Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five for Friday! (Vol. 3)

It's Friday, again!  Does anyone else get as excited for Friday as I do?  I feel like it's New Years Eve every week.  It's a chance to let go of what's happened in the last week, have some fun, and get a fresh start- every week.  How could that not be exciting?

Well this week was particularly rough for me.  There was a higher than usual posting about pregnancy and birth on my facebook wall, which I love!  I'm so happy for my friends, but I can't help feeling sad for myself.  As I mentioned earlier this week, I was having a rough time, and felt super emotional on and off.  On top of that, a coworker is out with pink eye so my boss and I have been handling our responsibilities, as well as hers.  Let me tell you, I have never appreciated that woman as much as I do now.  I had no idea how much work her job entailed and I never want her to take off ever again!  To say that I was stressed out and in need of a drink (which I won't be having, just in case we get our miracle this month!) would be an understatement.  I'll do my best to look back on this week with a smile and round up my top moments!

1. It's Fall!  My absolute favorite time of year.  I love how it feels, I love how it smells, I love everything about it!  I even blow dried my hair this week!!!  Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's because we don't have central air, but blow drying my hair in the summer just isn't an option for me.  I end up sweating so much while I'm doing it that my hair looks dirty and greasy by the time I'm done.  So yay for finally looking presentable, again!


2. One of my favorite bloggers, Mandy (from Biblical Homemaking,) started following me on Pinterest.  I know I'm a dork but holy cow that's so cool!  She's like a celebrity to me and to know that she's going to see what I'm posting freaks me out, in the best way!  I love her and her family, and I pray I could be half the mom and wife that she is someday! 


3. Although it was for a not so great reason I cleaned the heck out of my apartment last weekend and earlier this week.  There is still a lot to do but I love going into my kitchen and seeing little to no clutter.  My counter used to be covered with junk that I just didn't know what to do with, so I let it pile up there.  I forced myself on Sunday to take everything off, give everything a good scrub, and then either throw stuff out, give it away, or put it away.  Now I have so much space, I don't know what to do with it!  I really want a juicer, maybe I'll find one on ebay or at a garage sale! 

 4. I need to take a minute to brag on my husband a little bit.  I'm really proud of what Jim did this week!  He persevered and because of it he locked up some solid work and made some great connections.  I told him, it's always when you're about to quit when something good happens!  He was so ready to throw in the towel on Monday night, then Tuesday morning he pulled it back together again.  Real Estate is a hard business to be in but I know if he keeps at it, he'll be successful, and I'll get to be a stay at home mom!  Maybe I should quit trying to have a baby, then God will finally answer my prayers!  Oh boy, just writing it, it looks so silly.  1- I know I could never just quit.  2- It's like trying to trick God into giving me what I want, and I think we all know that's never a good idea!

5. Last, but certainly not least, we're having adult time with our best friends tonight.  I realize that sounds a bit bad, but I swear it's not!  My parents bought me tickets to a Murder Mystery dinner in NYC for my 30th birthday and we've ben putting off going.  The tickers are from livingsocial and expire next week, so we finally made a reservation for tonight.  So the 4 of us will be heading into the city, which I haven't been to since last years San Genero Festival and miss very much.  Not only do I get to leave work early for this, but it'll be our first time hanging out without baby Collin in quite some time.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that little munchkin, but I think it'll be great for the 4 of us to get some adult time and just relax.

How was your week? 
Are you excited for the weekend? 
Are you happy it's fall, or are you a forever summer kind of person? 

Either way I hope you're all having a fantastic day and will have a wonderful weekend!

To link up to more High Five for Fridays, check out The Lauren Elizabeth!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Treats

Today is a coworkers birthday and for her office party she requested anything cinnamon or pumpkin for her dessert.  I was more than happy to oblige, I love a good excuse to try new recipes!  I made 3 desserts- 2 are "semi homemade" (did anyone else love that show?) and 1 from a box, I'm not going to focus on that one.

The first recipe I found here and I tweaked it ever so slightly!  Really I didn't change it, I just added to it!
The second recipe I found here and changed it a lot!

Are you ready?  Here we go!

Recipe 1- Chocolate Pumpkin cupcakes

Ingredient list:
Cupcakes- Devils food cake mix and 1 can of pumpkin puree

Frosting-
3 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pound bag powdered sugar.

Step 1- made the cupcake batter.  It's the most simple cupcake mix EVER.  Blend the cake mix and the pumpkin puree.  Boom!  Done!  It will look thick and yummy, almost like brownie mix!


Step 2- Bake Cupcakes.  I had these adorable cupcake liners that I got at Wal-Mart for a DOLLAR and used an ice cream scoop to fill the baking pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes on 350, I left mine in for 27 minutes and they were perfection!



Step 3- While they're baking make the frosting!  Melt of 2 of the sticks of butter, once melted continue to heat, swirling it in the pan until it's a golden brown color and has an amazing nutty smell.  Set aside and let cool til room temperature (I'm not gonna lie, I only let it cool about 10 minutes, I'm sorry I don't have time to sit around letting things cool.)  Once cool, blend the other stick of butter until creamy, then add in the melted butter.  After they're combined, add in the brown sugar until smooth.  Next add in the pumpkin puree and cinnamon, I didn't put nutmeg in mine, because I didn't have it and forgot to buy it.  No one missed it, so use at your digression.  Finally add the powdered sugar, slowly.  I didn't use the extra 2 cups that the website recipe calls for, but again, that's at your digression.

Step 4- Top cupcakes- the best part!  When the cupcakes are cool, use an ice cream scooper to top with frosting.  I've never done this before and was afraid it would be too much, but everyone loved it.  This is where I took a little liberty and decided to add to the cupcakes.  Once they were frosted I drizzled caramel over them.  They looked so good and tasted even better, rarely am I this excited about or happy with something that I bake!  (Here is the finished product, side and top view.)


Recipe 2- Chocolate "Chewies"

Ingredients:
Cake/Crust/Base-
1 package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 cups mini marshmallows

Topping-
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups rice krispie cereal
Step 1- Make cake/crust/base.  Combine 1/3 cup margarine, cinnamon, egg, and cake mix until combined.  It will be very crumbly!


Step 2- Press into a 9 x 13 baking pan and bake on 350 for 12-15 minutes

Step 3- As soon as you take it out the oven, add a layer of mini marshmallow and cook for about 2 minutes.


Step 3.5- Really I'm not sure how to number this because it needs to be started when the cake/crust/base is almost finished but in the middle you'll need to add the marshmallows, you'll figure out the timing as you go.  Now that we have that established, it's time to make the rice krispie mix!  Combine the corn syrup, margarine, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a saucepan and heat/stir until fully blended.  Remove from heat and add in the rice krispies.  If you got the timing down this should be finished when the marshmallows are done.  Carefully spread the mixture over the top of the marsh mellows. 


Step 4- Refrigerate to help set up.  When you're ready to eat, cut into "squares" and enjoy!  They can be served cold or at room temperature.


Hope you enjoy these treats as much as me and my coworkers did, I was even able to make a plate for Jim to bring to his office.  I'm so happy the cool weather is here, it's definitely baking season!  I'll be bringing you a lot more recipes over the next few months, especially since I seem to be using cleaning and baking to get through my baby making trouble blues.

Am I the only one who loves to bake when it's cool out?  I think it's a tradition passed down by my Italian family because there are always pastries and cookies floating around my aunt and Nonnie's house this time of year but never when it's hot out!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Needing to vent...

(This post is possibly too honest and personal, but I really needed to get this out, and really you all know everything so why hold back?)

I'm having a particularly hard time over the past few days.  Cleaning is cathartic for me.  I went on a cleaning spree this weekend (and into last night) that included completely reorganizing my kitchen, scrubbing my bathroom, cleaning out my dressers, and starting to reorganize the closets.  Last night, Jim went out and I was sitting in the bedroom, going through clothes and balling my eyes out. 

I'm trying so hard to follow the path that God has laid out for us.  I believe in His power and His timing (even if I don't agree with His timing.)  I know my baby is coming.  This verse has been particularly helpful-

For I know the plans I have for you,
Declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

But I'm so tired.  I'm tired of always smiling and saying, "it'll happen, my time is coming." 

It doesn't help that Jim is so negative, not about the baby, but just life in general.  As soon as he runs into trouble with work (he's a realtor) or money or almost anything, he just wants to throw in the towel and give up.  I'm left to pick him up and set him straight.  I'm exhausted being positive for the both of us and honestly it takes at toll on me mentally and physically.  I think it's part of why I've been so sad these past few days.  He's working so hard at work, which is fantastic, and I love to see, but I'm constantly having to tell him to stick with it, and keep going.  When is he going to do that for me? 

I feel awful putting him down, especially on here.  I know I make him sound like a bad husband, which he's not.  But sometimes I just need more and it makes me worried for the future.  I have quite the imagination and my mind starts to play tricks on me with thoughts like- maybe we're not supposed to have a baby, or maybe I'm not supposed to have a baby with him.  What if we have a baby and he losses his job or decides he doesn't want to be together anymore (again.)  It's just a scary predicament to be in.  I know anything can happen, even the strongest couple can fall a part without working, and ultimately I need to be having this conversation with him, but I'm at work and my mind is racing and I just needed to get this out!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

God is listening

I have to share an experience I had today.  Jim is doing some work at his office today and I tagged along so we could go for lunch at a place near his office (we have a groupon, yay!)  We're sitting in his office and working the laptop when all of a sudden it turns off, I forgot to postpone the windows updates when I opened it up.  His laptop is a bit old and can't handle the updates windows wants to run, so we always postpone it.  Since we have so much going on right now, we haven't put aside money to get him a new one, although he really needs one, especially now that real estate is really taking off! 

Anyway, the computer automatically starts updating right in the middle of him trying to print out reports for the properties he's about to show.  We both panic, since it probably will lead to hours of us trying to figure out how to reset the computer and get it back to a working status, and his clients are coming in about 20 minutes.  He freaks out, as he always does (God, I love that man, but oh does his temper need some work.)  I, on the other hand, smiled, put my hands on the computer and began to pray. 

God, I know You're with us.  I know You're watching over what is happening right now.
I know You have the power to fix this.
Please work with us and work on the computer.
Please get it through these updates and get it working again.
God, I know You have the power and I know You're here to help, all I have to do is ask.
Please God, get the computer working.
In Jesus name, I pray!
What else was I going to do?  I have very little computer abilities and I didn't have any answers.  The only thing I could do was rely on Him to get us through this.  And do you know what happened?  The computer made it through it's updates, Jim was able to print his papers, and he's with his clients as I'm writing this blog post. 
Some may laugh at me because it's such a small and silly thing to pray about, but what else was I supposed to do?  And more importantly, it worked.  God helped us through a tough situation and I know He'll continue to do that.  I pray to God for a lot of things.  Sometimes, I get an immediate answer like I did today, sometimes I'm left waiting for His timing to be right (ie still waiting for baby, come on God, let's get on the same page for that one!) 
Basically, I'm writing this to let you know not only what happened to me today, but to remind you to pray.  Prayer works.  God is with us, and He will take care of us!

Be patient.  Pray.  Our time is coming.  Happy Saturday everyone!  Have a blessed day!



Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday (Vol. 2)





Hello, Friday, old friend, old pal!  Oh how I've missed you!  This has been a fantastic week and I have this post to thank for it, at least partly.  I find that now that I'm writing these Friday run downs I tend to look at things through out the week with a more positive outlook, thinking about how great each little thing is making my week as a whole. So yay for that!  And this is my 50th post, how awesome is that?

Here's the top 5 moments/events of my week:

1. Friday night poker!  I made it into the big monthly tournament that gives you a chance to win $250!  Jim won last month, which was awesome, and was knocked out 7th this time.  I was knocked out 15th, but I was just excited to be in the tournament.  (Here's the final table, smiling for a website photo, so I didn't get their faces.)


2. Game night!  I love me a good board game!  Thank God for board games, because they helped us stay sane when we were stuck in the house during Hurricane Sandy.  Saturday night we went to our best friend's house (Dave and Lia) for a game night.  We got some snuggles in with the cutie patootie, Collin, and after he was sleeping peacefully we pulled out the games.  We played a new game called Imaginiff, which was fun and highly recommended for some laughs with old friends.  Then we moved on to a classic, Balderdash.  Never have I ever played so horribly, I was in dead last place!  But it's ok, it was still fun! (There I am, still stuck on Start, where I was for most of the game!)


3. Football tailgating!  When I tell you that my Uncle and Aunt (in law) know how to tailgate better than anyone I have ever met, I really am not kidding!  We went to the "Manning bowl" with them on Sunday.  We didn't have tickets, but we hung out with everyone in the parking lot and watched the game on the TV Uncle Ralph sets up in the truck.  I even enjoyed a drink for the first time in months!  I did end up with a slight case of food poisoning afterwards and the Giants lost, but the experience was still great!  (Here's Aunt Cheryl in the apron Aunt Tina made her, and my yummy BBQ and drink.)




4. I finally opened a facebook page to promote the blog and also just create a community of sorts for women in similar situation to me.  It feels kind of corny to say but when I was driving in to work on Wednesday my head was racing with thoughts and ideas, and the one that kept jumping out at me was that I needed to share with other women.  This whole TTC journey can feel so lonely, depressing and never ending, I want to stay as positive as I can and help others do the same.  I want to remind others that there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Instead of looking at pregnant women as the enemy, look at them as inspiration.  They're where we want to, and will, be someday, sadly that day just isn't today.  Please feel free to like and share the page.  I was unbelievably delighted when my friends liked and shared it for me.  It's starting to grow, and I've already gotten to share in some of my friends stories, people I didn't even know were trying, and I loved that.  We will all be fantastic mommies someday!  One friend said this, you won't "find anyone more ready to become parents than ones that are told they have to wait."  I could not agree more!

5. I'm getting a present.  I haven't gotten it yet, so it probably shouldn't count in this week's post, but I just love knowing that something is on the way.  The other night Jim was ordering some stuff he needed for his car and I fell asleep waiting for him to finally pick what he was going to get.  When he woke me up to head to bed he gave me a run down of what he bought, all I remember hearing is "oh and I got something for you too" which he slipped in at the end of the list.  He won't tell me what it is, but I love when he does little things like that, it's nice to know he's thinking of me.  Sometimes he really is a fantastic man!  I really need to give him more credit (I'm sure my previous blog posts don't paint him the best picture!)

It's been a great week and I'm about to head into another great weekend.  Hopefully, I can keep this up, because even though I'm still stressing about baby making (and currently in the lovely 2WW,) I'm a very happy lady!  Hope you're all feeling great too!  Have a fabulous weekend!

To link up with other High Five for Friday posts check out The Lauren Elizabeth!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

1000!


I'm so excited!  I just logged in to check out what's going on today and saw that my blog hit 1000 views!  Holy Moly, people are actually reading what I write.  That means the world to me! 

I was thinking about it this morning and I realized that I really want to use this space not just to share my story, but to support other women who are in similar situations.  I want to be a positive supporter and friend to all of you, and help you know and believe that your time is coming, your baby is coming.  Most of all, I want to use this space to share my faith in God as it grows.  I really hope that His message can empower others like it's been empowering me, especially recently!

Thank you all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Monday. Don't forget to be Awesome!


Just because it's Monday doesn't mean we have to have a case of "the Mondays!"  I'm currently suffering from an insomnia full night as well as the lingering belly ache from BBQ food poisoning, and nagging concern about missing a TTC window, but I feel like I'm having a fantastic Monday, and I hope you all are too!

The biggest contributor to my current happiness is music. I try to listen to only Christian music when I'm in my car and this morning it was just what I needed.  My favorite radio station is K-Love, which is broadcast out of the Chicago area but has satelite stations all over the country.  Every song I heard on my way in to work this mroning gave me that "oh I love htis song feeling," to the point that I almost forgot that I was sitting in rush hour rainy morning traffic!  Here are links to the lyrics of some of my favorites from this morning.  If yuou ever feel you need a break from all of the crass, sex filled lyrics that I personally feel fill the pop and rap stations, definitely give this station, or any Christian station a chance.  You'd be very surprised by how much of it sounds like "normal" pop or rock songs. 

Hello, my name is regret

I'm not who I used to be (quite possibly my favorite song!)

Learning to be the Light (this wasn't actually played this morning, but I can't remember the names of the other songs and this one is fantastic, so enjoy it!)

Hope you all have a fantstic day! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

High Five for Friday! (Vol. 1)

One of my favorite blogs takes part in a weekly run down of the top 5 things that happened in the past week, called high five for Friday!  I love the idea and I've decided to jump on the bandwagon.  So here we go- my 1ST High Five for Friday post!

1. Football and Poker.  Not what you would expect a girl to be excited about, eh?  Well I am!  We spent our Sunday sleeping in and relaxing, then we headed over to Jim's aunt and uncles house to watch the Giants 1st game of the season, and play poker.  Do any of you play poker?  We played all the time in college and really enjoyed it, but that fell off some when we started full time jobs.  Now that we play every Friday we've really gotten back into it, and I didn't realize how much I missed it.  When Jim and I started dating, playing cards with his family was a staple, so it's so fun to get together and reconnect again.  And football, well it's staple for my in laws.  We love the Giants, even when they lose, and now that I'm actually trying to learn and know what's going on it's so much fun to hang out, watch the game, and win some money.



2. This was my first week back to work after my first vacation in over 4 years!  I was amazed when I got back to work and found this

More importantly, I was excited that it only took me about an hour to widdle that all down to no unread emails!  Also upon my return, I was told by several coworkers that they were happy to have me back, and had missed me as a friend and as a reliable worker.  Not gonna lie, it feels good to be needed around here!

3. I finally tried a recipe for pulled pork in a crock pot and it didn't burn!  Granted, I used chicken instead, but I was so excited!  It was succulent and tasty, even Jim said I should make it again. I'm so sad I didn't take pictures of it for a post, I'll make sure to do that the next time I make it.

4.  I realized, more than ever, I have the best best friend in the world.  I finally shared my blog with her and honestly just didn't think about the fact that I had written about her and her son.  She called me crying because she felt so bad for all of the trouble we're going thru with trying to have a baby.  She reminded me that it takes time, after all it took her 3 tries, but my baby is out there and I'll be holding him/her soon.  Her words touched me so much!  I felt horrible that she was crying, but her reaction showed just how much she cares and that felt amazing.  She's a beautiful woman inside and out, and I'll forever cherish our friendship!  (Here's Lia with her husband, Dave, and their baby, Collin, on his first Easter.)


5. It's Friday!  I know that's a silly thing to add to a high five for Friday list but boy oh boy, last week when the man at the wild horse tour in OBX told us "this Friday will be way better than next Friday" he wasn't kidding!  I'm happy to be back at work, I love feeling needed, but I'm ready to get out of here and relax.  Tonight we're playing in a poker tournament at a local hang out that we won entries into, and I can't wait to see how well my poker skills have advanced in the past few weeks! 

How was your week?  Are you as excited for the weekend as I am?  We have so much going on, I can't wait to get to it, but I'll save the details for next week's High Five for Friday.

Link up your High Five for Friday with The Lauren Elizabeth