Why is it that even when we know we are doing what is right - right now - for our families, we still let the judgement of others hurt us?

I believe that I am raising my son the best way I know how. And I am proud of the boy he is becoming. He is content, and happy. He knows he is safe, and loved, and that his needs will be met. He is already a loving, affectionate child, and he brings us so much joy...

Yet even in the midst of that confidence - all it takes is a comment, or a look, to make me start doubting my skill as a mother. To make me start believing that I am not the best person for this job and that my gut feelings that I am doing the right thing for us are wrong.

Will these feelings of insecurity ever go away? Will I get stronger with each child that comes into our family and grows into a little person? Or will I feel more judged, and doubt myself more... as my family gets bigger, and my job gets harder?


pumpkin cheesecake dip

(a.k.a thanksgiving food, part 3...)

I wanted to make something pumpkin-y this year but I wanted to stay away from the traditional pumpkin pie. Now don't get me wrong... I love pumpkin pie as much as the next girl! I just wanted to try something different.

I found a few recipes for pumpkin dip that sounded fun, so I threw one together! It's delicious!! Just like pumpkin cheesecake (especially if you're dipping ginger snaps into it!) but without all the work!

This recipe makes a lot - enough for crowd!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip Recipe

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 (29oz) can pumpkin

In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese with your hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the sugar and spices until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin puree until mixed.

Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with ginger snaps and apple slices for dipping!

thanksgiving food, part 2...

Just in case anyone is afraid of rosemary (but WHY would you be?!?), I also made these homemade crescent rolls for Thanksgiving dinner...

They turned out so good and were super easy to make! It was fun to try something different and pretty for the holiday, although this won't replace my stand-by recipe!

(I was tempted to turn these into rosemary rolls too!) :o)


thanksgiving food, part 1...

This year, we are looking forward to spending T-day with 28 of our family and friends at my aunt's house over on the other side of the water! Never a quiet holiday with this family! :o)

One of my contributions to the family meal this year are these delicious buttered rosemary dinner rolls! They are so so so good... I had a hard time not eating them all before stashing them in the freezer for Thursday!

I used my grandma's recipe for homemade dinner rolls and then topped them with melted butter, fresh rosemary and sea salt before baking them.

My husband even said they were "amazing!"... And he doesn't usually like it too much when I change things up!

If you're looking for something new and different for Thanksgiving, try these rolls... You won't be disappointed!

Oh, and don't worry family... these won't be the only rolls I'll be bringing this year! :o)


my addiction...

I have an addiction.

It's unhealthy, and healthy at the same time. I'm not proud of it, but I also am very proud of it.

I am addicted to my baby... I am addicted to his smell. His kisses. His smiles. The feel of his soft downy hair, and his chubby smooth cheeks. I am addicted to the warmth and coziness of him being in my arms.

I am addicted... to baby wearing.

What started as a mere convenience - being able to have my arms back while still holding my fussy, miserable newborn - turned into a full-blown addiction, complete with now 5 baby carriers.

It all started with this Balboa Baby sling.

My mom bought it for me, and it was so fun to 'hide' my baby in there when he was brand new!

But Bjorn soon started fighting being 'bunched up', because of all the pain he was in. Enter the Moby.

Our favorite friend, and miracle-worker. Still my all-time favorite baby carrier, even though we don't use him much any more. Nothing compares to the closeness, comfort for both baby and mama, and all-day-wearability!

We lived in this thing for months! (I even have 2, because if one was in the wash, we needed to be able to wear the other!) The only down-side, for us? It's not too convenient for occasional wear and lots of 'in and out'.

Now that Bjorn is bigger (and feeling a lot better, thanks to his reflux meds!), we have been using mostly our Baby Bjorn carrier. Great for short wear, or lots of in and out, the Baby Bjorn is an old standby for most people. I like it. And it's the only one my husband will wear!

My biggest complaint with the Baby Bjorn? Since my baby Bjorn doesn't like to face out (too much stimulation!), he is constantly 'walking' on my legs, leaving bruises if I have to wear him for too long! What now?

Well, we are now getting to know our newest friend... Ergo. So far, we like him. A lot! We've only had him for a few days, and are still getting used to the feel of it all, but it's so much more comfortable for me than the Baby Bjorn, as my Bjorn's legs sit more around my hips instead of just dangling straight down!

I'm sure I will have lots more to say about this newest friend of ours as we get to know him better! :o)


starbucks uncle love

This past weekend, we got to spend a little quality time with my brother at a Starbucks in the City. I love Starbucks. I love the City. And I love my brother. I was happy.

As you can see, we think it's important to start young: teaching our kids to appreciate life's little joys... coffeelove being one of them!

We think Bjorn looks a lot like his uncle... except for the brown eyes and the ohsochubby cheeks, that is! They've got the same hands, the same feet... Actually one of the first thoughts I remember having after meeting my son for the first time was how much he looks like my brother. It's a good thing we like my brother! :o)

Navy adores his uncle, and loves to be a 'big kid' now that he has a little brother around. It's amazing sometimes to see how quickly someone can grow up once the responsibility of a younger sibling comes into their life. Navy wants so much to be a good example, a helper and most importantly - a friend to Bjorn. I can't wait to see these two grow up and get to know each other!

Note the coffeelove... smart kid, if I do say so myself! :o)

Thanks for hanging out with us, Uncle Erik! We love you!


here they are!

I was finally able to get a picture of Bjorn's 2 new teeth!

Tooth #1 showed up on the flight to Hawaii (October 29th),
and tooth #2 showed up last week (November 11th)!

Aren't they cute? :o)


better than DQ ice cream cake

My husband's favorite birthday cake is (still) a Butterfinger Blizzard ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. This year, I decided to make my own and will never go back to store bought! So yummy, and SO easy, and best of all... so much cheaper!

Now, I realize this cake looks very... homemade.
Well, that's because it is!!
I could have prettied it up, but why?
Would it taste any better?
Would my husband feel any more loved?

Better Than DQ Ice Cream Cake Recipe

15 oreos, crushed and stirred
1 quart butterfinger ice cream
1 (16oz) jar (2 cups) fudge sauce
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 (12.5oz) bag Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

Take out the Butterfinger ice cream to soften. Line a round springform pan with plastic wrap. Firmly press the crushed oreos into the bottom of the lined pan and place into the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the hot fudge jar into a pan of simmering water to warm slightly.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and scoop the softened ice cream in small spoonfuls evenly over the crust. Spread with a spoon dipped in warm water to fill in any holes and to smooth the top. Pour the entire jar of sauce over the ice cream, quickly smoothing the top. Freeze for at least one hour.

Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer to soften for about 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the freezer and quickly spoon the vanilla ice cream over the fudge sauce, again smoothing with a spoon dipped in warm water.

Press the crushed candy bars into the top of the soft ice cream, cover with foil, and freeze at least 4 hours, or up to a week.

Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before un-molding and slicing. Serve drizzled with more chocolate sauce and topped with whipped cream!

**obviously, you can use any ice cream/candy combinations you would like!! Personally, I would do coffee ice cream, caramel sauce, dulce de leche ice cream and crushed toffee candies! But it's not my birthday! :o)


if I am invited to your baby shower, I will bring you this...


I stumbled across this spoon online while spending my pregnancy days dreaming of baby things, and knew it was something I had to try.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate to get dirty. And we all know that baby food tends to be very messy, which makes baby-feeding one of my least-favorite things!

This wonderful spoon holds one container of baby yogurt, or one small jar of baby food, in the handle and neatly dispenses the food onto the spoon when you squeeze it. It also has a cap (not pictured) for the spoon that prevents leaks. Perfect for travel (we used this on the plane and in the car for easy meals!), and for any time you are away from your house.

Definitely one of the handiest baby items I own! And I'm not joking... I will give you one of these if I come to your baby shower! :o)


that kind of day...

Today I made these...

Because we feel like this...

And this...


yeah right! Like I'm gonna show you how I look today! :o)


about a bra...

After 6+ months of searching, I finally found a nursing bra that looks and feels like a REAL bra! Nursing mamas - you know what I mean! For most of my nursing experience, I have lived in these nursing tanks from Target... which I still swear by for the early months of seemingly non-stop nursing!

But there comes a time when you realize you're not nursing as often, and well, you really want to look like a woman again instead of just a mom. I recently reached that point and realized I had nowhere to turn for advice.

I looked for it - everywhere! But living in a small town with no real stores and finding that the real stores in the Big City don't have much more help, I started searching online and test-driving bras for myself.

The conclusion for me? This new Bravado Allure Underwire Nursing Bra that just came out.

Bravado is known for it's line of nursing-wear, but this bra definitely tops their charts as far as I'm concerned! It wears and feels like a 'normal' bra, but has the ease and functionality of a great nursing bra. I have one and am already looking forward to buying a second to wear while the first is in the wash! Love love love it!!!

By the way - I was going to add a picture to this post, and then realized what the picture would be (a woman - not me - wearing just a bra!) so decided not to add one for moral reasons. Sorry guys! ;o)


maui's makena grill

Because I'm hungry, and because I love food, my first Maui tidbit is about an amazing little gem of a restaurant that we stumbled across (and stumbled back to a few days later!)...

Chef Marisa Samuel's Makena Grill. Just across the street from Maui's famous Big Beach, Makena Grill is an often packed, tourist and local friendly spot, perfect to grab a bite before (or after!) hitting the beach!

You will find the most flavorful grilled teriyaki chicken and beef (among other things!), succulent fresh island fruits, and ice cold sodas and juices. The food is first come first served... But don't be disappointed if she's out of what you thought you wanted... order something else and you will be pleasantly surprised!

This is the chicken plate...

I forgot to take a picture of the beef plate, because I was too busy inhaling it. Yummmm.

Not much more than a taco stand with a few chairs and one picnic table, at first glance this place doesn't look like much but give it a few moments and the charm begins to show itself.

For those of you who know of Tony Hawk (I didn't - but my husband filled me in!)... apparently he loves this spot almost as much as I do! :o)

I loved the charm and attitude of this place...

And this is a not so great shot of the grill itself, and Chef Marisa chatting away with my family.

Thanks for such great meals Marisa! You definitely made our vacation's top 10 list of memories!


Hawaii - a photo teaser

I don't know where to start, and I haven't even unpacked our bags yet, let alone uploaded our pictures... so here's a photo teaser from my mom's camera! Thanks mom!

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