Friday, December 27, 2013

jacob jay: 18 months.

eek. 18 months. this sweet boy brings so much joy to our lives.

lately j has been all about being with his daddy wherever he goes. from the second ry walks in from work to the moment j goes to bed, he wants daddy. it doesn't matter what they are doing, as long as it's together. i love watching their relationship grow.

((helping daddy put together his wagon from gramma and tuffy--my absolute new favorite pic))

he thinks he's hilarious. he loves laughing and making other people laugh. hearing that little laugh is one of my favorite sounds in the entire world.

 he's been sticking his tongue out when concentrating lately. it's something both me and ry do, so it's no surprise he picked that up.

((it takes lots of concentration to put the wise man in the truck bed...))

oh our sweet boy. he is so dearly loved by so many and that makes our hearts so happy. j is so full of life and he is oh so curious. he loves his trucks and he loves tormenting beans. he loves running to the pantry or fridge and he has learned what each of his snacks are, so he inspects each snack carefully before choosing what it is that he wants. every morning he won't let us set him down until we've held him for whatever length of time he's determined is necessary to wake up. he must not be a morning person - that's mama's fault. when we ask for kisses he leans his head in and lets us kiss him instead of giving us kisses, and he thinks it's pretty funny. his bedtime routine has changed more times than i can count. from snuggling in our bed, to sitting on the couch and reading stories, to sitting on the ground and flipping through books faster than we can read. one sure thing we can count on, though, is that telling him it's time to brush his teeth gets him up the stairs faster than anything else - he loves it! sometimes i want to keep our sweet boy little forever, but it sure is fun watching him grow. we do so love our j.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


oops. about updating the happened and happened fast here. well, not fast, since j was sick from just about halloween through thanksgiving. that's a lot of sick. and a lot of tiredness and a lot of not sleeping-ness. here's a quick recap from thanksgiving to now:

+ we hosted thanksgiving in our new home! yay! it's fun hosting and putting everything together. the in-laws trekked from VT and were here wednesday to saturday. unfortunately, jacob got sick starting on friday, so that put a damper on things. poor bugger ended up with a 102 fever for four days. no sleep for anyone. luckily he kicked it before we had to make an adventure to the good ole pediatrician and before we all lost our sanity. i didn't take many pics because i was either cooking, cleaning or snuggling the sickling, but i did manage to catch this moment...beans snuggling in with his gamp. there probably was no room on the couch due to the snuggle j fest, so he had to find his snuggles elsewhere:

+oh we took a fam photo that ended up being our christmas card! getting j to smile in a pic is the hardest task EVER.

+lots of snuggles for our sweet boy:

+ good thing j got better, because we had planned on our friends chris and jamie adventuring from MA the next weekend to usher in some Christmas cheer! they arrived saturday and we ran off to the christmas tree farm to pick out a tree. she's a beauty and her name is rosie. we decorated and made sugar cookies and played pandemic. it was perfect. we even had a big christmas morning breakfast and stocking opening. we thought about sabotaging their car so they couldn't leave, but we thought that'd be mean.

+then it was another short week and i was off to nyc with my mom and her bff/my god mother. so fun! i'd never been to nyc at christmas time, so it was quite a treat. there were lights everywhere and the tree was huuuuuge. we went to dinner in eataly the first night -- if you are ever in nyc, go there! so fun. we decided against a cab and walked 25 blocks back to a cute little wine bar. my mom's friend lives across the street and it's a cute neighborhood place that we ended up at both nights. the next day we saw the christmas spectacular - what a show! so fun. and then we walked and shopped. i'm a big fan of walking in cities - there's just always so much to take in! it was a fab weekend and we should probably start planning next year's trip :) and j could have cared less when i returned. i do believe him and daddy had WAY too much fun without me!

+we've received 30 inches of snow so far this winter. this compares to less than one inch at this time last year. crazy! j is loving it.

+uncle ricky is in town for ten days and has been stopping over to see the little man every day - j loves it!

+and the little bugger was sick again. luckily this seemed to be a 24 hour little bug and he's back on his feet...i was bummed because we were going on two whole weeks of health! i couldn't even believe it. i guess the streak had to end sometime ;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

just a little trip to MA...

 this weekend was fabulous. exhausting, but fabulous. i had the privilege of making a very quick trip to the north shore to catch the gordon women's championship game...and of course see a few favorites while i was there. 

i promised one of the goalkeepers that i coached for two years that i would make the trip if they made the finals...and when they won in pk's in the semi-finals i could not go back on my word! so i got up saturday morning at 4:45 and was on the road by 5:15. it took me 6 1/2 hours thanks to some traffic once i hit MA (surprise). i got to have a quick starbucks date with a former player who is now a dear friend and then off we went to endicott to cheer on the girls. i am still oh so invested in this team since i coached the now juniors and seniors. i wanted them to win SO bad...for them, for coach, for gordon. and they played SO well. they fought so hard. they pushed and pushed through regulation, through both overtimes, and then pk's. unfortunately pk's can go either way and they didn't go gordon's way on saturday. it was heartbreaking, but they should be so proud of themselves. i'm so gosh darn proud of them and the work they did this season.

after the game i was off to another game, this time for some dear family friends. after that game it was out to dinner with them, which was full of fun, good conversation and laughter, as always. and then it was off to my home for the evening: jamie and chris' new home! HURRAY! there were more favorites waiting when i got there, too!

and then, before i knew it, it was 6 am sunday morning and i was back on the road headed home to my boys. oh how i missed them and wished they could have been with me this weekend (along with everyone i saw...yes ryan and j are far more interesting than i am!)...but it was a great weekend for all of us! ry and j had a daddy son date day filled with the zoo and eating junk food and this mama got plenty of alone time (i am really loving some good alone time since becoming a mama...) and lots of needed hugs. a refreshing time for us all.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


1. i decided to blog more. remember that declaration? well, as soon as i made that decision, all three of us came down with the plague. and it lasted two whole weeks. two. whole. weeks. do you know what this means? no regular schedule. no eating real meals. no time to clean. no sleeping. because when you have a sick child, he wants nothing but to be attached to your hip. but, goodness, isn't he cute when he's sick?? we've seemed to finally kick the bug that was floating around here, for which i am thankful.

2. fall has been lingering around here. the colors are still so vibrant. it's fantastic. j and i have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the leaves so far this week. hopefully the sunny days and bright colors continue for a little longer.

3. the sox won the world series. it was fantastic on so many different levels. the fact that they won this year. after what happened. the way they did it. the beards. papi's batting average. it was all too perfect. thank you, red sox. 

4. halloween. yippee! i don't like halloween. it's not that i have any reason, i just thought it was kind of silly and pointless. not to mention we were around salem, ma at halloween for one year too many ((read: it's a t'here are crazy people everywhere' kind of way)). then we had a child. and then said child turned old enough to trick or treat. cue the liking of halloween! oh me, oh my, i had so much fun making j's costume and dressing him up in it! he wore it four times: to the zoo, to library class, to daddy's work and trick or treating. i was fully convinced that this holiday was invented so parents could dress their cute little monsters up.........and then came trick or treating. j LOVED it. the first house he didn't know what to do, but as soon as our neighbor put a treat in his bucket, something clicked. each house he got so excited to hold out his bucket and have candy dropped in. it was so fun and i could have watched him do it all night long. there is nothing like watching your kiddo fully enjoy what he's doing, no matter what it is. my heart was so happy.

5. we have the greatest neighbors. the greatest. the kind of neighbors who dress up for halloween with their cowboy hats and flannel on because they knew j would be trick or treating there. and yes, he probably was the only trick or treater they had. and the kind of neighbors who get pictures of your kid printed for you before you even have the chance to do it yourself. it's so fantastic knowing that we have such wonderful people living next door to us, especially since they delight in j (mrs.) and beans (mr.). nothing like having your kid(s) loved on. 

6. i've been failing on the gluten free adventures. everything i make just seems to be lacking, well, flavor. i guess i'm not picking out good recipes. but then i made this tonight, and it was delicious (okay, fine i just typed this sentence and i haven't even made dinner...but i'm sure hoping it's delicious!). okay, i just lied. dinner was not delicious. in fact, it was disgusting. and therefore i fed my child cereal and cookies for dinner...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

what. a. year.

last year on october 17, we packed up our things and moved from vt to ny. ry had gotten a new job, less than one year after we had moved to vt. crazy. 

and the crazy didn't stop once we got here. we did things like:

- move all our stuff into an apartment. buy a house mid-tax season that we couldn't move into right away. move out of said apartment and into my dad and step-mom's house temporarily while we made the house liveable (DURING TAX SEASON...are we CRAZY?). moved into a new house that needed hours upon hours of work. continued to put hours of work into the house. it is starting to feel like a home, and that makes my heart happy.

the house looked like this when we bought it. well, almost. imagine puke green carpets, too!:

dining room

j's room

living room

and now it looks more like this:

dining room 

j's room

living room

the work we've done (and by we, i mean mostly ryan) includes: ripping out carpets, replacing every window in the house, cleaning ((this was no small task)), priming and painting every inch of the walls and ceiling, redoing the porch ceiling and floor, tiling the hallway and kitchen....etc. it's been a crazy latter half of the year, but we're slowing down...just in time for tax season.

- we finally found a church. i wrote about that not long ago, but it still is making my heart so happy to have found somewhere that feels right...somewhere we can learn, grow and be challenged. we've even started making friends! crazy, i know.

- i've adjusted to living back where i grew up. it's weird. being a grown up in the place you grew up in is definitely weird. it's all sorts of familiar and all sorts of unfamiliar all at the same time.

- j was 3.5 months old when we moved. now he's 15.5 months. the difference is crazy. he's a ball of endless energy, which leaves us with not a lot of energy, but he is just so awesome. so awesome.



- little man has found himself a bff. it's precious. it's so fun watching our boy growing up alongside another sweet little boy. we had him and his wonderful parents over last night and the boys were running around laughing and having fun while we sat and laughed and watched our boys. it was relaxing and so nice to have our home filled with friends and laughter.

and this we can say for certain: God is good. He is faithful. it is not easy moving away from everything you know, like we did when we left MA two years ago, but we have learned through it all and continue to see the Lord at work in our lives. He is good. So good. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

more gluten free: end of summer harvest soup

i'm continuing on my quest to find gluten free dinners. it's not terribly hard to do, but it does take a little more effort since i can't go to many of my "go-to's." i've been following a lot of different foodie blogs to find recipes that will work for us, and i stumbled upon this soup recipe. it's full of veggies, which jacob USED to eat. apparently he doesn't like vegetables any more. and i guess he doesn't love beans anymore, either. yeah, he didn't like this soup, but we loved it - especially the second night! oh - there is pasta in the picture, but i put that in after it was dished out for those of us who can eat gluten. bonus, it's a crock pot recipe! 

end of summer harvest soup
adapted from here

+1 box chicken broth (we use trader joe's...cheaper than wegmans!)
+1 cup pasta sauce (we used wegmans)
+1 cup water
+1 medium yellow onion, diced
+2 large zucchini, in bite size pieces
+1 large summer squash, in bite size pieces
+ 2 cups roma tomatoes, chopped
+1 tsp parsley
+1 tsp oregano
+1 tsp basil
+1/3 cup dried white beans (i soaked these overnight the day before i made the soup)
+pasta if you so desire

1. put all the veggies into the crock pot, along with the beans.
2. cover with chicken broth, pasta sauce and water.
3. stir in the spices.
4. cook on low for 8-10 hours
5. cook pasta during last 1/2 hour of soup cooking...if you're planning on adding it.
6. enjoy! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

ten on the tenth.

i'm going to start a new series: ten on the tenth. i have seen other people do this, so it's definitely not my idea. i love the idea of it, catching the moments that make up each day. it was so fun today intentionally making note of our day. i think it made me appreciate each moment. here we go (side note - all taken with my iphone - i need to make room on the memory card of my real camera):

+ we had one big ole snuggle party this morning after ry jumped in the shower. both beans and j were fighting for attention. please notice that j has beans' tail in his hand. beans wasn't pleased.

+ family breakfast time! ryan has requested that we have family breakfast together every morning. we've been doing it for about three weeks now. it's fantastic. i love starting the day this way. ((bacon, eggs and toast for me and ry. cheesy scrambled eggs for the boy))

+ thursday is grocery day for me and the boy. he loves going to wegmans. he also loves helping me put the groceries away when we get home. he's such a good little helper.

+ the neighbors had a tree cut down today. free entertainment!

+ we went to little people's gym today - he LOVES it there. the town puts out a ton of mats and balls and the little people run around and have lots of fun - all for free! the best part, though, is that it tuckers j out like crazy. he took a three hour nap this afternoon.

+ after nap, j and i played with his favorite toy: the safari truck. we put all the animals through their respective holes over and over and over again. he laughs and smiles and signs "please" repeatedly.

+ ry had to do some work outside on the kitchen window. my favorite part of this picture, however, is beans. he's intently watching a chipmunk. he sat that way the whole time ry worked on the window.

+ these two love each other. j does bed time so much easier if he's had ample play time with daddy. ry was making a pen for all the safari animals and j was gleefully destroying it.

+ we added two pictures to the photo wall. slowly but surely it's coming together. there are many more pieces to add, though.

+ the sunset was beautiful tonight. this picture does not do it all.

so there you have it. ten on the tenth. it was a great day. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the chalkboard. seasons. and a church.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
ecclesiastes 3:11

bear with me as i work through this post.

the chalkboard: this was a wonderful housewarming gift from our friends tony and abigail. she thought that i'd delight in receiving a chalkboard...and she was right. i'd really been wanting a place to put verses, countdowns, song lyrics, really anything that would serve as an encouragement to us. so the day i pulled up to our house and the chalkboard was sitting there with a bow on it, i was thrilled.

seasons: the verse on the chalkboard currently is ecclesiastes 3:11. it is in the midst of ecclesiastes 3 where Solomon is talking about how there is a time for everything in life. and the good news about this is that the Lord is sovereign over all of these things. oh how that is good news. because in the bad times, the Lord is sovereign. in the good times, the Lord is sovereign. in the quiet times, the Lord is sovereign. in the loud, busy times, the Lord is sovereign. and all those times, those seasons, the Lord makes them all their own time. oh what hope that provides.

a church: and that verse. that was a part of the sermon on sunday at the church we go to. the significant part of the previous sentence is, "the church we go to." you see, we've been without a church home for just about two years now, until just a few weeks ago. when we lived in massachusetts, we had found a church that became our family. it was a place where ryan and i really learned about our faith and were challenged to grow deeper in our faith alongside some of the most wonderful people we have been blessed to have in our lives. these people are aunts and uncles to j, mentors to ryan and i, and people we genuinely love. needless to say, leaving that behind two years ago was one of the hardest things we have done. it broke our hearts. it also made it very hard for us to search for a church because our hearts were so sad about leaving, that i think we were trying to find exactly what we left behind. however, that doesn't exist. nor is it healthy to always be looking back when you are trying to move forward. we left MA for many real reasons. that church, however, was what the Lord used in our lives while we were living there during that season, but that doesn't mean that's what we needed in this next season of life. all this to say, the past two years, were, i think to really help us get to a place where we were ready to settle in and find a new church for this season of our life. we are so excited about the church that we have found and we really feel like it's a place we can worship and call home. praise the Lord.

so there you have it. the chalkboard. seasons. and a church.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


i've decided to try to blog more. we'll see how long this lasts. not many people read this little blog, but i do like to keep it updated as sort of a journal of our little family -- i've been terrible at journaling in real life lately. we also have so many friends and family that we are not able to be near and around, so it's my way of staying connected.

anyways...dinnertime around here has been a battle. mostly because it's hard to find recipes to make. you see, the boy has been switched to a fully gluten free diet. he was having some trouble packing on the pounds, and we came to the conclusion that he does best on a gluten free diet. you can't be tested for allergies/celiac until two, so we don't know if this is a "for life" thing, or if we have to wait for his gut to mature. i suppose we'll find out. in the meantime, we have quite the task of feeding this sweet boy.

i like to try and make gluten free dinners so that i'm not making two meals, because who wants to make two separate meals? not me. absolutely not me. the good news is that there are plenty of ways to cook gluten free without having to use things like gluten free flours/pastas (we do use those things, i just haven't experimented enough with them). in fact, i found this delicious recipe for chicken tortilla soup....and it's a crock pot recipe, which means it's ten times better. i love having the crock pot going on fall days. the house smells all warm and cozy.

and my favorite part of this recipe: i had j help me in the kitchen for the first time! he loved pouring all the ingredients into the crock pot, so much so he had a tantrum when we were done, but we sure did have fun putting it together!

crock pot chicken tortilla soup
adapted from here

+2 boneless chicken breasts
+28 oz diced tomatoes
+1 cup salsa (we used medium)
+1 clove garlic, minced (i cheat and use our garlic press...i know it doesn't bring out as much flavor...j was helping me and i didn't want to use a knife!)
+1 cup of water
+1 can of black beans (we soaked 1 cup of black beans overnight and cooked them the day before i made this soup. it's cheaper this way, and we like the taste of beans this way...YUM!)
+14.5 oz chicken broth
+1 tsp cumin
+1 tsp chili powder
+1/4 tsp oregano

+1 cup frozen corn

+tortilla chips (SANTITAS!!), shredded cheddar and plain greek yogurt for serving

1. combine first 11 ingredients in crock pot. cook on low for seven hours.
2. remove chicken and shred. put back in crock pot and add frozen corn. continue cooking for one hour.
3. spoon into bowls and swirl in a spoonful of greek yogurt and top with cheddar and broken tortilla chips
4. enjoy