Saturday, July 31, 2010

My oh my, my cup runneth over...

Last Wednesday, July 28, 2010, hubby and I had our first ultrasound and St. Elizabeth East Hospital, and we found out (to my surprise!) that we are having a BABY GIRL!!!!!

Wow, all the thoughts and emotions that have been going through my head in the past week has been so incredibly emotional and overwhelming.

A girl.

Wow. I am still in shock.

As soon as that screen popped up I immediately had hot tears streaming down my face, and continued that way the entire time. I could not believe that we were looking at our future child. It's completely breathtaking. Thinking of all the future memories that we will hopefully have with this child while looking at her still inside me blew my mind. There she was, moving and grooving around in there. Completely humbling to think that our Lord thinks we are ready for this and trusts us with this beautiful precious life...

After we found out and we were left a lone in the room for a moment (after I of course ran off to the bathroom, I had to go SOOO bad! Almost wet my drawers a few times! haha!) Landon looked at me and told me that he had secretly wanted a little girl for awhile. That stinker never let on! But I did have a feeling that's how he felt. I think we both wanted a little one of each other. To be honest, I am quite intimated with the idea of another me in my life. I can barely put up with myself most of the time! haha! But hopefully this little girl will also take after her daddy as much as I, which is the best part of myself anyway. To think that physically and emotionally this little girl will make up both parts of myself and the love of my life, makes me unfathomably already love this little lady more than I could imagine...

So in the past week I have cried at the look from someone I care about asking how the baby is, picturing our sweet little girl and my wonderful niece Vivien playing together (a little me and a little dear sister Rhiannon, but only 21 months apart instead of 9 years), the touch of little onesies in a store, hearing my husband saying the possible names of our little baby girl, a friend bringing me flowers on my last day of work, having a half hour long talk with our baby while we walk in the rain, talking to someone at church about our everyday life and God's blessings and timing...


The joys of being a new mama, my cup runneth completely over...

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So this is just going to be some photos and ramblings about some yummy food I have had and made this past week with my hubby.
I started this post last week and got busy, Mamas Collection of Friends this past weekend!!!! Wonderful wonderful time!!!! Blog about that soon to be posted!

Back to food, haha...what can I say, I am pregnant. I enjoy food A LOT normally, so now being with child it is making me enjoy it all the more! we go...
fresh salsa(before being blended), made completely from our garden
Our favorite Young Family recipe

Accompanied with our favorite black bean soup!
Hubby and I's motto for our cooking is usually what is Easy and Best,
who wouldn't want both of these!

The opening of our canned pickles! Anxiously we waited a week,
we almost gave in several times. But we made it!!!....

Hubby being dramatic

Hubby was kind enough to give me the first bite
And my ohhhhhh MY, were they tastey!

Mmmmm....grilled free range burgers with melted colby jack cheese, condiments from the garden, whole wheat buns, cucumber-tomato-onion-basil-vinegar salad all from the garden, and of course Wavy Lays chips. Because they are my favorite. :)
Accompanied, but not photographed, with homemade lemonade.

What's the best way to finish off a perfect summer picnic meal???
My favorite dessert of vanilla frozen yogurt, fresh cut strawberries, and dark chocolate syrup.
Oooooh yeah....absolutely delicious.

Woke-up knowing for some reason that I had to have enchiladas,
or I might just die.

How is that for a dramatic craving? haha!
So, here they are...Cheese and refried bean enchiladas, in whole wheat tortillas, with garden tomatoes, onions, and cilantro sauteed and then baked with wonderful cheese, topped with organic sour cream.

This was lunch, for dinner we had our weekly concert in the park bananza with Hot Box pizza, left over cucumber tomato-onion-salad, and of course cookies-n-cream ice cream as posted previously. Yeah, not the healthiest food all in one day, but what can I say. I am pregnant and mama like cheese and tomatoes A LOT. haha...

Sigh, yummy yummy week of food.

Left on Thursday for THE Retreat, where plenty and plenty more yummy food was made and on all that wonderfulness will soon to be posted. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ohhhh boy.....or girl. :)!

Today was my monthly check in with the nurse practitioner. Auntie Lauren was in town, so she got to go with me. :)
All is well with baby bear and mama bear. Gaining the appropriate amount of weight. Blood pressure 118/62. And babies heartbeat was 148 beats/min. :-D Happy happy mama...
But the most new information of them all, was scheduling the appointment for our one and only ultrasound...A WEEK FROM TODAY!!!!! Next Wednesday the 28, we will finally get to see our sweet baby. :)!!!! Annnnnd find out if it is a boy or a girl! EEEEEEPPPPP!!!! I can barely stand it. :)

Until then, I will still daydream of the possibilities of either one anticipating being able to identify and know this baby one big step more....

P.s. Isn't the break from the miserable humid heat to just normal good ole summer heat amazing? I am actually feeling a cool breeze through the apt as we speek! :)!!!!
again, happy happy mama

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MUST Have for least for me.

Bought these today, and already they have changed my comfort level completely for pregnancy!

"Be Maternity Seamless Leggings"

(taken by ever faithful hubby, had to get him out of bed. haha. He is the best.)

This is the same brand of the Maternity Be Band, also a MUST for expecting mamas!
I can still wear my pre-pregnancy pants with this band! Wear it with my work clothes and even jeans allll the time! How much longer I will be able to, time will tell. But it has been COMPLETELY worth the money! Only $16.00! Much better than buying four new maternity pants in the beginning that wont fit later in pregnancy.
Going back to the leggings, I have had my eye on these ever since I found out I was pregnant. Annnnd possibly even before :). I put them on after getting home and immediately knew I would not be taking them off any time soon. Incredibly breathable, even in this miserable heat! And will be still warm enough in a few months when I am ripe for the soon to be (but not soon enough) fall months, as well as post birth. so I might be wearing these the rest of my life, haha. I will still be able wear all my skirts and/or big shirts (aka hubby's flannels) this fall! Just put on some boots instead of sandals and add a cardigan and scarf and VIOLA! Fall maternity out of summer maternity :)! Plus, it is extremely flexible material! It is comfortable right now, and I know it still has lots of room with it's mostly Nylon fabric.
Did I mention it is seamless....yeah. You expecting mamas know that this is a HUGE bonus. Closest thing I have found to not wearing anything at all.

These two "Be" products have saved me so much money thus far that I haven't even needed to go maternity shopping yet. But that has a lot to do with the fact that since I have been married I have been stocking clothes (mainly dresses and shirts) that are belly expandable friendly. Knowing that my husband and I would start our family sooner than most. I just had a hunch. :) Plus, I just really like how comfortable maternity clothes are anyway. haha.
Annnnnd all this wonderfullness for only $24.99......

So, soon to be mama's and soon to be again mama's. Go! Go now!!! You wont regret it!
But do wait to wear them till around 20 weeks, or whenever it is that you feel you have a significant belly. The seamless top would fall down (from reviews I have read) if you are not big enough. I thankfully though, have not had any problems! Probably because this mama has got herself an already perchable belly! :)

(Available Target online or at Target stores)

Friday, July 16, 2010

music. pizza. ice cream....worms?

(hubby and I's favorite summer past time, concerts outside in the cool of the evening with each other :)

As miserably hot Wednesday day was, the evening was delightful and full of lovely experiences. Hubby and I drove by Purdue's Union the previous Wednesday on our way back from my work noticing the free live music out in front, hubby excitingly and puppy eyed exclaimed "oh wow, wanna go?!" I then proceeded to slowly turn and look at him with my all black waitress attire after a long night of heat and exhaustion and said, "No, no I don't" Poor hubby...
The following day he sent me an e-mail with the details of the all summer long, every Wednesday, different kinds of music, outside, close to our home, and free event. Yeah, pretty swell. I had felt bad of depriving hubby of the previous week of one of his(and my own) favorite activities, and made a point to be free Wednesday night and go no matter what the music. It was a date!

So Wednesday arrived and we anticipated the event all day, we even decided to call an invite our lovely friends that partner with us in the garden to join us for Pizza and a concert!
So Landon and I followed through with our once a week Hot Box Pie of the Week plans, which is our faaavorite pizza in Lafayette. And it must be said, that hubby and I try very hard and enjoy eating healthy. But we love us some good pizza. Our marriage wouldn't be as happy without it, haha! We love our membership e-mail that gets us the Pie of the Week, after the verbal code for ordering, is half off any size! This week, The Eve-broccoli and fresh tomatoes, with fontina cheese, marinara, and roasted garlic...code: An Apple a Day, just say it when you order. Amazing! Not our favorite pie from there, but great none the less. Plus, Gardner Partners brought Pink Lemonade! Yum!

(sigh, I just can't live without it)

We arrived to see our lovely married garden friends arriving at the same time on the other side of the Union. We found a lovely spot in the shade, surrounded by many children. In fact, we had noticed that most of the crowd was rather elderly or small families...? Oh well, none of us cared. With Landon and I preparing for our little one and gardner partner/dear friend Laura anticipating being aunt the same time I am due with her eldest sisters first, we both just giggled and stared at all the adorable children around us and all there sweet little innocent games and faces.
Shortly after sitting down and starting into our Eve of a Pie the Moonshine Mason and the Rot Gut Gang started to play. I know, great name right?! I knew it would be country, but I was hoping maybe for some folk-like country, sadly it wasn't but enjoyable none the less with good company. Especially watching all the kidos dancing around while Pretty Woman played, HA! After devouring our pizza we all concluded that a bit of ice cream would just hit the spot, and was magic. We saw an ice cream vendor their at the location. Hubby, the frugal man he is does not turn down ice cream at any time. More than pizza, ice cream is his main squeeze. He ran off without any money or shoes, and I had to haul him back for some cash. He came back with TWO quite good size proportions of ice cream for a total of $4. Great deal! He got chocolate and he got me cookies and cream, which is EXACTLY what I wanted! Good hubby :) It was soooooo tasty! Exactly what over heated mama wanted. The whole event was splendid, and we plan to go every week the remaining of the summer if we can help it. Next week, Small Town Heroes, our absolute favorite local band! :D!!!!!

(can't wait to get it again next week!)

Why worms???? Well, earlier that day hubby went and purchased jumbo red worms for our composting for the second time. First time, it was so cotton pickin hot outside that on the way home they all died from the heat! Poor little guys, and after Landon had convinced they were going to have a good life and everything. :(
So this time, he purchased them and rushed home to take care of them asap. And here they are, active and happy as a clam to eat all our organic leftovers. Bon appetite!

(I think we are going to give them a happy life...this time )

I will post a whole blog on Composting with Worms soon, so stay tuned!...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ugh, Today Wins

Today is officially the hottest and most uncomfortable day I have had in my pregnancy.
I am so grateful that halfway through the day it decided to cloud up and rain. Shew! What a relief!
Also, today is the day I have officially missed coffee the most. I was at work, extremely hot and ridiculously tired...dreaming of an intensely air conditioned oasis somewhere with an iced coffee...Ahhh...sounded perfect.
But now I am back at my lovely home, about to curl up in my single air conditioned room to take a nap/watch a movie. Which I don't ever watch movies during the day, but today I am giving in to my cat like nature and am going to relax and summer hibernate till I feel like I can go back outside...

P.s. super SUPER ready to know what gender our baby bear is!!!!!!!!
Two more weeks just seems like too long!! I am hitting a wall of impatience!

ok, that's all for now. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the beginnings of a new favorite.

Being so early in postings, I feel as if I have to give a brief background story so you get a better understanding of where I am coming from...
My husband loves nature. Anything possibly dealing with it.

Camping, gardening, walking(in the grass, we call concrete deserts haha), biking, going barefoot (even to church and running), grilling out, picking berries, examining plants and testing his knowledge of their scientific name (he is a Landscape Architect with a minor in Horticulture and Entrepreneurship, working on his undergrad at Purdue University. So that might make this all make more sense now), running and riding his bike in the rain, being close to bodies of water, going the bathroom outside(haha), concerts outside, picnics, and the list could go on and on and on...
So this year in our first attempt for a garden, he purchased a 25 by 70 ft garden plot two minutes from our apartment for a close to nothing price(he is the world's best bargain finder). Something to be said about my husband and now myself, when we go out we go aaaaallll out. haha.
So with the help from three of our dear other friends, we have maintained this garden organically since April.
For our first year, we are doing pretty good!!!!

We are growing:

-spring mix salad
-Japanese spring mix



-green onions

-white onions
-red onions
-peppers (red, green, jalapeno, and banana)
-green beans

-tomatoes (san marsano, romano, and beef steak--these last ones were hubby's buddy idea haha)
-romaine salad






and I think that is it...

and we have LOVED it!!! The fact that we are getting further and further away from corporate markets to buy our produce that are from thousands of miles away to our native land makes me and hubby glow.
And lately, this garden along with I :) have become very abundant with life. this is just a slither of some produce I got from the garden this past week...

(ahhhh, isn't lovely. Dirt, clean chemical free dirt, and all!)

(p.s. This is hubby, completely in his element. Playing banjo, in his favorite new rocker, after sorting veggies from the garden, end eating an all organic and local lunch made by his wifey. Happy happy hubby.)

Hubby and I have enjoyed finding ways to use our produce and our little land space to be more sustainable. We have been composting all summer, and have started our beginnings on using worms. But more on that some other time...But last night we found and started the
beginnings of a new favorite.
Pickling cucumbers to be super yummy garlic dill pickles!!!!!
As many of you probably know, pregnant women loooooove pickles. Being that I already loved them deeply, so much than when I was in Jr. High I would actually write I Love Pickles on my notebooks (yes, very odd child I was)! So being the lover of them as I am and on TOP of THAT being pregnant, oh man. I am hooked. So naturally, organic hubby says "we have our own cucumbers, why not do our own!" The beauty of my mate, he has all the passion and drive that I have to do things sustainable but he has all the doing motivation that I lack, and I love that he pushes us both to do what is not always easy but always best. So last night, instead of a date night of watching a movie or going on a walk we Pickled Cucumbers. :) We looked and looked for our favorite pickles that we had last summer while living in Brooklyn, NY (that is a whole other blog entirely). We tried McClure's Pickles at the Brooklyn Flea Market under the bridge, and were convinced immediately that they were the best we had ever had and that "someday when we have our garden" we would make them! :) We couldn't find the recipe anywhere, but we are not giving up! We WILL find it, and make them this summer!!! But instead we found another great recipe that was extremely helpful with its changeable serving size to make what you had.
Here it is!!! Seems like a lot to do, but it only took us about a hour! And we don't have a pressure cooker yet, so we just used a regular sauce pan, filled with water halfway. Hopefully it works! Also, we read somewhere that it is best to ice/chill the cucumbers awhile before putting them in the jars because it helps them absorb the flavor, yay to more flavor!

Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles


Serves: 9 1/4, Servings: 2 quart jars

* 2 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings

* 1/2 to taste fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs

* 1/2 to taste cucumbers, washed, scrubbed

* 1/2 garlic cloves (or more)


* 2 1/2 cups water

* 3/4 cup white vinegar

* 1/4 cup pickling salt


Prep Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs


2. Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.

3. Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.

4. In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.

5. In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.

6. FILL JARS: place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top--)---squeeze cukes into the jar tightly--uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.

7. Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.

8. Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.

9. Place jars into canner with water JUST to the necks of the jars.

10. Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes--depending on how fast it heats up).

11. Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.

12. Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.

13. NOTES: When washing/scrubbing cukes, sort them into piles by size. This really helps make your jars look nicer, if you have uniform sizes (and this impresses the judges too!). And makes for easier packing, too.

Are they not already mouth watering looking good?!

:) see you in a couple weeks cucumbers, and you will wake up and be scrumdillyocious pickles!

That's it!!! All from your garden!!! We are now looking into possibly making our own vinegar as well, let you know in future blogs how it goes!

Until next time....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

to start things off...

My name is Calin Sheila.
I married my best friend and love of my life when I was 20 and have loved him and knew I was going to marry him since we started dating when I was 14 and he is the most wonderful hubby I could ask for. And today, I am 20 weeks/5 months pregnant with our first born child.... and I can finally proudly say I am Halfway There....

Halfway There to what?
That is the question that could apply to every corner of my life.
halfway there to-The obvious, arrival of our precious baby bear that we both are anxiously awaiting that has already completely redefined to us love in a way that we could have never understood before...
halfway there to-The wife, that I strife to become to complete and love my husband in the way I know my God desires me to...
halfway there to-The mama, that I so desperately desperately want to be with all my heart that I couldn't begin to start on all the desires I want to be for this unknown new love in my life that I care about more than myself...
halfway there to-The family member and friend, that supports you and is there for you no matter what and will do anything for you...
halfway there to-The homemaker, that is figuring out how to keep a clean and sustainable household as well as healthy organic tasty food...
halfway there to-The gardener, that my husband and I both see us to be in the future, that we both desire for our small to someday big family providing for all organic food that is our own all year round...
halfway there to-The craft maker, that can use my pillow cases and random scraps to make something meaningful and practical without taking a well as learning all the crafts I can such as sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. etc....
halfway there to-The photographer, that I try to be, but don't seem to ever seem to be where I want to be or making the decision on how serious to make it in my life...
halfway there to-The giver, that I long to be. To live as simply as I can, not holding onto anything too much that I wouldn't be able to give it to someone in need with out a doubt...
and lastly but most definitely not lastly,
halfway there to-The child of God that I know my Creator sees me as, and to live with all I have to give back to him what I don't deserve but through His grace has so lovingly given to me.

what can I say I am Halfway There....
and I plan to tell you the adventures of my hubby and I's happy life together day to day on how I get closer to There.
(taken this evening by my dear hubby)