Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Recent Life in Pictures

I can't believe how quickly time is flying! And wow, have we packed in some major events in a short time, lol. Just after Christmas, Bill and I hopped on a plane and flew off to New Orleans! What an amazing Christmas gift! We had a blast! We had so much fun taking the tours, viewing the city, wandering the squares... we even took a few steps down Bourbon street - then we realized that is most definitely NOT our scene, haha! We did, however, spend a few hours just people watching down there - it's a whole 'nother world! LOL.  It was wonderful, and COLD! A fabulous trip!! I can say New Orleans is truly the friendliest city I've ever been to - honest to goodness friendly - I'd go back in a heartbeat!
Yep, we got scammed by
Dan, Dan The Shoe-Shine Man. Lol! 




OMG, the food!!! YUM!!

Back from LA, Shi and I dove headfirst into finalizing the baby shower plans. While that was going on, my garden was exploding! I was harvesting eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, carrots... crazy! I've still got eggplant coming out my ears, lol!


And then came the baby shower... So fun!!! The theme was Brewing Baby, and co-ed/family, so we had some really great stuff... the guest gifts were custom beer coozies (so cute), we had a "pub" vibe going, and even a cigar bar! There was cornhole, giant Jenga, an adorable duck game (throw the beanbag and knock over the ducks), and an ice-cream truck bounce house.

The food was amazing (I found an incredible caterer, and though I love to cook, not having to for this event freed me up to be able to actually enjoy it, lol).

Everything went beautifully, and Shi had a wonderful day to celebrate this sweet boy we can't wait to meet. He is already so incredibly loved.

In the first pic below, you'll see giant helium balloons. Yes, they are floating over the pool. No, it did not go smoothly.  I had purchased balloon weights for those big boys, and we dutifully tied them on securely, then Shi and I went to the pool and tossed the weight out to settle the balloon in the water, and... up up and away it flew!! OMG! That enormous balloon just took off! So... we did away with the puny weights, haha, and used bricks. At least it worked. ;-)







These are all the mini poloroids -
Each guest took a picture with Shiloh, then hung it here. So cute!!

Photos of Shi and Jared through the years.

Shiloh with brother Joey & Amber
Shiloh with sister Ariel & Kerry

Shi and her friend Brianna (just look at that baby bump!!!)
Shiloh with Papa & GG (my parents)

Bill and I with Shiloh. We are so very blessed. 
Now that the party is completed, Shi's in full nesting-mode, haha. It's so fun! All the little tiny baby clothes, toys, and various bits and pieces "necessary" to take care of baby boy. She's chosen her hospital, picked her pediatrician, written her birth plan... so much done, and much still to do! It's all so exciting!

Well, that, my friends, is the last month of my life in photos. ;-) I hope the new year is treating you well!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, New World

Happy 2017!! So far, it's already better than the last two years, lol.  The last two years have greeted us with heartache, grief, and despair. In contrast, today I got to feel my precious grandbaby kick for the first time (first for me, not for his mama). Tomorrow I fly out with my incredible husband to New Orleans for some awesome couple-time. And... I'm on the cusp of expanding Recipe For Fitness. Woohoo!!! Starting a new year with Joy? Yes, please and thank you!!

Definitely better than 2015 and 2016. Definitely.

And because it wouldn't be my life without a little extra chaos/activity, we're also hip deep in baby shower planning. Ya'll should see the notebook we've got going! I'll have to post a pic of it soon. So exciting!! She's got the cutest theme, and it's co-ed/family, rather than the traditional 'women only'. It's going to be super fun!

We're finally able to start enjoying some "normal" meals together, haha, since Shi can (finally) eat chicken and beef. Her food aversions are giving her a break. Yay! She's been doing great with her exercise, too... we see Kayla (the amazing trainer/coach) 3 times a week - two days in the main gym, and one day in Reformer Pilates. And it's been fun to be able to do it together (makes me miss even more having Mom here and going to Pilates with me - we could make it three generations together in the gym!).

Other than all that, we're still packing away Christmas, and culling out what we'll re-purpose for the shower, trying to keep the pups out of everything (already lost a poor defenseless stuffed snowman), I'm keeping up with my continuing ed and new business direction, and though I haven't done any recipe development in awhile, I'm looking forward to diving back into that soon.  I've got a garden ready to harvest, so I'll have fun playing with ways to utilize my bounty. ;-)

I hope the New Year is treating you well!
Best Wishes!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I hope your holiday was warm and bright. Can you believe it's nearly 2017? Wow!

We had our holiday party - it was a blast! Because it was a combined event (business & personal), we were able to do a few extra fun things, like I mentioned before... ice rink, snow machine, mechanical reindeer... awesome-sauce!!! The day before the party, the rental company called me saying that the folks who'd rented the ice rink before me had destroyed it. Oh crap! They were able to salvage only 1/3 of it! So, they cut me a major deal, then gave us a human snowglobe. Lol! It was so cool! I am short on photos, but these will give you an idea. And yes - I did ride the mechanical reindeer. I think I lasted all of 4 seconds. LOL!!!
Set up time! The snowglobe has blowing "snow"
inside of it. You enter through the back then it's
an awesome photo opp!
Bill and I in the globe. Family members were shaking it trying to get us to fall.
They succeeded. Lol! 

This reindeer was the hit of the night! The kids
adored it (and were so cute!). As the evening progressed,
the adults commandeered it, lol! And let me tell you,
it's no toy! That thing can MOVE!

Synthetic ice rink! So fun!
The boys weren't very happy with their accommodations for the party, haha, but we made it up to them in treats and snuggles.

It was a great party, and a really fun time. When all was said and done, we had nearly 100 people there! Woohoo!

After the party, it was the final stretch to Christmas. Our daughter Ariel spent the holiday with her boyfriend & his family out of town, our son-in-law Jared is deployed, and my parents were mid-move, so our group was smaller this year, and we missed them very much. Jared was able to skype in for the gift opening, and again later for dinner, and that was fabulous for all of us, but especially Shiloh.

Speaking of Shiloh - she's now 24 weeks pregnant! We've hit viability!! Yay!!!!! She's beautiful, glowing, and growing :-) I just love having her here during this pregnancy. And, oh that baby bump!!! hehehe!!

Christmas Eve, we had our annual poker party - which didn't last as long as usual due to the missing folks, lol. Everyone had fun playing, and I had fun prepping breakfast for the next morning. We tried two homemade cinnamon roll recipes, plus my traditional breakfast burritos. Yum! Sunday was wonderful, I love having my family gathered together, and hope next year to have them ALL here. ;-)

For dinner, I used my sous vide Joule - so easy!!!! I seriously love that tool! I had cooked the carrots the day before, so about an hour before the beef was done, I just put those back in the water bath and they were ready when we were. Did I say it's so easy? Because it is! LOL!
I had to cut my roast in half in order to fit in the skillet for searing, lol. 

After 2 hours in the water bath, the beef had just an hour to go, so I added the carrots back in to warm up.
Worked perfectly! 

My Joule is my favorite toy, lol.  Anyway, dinner enjoyed, leftovers divvied up, pups spoiled and kids all hugged, then it was just us. Shi and Bear went to bed, and Bill and I lit a fire and cuddled up on the patio to watch Deepwater Horizon and savor our well-earned wine. It was a great day, and a beautiful night.

This coming year will bring some fun and exciting events - Bill is taking me to New Orleans in a couple weeks!! Shi helped him get it all booked and set up, even put the info into a binder for me for Christmas! (Yes - the organizational binder. I raised her well!). I'm so excited!!! Then of course, Jared comes home (hopefully before the birth), and Baby is due mid April. There are no words to express my joy and gratitude for this baby!!

And, because my husband is the world's greatest, there's another event planned for the fall.... Me, my mom, and Shiloh are heading to Maryland to stay at...

Inn Boonsboro!!! Wooooohoooo!!!!

If you're  not familiar with Inn Boonsboro, check out the link above. It's the setting for a Nora Roberts Trilogy (here), and we can't wait to experience it!! The boys (Bill, my Dad, and Jared) will be on baby & puppy duty, lol, while us girls get a weekend away. Happy Dance!!!!

Here's to looking forward to what 2017 brings. I hope this year ends quietly and gently for all of us, and that next year brings joy, peace, and adventure. Best Wishes to You!!