farewell to another wonderful weekend. and just like that, a new week is here. hubby and i made the most of every moment. we did some friday night grocery shopping and baking. then on saturday, i headed off to help at a bridal shower while ben had some boy’s time and took in a guy movie. then, we joined up again in the afternoon for some quick cleaning up…then it was off to dinner with ben’s sister and her hubby at windsor [yes, again...it just never gets old]. after all that, we took it easy on sunday and spent the afternoon watching a western and catching up on laundry. capped off with a sushi date night. it was a pretty great few days. over much too soon. but, another weekend is always right around the corner. until then, here are some of our favorite snaps.
here’s to a fabulous, fresh week!
windsor! + a quick little outdoor wait for a table…perfect atmosphere + the cool succulent planters + the boys + the gals + retro decor + hubby making a little gopher face for the camera + some serious menu surveying and discussion before making the final picks + appetizers…fondue and corn dog poppers + rachel’s selection: crab cake blt with mac and cheese + nathan’s selection: the windsor burger with fries [and plenty of ketchup] + my selection: the pastrami reuben with fries and cole slaw [yup, i got two sides] + hubby’s selection: the porkwich with mac and cheese + concluding the evening with some churn ice cream and cookies from next door + lazy times with the buddies + shogun sushi night…i’ve been so wanting some of this + starting with some tempura + enjoying a big plate of rolls. yum
cravings & such: this week, i am thinking that our little peanut was into dairy. i was very happy eating all things cheese. and, i think that i enjoyed two or three…okay four…ice cream cones. i am currently obsessed with just plain ol’ chocolate ice cream [häagen-dazs, please]. again, nothing too shocking to report. i am a big fan of cheese and ice cream most of the time. this section will really get interesting if i start craving raw tomatoes with a side of cucumbers and piles of cilantro on top. [yuck]
the bump: right now, i just look like a ate a big meal. we aren’t to the cute little bump stage yet. okay, baby…it is time to make yourself known. i am ready and waiting for that little bump to officially pop out. you can do it…
cool & cute things: baby is almost three inches long and weighs nearly an ounce. and, baby’s body is staring to catch up his/her oversized head. if it is a girl, she now has more than two million eggs in her ovaries! how they all fit in there, i will never know. God is so intricate and amazing. yes, the creation of the universe was quite impressive but i think that the creation of a tiny person inside of another person [me!] is where He really gets to show His grandeur. i love it when God gets to show off
new things: baby has fingerprints!
meaningful moments: putting all my thoughts about our little peanut down on “paper”. i started writing letters to the little one so that i can put them all into a book along with pictures and highlights from the pregnancy. i hope that it will be a cherished memento for our little family.
i’ve been doing some research. did you know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of pinterest boards dedicated to cheese? awesome, i know. and it is no wonder, cheese is perfection. you can dip things in it, melt it on pasta, melt it between two slices of bread, spread it on bagels, spread it on crackers, slice and serve with fruit or charcuterie, turn it into cake, whip it into frosting. amazing. i love cheese. i love the way it looks when it melts on bread. i love the way it seeps into the nooks and crannies of pasta. i love dipping things into a cauldron of melted and oozy goodness. it is so good.
not convinced? okay. take a look at some of these…
need more? just head over to pinterest and type “cheese” into the serach bar. then try not to crave mac and cheese, fondue, or a sandwich. yum.
the gang’s all here! last night, ben and i went to the whitehouse home to welcome ben’s sister rachel and her hubby nathan back from kentucky. wahoo! they arrived in town the night before and we popped over there as soon as we could to offer big hugs and “welcome homes”. we spent the evening chatting about life, discussing dwelling in the desert, and hearing about new job opportunities. oh yes…and the boys talked sports and cars and technology and movies while rachel and i helped katie put some finishing [super-sparkly and decorative] touches on her science fair project. it is all about the presentation, folks and using glitter and scrapbook paper and brightly colored pens is one of my favorite pastimes [yes, nerd alert].
then, we all sat down for a fabulous meal of steak and roasted potatoes and carrots. accompanied by a yummy greek salad. it was so tasty and a lovely menu for a leisurely dinner with the whole family. after dinner, we all piled onto the couch for an episode of modern family and the eating of cupcakes – to die for, cupcakes. it was so much fun to spend time together with everyone! and the schroeders are here to stay. welcome home.
oh, this is a controversial and fascinating book. i love books that challenge me and make me think beyond my theological comfort zone. we have been discussing the idea of true freedom in our community group and some fantastic conversation has been sparked. what does it mean to be free? how have i defined freedom in Christ? is my definition the right one? am i still a slave to the law? or am i a slave to righteousness? perplexing.
galatians 5: 1
for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
romans 6 [all of it] but particularly verse 18
and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
so Jesus said to the jews who had believed him, “if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” they answered him, “we are offspring of abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. how is it that you say, ‘you will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “truly, truly, i say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed…”
God has set us free. Jesus paid it all, all to Him i owe. sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. we are justified in His eyes. we are free. and God has set us free from sin to live a life of freedom in Christ. why is it that we then choose to walk our Christian walks chained to the former life OR in bondage to a new way life that we have devised based on the law? rather than delighting in God’s lavish grace, we become fearful of igniting His displeasure. we stick to rules and impose those rules on others. why don’t we find rest in His all-sufficient grace? why, once we are freed from the yoke of slavery to the master of sin, do we choose to take up a new yoke of slavery to man-made regulations?
Jesus not only opened the door to the prison, He loosed our chains. He destroyed the locks. He threw away the key. He led us away from this prison and welcomed us to His banquet table. He gave us snow-white linens and put a royal robe on us. we now have access to the Most High. we are sons and daughters of the Creator of the universe and King of glory. the King then gives us His signet ring and offers us bountiful land for our stewardship and sustenance and a kingdom for our enjoyment. at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. sounds pretty good. okay, so why do we throw off our robes, tear our clothes, roll in the dirt, dress in sackcloth and ashes, beat our chest, run back to the prison, slam the door behind us, and sit in our cells. all the while, complete freedom to be free and enjoyment of a life with our Savior is right outside the unlocked prison door. instead, we choose a life of imprisonment in that cell. a self-imposed sentence to a miserable life indeed. is it because we long for the “security” of that cell? the familiarity of that cell? the isolation of that cell? is it easier to follow rules and check off boxes on our “to-do” and “to-don’t” list while we scratch off the days on the wall of our cell instead of living the adventurous life of freedom? are we scared of what freedom truly means?
what is with us and our all too common freedom-stifling tendency? a freedom-less life is a life without joy and void of celebration of our unique gifts in Christ. this book has challenged to me explore the joys of biblical freedom. to open the door to the fresh air of liberty in Christ. and yes, while i don’t agree with everything in the book…it does challenge me to engage my mind. to munch on the meat of the Word. to discern Biblical truth and conform my life to those precepts. to become a slave to righteousness. may i continue to be sharpened as God uses His word to renew my mind and refresh my walk.
well, we are about 13 weeks into this new adventure. but our prayers for you started long before. your papa and i have been praying that God would give you to us in His perfect timing. and here you are! we trust in Him. your Heavenly Father has known about you far before we ever did. and He started his fearful and wonderful knitting before we even knew you were there. we pray that you continue to grow and develop into a healthy little person. i will do my best to be a comfortable and happy home for you…and your papa and i [with the help of some very eager and loving family members] will work to create a cozy little environment for you once you come into the world. we pray that you will be a healthy and happy little one. all the fingers and toes and little parts just as they should be. but, more importantly, we pray that you will grow strong and firm in love and knowledge of the Lord. that you will make a strong declaration of faith from an early age. we pray that you will be bold in your love of Christ and others. that you will be strong and courageous. and that you will also be wise and obedient [parents like that].
we have been reading about your tiny life day by day and we keep looking at our little pictures of you. you look so tiny. just like a little peanut all snuggled up. but, boy oh boy, girl oh girl, are you squirmy. we got to watch you move around as pictures were taken. i can’t feel your movements yet but i know that i will soon. won’t that be fun! it is truly amazing what you are up to these days… and we look forward to new developments. you are a miracle and blessing. we already love you so much.
everybody is so excited to meet you soon. your papa and i…and grandparents and great-grandparents and aunts and uncles and dear friends. what joy you have brought. we know this will only grow. we also look forward to finding out if you are a boy or girl. we have been talking about what your name will be and already have some good ones picked out for you. as soon as you let us know, we will start to collect little baby tidbits for you and decorate your room. i don’t know if you can tell from in there, but we are having a lot of fun.
keep growing, little one. we will keep thinking about you and praying for you. we love you oh-so-much, peanut.
well hello there, new week! hubby and i just wrapped up and amazing weekend. and my weekend even started a few hours early which was lovely.
we were busy-busy but managed to find time to eat a lot of food and spend time with friends and family. just what a weekend should be [minus the 105 degree weather, of course. ick]. here are many, many snaps from our time together.
the happy face of a lady who took off early on friday to meet mom for lunch and fabric shopping + my gigantic salad piled high with crunchy lettuce, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, and a few croutons for good measure + date night with hubby at windsor + the cute little papers they give you for your chewed gum. genius + my handsome man + our plate [yes, we shared! pat on the back for us] of the porkwich and a side of ooey-gooey mac and cheese + some really tasty yogurt from our new favorite fro-yo joint, yogurtology + look at him! so cute! + breakfast of eggs, apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, and a gluten-free bagel with “everything” toppings + during the summer, our buddies love ice cubes. charlie likes to bob in his bowl and collect all of the ice cubes that he can fit into his mouth. then, he makes his own little private reserve which he guards fiercely + heading out for a few hours with friends at the scottsdale culinary festival’s great american picnic [yes. outdoors. bad call on the first 100 degree plus day of the year] + rustin hanging with miss marley who was a trooper in that heat + relaxing on the lawn while enjoying some grub + that would be ben’s “don’t even think about touching my pastrami sandwich” face + trying to catch a breeze and not melt + a sunday morning strings concert. AMAZING. thank you hubby for sharing your gift with others and glorifying your God + a little post-church lunch at z tejas with the family + chatting and sipping ice water and tea to stay cool + capping off the weekend with a date at benihana [i have been really wanting some teppanyaki...i am blaming it on that little baby of ours] + onion soup + incredible chicken fried rice + the chef masterfully creating our scrumptious food + taking in the final moments of the weekend…together.
cravings & such: i am liking the spicy foods right now [that really isn't anything new]. current food loves? mexican, asian, turkey and cheese subs with lots of herbs and vinegar and shredded lettuce, and tart frozen yogurt with berries. still no aversions or sickness to report. i am one lucky girl.
the bump: i feel like it is totally noticeable but nobody has told me that i am looking fat so that’s good. [thanks for being kind, folks]
cool & cute things: baby now has reflexes! fingers will soon begin to open and close. the mouth will make sucking movements. toes will curl. eye muscles will clench. the baby will also squirm in response to abdominal touches. and, good news! the baby now looks like a human instead of a tiny little picasso. the eyes have moved from the sides to the front of the head and the ears are right where they should be. whew!
new things: my hair feels really thick right now…but also very dry. so, i am having to adjust my morning routine to accommodate. just the first [and very mild] of many adjustments.
meaningful moments: going through site after site and book after book of baby names. we have the girl’s name locked in but boy names are tough for some reason. we have about four names in the mix so far. any ideas?
the countdown: 196 days to go! under the 200 mark…
since i have been really wanting some yummy asian dishes, i decided to hunt for some recipe ideas and make it happen at home. last night, i made some honey sesame chicken. i mixed and matched recipes and came up with a pretty tasty result.
low sodium soy sauce
first things first…take about 3-4 chicken breasts and cut them up into bite-sized pieces. heat some olive or [or ghee, which is my preference] in a non-stick pan. toss the chicken in a mixture of flour [i like gluten-free options like rice flour], salt, and pepper. just enough to lightly coat. toss the chicken into the pan and brown. remove the chicken from heat and set aside. meanwhile, cook some rice or noodles or quinoa according to the package directions.
using the same pan, add splashes of the sauce ingredients to the pan. i just eyeballed it and tasted to get it to the right flavor. you are going for sweet and spicy. let the sauce bubble away and start to thicken. about five minutes.
add the chicken back to the pan with the sauce and let the sauce coat and simmer for about five more minutes.
remove the quinoa from the heat and fluff.
now, just plate it! add some quinoa to a plate and spoon over the chicken and sauce. sprinkle with sesame seeds to finish. and…dinner is served!
well, hubby and i decided to have ourselves a little pizza party. yes, it was borderline gluttonous but my crust was also gluten-free so i think that cancels out the quantity of food consumed…
since it is tax season and ben works in the world of moolah, things have been quite tiring for him. he comes home with his brain feeling pretty zapped. so, to give him a much-needed night of comfort food and mindless entertainment after an exhausting day at the office and to commemorate the end of the madness, we threw ourselves a little pizza party at home. i picked up some spicy italian pizza [that would be...pepperoni, meatballs, onions, and italian herbs] from spinato’s and a giant house salad on my way home from work. then, we grabbed our plates, popped in an action movie [gotta love jason bourne], and enjoyed an evening at home. just the two of us, our pizza, and our furry babies. it was a pretty awesome evening and just what we needed.