2011

Can I get a sponsor for this?!

6:16 PM

So, thanks to living in the great state of Pennsylvania that still recognizes pregnancy as a "pre-existing illness," I get the the lucky card to take completely unpaid maternity leave. You're ALL jealous I know! I missed having it by four days folks.

So, can we get a sponsor for this?! I'm an RN still paying off student loans, my husband is a veteran who is in school full time and working the only other hours he has off. I was hoping to take a nice long break with the little peanut, possibly not even go back to work, but those dreams are quickly being dashed. 12 weeks of FMLA is turning into maybe taking 6 weeks. I've already cried at the thought of daycare for a 6 weeks old and it's breaking my heart. 

I'm trying to keep the faith that it will all work out in the end. Currently looking for some per diem work, but since I already work 5 days a week there isn't much room for much more work. 

Pray for us, we need it, and appreciate it.

And for reals guys, if you wanna sponsor us, just let me know :) haha!

babies

Things

10:17 PM

Things I'm lovin' right now...

Seriously adore this book right now! I cannot put it down!

The Civil Wars

Anything and everything pumpkin
And of course our growing peanut, now 13 weeks!





blessings

So, it's been awhile...

6:00 PM

Alright, so now that it's been a month and a half since last blogging, I figure it's time for a new post. Today I had a day off. That's right folks, a day off in which I was not called in for the day, or even half of the day (the joys of being a nurse!). Here were somethings I did with this day off :

1- Slept past 5:30 am, and it was glorious!

2- Vacuumed the house (it'd been nearly two weeks, yuck!).

3- Played outside with the puppies, we had some quality time out in the sun.

4- Did some planning for seester's bridal shower.

5- Made some Mac & Cheese from scratch, yum!

6- Watched several classy movies such as: My Future Boyfriend, The Proposal, and You Again.

7- Took a fantastic nap on the couch, which I have just woken up from.

Many more exciting things to come for this evening (not), and more blogging to come in the next few days.

blessings

Southern Living

9:21 AM

Harbor in Georgetown, SC

That's right kids! It's the first week of July, hence why we are at the beach. We vacation to Pawley's Island, SC, and it's fantastic! So look forward to lots of pictures to come while I enjoy a week of southern living, and celebrate our two year anniversary!

babies

Fever...

8:30 PM

Nina Elyse

Baby fever that is! This was from a recent baby session I did for a co-worker and good friend of her new little baby girl, and wow that little bean makes your ovaries/uterus ache! She was 6 pounds 12 ounces of pure cuteness, and I had SO much fun taking pictures of her! Hanging out with babies, especially little stinkin' cute ones like Nina will give anyone baby fever, and I'm just going to have to keep visits up to get my fix. No babies for us just yet, more weight to lose, and obtain more financial stability, then babies can join this part of the Emeigh family. For now, fur babies and other peoples little ones will have to do!

By the way, check out Nina's sneak peek's here!



blessings

Thus far

9:10 PM


So, we started this Dukan Diet about 5 weeks ago and I've lost 17 lbs...great! Right?! I need to be thankful for what I have lost so far, but I still have so much left it's really that it is hard to keep the big picture in sight. I want to lose about 50 more big LBS! I'm happy with the progress I've made so far for a whopping day, then quickly lose sight of that, and it is replaced with negative thoughts about how much I HAVEN'T lost...ugh!

To make matters worse, we're leaving for vacation in t-minus 13 days, and I am SO not ready. At least my body isn't ready yet! It's for sure going to be a one piece week at the beach! Hopefully the sunshine, downtime, and the hopeful tan that I will get will help how I feel. The week although relaxing, is going to be filled with lots of activity. Runs/walks on the beach, swimming, and bike rides. On a side note, it's our two year wedding anniversary down there and I cannot wait to celebrate two wonderful years with my husband.

Hopefully, I'll be officially over food poisoning by tomorrow and can get back to Couch 2 5K.

babies

Under the Weather

8:43 PM

So, while the weather here has been decent this lady has been quite under the weather...thanks food poisoning!

Work ordered us dinner, and it backfired

This lovely item above gave my stomach one heck of a fight, and my stomach lost...horribly. Currently laying on the couch and probably will remain here for the next few days.

KFC, you and I will never meet again!

In other news, my good friend Maria is currently in labor with her little bundle of joy Nina, who should join us in this great world this evening!

blessings

Green

4:22 PM

Look at my beautiful puppies out in our GREEN yard!

Bear...what a handsome devil!

Bailey, in her own world...as per usual

My little fur babies

I don't think it's possible to love my dogs too much! I'm entering these photos to this blog competition, check it out!

The Paper Mama

blessings

Yummy

10:08 PM

So, Kurt and I TOTALLY caved on our date today...fail. We've followed our diet for the last three weeks and we just couldn't resist. We worked an event in Boyertown, PA (btw totally charming little place). After, we stopped at a garage sale, drooled at all of the amazing historic homes, and by the way, at that garage sale there was an amazing antique 1800's king bed that I wanted. To the tune of $500, it's meant for someone else! Then we decided to stop for something to eat since we were famished. We stumbled upon this little baby....

The Carriage House Restaurant in East Greenville, PA
and I'm in LOVE!

This is The Carriage House Restaurant (picture courtesy of their website), and it is easily one of my new favorite places! We had the most amazing dinner. We started with cups of soup, I got french onion, and hubs went with the Maryland Crab...yum! Then we got this amazing Tyrolean mushroom strudel. Here was the description for it: Seasoned forest mushrooms, bacon, onions and pine nuts
wrapped in a flaky pastry drizzled with a porchini demi-glace....de-lish! Then I ate the every so yummy Chicken Adige: Sautéed chicken breast topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and tomato in a
white wine sauce. You can drool it's ok! However, we decided to skip the GIANT tray of desserts that they had available as we had already eaten ourselves stupid. 

It was a great day spent with my love, and very seldom do we get an entire day to work together and play together, such a blessing!

drinks

Bridesmaids

12:33 AM

Oh yea, by the way, you should TOTALLY see this movie!

Hello  blog world! I've been so so busy recently and I feel like I've abandoned you! So, my wonderful Seester (my sister-in-law), Jana, is gonna be a Mrs. this upcoming November and I cannot wait! Plus, I get to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, which I am beyond excited for. She was a bridesmaid in our wedding back in 2009, and now I get to be part of her big day. 

The first half of the day was spent at a small bridal boutique in Nazareth, PA checking out the fantastic dresses that they had to offer, we found some not so great ones, some horrid ones, and two pretty fantastic ones. We settled on two, I'd love to share them with you, but the only picture I have includes HER dress, and that will remain under wraps until the BIG day! Either dress will be fantastic and flattering to everyone, and the color, oh my! It's phenomenal, a rich eggplant perfect for the season. 

We all worked up an appetite, ladies you know what I'm talking about, that post shopping hunger pain....We had a nice little bridesmaid lunch at The Widows, this adorable little place right down the road from the shop. I had some yummy lettuce wraps and treated myself to a lemon drop martini (ok, Seester treated me since she treated everyone to lunch, thanks again!). 

Then I came home, updated the room assignment sheet for the lodge at the wedding, brainstormed some ideas, took a jog with the pup, and napped. All in a days work of a bridesmaid!

PS-being a bridesmaid means trying on a whole lot of dresses in a room that is all mirrors....hitting the pavement harder on my workouts and kicking the diet into higher gear!

2011

My Life Currently

11:17 AM

My life currently has been a little hectic, but good, and exciting, and scary all at the same time!

- We finally started the weight loss journey, for reals this time! I'm 11 pounds down, and Kurt is down 17, can we get a woohoo?! We started the Dukan Diet, which we've realized is more than a diet, it's really just all about self discipline. We're not following it to a perfect T, because I think it's important to get some extra nutrients. But, so far it's great! We're losing weight, at a healthy pace, and soon(ish) we'll be our new skinny selves!

- I've been adjusting to a new job. It's great, just an adjustment. I work at an eye surgery center here in town, I'm getting some great experience, and meeting awesome people. It's much earlier days, and a flexible end time. It's a different pace, and I feel like I do/see something new every day!

- We decided not to buy a house, and not to move to a different rental. We, and the dogs, have become accustomed to living here. Maybe we could get into so place cheaper, but then we're going to have to pay to move, the hassle of the move, and then getting everyone used to the new place....no thank you! So, we're going to stay here for at least 6 months.

- About that 6 months business, yes, normally a lease is for a year, but we're going to see about 6 months locked in then month to month after. Why, you ask? Because, Kurt may go active duty in the NAVY again. Scary...yes, but also exciting in a way. There is no definite answer on this yet, as Kurt is in the process of slimming down to meet the NAVY height/weight standards, and I'm so proud of him! Taking control of himself and doing what he wants to do. He respects my input, but I told him, this is his decision. He can take to heart my feelings, but this is ultimately his decision, so we shall see!

- Bailey seems to have reverted into a troublesome puppy recently, getting into everything! But we love her dearly and she does things like curl up next to us and put her head on our lap. Or, she will come up and give us sweet kisses. Our answer, we need to get her more exercise, which works wonderfully with our diet plan. I'll keep you updated how that works out.

- I've been helping teach Sunday school with my momma-in-love which will soon be coming to a close.

- There's been a little bit of family drama on my dad's side, maybe you'll get filled in later.

I'm sure there is more that I'm missing, but it's crazy, scary, and great all at the same time! I wouldn't trade it for anything!

2011

What I've been up To

4:14 PM

Hello All!

So, it's been forever and I've been up to a lot!

Remember a few months ago when I interviewed for that dream position working in the PACU at a surgery center, I ended up not getting the position at the time. Then a couple weeks ago I got the call that a position opened up, and guess what?! I was offered the position and have been working there for about a month and I am loving it! I'm growing as a nurse, as a professional, and as a person by working there. It was a little of H-E-double hockey sticks or two weeks working two full time jobs, and eventually had to just leave my original position at the long term care facility. Now, it's amazing how much LESS stress there is, I'm typically home by 4pm, no weekends, and no holidays, it's amazing! The ladies that I work with are so much fun, and willing to teach me the ropes.

On top of it, we've been trying to get the house organized....little by little. We've put the house search on hold for now, but we'll keep you updated on what's going on.

We're also trying to figure out where the future holds for us, and where we'll be. It's an exciting crazy time in the Emeigh household right now! More details to come, and I promise more posts!

I'm Alive...I swear!

5:46 PM

Ok, so I'm alive...I swear! It's been far too long blogger friends, I will return tomorrow and update you on my life!

blessings

On the road again

4:52 PM

Hello all! Sorry it's been a hectic week...working and attending a wound conference about two hours away yesteray, and now we're back on the road "home" to Columbus, Ohio and I couldn't be happier about it! I miss my family SO SO much, we havent seen my mom, pops, and one brother since a couple days after Christmas, and the my dad and stepmom has been even longer than that! I get to have some much needed sibling time! I'm the oldest of 4, I have two 15 year old brothers and a 12 year old sister who I miss SO much while in PA. I start my full time job the first week of April and I knew it would be hard for us to get "home" as it's easily an 8 hour drive from where we live. So, well be here for four glorious days! Tonight we're watching our Buckeyes dominate on the court, tomorrow is a belated birthday party at my grandma's house for Kurt and I, Sunday we're watching my sisters soccer games, and Monday grabbing lunch with my best gal Maddie! It's going to be a great weekend, we just wish the fur babies were here with us too! They are in great hands though! Look for pictures to come!

fitness

These Things Work (I think!)

6:48 PM

These are the New Balance Rock and Tone training shoes...my new love! So, I don't know if they really will increase weight loss by 10% like they claim, but they are seriously comfy, and my legs ache (in a good way!) after wearing them all day at work. They don't have that huge chunky heel like other "toning" shoes and basically look like typical NB trainers. I'd give these things an A+ for comfort and they seem to work the muscles well. Not to mention I avoided the normal $70+ price tag by picking these babies up at TJ Maxx for $29!!

These things work in my book ( I think)!

faith

For Japan With Love

11:35 PM


I'll be observing a day of blogging silence tomorrow to reflect and pray for those effected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Please visit the above link to give and help with disaster relief

She's My Lobster

5:24 PM

Ok, ok...don't get the wrong idea! I know I may be using the expression incorrectly, but oh well! I love my hubby dearly and he is my other half whom I love with ALL of my heart, and he is my best friend. But, there is something about having that best girlfriend to be able to go to for anything and everything and never having to explain it. Well, that lady is my best friend Maddie. (I think Kurt loves that I have Maddie, and he often says "We should move to where Maddie moves!").

Maddie May and I on the hubs and my wedding day
We've been best friends since 5th grade, we're talking almost 14 years of friendship, and seriously I think we know anything and everything there is to know about one another. We've gone through ALL sorts of things together, and really are like sisters. We can go weeks without talking to each other and then be right back into the swing of things in one fowl swoop when we need to be there for each other! 

So, if you go back to the post that I made yesterday I blogged about the wonderful text message that I got from her. I just have to share it with you all!

"I know a birthday text doesn't really have quite the same strong emotional effect as a card, or if it were in person, but I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday and say how blessed I am to have you as a friend, as an influence, and as a supporter. You are such a strong girl and you have so much beauty and life ahead of you, I can't wait to see what comes next. You are a gift and so much love and warmth comes out of this friendship for me. Thank you for always being there and caring. You are such such such a lovely person. I can't believe how many memories God has given us, and He continues to keep us bonded despite distance and relationships and struggle. There is something to be said about how we can be so far away and still keep our friendship. I love you Smichy :) happy day <3"

Yup...she's my lobster!

P.S.- I have several AMAZING friends who have been there for me in so so so many ways. I live an amazingly blessed life :)

blessings

It (was) My Birthday!

12:13 PM

So, yesterday was my birthday! I've never been overly excited about birthdays, not that I have a problem getting older I really don't. Let's be honest...I'm 24, am I even allowed to be bothered by age yet?! I really just don't like attention on me, I love it to be on other people and I love doing things for other people, so a day focused on me is kind of a nightmare for me, haha! 

However, the day was relaxing and nice. Started off with my Sunday School kids and a surprise that my hubby orchestrated with them that included red velvet cake and a wonderful group of 4th/5th graders singing to me. Then we all headed to brunch as per usual, where we brunched and talked, and thankfully I was NOT sung to by the staff. They brought me a wonderful little chocolate muffin, which I gave to my chocolate-aholic hubby. Then my seester (Jana, my sister-in-law), my momma-in-love, and seester's fiance all went to the Lehigh Valley Bridal Show. I don't care if you're already married, it never gets old going to look at wedding stuff, taste cakes, and food.  We left there and headed to look at a house that we may potentially rent to own...however we are in our lease 'ill June, so we might miss out on it. We came home napped, and then headed back to the in-laws for some pizza, ice cream cupcakes, and a rousing game of Quelf. 
Some of the fantastic characters from Quelf. 
Just read these cards and you can see why this game is plain ridiculous

For those of you who don't know what Quelf is, you're missing out. It's quite possibly the most ridiculous and most fun game...google it!

It was a great day, but I'd be lying to say I didn't miss my Ohio family on the day. It's been since Christmas since we've seen them, and it's rough. I love my family here dearly, but really I will never get used to being away from my Ohio family. It was amazing to talk to them and get to hear their voices, but it made me itch to get home and see them. Hopefully it will be in the next few weekends it will happen. 

One of the best things I received for my birthday was a simple text message from my oldest and best friend Maddie. She is more than just a friend, she is like a sister, and I love her dearly. She effectively made me cry my eyes out from her text...she may get a special post just about this.

All in all, I am another year older and happy (for the most part) with where I'm at right now. I love my husband dearly, he is amazing, and I couldn't ever as for a more amazing, thoughtful, and stand by me man! We have two balls of fur we love, and a cozy house to live in. He's doing great at his job at Apple, and is plugging along in school. I just got a promotion to full time, and was accepted back to finish my degree. We have our God, and he loves us. We really have a great life...now if I could just get this weight off! 


crafting

Polka Dot Giveaway

10:45 AM

Adorable Polka Dot Scarf by Lo

So, one of my best-est friends in real life and in the blogging world, Lo,  is growing her blog like crazy! She has now started Giveaways, and this is her first one!

Head on over to her blog, Lo & Behold, to win this little beauty that she crafted herself! But be quick as it ends today! Ps, you should follow her blog too, because it's great! Just know that I'm hoping I win it too :)

goals

Exciting Things!

2:18 PM

Well, I feel like a traitor, but I'm a Nittany Lion. I grew up right next to OSU, and have always been an OSU fan. However I just got into Penn State to go back to school, yay! At least I fit in with the PA fam a little now, but those Buckeye's will always have my heart!

In other news, I got a full time job! I was offered a full time supervisor position where I already work. I'm per diem there now, but have worked full time hours since I started in October. Now I actually will have benefits, vacation days, and other perks :)! Now to getting those school loans paid off, and eventually getting a house!

family

Right Now

11:03 AM

Sorry for being MIA this week. It's been hectic, stressful, and just plain busy! I'll fill you in on the busy, hectic, and stressful week something soon. So, after having one day to decompress I am now back to blogging.

Here is a list of things I am doing right now:
iPad 2..I want it SO bad!

1-I am currently drooling over the iPad 2. I stuck it out a whole year since wanting the original iPad, because I knew another new and exciting one would come out with a camera and all sorts of fancy ones. So now....I want it! And would appreciate it as a birthday gift! My birthday happens to be two days after the release. Coincidence...I think not!



2- I'm treating my ears to this little girl. She amazes me, seriously so mature beyond her years, and is just stinkin' cute! Honestly all of her stuff is good, especially for an 11 year old! She was on Ellen a couple years ago.

3- I'm sprucing up my letter of interest to take to work for another job. Seriously people, I'm going to land a full time job with benefits or die trying. I'm even getting certified as an instructor of BLS/CPR to open up doors, and obtaining my certification in ACLS/PALS to try too.

4- Waiting for the hubs new computer to get here. His MacBook Pro has lasted him quite some time, and quit literally has started to fall apart. So, the new MacBook Air should hopefully arrive today!


cooking

Menu

8:04 PM

Last week we gave our first shot at a set menu for the week, and for the most part we stuck to it! We may have flip flopped some days, but it helped! I lost three pounds, so we must have been doing something right!

So here goes the menu for this week!

Sunday - Ordering out pizza, that's right kids, ordering out pizza. I'm tired and Kurt isn't home so I've decided to get a pizza from a local place with lots of veggies :)

Monday - It's bachelor night! Small dinner of grilled chicken and edemame. Then some snacks during the big show.

Tuesday - Mahi Mahi steamed veggies and quinoa.

Wednesday - Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and dijon potatoes.

Thursday - G-free pasta, garlic and EVOO with mushrooms, tomatoes, and basil.

Friday or Saturday will be date night, whatever night we don't go out we will have:

Turkey burgers, small greens salad with balsamic dressing, and sweet potato fries.

blessings

It's time for BIG news...maybe

4:10 PM

I've been a little absent this week, I've actually worked every day, yikes! Off tomorrow, so there will be fun blogging!

But stay tuned folks...there may be big news on the job front at the beginning of next week!

P.S.- I swear it must have been a full moon because our little balls of fur did not sleep at all. Seriously, I think God might be trying to prepare us or children or something!

budget

Meal Plan

12:07 PM

That's right folks, I'm planning ahead! I'm making a meal plan this week for us in an attempt to actually stick to eating at home for dinner ALL week, so here goes!

Monday -  Beef Stew (yum!) with this current snowy weather (yuck!) will fit perfectly! Some stew beef, red skin potatoes, carrots, celery, pearl onions, and a little secret sauce. I'll actually probably freeze some of these left overs for us, or save it in the fridge for in case I decide to change up the plan this week.

Tuesday - Left overs from our Sunday Sauce. Sunday sauce, an regular in Italian family homes, is several kinds of meat in a home made tomato sauce cooked for a couple hours...yum! Now, I'm not Italian, but my FIL is and he loved it! I made homemade meatballs (healthy version kids!), chicken sausage, beef braciola, and a few pieces of lamb for flavor. All of that cooked in some organic tomatoes, garlic, basil, and onion for a few hours served over whole grain brown rice penne.

Wednesday - Chicken breast with Dijon herb potatoes and small side salad.

Thursday - Mahi Mahi with fresh steamed veggies, simple and fantastic!

Friday or Saturday - Balsamic chicken breast with broccoli over brown rice. The other night will be date night :)

fitness

Little by Little

7:00 PM

Thanks to WW I am taking off the LBS little by little...ONE POUND this week. Hey, at least it's something right?! It's not TOTALLY thanks to WW. I have been kickin' it into high gear and have been walking the dogs at least once a day, and doing my own workout in addition. I could let it bother me that it's only one pound (and it's taking some self control for it to NOT bother me), but instead I am focusing that it is still ONE POUND lighter than I was last week!

Look for a longer post tonight! In the meantime, take a look at a few other homes we like!

Adorable, Double Lot, and price friendly!

So, this first house you can take a look at by clicking here. It's very close to where we live now...not even a quarter mile. It's on a double lot, TONS of room for the pups. It's been completely renovated and check out that amazing deck. No formal dining room, and on a busy road, but we planned on immediately fencing in with a privacy fence.

Cute, media room in the basement, and a cedar ROOM
That's right kids...a cedar ROOM. Don't let the look of this house fool you, it's actually quite spacious. Three bedrooms, two full baths, pool, dining room, living room, and finished basement/media room with a wet bar! You can check it out by clicking here. Downfall is that it's not exactly where we'd like to be right off of Stefko, and the pool is actually kind of a downfall. Not really into keeping it up, and it takes up a great deal of the backyard, which is valuable space for the dogs. Also, I think it's a little over priced.

Feel free to leave feedback!

family

Here we go!

6:48 PM

So, today I gave in and decided it was time to go back to Weight Watchers (as the seester is getting married in November). I like the new points plus where basically all veggies and fruits are ZERO points. I decided the whole meetings thing just isn't for me due to lack of regular schedule, so this time I went we the online option, and granted only one day in, but LOVIN' it! I really need this so that I get my portion control in check, and it kind of forces me to cook at home and just make overall good choices. Another thing I like about this program, it's easy to come off. It's not some dramatic change in diet, it's just making better choices and eating the RIGHT portion size. Making it easier once I stop counting the points every day.

Also, started c25K (couch to 5k) today. I really wanted to get back into running, and let's be honest, Bailey can ALWAYS use the activity. Especially when it comes time for a baby in this household I want to be one fit/healthy momma!  So far so good, and Bailey was pooped when we got back, she loved it too!

So, here we go!

P.S.- I might have some exciting news on the job front here soon, so stay tuned!

blessings

I've been slacking...

9:55 PM

Sorry kids...I've been slacking this week, but for good reason! It was hubby's birthday and we both were a little under the weather..yuck I know! Let me catch you up on the first part of this week.

Valentine's Day (we actually "celebrated" this on Sunday) we treated ourselves to the AMAZING Emeril's Chop House here in Bethlehem, and YUM-O! Seriously, best steak I've had in my life. I now actually know what it's like to have steak melt in your mouth. We then were just a bunch of bums on the actually Valentine's day, we just love each other, we don't need no stinkin' special day! 

Tuesday was the hubs birthday, he's the big 2-9! We had his mom, dad, and sister over for some yummy dinner and chocolate cake (the hubs fav). It was great fun and great company.

Then I worked all day today. That's the extent of our week thus far. I promise to be more exciting tomorrow!

blessings

My favorite day

11:44 PM

Sunday, is honestly my most favorite day of the week. I really hope that one day I can have a job that ensures that I have every Sunday off. It starts by attending church, then teaching an amazing group of 4h and 5th graders Sunday school, followed by brunch with the fam, and usually concludes with several hours of hopping from one open house to the next.

This week, I think I discovered a dream house for us...I adore it! Ok, well I found two that are just great, and are at total opposite ends of the spectrum.

First, there is the move in ready house (other than buying a washer/dryer and getting a fence). It's an amazing brick house that has been recently renovated. We basically would never have to move and could raise our family here. However it may be at the top of our price range right now. Check it out here.

Second, it's a total fixer upper with lots of potential, but lots of work. We'd consider this a starter home and want to either re-sell or consider it for a rental property by the time our kids were going to go to school. It's a great area, but not so great schools. It's a great price, but like I said we'd spend a lot of time/energy to get it up to par. Check it out here.

Please feel free to comment and give feedback on if you guys like/suggest.

Back to Sunday school...something I look forward too ALL week. One of my most favorite ages of children, these kids are amazing. This week we started discussing parables. It's awesome to see these kids dig into God's word and get excited about it. They worked together and got into some really deep stuff. Seeing it "click" for them and relate it to their lives as 4th and 5th graders is such an amazing thing to witness. We decided to start a blog for them and their families, and they are going to do weekly podcasts about what they are learning, and it's so exciting! 

Tonight we celebrated our lurve early (we celebrate it as often as we can), but you will here more about that tomorrow. Hope you all had a great weekend!


DIY

Dog Food Venture...Update

1:02 PM

So, the dog food venture I blogged about last week...that's about how long it lasted. Big 'ole fail in this book! The doggies loved it, but it took up too much time an energy on my part feeding two very large beasts. If we had only one slobbery mouth to feed it would be do-able, but when it's all double, it's too much work. 

Venison Meal & Whole Brown Rice : The pups new fav food!
We're back to kibble and it's the good stuff, and the doggies love it! We used to feed the dogs Nutro, and thought we would switch to less expensive food and that just didn't work either. Now after a wonderful chat with a Nutro rep last night, it was great, and we've started again on it and the dogs wolfed it down when I got home with it tonight. 

Long story short, homemade dog food is great, but time consuming!

blessings

The Thunder Shirt

12:11 PM

Seriously, God's gift blessing to dog owners!

Our problem child 
Ok, so like I mentioned before we are totally dog parents, and we love our dogs to death. Bailey, while she's super sweet...is super stubborn and has been really difficult to train. She is a lab something mix, and is the exact opposite of Bear (the laziest and pretty much most perfect dog anyone can ask for). Bailey will bark until she gets what she wants, will often do exactly what you ask her NOT to do, and has endless energy. Overall, she really is a great dog. She is loving, and very playful, and is super smart. One of our biggest issues is that when people come over to "play" with us (in her eyes), all she wants to do is play with them. Jumping on them the minute they get in the door, barking like crazy, and chooses to use them as a personal jungle gym. 
The trainer that we recently took Bailey to explained that this actually may be nervous excitement, or anxiety. She taught us this little trick with a leash that immediately calmed Bailey, it's amazing how it works, but I hated that there would be this leash hanging off of her while she is trying to walk around our house. The trainer instructed us that it was based off of The Thunder Shirt. This thing is AMAZING and I'm currently ordering a second one, because we must have a back up. Bailey really had no issues with putting the thing on, she didn't fight it and never tried to get it off. She was so calm and basically just laid around with it on, and I thought "Eh, maybe she is just being a bum". The true test came when "Daddy" got home...and not ONE bark came from Bailey. She greeted him at the door tail wagging waiting for his kisses and love! 

I would highly recommend this to anyone having anxiety issues with their dogs. It helps with crating, travel, storms, and with guests in your home.  Check it out here!

family

Seven Things

5:35 PM

Pawley's Island 07.08.09
I think like many other people I know, I can't STAND chain mail. They take up space in my inbox, and I rarely ever even open them, and they go straight to the trash. I did read a fun post about 7 things on my good friend Lauren posted, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon for once. My blog is new, and why not let you all know a little more about me :)! So here goes...

1 - I met my oh! so fantastic husband online, just like Lauren, and I will give her credit for convincing me to go onto Christian Mingle and it actually working (seriously, it's great!). I almost wrote the hubs off because I found out he was in the military and was stationed in SPAIN, while I was finishing up nursing school in Cincinnati, Ohio...talk about long distance. However, I couldn't resist his charms and fell in lurve.

2 - I am totally a dog mom. I have always loved animals, but I never really pictured myself as a "dog mom", but I totally am. People share stories about their kids, and I then have a story that I think somehow relates to raising a child, to raising our dogs. Our dogs are 130 lbs, and 90 lbs and sleep in bed with us (this soon will change with the purchase of new dog beds), thank goodness for a king size bed. 

3 - I am a true nerd at heart. In high school I was a cheerleader, ran track, grew up playing select soccer, all while belonging to science club, competing on science Olympiad, working as a lab assistant for our biology teacher, and working on yearbook. Not too mention, I LOVE Harry Potter. Yes, I am 23 (almost 24) and will be at the midnight showing, as I always am, for the next movie....I even have a shirt I wear to it!

4 - I want to run my own business. I love working as a registered nurse, but I strive to do something else. I love photography, baking, cooking, crafting, and event planning. I'd love to really get my photography business of the ground, open a bakery, start an organic baby food company, become a wedding planner, flip real estate, or really anything. I just want to have something that is my own, that Kurt and I can run together and be flexible when we have kids.

5 - My parents get along great! When I say my parents, I mean ALL of my parents, including Kurt's parents. In fact we all vacation together every year (can you believe it!), to Pawley's Island, SC where Kurt and I got married.

6 - I'm neither a wino, or a beer fan...I'm BOTH. I love wine of sorts, but mostly reds (especially in the winter!). I love beer, and my fav is pretty much anything from a local brewery here in Bethlehem, PA named Bethlehem Brew Works

7 - We want four kids, yes four. We're each one of four, and love it! Let's get this family growin'! (after we get insurance, and I lose the lbs!)

blessings

Dog Food Venture

11:51 PM

How could you not love these faces??
These two loves of my life inspired this most recent venture...to make our own dog food. This all started because Bear has a sensitive tummy to almost every food we buy, except for the bag that is a whopping $50.00 which will last the two of them a whopping two weeks at most (the price we pay for owning two large and in charge dogs). So, it's been recommended that we make our own food, it won't contain the corn gluten that seems to upset Bear's tummy. Also, let's face the fact that our dogs are just plain spoiled and it is a huge pain the you know what trying to get them to eat that $50/bag food. They'll pick, and Bear when he decides to eat will eat both his and her food. So, more often then not we end up putting something like olive oil or an egg on it just so they will eat it at the same time, and even then that isn't always successful. Bear is also has epilepsy, and needs to lose some major lbs (he's up to 135!). His medication makes him even more of a bum than he already is, and gives him the munchies big time. 

So, with all of this we decided to give making food at home a shot! Honestly it was WAY easy, and seems like it is going to be pretty cost effective, in comparison to what we have been shelling out to feed these beasts. 

The Food

Made of lean ground turkey, broccoli, cauliflower, brown rice, and raw carrots, raw egg, and will add a calcium supplement to each bowl.

You start with 3 lbs of lean ground meat (turkey $7.49)
While meat is browning cook grain (brown rice $0.99)

Ground the veggies in the blender, but I left a few large pieces ($1.00)

Add raw carrot (I read on a blog somewhere this was important $1.00)

The finished product ($10.48)

She likes it!
The guideline was one cup of food, for every 30 lbs of dog to maintain weight. The large stock pot was almost full by the time I was done. The recipe was very basic and you can switch out lean proteins and grains (oats, barley, etc.).

I'll keep you informed if we'll keep up with it, and if it's a money saver!

blessings

Valentine's Day Card

1:35 AM

Our wedding bands and 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
So, this post is inspired by a Valentine's Day Card competition. This photo will soon grace the wall of our bedroom. It's our wedding bands with a portion of scripture read from our wedding, and many other weddings, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

The photo, taken by me one day at the first house we had together in Cincinnati, represents us a lot. Our marriage and lives are Christ centered. Christ is who brought us together, and we try to live our daily lives putting Him first, and letting our love grow in His image. The scripture is right, Love never fails. Our love for each other, for Christ, and His love for us never lets us down. Times may be tough, not always a walk in the park, but our love for one another, and our love and trust in Him gets us through it all...the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly. 

Spoiler Alert: I think photo may be the winner for the homemade card that the hubs gets this year :)

Along with Valentine's Day comes another great day, the day after in fact, which is the hubs birthday. Seriously, we jam pack events in a couple of months. Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, Kurt's Birthday, and my birthday all before April. Not to mention that the Momma-in-Love, both Scott and Jana's (brother/seester-in-law), my dad, my aunt, and my uncle's birthdays are all in the mix as well, yikes!

The Paper Mama

cooking

What's For Dinner?

1:07 AM

Seriously delicious dinner for two!
What's for dinner you ask? Oat crusted chicken and pasta with a homemade tomato basil sauce (so yummy and SO easy!). For those of you who don't know, I have a wheat intolerance. Not celiac's (where you can't eat gluten), just the wheat. Part of what I wanted to do this year was eat less wheat. You might ask, "why do you eat wheat, if you are wheat intolerant?" The answer is because it's a big pain, in the you know what, to avoid eating wheat. It's in nearly EVERYTHING. Also, my reactions are different each and every time I eat the stuff. Sometimes I just get a tummy ache, sometimes I break out, and sometimes no reaction at all (if there is VERY little wheat in it, or if I pre-medicate with benadryl). More often then not, I break out all over my face, or am stuck in the bathroom for the remainder of the day after consuming it. Therefore, I've decided to just be better about it! 

This means we eat a lot of gluten free food, because they don't really make just "wheat free" products, and quite honestly the food is all good. I think a lot of people have a misconception of g-free/wheat free food is, I know I did. This dish isn't g-free, but it is wheat free, which = a happy stomach/face for Stephanie! In turn this also means more cooking at home, which is just fine by me! While I love some great take-out, or all the great little restaurants around us, I LOVE cooking. Not to mention, it's so much better for you, wallet friendly, and should help us in the weight battle.

Here's the recipe:

WARNING:
No real measurements, I use guess-timates in my kitchen most often!

1. Two chicken breast, brushed with egg mixture (whisked egg, salt, pepper, and some garlic) then rolled in g-free oats.

2. In a hot pan, put a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), and brown the crusted chicken about 7 mins on each side.

While the chicken is browning I have the pasta (brown rice g-free pasta, but any pasta will do) boiling, and the tomato basil sauce starting. Maybe start pre-heating the oven to 350 here.

3. Tomato basil starts with a little EVOO, and garlic put through the garlic press. We love garlic in this house so, its a LOT of garlic. 

4. Add a can of diced tomatoes (crushed or puree will work as well, use whatever strikes your fancy!), a little salt & pepper, a little sugar (helps with the acidity) and bring to a boil.

5. Once at a boil tear some fresh basil and throw it in with the tomato sauce. Add however much you'd like.

Right about this time your pasta should be finishing up, along with your chicken.

6. Drain pasta and place in casserole dish and ladle some of that yummy tomato basil sauce over the pasta.

7. Place chicken over pasta and ladle the rest of that tomato goodness on top, and sprinkle with fresh parm and pine nuts...I threw on some more basil.

8. Throw the dish in the oven for about 15 mins and enjoy!



fitness

Day 1 = Fail!

8:16 PM

Quick update:

I did great all day until dinner, and i received a call to work tonight 11p until tomorrow 3p....resorted to pizza delivery and curling up on the couch until work a 10:45. Because of the yucky weather I didn't make it into work to weigh in, but apparently not too many did.

So, long story short...day one was a big fat FAIL! Back in the saddle tomorrow!

fitness

Biggest Loser - Work Edition

11:00 PM

The weight loss bug has captured my place of employment and I felt like I should join the bandwagon and join the mini Biggest Loser competition they are having. We all pay $1 and weigh in tomorrow, and then have until Feb 28th to see who loses the most weight, and who loses the biggest % of body fat. I figured I'd join in and if I win, get a nice lump of money in ADDITION to losing some of those extra lbs! So, here's to losing weight, and getting up and braving the winter storm to weigh in at work on my day off!

faith

Operation Lose Weight

10:47 PM


So, for some time I've been saying I was going to lose weight/get in shape....saying is the operative word there. Little has actually been done to shed any of those pesky lbs.  So, I have vowed to lose at least 30 pounds by our annual trip to the beach in July. I have 22 weeks, which in turn means I just have to lose a little over a pound a week...seriously I should be able to do that right?! I have issues with my thyroid which does make it difficult...but not impossible and I think I've been using it as a mental crutch/excuse to not TRY to lose weight and really set my mind to it, because I was just getting SO frustrated with dieting and working out and not seeing results. Therefore, I'd just give up.

This time around I'm not dieting, I'm just going to eat better and really focus on portion control. The hubs and I are only eating out one night a week, on our date night. I really have been feeling the desire to do this since reading Candace Cameron Bure's book Reshaping It All,  you should really check it out. It's got me super motivated, and has some great suggestions on how to rely on your faith, get/stay fit, and some great recipes that she uses in her own home.

So here's to getting started on what will be a long journey. I'm not planning on stopping at the beach goal weight, it's just a starting point!

blessings

My goal for next week...to blog EVERY day!

1:22 PM


Again, here is the apology for only blogging ONCE in a week. It's been a hectic, sad, and lovely week all in one. Pop returned to the arms of Jesus on Monday and we've had family dinners, gatherings, planning, and a memorial service to attend this week. And while all were amazing and therapeutic, they take up time and the emotions/stress leave you feeling exhausted. The main reason I think that when Kurt and I returned home each night we don't even remember falling asleep because it happened so quickly. 

While we were left feeling exhausted the nights spent with the family were amazing. Dinners, story telling, games, and yes we even did a family beer tasting (seriously, we did this. Twenty two beers and eleven family members)! Last night was the final night that everyone was in town, and it was completed with a game of spoons. I married into a family of some intense game players and I love it! I think there may have been some blood shed during the game last night from the attempts to claim a spoon.


 My goal next week is to post EVERY day, here's to achieving that!

family

Wordless Sunday?

11:04 PM

So, today was spent at hospice with Pop. We got home to our wonderful pups and the comfy bed with the hubs and pups is calling my name. Here are a few shots of us playing in the snow the other day!

Bear spotted another dog

She's having SO much fun! 
Seriously...she's special...covered in snow

I love my little family!

death

You Get What You Give

11:17 AM



Emeigh/Suess Family Christmas (a "few" members missing) 2009
Sorry, to the few readers that I have, for the delay this week in blogging. It's been a week full of work, job searching, and family time. The week started off with Kurt's grandfather, Pop, in the CICU at St. Luke's this week, and then moving to St. Luke's Hospice on Wednesday. We're headed there soon for more family time with Pop and others.  It's been a bit of an emotional week, as an RN I have more insight into what is going on with Pop, I see the benchmarks that he is hitting in the hospice process, and it's all bringing me back to when my grandfathers were on hospice in 2009, both a bittersweet experience.  I seem to almost have flashbacks to moments with my Grandpa Jerry from when I was taking care of him during his final days, and I've made a couple tearful calls to my mom back in Ohio sharing memories with her, and her heart and prayers go out to the whole family here in PA during this time.

The hospice care is wonderful, the staff is great, many memories, stories, and laughs are shared, along with tears and hugs. While many of us were there yesterday the St. Luke's Hospice chaplain came into the room and visited us and was so pleased to see us smiling, and telling stories and he said well "you all seem to be doing great. What a great environment for Hal to spend his final days, with all of this love surrounding him." I think in that moment we all stopped the idle chatter and story telling and looked up at the chaplain as he said, "You only get this kind of love, unless you've given that love out your whole life." I think that chaplain successfully brought a tear to every person in Pop's room right then.

It's so true that in the final days of someones life, you can really see how that person must have lived their life and the legacy that they built. It really is ALL about love. Giving love and support to one another. Families rally together to be with the loved one and with each other. I remember the camp out we had of inflatable mattresses and my grandparents home in Ohio while Grandpa was on hospice. We cooked together and shared stories, and it's the exact same experience we're having here now with Kurt's grandfather, Pop. 

Pop's 90th birthday 2010
It seems that there is no better way to leave this Earth into the Lord's arms than to be receiving the love from your family, friends, and loved ones that you gave our your entire life. 
You really do get what you give.

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