2.27.2014

TODAY'S PROJECT

This past weekend, Tyler and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Utah. We were literally only home for like 18 hours haha, but it was so fun and so great. While Tyler and my dad went mountain biking, my mom, sister Isabelle & I went shopping! I had been dying to go shopping ever since we found out we were having a girl and I was so happy to have some time with them. We started at IKEA (they didn't have the dresser I wanted so that was sad..)

Then we headed over to Nordstrom, the rack, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew. (Cutest baby clothes ever and I am loving that everything, seriously everything is on sale right now!) I have wanted a bigger Kate Spade purse for a long time and my sweet husband always tells me to buy one every time we go shopping. I always say no because they are just so expensive but I decided that I'm going to try to double one as a diaper bag.. :) My mom doesn't think it will work but I'm giving it a shot! I just don't love any of the diaper bags out there and it kills me to spend a hundred dollars or more on a diaper bag that I don't even like! Long story short I found this beautiful bag and it was on sale which made me so happy because it was my favorite one. I wasn't going to buy it but my cute husband kept saying for me to.  I was finally convinced and now I am just loving it!


Our last stop was the fabric store. I wanted to get more fabric to make cute little headband bows. After shopping around my mom told me I could pick whatever fabric I wanted for a quilt and she would buy it for me! I was in heaven because quilting is one of my favorite hobbies but it's just so expensive that I never really do it anymore. Does anyone else love quilting but hate spending hundreds of dollars to do it?? Can't find a happy medium with this hobby, but for now... I'm in quilting heaven!
Something amazing is in the works... Can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all done!!


2.26.2014

THIS SOUP WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

A girl in my home ward, who comes from a very gifted (cooking-wise) family, works in New York, New York for Martha Stewart. She is the mastermind behind all of Martha's recipes. She is a phenomenal cook & a couple years back when she visited home, she taught a cooking class that my mom went to. At the end, my mom got a recipe book of some of the things they had made throughout the week and this one is a family favorite. (And seriously, it is my one favorite meals of all time. It's that good!) 

So.. if you're looking for an easy soup recipe that is SO healthy and absolutely finger-licking. This is the one for you.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP


3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
4 carrots, diced
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
Compound Cinnamon Butter
Toasted slivered almonds

Heat olive oil in large, deep pot on medium.  Add squash, carrots, garlic and onion.  Cook until onion is soft, season with salt.  Add broth and bring to boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until squash is very soft.  Cool slightly then puree in Vitamix.  To make compound butter, add cinnamon to butter and mix.  Roll in a waxed paper log and chill.  Slice off pieces of butter and put on top of soup. Toast sliced almonds on top as well.


This butter is the only part of this soup that isn't good for you. But it's worth it, trust me. The recipe is a little vague so let me help you out. Use about 1/2 cup of room temperature butter and put cinnamon in it. There's no exact measurement but it's quite a bit. I just do it until it looks like the photo above. My mom doesn't do this with hers but I usually add a teaspoon of white sugar as well.  Put a long skinny roll of this alongside the short edge of a sheet of parchment paper and roll up! Put it in the freezer or fridge to harden then slice it up to serve on top. Oh, & don't forget the toasted almonds on top.


And there you have it!

2.24.2014

A DAY OF LOVE

 
So as I am finally getting around to blogging I am trying to decide if it's just way too late to post about valentines day, but I'm deciding to do it anyways! Now you're not so sick of everyone's "Look what I did on Valentines Day" blog posts because you've had two weeks to recover :)

My mom has always done this Valentines Day tradition called "trail of hearts". We would wake up on Valentines day, and each of us would have a (literal) trail of hearts leading from our bed to who knows where! We would each have our own color of hearts and spend the morning running through the house to find what was at the end of the trail! I had told Tyler months back about this tradition and how I wanted to do it for our own family, but hadn't mentioned it again. I surprised him with this and it was so priceless to see him wake up and ask "What is this?!" He had no idea and I had so much fun planning everything and getting it all ready. Even if that meant setting an alarm for 3am to set it all up while he was asleep. :)
 For breakfast, we had heart pancakes with heart strawberries! (Plus the plastic plate idea was genius because who wants to spend Valentines morning doing the dishes? Not I!)


We both had a crazy busy day and all I could wonder is why teachers would have tests on valentines day? Show us some love too! We grabbed lunch together and for our date, we went down to Idaho Falls for some dinner and shopping. Tyler surprised me by taking me to the best, and only really good restaurant in Idaho Falls called Stockmans. It was SO delicious and if you live near.. you must try their cheesecake because it is divine. After our fun dinner, Tyler took me to the mall and Target and let me go crazy buying some baby girl clothes! I thought it was so sweet because this man of mine isn't a huge fan of shopping but he knew because we had just found out the gender that I was dying to do some shopping. We ended the night with a movie and it was such a perfect day. I am sure thankful for this husband of mine!

2.11.2014

IT'S A GIRL


Yesterday afternoon Ty picked me up from school with a Costa Vida salad and orange juice. (Orange juice because we were told it helps the baby to be more active so it's easier to tell..?) We arrived at the doctors and boy was I nervous! Not only was I about to find out the gender but the thought of getting my blood drawn was making me nervous too. But I figured if I have to get poked to find out then I was all in! They took us back, and our ultrasound was first! *(We were told it would be second, but hey I was fine with it first.)
 
 
She squirted the warm jelly on, and started looking around. "What are you guys thinking it is today?" We both blurted out that we knew it was a boy! She responded saying, "..Well look here, I know what it is now." I still couldn't exactly see what we were looking at, so I said, "So it's a boy??" She laughed and said, "Nope, girl!" Both Tyler and I literally thought she was kidding. "No, really?" She was dead serious. I think we were both in complete shock. I've heard of ultrasound tech's getting the gender wrong so paranoid me kept asking if she was sure. "I'm positive, you're definitely having a little girl." Luckily, our baby's legs were spread wide apart and it was easy to see that there wasn't much there except for two legs :) It didn't take long for me to realize how excited I was about the idea of having a little girl! I had without a doubt convinced myself that we were having a boy! Tyler, too. We were just so set on it!
 
There is nothing quite like seeing your own baby on an ultrasound. I cried knowing that we have a little girl up in heaven just waiting to come down to us! She was waving her arms at us and it was truly so amazing to watch her move around! If I could get an ultrasound every day, I would.
 
Afterwards, while getting my blood drawn, Tyler spent some time soaking it in beside me. He was just thinking and thinking. He finally said, "A girl?! But we're set with girls!" Haha the way he said it was so funny. It's true though, I only have 3 boy cousins on my moms side, and I have all sisters, as does Tyler! Our little babe will have all aunts for now and we are so beyond thrilled. When we told my dad, he responded by saying, "Well the steak continues!"
 
Tyler has warmed up to it and can't stop talking about his little girl. It's so sweet and makes me so happy when I look over at him smiling and ask, "What are you thinking about?" and he answers with "Our baby girl!"
 
July could not come sooner!
 

2.09.2014

S I X T E E N

Where has the time gone? 16 weeks?! It feels like yesterday we found out we were expecting. At the same time, I am so looking forward to the beautiful gift we get at the end of this journey. Two more weeks and we are halfway there!


Tyler had bishopric meetings this morning (Have I mentioned that he is the 2nd counselor in our bishopric?) so I resorted to taking my own picture. I'm finally starting to feel like my little bump is looking more and more like a pregnancy bump and not so much a "I ate too much" bump. What a relief! I have to say that I am just absolutely LOVING pregnancy. I know that the 2nd trimester is the best and I am soaking it in. 


How far along? 16 weeks!
Cravings? GRAPEFRUIT. Oh my goodness, I cannot get enough of it. I ate 3 the other day. Other than grapefruit & fruit in general, I've had this overpowering craving for a Baja Blast Freeze from Taco Bell. I know, so random. Its pretty much a slurpee but it has this mountain dew (I don't even drink or like soda?) flavor but with lime and coconut and I want one every minute of every day. The downfall? They have caffeine in them I think. I've had two so far this pregnancy but it's all I can do each day to not get one. I've even gotten to the point where I've googled, "If you drink caffeine when you are pregnant what will happen?" Pray for me ;) 
Aversions? My aversions are a lot more calm. I'm still a little picky about what I can and can't eat but I'm lucky every other food doesn't sound horrible anymore.
Weight gain? We will see tomorrow at our appointment.. I'm sure I've gained some!
Missing? Sleeping on my tummy :( 
Movements? None yet! The other day I thought I felt something.. but I'm just not sure so I'm saying no as of now. 
Gender? We both still think boy! I want to know so I can start shopping already!

Tomorrow is our big day! At our last appointment, they said that no matter what we have an appointment at 20 weeks which is an ultrasound appointment. Typically, this is the gender appointment. But she added if I wanted to find out early we could do it at 16 weeks (and confirm at 20 weeks) and then just pay for the extra ultrasound. I didn't even hesitate when she asked, YES. Yes yes. Hey, I'm going through 9 months of pregnancy the least I deserve is to find out early! I'm also getting my blood work done tomorrow which if you know me, you know my fear for needles. I figured that if I could combine blood work and finding out the gender that I would do ten times better with the needle. We are crossing our fingers that Baby Vance is in the right position so they can tell!

CALGARY OPEN HOUSE

I'm breathing I promise! Blogging. Well I'm here now and this is good, this is very good. I started this blog with so much momentum and somewhere between taking 18 credit hours and working and being pregnant… it got lost. But, I'm here now for a fresh start. Hoping I can continue to blog these fun times of being pregnant!

A few updates: Our interview went perfectly! I was pretty nervous because a few days prior, I rewatched The Proposal just for fun. Well not only is it a cute movie but it also was a scary reminder that these government people are not messing around! My biggest worry was that I would crack under pressure and they would sense my nervousness and consider it, I don't know, FRAUD? I would like to keep my husband in the United States mister government worker, please don't kick him out. Luckily we got the nicest one and it went smoothly. My mom called immediately after to ask how it went, and I explained that it's really what you would think it is. We brought in our folder full of pictures, notes, receipts, and other evidence that we are for real. He asked us every question under the moon about us and our relationship, and what can we say? Our love cannot be fooled and he passed us! We celebrated with some shopping at Nordstrom Rack in Boise (Sad to admit that this Nordstrom girl is missing her shopping…) and lunch at Cheesecake Factory! I had no idea that Boise had so many stores and it really had a fun vibe. We were sad to return back to real life!

Then, last weekend, we went up to Calgary for our Open House! I know what you're thinking.. Open House and you're pregnant? Hah - yes! 

It was a first and a last but we are so happy we did it. It was so wonderful and went so smoothly. The best part of it all was meeting so many people that I have heard so much about! And not to mention we got to take a trip to my favorite city :)

My family and I got to Calgary on Thursday for the Saturday Open House. We wanted to be there early to set up, shop, (play) and get ready for the fun weekend. My sister didn't fly up until Friday and poor Tyler got there the day of! (He had a big test to take) We spent the days prior buying Canadian candy, shopping, (Calgary has seriously the best shopping ever) eating Poutine, playing, and having so much fun. My family and my in-laws love each other so it was a huge party for us. So the picture below is the only picture we got with guests - oops! These are two of Tyler's best friends growing up and their beautiful wives. So fun to meet them.

Below is the after party.. My feet were throbbing (I blame pregnancy?) and so us girls (Me, my mom and Tyler's aunt) sat & chatted! One of the best parts of the Open House were the See's chocolates you see pictured in the photo below. My parents brought up 40 boxes from Utah haha - we love chocolate that's for sure.

All in all - it was a dream weekend! We were all so sad when it was over, but so glad I had the chance to show my family around Calgary. I have the best families, I'm convinced of it!