Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cook for a Day eat for a Month!

I recently heard/ read somewhere about once a month cooking. I like the idea of pulling things out of the freezer and having dinner on the table with minimal prep or effort. Don't get me wrong, I like to cook. I just really like not having to do it every day or even every other day.

A few years ago we started doing Dream Dinners which is one of those places you go to that you put all the food together yourself in bags then you take it home and freeze it. It is fabulous, but way more money than we can afford right now.

So when Belle was in town and we went to Powell's Downtown I got this book
It is great. It walks you totally through the planning and prep and then you make all your food.
The only down side? Well apparently I am slower than a snail, cause it took me 3!!! days to get all the food made I had planned a prepped for. But finally Thankgiving eve I got it all done. The worst part is that I had done that really hard Pump class on Monday and could barely move all 3 of those days. And the longer I stood the more stiff I got. But I am finally done and packaged in food saver sealed bags and put away. Here is my gorgeous garage freezer now.

27 meals later- as well as some individual portions and 3 mini meals for my friend Tisha who had a baby last week.
Here is what I made:
~bulk spaghetti sauce (which went in stuff mostly but a few side portions for later use)
~2 lasagnas
~3 baked ziti's (plus a mini)
~12 stuffed peppers
~2 poor man's casserole
~2 turkey and rice bakes (plus mini)
~2 turkey cacciatore (plus mini)
~2 chicken casseroles
~4 sloppy joes
~5 sets meatballs
~2 meatloafs
~3 chicken a la king


In related news, this is part of the 1/4 cow we split with our friends/neighbors. I used 8 lbs of grounds beef in my cooking this week! All organic and grain fed! Yum!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am sure I should get on here and tell everyone what a wonderful Thanksgiving our family had but sadly that just wasn't the case.
Zack and I were fighting,
I was bitchy,
Grayson got up at 4 so he was a crabby boy,
and Jesse got to be in the middle of the whole ball of fun. Yeah!

Add to it all that this is the first holiday without out sweet baby Jonathan. I can't help but think that I should still be pregnant. I should be enjoying the day and rubbing my belly. Instead of thinking about the child I have lost and how many holidays I will have to go through,
in the rest of my life, without him.

So unfortunately, no I did not enjoy this holiday and I am doubtful I will enjoy the next one. I just wish I could curl up in my bed and not get out of it.
I just want the holidays to go away.

Here is a few pics of us faking it:

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Fat off!

My friend and neighbor Jamie and I decided we were both tired of our fat asses so instead of continuing to sit around eating junk food while complaining to each other about our weight we decided to hold each other accountable and get moving. Today is our official start day and until this evening when I sat down with a lovely glass of red and some good and plenty's (not sure how they go together but its workin!) I was doing really well.

I worked out at the gym. I did a Pump class, which really truly kicked my ars! My friend Libby, who has been consistantly doing this class for 9 months said it was hard. Great! Fabulous! Nice day for me to start back after 6 months of not working out.

I was doing good for a while when I was pregnant with Jonathan but the bigger I got the less I wanted to go (anywhere!) because I just didn't want to talk about it with people I didn't know. So I quite going. At all. And now I am fat(er). It's amazing we have children at all, since they ruin our bodies so. Grrr. But I guess its for a good cause.

Anyway, I even took Grayson swimming, in a /gasp/ a bathing suit! after class. It was kind of his payback for leaving him crying in child care. Poor kid, he hasn't been left with anyone he isn't pretty close to in 6 months either. He recovered quickly and I had to prod him and bribe him with swimming to get him to leave.

My plan is to do pump twice a week and hopefully do my elliptical at home 2-3 times a week. I would like to get to the gym a few other times a week for yoga too but I have to see how the rest of the plan goes first before I add more in.

Wish me luck. I am never very good at keeping the workouts going long term. I either get sick or pregnant or something and then I am off my routine again until my ars reminds me that its time again to jump back on....

Hopefully this time I will at least lose some of the weight from GRAYSON! before I get pregnant again! Fingers (and toes) are crossed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thoughtful meanderings of cleanliness

So my last post has me thinking... why is it we have to portray perfection? Why is it we want our houses to be spotless when people come to visit, when that is really not who we are and really, whose family could live that way?

I have met people in my life who tried so hard to have the perfect facade that they neglected their children and their husbands and their entire lives. And for what? A clean house? What's the point if no one can see it but you because you are so busy cleaning you have no time to spend with anyone.

No, I am not that girl. I am the girl who remembers someone is coming to dinner tomorrow and spends the whole next day scrambling to get what someone might see clean and barking out orders to those I love. Sorry boys.

So back to my question... is it a learned behavior to want people to think that we are really that tidy and neat? Or is it more innate in our beings? And if we learned it, then was it our mothers who "taught" us? And hers that taught her and so on? I tend to think so.

I feel like somewhere along the lines we all got shafted when that lesson was taught. It makes us all strive for something we are not and while we know that we are not perfect, we all walk through each others homes and lives judging each other and our cleanliness as if we didn't know the true secret.

So in the spirit of being honest with myself and my friends, who I try not to judge but often fail miserably. Here is my laundry list:

~I am a piler, stacker and a hoarder- check any closet in my house
~I come from a long line of pilers, stackers and hoarders
~I judge those that are too clean
~I judge those that are too dirty
~I will buy into almost any organization tip or trend to "help" my junk collections
~The junk I own is pared down from what it was!
~I am very sentimental
~I can't help it
~I can help it
~I hate the pride I feel when someone comments on my house
~It feels like fraud

There, there you have it most of it. I am sure the wine in my blood is helping me to forget a few but you get the jist. Life is a work in progress but as it is such it is our jobs to continually try to do better.

And not just with cleaning our house!

TVG- Photo of the Day 3-4

ahhh crap! See I knew I would miss a day somewhere! To my credit I was busy doing this
His name is Ryker Clayton and he was born on Monday. His mommy Tisha is a friend of mine- I used to live next door to her grandma. He was born exactly a month early and was 6 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches long. He would have been a BIG boy if he had staying in the whole time!

Anyway, back to the dirt. Literally. So today I decided that instead of photographing the clean, tidy parts of my house and giving you all the facade that it is perfect (its not) and exactly like a magazine- oh I wish!- I would get real and show the dirt. As many know, this is hard for me. REALLY hard. As it is for many woman. We take pride in our homes and it makes us feel better to be good housekeepers, even if its only the facade of being such.

I know there are very few magazine that show the mess after the beauty and really there are few that will show you the mess before the beauty. But here it is, in all its glory. My real house.

Dirt, clutter and all.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Summer Fun G style!

I feel so blessed to live in the same city as G Diaper Headquarters.
Every few months they try to plan something for Gmums and Gdads to hook up and celebrate all that is G.
Great, Green, Generous, Giggle, Groovy, Gentle, Global
This was at Jameson Fountain in downtown Portland. It is a gorgeous place to play and very close to gHQ. Above is Michelle- Marketing Director for G.
Here is Jason- gdad and CEO of Gdiapers. Not sure what he is yelling about... I hope it wasn't about me taking his pic... ooops!

And my favorite! Grayson in his little G bum! I gotta write about fall now, writing about Summer when its pouring out is killing me! :)
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Smith Berry Barn

This is a little late in coming but I just got the film back- I know film!!!
But alas, my favorite really expensive camera is film. Ugh.

Anyway, Every summer I pick berries at one of the local farms.
My favorite is Smith Berry Barn.
They have the best berries. This last summer my friend Libby and I took our boys
(hers: Jack and Henry are 3 and 2).
They had a better time picking to eat then picking to take home and eat.

Sorry, Rich and Joelle! (owners of SBB)

This summer I picked: Raspberries, Blackberries, Tayberries and Golden Raspberries.

I went home and made yummy Galettes and Scones. Here are the scones! Yum! I miss summer already.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TVG- Photo of the Day 2

Day two! Yeah for me! Woo Hoo! I never thought I could do two days in a row! Oh sorry~ I am back.

Today I decided to photograph the child side of my house. When we first bought our house I was going to try to have no toys in the family room. Ya, I know what was I thinking right? Anyway, this is my family room now.

And I would have it no other way.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TVG- Photo of the Day

Alright Village Green girls- here is my POD!

The rest of you. A group of my friends all challenged each other to photograph our house as if it were to be put in a magazine. Any magazine we choose.

I choose Home.
Home is where the heart is.

Above my kitchen sink. It makes me happy to look at these plants every day.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Nathan's Story

I was recently forwarded a link to someone's blog/ story. Nathan's Story. Nathan's parents, Jen and Rick were going along blissfully pregnant with their 4th child when one day just a short of delivery Jen realized she had not felt her dear son move. They went to the hospital only to discover that there little boy no longer had a heart beat. Jen went into labor later that day and delivered their son, still. Their story is very touching and recounted by dad, Rick. I urge all to read it and send them comforting words that you all so graciously shared with me.

Its intersting sometimes looking back on the last few months of our lives. Jonathan is so much on the forefront of my brain and yet it all seems like a dream. Then I read something like Nathan's story and it all comes crashing back in full force. I still have good days and bad days. I still have sad times where I realize that this IS my life and no amount of waking up or cold showers is going to make it go away.

My child died.

My child died!

I don't know how many times I will have to repeat that to myself before I really own the thoughts that stir around in my head. I just don't know.

Here are some more pics from Jonathan's delivery- I can't keep them to myself. :)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hillsboro, Or- Home sweet Home!

It's funny how many times I have felt like tour guide in the last year. We have had a lot of out of town visitors that have never been here before. So today I set out again to show Belle our lovely little town- sadly in the rain. I drove all around Hillsboro, showing her our old house and neighborhood and telling her stories about the people who live behind the windows there. I love driving down our old street and waving to old friends. Then we went to The Venetian for lunch. I had the best Chicken Salad Sandwich and Belle had a lovely Greek Pizza. They were both delicious!

When Belle planned her visit last week she asked if there was any fall color on the trees, and while there is I was not sure it would last long. Luckily for us, Mother Nature was kind and held some of the leaves on the trees for us so Belle could see some fall color. I love this house right down the street from us. I have been meaning to take a pic of it so today I did just that. :)

Then we went home for Grayson's nap and we took the rest of the afternoon to relax and gather snacks and dinner parts at the grocery store. I made a yummy Italian chicken dinner with smashed potatoes and roasted vegis.

It is really fun to see G take to Belle so quickly. He just adores her! That makes two of us!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Belle's HERE!

I have been trying for 6 years to get my dearest and one of my longest time friends to come and visit me! Finally she is here.

We have been friends since kindergarten! For those who can't remember that is age 5... we are 29 now. That's forever! She has known me through most of my trials of life: from just a little sprout to bad pre-teen hair and zits and boys and now marriage and babies. She has seen it all and been a great friend through all of it. I honestly can't imagine my life without her and knowing no matter what she is there for me...assuming I can get her on the phone!

But anyway, I am ignoring my great friend so I better get back to her! I will try to keep up with our outings but I can't promise anything. :)

(Yesterday we went to our very dear friends house for dinner and we ended up staying until 11 so I had no time to blog- sorry...)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Zober Images

Our friend Elle needed some help getting her lighting right on Friday so she had us come over for a test shoot.

Elle is a professional photographer and is amazing! She started her career as a photojournalist in London, moving on to Editor in chief of Scotland's only music magazine. Photographing Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavinge, Oasis, Green Day, Blink 182 and Foo Fighters along the way. She has photographed for and been recognized in Rolling Stone, NME, Q and MOJO.

Today she graces Portland as one of its premere photographers and does weddings, families and children with ease and talent.

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