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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

fall fun

last weekend we took j to a farm down the road to enjoy some fun fall festivities. our friends and their little guy, j's bff, met us there. the boys had lots of fun wandering around in the pumpkins and trying to pick them up. here's a few shots from our adventure: