Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sonoma and San Francisco

Quite awhile ago Ryan planned a surprise trip for our birthday’s to go see Andrew and Jessica in Sonoma. The surprise got ousted a little early, but he still had a lot up his sleeve (despite being down an appendix).

We arrived Thursday night and spent Thursday and Friday with Drew and Jess.

Friday we got to tour a few wineries in Sonoma- starting with GlenLyon winery. This was my favorite winery by far! They are very small, and the owner is a man named Squire Friedel, who, incidentally was Ronald MacDonald while we were growing up! He was fascinating- and we learned so much about how wine was made. It’s a small, beautiful winery and he only does tastings for a very small number of people by appointment only (Andrew must’ve had to pull some strings to get us an appointment). He was so fascinating, and the wine was so good that both of us joined the wine club. Can’t wait for that shipment in the mail!!



After GlenLyon we visited 3 more wineries. It poured rain all day so we didn’t get to do much outside, but we did get to taste a lot of wine! Smile


… maybe a little too much wine!


Later that night Ryan surprised me with dinner at Sante, a ridiculously nice restaurant in Andrew’s hotel. It was the most amazing experience, everything there was perfect! The food was amazing, so, so much fun!



Saturday morning the boys settled in to watch some basketball while Jessica and I went to the spa. We got to use the mineral pools at the spa and treated ourselves to a massage! It was wonderfully relaxing! Then we were off to San Francisco for the evening.

It was really windy but we managed not to get blown off the overlook long enough to take a few pictures.


Andrew managed to book us a two bedroom suite at the Fairmont in San Fran, and we opened our room up to find these yummy treats left for us inside!


Once we checked in we decided to go out for a quick walk around the city before dinner. We happened by The Grace Cathedral. It was a beautiful church full of stained glass and paintings. It even had a labyrinth. We didn’t get to spend much time looking around but I’d love to go back and really explore. 




From there it was the Tonga room for dinner. I love that place!



We had the best time! I LOVED every minute of it!!

Appendix??? What Appendix?

Monday night Ryan woke me up to tell me that he had appendicitis. I thought this meant we were off to the ER (since that is what normal people do) but he informed me that he had a big day at work so he was going to try to “sleep it off”.

Of course, that didn’t work! He was still feeling sick Tuesday morning, and after threatening him with his life I finally convinced him to go to the doctor at lunch. Three hours, and several rounds of IV antibiotics later, he was short an appendix!

It was complete chaos over here the entire day! Luckily, my wonderful friend Dante, saved me and came over to watch the kids for awhile so I could see Ryan before surgery and drop some things off. Then my AMAZING mom, jumped in her car and left work to come spend the night with the kids so I could be there with Ryan. We even managed to squeeze in Delaney’s spring concert while he was in surgery and make it back in time for recovery! PHEW!

This is Ryan, post surgery, loaded up with pain killers!


He got to come home Wednesday, and since he is made of steel, we even managed to still to make our trip to California Thursday!

I was humbled by the number of people who called to help, watch our kids, brought us dinner and treats and checked in to make sure we didn’t need anything! All for a silly little appendix- good friends and family are such a blessing!

Laney’s Spring Concert

Last Tuesday was Delaney’s spring concert at preschool. It turned out to be a chaotic day that ended with a short hospital stay for the good doc (more on that later).

Grammie, and Nina and Papa, and Bitty Baby were able to make the trip.DSC02065

The kids sang a few songs, and recited a few rhymes and poems- it was adorable!


Despite being under the weather, this little man still tried to stage a jail break.


How cute is my little preschooler?!

LOVE her to death!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Recipes


I’ve been in a dinner rut lately. Eating the same things over and over and over again. So, this week I decided to try a couple of new recipes from pinterest. Here are two of the best-


Stuffed Bell Peppers

(got this recipe here)


1 medium onion, chopped

16 oz lean ground turkey or chicken

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T chili powder (decrease to 1/2 T if you don't like spicy food)

1 T ground cumin

16 oz jar salsa (any flavor, but make it something you like.)

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

2 cups baby spinach

sour cream



1. Heat oven to 350. Cut three large bell peppers in half and remove seeds.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown turkey with onions. Add minced garlic, chili powder and cumin and stir and cook 1 minute. Stir in salsa and rice.

3. Place cut bell peppers on a cookie sheet and divide turkey mixture evenly among them. Top with cheddar cheese and bake for 7.

4. Serve with sour cream, avocado and spinach on top.

Recipe Source: Dr. Oz

*these were super yummy, AND good for lunch the next day- winner!*

Roasted Broccoli

(Found this one here)

Now, it’s easy. Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. (She says 5 Tbs olive oil, 1 1/2 tsps kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, but I just eyeballed it.) Now add 4 garlic cloves that are peeled and sliced and toss them in too.


Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until “crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.”

I shook the pan around a bit as it went, but not sure that’s necessary.

When it’s done, take it out of the oven–and here’s where it gets really good–zest a lemon over the broccoli, squeeze the lemon juice over the broccoli, add 1.5 Tbs more olive oil, 3 Tbs toasted pine nuts (I left those out), and 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. She also has you add 2 Tbs julienned fresh basil, but I left that out too.

*This is by far the best way I’ve ever had broccoli- very yummy!

Happy Cooking! Smile

Spring…. almost

We’ve been enjoying getting outside lately, we all have had a pretty serious case of cabin fever!

Mostly we’ve been out riding bikes. Grammie and Grandpa got Colton this great trike that I can push and steer so he and I can keep with with Laney on her princess bike.  They LOVE riding bikes. We got to preschool, the park- everywhere-it’s been so fun!



We’ve been to the park a few times this week, where my children are determined to break an arm.


Last Sunday was beautiful so we took the kids to fly kites. Laney got the hang of it right away- and loved it! Colton wanted a turn but didn’t really want to hold onto the kite, oops!


Can’t wait for more sunny days!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One of Those Days…

Usually my days go something like this or this. Or, you know, someone throws a little fake chicken at me.

But, every so often, we have a good day Smile. One of those days where not everything gets done, and nothing extraordinary happens but you know for certain that you are doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place.

Yesterday was one of those days-

It was a beautiful morning so the kids rode their bikes to preschool-

colt bikelaney bike

I chatted with a few friends, then lunch and nap.

The kids actually slept long enough that I got a few minutes of sewing done.

Then we all snuggled together and watched a movie.

Finally, we headed upstairs  to make some of Grandma Rill’s noodles for dinner.

My kitchen, and all three of us were COVERED in flour, but we had a great time.


See, nothing special, and I didn’t accomplish much. But for one day that was perfectly ok with me.

Laundry will keep.

New Bed


For his birthday Ryan and I got Colt a toddler bed. He had been crawling out of his crib for months so we bit the bullet and moved him into a big boy bed.

He, of course, LOVES it (although not really for sleeping!).

So this…


… quickly turned into this!

thomas play

Not sure what I’m going to do with my circus children, they see anything as an opportunity to climb and jump.

thomas play1

Colton’s 2nd Birthday

On Saturday we celebrated Colton’s second birthday. He loves trains so the birthday fairy went with a Thomas themed birthday. Colt was thrilled to wake up to his decorations and keep saying “Happy me, Happy me!” all morning.


He also kept saying “popcorn” and his daddy decided that if the birthday boy wanted popcorn for breakfast, then he could have popcorn for breakfast.


I think his breakfast of popcorn might have been Colton’s favorite part of the day!


Then people started to arrive, the kids played together and had a great time!



We opened presents and ate, and ate and ate!


Then we had cake and ice cream.


Fun times! Can’t quite believe that my little man’s already so old!