Sunday, December 18, 2011

sharing our news.

last weekend i had the privilege of going back to massachusetts (i keep wanting to say home instead of massachusetts. it's funny how a place became home after a few short years there...but that's a blog post for another day). there were many reasons for my trip back, most of which revolved around sharing our news with everyone. i needed to tell work and we wanted to share the news in person with our friends. unfortunately, ry was unable to make the trip with me due to not having any vacation time, so i made sure to tape a bunch of reactions for him. 

the first reaction we have is the soccer team. this one is a bit long, but i just couldn't cut out the ending of two of my players looking at the picture. at the end of the season, i had the opportunity to share with the girls how the Lord worked in our lives and moved us to vermont. i asked coach if i could continue my story with a little bit of an update at the banquet on sunday night, to which he gladly said yes (when i told coach i was moving he asked me if i'd be looking for work, or working on my family...he must have known something i didn't know!). so i started by explaining how the Lord had been working all things out and then broke the news by pulling out the gift the girls gave me at the banquet last year: a baby t shirt (again...they must have known something i didn't know!) Here's their reaction:

the next reaction is when our pastor, patrick, shared the news with our pigeon cove chapel family. i stopped over to see patrick and sarah when i got into town on saturday night so i could share the news with them. somehow we decided it'd be fun to display the ultrasound picture up on the screen and tell people that way during announcements. it was so fun being there to share this news!! here's how it went down:

and finally: our friends. this video cracks me up every time. it's perfect. i almost ruined it because i couldn't figure out how to video on my camera, so lauren asked me if i was pregnant before i actually revealed the news. i can't remember how i got out of it, but i made everyone just say hi to ryan. then i convinced dolan that i needed to show her something. Please note the reactions around the room:

so there you have it. i'm so so so glad these videos are recorded. it was so fun sharing our news with everyone and i have never felt so covered with love...again. my goodness we left so many people that we love in massachusetts. the good news is that we know that, because of our shared faith in Christ, we will always have family in massachusetts. i wish i had caught some reactions from work, too, because those were fantastic as well! it's so fun knowing how much baby dumas is loved already. thank you, everyone, for sharing in our joy. we are so thankful for all of you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a little about the discovery of baby dumas.

so there you have it: the reason i have not blogged much since moving to vermont. you try blogging while you are holding back a secret that is changing your life one day at a time. it's brutal!

let me take you back in time a minute so i can explain how this all happened. warning: this has God's hand all over it, so be prepared for amazingness.

remember back when we decided to move to vermont? yep, that happened approximately one week and four days before we learned of baby d's existence. in deciding to not buy the house and move to vermont we actually took a pregnancy test to make sure we weren't embarking on a grand new adventure (house or moving) with another grand new adventure on the way. it was negative. the timing was such that if we were having a baby, it should be positive...or so we thought. so off to vermont it is, we decide.

fast forward one week and four days. it's saturday after i've announced at work that we will be moving to vermont and i'm slightly convinced i'm pregnant, so into the bathroom i sneak while ry is still sleeping, only to emerge with this:

yikes. clearly the Lord wanted us to make the decision to move before we learned about baby dumas.  i'm not going to lie, i may or may not have started freaking out due to the timing of this, but ryan was able to talk some sense into me as he became more and more excited. the next two weeks were a blur as we packed ry packed us up to move while i laid around sick in bed for our last bit of time in massachusetts, all while mostly holding in our secret. come on, we had to tell a few people, we were bursting at the seams.

this is where the crazy part comes in. you see, the sickness started gradual, but as soon as we got to vermont it hit hard. talk about perfect timing to begin working from home working from my bed. there were weeks when i literally just could not get out of bed. if i had to be working in the office, i would have called in sick for three weeks straight. the Lord had a plan.

and then there's the insurance thing. since ry was going to be a new employee, he wasn't eligible for insurance until december 1. we were on his insurance at his old job and since he finished up on october 28, we were going to be uninsured for the month of november. being newly pregnant and uninsured really did not sit well with me. in fact, it scared me. but, because God is so good to us, it just so happened that i was able to keep my full time job at gordon and therefore this pregnant mama to be was eligible for insurance. so, not only did i get to keep the job i love, working for a place i love, it allows me to stay healthy, too. and without insurance, i'm not sure i would have survived. i was so sick they put me on medicine to keep food in my stomach so baby d could be fed. it's a medicine that costs an arm and a leg without insurance, so being insured happened to be rather important. so again, the Lord had a plan.

and then there's the in-laws. they have been great. again, i'm not sure we would have survived had we not been living with them. ry is currently clothed and fed, thanks to my mother-in-law. all our cars got registered and fixed and oil has been changed thanks to them, too. these are all tasks that i have been way too sick to accomplish by myself. and with ryan's long commute to and from work, there wouldn't be time for things like laundry and groceries and cleaning without help. so again, the Lord had a plan.

it's really been amazing to see the Lord work all these things out in His perfect timing. it's never been more apparent to us than it has over the past month and a half how the Lord really does provide. we are so thankful.

so there you have it. a snippet of what life has been like since we've been in vermont. i had a great trip to massachusetts this past weekend to share the news with tons of people and i happened to video tape a good portion of those, so i'll be posting about that soon. in the meantime, enjoy a scanned picture of the ultrasound - that's our baby!!! YAY!!!

and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Saturday, December 3, 2011

some pictures to tide you.

it's been a long while since my last post, so i figured i was due for writing an update. i just loaded about 200 pictures on my computer from our last days in massachusetts to our first days in vermont. i'll be writing a post on how the Lord has completely provided for us in this transition someday soon, but that post requires thoughtful words, because it will absolutely blow your mind at how good God is, and i'm just a little too sleepy for that right now. until then, enjoy some pictures...

these first couple of pictures are from our last walk down to the water. we had the privilege of living a quarter mile from the ocean during our first two years of marriage and we made a habit of walking down there a couple days a week...beans loved that walk!

how could you not love these two???

we loved the days we could see the sun set over boston...

now we're in veetee. one of the first things we did was buy a vitamix. i'm not sure why, but ry makes a smoothie at least once a day and has started drinking green smoothies for breakfast. we are in the green mountain state, i guess.

november is the start of a month long vacation for my father in law due to hunting season. his first day in the woods in vermont he came home with this gem. venison for the winter! yum!

we were excited to learn that ry didn't have to wait to use his vacation time, so we took full advantage and escaped to rochester for thanksgiving. there is nothing like a lembo family holiday. 

when we came home from rochester, ry's sister had some news. she was getting a goldendoodle puppy! isn't he cute?? his name was sawyer, but it's since been changed to cooper. what a ball of fluff.

ry bought cooper his new favorite toy. obviously every good puppy has a soccer ball. it was beans' favorite toy as a pup, too. 

beans thought it would be fun to snuggle with cooper. either that, or he spotted the soccer ball in the corner and wanted to get it!

is our pup not the most handsome boy you've ever seen?

i just love his face.

look at those two!

and then it snowed! big giant flakes and it was pretty!!

and proof that ryan is everyone's favorite:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

filled up with love and sent on our way.

wow. i'm writing this from my new home in vermont. what? vermont?

hello, new home, you haven't really sunk in yet. i'm wondering how long it'll take. maybe i'll live in this state of denial for a bit longer where we'll just commute to pigeon cove chapel every sunday (i wish!) and i'll still work for gordon (oh wait, I DO!). 

anyways, the point of this post is to tell you how we were completely surrounded by so many people we love and who poured out love onto us over our last couple of weeks we were in massachusetts. from the moment we told people we were moving to the moment we drove off to vermont, we were covered in love and it made it nearly impossible to leave. people fed us. people cleaned our apartment with us. people loaded up the uhaul with us. people cried with us. people hugged us. people told us they loved us. 

i wish i could put into words how grateful we are for all of you. we are grateful for your helping hands and your open hearts. how wonderful it was to have dinner delivered and that meal shared on our hardwood floors with people we absolutely love. how amazing to have great friends spend their entire saturday morning packing our apartment and loading our life piece by piece into the uhaul (all while i slipped out to coach in my final soccer game). how overwhelming generous it was for the church to throw us such a wonderful goodbye party filled with some of the most amazing people we have ever met. the list goes on and on and on. 

you have no idea how you all have impacted our lives. to co-workers at gordon, co-workers at ryan&coscia, my soccer players, and our pigeon cove chapel family - we are deeply grateful for all of you. 

and we miss you, darn it. a lot. so we'll be back soon. hopefully in ten days ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

the rumors are true.

you might have noticed that i haven't been blogging away on here lately. you see, our life has been a bit hectic since we're moving to Vermont in ... ooooohhhh.... 12 days.

yes, you read that correctly: we're moving to Vermont. in 12 days.

Here's the story:

ryan threw out his resume to three firms in vermont in an attempt to move closer to family (we applied in roc, too, but to no avail). three firms. that's not very many in this economy. we didn't hear anything for about a month until we found ourselves stopping at a Mobil in VT getting maple creemees when ry noticed an email on his phone from one of the firms. this was great since we were in vermont, minus the whole not having any sort of interview clothes. so off to brooks brothers we went to buy some pants and a polo (yes, he interviewed in khakis and a polo) while knowing that only God could work out this timing. of course we were in vermont when we received the email. anyways, the first interview went well and we thought they'd be offering him a job. we headed back to massachusetts wondering what was to come and then he received a call for a second up he went. the second interview went well and in early july he received an offer from them.

at this point in the summer we were absolutely loving our life. we have, hands down, the best church family in the entire world and the thought of leaving that was just too hard. not to mention we were in the midst of church softball season and we couldn't leave the team hanging ;) i also was in the middle of crazy time at gordon college since the new fiscal year was kicking off. so...we turned it down.

then they called again in august and told ry that his name continually comes up when they talk about the still-open position. we turned them down as i was loving my job and we thought it best to have two jobs thanks to our education at gordon college that we are working on paying off (moving to vt = no immediate job for nicole).

so on we went with life here in massachusetts. it was going so well that we even put an offer in on a house at the beginning of september that we loved. a total fixer upper, but a house we loved none the less. the offer got accepted and on the same day the job called again. since we had just had an offer accepted on a house we turned it down again. we went through the process of signing papers, getting an inspection and getting estimates for plumbing and electric...when we found out the electric was going to cost two arms and two legs to update. it made it unaffordable. so the night we deemed the house unaffordable, we decided to call back the job in vermont.

the next morning, ry called the firm and the rest is history. both of us are excited about this decision and it's clear that the Lord was working over the past couple of months. He has guided this whole journey along and has opened both our hearts to moving up to vt. i gave my notice at work last thursday and ry gave his notice today. it's going to be incredibly hard to leave here. the people we know here are way too wonderful and it breaks our hearts to leave them. we've been so blessed over the past two years of marriage and we know that the Lord is continuing to bless our path as He leads us to vermont.

and yes, i know you're all wondering, beans is very excited to go hiking in the mountains and swimming in the rivers.

and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Monday, October 10, 2011

fruit of the spirit: an art project.

so i saw this print awhile ago on Olive Manna and wanted to buy it. 

of course the 16x20 print is $65. yikes. too many dollah bills for the dumas family budget. after said print sighting, we happened to be at michael's and noticed canvas' were on sale so we bought a five pack with some ambitious thoughts flowing through our heads. think: a picture of a cherry blossom tree stretching across three canvas' with scripture written underneath. then reality hit. we're not artists. bummer. so ry had the idea to recreate the print i had shown him. i didn't photograph the process, but let me tell you, the cherry blossom might have been easier. we had to print out the letters and make them fit. this process alone took us cutting out the same letters over and over and over and over again. we then had to trace them and paint blue around them, twice. we then painted the letters white...three times. it took about three weeks off and on to finally finish. BUT...i'm a fan of the final product and thankful for the bright color it brings to the blah "dining room."  

but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... - galatians 5:22-23

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dumas Family Favorites: Buffalo Chicken Dip

i've had a few failures in the kitchen lately, which is probably why you haven't seen me on here in about a week. due to the amount of failures, i knew i needed to turn to a trusty old favorite for the pats game today: buffalo chicken dip. this dumas family favorite could almost be labeled THE dumas family favorite. it's the recipe that everyone asks for after they eat it. everyone. it's that good. this is a recipe we've memorized because we've made it so many times. it's that good. now, i cannot take credit for finding this recipe. in fact, like most delicious food in life, it came to me through a lembo family party. aunt cyndi AC made this one day and since then it makes an appearance at almost every major family party. like i said, it's that good. here's the recipe so you too can enjoy the deliciousness that is buffalo chicken dip:

buffalo chicken dip
adapted from kraft, courtesy of AC


1 package cream cheese, softened (we use 1/3 less than fat)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (you can use ranch if you desire, we don't)
1/2 cup franks hot sauce
1.5 cups cooked chicken (we like it shredded and we usually use two chicken breasts and today Ry decided to try grilling the chicken so it had more flavor...GREAT IDEA!)


1. preheat oven to 350 F degrees 

2. in mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, blue cheese and franks with electric mixer

3. mix in chicken

4. spread in 2 qt baking dish (or whatever else you have to cook things in - sometimes we use the 8x8 or the loaf pan, depending on what dishes are in use) and bake for 20 minutes. Mixture should be bubbly on the edges.

5. enjoy with a bag of santitas. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

a penny saved is a penny earned. literally.

we had quite a day on saturday. you see, on thursday we learned that we had to replace all four tires on ry's car. tires are definitely not cheap, so we were not so excited for our saturday adventure to firestone. however, before our adventure, we decided to cash in our "house fund" (yes, that is a sneak peak of what's to come...). our "house fund" is a gallon maple syrup jar that ry has faithfully been funding for over three years. he works in salem, which has parking meters that people conveniently drop their extra change by. every day at lunch he goes for a walk and talks on the phone with me, his parents or just enjoys a nice day while picking up pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. 

so off to td bank we went to cash in our coins. we both guessed as to what we thought might be in there. ry guessed somewhere around $45 and i guessed $57 based on the guy who went before us on the coin counter. look at how fun this is:

so we pour in all our coins and wait patiently while it counts. we thought we might have underestimated a little bit based on how the coins kept pouring out of the jar, but we didn't know for sure. and then the total came up on the screen and our jaws dropped and we laughed while the receipt printed out...

i'd say we underestimated. needless to say, someday we will teach our children the valuable lesson of: a penny saved is a penny earned.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dumas Family Favorites: Butternut and Apple Harvest Soup

fall is such a wonderful time of year because the excitement of soup returns in full force to the dumas house. soups are delightful because they take the work out of dinner since they last for a couple of days. usually we'll throw a soup together on a sunday night and then we have it for the week and mix up our side dishes. perfect. this past sunday we had the privilege of sharing our sunday soup with the bayreuther family - hannah included! isn't baby b precious?!

anyways, we thought it best to use a tried and true recipe to share with pete and jen, so naturally we turned to butternut and apple harvest soup. we had plenty of apples on hand due to last weeks apple picking, so we served it alongside turkey sausage, apple and cheddar stuffed bread and a spinach salad. perfect! we had a lovely time with the bayreuthers chatting, oogling over hannah and filling our bellies with tasty soup...thanks pete and jen for letting us crash your sunday evening! i forgot to take a picture of the soup in bowls, so here's our big pot...whoops!

Butternut and Apple Harvest Soup
adapted from


2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 cup diced carrots
1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 quart vegetable stock
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


1. melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. stir in onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about five minutes. add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

2. carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender (BUY ONE OF THESE - THEY ARE THE BEST INVENTIONS EVER!!!) to puree the soup right in the pot. once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in the vinegar. season with nutmeg, salt, and epper; simmer gently for five minutes. 

3. enjoy (preferably with friends and family...and baby b's!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

four seasons: fall.

one of the glorious things about new england is that we fully experience all four seasons...and fall is unleashing it's beauty on us right now. to celebrate, we attended the gordon college alumni apple picking day at russell orchards. we had never been before (we used to be slacker alumni) and didn't know what to expect. it was great! there were free cider donuts and apple cider and so many wonderful alumni and my co-workers wandering around. there are so many wonderful people within the gordon family and it's a joy to be a part of it. and, beyond the tasty treats and wonderful people, there were apples! there is nothing like a fresh apple. ry and i had a great time exploring the orchard and tasting which apples would be best to pick. we filled up our ten pound bag and pondered on the different apple-y treats we could make. here are a few pictures from the day, followed by a recipe for the most delicious cinnamon-apple cake we made last night with some of our pickings (it's totally easy and completely delicious and 100% worth making - i might even make it again next weekend...): 

cinnamon-apple cake
cooking light


1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
6 oz block style 1/3 less than fat cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups chopped peeled apples (about 3-4 apples)
cooking spray


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well blended. add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; set aside.

3. lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. add flour mixture to creamed mixture, and beat at low speeduntil blended. combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. combine 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl; stir apple mixture into batter. pour batter into an 8 inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.

4. bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until cake pulls away from the sides of pan. cool cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dumas Family Favorites: Cinnamon-Oat Pancakes

we usually don't get through the week without using a favorite recipe and since they're favorites, I figured it's best to share them with the world. i've entitled this series of recipes: dumas family favorites. creative, I know. this will be your signal that these recipes are really good. or at least it will be your signal that we think these recipes are really good. good enough to go into the recipe binder and use over and over again.

our first dumas family favorite comes from none other than martha stewart. the grams (pictured below) signed me up for everyday food magazine a couple of years and it's always packed full of wonderful and easy recipes. one of her columns is healthy starts, breakfast ideas that are both tasty and healthy. perfect. i pulled this one over a year ago and we've made it many times since. they're filling and delicious. they're the pancakes that ry always asks for whenever i suggest we have pancakes. no more boring pancakes in the dumas household, but it's okay, because these are worth eating over and over!

the grams (and the pops):

cinnamon-oat pancakes
martha stewart


2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil


1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1 cup oats. Pulse a few times to coarsely grind oats. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and oil. Add dry ingredients and 1 cup oats and whisk until just moistened.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Drop batter (we use a soup ladle) onto skillet and cook until bubbles burst, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on underside. 

3. Serve with real vermont maple syrup. (okay, you caught me, this step isn't 100% necessary, but it will ensure tasty pancakes!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

about that bread pudding.

i feel like bread pudding is one of those things that you either love or you hate. i don't know why anyone would be so silly to be grouped in the latter, though. i mean, let's be serious, it's one of life's greatest treats. and this particular bread pudding, well, let's just say if i could eat it every day of my life i'd be happy. i really don't think i could get sick of it. we even believed that this recipe was worthy of sharing with my father.

i cannot claim that we found this recipe on our own, though. it all started one cold day in february after church. at pigeon cove chapel we always have a wonderful time of fellowship following the service. what makes this so great is that everyone stays because we all thoroughly enjoy spending time with each other. fellowship time is enhanced by food (not that we need it to enjoy ourselves), and anyone at church will tell you that the josephson's are masters of fellowship time. the spread they put out is unreal. you never think it can get better, but then it does. and this cold day they completely outdid themselves. they introduced me to nutella banana bread pudding. my life hasn't been the same since.

nutella banana bread pudding


Cooking Spray
1 Container Nutella
1 Baguette, sliced
8 Eggs
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
3 Ripe Bananas


1. Spray 13 x 9 Baking Pan

2. Spread nutella on all bread slices. Then put together slices to make sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into one inch cubes and toss into a large bowl. 

3. Crack eggs into another bowl and whisk in cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Pour mixture over sandwich cubes.

4. Mash bananas and stir into bread cube mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish and refrigerate for at least two hours, pressing the bread down occasionally.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until set in the middle, about 45-50 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.   

Saturday, September 10, 2011

a visit with family.

ry and i just recently reevaluated our life. we do this often. one of the "to do's" we put on the list was to see family at least once a month, if possible. we realize this will be difficult come winter time, but hey, we can dream big. anyways, my dad and pat came to visit last weekend (thank you for starting off our quest to see family more often a bit easier, father and pat-ricia) for two days and it was delightful. i snapped a few shots and you'll notice they're mostly of food. whoops. well, we know how to make my dad happy when he comes to visit: feed his belly with tasty treats. 

grilled pizza with prosciutto, nectarines and mozzarella. 

nutella banana bread pudding (recipe coming soon - it's a winner).

scategories and over dessert.

cinnamon oatmeal pancakes on the porch (recipe also coming soon - it's a winner too!).

and Beans got extra lovin' from grandma and grandpa and a trip to his favorite spot: gordon college.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a $7 (or so) project.

last week found us running around like crazy trying to keep our heads on straight. somewhere amidst the crazy we realized that in order to function without losing our sanity in our one bedroom apartment, we needed to organize and do so quickly. so our fabulous friday night plans included a trip to target to pick up some necessities for the major organization project. while at target we found some cork board panels that we thought would be nice to hang over our "office" area. the "office" is located in our bedroom since it's the only room that every square inch wasn't being used when ry started grad school. we returned home with our purchases and quickly hung the cork boards:


so they were boring looking. BUMMER. don't worry, for some reason ry thought it would be a fantastic idea to paint the cork. i said, why not? so he threw up a coat of white paint on them. while the paint dried he thought it'd be a great idea to paint stripes onto the boards (well, he wanted to go with a plaid pattern, but we'll get to that). So we got to work taping off the stripes:

all that tape took about two hours since my wonderful husband precisely measured the distance between each piece of tape so that the angles of the stripes were correct. we ry picked our colors with inspiration from a cooler we got from his parents for our birthdays - red, blue and brown. we have brown curtains in the bedroom, so this works nicely. off to painting we went:

we finished painting, let it dry for about 15 minutes (we were not very patient), and then it was time to pull the tape off:


we're leaving these with just stripes. we think that if we try to do the plaid pattern it will just end in disaster. thoughts?