Monday, October 31, 2011

Doug's Chili:

I worked the other day and Doug took the day off. Which made for a great night for Doug to make dinner. I came home to our whole house smelling of chili. He said that I put too much stuff in mine, but that is how I like it. It was so good and I hope this tradition continues throughout the cold months.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friends and Baseball:

Doug and I would never say that we are big baseball fans. We don't keep up with the regular season at all, but we do love watching the play-offs. I am a Cardinals fan by birth and Doug cheers for them as well. My dad is a huge Cardinals fan and has been his whole life. For me, baseball is a sentimental sport thinking of time with my dad and going to Cardinals game all across the country as a child.

Last night we had the privilege of watching one of the greatest Cardinals games we have ever seen. It made it even better that we were watching it with some of our closest friends in their warm and cozy home. We enjoyed homemade pizza, a wood-burning stove, pumpkin and chocolate whoopie pies, and lots and lots of laughs. It was a late night, but a good night.

And, let's go Cardinals!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 36:

- This past week we started our childbirth classes. We might have laughed our way through the entire class. It is hard to practice breathing through a contraction, in a room full of strangers, with a funny husband over your shoulder whispering funny things. Next week might be even worse. We are suppose to wear comfortable clothes that we can easily move around in so we can practice different labor positions. We might get kicked out of the class.
- I realized that I was nesting after I looked around the kitchen and saw all the cupboards open, food items all over the counters and table, and walked into our laundry room and found it in the same state. I am glad I enjoy organizing things anyways.
- I am still feeling good, thankfully. I would like to thank water consumption, walks, hot baths, and massages for making this possible.
- We received our cloth diapers in the mail today. I spent a long time watching You Tube videos on how to use them, practiced stuffing them, and got them pre-washed.

This Past Week We:

- Got to meet our dear friends new baby. We enjoyed our visit in the hospital and loved getting to hold a sweet  one day old baby.
- Made lots of cold tonics. We both fought some nasty colds, but I think the home remedy might have kicked them. [Apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon, cayenne pepper, and hot water]
- Spent 24 hours with my dad. He was given a ticket to one of the world series games and he made the time to come up to see us. It was a fast visit, but a good one. We ate enchiladas, watched some baseball, went to Sam's, and ate at Chick-fa-la.
- Enjoyed lots of rain and the cooler weather. The leaves are looking beautiful around these parts.
- We closed a bank account we have been needing to close for ever, got our PikePass figured out, made an appointment for someone to come tune our piano, and hung up some more pictures and shelves around the house.
- Had dinner with mother Karen at a new bbq place.
- Started childbirth classes [more on that later]
- I made some pumpkin cupcakes.
- Took lots of naps. Thanks to the colds and the sweet little one growing inside of me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Night:

We went into town for our favorite pizza.
Walked around Wal-Mart and looked at a few things. But only bought one package of peanut M&M's.
I ate only half of the bag of M&M's and was very proud of myself.
Came home. Changed into our do-nothings.
Watched a Ben Folds concert on an old DVD.
Drank tea and cider.
Doug read old Xanga posts. I read baby books.
Feel asleep in our comfy, warm bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Piano:

Doug plays the piano quite beautifully. The thing is we have never had a piano so I would only get to hear the beautiful music when we were in other people's home that had one. When we moved into our new house we both knew that we would love to have our own piano for him to play. We were given this beautiful thing from a friend here at camp. And it just made it's way into our home this past week. I love listening to Doug play it, even if it is currently out of tune. We plan to get it tuned soon, so Doug can play sweet lullaby's for me and the  little one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 35:

Dear Baby,

You have been growing and changing for 35 weeks today. It really is crazy to think that you are going to be joining our family in just a few short weeks. We have prepared a lovely little room for you. We have a comfy bed, some tiny diapers, a few books and toys, and lots and lots of love to give you. Your dad has been really excited and ready to meet you. He is ready to have you here so he can play with you and hold you and teach you lots of things. I think he might be a little jealous of all the exclusive time that you and I are getting to spend together. We know that you are going to come at the perfect time and we are getting to that point where we are ready to meet you whenever you are ready to come. We pray for you everyday, we love you more each day, and we look forward to having you here in our arms.

We love you sweet little one. We cannot wait to see your face and hold your body.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 33 & 34:

- We painted the nursery, ordered our crib and changing table, assembled both, hung up pictures and shelves, and it is really starting to look like a real room.
- We ordered our glider, which we decided we are going to put in our living room. We will see how we like it there, we figure we will use it way more if it is in the living room. After all, it is our favorite place to be. And we can move it easily enough if we don't like it in the living room.
- Doug worked on the labor play list. I listened to it one night while I was falling asleep. I only heard about three songs and then I was out. So it is pretty relaxing, only time will tell if it is relaxing enough to keep my calm during labor.
- Some days I am excited and ready for labor. I feel good about the preparations I have made and I feel ready. Then the next day I am terrified and worried. Not confident, scared that I can't do it, etc. Oh, the crazy range of feelings you feel during pregnancy.
- An old man told me that I looked like I was going to have twins. When I told him we were only having one, he responded by saying "your going to have a real bruiser". Thanks old man.
- We attended our first baby and children consignment sale. There were a lot of people, thousands of adorable outfits, and rooms full of baby stuff. We spent $50.00 for $230.00 worth of baby gear. Thanks baby sales.
- I bought some eggs and looked down at the expiration date, November 23. Our due date. Which is only a few weeks away.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poor Maxwell:

Maxwell is starting to realize that things are going to be changing in his life pretty soon. He was less than thrilled to have to share the back seat of the car with a huge box holding our travel system for the little one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Date Night:

We went on a mini-date the other night. We had coffee drinks and played rummy. It had been awhile since we had played rummy, so we had to look-up the rules. At one point we both looked down at our phones to see what time it was, we were both shocked to find that it was only 8:30. We finished up our coffee and went home for an early bedtime. We have both been pretty tired lately. Growing a baby and running a camp kitchen can be very tiring. And, I am so thankful that I get to share a booth and dates with that guy. He is just so handsome and wonderful to me.

Monday, October 10, 2011


This is our second fall here at camp. It seems like this fall has been way busier than last fall. We have had a lot of new groups that have come out for retreats and Outdoor Education. It is so great to see people come and experience camp for the first time. We are blessed to be working at a place that experiences growth on a regular basis. I think..just maybe...things are slowing down a bit. The groups that we have coming are not all huge groups. There are some breaks throughout the week with no meals or no groups, which means we get to have some time at home together now. This morning we woke up together, made coffee and breakfast, watched t.v., Doug worked on our budget, I cleaned the house. It felt so nice to have time at home together. Not doing anything in particular. Just being at home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Productive Afternoon

Many days I get a break in the afternoon, in between lunch and dinner.  Most of those days I try to get a little rest, but today I decided to do something a little different.

Most every productive day starts with a little white lie (at least in my life). I told Danae I was heading home for a nap but I had no intentions of napping. Instead I drove here...

To pick up the crib and mattress Danae and I ordered online (that she thought we were picking up tonight after work.)  I could have stopped after just getting it home but I decided to go above and beyond. First, I had to get it out of here...

Put it on this...

Open it like this...

And get ready to put this puppy together...

But first I put on one of baby's first CD's...

Then got to work...

I needed a break so I went next door to buy some lemonade, a story, a picture and a potholder...

Best two bucks I ever spent. Thanks Graneys...

I finished up assembling and ended up with this for little baby Castle...

I know this was kind of a long post, but I am making up for months of not posting anything on the ol' family blog. Also I hope this post makes my little lady smile, and I hope she forgives me for lying to her earlier.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family Weekends:

The past five weekends we have been blessed to have family members from all over the country come to our area and we have gotten to host most of them in our home. First we had my parents come from Bozeman, the next weekend sister Jeanette came from Virgina, then my cousin Mindy came down from Chicago, then Greg and Beth were in town from Los Angeles, and we ended our weekends of family with a visit from my sister Bethany from Chicago. It has been a pretty crazy and hectic September full of work and guests, but we have been so blessed to get to see so many of our out of state family members. It also made September fly our baby really going to be born next month?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thank You Netflix:

Dear Netflix,

Thank you for adding the entire series of The Wonder Years onto Instant Watch.You have made my husband one happy person.And now I am being cultured in yet another area of life that I previously had no knowledge of. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins:

I have wanted to make something pumpkin-y for months now. It just didn't quite feel right yet since pumpkin is such a fall flavor. So, I waited until October 1st to make my first pumpkin treat of the year. I will tell you right now, these are a little complicated and they take time and energy, but they are worth it. Happy October!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins
Ingredients:For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)