Friday, June 29, 2012


I'm going to skip our usual Keepin' it Real Fridays post as I have so many updates to share!  Last weekend we took our first little road trip as a family down to Indy for the weekend.  We spent the night at a hotel and the next day we visited the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  It was a great time!  And even better, my sister is doing her internship there for the summer so we got to hang with her for the day which was lots of fun!  Lucy was a trooper the whole weekend.  She had so much fun at the museum and was a riot to watch.  That kid would just take off like the owned the place.  We had the best time!  We came home on Monday and then Tuesday we headed to the local beach for the afternoon.  Lucy was a little unsure of the water at first, but soon enough she was a BIG fan!  She loved filling up her bucket with water and then dumping it everywhere!  Daddy was a good sport and got dirty in the sand with her too.  Here are a ton of pictures from our weekend :)

Trying on some shades while Mommy attempted some quick shopping!
Out to dinner.
She's saying "meow" here :)  Getting ready to try out the pool...which she hated!
But she loved corn hole :)
She's a pro!
Hanging with mom!
At the museum
Racing with Daddy!
She loved the water tables
Taking Aunt Kendra on a walk :)
Thanks for such a great day Aunt Kendra! :)
Checking out the water...
Not so sure at first.
But she quickly fell in love :)
Dumping out her water with her cute ruffle butt :)
I'd say she had a pretty great weekend!

Hope you all are having a great week and are looking forward to an awesome weekend!  Happy Friday everyone!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Keepin' It Real Fridays

For Father's Day I had seen this cute idea floating around Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it with Lucy.  Have you seen this picture?  I mean seriously, how easy does that look?  And so sweet!

So I borrowed a small chalk board from my sister-in-law and then headed to my mom's house so she could help.  I knew it might be a bit of a struggle as Lucy isn't always great at picture taking, but I had no idea what a disaster it would be!

The first fail was from me.  Instead of starting every phrase with YOU like the Pinterest photo does, I started it with HE.  Apparently my brain was fried before we even got started.  Then the picture taking started.  Or rather, we tried to start it but Lucy would have no part.  Every time I gave her the sign to hold she either refused to grab it, or if she did grab it she would then promptly throw it down and say, "No".  I tried leaning the sign against her but then she wouldn't look at the camera.  We even then resorted to writing on a basketball thinking she would certainly hold that since she LOVES balls.  Wrong.  Then we wrote on a rock.  All she wanted to do then was try and lift the rock.  I finally joined in the action and thought maybe I could hold both she and the sign.  Wrong again.  Anytime my mom would even think about taking a picture Lucy snapped her head around so you couldn't see her face.  If you think I am exaggerating how terrible my great idea is a little sneak peak:

This was probably one of the best ones, had my arms not been in the way....
Lucy saying No and handing the chalkboard back

Hmmm...maybe if she didn't look so startled!
Yep....let's pick up the rock!  Look at that determination :)
I was thinking this one would work if she would just look up....
....and then she tossed the ball and was pretty proud of herself!
Looking away from the camera
Squawking like a bird
Still not looking at the camera
This is a photo if there ever was one....she's licking a pine cone and I am clearly not loving it!
Time to throw toss in the towel.....

Even though none of the pictures really turned out, my mom was able to snap a really cute one at the end.

When it was all said and done I scrapped the whole idea and just printed this picture below and put it in a frame that said Daddy's Girl.  I also got him a case of Sam Adams Summer Style beers and called it a day.

Father's Day turned out to be a not so great day at our house anyways due to everything going on....but you can't be upset for too long with that cute smiling face staring at you!  Hopefully your Father's Day crafts included less headache....and possibly a cocktail or two :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I am the type of person when I go through something tough in life I need to talk about it.  I need to hear other people's experiences with a similar situation.  I need to not feel alone.

Almost 2 weeks ago I was getting ready to leave for my friend's bachelorette party for the weekend.  Pat and I had been talking about trying for another baby and so the month prior we hadn't technically be trying, but we hadn't been preventing anything either.  If it happened, great.  And if not, then we were ready to officially start trying in June.  I decided at the last minute to take a pregnancy test before heading out of town on the tiny, small chance that I might actually be pregnant.  I had been spotting that whole week so I was anticipating a negative result and was really ok with that.  You can imagine my surprise and shock when a little tiny plus sign appeared.  Immediately I figured the test was wrong and proceeded to take 4 more.  All positive.

Truthfully, I wasn't super ecstatic.  Not the way I was when I found out I was pregnant with Lucy.  Mostly I was in disbelief.  Who gets pregnant the first month without even tracking anything?  We simply pulled the birth control.  And then I started to feel overwhelmed.  This time I knew what to expect.  I knew the long and sleepless nights that were waiting for me.  I knew what it felt like to have you bladder punched from within.  I remembered needing to sleep with 8 pillows in bed and still waking up to aching hips.  I knew I wouldn't have a drop of wine all summer and that even made me a little sad.

The whole weekend of the bachelorette party I hid my news by taking fake drinks from my beer and by claiming my stomach was upset so I didn't want to drink too much. It was exhausting.

Pat was excited and already making plans about which room should be the new baby's and figuring out how to save up money to cover my maternity leave.  I on the other hand still felt like it wasn't really happening.  We skyped with his parents last week to tell them the news and afterwords I was scared we were lying to them.  I went out and took yet another test the next day which again confirmed I was pregnant.  It was only then that it finally started to sink in.  And then I suddenly remembered all the wonderful things that were coming our way.  I couldn't wait to start showing off a little baby bump.  I couldn't wait to feel that little baby moving inside me and find out if it was a he or a she.  I couldn't wait for Lucy to meet her new little baby brother or baby sister.  I pulled out a little onesie and cradled it, imagining that in 9 months it would be our baby in this onesie.  I also told myself to not be as fearful this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Lucy I cramped and spotted early on and missed the joy of pregnancy.  I wanted to not succumb to my fear again.  I also realized that I was so protective of my pregnant body the first time, but realistically now with a toddler, this pregnancy would be different.  I also told myself that I could drink a small amount of coffee each day which is something I would have never considered with Lucy.  But working full-time with a toddler....a girl just needs some coffee.

Last Saturday morning I woke up and when I went to the bathroom I thought I noticed I was spotting a little.  I was concerned but tried to remain calm as I had been down this road before.  It seemed to go away after awhile and so I thought I was ok.  Pat and I dropped Lucy off at my parents and headed down to Indy for a friends wedding that night.  We checked into our hotel and again I noticed a small amount of spotting.  I told Pat but we both tried to remain calm, as again, this was nothing new to us.  I just tried to stay positive.

The wedding was beautiful and once it was over we headed to the reception.  We laughed and joked with friends and I was happy to note that the small amount of cramping I had been feeling earlier was gone.  I headed to the bathroom before dinner started and was surprised by blood.  I immediately started tearing up and getting very scared.  I tried to remain calm as I went back out to tell Pat what was going on.  He reminded me that it probably was nothing and that everything would be ok.  But I just felt like this was different.  I was having trouble making small talk and finally just told Pat I needed to go out to the car for a bit.  He came out with me and I cried and told him how scared I was.  This was different than before.  I was really upset but finally calmed down and we headed back into the reception.  The people at our table must have thought I was crazy as I kept running off to the bathroom.  Eventually the bleeding continued and then worsened and I told Pat I needed to get out of there and go back to the hotel.  I also finally allowed myself to look up signs of miscarriage.  I was showing them all.

By the next morning the bleeding and cramping was worse and I knew we had lost our baby.  I was only 5 weeks pregnant and knew there was little that could be done so I waited until Monday to call the Dr.'s office.  They told me they were sorry and to just take it easy and wait until after my next period before trying again.

I began blaming myself.  I shouldn't have drank coffee.  I should have been happy about the pregnancy from the start.  I shouldn't have been tossing Lucy all over the place. I should have just told everyone we were pregnant because now I need to talk to people and it's so awkward to say "Hey I was pregnant but now I"m not".

I have friends that have miscarried, but truthfully, until you go through it, you don't know anything about it.  People have said it's natures way of taking care of things, or that there was something wrong with the baby.  But those things don't matter to me.  I wouldn't have cared what was wrong with my baby.  It was my baby and I loved it.  I do take comfort in the fact that I was only 5 weeks when it happened.  I can't imagine going through this any further along.  I also take comfort in the fact that we already have Lucy.  But that doesn't mean that I'm not terrified to try again.  To go through this again.  To lose another baby again.But I know that life goes on, season's change and that God will bless us again.

I feel like miscarriage is a funny thing.  It's sad and heartbreaking and yet, no one really talks about it.  I know others who have suffered through losing their babies, but I feel like it's all so hush-hush.  And quite honestly, that made me pretty comfortable when I was on the other side of things.  I didn't know what to say to my friends or how to help them heal the wound.  But now I know, at least for me, I need to be able to talk about it.  I want to know what others went through.  I want to not feel alone in this.  So maybe this is a long and sad post that doesn't really pertain to you.  But it's my story now.  It's a part of me.  And I need to get it out there not only to help myself heal, but hopefully to open the door for people to talk about it.

I have spent time thinking about what kind of baby this would have been and am sad I never got to meet him or her.  But then I think of my grandma.  My grandma used to say that she couldn't wait to get to heaven so she could rock all the little babies.  She loved babies and I just know she is up there rocking mine.  And in the midst of sadness, that makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great weekend, great food

This past weekend I headed up to Grand Haven, MI to celebrate my sweet friend Brooke's bachelorette party!  We stayed in this wonderful old home that had been divided into suites and had so much fun.  We went shopping, relaxed on the beach and ate way too much food!  If you haven't been up to Grand Haven before I would totally recommend it!  It's the perfect place for a relaxing weekend get-away.  Here is a picture of all but one of her bridesmaids before we headed out for the evening.


Of course while I was having such a great time, I was also missing my sweet little girl too.  Pat took her up to his parents for the weekend and sent me lots of pictures texts so I could still see her.  We even did FaceTime on Saturday evening which I think ended up being just as good for Lucy as it was for me!  Here are some of the pictures I got over the weekend.

Lucy hanging at Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Pat's house
Grandma Cindy played hair salon with Lucy!
After Lucy's bath she ran naked through the house right for her rocking horse!  Funny kid!

While it was great to get away, it was soooo good to come back home.  I tend to get pretty homesick, even if I am just gone for one or two nights.  So I thought some nice comfort food would make my return home even sweeter!  I found this recipe online and thought it was a great and healthy twist on classic mac and cheese.  I followed the directions pretty closely except I swapped out some of the cheese for vegan cheese.  But I'll leave that decision up to you.  I do think the whole dish could very easily be made vegan though.  However, vegan or not, it tasted awesome!  It was so good Pat almost ate the whole pan and Lucy kept asking for "mo?  mo?"  I am sure your family will love it too! 

Spinach and Cheese Quinoa Casserole
Adapted from Eat Live Run


1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
5 oz chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and liquid squeezed out
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup milk (or soy or rice milk)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (or vegan cheese)
1/2 tsp dry mustard 
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In large saucepan over medium heat add the oil.  Once hot, add chopped bell pepper, scallions and spinach and saute for about four minutes-or until bell pepper starts to soften.  Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.

Add dry quinoa to the pot, followed by vegetable broth, dry mustard and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Stir well.

Now add grated cheddar cheese and milk.  Stir to combine and then pour into a greased 9X13" casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with Panko and mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden.


 I also made a quick watermelon and feta salad and tossed some asparagus on the grill for a bit.  This meal combined with hugs from my husband and sweet girl were just the welcome home I needed!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Ahhh....summer is finally here.  The sun is shining, the windows are open and the air is warm!  Oh how I have missed you!

To kick things off this summer we took Lucy to the circus last night!  The small town near us hosted a circus for the evening so we thought it would be fun to take Lucy.  It actually was a pretty nice circus, however Lucy was less than interested.  The only two things that made her smile all night was the small baby sitting next to us (she LOVES babies!) and the disco ball prop they used for one of their acts.  She actually started chanting "Ball!  Ball!" And then "Mo! Mo!"  (more).  Soooo, let's just say it was a good thing this was a small local circus and she was a free admit!

Lucy was clearing not into picture time!

I also want to tell you about an amazing meal I made earlier this week that just sings summer!  I made a Key West Style Tilapia and let me tell was amazing!  One of the local restaurants in town serves key west style fish and I have been thinking about how to recreate it.  I wasn't really sure where to start so I did a couple of quick internet searches and then sort of did my own thing, as I often do.  It's a pretty quick assembly and doesn't take that long to bake.  If you can't find any tilapia, this dish would work really well with grouper or any other white fish.  It does call to be baked with white wine but I always get nervous feeding food to Lucy that has been cooked in wine so I did two separate pans.  In one I added the wine and for hers I added the juice from an orange.  Both turned out really delicious, but honestly, I almost liked hers better!  So feel free to play around with what works best for your family.

Key West Style Tilapia
Source: Lyndsay Original


8-10 tilapia fillets
Good olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 Tbs Lemon Seasoning (I used Weber Grill's Zesty Lemon)
3/4 cup white wine (or freshly squeezed orange juice)
8-10 pats of Earth Balance Soy Butter


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Pour a glug or two of olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Place tilapia fillets in the baking dish and salt and pepper them. Add a bit of lime zest and minced garlic to each piece of fish.  Sprinkle lemon seasoning on top of your fish and then pour in the lime juice.  Add your wine (or fresh squeezed orange juice).  Top each piece of fish with a pat of butter.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.  Enjoy!
I served our Key West Style Tilapia with some grilled asparagus and some roasted organic baby potatoes seasoned with thyme, garlic salt, rosemary and pepper.  Totally delish and totally easy!

Hope your summer is off to a great start too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Out with the old....

Well, we are trying something new here at home.  You see, Lucy is a terrible sleeper at night.  I don't talk about it much on the blog, or anywhere really as we break billions of rules when it comes to toddler sleep.  Oh we have let her sleep in our bed (doesn't everyone love sleeping on 6 inches of mattress while your tiny baby manages to take up the rest?!?).  We rarely make her cry it out.  We gave her a nighttime bottle for far (FAR) too long and have always rocked her to sleep.  We even have made a small bed for her on the floor next to our bed, all in an effort to get her to actually sleep through the night.  So clearly, it's not entirely her fault that she has no ability to self-soothe....but encouraging this behavior has been trying at best.

Usually she never had a problem going to sleep but if she woke up in the middle of the night there was little we could do to get her back to sleep, hence the bed on our floor for her.  However recently, she decided that now she doesn't want to sleep unless she is in our arms. This kid truly is a diva in training.  She could be snoring away while we rock her and the second we even think about budging, she is crying.  Usually, we have just continued to keep rocking her and rocking her and rocking her.  And when that doesn't work, well, we cave and just bring her down to our room where she sleeps like a rock.  Hey, just cause she is a diva doesn't mean my heart doesn't melt for this little girl.  Most of the time.

Anyways we finally decided enough was enough and we were taking back the position of boss in the house.  Our latest effort starts with putting jammies on and then reading a few books on the couch during quiet time.  Then we head upstairs, snuggle on the rocker with a blankie and read one more book.  We say our prayers and then rock her for awhile.  Then we place her in her crib and but instead of leaving the room, we stay in the rocking chair.  She tosses and turns and cries for awhile but finally settles down.  She pops her head up every couple of minutes to make sure we are still here and then curls up again.

Here I am blogging while she is curled up in her crib
It's not a bad plan so far.  It's giving me time to blog or catch up on reading and when Pat puts her down he has plenty of time to check emails and surf the web.  So hopefully the means we are finally moving in the right direction!  Well, at least until our little stinker decides to mix things up again!  That's the great thing about babies....they can make you want to pull your hair out all day, but the second they fall asleep they are like a perfect slice of heaven.  Night, night sweet girl!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Keepin' It Real Fridays

Happy June everyone!  Can you even believe it?  Of course, it feels more like a fall day here but we needed the rain so I'll take it!

Today's installment of Keepin' It Real Fridays reminds me to be careful what I blog about.  You remember this post last week where I showed you a picture of Lucy's snack container on the ground, begging for ants to invade? guessed it.  The ants invaded! 

Tuesday night as Lucy and I were working on dinner I had to throw a few items away. We keep our trash under the sink and out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like crumbs in the bottom of the cabinet.  But crumbs they were not!  Upon closer inspection I discovered hundreds of tiny baby ants roaming ALL over the cabinet!  I immediately called Pat who was on his way home from work and begged him to stop and pick up something to kill the ants.

By the time he got home our house was basically a zoo.  Lucy refused to do anything but stand at the counter and "help" which really means she just made a huge mess.  Pat was cleaning out the cabinet and discovering MANY more ants than I had originally seen and spraying and setting out traps for them.  Meanwhile I'm trying to keep and eye on Lucy, keep the dog away from the spray and oh, try to make dinner.


Eventually we got everything under control, but for about 10 solid minutes I thought I might lose my mind.  Don't worry though, I of course documented the situation :)

Nothing like poisonous ant spray with your baby and dog close by....
Lucy taking full advantage of a distracted mama and a drawer full of goodies!
Doesn't everyone do this on a Tuesday night???
In spite of all the craziness, the rest of the night was actually pretty great.  Sometimes life is funny like that!

In addition to our crazy ant story, I always wanted to share a super delish and easy meal!  Last night we had a Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Black Beans.  We also had a Tomato Bruschetta a la the movie Julie and Julia.  I am a huge fan of quinoa and believe everyone should try it at least once.  It's a little weird looking but it's packed full of protein and nutrients and just oh so good for you!  It's sort of flavorless which means you can dress it up however you want!  And the best part is that it cooks in about 15 minutes flat!  And the bruschetta....oh my!  Anyone who has seen the movie Julie and Julia has to remember the scene where Julie is chopping those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and frying up pieces of french bread.  My mouth waters every time I watch her husband bite into the crispy toast with the tomato juices running down his face and he finally says, "This is good!"  And trust IS good!

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Black Beans
Source-Lyndsay original


1 1/2 cups rinsed quinoa
3 cups water
1 clove of garlic minced
2 lemons, juiced
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 Tbs pine nuts
1 cup basil, juilenned
1/3 cup feta cheese
Good olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Handful of spinach for serving


Heat 3 cups of water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Bring back to a boil and then simmer until completely cooked, about 12-15 minutes.  You will know it is cooked when it has absorbed the water and you see the little quinoa "tails".

Once quinoa is cooked transfer to a large bowl (or your serving bowl) and pour the lemon juice over it.  Add the minced garlic and stir together.  

Add your avocado, black beans, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and feta cheese to the quinoa and stir together.  Top with good olive oil and salt and pepper.  Serve on top of a bed of spinach.


Tomato Bruschetta
Adapted from the movie Julie and Julia


1 multi-grain baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 clove garlic
4-5 Tbs Olive oil or vegetable oil
2 pints heirloom tomatoes, or any variety, chopped
1/2 cup basil, julienned
2 Tbs balsamic vinaigrette
1 Tbs good olive oil
Salt and pepper


Heat oil in pan on stove.  Once the oil is hot, add baguette slices and fry until both sides are golden brown.  Remove from pan and place on paper towel.  Rub garlic clove on each slice.  Set aside

In a medium bowl combine your chopped tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil a salt and pepper.  Stir together and let sit for 15 minutes.

Top each slice of bread with tomato mixture.  Enjoy!

Hope you all have a GREAT weekend!  Oh, and watch out for those ants!