Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Want, Need, Wear, Read

Happy Tuesday! 
It is a pretty drizzly fall day here. I'm cuddled up on the couch with a cold, praying that I'm not called to any births anytime soon (ha, yeah right...) and the kids are watching Daniel Tiger on repeat. 

How's your Tuesday? 

I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday today!
We usually do the Want, Need, Wear, Read for all of our Christmas gifts. This year John and I agreed to just do one gift to each other and we're still doing Want/Need/Wear/Read for the girls (with the addition of a pair of pajamas, a DVD in the stocking, stocking stuffers, and a big gift to open on Christmas Eve {We're currently on the fence about Santa, but usually that would be the Santa gift})


Want
This year I am going simple on the Want, and since it's a smaller item, I've allowed myself two want items. I have recently jumped on the Washi Tape bandwagon. I've seen it for years on Pinterest but I hadn't realized that it's for more than just being pretty. I don't have time to these big crazy calendar spreads - but it's so nice to stick a couple of pieces of washi tape on there & be able to see the difference in events and notes. And on that same note, I need to replace my colored pens for my calendar (yes, it's all color coded). My sweet daughters have run off will all of the colors and either broken them or lost them.


Need
A Fit Bit! I actually would prefer an Apple Watch, but I'm too cheap/lazy to switch to an Apple phone from my beloved Android. I'm also pretty hard on watches, so I'm afraid I'll also break the Apple Watch screen in nothing flat. 

Now, you're thinking you need a fit bit?? And the answer is yes, of course there are the obvious health benefits. But actually those are just icing on the cake for me. I need something that vibrates on my wrist when I get a call so I can stop obsessively checking my phone when I'm with my kids, at church etc while I'm on call. 
This is the one I'm considering. Do you have any tips or recommendations? 

Wear
I am on the search for the perfect pair of Ankle Boots. I haven't found what I want yet (this is what I'm requesting in our family gift exchange) so if you have any suggestions please send them my way!
My criteria: leather (I'll just ruin suede), Very little to no heel (if it does have a heel, I'd prefer a wedge), comfortable, and around $50.

If I can't turn up the perfect pair in time for Christmas, I'll just revert to my stand-by obsession in the clothing department and request Lu La Roe! Guys, I'm not fashionable. It's just not where I spend my interest/time/money but I love LLR. It's so easy and I've been so pleased with everything I have. I get lots of complements, it has me wearing patterns and prints instead of my go-to almost all black wardrobe. I just love it! 


Read



I love everything I have made from Shay's blog & got my sister-in-love her bundt cake book which she loves. I prefer having a cook book in front of me, it's just easier to make notes etc so having her recipes in print form would be perfect!

What is on your Christmas Wish List for this year? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Life Lately

This past week has been so much slower than the past couple, but it's also been jam packed with some crazy! 

Tuesday I had my MOMs Bible Study at church. I absolutely love getting together and fellowshipping with these wonderful women! After study, the girls and I met John for Taco Tuesday (Love me some tacos!!) and grocery shopping (necessary evil... I'm so glad I have a husband that wants to go grocery shopping with me!)


Wednesday was a "normal" day around here of work, I had a networking coffee date with a new local birth doula. It's been so very nice having John work from home, he can watch the kids while he works or log out and take a "lunch break" if he needs to so I can go do some of my out-of-house work when necessary.  Fast forward to Thursday and the crazy train started!

Josh is still in town but he was going fishing with a friend so I wasn't rushing out of the house to go spend time with him over at my Dad's house. Around 4 my Dad calls, I assume to tell me he's finished working and what am I doing. Wrong, he's had a car accident and needs me to come up to the highschool. I was in sweat pants, so I threw on something a little more reasonable grabbed up John and the girls and away we went! He's okay, but his car is totaled and he's really sore. He was driving a little Toyota Matrix and a big 4 door truck ran a red light (in a school zone...) and slammed into him. We're so very grateful that it was not worse than it is! 



While I was standing in the ambulance getting a report from the paramedic about how he's doing my "on call" ring tone started playing repeatedly. I checked the text quickly and sure enough I had a client in labor! I cancelled the nights plans and stayed at Dad's caring for him. 

Friday I spent the day waiting on the "come join me" call to go help my laboring client. I left at about 4 that afternoon and finished the birth about 5 the next day. My 2nd longest birth support yet! One of the hardest things about being a doula is that when it's all finished I go home and still have real life to face. I came home and snuggled my girls who were beyond happy that mommy was home! We loaded up and went to dinner (so happy to not be cooking after being awake for 35 some odd hours!!)



Sunday was a typical day, church, lunch with the family and lots of cuddles with my girls that were afraid I'd be walking out the door any minute (which is totally possible since I was still on call for another client and the birth center!). 




What's life been like lately for you? 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Guys Behind the Blog // November

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies for one of my favorite series ever, Guys Behind the Blog! You can find a link to join in too here


1 // What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What is your least favorite?
Pecan pie (which he pronounced as "pee-can pie" LOL) or green bean casserole, as long as there aren't mushrooms! (he's allergic) Canned cranberry sauce, or fruit cake!
2 // What is a Thanksgiving tradition you liked growing up that you want to continue with your family? For example: Do you eat super early around 3pm or regular dinner time around 6pm? Do you watch football? Do you all go to a particular family member's house? Do you nap after the big meal?
We always eat, then watch football and afterwards start gearing up to decorate for Christmas! 

3 // What are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping? Yay or nay?
Absolutely "nay". Online shopping is okay I guess. I really dislike the crowds and getting up early from a tryptophan induced coma ;) 

4 // If you had it your way, would you set up your holiday decorations (Christmas tree, Hanukkah menorah, etc.) before or after Thanksgiving?
After, because before is obnoxious! My wife wants to put up a "thanksgiving tree", basically a Christmas Tree with fall stuff on it. I'm not so sure about that either.

5 // What are you most thankful for this year?
Good health for our family. For job stability, and for Rebekah's business doing well.  My good looks... haha don't put that down! (I didn't listen... shhh!)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life Lately

This past week has been a fun and memorable week! On Tuesday morning John woke up to his alarm and saw a text from his boss that the office had flooded and that he should work from home. Turns out that flooded puts his office building mildly so he worked from home for the rest of the week and will probably be working from home the better part of the month! 

Of course Tuesday was also a historic day in America! 
I dressed the girls in their patriotic gear, because regardless of the election outcome, we are still Americans! Ada is wearing Cora's shirt from Joshua's home coming last year. I never could get her to sit still enough to where you can read it in a picture, but it says "My uncle is my Hero. Proud niece of a U.S. Marine"



It also took dum dum suckers to bribe them to sit for the picture. 
The quilt that they're sitting on has scriptures written on it and was presented to my younger brother after he joined the Marines by our home church. There are sweet ladies involved in the quilt ministry and they pray over the men and women they are preparing the quilts for as they sew. Such a neat ministry. 

That evening I went to a leadership planning meeting for our local Birth Network and then went to my Dad's house to join in on the family's election watch. We had expected results to come in quicker & it be a landslide one way or another. After it got so late waiting on a definitive answer as to who won (and both girls having fallen asleep) we decided that we were just going to crash at my Dad's house that night. 

Wednesday morning we got up so early and loaded the girls still in their diapers (the way they slept) and headed to Dallas for Cora's check up with her Rhumatologist at Scottish Rite Hospital.



Cora's knee doesn't have active inflammation right now, and none of her other joints are showing active inflammation (which is the extreme swelling you see with JRA) but the knee still cannot fully extend. She's also been having some trouble with stiffness and pain when the weather changes or we have a storm (Monday was rough for her, I cancelled all of our outings so she could just stay inside and rest) so the doctors are recommending that she go back onto a therapeutic dosage (read: insanely large doses for her little body) of an anti inflammatory drug. She responded very well to this last time, so we are praying that it is effective (along with some therapy & exercises) and that her body continues to tolerate the meds well.


After the appointment we stopped by John's office that isn't far from the hospital so he could clear his desk & pick up his dual monitors to make working from home easier. Then, because the day hadn't been exciting enough, we headed to Fort Worth for Cora's check up with her Ophthalmologist. That check up went perfectly! The JRA hasn't affected her eyes yet & she's good to wait another 3 months before being seen again. 



John went on home and worked until well in the evening while I kept the girls out of his hair at my Dad's house and prepared for my brothers arrival the next day!

Thursday my brother Jacob drove in from Tyler to join us to pick up Joshua from the airport! It ended up being a crazy morning. The website showed that Josh's flight was delayed so we stopped and had breakfast, basically wasted time & as we were finally leaving Denton Josh texted to tell us he was at baggage claim and where were we? I realized it was silly for me to drive all that way just to pay to drive through the airport so Ada & I ran some errands while Dad, Jacob & Cora got Josh from the airport and then I joined them with Robert for lunch.


A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on


Friday was a full day of errands, a quick play date and more errands - mostly trying to stay out of the house while John's working at home so he can actually work.

Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower for some sweet ladies I know from Mom's Bible Study at church with Angela and Alyssa. I'll share more pictures in a separate post. It came together so well & we had a lot of fun! 


A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on
The rest of the day was spent with family, Jacob and Stephanie were in town. It's so rare to have everyone under the same roof these days, we soak up the time when it happens! 

Yesterday was a typical day, church (we managed to make it to the early service and go to Bible Study after for the 2nd week in a row! Celebrate the little things!) lunch after services at my Dad's house and then I went to a friends Lu La Roe pop up party & bought this Nicole!! 

I love LLR clothes so much! I am not a person that likes to clothes shop, at all! I also don't like spending money, at all. But, I really love LLR and the way the clothes fit and when it comes down the price per wear, I'm not dying over the cost! I feel like that's likely going to get it's own post too! 



I'm looking forward to another full week with friends and family and I can't believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner!! I started meal planning for the various holiday events today. It will be here before we know it!

How was your weekend? 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Recap & My Favorite Food Hack

This weekend was honestly one of my favorites in a long time and it was so simple!
I'm linking up with Momfessional's for Let's Talk - Recipes. At the end of the post I've shared one of my favorite food hacks for cooking chicken! 

Friday John stayed home with us. He has a few days of personal time that has to be used before the end of the year and everyone else is out of town for a conference so he couldn't be productive at work anyway...
So, we cleaned house! It was a much needed cleaning (and isn't done, if I'm being honest...) but we got the living room and dining room furniture adjusted so there's more room for the girls to play!

Saturday John was playing in a softball tournament on the other side of the metroplex and I was on call so I had to stay close to home. I hung out at my Dad's house all day while I baked! We were taking a cake to share with the Sunday School teachers at church for a training Sunday afternoon and Sunday night I was taking a meal to a family from church that has a sweet new baby.
It required a trip to the grocery store which is always a blast with 2 kids, so of course PawPaw went along! 
We were all sporting our Texas Tech gear, even though we still managed to loose the game...

Ada showing PawPaw what she wanted at the store! She was a girl on a mission.
 
 I made Salted Caramel Mocha cake from Mix and Match Mama's recipe. It was delicious!!



A photo posted by Rebekah (@bekah.jane) on

Sunday we went to church, but for the first time in the better part of a year we made it to the early service and then to Married Bible Fellowship during the 2nd service (basically Sunday School for married couples). We tried Cora in the service for the first time in about 9 months. Last time we tried having her in "big church" with us, we decided we'd wait and start working on that after she turned 3. It's really important to me for my kids to be in church, not back in childcare (though our childcare is awesome and they have great lessons!) the whole time. My mom never put us in nursery, I'm not really sure how she handled teaching us to sit through church though and Dad doesn't remember the specifics.
So, for my food hack...
After lunch Sunday I started cooking dinner for us & for the family from church. I was making a chicken tortilla soup. This is the recipe I started using years ago, but really it's what I call a "dump soup" as in I just dump whatever we have around the house in. It's so easy and always tastes delicious, no matter what random ingredients I put in (different beans, rice, vegetables etc).

When I buy chicken I purchase fryer thighs or a similar cut of meat from the butcher (you usually have to purchase this in a store that has an actual butcher). It's dark meat, usually a big thigh attached to a drumstick with bones, skin etc. Then I go home and cook it with whatever vegetables I have around needing to be cooked or what would go in that weeks soup (I usually make a soup at least once a week) to create broth for that weeks soup! After I boil the chicken, cool it, and debone it I have enough chicken for the soup and usually one or two other meals for that week and a huge batch of broth that's healthy and preservative free!

On Sunday, I stepped up my game and made the broth using my pressure cooker. I have had an electric pressure cooker for years but just recently started using it after the Instant Pot gained popularity and recipes started popping up everywhere. I use it probably once a week but this was the first time I cooked the chicken in it like this. Y'all, it was life changing! It made the most hearty broth I've ever made!! It was so rich and deep. The chicken just fell off of the bone, I had a hard time getting it out of the pot. Deboning it was just a matter of picking it up with tongs. I will do a tutorial on this soon, it's that amazing and so simple to make a healthy, whole food staple for your family! It took the same amount of time as it did to boil it on the stove top, 30 minutes in the pressure cooker (plus the 10 or so minutes while it built pressure), but I could just walk away from the pressure cooker and do other stuff where as I watch a pot on the stove much closer to make sure it doesn't boil over etc. Also, since it was so easy to de-bone the chicken, I saved a ton of time not needing to cool the chicken enough to handle it (normally the most tedious part of the process), I just picked it up and it fell apart!

Do you have an electric pressure cooker? What are your favorite things to cook in it?



Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Favorites


Today I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites.

One
My youngest brother is coming home! He left Japan early this week and is actually already state-side visiting his girl friend! These two years with him living in Japan has been hard on all of us. I am beyond excited that he'll be living in the contental US! We'll get to see him late next week and I already have lots of fun things planned for while he's home!

Two
Listening to the Happy Hour while cleaning after a birth

Have you heard of the Happy Hour Podcast by Jamie Ivey? It's what I'm listening to right now, and I just can't get enough! I was never a podcast listener before, but my friend Lauren introduced me to the Happy Hour and it's been love since first listen. It's literally like sitting down to chat with a good friend over coffee, you know, if your good friends were people like Beth Moore or Shay Shull (one of my favorite episodes!).  I'd love to be on her show one day, but pretty sure no one wants to hear me ramble ;) This is the perfect podcast for moms who are home with their kids! I just put it on our Apple TV and listen while I wrangle kids and referee fights. 
Do you have a favorite podcast? I feel like there have to be other great ones out there that I just don't know about yet!

Three

Sixlets, you know the candy... I've recently become obsessed and that's obviously not a good thing. We bought some a couple of months ago when we shopped at our new Winco for the first time (I'm also loving Winco!) just to buy something in "bulk" from the bins. It was fun to scoop them out and have a treat for the girls! Then we started potty training Cora in earnest, which is still not going great, but sixlets became our go-to potty training treat for both her and me (because heaven knows I need chocolate to survive teaching this child not to pee her pants... or the rug at my friend Angela's house!)

Four
Leisurely reading... I have just made the effort to carve out time for me and right now that looks like reading! At a good friends insistence I read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. I really liked it! I read the whole thing in one day, I just couldn't put it down! (It's definetly rated R, just be aware) I haven't picked up another book because work has needed my attention but I did just pre-order Stand by Jennifer Rebecca (who is my cousin, by the way!!) and am looking forward to reading that on the 10th! (you can see her cover release here!)

Five
Fall scented candles! I got a new wax warmer stand on the freecycle table at my Moms Bible Study and I'm loving the timer feature, I'm unfortunately really bad about forgetting lit candles in the house so I stick to warmers most of the time. It hasn't really felt like fall around here (not a favorite thing for the record) and I'm not decorating the house for fall this year so my candles are the only fall indulgence I have right now. 

What are your favorites this week?



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cover Reveal of Stand By Jennifer Rebecca

Title: Stand
Author: Jennifer Rebecca
Release Date: Nov 10, 2016
Add to Goodreads
Cody Reynolds had the world at the tip of his fingers: a beautiful fiancee, a promising NFL career, and a Super Bowl ring within his grasp. He was living the American Dream, until a tragic accident threatened everything he knew... Sending him home to Tall Pines, Texas.
The best pediatric trauma nurse in New York City, Angellic Andrews' life revolved around her career and her boyfriend. Until the night there was one more tragedy on the job--it seemed like one too many for her heart to take... Until her aunt convinced her to give Tall Pines, Texas, a chance for a new life. A new adventure.
What happens when the two people least interested in love meet in a small town?
Have you visited Tall Pines yet?
Cody
This is it. This is that moment that changes your life. The lynch pin for the life you know you are supposed to live. This moment, this one right here, is mine.
It’s the fourth quarter of the biggest game of the year. The biggest game of my life. This is the Super Bowl. My team and I have busted our asses for the last year to be here and we are here. We are mother fucking New York, baby.
My parents and my girl are in the team box watching. My parents, they’re proud. I busted my ass as a kid in a small town in Texas to get to the NFL. I’m going to give my ring to my dad, the best guy I know. My girl on the other hand, she’s not proud. She gets off on being my fiancĂ©e. She’s after a different ring and I’m going to give it to her in the off season.
So here I am running to the end zone, fourth quarter of the biggest game of my life. Timmy, our quarterback and a crazy mother fucker all around waits until the very last moment to snap the ball across the field to me.
I leap up into the air like a mother fucking gazelle. No, they’re weak. Like a mother fucking mountain lion on the hunt for my prey. I arch back to grab the ball from the air and see all the flashes. This image. This picture of me is going to be on the front page of every paper in the morning.
My fingers just touch the ball when I’m hit from behind by a Mack truck, or at least that’s what it feels like. When my body hits the ground, the ball is in my arms underneath me and the human truck hits me again. I will never forget the sickening crack we all heard before everything went black…

Lights. Lights are bright. And blurry. Where the fuck am I? I blink again, trying to clear my eyes, when I see an angel. From the light up above me comes the most gorgeous girl with bright blue eyes and big, light blonde curls bundled up like my Granny’s yarn on top of her head. She smiles a toothpaste commercial smile at me.
“Welcome back.” But that’s all I hear. Because when I try to ask my angel if I’m dead, everything goes black again. And the last thought I have is what a dumb fucking question to ask an angel. Of course I’m fucking dead. And now, now, I’m also a moron.
Jennifer is a 32 year old lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 7 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.