Monday, July 21, 2014

birthday boy

Our little family spent the weekend celebrating David. It wasn't a "Pinterest" worthy celebration but the boys were involved in the decorations and planning, which made it special. William went to a birthday party in the morning so I took Fritz and Lou to Target with me to get supplies. Fritz helped pick out balloons and some honeycomb ball decor and I grabbed a pack of poster board and paint supplies. After Fritz was down for a nap and I had picked William up from his birthday party, I had Will make David a "Happy Birthday" banner for when he got home. He also wanted to hide out and surprise him when he got home from work but just couldn't wait in his designated spot for the remaining four hours... ha!
We went out to Liberty Market for dinner, since it's one of our favorite restaurants and since they give you a $10 credit toward your meal on your birthday. Such a deal for such a yummy dinner! Even though we had all three littles with us, it was still fun. Louisa was an angel baby and slept the entire time. Then we came home and opened presents and ate the strawberry cake I made. It was delicious! I wish I had written down the recipe as I was making it, but basically it's a buttermilk vanilla cake and I made a buttercream frosting with some strawberry puree blended in and sliced strawberries in between the layers.
On Saturday night we got a babysitter for the boys and went to Fleming's with a gift card that had been burning a hole in our pockets for almost a year. It was soooooo rich but delicious. I am still dreaming about their bread and butter! Why do carbs have to be so tasty?! Anyway, I think David had a good birthday even though it was low key. I think those are the best birthdays - where you're just with the ones you love most. Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, July 18, 2014

DEAR DAVID

Today is David's 32nd birthday. There's not much for me to say that hasn't already been said about this wonderful man (and he doesn't like it when I gush) but I'm just so grateful to be married to him... so I will not be silenced! Ha! It's funny when I look back on when I was in the throes of dating in my early 20s. At the time, it was so hard - fun, but hard. I made some bad decisions about guys I dated. Some of them, while nice guys, were all wrong for my personality. Some of them were jerks and some of them were just plain ol' losers. I remember the night I met David and having a different feeling about him. I wrote about him in my journal and how he was just such a great guy. I was impressed with him right away and smitten really quickly. Even though we had some ups and downs between that time and when we got engaged, it was relatively pretty easy. No one can say that marriage is easy in general, but I think when you're married to someone who compliments your personality, and if you both really try to make each other happy, you can have a great marriage. Our interests and personalities are really different, and yet, I can confidently say that we are both dedicated to each other and our individual needs. David is great in many ways and I am so thankful to be spending my life with a person who is really nice to me. He doesn't coddle me but I am constantly impressed with his kindness (especially when I'm not being easy to love). He is the hardest working man I've ever known and is unceasingly happy. Life isn't perfect but his cheerful smile and gentle teasing always makes my day. Happy Birthday, my love!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

identical siblings

I am constantly hearing that Louisa is Fritz's look-a-like and I definitely see it, especially when I compare their baby pictures. In fact, I showed a picture of baby Fritz to David the other day and he thought it was Louisa. They really do look similar! Except for their clothes, and pictures where Louisa is wearing a bow, I think I'll have a hard time deciphering their baby pictures!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

bryant update

Louisa is almost three weeks old and is such a good baby. We all love her... even Fritz is starting to come around. She is really fattening up nicely and has such beautiful skin. William still calls her "Moo-isa" and is constantly kissing her and asking her how she's doing. Even though she doesn't cry very often, Fritz has taken to yelling "Stop baby!" whenever she does. It cracks me up/stresses me out. 
My mother-in-law gave the boys each a little white board and some markers for them to draw on. It's their new favorite toy and William draws pictures on it all day long. He was very proud of this abstract piece and asked me to take a picture of it... so I did and doesn't he look so old?! Waaaaah!
This last weekend we attempted to go do something as a family. Since we live in Arizona in the middle of the summer, there is almost nothing to do here except eat, shop and swim. Being only a couple of weeks postpartum, swimming isn't an option so we headed to REI so David could look at some camping/hiking stuff that he wants for his birthday. Louisa lasted about 15 minutes before she was hungry. I am not one to hide my breastfeeding but there was literally no where to sit in the entire store. It was Saturday so it was really busy and there were only a couple of benches with no back for trying on shoes. So, I headed back out into the 110 degree weather to nurse her in the car. Don't worry, I turned on the air conditioning but this is why I hate leaving the house when I'm nursing a newborn every couple of hours.
That night we told the boys that we would let them have a pillow fort party and watch a movie. They were so excited! David made a really cozy spot in front of the TV, I made popcorn and filled their water bottles with some root beer and then we turned on Monsters University. I love that movie and these boys!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

panko dijon crusted salmon

I posted this recipe in 2010 but I just made it again the other night as my first postpartum meal after Louisa was born. It was so satisfying to eat (and, yes, cook) a real meal! I also roasted some broccoli along with the salmon and made my homemade rice-a-roni (I really need a better name for that but that's basically what it is). 
2 salmon fillets (I used the wild caught Coho salmon from Costco)
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 small lemon
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (you can use regular bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse salmon fillets and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Coat both sides with Dijon mustard (no need to dry). Squeeze lemon over both sides.

Combine breadcrumbs and all the seasonings together in a shallow bowl. Coat the salmon with the breadcrumb mixture (you can gently press it onto the salmon to make sure it sticks). Bake for 10 minutes until the center of the fish is cooked through.

Homemade Rice-A-Roni
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup broken up spaghetti noodles or orzo pasta
2 - 3 Tablespoons chicken broth base
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 1/2 cups water

Heat oil and butter over medium high heat in a medium pot. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add rice and pasta and saute for 2 minutes. Add seasonings and stir in water. Bring to boil; reduce to simmer, cover and cook about 25 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir before serving.