Saturday, December 29, 2012

A White Christmas

After living in Houston for nearly six years, you get sort of jaded to the idea of snow.  My little mind had forgotten however, that Longview gets the same weather as Dallas, so every once in a while it will actually snow.  We were playing games on Christmas evening, when we started noticing that snow was falling.  We all thought, well it won't stick because the ground is too warm, but low and behold, a nice white fluff filled the ground and stayed there through most of Wednesday.  It was beautiful!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, I woke up to find a very excited niece and nephew.  My 4 year old niece (five in just a few months) was so ecstatic that Santa had come.  Alex took a little longer to wake up, but we took a picture in our Christmas jammies.
We ate breakfast and opened presents with the family.

After lunch, Cody and I headed over to his parents house to do the same things.  We also played some games, which is a tradition with their family.  And y'all, I took a nap..I don't do that.  Baby Girl was exhausted and appropriately so, she was so spoiled this Christmas already and she is still happily playing along in my belly.  I cannot wait to have our own little one to share Christmas with next year! 

Christmas: Friends

I have been so blessed to see friends this past week!
Last Friday after school, I met up with Marianne who was in visiting from NYC.  What a blessing to have friends that you can just pick back up with even after not seeing them for a few years!
Once we got to Longview, I got to see Haley on her birthday at the coffee mill! (Lots of coffee - decaf of course- this past week!)
Later that day, I got to have lunch with Traci at Barron's before heading over to see our friend, Danielle.

That night we met up with the Redd's for their Christmas Eve Party!

LOVE getting to see all of these sweet faces that we miss most of the time!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


My 28th birthday was this past Saturday.  28?!  We just keep inching closer to 30, oh my!  The good news though is that Baby Girl will be here to celebrate 29 with us next year : )
We started the morning with a layed back breakfast.  I spent a good part of the day shopping at the Galleria (found some amazing deals!) and checking out Pottery Barn kids with Hannah before heading back to have dinner with my sweet husband, sis-in-law, brother-in-law and in-laws at Carrabba's and a little fro-yo at TCBY.  Yum!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Pillow

My Mimi was my dad's mom.  She was married to my Grandpa.  They lived in Marlin when we were little bitty, but moved 30 minutes away from us to Tyler, so we got to see them a lot.  She was a very gentle and patient woman.  She always did needlepoint.  
To this day when you go to my parent's house at Christmas, you will see the stockings that she made for my parents, brother and I.  (Side note: We always tease my brother because all of our stockings say our names big.  His says "Merry Christmas" big and his name much smaller).  Mimi had done a needlepoint picture that also said Merry Christmas.  My mother gave this to us last year, but I had no real place to put it.  I decided instead to back it with some trusty burlap (of course) and turn it into a pillow, so now we have a piece of my Mimi's handiwork decorating our couch at Christmastime.
Do you have any "heirloom" pieces in your house?  They are just so much more special than the store bought ones!

Friday, December 21, 2012

19 weeks

(Excuse the dark quality of the photo.  The crazy wind storm from Thursday morning left us without power when we were taking the picture.)
How far along:  19 weeks
How big is baby:  Mango
Maternity clothes:  Still the same, although the maternity clothes are becoming far more comfortable than my regular clothes.
Sleep:  Sleeping better now that the school and grad school semesters are over : )
Food cravings:  I'm finally back to wanting to eat greens
Food aversions:  None really.
Symptoms:  Heart burn.  A sore tummy...I swear she is growing by the hour right now and my skin feels like it is already stretching so much. And I know I know I'm only 19 weeks and my belly will get so much bigger : )
 Movement: Yes! Finally! Its just funny little flutters, but I started feeling them last week.  Baby Girl likes it when I am calm and relaxed (or maybe that's just the only time that I feel her)
Gender:  GIRL!
What I’m looking forward to:  Christmas with the family! REST!
What I miss:  Hot baths during cold weather
Best part of the week:  Feeling little girl move and hearing her healthy heartbeat at the OB.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Glass Etching

I decided to try my hand at glass etching after seeing it all of Pinterest. 
At Michael's, I located a Martha Stewart glass etching cream (that came with a brush) and the corresponding stencils.  The warnings on the back of the jar make the process seem like it will eat away at your skin (which it well may), so as I didn't have plastic gloves, I used plastic bags to protect my hands (and plastic under the whole set up too in order to protect my counters).  I simply cleaned the glass, adhered the stencil, then generously applied the etching cream.  I let the cream sit for 15 minutes, then washed it off and my letters stayed.
The project originated as jars for some Christmas gifts (for some reason the etching is almost impossible to see in these pictures...).  These are hot chocolate jars (hot chocolate, marshmallows and crushed peppermints)

And the etching eventually turned to three of my pyrex dishes
For these, I thoroughly cleaned the pyrex dishes and flipped them upside down.  I put the stencils on the pan backwards (which was an experience as they are sticky only for the correct way for the letter to face) and then followed the same steps from above.  
It was really an easy way to personalize!

Friday, December 14, 2012

18 weeks

We got to experience a little winter weather this week!  We also go to see Baby Girl and find out that she is growing well, looking healthy and obviously that she is a girl!

I love running in cold weather gear! It fits a little differently this year...
The day after we found out that we are having a girl, I had my kids vote between whether they thought I was having a boy or a girl.  They amazingly enough did not just vote girls for a girl and boys for a boy. 
Later on in the day, we took the kids outside and my teaching partners each had a balloon (one had a pink and one had a blue).  We counted down and then the teacher with the pink balloon blew it up.  They were so excited! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello Christmas!

It took longer than normal to get decorations up, but we have finally come out of the bah-hum-bug and into to the Falalalala.  Decorations are pretty similar to previous years.  We did move the tree to the dining room this year just to change things up and I love it in there!
The front door
The Tree and card holder
Another view of the tree and the dining room table
My Willow Tree Nativity
The fireplace, stockings and upstairs garland
The Upstairs Tree
A little decor next to the sink
Kitchen Spirit

Hope your halls are decked as well! Only 15 more days until Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Being a Pregnant Diabetic

I am an insulin dependent Diabetic.  Which means that my pancreas is basically worthless in terms of providing my body with insulin to counteract what I eat.  This happened around the time of my 13th birthday.  You can read more about my story here.
I always knew my pregnancy would be different from the norm, but was unsure of what exactly that means.  I have found out in the past few months.
1. Doctors..lots of doctors.  I have 3 that I see regularly:  my OB (once a month), my diabetes doctor (every 2-3 weeks) and a perinatal doctor (or a high risk OB).  I also send my blood sugars, food and insulin logs to my diabetes doctor every week.
2. Checking my blood sugar A LOT.  I check at least 9 times a day (before meals, an hour after, and before snacks..not to mention any time I feel that my blood sugar is "off")
3. A meal plan:  I have to have 3 meals a day with specific amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat as well as three snacks between those meals.  Y'all, I am eating A LOT!  I also cannot have specific foods and specific times for the way that they affect my blood sugar (ex: no cereal and milk and breakfast)
4. For the first few months I also had additional stress.  I am a "high risk" pregnancy due to my diabetes.  I stressed myself out worrying about how baby was all the time.  After some advice from my doctor and an amazing HGA1C (blood glucose average over a 3month period of time), I am relaxing a bit. : )
5.  Ultra sounds: Now don't be jealous because we still have to pay for them, but I do get more ultra sounds than the average expectant mama just to make sure Baby is okay! Everything has been great so far! I love seeing Baby more often.  Score one for me!
6. No pregnancy glucose test:  Since I am a type 1 diabetic, I will not have gestational diabetes : )  Which means that I don't have to have the icky glucose testing.  Score 2 for me!
7. Running with the pump: Prior to September, my insulin pump has stayed at the house when I run.  That is no longer an acceptable practice,  it is now worn on me via a Spi-belt.
8.  Wearing a sensor all the time:  I was so lucky to get a blood sugar sensor that talks to my pump this fall and what great timing too! I now wear it all the time as well as my pump to keep a closer eye on my blood sugars.  I am having low blood sugars that I do not always feel and luckily it sets off an alarm, so that I know to treat them.

I am sure there will be so much more that I learn as we go along.  I am so thankful for the blessing of Baby growing safely in my stomach and all of the doctors who are making sure Baby is safe!

In Sunday school this past Sunday, our teacher brought up a few verses that really spoke to my heart The first reminded me of the blessing and responsibility God trusted me with in giving diabetes. 
John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."

The second reminded me of the care and love that God puts into creating each tiny human.
Psalm 139:13-14 For You formed my inward parts.  You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

Friday, December 7, 2012

17 Weeks

Baby was 17 weeks Thursday.  I realized that the first part of my pregnancy was not documented, so here is a little catch up. 
How far along:  17 weeks
How big is baby:  Onion
Maternity clothes:  wearing some, a lot of my regular clothes still fit.  The pants are a little tougher, but fit with my Belly Band.
Sleep:  Pretty good..this week has been rough though with all of the congestion (oh my!).  If I could breathe, I could sleep better
Food cravings:  nothing particularly, a couple of weeks ago it was mint.  I left the grocery store with mint oreos, mint ice cream and mint gum...super healthy.  I have also eaten school cafeteria food a couple of times because it looked good....I wouldn't have done that at all before.
Food aversions:  None really.
Symptoms:  I never really had morning sickness.  Slight breakfast aversion in the early weeks, but once I figured out what I could eat that was gone.  I guess exhaustion especially until week 10 and then its come back this week with the allergies/cold/whatever this is.  I mean my Christmas decorations are still not up : (  A little heartburn too.  I had to call and ask my mom what the feeling was, I had never had it before.
Movement:  Hopefully Baby is having a party in my tummy, but I'm not exactly sure what the movement will feel like though.
Gender:  I have no idea.  I know the mom is supposed to have some feeling...  Cody is convinced we are having a boy.  We'll see soon!
What I’m looking forward to:  The gender ultrasound! Feeling Baby move.  Some medicine working so I can breathe normally!
What I miss:  Milk and cereal at breakfast (not part of my diabetes meal plan).  That doesn't matter at all though when thinking about having a healthy baby!  I thought I would miss running more often and for longer, but really I've done a good job of listening to my body and only running as much as I can on days that I really feel like my body can handle it.
My students have been really funny this week.  Each day they're telling me my stomach looks bigger.  Man, they're in for a surprise by May if they're really this shocked each morning. : )

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crockpot Tortilla Soup

Last week one day I had a long day, but wanted to make sure that I had cooked dinner and had something for Cody and I to come home to.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it would be worth trying.
It turned out being great and I was able to put in a lot of veggies, making it healthier.
--3 cups of chicken broth (I had enough broth leftover from cooking the chicken)
--1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I cooked a bunch of chicken over the weekend, so it was ready for the recipe and the Chicken and Spinach Bake)
--1/2 onion
--1 cup frozen roasted corn
--2 green onions
--28 oz can of tomatoes and juice
--1 cup chopped up vegetables that you have on hand (celery and carrots)
--4 cloves of garlic
--1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
--1/2 t cayenne pepper
--1 t cumin
--salt to taste

optional garnish:

--tortilla chips
--parmesan cheese
--sour cream
1. dice all veggies into fine chunks
2. dump everything into the crockpot (It's okay if you have frozen stuff.)
3. totally okay to assemble the night before. (Which I did since I have a tendency to run behind in the mornings)
4. cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 6 or so.

Before serving, add whatever garnish you choose.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Telling everyone

We found out back in the beginning of September about Baby Sage and almost couldn't believe it!  As in I think I took at least 4 tests before my first doctor's appointment...

After confirming it from our doctor, we finally were able to get excited!  Look at that adorable peanut!
We went to Longview to tell our parents.  Finding the date to go actually proved quite difficult, because both sets of parents had fairly packed fall schedules.  I had taken a monthly planner and filled in important dates so that they wouldn't remember, such as birthdays and major holidays.  I think they thought I was kind of being a smart alec.  The last month I told them to flip to was May so that they would have the date of my grad school graduation (which, yes is in May..the same month that our baby is due...).  I had printed Baby Sage on Baby's due date.  It was fun to watch them get excited.   : )
We waited a little longer and then tried to tell most of our close friends and family either face to face or by phone.
After my 14 week appointment with the doctor, I decided I could go ahead and tell my 2nd graders.  We took all 3 classes outside and played telephone with these sentences.  They got the hang of the game by the first three sentences, so we went ahead and told them the fourth.  I am kicking myself for not having my camera out to video their reactions.  Some of them stared and me and wouldn't pass it on, others passed it on then started yelling "really?!."  Oh, they were so fun!  And then of course being second graders, they ensued with the girls hoping Baby is a girl and the boys hoping Baby is a boy.  : )
I waited until after telling my kiddos to make the official facebook and blog announcement to make sure that I was the one who got to tell.  
What fun news to get to share!

And I'm sure by now you've heard that Kate Middleton is pregnant with the British Royal heir.  Mom and I figured out that she was pregnant with my brother when Diana was pregnant with William and she was pregnant with me when Diana was pregnant with Harry.  And now I am pregnant while Kate is pregnant.  Kind of funny!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Last week I got tired of all of the recipes that we had and wanted to find something new.  Thanks to Pinterest, I came across this gem.  Easy and really good.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

from Saving Money Living Life

  • 8 oz uncooked rigatoni
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
  • ½ t salt, ½ t pepper
  • 1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions.  Spread oil on bottom of 11×7 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender.  Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.
Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels.  Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl.  Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.