Thursday, July 31, 2014

Taking His name upon us

This past Sunday in church I taught the lesson to my Laurel's group. The lesson was about the covenants we make at baptism and specifically taking the Lord's name upon us. There was a quote from the lesson that I loved, so I decided to do a little design.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

13 Weeks

This guys is 13 weeks and is totally a mover! He wiggles all of the floor and has cause himself a bit of a bald spot in the back. I know most kids get it, I just hope it doesn't take long to grow the hair back! He's also made it into size 2 diapers!

This is a picture I took one morning when he woke up. (Terrible phone quality picture, but it's all I had.)
No, he doesn't have a crib yet, but he does have a comfy blanket on the floor in his own room! But that's beside the point. Look at where he is in comparison to his "bed."Just to give an idea of how much he moved, when I put him to bed, his head was in the top left corner with his body diagonal to the bottom right corner (you can kind of see the body impression in the blanket). I'm not sure if he's rolling or just squirming, but I suppose it's probably time to get him in a crib or he may just make his way out the door!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

No longer a newborn

Well it's happened. Nixon is no longer a newborn.

I packed up all of his newborn clothes (4 sleepers, two little outfits and a pair of shoes.. yep, that's it) into a box and put it on the top shelf of my closet.
It tugged at my heartstrings seeing these little clothes be boxed up and put away, and realize my baby is no longer tiny. He's growing and getting bigger. And while I love all of the new milestones, a little part of me is sad that he's no longer a newborn.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day at the pool

There are some definite advantages to living in a housing complex. One of them being access to a pool just a couple buildings away from us. Saturday, we decided to take advantage of that little perk and have a family day at the pool.

I had just order Nixon's little floaty, and I couldn't wait to get out and try it! It worked liked a dream and he seemed enjoy it! I mean, look at that face. Pure bliss!
We started off in the big pool, but it was just slightly chilly for my tastes, so we headed to the "hot" tub. Lucky for us, it was more like bath water, so Nixon was able to enjoy it with us! He loved it!
I've decided it's a bit more difficult than it used to be to hang out by the pool and get a tan. Evidently babies aren't as into just relaxing and sitting by the pool. I suppose I better get used to getting IN the water more. I'm ok with that I guess. I just hope my body can tolerate cool water better soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

12 Weeks

I can't even explain how much I love seeing this guy's smile. It just keeps getting bigger and more regularly. He is still an amazing sleeper and we could not be more pleased. my favorite part of the day is going to get him in the morning. He's so happy and so smiley. 

He's also is a hand sucker. He'll play with a pacifier in his mouth, but he won't really suck on it. I try to pull it out, but it always seems to find a way back in! He loves to stand up while we hold his hands, and he's got a great giggle.
We love the developments we've seen, and we can't wait to watch him grow and develop even more!

Monday, July 21, 2014


I was on a kick this weekend when it came to cooking and baking! We hit up this little international market that had AMAZING produce prices. I got 3 pounds of tomatoes for $.99 and two jalepeƱo peppers for $.08. I couldn't think of anything better to make than some fresh salsa. Once I made that, I knew I wanted to do tacos for Sunday dinner.

If I was going to make fresh salsa, then I figured I might as well make fresh homemade tortillas as well! They were SO much easier than I ever could have imagined and they were fantastic! I got the recipe from here. Trust me, so easy!

Then I found out it was my friend Libby's birthday. She has been so sweet to me ever since we got here. I would say at least once a week, she texts me to see if Nixon and I want to do something with her and her two little girls.

I knew I had to do something for her birthday! I knew she loved the Oreo truffles I did for the 4th of July, but I didn't have any Oreos on hand, so I decided to do a different style of truffle. A Brazilian truffle called Brigadeiro, which is similar to a bonbon. I've made them once before and I thought she might like them.
Recipe: Adapted from here and here

1 can (14 oz) Sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of butter

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine cocoa, butter and condensed milk. (It will be at a rolling boil). Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes. When you turn the pan and it all moves together, stir another 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat. You can either keep it in the pan to cool off, or spray a plate with cooking spray and pour it out onto the plate (I feel like this cools it off a bit faster). Once you're able to handle it, spray your hand with cooking spray or rub butter (to keep it from sticking to you) and roll out to desired size. I made them about 1 inch in diameter and I was able to get about 26 out of a single recipe. 
Feel free to roll them in any kind of topping such as powdered sugar, coconut, sprinkles, or any other toppings that you fancy. Consume directly after or let them chill for 30 minutes or so (I think they're a bit better chilled). Sit down and enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pretzel rolls

The day I got back from Idaho, I came home to this beauty:
I have been wanting this since before we got married! Ethan called it my "push" gift and my Mother's Day gift. I always joked about getting a push gift, but I was never serious about it, but I'll take it!

What do you do when you have a beauty like this staring at you everyday? You bake! And that's definitely what I've been doing. I have definitely put this thing to good use already, and I'm planning on even more use out of it!

So far, I've made chicken crescent rolls, hot dog diggities (it's a family thing, it's basically pigs in a blanket), zucchini bread, garlic breadsticks, Oreo truffles, and my most recent endeavor, pretzel rolls. Well, I've actually made the pretzel rolls a few times, but I finally got a recipe I love and the size that I like. I thought I'd share the recipe! See the original recipe here.
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg (scramble in small bowl and set aside)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
1.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix a 1/3 cup of warm water (105-115 degrees F) with the yeast and let stand until bloomed (foamy).
2.  Add the remaining cup of warm water along with milk, sugar, & melted butter and swirl to dissolve the sugar.
3.  Add flour & sugar. (My sister taught me to put about half the amount of flour in, and then add in a 1/2 C at a time. Your dough should still be slightly sticky to the touch, but not so much that it completely sticks to your fingers)
4.  Fit your mixer with your dough hook.
5.  Mix on med-low speed until dough forms a nice pliable dough ball.
6.  Flour surface (lightly) and turn dough out onto.  Knead for 2 minutes. (Spraying your hands with oil or putting butter on your hands helps the dough from sticking to you)
7.  Roll into a long log and cut into 16 even pieces for smaller rolls, or 8 even pieces for larger rolls. 
8.  Form dough into either simple rolls (place a small cross cut in tops of simple rolls), or pretzel shaped rolls. (I do mine as pretzel shaped rolls by tying in in a loop if that makes sense. I basically do the first loop of a knot.)
9.  Cover dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let pretzels rest for about 30-40mins. I tend to raise mine slightly longer. 

10.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
11.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
12.  In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a boil, remove from heat, and add baking soda.  (Do not add baking soda while over will boil over)  You can then return to heat.
13.  Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more than 30 seconds, turning once.
14.  Carefully remove with slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain.
15.  Brush on egg over each roll.  
16.  Sprinkle lightly with Kosher Salt.  Repeat with remaining rolls.
17.  Arrange rolls on baking sheets and bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven for about 15-20 mins or until browned all over.  Be sure to switch pans during baking every 5 mins for a more even baking experience.
These rolls are amazing!! You can eat them just as rolls, or turn them into a meal and put chicken salad inside of them, or burgers–whatever your little heart desires! These are definitely going to become a staple in our house!

11 Weeks

I am seriously in love with this little guy! He has the best grin and I see it multiple times a day, everyday. I can't even say how blessed we are to have Nixon in our family. He is the perfect baby for us and we thank our Heavenly Father everyday for him. 

We've been trying to be more diligent in tummy time, and while it's not his most favorite thing, as long as we do it before he gets too hungry or tired, he does pretty well. We love this baby Boppy pillow that we got as a gift. It allows him to prop himself up a little bit more, while still making him work to lift his head. We're working on getting him interested in the attachments that it has on it. It needs more work. He's more interested in gnawing his hands and wrists. He basically hates every pacifier right now (no joke, I have 4 or 5 different types of pacifiers by him when putting him to bed, just in case he decides he likes on of them), but he'll take a finger. Someone seriously needs to develop a pacifier that feels, looks and tastes like a finger. I would totally buy one!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day at the lake

Living in Mission Viejo gives us access to the private lake here.

Every time we would drive by, we made a mental note to go in and get our access cards. Well, it may have taken us a few months to get them, but last weekend, we decided to finally get them!

With our cards in hand and a free Saturday, we decided it would be the perfect day to go. It was gorgeous weather, about 85 degrees, and there was just the slightest breeze. We packed up the car and were on our way (the one mile it takes to get there).

We found the perfect spot on the far end of the beach and staked out our area. I was the first one to check out the water temperature, since I usually don't trust anyone when the say the water is "warm."
Lo and behold, it wasn't "warm" but it was pretty dang close! It was so nice to wade in it for just a few minutes.
We were excited to get Nixon in the water, since he's only ever been in a tub and jacuzzi. To our surprise, he actually did pretty good once his whole body was submerged.
 I love this little hat of his!
We even had a little visitor come join us. I'm pretty sure the boys were completely oblivious to him, but I made sure to say hi.
It was so fun to go to the lake and have some family time. We've agreed that we definitely need to go more often, especially during the summer. The weather is so beautiful here and the more time we can spend outside, the better! The lake also has concerts every other week, so we'll have to check some of those out as well!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


There are a few themes going on in our house for this round of Nixonisms. Lots of smiles and lots of sleep!
After testing one out in Idaho, we decided that the Woombie was perfect for us! No more getting out of the blanket swaddles! Doesn't he look adorable? The guy next to him is pretty good looking too!
There's a funny story behind this picture. It was the day after our big 4th of July celebration. I had him on his stomach for tummy time and he started grunting. We know without hesitation what is coming next, so this was a perfect position for him to be in. He did his business, but we wanted to make sure he was done. I was working on my computer and Ethan was watching television. 

All of a sudden I realized that I hadn't heard any sounds from Nixon for a while. I looked down on the floor, and this is what I saw. This was the first time he has ever done this and it was so precious. It's hard being a baby. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Birth announcement

The birth of Nixon was the perfect opportunity for me to have some fun and finally design something for my own family! I was really happy with how these turned out. It may be two months late, but welcome Nixon!

10 weeks

Looks who's ten weeks and smiling like a champ! He's finally over the cold he has, but then he got a clogged duct in his left eye! Poor guy can't catch a break! But he's still as happy as a clam and we are loving his big open mouth smiles. I mean look at that face!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of July

We didn't really have an set plans for 4th of July, so we figured we'd call up a couple we know from here and hit up the lake and watch their fireworks. Nothing too extravagant. Not long after we had thought up this plan, Ethan's boss, Neil, called and asked if we would be interested in going to a BBQ and pool party with them, followed by more BBQ and firework shows down at Monarch Bay at his parent's house. We thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know them a little bit better and we knew it would be fun so we agreed!

The BBQ was actually at another partner's (who is Ethan's boss' brother-in-law) house. It was beautiful. It had an awesome pool and Jacuzzi, and it was paired with a fantastic outdoor bar and grill. We grilled up steaks, chicken and corn and had a great salad as well.

My two boys. Nixon had a good time in the Jacuzzi. Tt was just the right temperature--more like bath water than a hot tub.
 Nixon sporting the red, white, blue and stripes.
After lunch, we headed back to Neil's house to clean up and change. We had good conversation, while also getting to know him and his family better.

We drove down to Monarch Bay down in Dana Point for some more food and fun. We were asked to bring a dessert so I brought these patriotic Oreo truffle pops.

We were greeted there by Neil's parents as well as some of his siblings and their children. It was so fun to get to know some of his family. His dad was interesting to talk to because he had so many stories. They treated us like family and we hope that we get the opportunity to spend time with them again.

Our night ended on the rooftop watching three different firework shows going at the same time. It was beautiful! Our view south of us had two different shows (The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel &Dana Point) going with a flag standing between them. The pictures obviously don't do it justice, but that view with the fireworks and the flag made that night just a little bit more special to me.
Our view to the north had another beautiful show at Newport Beach. I've never had surround fireworks before, so it was quite the treat!
We are so grateful for this country we live in and for all of the blessings that come from living in the land of the free. Happy birthday America, here's to another party celebrating you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Slip n' slide

It definitely got hot while we were in Idaho, and what better way to cool down than a slip n' slide! My sister bought a 25x10 ft plastic tarp from Home Depot and cut it in half length ways, so there were now two tarps at 25x5 ft. Coat it with some dish soap, add a hose and you have the next best thing to a pool!

The kids had such a fun time, and it produced some great pictures! I got all of the kids that slid down it but two! (Sorry Kole and Bennett)
Kinlie (She would go down as slow as possible, to make sure she stayed on the tarp so she wouldn't get grass on her. She then found a leak in the hose and designated it as the "wash station." Crazy girl!)
Lexi (I'm pretty sure this girl went the farthest. It was impressive.)
Hunter (This has to be my favorite picture of them all!)
Oliver (my best friend from high school, Jordan's, son)
A good time was had by all. Next time, I'll have to get in on the action!