Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy Weekend

So this weekend has been a very long one. Lantz and I enjoyed a great night out to Macaroni Grill Friday night and then headed home to get in bed early. We got up early on Saturday morning to head to REI's garage sale in hopes of possibly getting a Bob stroller for Miss K. Maybe you remember my previous post about this same type of situation.... click HERE to recap. So, this time around I decided I'd go with Lantz so he wouldn't have to sit by himself for like 5 hours. So, we got up about 4 am to head down to the other side of town to wait in line. Lantz actually waited in the cold longer than me.... I slept in the backseat of the truck for about an hour and a half before I braved the cold weather. Well, we were 20 & 21 in line which was great! If there were any Bob strollers there we knew we'd be sure to get one being so close. Well of course, knowing our luck there was no Bob stroller. So... all that waiting for basically nothing.

Well, we bought a few items to resale on Ebay to hopefully make a few bucks, but we were sad that we didn't walk away with a Bob. We left REI and went to Babies 'R Us to buy a shower present for a friend. That store is crazy. So not a good lay out at all. Anyways... don't get me started on that. But holy cow did they have the cutest little one piece swimsuits... so adorable!

We came home and proceeded to post some items on Ebay and Craigslist. We posted up some of our REI buys, but mostly some stuff we already had around the house. We decided that we'd turn our office into Kennedie's room and that we'd turn out loft into our office. So... we really don't need any of the furniture in the loft area cause we need to clear it for our office furniture. (It's crazy cause I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon, and we've already sold all our loft furniture which is great, cause we can use the money made to buy Kennedie's furniture.)

Then we had our carpets cleaned , so we had to move furniture around and in the process found ourselves cleaning base boards and window seals.

Then I went to the grocery store to get food for the week and for the pot luck at church today. We came home and Lantz moved furniture back around and gave Cooper a bath and then I made some chicken spaghetti for the pot luck and did some laundry.

I think we finally made it to bed at about 10:30 last night... which seemed so late after such a long busy day.

Anyways..... I hope you all had a great weekend and you got to rest a little more than I did!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

24 Weeks

Well, today marks week 24 for Miss K and me.

Today was a great day. Lantz and I went on a little afternoon recreational date. We went bowling. Lantz kicked my bootie. I did worse than I've ever done. Oh well. We had fun. After bowling we treated ourselves to some Fatburger chocolate milkshakes... yummy. I finished mine quick cause it was so delicious. After that we attempted to walk around USA Baby to try to find stuff we liked.... let's just say Lantz will pick out the stroller cause that's about all he was interested in looking at. I on the other hand left more confused and stressed out then when we went in. Oh well. It will all come together in time I suppose... if worse comes to worse I'll just let Lantz design the whole thing.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pegnancy Thoughts

Okay.... well.... just some random thoughts. It's crazy how about a week and half ago I could barely feel Kennedie and I wasn't even sure if it was her, and now she moves all the time. It's so fun to feel her- and it's kinda special cause it's just me and her all day with those little movements. But... on the flip side I didn't sleep at all last night. Baby girl woke me up at about 11:10 last night kicking up a storm, and I don't think she ever stopped until I finally rolled out of bed this morning. I don't think I ever really got back to sleep... I just kinda laid there I think with my eyes shut but self consciously awake.

Okay... I know you gain weight when you get pregnant- but I don't like that very much. I've gained about 23 pounds so far and just that much has made parts of my life so different. I get so tired and out of breath so easily. I'm still doing my P90X (not as intense, and no ab-ripper of course), but it's so hard to do even half way. I'm still trying to walk 2.5 to 3.5 miles two to three times a week, but each time I do it gets harder and harder. I'm trying to be so good about still working out while being pregnant, with hopes that it'll be easier to get back into shape after the baby, but part of me I'm like, "Who cares? I'm just going to keep getting bigger and bigger and more exhausted easier..." And it's so hard to eat right.... especially when you are working out and seeing the exact opposite effects it's like- "Oh well- why not have that hamburger instead of a grilled chicken breast." It's so frustrating.... and yet I keep telling myself that once the baby is here I can get back into shape -really-and that it's not that big of deal. I know that when I grow it's good for Kennedie, cause that means she is growing, but if I'm already this big at (almost) 24 weeks- then what in the world am I going to look like and feel like in another 16 weeks.

I'm also putting off registering. I know that for alot of you at this point you already bought things and had everything figured out... well good for you.... that is so not me. I am so stressed out about all of that. I have not purchased one thing for Miss Kennedie nor have I been to a baby store or even attempted to try to register. I don't have it together with this one- and I know that time is ticking.

So yeah... random pregnancy thoughts for you. Thoughts?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dynamic Marriage

This past weekend Lantz and I had the amazing opportunity to go to LA to get trained to be facilitators for a marriage class called Dynamic Marriage through the organization Family Dynamics. I cannot even begin to express in words what a blessing this training was to our marriage. If you would have asked me before the weekend about our marriage, I would have told you that it was awesome. After this weekend- I feel it has climbed to new heights and that it is ten times stronger than before!

We drove into LA (4 &1/2 hours away) on Thursday after school and the training started Friday. We were in classes all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with tons of homework each night- but Holy Cow was it an incredible time for us to grow!

So- basically Dynamic Marriage is an 8 week course in which couples meet together for 2 & 1/2 hours once a week for class with a small group of other couples. Throughout the week there is about an hours worth of homework to be completed each night and each week everyone shares with the group. Now- I know this sounds crazy- and like alot of work- but it is SOOOOOOOO worth it!! You will also meet incredible people who will quickly become some of your closest friends.

Lantz and I can't wait to facilitate a class in the future and can't wait to be apart of a class. We plan to go through this course several times throughout our marriage- we truly believe it is that impactful! I know that God brought us to the training in HIS timing so that we could strengthen our marriage before Miss Kennedie arrives.

If you asked me something you could do to bring you and your spouse closer- this would be it. I don't have enough positive words to say about this program- except that I think any couple could gain so much from it. I think all marriages would benefit- whether you think your relationship is AMAZING, or you think your relationship is good, or you think it's okay, or you wonder why you married this person- wherever you are in your marriage you can grow so much closer to your spouse. And it's for all walks of life- whether you've been married a year, or 50 years- everyone can grow from it!

It's only $150 - which is a great deal! (That may sound like alot- but it comes out to about $8 a person per week- cheaper than a date to the movies and with lasting benefits!) This is an investment that you will get lasting returns from.... you can't go wrong!

Don't take this to sound like a "sale's pitch," because it totally isn't! (I am not getting paid to say this or share this.) I am honestly typing all this from the bottom of my heart. This is just something I want to share with all my "friends" out there, because I want so much for us to all have healthy marriages. With divorce rates still so high- let's all commit to doing everything possible to strengthen our marriages BEFORE they get yucky.

Please, please, please- if you are married look into taking this course sometime over the next year (even if you have small children- find child care for one night a week to make your marriage a priority- I truly believe that the best gift we can give our children is a positive marriage example- our kids will know we love them - because we love our spouse). I promise this will not be something you will regret! Just click HERE and it will take you to the Family Dynamics website where you can click on your state and find the closest course and start date for you!

I feel so passionately about saving our marriages before Satan takes hold of them and they fail! I feel the LORD has placed this on my heart to share with each of you out there that read this blog- whether I know you or not. Please pray about this, look into it, and talk to your spouse about it!

I'll be praying over this post that God will touch your heart to invest in your marriage!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 Recipes

I really enjoy cooking, and I guess I like to try new things every once in awhile. I'm not into the whole gourmet thing- but I enjoy a tasty simple meal. I like to post up recipes on the blog, cause if you're like me then you get stumped every once and awhile about what to cook and so I thought I'd toss these your way. If you don't have use for them now- it's okay- you can come back to them. If you look on my blog on the far right at the very bottom I have a few labels. One is for recipes- so they'll be there in case you ever want to refer back.

The first recipe I altered a bit, so I'll give it to you how it is printed up, and then at the bottom I'll tell you the changes that I made.

Three Bean Tex-Mex Chili
- 1 leek, chopped (about 1 cup)
-1 Tbs. chopped garlic
-1 Tbs. chili powder
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-2 Tbs. canola oil
-1 red pepper , seeded and chopped
-1 carrot, peeled and diced
-2 zucchini or yellow squash, cubed
-1 container (32 oz.) vegetable broth
- 3 cans (15.5 oz each) black, white, and/or pinto beans rinsed and drained
-1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In pot over medium-high heat, cook first 4 ingredients in oil for 3 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add beans; cook 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.

**Alterations- I used a leek and also about 1/4 cup of a yellow onion. I added extra chili powder and cumin (cause we like things spicy over here!). I used 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable. I used 2 cans of white beans, one can of red, and one pinto (I don't like black beans). We are meat eaters over here also, so I grilled 2 chicken breasts and chopped them up. I added the chicken to the recipe at the same time I added the beans. I also added a can of Rotel when I added the beans. I used 1/2 cup of cilantro not 1/4 of cup, cause we really like cilantro. I also added Mexican style cheese to the top when I served it...... I know this looks like alot of alterations, but we LOVED this. It was soooo good and really easy. I wanted to type the original in case your tastes may be more in that direction- but I'll definitely make it MY way again.**

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas
-1 to 2 cans (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
-1 cup of sour cream
- 1 & 1/2 cups of the salsa of your choice
-2 tsp. chili powder
-2 & 1/2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
-1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
-8 flour tortillas, warmed
-1 small tomato, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped green onions
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Stir soup, sour cream, salsa, and chili powder in a medium bowl. Stir one cup (maybe a little more) of the salsa/sour cream/soup mixture together with chicken and 1/2 cup of cheese in a large bowl. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas Roll up the tortillas and place them seam side up in an 11 x 8 " shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining salsa mixture over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top. Cover the dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro.
**This was easy and yummy. I served it with refried beans, Mexican rice, and sliced avocados.**

I hope you enjoy these 2 awesome recipes!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lazy Weekend

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed my lazy, didn't do much of anything, 3 day weekend..... but unfortunately Lantz didn't enjoy it as much as me. Friday night he started feeling pretty bad. He had a terrible headache, a sore throat, and he was freezing cold (rare for Lantz). So, Saturday he woke up feeling just as bad and sure enough had 102 temperature. We got it down, but it kept spiking up and down. I got him lots of medicine and waited on him all weekend. I made some yummy home-made chicken noodle soup for him too- probably what helped cure him. :) Anyways, Sunday I went to church alone (weird), and then came home to proceed to take care of him. Monday he was still feeling down, but by the end of the day was almost back to normal. Today, we both went to work- and although Lantz isn't 100% he is close to normal. I'm thankful that it wasn't anything more serious and that he was able to get back to normal pretty soon. So.... yah... that was pretty much the weekend- laying around, reading, taking care of my hubby, and cooking some yummy home-made chicken noodle soup.

I also tried out a few new recipes that were really YUMMY last week that I need to post up for yall. Check back sometime this week and hopefully I'll have 'em for ya to try. They are both easy and yummy, so if you're looking for something new to throw into the mix you'll probably like them.

Oh... super side note- way exciting news!! I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you! So... I really haven't known whether or not I've felt Kennedie. I mean, sometimes I'd think I'd feel her, but I really wasn't sure. Well, I know for sure I felt her on Sunday! And guess what? Lantz got to feel her too. We were watching the Cowboys game (yuck... that was a bad one) and my arm was resting on my belly and all the sudden I felt something inside the tummy, and I felt it on the outside of my arm. So... I called Lantz off the couch (I know he was sick, but I didn't want to move cause I didn't want her to stop moving) and told him to put his hand where I'd felt her a few times. Sure enough- she moved!!! It was so exciting for both of us to feel her little "kick"- I think it's cool too, cause it's really the first time I knew for sure it was Kennedie, and so Lantz and I both got to feel her for the first time together! I love my little girl so much!!! So fun already!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vintage Pearl Giveaway

My friend Cassie is doing an AMAZING giveaway!!! I'm so excited about this!!! This has to be one of the best giveaways I've ever seen! You must go and check it out. Click HERE to go to Cassie's page and enter. Click HERE to go to The Vintage Pearl to shop around at their way cute selection!

I really love everything on this site! I hope I win the $50 gift certificate!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Great Books:

Since Christmas break I have finished a few really great reads that I must share with you.

First up, The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (my favorite author). This book was a super quick read like any other Sparks book, and of course like all others a love story. I'm a true sucker for anything Nicholas Sparks, and as a side note I can't wait to see the movie Dear John because it was my all time favorite Sparks book.

So about this book: Ex-Marine Logan Thibault while on active duty in Iraq finds a picture of a beautiful woman. He ends up carrying it with him throughout his tour and it becomes his "lucky charm," while others around him perish. Once home he decides he must find this woman and decide if there is something that he owes her. He meets Elizabeth (woman in the photo) and soon starts work at her grandmother's dog kennel. Of course they fall in love... duh, but there are complications around the situation- including her ex-husband the deputy sherif. Anyways, this was a really great book- not my favorite of his, but good because it didn't end in a tragedy.

Next Up: The Daily Bible by: F. LaGard Smith

There is not much to say about this Bible except that it is AWESOME! I started it January 1, 2009 and kept up with my reading each day until December 31, 2009. If you are looking for an incredible daily Bible, then this is the one for you. I really enjoyed reading the Bible in chronological order. So many more things clicked for me that never had before. Also, there is some small devotional by the author written before each section that was great. It wasn't all wordy or fluffy, but helped explain out what you were about to read so that it made more sense. I am so proud of myself for actually staying on top of this everyday- including our trip to Europe! I think it was so easy to stay with it, because I was enjoying it so much. I know I'm a little late telling you about it, and I should have written about it closer to the new year, but you've still got time. You could totally catch up, or you can put it on your agenda for next year. But- I would totally recommend it!

Finally the most recent finish: Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy.

So, Saturday we got home from our walk and I had the sweetest present in the mail for me. My friend Crysty sent me this book along with 2 of the cutest little UT outfits for Miss Kennedie. It was such a fun surprise, and I can't get over how thoughtful it was! So... I started this book and couldn't put it down! Talk about a fun and super quick read that gets to the point! I LOVED this book! Jenny McCarthy is blunt and open about her pregnancy & childbirth in this book. She basically tells you how it is without leaving any room for questions. I would say that even if you aren't pregnant you'd enjoy this book and get a good laugh out of it. It's a total must-read for other preggos out there. (Disclaimer- I don't agree with the entire book, cause keep in mind who wrote it- & just a heads up there is plenty of foul language involved throughout almost every other sentence- but besides that- great!!!) Thanks again Crysty! I plan on passing it off to another pregnant friend here in Vegas!

So yeah... hopefully you'll pick up one of these great reads!

Oh... pop over to Lantz's blog to read his little quick note about Miss Kennedie that brought tears to my eyes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

All the preparation work for Miss Kennedie to arrive can really be stressful. I have not registered yet, and the thought of it just scares me! How in the world am I supposed to know what a baby needs??? I've never had one before! The simplest thing like what bottle to register for freaks me out!

I also don't want to register, because I have no idea what exactly I want to do with her room. It drives me crazy to think about nursery stuff. I really don't think I want a "theme" room, but just deciding on a color scheme is making me crazy. I want somethings to be flexible, because we'd like to have several more children one day, so I don't want everything that Kennedie gets to be pink- because who knows the next one could be a boy. I also want something that she can grow into if needed. I don't want to have to completely change everything when she's 2 or 3 cause it's too babyish.

And hello! Don't even get me started on prices! Things are so crazy expensive it's not even funny. I picked a girl set online that I loved- but yeah, so not spending $250 on 4 bedding pieces... money don't grow on trees here at the Howard house. So... I scratched that idea, and now I'm back to square one. I find myself sometimes just surfing the web for hours trying to get ideas... but I just haven't found one I'm crazy about yet.

So, question of the day.... if you've had a baby- how did you decide on a color scheme/theme, etc for your nursery? If you haven't had a baby- how do you think you'll decide one day on a color for a nursery?

And, P.S., when should I register? Don't want to do it too early, or too late...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Calico Race- 5K

Saturday, a few friends from church participated in the Calico Race. My friend Lisa walked the 5k with me, Phil ran the 10K, and Lantz and Nick (Freshman in our youth group) ran the 1/2 marathon. It was lots of fun, and I look forward to participating in more events like it. Hopefully when I'm not pregnant, I can actually run one race! The great thing about it was that we all got the same cool shirts and medals, so no one knows that I didn't run, or that I didn't do one of the "bigger" races! Here are a few photos from the event:

Kennedie can even say that she's participated in a 5K now! Ha!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Her Name..

So, our sweet baby girl's name will be:

Kennedie Danyelle

We are really excited about this name! Lantz and I have both loved the name Kennedie for awhile now and have been pretty set on it- even before we found out we were pregnant. Danyelle is my mom's name. Lantz and I like the idea of our children having names that somehow connect to our family and people that are special to us. My mom is so special to me and she's had such an amazing impact on my life. I just hope that I can be just as good of a mom to Kennedie as my mom has been to me. So there you have it- the news you've all been waiting for...

We can't wait to meet our precious one... our sweet, sweet little Miss Kennedie Danyelle!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Belly Bump

Well, since we were out of town you missed out on the growth of my "bump," or rather my little girl! Here I am over the last 3 weeks! Half way done! Pretty soon she'll be here before we know it.

Obviously based on the last picture you know who I'm rooting for tonight... duh.. of course! I had to wear my jersey to school today to show my Texas pride! Hook 'em Horns!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas 2009

Well, if you read the last post, then you already know about the best part of our Christmas. But here's a little more on our day. I love traditions, and I love that every year of my whole life Christmas has been spent the same way. It's comforting to have that familiarity.

Christmas Eve we spent at my Baba and Ooh Daddy's house (mom's parents) enjoying snacks and hot chocolate. But the exciting thing was that there was a surprise visitor. Santa dropped by to say hi to my cousin's son, Bryson. He got so excited to see him, and Lantz and I enjoyed getting our photo with him too! Christmas morning we went back to Baba's house for breakfast and to open stockings. Then we went to my Aunt Danice's house for a round of White Elephant (which I ended up with my sister's way cute gift of a fun new scarf and some earrings). Then we went to my Momma Jean & Poppa's house (Dad's parents) for a late lunch, gift opening, and hanging out. And of course the day was topped off with it being a white Christmas- very cool!

We got some nice gifts, but of course the best thing was just being with family.

Later that week we went to Lantz's Dad and Step Mom's house for a few days. It was great because several of his aunts and cousins that we haven't seen in a few years came over for lunch one day. Then we went to Lantz's Mom and Step Dad's house for a few days too and enjoyed yummy food and good times. I'm sad that the camera did not get out when we were with Lantz's family. So, the only pictures I have are with my family.

Also, it's so hard to go to Texas to see family and try to squeeze in time with friends. We were very blessed this year with our friends who were understanding of our dilema of not wanting to leave family and so they came to us. My best friend Rebecca drove out to see me in McKinney, Daniel and Natalie met up with us at Lantz's dad's house, Lantz's friend Justin came out to see us at his mom's house, and then our friends John and Crysty (due 9 days before me with a boy) came out to my parents house to see us. Wow! Thanks to our awesome friends for driving distances to be with us. We feel loved, but again- the camera wasn't present for these fun times.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

High School Girls & Baby Girl

So about a month ago I got a Facebook email from a few girls from high school that I hadn't talked to in awhile. They decided to try to get a little mini-reunion of girls together over winter break. They invited all girls from the 2001 McKinney High School class to get together and catch up. Since I was in town I decided not to pass up the opportunity to be re-united with some friends from high school. Although it was a small group gathered- we had a great time. Check out photos of the night:

As you may recall Lantz and I were able to find out on December 17th what the sex of our baby was going to be, but we opted not to. We asked our nurse to not show us any "parts" and to tell us when to cover our eyes. We asked her to write out the good news on a Christmas card and seal it up. She also put all of the pictures on a disk for us and sealed it up. We decided to wait until Christmas morning to open up our little surprise. We were at my parents house, and of course everyone wanted us to open the envelope first, but we waited until all other presents were opened before we opened the envelope. While we opened the envelope we had Lantz's parents and sister on our phones so that they could share in the exciting moment too. It was so fun to open up. My mom tried to video tape it, but apparently didn't press record- so it's just sealed in our memories. I started screaming and crying when I saw " Congrats! It's a GIRL!" I couldn't believe it.... I just knew I was having a boy... especially after I dreamed all about a boy on Christmas Eve. Anyways, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life!

Here are the pictures of our sweet baby girl at 18 weeks from our disk:


Monday, January 4, 2010

Where to Start??

I flew to Texas a week earlier than Lantz and got to spend about 5 days relaxing with my family. We really didn't do to much except spend some time together. It was fun to do some shopping with Heather at Samoons- we got lots of fun accessories. Dad saddled up Jake and Princess so that Heather and Ellis could ride for a little while. I also really enjoyed walking with mom every day. It was so fun to walk and talk. My grandmother, Baba, joined us a few times too which was special for me. We had 4 generations on the walk- cause my sweet little girl was right there with us! We also really enjoyed eating breakfast and dinner each night together and catching up. A few pics- Dad & me, Heather & Ellis, and Mom & Baba:

I guess that's a good place to start for now.... simple week and yet so meaningful to me! (The only way it could have been better was if Lantz was there with us.)

Stay tuned for: high school girls mini-reunion, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, Christmas with Lantz's family, 19 & 20 week belly bump photos, and of course our sweet baby girls name!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home- kinda

Well, last night we flew back to Vegas and are currently "home." It feels good to sleep in my own bed and sit on my couch, and so in some ways it's home sweet home. But.... a huge part of me feels like I just left "home." It's such a blessing to be with family and to feel loved in that way. I just hate saying "goodbye" to family and traveling back to Vegas to wonder when the next time we'll see everybody again might be.

In case you didn't already figure it out- Lantz and I spent the holidays in Texas with our amazing family. We are now back and trying to get back into the "swing" of things- oh how I dread work tomorrow. I feel like I have so much to write about, because I feel like so much has happened over the last two weeks. Unfortunately I have a million things to do around the house (like take down Christmas decorations- yuck) and so I'll have to update you over the next week when I finally get settled back down. Sorry I've been a stinky blogger lately. I promise- new posts coming very soon.

Besides.... you know the best news of all already... WE ARE HAVING A GIRL!!! We are so excited to meet her...... I'll leave you in suspense on her name for just a little while longer.......