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Showing posts from 2011

Annika Ruth - our new baby girl!

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So we have had a busy and productive week this past week...  Tuesday, October 25, 2011 is a day that we will never forget, a day that we have been patiently waiting for and, at times, hoping would arrive sooner.  On Tuesday, October 25 at 9:22 am our daughter, Annika Ruth Richard, arrived via C-section.  She weighed in at a chubby 8 pounds 9 ounces and measured a healthy 20 inches long.  She is gorgeous!!  (Of course, I am completely biased.)




Many people have wondered why we named her Annika Ruth.  Middle name first... Ruth is my middle name, and a family name on my side.  Ruth was a grandmother somewhere in my dad's lineage, and honestly, I don't know much about her, but I intend to find out more so that I can pass it on to my daughter in the future.  I also love the Ruth of biblical fame.  She was really a standout woman - loyal, hardworking, faithful, and full of honor.  Her faithfulness is apparent after Ruth's husband dies and her mother-in-law, Naomi, is going …

So SAHM or part-time working momma??

On Monday, October 10, I drove away from my last day of work before maternity leave for baby number two and I was filled with a certain mixture of emotion.  Emotion that I'm not sure I can describe yet, but will undoubtedly be sorted out in the coming weeks and months ahead.  In the emotion I think that there was a bit of uncertainty, a bit of finality, and some fear and apprehension.  It may have been my last time driving away from my job.  Which is scary to think, admit and write.  I called my hubby as I drove away and left a rather disjointed voicemail, unsure of what exactly to say or what I was even feeling.  There was no fanfare, no big exit, no cake or balloons, no big deal really.  I wasn't expecting such theatrics, but it made the exit and drive anticlimactic and weird in a way. 


For the last seven plus years, I have had a good job, a job that pays well and has always allowed me the work-life balance that my family has needed.  Before kids, I worked full…

Baking Fool - aka Pumpkin Banana Bread

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So this nesting thing is super hardcore.  I just have to say in the last 24 hours I have now made a coconut cream pie with homemade crust, an apple crumble pie with homemade crust, two loaves of pumpkin banana bread (had four bananas to use up), applesauce (cut up too many apples for the apple pie), and a pizza from scratch (Isaiah wanted pizza).  Oh my.  I must be a glutton for punishment, or maybe just a glutton.  After my hours of baking yesterday, which included both pies and the applesauce, I was so very tired and my feet were swollen!



I wanted to showcase my little helper who helped mommy make some pumpkin banana bread.  



Isaiah really just wanted to use the mixer, which as a good mother, I could not allow...  But he did stir the batter a little for me.  Oh boys will be boys!! He's such a sweet one, and he loves to help!  Now on to the recipe... 

Pumpkin Banana Bread Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 1 hour (one loaf, or 40 minutes if using mini loaf pans)
Ingredients:
2 mashed rip…

Apple Crumble Pie - YUM!!

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Part One of Alayna's Adventures in Baking...
So I think I have definitely been nesting lately, that strange part of pregnancy where you are beyond exhausted, but for some strange, unknown reason you want to clean, bake, dust, scrub the floor, wash dishes, sweep, vacuum, and wash and fold laundry. Not that you can accomplish all of it, but darn it, you will try!

Many of my escapades lately have involved baking and cooking.  I have made chunky cinnamon applesauce, crumble apple pie, chicken enchiladas, baked BBQ ribs, and pumpkin banana bread.  And that's all in about a weeks time!  Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about it!  

Now on to some recipes, specifically the apple crumble pie one.  In honor of fall, I have been craving all things apple and pumpkin.  If you know me, I'm a nut for anything pumpkin - pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin straight from the can.  And apples, Gala, Mutsu, and apple cider, I'm in heaven!  Oh fall, I love y…

35 weeks...

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This is me...
So, this is a picture of my baby belly.  I am 35 weeks pregnant with a little girl.  Thirty-five weeks along in a pregnancy where 40 weeks equals the end.  I'm so close to done, 5 weeks until 40 weeks, and only 32 days until my scheduled C-section.  Time is drawing to a close and in many ways, I am mortified.  I know what you are saying, I can hear it...  "What do you mean, mortified?! Isn't this a beautiful, happy place to be?!  What's wrong with you?!?"  (Cue facial expressions of horror and disgust.)  Okay, okay, let me explain.  
I am mortified.  Scared.  Petrified even.  I am frightened about the future and all it holds in this moment.  Surely, I am excited to meet our little girl, curious about what she looks like, and longing to hold her in my arms.  These things are true, but it's also true that this new step in our lives brings with it a lot of fear and trepidation.  So many things will change for us.  We will be going from one child to…

He has overcome...

There is a song lately that has been at the top of my playlist because the lyrics are just so powerful to me.  Before I reveal the song, I'll just admit that I am a Hillsong United addict.  Any song, any CD, anything that comes from them, I'm a fan.  Their worship is so energetic and yet so deep, I can't help but listen to it over and over and over again.  It feeds my soul, which is so necessary at this time in my life when I feel like my soul gets so easily neglected due to other "priorities". 
The song that is heavy rotation is "Take Heart" from their Aftermath album.  I think that Hillsong United finds it to be a heartfelt song as well, as they have closed the two concerts that I attended this summer with "Take Heart".  And I certainly agree with them!  The lyrics are based on the bible of course, the title and overall theme coming from John 16:33, where Jesus says, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In th…

A Day at the Park for Isaiah and I!

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Isaiah and I had a beautiful day at the park last week.  It was Tuesday to be exact, because I was there when we had the Great Pittsburgh Earthquake of 2011.  I am quite sad to inform you that I didn't feel a thing.  Isaiah and I were probably frolicking through the field -- as much as a woman who is 30 weeks pregnant frolics -- beating on the ground with drumsticks (well, just sticks actually).  I guess that last part was probably just Isaiah.  We had been walking around the playground at South Park and he found sticks and was drumming.  He is quite the little musician, loves the drums and guitar.  Any sticks are drumsticks and can be used to play any available drumlike surface. 

After our frolic and drumming venture, I finally sat down to relax for a minute with Isaiah, and I decided to check Facebook from my phone.  Bunches of people had just updated their statuses to say something about an earthquake in Pittsburgh, and then my AP app said there was an earthquake.  So I called …

Alayna is Alive Day!

Friend, Happy Alayna is Alive Day!  Oh, thank you, and Happy Alayna is Alive Day to you too!

Didn't know it was a holiday, did you??  Well, I am most pleased to inform you that today certainly is a holiday.  Perhaps not a national holiday, religious holiday, or even the most sacred of holidays - a Hallmark holiday, but it is a landmark of a day for me.  I began celebrating this special holiday on the one year anniversary of August 23, 2005.  Why the one year anniversary of that day?  Well, on August 23, 2005, I was walking across the street and was blindsided by a minivan.  Yes, it was just as painful and terrible as it sounds.  Needless to say, I was celebrating nothing on August 23, 2005, but one year later, I was joyfully celebrating the fact that I was alive.  Actually, for the whole first year following that day, I celebrated the 23th of every month as a sweet and happy day to remember that I had survived something potentially catastrophic and life altering or ending, with mer…

Ta Da! My New Blog

So, here we are.  I finally have a blog.  Some of you who know me may say it's about time.  I have always loved words, as far back as I can remember.  When I was young, I would read late into the night, often devouring whole books in one sitting.  My mother even bought me a book entitled The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, full of intriguing words that were not often spoken or heard.  Then, a few years ago, I was imbued with the feeling that I would someday write a book or two or three.  And I felt as though that very feeling was an inspiration from God.  That much being said, I believe I should be writing more! 

I was given a diary at the age of 11 or 12 and began writing.  At that time, it was nothing more than who liked who at school, my current crushes, and how terrible my parents were to me.  But my love for words and writing grew as I lived this thing called life and had more experiences to sift through.  I was not the most outgoing of youngsters…