Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Pasta

I'm easy to please when it comes to lunches during the work week. I will pick something and eat it everyday for several months before I get tired of it. For a whopping 1.5 years, I ate raisin, date, and walnut oatmeal for lunch. Every. Day. I haven't been able to eat it since.

When I got tired of oatmeal, I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Three months later and I started to bring a can of Campbells chicken & wild rice soup. Lately, however, I have discovered the wonderful world of Healthy Choice Iron Chef frozen meals. They are fantastic! 300 calories, 15 grams of protein, and several amazing options to choose from all for less than $2.50. My favorite is the chicken with roasted red pepper alfredo. I bought out the entire downtown Seattle Target (honest, I did!). And when they were gone, I was very sad.

But I'm a very persistent person. And I obsess easily. I wasn't about to let my obsession end with Target's stocking failures. So I found some recipes and made my own. Not quite the same as the frozen meals (yes, they are THAT good) but still amazing. This is the kind of pasta that is so good, you could serve it at a dinner party or just whip it up for Friday family pasta night.

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Pasta

3 whole red bell peppers (or buy canned roasted red pepper)
1 diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk
4 oz. goat cheese
Pre-cooked chicken breasts pieces (or rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated parm cheese
1/2 lb. whole weat pasta
olive oil
salt & pepper

1. To roast red peppers, place them on a foil-covered baking sheet in a 450 degree oven and bake until peppers are charred (about 30 mins). Remove from oven and tent with foil to prevent steam from escaping. When the peppers have cooled (at least ten mins later), peel the skin and dice them.

2. Pour olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until the onions soften. Then add cream and milk and allow mixture to heat up. Add the goat cheese and stir to melt.

3. Pour the mixture into a blender with the red pepper and process until mostly smooth or until the mixture has reached desired texture.

4. Return the sauce to the pan. Add the chicken breast pieces and basil. Add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta.

So yum!

Race for the Clock

You're Invited!
The Callipygians, my local running group, is hosting a VIRTUAL race of any distance.  You choose your distance, your pace and your race day that falls between June 8th & June 16th.
Run 1 mile, a 5K, a 10K, a half, etc...
The FIRST 100 registrations will receive a medal and a t-shirt!  All race proceeds will go to our local Southwest Kansas running community called:  SWFTR, South West Fun Time Runners.  SWFTR will then use the money to purchase a new timing clock and laptop to run the system.
Lori DeyoeLaura Miller, myself - Kelley Baker, Yolanda Rogers and Leslie Scripsick

Register via Facebook.  Find our Event Page Here.
Or download and print the Registration Form Here.

Thank you so much for contributing to such a great cause!

The clock we have is several years old and literally is on its last leg after many times of being repaired. 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Crack

I kiss his chubby cheeks and smell his soft skin.

I breath in his angel thin hair. I pinch his fatty baby thighs.

Wrap my arms tightly around his entire body. Choke back tears over his natural sweetness.

I can't enough of his babyness.

I want to inhale it.

I am absolutely addicted to him.

He is my crack.

My sweet, pinchable, chubby, soft crack.

My crack who is slowly learning to walk (stop! stop it!).

At least once a day I find myself thinking back to Ryan's early days. His newborn photos. That moment he met his big brother for the first time. An old baby phase of his that is long gone. I can't stop my tears from falling. I just see so much beauty and wonderment surrounding this little boy. As if the entire purpose of life is slowly being revealed to me, piece by small piece, in every one of his smiles.

Weekend Whoas!

We had the best weekend.  We seldom have so much fun when we stay in town but we made the most of a beautiful weekend.
1//  I posted them yesterday but I finally got a few photos of the little cowboys that I LOVE!
See more here.

2//  I completed week 2 of my 30 day challenge.  I ended the week proud of my running miles and stayed right on track with my calorie goal - yay!!
 Towards Thursday and Friday (as you can see) I was having difficulty only consuming 1200 calories - I was starving.  I think my cycle really played into my hunger, sorry TMI.  But over the weekend I was able to cut back to get my weekly average right at 1200.  
On Friday, I signed up for a 10K in June so the training has officially commenced   I surpassed my 3 mile weekend  plan since I went out running with my local running group and they decided we needed to make it an even 5 miles.  These ladies are rock stars and pretty much killed me!  Killed me but I loved it!  
Join me, I'm keeping track with dailymile and myfitnesspal.
Linking up with Ashley!

3// Saturday morning the little cowboys and I met our good friends the Wahl's (also a mommy with 2 rowdy little boys) to check out the 'Dinosaurs of Kansas' exhibit.  It was set up in a Airplane museum.  The kids loved everything about it!  What boy wouldn't t love a place full of huge airplanes and dinosaurs?  

4// After our trip to the museum and lunch with the Wahl's, we set out on a mommy/son date.  We did some shopping resulting in Keeler getting a new bike and then a yummy treat at a new frozen yogurt place. 

5// When we got home the neighbor girl, Cristen, agreed to watch the boys while I went out on my short long run.  They all seemed to enjoy a couple other treats we picked up on our shopping trip. 
 Chocolate Straws!
   and Watermelon!!

6// The biggest blessing this weekend was gorgeous weather!  
Just as planned we spent A LOT of time outdoors.  
On Sunday evening we had an impromptu 'outdoor' neighborhood dinner party.  Three other families and us had a delicious rib dinner followed by lots of laughs and watching our boys play.    I hope this dinner was the first of many.  We have the best neighbors and an added perk they also have little boys that play so well together. 


Google Does It Again

I'm so happy that the person who googled "accidental crotch sweat" was directed to my blog. I hope they enjoyed the pictures of my post-spin class sweat.

I'm confused how six people found my blog by googling "naked full figured women." I'm sure they were disappointed.

And I'm very curious about the two people who came to my blog by googling "peeing on your leg hangover cure." The only real hangover cure is to be sick for three days in a row and then be shown pictures of you swimming in the ocean with only half your clothes on. Then, trust me, you will never want to drink again.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I finally got a few brother pictures that I LOVE of my two little cowboys.  It all started Sunday after taking some pictures during Sunday school because they looked so darn cute and they were the only kids in my class. 
They turned out cute and a little silly as they always do:
But when we got home from church I wanted to give it another shot.  Keeler, as Keeler always does, immediately showed resistance to the idea but then asked if we could take them in the field by our house.  My response, sure!  If he was going to embrace it – I’d take them anywhere.  And Kallahan is game as long as big brother is on board.  So I quickly grabbed my camera, mind you I've been taking pictures solely with my iPhone for months, so I had to dust it off a bit.  
Here’s the result:
I only got a few shots before they were 'over it.' But I was pleased because I don't know it I've ever actually captured them together so sweetly.  I love these two little guys more than they’ll ever know.  I love being their mommy.  

Not So Picture Perfect

When we were first married, I told my husband I wanted five kids. All boys. He looked at me like I was mad and asked "why?" I told him, "I love boys, they are so naughty."

He shook his head and said, "Only two." I told him we could compromise, with four. We are still negotiating.

Yesterday was pretty much a quintessential day with a house full of boys. It was crazy, unexpected, wierdly hilarious and wild. I loved every second of the chaos.

My morning started at exactly 7:19 when I heard Ryan howling from his room. He wasn't just whinning to be let free from his baby jail. He was howling. Without having to peek my head in, and even though it had never happened before, I instantly knew what was wrong. My mommy instincts are so finely tuned when it comes to pain cries.

I walked into the boys' room and found Ryan on the floor next to his crib. A long crimson trail of blood flooded from his ear, across his forehard and dripped down his face. I picked him up immediately to console him and then searched for the source of the blood. It took my a while to discover that he was bleeding from a gash in his forehead.

I cleaned him off, feeling 40% grossed out and 60% sympathy, and inspected the wound. It appeared to be gaping. It was smack in the middle of his forehead. And I swear I saw some fatty tissue peaking out from behind the cut. It instantly stopped bleeding with a bandaid, but to be on the safe side, I packed a quick diaper bag and rushed Ryan out to Urgent Care (where our family has been three times this year already!).

Thankfully, no stitches. The doctor said it was completely superficial. Phew, not even a glue bandaid was necessary. But we did walk out with the world's biggest bandaid. Such a brave daredevil!

Of course, as luck would have it, today we were scheduled for an outdoor photo shoot for family portraits. Turns out that getting a family of four ready (with two young boys), is much more difficult than getting a family of three ready (with one small boy). I had our outfits planned ahead for months but I guess I hadn't quite hammered out all the details. Jacob had no dress socks, so I convinced him to wear a pair of my black socks. He got quite the kick out of the fact that his socks went past his knees. Ryan did not have a single pair of clean matching socks. We improvised and hoped his pants would cover them. Jacob's brown belt clearly did not match his black shoes. Then, of course, there was Ryan's gory forehead and my gashed up kneed peeking out from beneath my dress. We were quite a sight.

At the last minute I stopped at a store and found a sweater for Jacob. It was meant to keep him warm (he kept complaining of being cold in the polo shirt I made him wear) but had the added bonus of hiding his brown unmatchy belt. Unfortunately, we did not look as put-together and coordinated as I had imagined, but you know what? That's life with two young boys. Chaotic, unkept, improvised, and a little frustrating. We definitely looked the part.

We met our wonderful photographer in Tacoma. Immediately my outgoing four year old turned into the shyest human on earth. He was stingy with smiles at first but finally warmed up after we kept insisting that he "better not smile this time!" In every other shot, Ryan was captured trying to smack his brother on the top of the head. Jacob wouldn't let go of his filthy, dirt-covered "special doggy" stuffed animal. When we posed them together for a sibling shot, they both kept falling over, while clutching each other. And then Jacob kept photo-bombing our couples shot.

Thank goodness we all had a great sense of humor! The photographer laughed at the chaos and captured the craziness in his photos. This is real life, people. This is our family. This is simply what little boys do. Thankfully, I know that there are at least a handful of great shots. And the photographer even promised to edit out Ryan's gashed forehead and my banged up, scabby knees. Phew!

After the photoshoot we took the kids out for dinner. It's not often we are all together and dressed so (mostly) nicely. We stopped at one of our favorite burger joints and, for the first time in a long time, all had a nice dinner out. I was enjoying our time together so much that I didn't even mind that Ryan kept trying to feed me every five second by thrusting his spoon into my mouth. I didn't mind having to shove my food down my throat while simultaneously pulling Ryan off the table and reminding Jacob to eat his burger and not just his fries. My husband and I were only a little irked that Jacob kept trying to blow bubbles in his milkshake causing it to spill all over the table. My husband and I didn't even mind taking turns interrupting our meal to take the kids to the bathroom and change their diapers.

As we piled into the car I looked back fondly on our day. It was chaotic. It was busy. It was frustrating at times. But we were together. As usual, the boys had filled our day with stress, worry, and frustration but these trying moments were interspersed with laugher, smiles, and candid, unplanned sweet moments. It was the absolute perfect picture of our life with two small boys.

I'm slowly learning not to view moments of frustration as black spots on the day but as opportunities to step up to the plate at this whole parenting thing and put our skills to the test. Not only do parents have to manage expectations (of their children and of themselves) but parents need to learn that the hard parts are the growing pains. They are evidence that our children are growing and learning and processing the world around them. Nothing is more wonderful than the journey of a child finding his place in the world and experiencing the unconditional love of his parents through their guidance and acceptance. And then your kid shits his pants and it's totally acceptable to scream at a wall.

I was almost tempted to ask the photographer not to edit the pictures. Almost.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorite Things {11}

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough."

Quiet library concentration.
One of our most favorite days of the week.

Little one always goes searching for the Karen Katz baby books.

Sickness strikes and Daddy becomes the smoothie making hero.
Ren relishes being syringe fed blueberry smoothie.
She might be spoiled...a little...

We're slowly becoming bird watching enthusiasts.
Little feet come pitter-pattering from all over the house whenever I shout "There's a robin in the tree!" or "I see a junco!"

Sick days include a lot of extra love!

She's on a mission.
She practices every day.

Spontaneous little notes.
We had a giggle at 'bad mom'.
When I first pointed it out to her, she felt so awful and apologized profusely.
I assured her I knew she meant to write 'dad' and she then shared in the humor.

Early morning flossy head.

New favorite imaginary adventure: monsters....RRRROOOAAAARRR!

Asking to go out to her swing.
All. The. Time.

Catching raindrops for science.
I love their eagerness and curiosity.

Favorite moment of the week:
Our 'Japanese' lunch.
Complete with kimonos I made them for Christmas and PB&J sushi eaten with chopsticks!
I almost took another picture from a different angle so you wouldn't see my piles of laundry waiting to be folded in the background.
Then I decided not to.
In years to come they will look back at these pictures and see these perfect moments were perfect even despite such imperfections!

friday favorite things | finding joy

High Five for Friday

Linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday & 
Jen for Health and Fitness Fridays!
1// Highs Fives all around for almost completing two weeks of my wellness plan.  I set up a 30 day challenge for myself and the girls at work.  It's pretty simple: workout 30 minutes daily / 5 days a week, limit calories to 1200 daily plus I cut out any candy and pop.  The first week was easier than this week but I'm right on track. I'm using both these websites - dailymile and myfitnesspal to track my progress.  Click the links to find me.  I'd love you to join!  #gettinsummerfit      

2// I ran my first 5K as a 30 year old this past weekend.  My time was 30:09 - not too shabby.  My Junior Civic club hosted the race - a very successful GLOW RUN.  We had over 120 participants.  Check out our facebook page with race pictures here.   This picture is of my awesome coworkers that came out to support the race and run - "Team American Implement!" 
I didn't plan on running but after we got all the late registrations completed and we had timers in place I decided - why not?!  I can't fail to mention, both my in-laws raced and took home 1st place for female and 3rd for male. Highs Five to Mimi and Jim-dad!!  

3// Monday I got to spend the afternoon at home with my little cowboys.  Granny (their sitter) had an appointment and some errands to run.  It was my first time to actually take Keeler to school and pick him up like a regular stay-at-home-mom.  Typically when we are home on a weekday it's because he is sick and has to miss school.  I loved spending the time with them and especially rocking Kal for his afternoon nap but the day flew by and I didn't get to accomplish all that I thought I could with an afternoon off.  I did however make a meatloaf that I rarely make because they take so long.  The kids were testing me too so I was ready to get back to work on Tuesday.  I love my kids dearly but Highs Five to stay-at-home-moms.   

4// The weather here has been bi-polar lately.  Last weekend was gorgeous in the mid 70's but midweek the high was in the 30's.  The bright side was we had one last (well, hopefully the last) cozy fire.  High Five for roasting marshmallows towards the end of April!

5// And lastly High Five for Friday!  The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend.  My friend, Jill, and I are taking our boys to a local dinosaur exhibit but other than that we plan on being outside and soaking up the sun!  We have some yard work to do and the little cowboys have some playing to do!