Friday, November 30, 2012

Fall Family Photos

About a month ago when Sawyer was 8 months, we had another fun and sweet session with Jared at J Designs. The weather was perfect and the trees were beautiful with fall colors. We even got Sawyer in a Santa Suit :)
You can see all the pictures on our share site:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We've been bit by the Christmas Bug a.k.a Trina!

So most people this is no big deal and would wonder why I am actually dedicating a blog post to it but for those of you that know us well, you know we have never decorated for Christmas (or any holiday for that matter). We tend to travel on holidays and never saw the point. I have a friend, Trina, who could be called Mrs. Christmas because of her love...I'm sorry, her obsession with Christmas. She has inspired us to decorate this year since it is Sawyer's First Christmas.  Her mom even said she was going to buy us a tree because it was so sad we didn't decorate. We took the hint! I went out and bought a tree and some starter ornaments to go along with some of the ornaments we have been gifted over the years (they always just sat in a box). We already had stockings for John, my dog Faith and me and will need to go get one for Sawyer. We also need to find a tree skirt, I plan to look this weekend.
So thank you Mrs. Christmas for making our house so festive!

actually reading instructions
a few ornaments to start

Just need to add Mr. Sawyer's stocking

Yay, we have a tree!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Turkey Day 2012

Thanksgiving is just the perfect mix of family, food and long weekends! John and I both had both thursday and friday off so we got to see a lot of people and do a lot more this year.
Wednesday, we went out for a couple hours to Metro for Wild Turkey Wednesday and to visit our friend Matt who is in town from DC.
Thursday, we had Hamra family photos in the early afternoon, lunch at my parents house with my sisters and parents and an early dinner back at the John's grandparent's house. Sawyer was great all day, didn't nap but was still a happy camper. It was the first time he got to meet his Great Aunt Jackie and Uncle Carlos and his second cousins Andrew and Gabrielle. He just loved them! We went back to my parents later that night and Sawyer decided to have major blowout (he had a lotsof food!) so we finished thanksgiving with a bath!
Friday, we just relaxed and did stuff around the house. We got out for a couple hours and shopped but headed back early to have dinner with John's mom and step-dad.
Saturday, we drove up to St. Louis to have Thanksgiving with my mom's family. It was great because Sawyer got to meet a lot of new faces he hadn't met yet - 3 Great Uncle Steve's (a popular name in our family), Great Aunt Shelley, My Cousin's Dave, Tom, Tim, Melissa & Melanie and her husband Matt. He got to see his second cousin Chase for the second time and they were adorable together! I can't wait for christmas!
Gabrielle & Sawyer meet

Jackie & Sawyer

Mike, Carlos, Bob and John

Sawyer with Gabrielle and Katie

My dad and I, Thanksgiving 2011 when I was pregnant and 2012 with Sawyer

Family photo Attire

Bath time!

Steak N Shake stop on our road trip to St. louis

Chase kissing Sawyer

Games at Steve & Shelley's after dinner. 

Chewy guarding Sawyer as he sleeps

Sawyer learned to wave over the weekend and got 3 new teeth!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm thankful for YOU

Happy Thanksgiving. Since it is Sawyer's first Thanksgiving, it put a lot into perspective for me. First, how thankful I am for a compassionate and loving God! Second, that above the "things" I have, I am thankful for the special people (and pets) that are in my life. I couldn’t do the things I have done or have the things I have without them. So to celebrate this day of thanks, I would like to do a shout out to those people who mean so much to me. Quite frankly the "things" we have don't mean anything with out family & friends around to help you enjoy them. If you are reading this you are most likely one of them! xoxo

I am thankful for……
My Parents: For giving me the best life I could have askedfor and teaching me about God, love and compassion and for always supportingme.

My Sisters: For the memories and laughter. We are sodifferent but compliment each other nicely and we always have a great time whenwe are together. Love you girls!

My Husband: For being my best friend, soul mate, the bestfather to our son and the person who always makes me laugh so hard I cry (orsnort). 13 years together and you still give me butterflies.

My Son: For teaching me what uncontrollable love is. Yougive me a reason to smile everyday and be silly everyday. You have my wholeheart and have turned me into a crying mess on multiple occasions.

My Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles & Cousins: For making melove family and enjoy holidays & get-togethers. We are so lucky to enjoyeach other’s company, I look forward to our game nights!

My In-laws (Mother, Father, Step-father, Grandparents, Sister, Brother,Aunts, Uncles and Cousins: For taken me in as part of the familyand never looking back. It’s like I have two families and I love them both somuch!

My best friends Megan & Katrina: For being my support system. I have to call them outbecause of how much they mean to me. We have stuck together through so manylife moments and I feel closer to them everyday. I thank the lord everyday forthem and I look forward to all our future memories.

All our Amazing Friends: For always being there for John andme. For a laugh, a drink or a even a cry, we have such a great group offriends. Some I have known for a long time (high school/college) and other onlya small time but they the best!

My Pastor & Church: For making me enjoy church & theword of God. Pastor Sippy, you are a master at what you do and I thank you formarrying John and I, Baptizing our son and giving us amazing sermons onSundays.

Faith & Bowie (fur people): For your loyalty and love.You have completed our family and we can’t imagine life without you both!

For Sawyer’s School Teachers & Babysitter Hillary: Forloving my son and teaching him new things everyday. It is hard to trust someoneto watch your child but I have no doubt they care about his best interest andshow him love when we can’t be there.

My Boss & Work Family: For giving me a place to workthat I look forward to going to everyday. I have the best boss and co-workers agirl could ask for. Even being gone for 3 months after having Sawyer, they tookcare of my work for me and it was like I was never gone (to me anyway).

My Friend’s Parents: For also taking me in as family. I cansee why I have such awesome friends because they have awesome parents whoraised them to be great people.

Me: I know it is odd to mention myself but I am thankful forthe woman I have become thanks to the people mentioned above. I feel likefinally in my 30s (can’t believe I just said that) I am in a place of peace andconfidence in who I am and what I have done. I love the life I have built andwouldn’t change a thing.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kitchen Experiments: Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

I was a picky eater as a child and my favorite food was Mac & Cheese. Even though my food horizons have broaden, I still love Mac & Cheese. When I was little I liked the plain jane original recipe but now as an adult I like to try varieties of that recipe with different cheeses and even consistencies. We were invited to a friend's house saturday and I decided I wanted to try a home-made version. I googled some pointers and came up with a recipe that goes a little something like this.....

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese


Cooking oil spray
2 cups skim milk
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups preshredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray, covering completely.  
2. Mix together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl
3. Pour milk mixture into the crockpot.  
4. Add cheese, cream cheese and uncooked macaroni. Stir to mix.  
5. Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, until macaroni is tender.

TIPS: This is a thicker southern version than the box varieties. Do not cook longer than 4 hours or on the high setting because it will get really dry and stick to the crock pot.  If you like it creamier, you can add cream of cheddar soup, I will probably try this next time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting Organized

Betsy doing what she does best

I love organization, whether it be a list of numbered to do's or a closet that is color coordinated, I get a little giddy when something has a place and is in it. While I may love to be organized, lately a little something forced me to live with a little mess (hint: his name rhymes with Destroyer). As he is getting a little bigger I am making a vow to slowly take my house back one room at a time. 

My best friends Trina was kind enough to give me a gift certificate to 2B Organized which is a residential and commercial organization company. I have to admit I was nervous as all get out to let someone come in and see my clutter (especially since I am going to be showing all of you the pics) but just like any problem...the first step is to admit there is one!

Our first room to tackle, the kitchen/utility room. It has been taken over with baby bottles/accessories, spices, plastic bar cups and k-cups. We have just let it get out of control.

Betsy Miller, the owner, came and did a consultation. She gave us tips and ideas that would help give everything in our kitchen it's own "place". She recommended a few things to purchase and we could decide our budget. We wanted to keep it under $100 and it was easy to do that. 

We purchased:
2 stackable storage containers: $24 each at target

2 plastic bins: $3.50 each at Target. Online you can only buy 4 w/lids

Wall Spice Rack: $24.99 Target Online

Total money spent:  $80

Betsy came over this past Saturday to execute the plan. First we "purged", which involved choosing what items got trashed, donated or kept. When we were all done we had about 3 bags of donate and 2 bags of trash. I threw away every single bar plastic cup we owned and it felt GREAT! Now we only have glass & what John refers to as "adult" plastic cups. We also trashed 2 broken blenders and tons of cozies and shot glasses from college.

What a huge difference!

We also consolidated all of my spices since I had about 2-3 of each. We even found a Black Pepper container that expired it 1986!!!! It was my moms I think and somehow I got it, I haven't thrown it away yet since it is vintage. 

Betsy was able to use some of my older baskets and containers to organize little things like baby bottle accessories and our crystal light packets. John had a brilliant idea of taking our counter spice rack and removing the spices and putting our Keurig K-cups in there, they fit perfect. 

all our K-Cups

baby stuff now has a home!

no more duplicate spices

bye bye plastic cups
It took 3 hours but it flew by! We may have jammed out to Bon Jovi and made hot toddies to spice up the morning. Betsy did an amazing job and is so quick! She can just look at something and know how to organize it. I am dying to have her do my closet (HINT HINT, Christmas present!). 

I actually have some counter space!

You can see the wall spice rack in this picture
Betsy has actually started franchising 2B Organized, so if you are interested click on the image below for more details on their website. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sawyer: 9 Months

I had to bribe him with puffs to not crawl away.
It is amazing to think we have had our little Sawyer here with us now longer than I carried him during my pregnancy. I am learning tha teach month comes and goes so quickly and when someone tells you “They grow up so fast”, it isn’t just a cliché. He has become our world and we love every little piece of him. Sometimes I just stare at him in awe, how did he come out so perfect (I know I am biased)? He has blessed our lives and taught us so much about ourselves. Receiving the news that the hole in his heart has mended has given us even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We are really looking forward to his first holidays and celebrating a wonderful 2012.

Stats this month

Weight: 17 lbs. 9 oz. – I know he lost a little weight from last month but at his 6 month check up he was 16 lbs 14 oz. so he is slowly getting bigger

Length: 28 inches - he was 26” at his 6 month checkup

Eating: Hardly ever gets a bottle, maybe once a week since he usually is able to wait until I am home to nurse. We have moved on to more textures like cooked carrots, peas, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese and even pancakes. He has even had toast and chicken sticks (Gerber). We are now using a sippy cup as much as possible and he doesn’t love it yet.

Sleeping: Has mastered the art of napping (thanks to spending 3 days home with John). Sleeps great at night still, usually about 9 hours a night. His bedtime is about 8:30 pm.

Bowie, Faith, You in there!?!?!

Clothing: Still small in the pants department and wears 6 months but still fits in some 3 month pants. Shirts he is in 9 months. He can wear 2-3 size shoes.

Diapers: size 3

Playing: Sawyer is moving nonstop by crawling, standing,walking around holding on, jumping and climbing. He loves playing on the couch and launching himself backwards onto the pillows. He likes cups, bowls and any container he can stack and bang together. He is great at playing alone or withother kids and seems to be fascinated by everything.

Walking around the house holding on

Talking: Sawyer has become quite the talker & singer. When he eats he says “mmm” like he wants more or is enjoying the food. He sings along with the radio and sometimes even reads with us during story time. “dada” is still one of his favorite words but says “mama” a lot too.

Teething: Just the two bottom teeth still, I am convinced those top ones are close though from the way he has been knawing on everything, including his crib.

Other developments:
Sawyer has taken quite the liking to my mom, sometimes when we are over at their house he only wants her and doesn’t really even care about John or I. This may be a phase but it is pretty cute to see how he lights up when she is around.