Friday, April 17, 2015

Connor at Four Months

When I mentioned to a friend yesterday that Connor was about to be four months old, he said "A third of a year!" and I just about cried because I hadn't thought of it that way before and how is time moving so, so quickly?! But every month with Connor seems to be even more fun than the one before, so time moving quickly isn't really such a bad thing after all. It's just such fun to see his little personality develop! Here's our happy little boy at four months:

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Connor's Stats:
Birth Weight: 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces. Current Weight: 15 pounds, 12 ounces.
Birth Length: 19.5 inches. Current Length: 24.5 inches.
Clothing: Wearing 6-month clothes and size 3 diapers! 

Likes:
Laughing and giggling.
Bathtime.
His new chair
Chewing on blankets, towels, clothes, etc.

Dislikes:
Wearing his life jacket. 
The Bumbo chair.
Sun and wind.

New Tricks:
Pushing his head and chest up during tummy time.
Sucking his hands/fingers (and Mommy's hands/fingers).
Being wide awake all day despite Mommy's best efforts at trying to get him to nap!

We love you so, so much, Connor Beckett!

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Seven Quick Takes

I have another seven random things for you today, so I'm linking up with Kelly again! They're mostly cute baby photos, which is all anyone wants to see on this blog anymore anyway, right?

1. Give me a baby and a glass of cabernet and I'm a happy, happy girl.

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2. Here's Connor in one of Jeff's old baby outfits. Smocked decades-old adorableness! And y'all... that smile!!

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3. I didn't realize how much Jeff needed a son until we had Connor. That sounds funny... but I just mean that these two were so meant to be a father-and-son pair. Watching them together makes my heart so happy. Jeff always said he'd be totally happy, boy or girl, and I'm sure he would have been, but I'm so, so glad he got to be a daddy to a little boy (particularly this little boy). I can't think of a better role model for Connor than my sweet husband.

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4. We made gnocchi, sweet corn, & spinach in cream sauce the other night and crossed #5 off my 30 Before 30 list. I loved it.

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5. I'm also crossing #8 (Get a dSLR camera and figure out how to use it) off of the 30 Before 30 list. I've had the camera for years, but I was holding off on officially saying that I "know how to use it" because there's a LOT of technical stuff to learn about photography. But since I'll never know everything and I'm happy with how far my photography skills have come, I'm going to go ahead and say that I have officially figured out how to use the camera! I still know nothing about editing/Photoshop though... maybe I'll put that on my 40 Before 40 list? Haha.

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We saved so much money doing our own newborn photos! One more baby and the camera will pay for itself! Haha.

With this one crossed off, I've completed over half of the items on my list. I have a few of them currently in the works, and I have a little over four years left to finish the rest!

6. Babies yawning = the cutest.

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"Airplane outfit? Boooring. Taking pictures in this chair? Boooring."

7. I know I just said that babies yawning = the cutest, but actually... babies in hoodies = the cutest. 

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"Don't mess with me, bro. I outgrew my 3-6 month socks at 2 months."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Bluebonnet Photos!

There are lots of little things I just love about Texas. One of them is bluebonnets. And bluebonnet photos! The bluebonnets recently started blooming, so we headed out to take some photos one day last week. We found a great spot just 15 minutes from our house, set up our tripod, and snapped a few photos! 

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In the interest of presenting a realistic picture of our life, I'll just leave this photo here as well...

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Shall we zoom in?

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That's what we get for trying to take pictures too close to bedtime! Don't worry... Connor was quickly whisked away to his car seat, where he giggled at me every time I asked "didn't you just love taking bluebonnet photos, Connor?" Hehe. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

Happy Easter Monday! I hope you're all still feeling the joy of the risen Lord! I celebrated today with a trip down the Easter candy clearance aisle at Target. Between the Cadbury eggs in my belly and the feeling of amazement at a God who loves us so much that he would send his son to die for us, I've been feeling pretty joyful today. :) Seriously though, what a beautiful holiday Easter is, what an undeserving people we are, and what a huge love God has for us!

We spent Easter weekend at my parents' lake property with my parents, my sister, and my grandparents. We spent Saturday hanging out by the water, fishing, kayaking, and riding on the boat.

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Lake baby! This adjustable sun hat is awesome, by the way!

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My mom and grandma on the kayak!

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My dad with his fishing bait. :)

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My boys.

We spent the night getting up with Connor once an hour (the poor baby doesn't like the pack-and-play anymore, apparently) and feeling bad for waking up everyone in the one-room house repeatedly. But joy comes in the morning, and we had a wonderful time going to Mass on Sunday morning, letting Connor experience his first Easter basket (so. so. cute!), and having a big Easter lunch with my family before heading back home. 

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And they say it's only fun to dress baby girls. ;)

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The Easter Bunny brought Connor some books, new pajamas, and empty plastic Easter eggs (which ended up being a huge hit!).

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Hahaha, those eggs are so funny! :)

Holidays are such fun with a baby around. It's funny for me to think about last Easter... I remember my dad made cosmo martinis and I drank one unhappily because I wanted to be pregnant (and thus unable to drink it) so badly. We had been waiting and waiting and praying to no avail, and I was so frustrated, but I had no idea at the time that I was actually already just barely pregnant and a week away from the positive pregnancy test that would eventually bring us our sweet little Connor. What a difference a year makes!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oatmeal Banana Nutella Pancakes

We've been eating these pancakes for breakfast and for dinner around here lately because they're too good to be limited to just mornings! They re-heat well in the toaster oven for a quick one-handed-while-holding-the-baby lunch too. And thanks to the oats and a little coconut oil and white whole wheat flour and banana/Nutella as sweetener, they seem healthier than regular pancakes, right? Haha. Regardless, they're super tasty and highly recommended!

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Recipe adapted from here (makes 6 small-ish pancakes).

Ingredients:
1 very ripe banana
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp milk
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/4 c white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat.
2. Mash banana with baking powder. Add egg, oil, salt, vanilla, Nutella, and milk. Stir to combine.
3. Stir in oats and flour until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Scoop 1/4-cup portions of batter onto preheated skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side.

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(mashed banana and baking powder)

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(batter before oats and flour)

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(completed batter)

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(cooking pancakes)

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Ta-da!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cinnamon Buttermilk Bread

I love breakfasty breads, especially the really moist delicious ones that taste like something from a fancy coffee shop (which this bread most definitely is!). This recipe is great for using up that extra cup of buttermilk that seems to end up in my fridge periodically, and its fanciness to effort ratio is nice and large. :)

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar, divided
1 egg
1 c buttermilk
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. Cream together butter, 1 c sugar, and egg. Add buttermilk, flour, and baking soda and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 c sugar and cinnamon.
2. Put 1/2 of the batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter. Add the remaining 1/2 of the batter and top with the rest of the cinnamon mixture. Swirl with a knife.
3. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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(butter, sugar, egg)

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(after mixing in buttermilk, flour, and baking soda)

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(all pretty and ready for the oven!)

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Ta-da!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ginger Beef & Mushroom Stir-Fry

This recipe is so simple and tasty, and it's full of spinach and mushrooms even though it hardly tastes like you're eating veggies! You can even prepare the steak/marinade ahead of time to make this a really quick-and-simple weeknight dinner!

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp ground ginger
ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb thinly sliced sirloin or flank steak
2 cloves garlic. minced
2 tbsp olive oil
16 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Rice, for serving

Directions:
1. Whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, corn starch, ginger, and pepper in a bowl to form a marinade.
2. Add the steak to the marinade and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
3. Once steak has marinated, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and add steak and garlic to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until browned. Remove steak from the pan and set aside.
4. Add mushrooms, spinach, and reserved marinade to the pan. Stir to combine and cook, stirring often,  for 5-7 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms are tender (the sauce should thicken as well).
5. Return steak to the pan and toss to combine. Serve over rice, garnished with sliced green onion.

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(marinade)

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(marinating steak)

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(cooking steak)

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(cooked and set aside)

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(cooking mushrooms and spinach)

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Ta-da!

Enjoy!