Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Full Month

January is always a really fun month for us (as we celebrate 3 birthdays) but it is also super busy! This month Guy went out of town the first weekend of January, the second weekend we celebrated Braylen's 3rd birthday, and the third weekend we attended the Annual YL Winter Retreat at Great Wolf Lodge. Throw in a few fun bday dinners, a UK basketball game, playing in the snow, and a bridal show-you've got yourself one full month! And now here it is the end of January! This past weekend, after Guy came home from work on Saturday, we had a fun evening of just hanging out together! It seems like with Guy's work schedule, full-time school schedule and YL, family time is hard to come by so it was so nice to just be together. Guy is our hero! He works so hard for our family and Master Provisions, all the while serving and loving those around him. 

Braylen's birthday this year was a little different. We had a small gathering of family and we also celebrated my birthday and Guy's the same night! It just seemed like a lot to throw a huge bday party this year-especially right after Christmas! We have come up with a few creative parties that we can throw him in the future but this year it was nice to have something small. We did a Mickey Mouse theme and my mom made a MMouse cake. It was so fun to see Braylen's reaction to it all. Here are a few pics from the night.

 This is the Mickey blanket I made him. 
Super homemade but it works. 

We had some friends stop by afterwards!  

A few fun things about Braylen right now:
-He tells random strangers that they are cute.
-If there is a puddle of water, he has to stomp in it.
-He has memorized a few stories and can "read" them to you.
-He talks himself out of being sad or of crying: "I'm not going to do it (cry)"
-He is using his imagination while playing with toys! So fun.

A few not so fun things about Braylen:
-He wants to watch TV all the time! We limit it everyday.
-He does NOT want to potty train.
-He sometimes says "yucky" after we kiss him. 

Happy January Birthday's Everyone!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Braylen!

Braylen! At exactly 7:43pm, you turn 3 years old!! I cannot believe how quickly you have grown. You are sweet, loving, cuddly, funny, energetic and musically gifted! You have waited for this day all week and we so look forward to celebrate with you tonight with a few family members! 

Exactly 3 years ago, Guy rushed me to the hospital after my water broke around 7am. 12 hours later, along with lots of popsicles, itunes mixes, visitors, jokes, naps-oh and my epidural running out- you came!!!!!!!!!! All 9 pounds and 21.5 inches of you! The cutest, biggest baby boy. You were a joy then and even more so today. Being a mother to a boy continues to be sweeter and sweeter. 

So you just keep on taking that nap right now Bray...........
because when you wake up, it's party time!

Just a few days old. How quickly time has flown by.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Recipe for Each Week

I didn't really plan to do this but for the past two weeks, I have made a new recipe at least one time for dinner. I have been really inspired to continue to do this every week (we'll see how long I can do it for at least!!). My mom gave me the Pioneer Woman Cookbook for Christmas and I love it! She is a very good cook. I can't wait to try lots of recipes (including Spicy Pulled Pork with tortillas, Cinnamon Rolls, and pico de gallo-which I am making this weekend for Bray's small family party). I also have a ton of recipes from when I had a subscription to Cook's Country. They have awesome recipes! They tend to be somewhat intimidating but I have found that if you organize your ingredients ahead of time, they are very easy to follow. Just last week I made Steak with Crispy Spiced Potatoes for Guy's birthday dinner. It was from Cook's Country. It was delicious and super, super easy. Here is the recipe:

Steak with Crispy Spiced Potatoes
1 pound red potatoes, quartered
2 tbsps veg. oil
2 strip steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed of fat and halved crosswise
Salt and pepper
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if using hot paprika)

1) Toss potatoes and 1 tbsp oil in large bowl. Wrap tightly with plastic and microwave until edges of potatoes are translucent, 4 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.

2) Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook steaks until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.

3) Drain potatoes and cook in empty skillet until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add butter, oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Serve to your hungry husband!!

Or if you'd rather, just pull up a chair, relax and snack on some cheerios!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Braylen's Birthday Week!

Hello family and friends! My little boy is turning 3 this Friday! As Little Einstein's would say "I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!" These 3 years have gone by so quickly! Braylen has grown a ton this year! He has turned into a little toddler. He continues to surprise us everyday with his vocabulary and speech (a few weeks ago he told me that our Christmas tree was beautiful-now he says that word all the time). He LOVES music and LOVES to come up with songs. His favorite instruments are drums and trumpets. He will use whatever is on hand to make music-spoons, cooking utensils, toy golf name it. His new interests are playing tackle and pretending to be a cowboy (he says, "come on partner!"). 

Braylen is as sweet as can be. He is still very cuddly and loving; giving us hugs and kisses. Sometimes he'll just put his arm around me and say, "mommy, I love you." He seems to be very kind towards other kids and wants to play with everyone. He has his moments but for the most part he is very considerate of those around him. 

We look forward to him learning more about God's word and applying it to his life. It's never too early to start right? The way that he memorizes songs shows me that he is ready to memorize some bible verses. 

This year will bring so many new challenges and experiences (he wants nothing to do with potty training! ugh!!) and we look forward to this age group. He is able to sign up for soccer, t-ball, preschool, music lessons.......... so many new things!

Here is one of my favorite videos of Braylen around 8 months old! Braylen and I had a fun time going through videos of him as a baby. We laughed and laughed. I told him that he was the baby in the video but he doesn't believe me. :) 


P.S. Braylen does not want anything for his birthday except for a yellow Mickey Mouse cake.  It's the small things. Good thing my mom is an excellent cake baker. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Southern Christmas

Wow. It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I do not like going weeks without updating our blog! Did you know that you can upload your blog and "X" company will create a book out of your blog posts? I really want to do that one day. How fun it will be to look back through the years!

Since we last left off.......over a month ago......Guy and I had celebrated our 4 year anniversary! We enjoyed dinner at Brio's and it was delicious. Guy's steak came out over cooked so when our bill came they said we weren't being charged for it! We talked about favorite moments in our relationship and things that we love about our family. God has certainly challenged and blessed us these last few years. I never, ever could have planned what has happened but I am thankful for where we are today. 

We enjoyed spending time with our family during Thanksgiving! Jess and Vince came in town too. We ate with Guy's family for lunch and then headed over to my grandparents house (my dad's side) for dinner. Then we all went to the movies! Including Braylen! This is a tradition that we've had for years! I love it. We saw Megamind and it was really funny. This year we had Thanksgiving on my mom's side on Friday instead of Thurs. I'm so glad we did that this year! We're normally running around to three different places on Thanksgiving but we were able to slow down, visit, and enjoy our time this year. 

We had a great time and Eric and Kristan's wedding on Dec. 10th-Jess and Vince came in town for the weekend so we had more time with them! Did I mention my sister is pregnant??????? I don't think so. She is about 13 weeks right now and we are so excited for them! We also celebrated my dad's birthday on that Saturday which was so nice having us all together. We went to watch my dad's bball game (he is a ref for varsity high school games) and it was at the Bank of KY Center. They were having a charity game and were giving away prizes through a raffle. Well my number was picked! We won a $150 grocery gift card to Remke's! How cool is that? I was excited. It's actually a really neat story. Ask me about it. :) 

We also managed to play in the snow one day! It was freezing. 

Braylen has been painting more. He is wearing his "painting" hat. 

Here were are at the library for Christmas crafts. 

With our leader team at the YL Christmas Party!

The next week (Dec. 16th) we left for our family trip to New Orleans! We drove all day and finally arrived at 2am our time. The next few days were PACKED seeing family, friends, eating, shopping, eating, walking, eating.....did I mention that we ATE down there? I use to have very boring taste buds until I started dating Guy that is! Now I am more open to trying new things (not oysters! or much seafood for that matter) but I now like foods with more flavor and spice! I had my fair share of red beans and rice, gumbo, and beignets. We had a wonderful trip and were so thankful to be down there with Guy's family! 

A few highlights: the family reunion with the Domec's, lunch with the Noffsinger's in the quarter, seeing my super-cute/gonna-have-a-baby-soon friend Kelly (her hubby works for the Saints which raised my cool factor with Guy's fam), finally meeting baby Ava!, taking Bray on a street car, and walking around the quarter.  

Guy and Bray on a street car! Bray loved it. 

Guy with his grandma, Mommy I, at Peggy Joy's house

Guy and Braylen watching Polar Express at Mommy I's house (where we stayed).
Just make yourself comfy!

Braylen showing off his musical talents.  
"Braylen, do you want to play soccer?"
"Basketball? Baseball? Football?"
"No! No! No! I want to be in the band and march."
I'm doomed.......... :)

At lunch in the French Quarter!

We came home at midnight on the 23rd and were quickly thrown into the busyness of Christmas the next day! Which sadly made things go by quickly but we were thankful to be home. We missed our YL friends and family in KY. It was nice to have snow on the ground and having a white Christmas. We worked hard this year teaching Braylen that Jesus is why we have Christmas and not Santa. We read the story of his birth on Christmas Eve and talked about it before Bray went to sleep. He wore these PJ's to bed..........

Poor kid. I got a 4T and they were still too tight. We laughed so hard! He will be so mad at me one day. Worth it. 

On Christmas morning

 Christmas night

We had a wonderful Christmas! God is so good to our family and we continue to seek his guidance for our family. We are looking forward to what He has in store for us this year. We pray that he will motivate us to love those around us and seek Him out in all that we do.

Merry Christmas! 
I mean, happy new year! 
I mean, happy birthday Guy! 
We have a lot going on this month. :)