Tiny Tales Thursday...

I was kind of tired this morning which Radley equates to not feeling well. (Because obviously when Mommy doesn't want to get down on the ground at 6:45am for a fun game of Radiator Springs, it must mean that I am very sick). Nope, just tired from working out early and staying up too late the night before.

I was headed out the door when he grabbed my hand:

Rad: Mommy, you shouldn't go to work when you're sick.
Me: I'm not sick, buddy.
Rad: That's not nice to your friends. When I had a fever last year (ie Friday) I didn't want to get the baby sick, so I stayed away from Emmy.
Me: Yes and that was sweet of you.
Rad: Yes, Mommy. Don't get your friends sick.
Me: I'll try not to.

Man, can I get a doctors note from my kid? I would never have to work again! :)


A bit much...

What do you think? Does Radley have enough Cars? 

You think so? I mean 3 of those are technically Emmys. 


I love that he has loved Cars for so long. Since he was 18 months old. Hours and hours and HOURS of entertainment. Happiness. Bliss. 

Well worth the investment. 

And it looks like someone else is going to share the same obsession as her big brother. 

We need a bigger storage case. 

Industrial Strength Power Cooking...

It has been a while since I have blogged about power cooking; which means that I have had to prepare meals with nothing in my freezer to assist for a while now. 

This is how our freezer looked this morning...

Doesn't it just look sad? 

Only one way to fix that...POWER COOKING! And power cooking, we did! I got to cook with Cindy (the Hot Mess Momma) and Jessica (missed you JFo and Krista!!). Jessica is the Chapter Advisor to one of our sororities on campus and was lovely enough to let us use the kitchen in the sorority house. 

Let me just tell you that power cooking is amazing when you have industrial EVERYTHING! :)

So, on my menu today?

2. Sloppy Joes

Most people have a recipe for Sloppy Joes. Ours calls for BBQ sauce, ketchup, worcestershire, mustard, garlic, and onion. Brown your meat (we used ground turkey and it's delicious) and then add your ingredients. No real measurements just add until you like the flavor. The key is to cover the mixture with water and then let it cook out. 

Place in freezer bags and then when you are ready to eat; thaw. heat. eat. repeat. :)

3. Sweet Pulled Pork

This was a new one for me. Well, I have made this pulled pork a ton of times and absolutely LOVE it...but I have never tried freezing it, so I hope it turns out okay. 

STEP 1: Gather ingredients: Garlic powder, onion powder, BBQ sauce of choice, frozen onion, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and Dr. Pepper. The title is "sweet BBQ"

STEP 2: Mix ingredients. (With cute little su chef as an assistant). Now, here is where I must confess. As a "cook" I don't really measure and usually only follow instructions the first time around. BUT, I will say I make a pretty tasty dish and have had no complaints yet. 

Today, I used these measurements:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 medium onion - chopped 
12 oz Dr. Pepper
Remaining ingredients "to taste" :)

You want this to be liquidity since it will be in a crock pot and the meat will absorb the juices. I added enough BBQ sauce to give it the consistency of crepe mix. 

STEP 3: Taste. Radley didn't like the garlic. :)

STEP 4: If you are making this without freezing: place plain pork loin in crock pot; pour mixture over. Cook on low 4-5 hours. If you are freezing: place plain pork loin in zip lock bag; pour mixture over. Freeze. Thaw overnight and place in crock pot; cook on low 4-5 hours.

This made about 4 cups of "sauce" which covered 4 pounds of pork. If you freeze and think you need more liquid, then add your favorite BBQ to the mix.

I prepped the BBQ and Sloppy Joes (thanks, Mom) at the house before heading to "THE HOUSE" to cook.

The HMM and Jessica were already in action...

Seriously. New plan: build home. Have GIANT kitchen. Cook. 

Even doing dishes was fun!

When we were done we each had 13 meals to take home and enjoy!

2 Sweet pulled pork, 3 Turkey Tetrazzini, 2 pounds Sloppy Joes, 2 Mealoaves, 2 Firecracker Casseroles, 1 Chicken Enchilada, 1 Brisket, 1 Ham and Hash Casserole....

Totaling to $2.29/person/meal. AMAZING!!! :)

Our math: $268 total spent/39 meals (13 x 3 families)/ 3 people per meal = $2.29

Some new tips: 

1. Again. Frozen onions are a girls best friend. 
2. Make friends with a sorority advisor. Use their kitchen! (Seriously can't thank you enough, Jessica)
3. Laugh. A lot. We just have so much fun doing while we are "working" that it doesn't seem like work at all. 
4. Double bag. I know that it says "freezer bags" but somehow air gets in there and can cause freezer burn -- better safe than sorry. 
5. Spread the love! Don't use all your meals in one month! We like to use about 1-2 per week so that they last until the next PC session. 
6. Make the meals work for you! Cindy makes a killer meatloaf that can also work as meatballs or "bundles" (may do a whole post on my obsession with "bundling" food). So, I put on of the loaves in a ziplock to use as it works for us. 
7. Keep your cooking partners updated: If you cook a meal and think it needs something or discover the cooking time is off make sure to send a quick email letting them know!
8. Gladware. Seriously - buy some of this to use for the casseroles. It is oven safe and can be used again. and again. Don't throw it out!!

That's all we got this time! Happy cooking! 


I got to spend all day Thursday with this sweet little one... 

She had a mild fever so we stayed home! Loved having some girl time!

I thought it would be fun to see what she would do with a spoon at snack time... and you guessed it...NOTHING! :) 

We got a few bites in before... 

she was done. 


Holy cow I could just eat her! 

Friday Radley came home with a mild fever, which was a bummer because I had pre-purchased tickets to Cars 2 for a "just us 3" date. BUT after a dose of ibuprofen he was all better and ready to see Lightnin' and Mater. 

(Anyone thinking about taking little ones to see this: it was good but kinda "violent". The bad guys try to "kill" McQeen) 

GiGi and Pops came for a visit and we headed to the pool on Saturday. My dad is the BEST in the pool. We always had so much fun getting "thrown", building pyramids, swimming on his back...and Radley had just as much fun on Saturday! AND...he swam!! Underwater! By HIMSELF! :)

Emmy had fun, too... snacking away with GiGi and going for dips here and there!

My little fish! It was "sooooo bright, Mommy", thus the closed eyes. 

This morning we headed to church and said a sad goodbye to Father Michael. He is moving to a new parish and we will miss him so much! 

He means so much to our family and has been a part of all of our major celebrations. 

We love you, Father Michael! 


Crafty goodness...

I don't know if it's age or what, but I have been getting crafy in my old age. Isn't this just too cute?!?!

Endless seasonal possibilities. 

And such a fun touch to the front porch. 


Jenn, how does an aqua and red one sound? I need to practice shipping them because I *think* I may try to start an Etsy shop. 


A mommy no-no...

Many mommy "no-nos" exist...

1. Drinking and nursing
2. Leaving the kids in the car...even for a quick errand
3. Leaving a baby unattended in a bathtub...even for a quick second
4. Talking about how much better we are at being mommy's than other people (which is something that I think we do too much)
5. Calling your kids names
6. Calling Daddy names (sorry, babe)

And the list goes on....

Today, I am going to confess to one of the biggest (I think) Mommy no-nos...

7. Comparing kids.

I don't know why we do it...our heads tell us "every kid is different" "they will do _____ on their own time" "let them be", etc... but Mom's still do it. Or I do. And I have tried so hard at not comparing Emmy to Radley. But lately, it's been a battle.

There are a million things that she does "different" from Radley: she rolled over before him, crawled before him, waved before him, blew kisses before him, eats better than him at this age, is much more a self soother than him, etc...

In those instances I celebrated her milestones and thought nothing of what he didn't do because he had already mastered those things and so much more. But, for the past two weeks I could only focus on one thing that she doesn't do quite like him: talk.

If you haven't been around Radley or figured out from my Tiny Tales, he is a talker. And not only is he a talker, but his vocabulary, ability to reason, comprehension, etc... is pretty ridiculous. He identified letters, his name, numbers, colors, objects, etc... before most kids his age do. He doesn't only speak when spoken to but really nonstop (which is so going to annoy his teachers one day). He memorized books by age 2, and retains information that I forget.

And all because that is who HE is. Nothing I did or didn't do. Nothing Ryan did or didn't do. It's just him. And I am proud of him but don't for a second think that he is better than anybody else.

And Emmy, sweet Emmy. Is gentle. And sweet. And loving. And cuddly. And dainty. And adventurous. And tender. And TOUGH. And she happens to be quiet. She says hi, bye, momma, dada (and GiGi claims others words) and blows kisses, plays peek a boo, etc...

But in my head she needed to do more. Because Radley did. And now that he's almost 4 it's hard to remember a time when he didn't talk.

I focused on what she couldn't do instead of embracing what she does. And most importantly, what she does is complete our family. Make me smile. Enlarges my heart.

Again, these are all things that I know...but I couldn't just stop the worry or concern. I knew it was silly but I couldn't.

So I said a quick prayer and you know what? It was answered! In 25 minutes!!!

We were home today because Emmy just didn't seem like herself, grouchy, a little feverish, etc... So I took her into to see our pediatrician and while we were there, asked about the talking thing. She was sweet to listen to my crazy babble and said not to worry. "Most kids don't talk before 1... see what she's doing at 15-16 months;  yadda yadda."

It gave me comfort, but well, not really.

As we were leaving I ran into a friend from Junior League who was there getting her sweet 2 month old, Chloe, her well check and shots. I noticed; however, that Chloe was no where to be seen. Chrissie let me know that her bestie was in town and being a good friend by watching Chloe get shots. "She's a speech pathologist so she is used to being around kids."

My heart stopped. Ok, God, I hear you.

As her friend emerged with a tearful Chloe and introductions were made, I let them know that God works in mysterious ways. As they looked questioningly at me, I shared my "worries". Her sweet friend, too, indulges my mommy crazies and listens to my concerns.

Does she babble? Yes.
Does she blow raspberries? Yes.
Does she wave? Yes.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Is she walking? No, but on the verge.

Ah, she says, that's it. We've found that when kids are trying to walk, they stop talking. One thing at a time, Momma. Wait until she's 15-16 months and then see.

Thank you, God. For knowing all the "mommy no-nos" and loving us anyway. Thank you for never comparing US to anyone. Thank you for your tender answers and loving guidance.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer in petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Philippians 4:6

Tiny Tales Thursday...

Radley knows me well. Almost too well.

He quotes me. Repeats me. And sometimes says things before I can utter the same thought myself.

KK was playing with the kids last weekend and we had all the blinds up like we usually do because we love all of our windows. Radley was looking out at the backyard and saw Kasey digging up one of my plants. One of my potted plants. Really, dog?

But, Radley knew exactly what to do:

STOP IT KASEY! Get down! Ugh, that dog is so frustrating

That's my boy! Thanks for always looking out for me, buddy.


Go to grub...

This may be one of my favorite "go to" dishes.


Two medium zucchini
Two packages whole wheat tortellini of your choice (I used 3 cheese and spinach)

Slice zucchini into "moons" and saute in EVOO. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste. Cook pasta according to directions. Mix and garnish with parmesan cheese. I like to add fresh tomatoes in the mix as well! Enjoy! 

A quick fix...

Amid all the chaos that has been our life over the past 8 months our fridge broke. And we were not happy. It was like the little straw that almost sent me over the edge. I do NOT like having to spend money on things that I have not anticipated. Even worse, Ryan and I had to give up our "dream" mattress to replace a free fridge. 


BUT... I will say that this little gem is AWESOME! If you are in the market for a fridge, go with the french doors. WE LOVE HER!

Well, most of her. I am my mother's daughter and have this need to display pictures, notes, quotes, drawings, etc... on my fridge. I swear if you looked at Mom's fridge long enough it would tell you a story. However, this beauty is stainless steel so we can not have magnets. 

The pro is that all that clutter will not be an issue. The con is that my kids love magnets. 

What's a girl to do?

CHEAP fix. Sheet metal! 

You can't even notice it when you walk in the kitchen. 

But the kids have a space that is all their own! 

This may be a new obsession? Wonder how chalkboard paint would work on it? 



Picture Post...

Ryan left on Thursday for a much needed "man trip". He has had this planned since Novemberish I think; 4 days in North Carolina playing golf at Pinehurst (which I guess is a big deal). Most of me was so happy that he got to do this with his friends, a little of me was jealous, and a tad was tired just thinking of four days of "single parenthood". 

But being the good husband he is, he arranged for KK to come spend a few days with us to help out! I love him (and her!) He knows how much I hate sleeping in a house by myself and it was nice to have some adult conversation and extra hands on deck! :)

I won't give a play by play, rather a picture recap...

Thursday night we took a trip to the park and met this little fella along the way... He let me get SOOOO close (my camera is not zoomed in). 

Can you believe how big this kid is getting?

And this squirt? She is handful! This is her climbing UP the slide (which is usually a big NO NO) but I wanted to see if she could do it... 

And she did. 

Did you know he was 3? ;)

Friday evening we went to the pool for dinner and swim. This was on the way out... Emmy is EXHAUSTED! 

Her face cracks me up in these pics...

It's like, "Really? Put that camera down woman."

Saturday was full of our favorites, Target, Hobby Lobby, Ritz Pics, and play time. Emmy got this fun lady bug from her NaNa and she loves pushing it all over the house.

Then it was back to the pool on Saturday night. We had to go to the big pool because our usual was "contaminated" (ie. Someone pooped in it) earlier that day. These three didn't mind and Kayla and Radley got to work on real swimming!

The pirate face continues... 

Sweet girl... 

Those lashes... 

Emmy wouldn't smile for the camera... she was too busy eating :)

Today was so much fun...you'll just have to believe me. I forgot to charge the camera :(

It included:
Playing in PJs
Chicken Tenders at Whataburger
Sonic Milkshakes
Waiting at the pool (but not getting end -- this was no so fun)
Naps :)
Mommy laying in the sun with her People Magazine (best thing ever)
Visits from Claire and Nick (Miss y'all!)
Backyard water play
Hot dogs for dinner 
More playing
Uncle Pete

We did miss Daddy on Father's Day though! He should be home soon! 

Happy DADDY Day...

I called friend and you made me smile
And you stuck around for a while

Then came boyfriend and husband-to-be
Forever we would live happily

 Then came the name that makes my heart whole
For in you fill the perfect role

No father competes in the eyes of Rad
To him you are the perfect Dad

And Emmy so sweet, your little girl
To us you are everything, our entire world



Tiny Tales Thursday...

Radley is very into his age right now, and well, everyone else's as well.

Rad: What's your number, Mommy?
Me: 32, buddy.
Rad: Oh.
Rad: I'm 3. And then I'll be 4 then 5 then 6.
Rad: And THEN I'll be a teenager.
Me: ::glances questioningly:: Really? A teenager?
Rad: Yep. And then I'll be 7 and go to high school.
Me: Really?
Rad: Yep.
Me: So when will you go to college?
Rad: About 8.
Me: Really? Will you drive there?
Rad: Nope. You run to college, Mommy.
Me: Wow. I didn't know that.
Rad: Yep.

Later that night we were reading our stories and saying our prayers. I always get really sentimental when I put the kids to bed because I know they won't need me to do that forever. So I asked Radley...

Me: Will you always need me, buddy?
Rad: ::thinks for a minute:: Nope. Only until I can drive.

Heart breaks.

Guess he won't be getting that license until he's 30. Good luck dating, buddy.


Emmy's First Birthday (pt two)...

Good Morning, world! Today is my birthday party!!! 

(Doesn't it look like that is what she is saying?)

Saturday was such a fun day! Because we had done so much prep work the night, month, week, ummm... year before Saturday morning was a breeze. All "we" had to do was hang the lanterns and pom poms and set out the mason jars. I say "we" because Ryan did most of the work on Saturday morning and I only had to redirect him once, maybe twice. ;)

We were done with plenty of time to snap a few family pics...

Even GiGi and Pops dressed in the party color scheme (which I loved!).

Once the guests arrived we all headed outside and just played! The kids loved the picture station...

Justus, Kayla, Radley and Caroline especially loved the opportunity to make silly faces. 

We had so many people that were able to attend and help celebrate the day....

KK and Ryan drove in for the celebration and to give Emmy extra special attention!

The sweet Turner boys, Wesley and Benjamin, are two of the most well-behaved kids I know. Always so happy and polite and always so sweet together. (Right, Heather?)

Uncle Stu was there, too! Doesn't he look great with a baby on his hip?

Miss Shanon and Delaney... 

Carolyn, my DZ Lil, got to meet Emmy for the first time! 
(I can't even believe that... we MUST get better at visiting each other!)

Emmy just had so much fun! She loves attention so being passed from person to person was a gift in itself. And she LOVED the picture station... she would just cruise from animal to animal and stick her head through to smile... 

Uncle Pete even posed with her! 

And We 4 Kings got a family shot in, too...

Then of course it was the Munson/King turn. I love thinking about these 4 carrying on the tradition of college roomies! They are just so sweet together and each play their own unique role in their "group". 

"Emmy" got a sand box for her birthday present, and some of the guests like it a lot...

Especially sweet Anna! 

All that excitement wore the birthday girl out so she had a quick nap during the festivities! 

What a DIVA! ;)

These two didn't mind one bit, since hot dogs were being served. This is Will and if I would have done a better job taking this picture you would notice that he and Radley look eerily similar. Will belongs to Carolyn and Billy. He and Radley had a great time together; I think Radley was excited to finally have some "guys" to hang out with!

Once the birthday girl woke up it was time for cake! Here we are before the big moment!

And after "she" blew out her candle. 

She wasn't quite sure what to think of the cake at first... 

But then she dug right in... 

And loved it!!

She couldn't figure out how to get it off her hand...

And then decided she needed a water break. 

 I think more than just Emmy had fun eating cake...especially since they got to pick out the "perfect" jar full!

We did a quick rinse in the sink... 

And then it was time for presents! We have learned over the many birthday parties we have hosted/attended to just open the gifts from those that are in attendance and to do family later (just a hint for those that have upcoming parties... it makes everyone happier!)

I think these sunglasses were her favorite gift! She still will not put them down!

As we were opening gifts Ryan and I noticed how different it felt to be getting so many "girlie" toys for the house. We haven't really purchased many toys for Emmy because she can use Radley's toys from when he was a baby and well, our brains go straight to cars and trains. 

So it was super fun to get dolls... 

Emmy thought so, too...

We really had just a wonderful day celebrating with those we love and more importantly with those that love our little girl...

By the end of the day everyone was ready to go home for naps... 

Thank you so much to everyone that helped make this day, well, this YEAR so special for Emmy! To those that came and to those that really wish they could have... we love you!

And WE LOVE YOU, Estelle Emersyn King!!