Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The zoo...again.

Elliott and I ventured out to the zoo today with several other moms and their kiddos from the small group we've been going to.

She really liked the zoo this time...
Her favorite animal was the leopard. It was pacing right in front of the glass which gave her a very easy view. She tried talking loudly to it, waving to it, then she tried to call it like she calls Truman. Pretty funny. My favorite were the pink flamingos. They were so beautiful!
I didn't get a picture with all of the other kids just Miss E and her friend Maryn.
After dinner tonight, we ventured out to Let's Spoon...the one self-serve (that we know of) place in South Bend. Norman has like 5 which is a little overkill in my opinion. I had pretty low expectations of the place, but it was actually REALLY delicious. Elliott LOVED it and kept saying "Mmmm" after every bite. I think she has a sweet tooth like her Mama.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The good of South Bend

We have been in South Bend for 4 weeks today...kind of crazy. I must admit, it still kind of feels like an extended vacation to me and that we'll be headed back to Oklahoma any day now, but there are definitely things I have enjoyed about being here. I thought I would make a list, because pretty sure there *might* be some sad days when I realize this is no vacation.
  1. The weather-High of 81 degrees today...enough said.
  2. Our walking path-It's the small things that make it home, right? We have a beautiful path I try to walk every day that is right alongside a river. We pass a duck pond with lots of ducks (downside to this is their poop that covers the sidewalk) and lots of cool, old houses. It energizes me every day.
  3. The beach-We're 30 minutes from Silver Beach on Lake Michigan. Who would have thought we would be that close to a beach? We've only gone once, but I love the fact that it's close.
  4. Our house-Overall, I really like our house. Yes, I can see myself getting extremely tired of walking up and down the stairs multiple times a day (especially when I'm 9 months pregnant), but I love it's character and all of the great natural light. Slight side note...our house did lose a little appeal last night because we found a our house...flying around. I think I'm forever scarred. Thankfully Kev caught it and released it into the wild (aka our backyard).
  5. Restaurants-One of our favorite things to do is find new places to eat. This has been a fun adventure in a new place, except we're realizing it is getting a little more difficult to eat out with Miss Elliott.
  6. Campus-We came from a college town and we still live in a college town. I love that! One of our favorite things in Norman was to take walks on campus and we can still do that!
  7. The library-We just discovered this little gem and we will definitely be taking advantage of this when winter drags on for 8 months of the year (#1 will definitely not be on the list).
  8. The diversity-There seems to be a lot of diversity in this town-ethnicity, cultural, social, beliefs-and it has been very refreshing. It's a good reminder that not everyone is like us. :)
  9. The people-I feel like we've met a lot of people so far...people in our neighborhood, through church, through Kev's program...and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. What a huge blessing it has been to us!
We're slowly finding our "normals"...favorite grocery store, favorite places to eat, things to do, etc. All of this definitely makes South Bend feel more and more like home!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Home sweet home-Part 1 of our house. I thought I would break up the posts by room so I could post more pics per room (and it gives me more things to post about). So without further ado, the living room. I feel like this is actually a really cool room and it's the first room you see when you walk in the front door.
The windows are in the front of the house. The room is painted this funky green/khaki color, but I feel like it really works with our furniture and decorations.
I LOVE all the light from the windows and the front door, but the one thing I hate is Truman can see every person who walks by on the street or comes to our front door. Not a big deal, you say? I guess it's not a big deal unless said dog tries to literally tear down the front door in a barking fit EVERY time someone comes to the door. This happens on a daily basis...when the mailman delivers our mail...during Elliott's nap. You can see why I love the door.
This is the view from the front door. The right door leads to the kitchen, the left door leads to the dining room. Please excuse Truman's behind. He wouldn't get out of the picture.
View of the room from the dining room.
This picture and the rug were our new purchases for the house so far. Definitely need something else on the other side of the mantel. Any thoughts?
The TV is in the bottom right corner.
The stairway...aka Elliott's new favorite toy. We actually have a gate at the bottom of the stairs which she stands at and tries to open the door.

Like I said before, the house was built in the early 1900s in a craftsman/bungalow style. I LOVE all the beautiful woodwork, but I'm still trying to figure out how to incorporate our style with that style. We really haven't hung any pictures in this room yet (except over the mantel) so that's on the top of my list. What else would you do?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

She's a walking girl

It was a momentous day in our household...Miss Elliott took her first steps! She is such a big girl. She kind of acted like she had been walking for a long time. I know some people really dread their kids walking, but I'm really excited about it. She has been so much happier since she can cruise and crawl, so I think she'll really enjoying her new found independence.

We met Kev on campus today for a little picnic. So much fun! The weather was perfect...low 70s, sunny with a nice breeze. What more could you ask for? I brought my camera but it was dead, so we had to settle for poor quality iPhone pics.
Not a great picture with the sun, but I love how she has her tongue stuck out!

"You're pretty cool, Dad."
I know we need to take ADVANTAGE of these beautiful days!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mexican food time

CAN YOU believe i'm posting again? ummm, yeah, have a little more free time on my hands since kev officially started school on tuesday and i don't have a job yet. so i guess i blog...and do other much more productive things, i assure you (like kill gnats and such). it was kind of weird for kev to start school (even though that's obviously why we moved here). we figured out he hasn't been a full time student since 2003. kind of shocking. even though it has only been 2 days, i can tell he is really enjoying it and loving this new season of life (hopefully that continues when he has 500+ pages to read in a week and papers due). i should have taken a picture of him on his first day of school and posted it on facebook with everyone little student.
anyway, quick update about the gnats, i feel like the vinegar trick is really working! yay! one caveat...i was informed you are also supposed to put a little dish soap in the vinegar so it changes the surface tension and somehow makes them drown. i can't tell you the satisfaction i get every time i see dead gnats at the bottom of the cup. makes me feel successful. i also had kev pour ammonia down our drain (read that on the internet) and went out and purchased sticky paper today as well as more vinegar. apparently gnats are common in this area with all of the moisture...this secretly made me feel relieved that we weren't dirty people they were drawn to.
i thought i would post a little recipe we tried a couple of nights ago. several things drew me to this recipe:
1. love me some mexican.
2. love simple recipes.
3. love me some green chilis.
it was honestly really nice to try something new because i have really been stuck in a rut as far as menu planning.
Quick and Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
garlic salt to taste
18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn in half
1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada
1 (16 ounce) package shredded
Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2.Season chicken with garlic salt. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, shred, and set aside.
3.With metal tongs, char each tortilla half over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed.
4.Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce
5.Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.

Recipe taken from

Here are a few thoughts/changes about the recipe:
  • I didn't char the tortillas (way too complicated in my books).
  • I combined the sour cream to the chicken and added an extra can of green chilis (see #3 above).
  • I only used 2 large chicken breasts...chicken is expensive people. I actually planned on adding a can of pinto beans to the chicken mixture (beans=cheap protein) but I forgot.
  • I sauteed a green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and 1/2 an onion and added that to the layering (per a recommendation by another cook).
  • I removed the foil the last 15 minutes. It probably could have been cooked a little longer because it was still a little moist (but not super runny).
  • The leftovers were fantastic!
  • If I made it again, I would probably have the chicken precooked and shredded because it would make it a much faster recipe.
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gnats and farmers market

When I was in college, several of my girl friends and I were renting an old house just blocks from campus. We had an ant infestation, and I thought it was the worst.thing.ever. They got in our sugar, our cereal, all over our counters, and everything else you can imagine. I felt utterly helpless and completely disgusted. Luckily, Kev's dad is an exterminator and he gave us the best ant killer EVER!!

Then, when Kev and I were living in our house in Norman, we had an unbearable fly problem one summer. What started off with a couple of flies literally turned into hundreds...and I'm not exaggerating. I think one day I killed 90+ flies. How could it get worse than that, right?

Now....we have gnats. They look pretty harmless at first. Not as pervasive as ants, and initially not as annoying as flies, but I think they are getting worse by the day and it is driving me CRAZY!! They are really hard to kill because they're so small, and I have felt that same helpless feeling I had with the ants. My friend told me to put a cup with vinegar in it, put seran wrap on top, and poke small holes in it. Apparently they are drawn to the scent of the vinegar, crawl in, but then can't get out. I've discovered they DEFINITELY like vinegar, but I'm not sure if I made the holes too big/too small, because there seems to be the same number in the cup every time I go over. Maybe the other gnats are just smarter than the ones in the cup. Who knows. All I know is they ALL need to die...SOON.

So enough about gnats, on a happier note, Miss Elliott and I decided to venture out to the Farmers Market today. I loved the Farmers Market in was open two days a week during the summer and we got many great veggies there. Well this new market did not disappoint.
It was bigger than the one in Norman, and they had lots of things beyond fruits and veggies (meats, cheeses, honey, dressing, eggs, etc). It is inside so it is open all year long...awesome! There were TONS of selections of fruits and veggies, all very reasonably priced.
I got all of this for less than $5.
Here's Miss E, chilling in her stroller.
Here she is again AFTER she decided she didn't want to wear her hair up any longer. This is a battle we are dealing with all the time lately. We are trying to grow out her bangs, so when her hair is not up, it gets all in her eyes. We affectionately call her "shaggy dog." Drives me nuts that she won't just leave her hair up!
When I was downloading pictures off my phone, I found a couple of other cute pictures. This is Elliott and her new friend Maryn. They are a month apart in age and we're convinced they will be BFF. They have a lot in common...they both LOVE to swing,
and they loved to look at each other while they ate lunch.
This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. We have a REALLY difficult time locking Truman outside when anyone is here. He goes CRAZY and basically has a panic attack. In Norman, we were able to lock him in our laundry room. No such luck here. But we have found he will calm down if we put him in his cage. Elliott LOVES when he is in his cage. She walks all around his cage and just talks to him...pretty hilarious.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

22 weeks

It's so hard to believe I am already half way through this pregnancy! Time has gone much more quickly this second time around. When I was pregnant with Elliott, I felt like time crept by because I was so excited to meet her. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to meet this little guy (still can't believe I'm having a little guy!) but I feel like a lot needs to happen between now and then.

My new doctor actually moved my due date up to December 24th (Christmas Eve baby), so I am actually 22 weeks today! I'm not having any reflux, my nausea is mostly gone, don't really feel excessive fatigue, feel our little guy moving lots, so I guess I am at the "good" stage in pregnancy. I do feel tired in the afternoon but I think that is probably due to the fact that Miss E is extremely ACTIVE! She does not sit still...EVER. Actually, I take that back. She does love to eat and sits still when she eats. Other than that, she wants to explore and get into everything. Her most recent discovery...toilet paper. She loves unrolling the toilet paper when I turn around for one moment. She heads straight for it when we go into the bathroom now. Such a funny girl!
I thought I would finally post a belly pic. This is actually the first picture I've taken this pregnancy. I am 21 weeks here.
Our sweet little ornery girl!
She loves boxes!
Hello world!

Friday, August 19, 2011


I'm back in business!! We finally got internet yesterday and I feel like a new woman today...well, maybe not a new woman but pretty darn good. It's amazing how helpless you feel without internet. It always makes me consider using the internet less, then I think, "Well that's a silly idea." :)

Our house is slowly and surely coming together, which I'm so thankful for. I'm still planning on posting pictures soon, I just want to get a few more pictures up. I really like our house in South Bend, but sometimes I don't feel like it fits the decorations we used in Norman. It is definitely a bungalow/craftsman style which is really neat and unique, but our house in Norman definitely was not craftsman. Just a little different look.

Don't hate me Oklahoma friends, but the weather has still been absolutely gorgeous here. It feels hot today and the high is 85. We have been taking at least once a day walks (and we don't have to leave at 7 to beat the heat), and it has been pretty fantastic. Don't get me wrong...I do realize our weather will definitely NOT be good all year. We have had many locals give us advice on how to prepare. My two favorite tips...don't wait for the first snow to buy a shovel or boots because the stores will be completely out. So fascinating to me. I definitely did not own a pair of snow boots in Oklahoma.

When my parents were visiting, we took a day trip to St. Joseph, Michigan. It is a really cute town that lies right on Lake Michigan. They actually have sandy beaches, volleyball nets, a carousel, splash pad, etc. We had a lot of fun exploring but came grossly unprepared without our swimsuits, beach towels, or really anything applicable to a beach. Here's a few pics from exploring the town.

We tried to get some cute pictures of Elliott sitting on a bale of hay...definitely did not happen. She was WAY too distracted by the hay.

Elliott was not cooperating with pictures. I realize this as I look back and see she wasn't looking in any of them.
Elliott sitting on the "corn dog" statue. It probably would have been cuter to actually see the corn dog. Oh well.
Riding the carousel with dad and Papa.
Pretty flower we found while exploring.

Such a long post I know. Hopefully I can find more interesting things to post about!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday! has been a little busy lately. Not very conducive to blogging. Actually, I have had lots of blog topics in my mind but we STILL don't have internet (and won't for another week). Highly annoying and inconvenient. But it brief recap, we made it to South Bend after 2 grueling days in the car. It actually wasn't that bad, but pretty sure we couldn't have made it without my mom and dad. Kev drove our enormous U-Haul, pulling one of our cars and my dad rode with him, and my mom entertained Elliott while I drove our other car. We stopped in St. Louis for the night to visit my aunt and uncle.

Once we got to South Bend, my parents stayed with us for a week to help us unpack, clean, etc. They were LIFESAVERS!!! I thought multiple times, "no way we could have done this without them." They left last Tuesday, and it was definitely a tearful goodbye. Kev doesn't start school for a week so we have just been hanging out, exploring, and trying to finish the last 20% of things to do in our house. Oh, did I mention we have been trying to soak up all of this beautiful weather? The high has been in the 80s every reminds me of Fall in Oklahoma. We have been taking multiple walks a day and just enjoying being outside. I know that will change soon enough when the cold hits...don't remind me.

Elliott has adjusted to our new home like a pro. She doesn't act like anything is any different. Truman is a different story. I would definitely say he has been the MOST traumatized out of us all. He has been particularly anxious and down right annoying, but he seems to be calming down some. Poor guy misses his doggy door. So I definitely plan on posting pics of our house soon, but I thought for today I'd post some long overdue birthday pics. Enjoy!

The spread.
The dessert.
Birthday girl!
So I hadn't given Miss E any sweets until her birthday. She definitely enjoyed her cupcake...but not as much as she enjoys her eggs. :)
Happy girl excited about her presents!
Such a big girl!
I can't believe she is actually 1!!!

We had SO much fun at her birthday (and I think she did too). It never ceases to amaze me that a year has already passed!

Totally anticlimatic, but I'm having a little BOY!! So fun!