Thursday, March 29, 2012

We Made It!

Grace on leg one of the flight after an outfit change en route to Phoenix

Grace was as quiet as a mouse and Griffin was as drunk as a skunk (thanks to a little thing I like to call, "laced hotdogs"!) They were such good travelers!

Whew, I was worried!

It was a long day of traveling with only a few casualties: I lost Griffin's leash and Grace may have pooped on Jessica...

Thank you, thank you, thank you again to Jessica for ALL OF YOUR HELP!
(I think I owe you more than that Pizza Hut in Phoenix...probably a new shirt, too!) ;)

The weather didn't disappoint. We had snow and wind, so we stayed in Loyalton at Aunt Becky and Uncle Don's house!

A sleepover! What fun!

We are so happy to be here! I can't believe it's almost been one week already. It is so much fun to be here with Grandma and Grandad. We've also been lucky enough to spend time with a bunch a family on the Anderson side!

I'm not sure who was happier to see Grace, Great Grandma Betty or Uncle Brandon!?

Just four more days until Auntie Jen gets here!

We've also been busy assembling and packing care packages for Cole. Three boxes are in the mail and headed his way!*

We love and miss you, DaDa!

*That means I've got Cole's unit's mailing address, so let me know if you would like me to send it to you. I asked him what he needs, and he said, "a haircut and clean laundry." Ok, I guess we'll just get creative, thanks for your input!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby's First Flight

It's finally time for our first trip home!


Just a quick 9 hour flight with a 4 month old and a Chihuahua, (and my good friend, Jessica!)

Thank god!

I think I actually ended up tricking her into flying with us...

"What? You're flying home on this flight too? What a crazy coincident!"

I think/hope I've packed everything we'll need. It's been 80 degrees here while over there they are issuing Winter Storm Warnings over the sierra. Oh great!

Luckily I've called in a lot of favors (thank you Jessica, Kayla, Lindsay, Naasief, Courtney, Dad, and James just to name a few, for making this trip possible!)

I can't wait to see family and friends in California and Nevada and introduce my sweet little Grace! I promise, you're going to love her!

Wish us luck! We're going to need it!

In honor of Graces (and Griffin's) first airplane trip, here are some other firsts from this week:

Grace met Louise!

I mowed the lawn (weeds). Glamorous, I know!

We ate at Smithfield's BBQ! YUM!

Jessica went to Stroller Strides

Grace got her first pair of sunglasses!

I hosted my first BBQ (and almost succeeded in lighting the charcoal...)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can I Pinterest You in Some Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I've been obsessed with Pinterest for some time now! I'm not saying I was one of the early adopters, but I did get get my invite last summer (thanks to my sister.) Ok, bragging aside, Pinterest is such a good idea, that it's surprising no one thought of it earlier. It's a place to collect, organize and browse everything from recipes and funny sayings to home decorating ideas and DIY crafts.

Sometimes I feel like I get a little carried away pinning all of the things I want to try/buy/do that I never actually accomplish any of it in real life. So a while ago I decided to try out one of the many recipes that I had pinned: Chicken Lettuce Wraps! I made them the week before Cole left, and we both LOVED them so much that I made them again a few nights later! To me they taste just like PF Chang's.

They turned out so well, I couldn't help but feel proud of myself! (Now I have 3 go to meals: tacos, spaghetti and chicken lettuce wraps!) I even went so far as to imagine how Grace's mom (ahem, me) would be legendary for her chicken lettuce wraps one day, but then I came back to reality and realized I was getting kind of dramatic...

Photo Credit: Pinterest

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar (I substituted white vinegar)
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp sesame oil (I substituted olive oil)
2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded into bite-sized pieces
8 oz canned water chestnuts, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-10 Boston butter lettuce (or other lettuce) leaves separated and rinsed
1 large carrot, finely shredded
1-2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Chicken Preparation:
Place shredded chicken in medium-sized bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons each of sesame oil and soy sauce. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and refrigerate until ready to prepare.

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onions and water chestnuts. Saute for 4 minutes, then add chicken and reserved soy sauce mixture. Cook about 4 minutes longer before transferring into serving dish.

Serve on top of lettuce leaves and top with carrots, sesame seeds and dipping sauce. (see below)

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I substituted white vinegar)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame oil (I substituted olive oil)
1 tsp hot water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced

Dipping Sauce Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water, whisking until clear. Add soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use. Prior to serving, combine the hot water, dijon, and garlic in a small bowl, then add to the chilled mixture.

Note: I changed the recipe a little bit to my liking, but you can follow the link to the original recipe.

I'm planning on making these for Jessica while she's here visiting. Hopefully they go over as well the 3rd time! Do you have a go-to dish?

Mama’s Losin’ It
Pinterest Challenge, find something you’ve pinned, TRY it and share it. Was it worth pinning?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Spring in North Carolina Means To Me

It's the middle of March, and I guess in North Carolina that means springtime! In addition to sunny 80 degree days spring also means:

Yellow pollen everywhere

Spring cleaning
Or at the very least I'll wash the sheets...

Sunning on the deck
This is how Griffin does it.

Short-sleeved baby onsies

Turquoise fingernail polish

Iced coffee

Lavender and honey gelato
My favorite flavor at Tuttimelon

Cole is usually the griller, but I'll have to give it a shot.

Freshly mowed grass
Or weeds, whatever the case may be.

Swim suit shopping
I can't wait to take Grace swimming

Lunch dates with friends

Evening walks
Thank you daylight savings time

Mosquitos, fleas and ticks
Why do mosquitos always have to bite me on my ankles???

Long runs... short shorts!

March Madness
My bracket is already basically a bust thanks to Duke and St. Mary's.

Grace's hair gets curly!

Don't worry, the first day of Spring is officially March 20th, so if you're not already enjoying springtime fun, it's just around the corner! XO!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Grace Turns 4 Months Old

4 Things I've Learned In 4 Months As Grace's Mom:

1. I can accomplish most tasks with just my right hand.
Making coffee, going to the bathroom, feeding the dog... all while holding a baby!

2. Sleep is overrated.
Even when I have time to sleep, I don't sleep because there's something else I'd rather be doing.

3. Babies don't hold a grudge.
They don't! Grace has already forgiven me for every mistake I've made. These include, but are not limited to, putting her clothes on backwards, letting Griffin french kiss her, and forgetting to buckle all of the straps in her car seat.

4. Poo, pee, puke and boogers are no big deal.
I just wipe them up and we're good to go! The old me would be truly disgusted with the new me.
Grace had her 4 month well baby appointment
Weight- 13 lbs. 12 oz (71st percentile)
Height- 24.6 inches (81st percentile)*
*There's still hope for her volleyball career


Some highlights from this week:
  • Auntie Jen left after an amazing weekend visit.
  • I locked myself out of the house and had to call a locksmith. Grrr.
  • I went to Stroller Strides and for a run around the neighborhood. (Just 2 months until the Baltimore Half Marathon!)
  • Baby Play Class
  • Grace turns 4 months old. We took 4 shots of tequila to celebrate! (That's not true.)
  • We got to FaceTime with Cole in Afghanistan! I was so excited to get to talk to him and see him! It was perfect timing because Grace was just waking up and full of smiles.
  • We watched a Mad Man marathon! Oh Don Draper, you handsome devious fellow. I can't wait until the new season starts next week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

60 Days Until the Maryland Half Marathon

It's been a while since I've run any distance beyond a 5K.
(Almost a year and a half to be exact! Eeek!)

I got into the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco last year, but found out I was pregnant the next week. I guess I could have run it, but I would have been 8 months preggo and let's be honest, I'm not that hard core!

Did you hear the story about the lady who ran a marathon 9+ months pregnant and then gave birth later that day? What!? THE. Hell!? (It's hard enough pushing Grace in the stroller fully out of my womb!)

I'm trying to get back on the running wagon, so I'm signing up to run the Maryland Half Marathon on May 6th with my sister. Anyone else want to join in the fun?

Here's our training plan:

(Jen, we better get running!)

60 Days and counting...

***This running plan is adapted from a Reno Running and Fitness Half Marathon Training program.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad, You're One of A Kind

Celebrating you never gets old!

Happy birthday!

Thank you for being such a wonderful, generous and supportive father. We wish we could be with you to celebrate your big day, but that just means more carrot cake for you!

All our love,