Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Through Your Eyes

I don't remember watching my very first sunset. Or even my second or third.
But through your eyes, the splash of color across the sky is breathtaking, perfect, and new.

I don't remember the first time I watched a squirrel scurrying up a tree trunk.
But through your eyes, I see just how much of a struggle it is for him. And I cheer him on.

I don't remember hearing music for the first time.
But through your eyes, I see the beauty in a symphony, the joy in harmony, and the happiness in each melody.

I don't remember the first time I climbed a mountain.
But through your eyes, I recognize the grandeur of  each peak and the pride in conquering the summit.

I don't remember learning about Jesus Christ.
But through your eyes, it's like I am meeting Him for the first time. And learning just how much He loves me.

I don't remember my first taste of food.
But through your eyes, I see how wonderful each individual flavor is and feel grateful for the bounty we enjoy.

I don't remember the first time I saw the leaves changing colors in the fall.
But through your eyes, it is an absolute miracle. Beauty at it's finest. And I pause to take it in.

I don't remember the first time I discovered the sun.
But through your eyes, I see it's magnificence as it warms my skin and lights my path.

I don't remember the first time I felt grass under my toes.
But through your eyes, I see the different textures and feel happiness in simplicity.

I don't remember the first time I rolled over, sat up, or took a step.
But through your eyes, I see the miracle in all my body can do, and I am grateful.

I don't remember discovering the world for the first time.
But I do remember the first time you did.
And through your eyes, everything is new and exciting. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

6 Month Update

Half a year! I really can't believe it! Time has gone by so quickly and suddenly we have a 6 month old baby! Tonight we will be celebrating with a half-birthday party and we are really looking forward to it!

Dear Kymri,

I guess we are just going to have to accept the fact that you are going to keep growing no matter what we say or do. This past month has been a lot of fun and it's crazy to think about all of the things that you have learned to do in just this short period of time.

We don't go to the doctor until next week, but judging by our bathroom scale, you are somewhere between 19 and 20 lbs! What a big girl you are! We have friends that are a year old and weigh as much as you or less. You definitely like to eat!

Your sleep has improved a bit since last month. You only wake up two times a night now, and I can handle that! We're up at 11:00 and 3:00, you eat for about 15-20 min each time and you go back down easily and wake up for the day between 6:30 and 7:00. You are taking pretty consistent naps at 9:00 and 1:00, and will sometimes take a third nap at 4:00. So things are definitely looking up on the sleep front and you are even happier because of it! Every now and again you have a less than stellar night, but for the most part we are doing okay. Obviously, I would love if you could sleep through the night, but waking up two times is much better than five or six times.

Last month you had learned to roll over and loved it. This month, you have learned to use those rolls to get around. The first time it happened, I had put you down for just a second so that I could run to the bathroom and when I came back about 45 seconds later, you had rolled all the way across the room and knocked over a glass of water! haha. We definitely have to be more careful now.

 Another time, you started on a blanket, but noticed your toys in the corner and rolled all the way to them

This past month, Grandma Shelley came to visit and it was so great! We had a lot of fun and it was so good to have her here. We always love when family can come visit you. Grandpa Shelley gets to come up tomorrow, so we are looking forward to that!

You are babbling more than ever and even through some consonant sounds in there every now and again. So cute.

You got a little virus this month and it was the worst thing ever. It's a good thing that your daddy could stay so calm through it all, because I was a total mess! It only lasted for one day, but it was still the pits and I am so glad to be done with that. I was so worried about you that we slept on the floor in your room to make sure you were okay. You definitely were okay and it didn't even seem to bother you all that much, but I was so sad about the whole thing. Don't ever get sick again, okay??

You love to play in your little jumper. If you see it, you will reach out for it even. Since you have been using it in the last couple of weeks, your legs have gotten really strong! You are always so proud of yourself when you can turn all the way around in it to get to the toy you want. It's adorable.

We just barely started you on solid food, and you aren't so sure how you feel about it. We will become more consistent about it in the next little while, so hopefully you start enjoying it more.

You absolutely love being outside. We usually go for two walks a day: one in the Ergo carrier and one with the stroller. That way you get to see the world from two different points of view. If you get real fussy, I know that all I have to do is take you outside and you are happy again. We will lay on a blanket in the shade and play and have a great time. We will definitely miss that come winter time!

We are coming in to October and we are so excited for all the fun things fall will hold! Autumn is my favorite and I hope you love it too! You can already see the leaves changing and there is a little chill in the air in the evenings. We are so excited to take you to a pumpkin patch, dress up for Halloween, go for a hay ride, and so many other fun fall activities. You will love it!

Kymri, we love you so much. Thank you for making every day an adventure and for keeping us on our toes! We never know what to expect with you and every day is something new and exciting.

All my love,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Back Yard Picnic

The weather here has been absolutely amazing, and we are trying to soak up every last minute of it before it turns to the bitter cold of winter. We've been enjoying our Stay-At-Home Date Ideas, and last weekend was a perfect opportunity for our backyard picnic.

Having a baby at home has been absolutely amazing, but has required some flexibility on our usual date night plans. As wonderful as she is, Kymri only last so long sitting in one spot, so restaurants can be tricky, and takeout has become a great date night option. Pair some sandwiches with a big blanket in the back yard, and you have one easy, relaxing, fun date night.

Last weekend, Kymri and I ran to pick up sandwiches from Jimmy Johns while Brad finished up his day at school and we picked him up on our way home. If you want a truly 100% stay-at-home date, Jimmy Johns delivers! They will even deliver just one sandwich. We picked ours up simply because we had some errands to run in the area.

We spread out a big blanket and ate while enjoying catching up after a busy week of only seeing each other for short amounts of time each day. Jimmy Johns has lots of great sandwich options. Brad went with the Vito and I had the Beach Club. Both were delicious! It was nice to be together and be able to relax after a busy week. It is so important to us that we still have a weekly date night, even with a new baby at home and limited options for a babysitter. And watching Kymri outside as she noticed even the smallest of things was so much fun! She loves to be outside and it is like we are discovering the world again through her eyes. Family date night is great!

For more ideas on fun stay-at-home dates, check out this post.
What fun, easy dates have you been on recently?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gluten Free Fried Ice Cream

Going gluten free has become quite the fad in the last few years. And while there are definitely lots of people who choose to do so, there are some who don't have a choice at all. My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew all have celiac disease, which means they can't have gluten even if they wanted to. Stomach problems, canker sores, and other unpleasantries would ensue if they did.

In today's world, there are a lot of gluten free options. Most of them even taste really great! That's why I was shocked when my brother-in-law asked us to make fried ice cream for his birthday and I could only find one recipe on Pinterest for a gluten free version! And it used ingredients that I definitely did not have on hand and that I didn't want to buy and then be left with full packages after using just a tablespoon or two. Discouraged, I decided to experiment. You see, Brad and I traditionally make the desserts for Pew family birthday parties, and the birthday boy/girl gets to choose the dessert. I did not want to disappoint my brother-in-law by telling him there was no gluten free option of his desired dessert. I wasn't sure my idea would taste as good as the traditional corn flake crusted fried goodness, but I was determined to try. And let me tell you, it was even better!! Don't let the recipe scare you away. It's actually quite easy. Just plan ahead as it takes a number of steps with a few hours in between.

Gluten Free Vanilla Ice Cream
1 box Gluten Free Cinnamon or Honey Nut Chex Cereal--the cinnamon kind will give you the traditional flavor, but the honey was good too.
1 T Cinnamon (optional)
approx 5 Eggs, beaten
Vegetable Oil
Desired Toppings--My favorites are chocolate and caramel sauce.
Yeild: 12 ice cream balls

First, scoop out your ice cream onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. It doesn't have to be pretty. Try to do this quickly. The scoops melt fast. Put the ice cream in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

After an hour or more, remove the ice cream from the freezer and form each scoop into a ball. This is also tricky and does not need to be perfect. Just look at my imperfect picture to see. Return to freezer for at least two hours.

In the meantime, put your Chex cereal in a ziplock baggie and crush with a rolling pin. Add cinnamon if desired. We felt like the cinnamon flavor was not quite strong enough in the cereal alone.

Remove your ice cream balls from the freezer. Roll them in the crushed cereal then coat in the egg mixture and roll them in the cereal a second time. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours. (We did all the prep the day before, so they froze over night).

When ready to serve, heat oil to approx 400 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, the oil is ready when it bubbles around an inserted toothpick. Remove ice cream from the freezer one at a time since it cannot soften at all before going into the oil. Slowly lower a single ice cream ball into the oil and fry for about 25 seconds until golden. Do not over fry. Remove from the oil and serve immediately. Top with desired toppings. Yum!

This was definitely a hit with everyone! We ended up serving it at 4 different family parties because everyone liked it so well. 

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