Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Six Months!

It truly seems like Hayes was just born, and now she is already 6 months old! At six months she loves to laugh and giggle, read books, take walks in her stroller, play in her exersaucer and jumper, take naps, swing and rock on the front porch, play peek a boo, and lately just LOVES to be held and not put down! She also is trying to figure out the sippy cup and is into eating all kinds of baby foods (right now apples, squash, carrots, bananas, and tonight is peaches!) We just fall more and more in love with this sweet child every day. Happy 6 months, Hayes! We will be planning your 1st birthday party before we know it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kelly's Kids Party

I will be having a Kelly's Kids Party on Saturday, August 1 from 10-1 and would love for you to come! Fall is just around the corner and there are some really cute things this season for boys, girls, and babies-you can see everything on their website at If you see something you like but cannot come, please let me know and I can take your order over the phone.

Please let me know if you need directions. Thank you!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Two Favorites

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I love to plan our meals, make the grocery list, go through all my coupons to see how much I can save, shop, and then finally get in the kitchen and cook, preferably while Hayes is napping, although sometimes it does not work out that way! I really did not love to cook until I got married. Now it is one of the best parts of my day. Is that crazy? I know alot of people do not care for the kitchen but I think it's something God gave me a love for. I have 2 of our favorite recipes to share today. Actually, we have ALOT of favorite recipes at our house because we are not picky eaters and we just really LOVE good food! But these are 2 that I learned from school.

At my (former) school, our kindergarten teachers thankfully liked to eat too. Every Friday we would have "Friday Fun Lunch" where we take turns cooking for each other and bringing lunch. There were 11 of us and you only had 1 turn out of 11 weeks and all the other Fridays you could just look forward to a yummy lunch (which is SOOOOO fun and exciting when you take your lunch everyday!) However, on the day that it was your turn to bring lunch it could get a little stressful planning a meal for 11 (meal, sides, dessert, etc.)not to mention how you were going to transport everything and get it inside the school and into the fridge! Anyway here are 2 chicken pasta salad recipes that work well for a big group. We really like both of these and I hope you'll like them too. I love pasta salads b/c they stay good for a few days in the fridge and these both can be eaten hot or cold.

This first recipe is from my friend Andrea-a great mentor and friend!! This is kind of a sweet chicken pasta salad b/c of the fruit. At first I thought it may be a little girly (b/c of all the fruit) and that Nathan would not like it. Well that was definitely not the case-it is delicious and we devour it whenever we make it.This one is better after it sits in the cool refrigerator for a while.

Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad

1 box bowtie pasta (don't get a generic brand b/c it will break while it's cooking)
1 cup mayonnaise (more or less depending on your preference)
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 lb. green grapes (I chop my grapes in half but you do not have to)
1 lb. red grapes
1/2 small sweet onion
1 large can of all white meat chicken
1 can mandarin oranges
1 small pkg. sliced almonds (2 oz.)
salt and pepper

Cook pasta, rinse and drain and set aside. Combine chicken, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, onion, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add chicken mixture to pasta and stir well to coat pasta. Add grapes and almonds and toss. Add oranges last so they will not tear.
*This makes a good sized bowl of pasta. I doubled it for 11 people and had ALOT left over.

This next recipe is more of a salty chicken pasta salad and was "made up" by my fantastic food loving friend Rebecca. If you've ever had Taziki's Friday or Saturday special this is Rebecca's version of it-so delicious and healthy too. We like to eat this one right when it's made.

Greek Chicken Pasta

1 box penne noodles
Chopped fresh basil (as much as you want)
Tomatoes (chop 2 or 3 large tomatoes or use grape or cherry tomatoes-might need 2 cartons though if you use that size)
1 pkg. feta
3-4 chicken breasts chopped
Newman's light balsamic vinaigrette (2/3 or so of bottle)
1 bag of salad spinach leaves

Cook and drain pasta and then add other ingredients. Keep adding dressing and tasting until you like it. We like to eat this over a bed of spinach leaves-soo good!

Happy Cooking!!
I cannot believe I just wrote this whole post and Hayes is still napping-crazy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time Flies

when you are married to your best friend! Four years ago today I married my best friend Nathan. It was the best day of my life. Our wedding was just what I wanted-a noon ceremony with lots of family and friends and then a big southern lunch buffet afterwards at the art museum. I love to go back and look at the pictures of that fun, sweet day. I could never have asked for a better husband and father than what God gave me in Nathan. He is so loving, kind, and compassionate, strong and smart. He loves the Lord and he loves me and Hayes. I know that because of the way he lives his life and the way he treats us (and others) with such total and unconditional love and respect. He truly lives out his faith on a daily basis and for that I am so grateful. Happy anniversary Nathan! I love you way more than I could ever tell or show you!!

Three and a half years later we were so blessed that we were chosen to be Hayes' parents. It's funny that we thought we would have a boy first and I just knew and kept thinking that Nathan would be a great "boy" dad (and hopefully will some day:) But wow now seeing him with his daughter there is no doubt that he is the greatest daddy a little girl could ever have. I mean really, I know she loves me since I am with her all day, but there is some BIG TIME excitement and happiness when her Daddy walks through the door. I guess it will always be like that?! I hope so! Seriously Hayes is one lucky little baby girl-she has got her Daddy wrapped big time!

Love that precious face!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lots of Pictures

I can't believe it's already July! Where is the summer going? We have been busy playing, visiting, and having lots of fun. Here are some pics of our Father's Day. We were able to see all of our fathers and grandfathers this year all on Father's Day. It was wonderful! It is always helpful that Nathan's family gets together in Prattville which is pretty close to B'ham and then my Dad is in Montgomery. All close by! Thanks for being such great daddies and g'daddies-we love all of you!

Please notice Nathan's dad's shirt. Here is one of the most proud grandaddy's you'll ever see. Since Hayes was born all he has wanted was a t-shirt and mug w/her picture on it. He got both for Father's Day and LOVES them. Now we know what to get him every year! But this year for Christmas he's going to have 2 grandbabies! My SIL Lindsey is having a BOY in November-we can't wait for a little cousin! He'll have to get one baby on the front and one on the back-hahahah!!

Hayes is now five and 1/2 months (almost!) She is loving being a big girl. She's eating her delicious rice cereal twice a day now-haven't started on the fruits or veggies but we plan to soon. She LOVES her exersaucer. She plays so hard in it like it is her job. Then she likes to take a break and get in her jumper and swing in it for a while. She has started joining us at the table at suppertime and it's so fun to have her in the dining room w/us! She just watches us eat and is very interested!

Last week we got to hang out w/our sweet friend Rebecca and eat some yummy mexican. Also, Hayes had some big pool time! Just kidding-she did go to the pool twice last week-once with the kindergarten teachers and the other day we went to hang out in Tuscaloosa w/our Aunt Lindsey at her pool- but did not make it too long either time! She pretty much just napped while I (or someone) held her in the pool. I am sure next summer will be different though!

For the 4th we had some sweet friends over and they brought their little girl Emery who is 7 months older than Hayes. They had fun watching each other and Emery showed Miss Priss how to really use her toys-they were so cute! Also I made this easy, breezy strawberry pie-yumm-o. I'll post the recipe soon.

Happy Monday!