb ground turkey
2 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
½ teaspoon dried minced onion
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup refried beans
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
*Feel free to add black olives, sour cream etc.*

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Stir in onion, oregano, basil, and cumin. Stir in 1 can of the enchilada sauce. Stir in refried beans. Set aside.
Step 2: Fill each cooked pasta shell with the turkey/refried bean mixture. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour half of the remaining can of enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom. Place each shell into the bottom of the dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tops of the shells.
Step 3: Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, uncover and sprinkle the tops of the shells with Colby-jack cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted.
(Makes 3 servings)

*Don't forget to add some cilantro before serving. Makes a BIG difference.*


Saturday, January 14, 2012


Tomorrow I'll be in the 24th week of my pregnancy, hooray 6 month marker. Lately, I've been getting bigger by the second. It's gotten to the point where I can no longer sleep comfortably. Sleeping on my back is a no-no now, I can feel him sitting on important things in there. And even sleeping on my side hasn't been working. Hopefully it will get easier, but I have a feeling as he gets bigger it will just get worse. Bending down to put on my shoes and pick up things has gotten to the uncomfortable point too. Again, this will just get worse with time! I need to get some slip ons..

The nursery is starting to come together. We decided on a crib and nursery colors. I decided to make the bedding which is a fun project for me to keep me busy. Plus it's fun knowing no one else will have my bedding but me.  We also found a great upholstered rocking chair! A complete steal.  It's still unbelievable to me that we found it. It will be a great piece that we take around with us all over the world.  I can already picture my little guy crawling up in my lap for a bedtime story.

It's hard to believe we are already half way through January. These last few months are going to fly by, before I know it my son will be here and Taylor will have his wings. I still find myself getting impatient though!

Alright for this week's recipes I tried an Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin which turned out AMAZING. I promise it is worth the time.

Apple Butter Pork Loin Ingredients:
2 (1 ½ pound) pork tenderloins
seasoning salt to taste
2 cups apple juice
½ cup apple butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Season the pork tenderloins with seasoning salt, and place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish or small roasting pan.
3. Pour apple juice over the pork, and cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
4. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
5. While the pork is roasting, mix together the apple butter, brown sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves.
6. After the hour, remove pork loins from the oven, and spread the apple butter mixture over them.
7. Cover, and return to the oven for 2 hours or until fork tender.

And then for something sweet, we tried out some homemade donuts. Well, easy "homemade" donuts. I didn't make the dough. Here is a website that includes step by step photos I recommend taking a look at.

  • 1 ten count can Texas style doughnuts (or your preference, just not flaky layers)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick margarine, melted (or butter)
  • Vegetable Oil For Frying
  1. Pour oil into skillet to the depth of a little less than 1/2 an inch and heat on medium to medium high for about five minutes. In a bowl, melt margarine. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Using a plastic bottle cap, cut the center out of each biscuit. Drop dough into hot oil, watching carefully and turning when golden. Once doughnuts are golden on both sides, remove to paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all dough is cooked, including doughnut holes.
  3. Dip both sides of each doughnut into melted margarine, then press both sides into cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm.
These were just as good as they sound and incredibly easy to make. Watch out for your fingers though, I burnt some with the oil.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Well I didn't do a very good job of updating my blog during the holidays. It was pretty busy. A few days in Los Angeles with my sisters. A week in Las Vegas with the rest of my family for Christmas . (We came out even!) And finished out the New Year in Summit County skiing at Keystone with Taylor's family.  Unfortunately I didn't get to do any skiing. Such a bummer because I've only used my new skis one time.  Taylor finished out the vacation with no injuries (a miracle), unlike last year which had him coming home with a few broken ribs. I reminded him we really need a paycheck.  So while I put my feet up in the ski condo, elevation took its toll. Ever since I started visiting Taylor at the Academy, I would get sick. I left feeling awful, ready to get back to flat Oklahoma. As soon as I walked off the plane I felt ten pounds get lifted off of my face. A few days in my own bed and I'm finally getting better.

The holidays were amazing, now Taylor and I are enjoying the lull before all of the big things start happening.  The month of May will be an awesome disaster. We have Taylor's Assignment Night, which is an event where they tell all the fly boys in his class which planes they will be flying as well as their first assignment. I'm due maybe two days after this, so we're praying everyday that I don't go into labor during this. Quite possible. I will be stressing, wondering where we will be getting stationed.
I am due May 7th. Taylor graduates May 18th, which will have my parents and Taylor's whole family heading out here.  And then finally, Taylor can take his short paternity leave to relax with his new son and exhausted wife.

In the meantime, I am starting on little man's nursery. We are slowly transitioning the 3rd bedroom from an office into his new room. He already has a good start on his tiny wardrobe. I had fun at Baby American Apparel and Baby H&M, and his Grandma went to town at the Osh Kosh outlets. Today I started his registry with the help of my sis, or else I would have been totally lost. I had no idea babies needed so many things.

As for the name...Taylor and I have favored a few in the past few months, but have landed on one that we love. We won't announce it for a while though, sorry!
Next week I'll post some photos of little things I have for his nursery. I think I'm going to start posting a recipe with each post too. Pinterest has expanded my cookbook immensely.