Archive for September, 2008

Moving Right Along

September 25, 2008

This picture was taken this weekend, Sunday to be precise, when all I wanted to do was lay in the bed in my pjs. So that’s what I did. I am certainly to the uncomfortable part. I laid on the sofa most of the day groaning and wincing at Dylan’s acrobatics. Then I woke in the middle of the night to use the restroom and almost fell over with a shooting pain in my left leg/thigh area. Then it hit me, this is sciatica! How exciting! (NOT)

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Homemade Blueberry Scones

September 24, 2008

There are a few things in my life I am a complete on-again, off-again gal about. I get super passionate, then bail within a moment’s notice. The ones I most recognize are, blogging (no comments, please), exercise/diet, and cooking. Sometimes I am on a homemade kick where I want everything to be homemade. I always have my nose in cookbooks. Then, all of a sudden, the thought of cooking makes me want to slit my wrists. It’s all I can do some nights to brown some ground beef so we can have tacos.

I’m on a cooking kick right now, but we’ll see how long it lasts. My guess is this is part of nesting manifesting itself in my life, and that I won’t have time to even brown meat in about 5 weeks. We’ll see, though.

So, tonight I did my best Pioneer Woman impression and photographed myself making homemade blueberry scones. The photos aren’t the greatest because all I could think was “Josh was seriously divorce me if I mess up my camera while trying to take pictures with flour all over my hands.” Here’s to hoping these are as good as the ones I crave from Starbuck’s …

First of all, I improvised. This recipe was for plain scones, but I am a big fan of blueberry ones. I, however, could not find the smaller blueberries. Any suggestions? So, I started by slicing up some bigger blueberries …

Second, I cut some butter in to chunks then put it back in the fridge to chill for a bit …

Then, I mixed all of my dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt) in a large mixing bowl …

After “cutting in” the butter to make the flour mixture more like cornmeal, I mixed in the heavy cream to form a dough …

Then mixed in my package of blueberries …

And balled the dough, wrapped it in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour…

Then I made my egg wash …

Then got the dough out of the fridge, split it in to two equal parts, and formed it in two two thick circles.

After cutting the two circles in to 8 equal sections, I placed them on a greased baking sheet, brushed them with the egg wash, and sprinkled them with sugar.

After baking at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, they were ready to be enjoyed!

They weren’t exactly Starbuck’s good, but I will figure it out. I think it had something to do with me not cutting in butter quite right. They just needed a little more flavor. Maybe more blueberries, or at least smalled ones so they would have been more evenly distributed. I still feel like I accomplished something today other than laying in the bed. That’s good enough for me!

Here’s the recipe:

4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/3 c. sugar

Pinch Salt

2 sticks butter, cut in to chunks and chilled

2 c. heavy cream

1 large egg

1.4 c. milk

Combine all dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter in to the flour mixture using either two knives, a fork, or your fingertips. A food processor may also be used. Mix in the cream with a fork, adding just a drop more if the dough feels too dry.

Now is where you can either just go with the plain dough, or add your mix-ins. I used blueberries. May I also suggest chocolate chips. Or I may try some cranberry and orange next time. Who knows.

Ball the dough, wrap it in plastic, and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 min.

Divide dough in two equal portions. Pat each potion in to a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Cut each section in 8 equal wedges (slices).

Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and brush on top of the slices, placed on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for about 15 min, or until golden brown.

Not Me Monday!

September 22, 2008

I’m late in the game, but here goes. My first blogging carnival! I follow the above blog, www.mycharmingkids.net, and LOVE it. Not only is MckMama a brilliant photographer, but an amazing mother of 4 (Stellan is on his way!). She posts a lot of “Not Me” posts where she talks about what she absolutely did NOT do on certain days (sarcasm implied). I love those posts and was so excited when she put it out there for all of her blog followers to join her today, and every Monday, for “Not Me Monday.” So here goes …

I did NOT stay in bed until 4:30 today, just pulling myself together enough to put on some make-up before Josh got home from work. I really did take a shower, but that’s about as productive as I got!

I did NOT look at Cooking Light magazines and http://www.thepioneerwoman.com ALL DAY LONG, dreaming of concocting such wonderful meals, but not actually intending to cook any of them.

I did NOT eat way more Oreos than I care to admit over the past few days. I got them to make Josh some homemade cookies and cream ice cream, although I have NOT done most of the eating.

I did NOT lay on the sofa all day yesterday making groaning noises every time Little Bit punched my bladder.

I did NOT show up to a dinner party last week with packaged rolls while everyone (even my very sick pregnant friend) contributed scrumptious homemade treats that I gobbled up.

I did NOT cry almost the entire time through the Biggest Loser season premiere.

AND

I did NOT slightly freak out that I was going in to labor yesterday. There, I admitted it.

Emotions

September 21, 2008

Well, it’s safe to say I’m an emotional roller-coaster these days. Most of what I’m feeling I expected, so I don’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere, but I find myself wondering how in the world I make it from one extreme to the other so quickly.

First of all, and probably most intensely, I feel an overwhelming connection to Josh. I get emotional just thinking about how much I feel “one” with him right now. It’s like my love for him has reached a whole new level. Many people told me to expect this, but it is so intense! I just want to be attached to him all the time right now! I guess I always border a bit on the clingy side, but man, I could just curl up in his armpit all day long.

I’m feeling very scared about having a child. I have often asked Josh, “What were we thinking? We’re not ready for this!!!” He, however, is surprisingly calm. He has been very ready for the last few weeks, always reassuring me that we are, in fact, ready for this challenge. Or, he’s doing a great job at lying to me.

Things that normally wouldn’t make me mad or get on my nerves are all of a sudden killing me! Bad drivers, impolite mall walkers, and bad phone talkers top my list of annoyances right now.

I feel like a different person, but I guess it’s all a part of becoming a mother!

I write this post as I reflect back on an amazing two days with my rock star husband and some of our closest friends. Yesterday we had lunch with some friends on the patio since the weather is awesome! Then, I came home and took a nap and we went to karaoke night that ended in an intense emotional conversation where we bonded even closer with some of Josh’s awesome Apple co-workers. We slept in this morning (including snoring Jack) and had lunch together at home. Then we headed to Athens, first stopping at Ashley and Ian’s apartment. They just make my heart happy. They were already that old married couple putting puzzles together! Then, we walked around downtown for a while, picking up 4 vinyl albums for Josh’s new record player, which we put in Dylan’s room so he can go to sleep to music. We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Last Resort, and ended the meal with a Pumpkin Spice frappucino. Yum! Now, we’re watching the Georgia and Auburn games cuddled up on the sofa. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Slowly But Surely …

September 13, 2008

Josh and I are very similar in one particular way. This can be a great thing, or really horrible sometimes. But it’s who we are …

We really don’t get stressed about too much at all. We both recognize that things will get done when they get done, and don’t stress ourselves out about when that will be. Because it will get done, eventually.

All that to say, the nursery has been quite a cluster lately, but neither one of us really felt the urging to go in and get it organized. I know it was driving both of our mothers crazy (it’s okay, you can admit it). They would both come over and say, “are you sure there’s nothing I can help you with? We could get some stuff organized …” Truth be told, I would have been saying the same thing to someone else, but I just wasn’t ready yet. But I knew I would get there. The trick was for Josh to get there at the same time.

Tonight, we both got there. And for the umpteenth time in our marriage, we had a completely non-verbal realization that we needed to get some things accomplished. And also for the umpteenth time, we went in to “Team Brown” mode and accomplished so so much in a short amount of time.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty to do, but it’s starting to actually look like a nursery!

(Picture taken with my iPhone. Sorry for the blurriness.)

To Go Along with my Below Rant …

September 4, 2008

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch this video …

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184086.

HT, Jon @ http://www.blurbomat.com.

Rant

September 4, 2008

First of all, let me just say that I have talked myself out of writing this post about 42 different times and should probably do that again. But, I figure I’ll only have the excuse of being pregnant and hormonal for a few more weeks, so it’s time to get some things off my chest! Then I can apologize in a few months and blame it on the baby, who’ll be so cute you can’t help but forgive me!

Our family’s life looks MUCH different than most of those who knew us before we got married were expecting it to. Well, really it doesn’t, but I’ll explain.

When Josh and I got married, we were both employed by Southern Baptist entities, and we both pretty much had been our short professional lives. Josh worked at his church in Alabama from the time he was 18 or so, also having glorious part time jobs that he would love to tell you about some day (McD’s, Blockbuster, David’s Catfish House …). I did a paid internship in college at a church in Texas, then my first “real” job was with a leading SBC organization. All along, we were both volunteering in various youth groups and religous organizations.

We made the decision to walk away from the SBC part of our lives not long after we got married. I am seriously willing to tell ANYONE the trail of events that led us to that decision ANYTIME. It involved our honeymoon and our amazing friends Mike and Jill, some interesting circumstances at the church we were attending at the time, and so so much more. But we didn’t make that decision lightly. Both of us had grown up in the SBC world our entire lives. My mom was the church secretary for 18 years of my life!

Sidenote, Josh was the church secretary for a while, too! Ask him about that some time!

My parents and some of our closest friends left the same time as we did. We all made the painful decision together, for different reasons, but believing with all of our hearts it was the thing to do.

I can remember people telling us on our last few weeks how much they would miss us. Moms and Dads would thank us for the difference we had made in their kid’s lives, then follow that with, it’s a shame your relationship won’t be the same. Call it immaturity or ignorance, my response would always be “well don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. We’re leaving this church, but not your lives.” I would laugh with Josh about how people kept saying they would miss us in their lives. I always thought they thought we were abandoning them, and we would just kind of laugh and say, BUT WE’RE NOT LEAVING YOUR LIFE! It really became comical, and I laugh looking back at how many times we said things like “but we will still be at your basketball game” or “we will still be at your birthday party” or “we’re still going to dinner Thursday night, right?”

It never dawned on me that when we walked out of that church for the last time, we were basically walking out of a lot of our closest friends lives. Not by our choice. But it happened.

People didn’t know what to do with us. We didn’t get invited to the little socials that we knew were still happening. Just because Josh and I left the church didn’t mean all the kids didn’t go to Wendy’s every Sunday night anymore. It didn’t mean that our friends who were leaders with us didn’t get together for dinner at each other’s homes on random nights. We just didn’t get included with that stuff anymore.

And that’s okay. Really, it is. But I guess I’m just saying I didn’t realize we were walking away from much more than a church. By making the decision not to be aligned with the SBC anymore, we were forcing ourselves not to be aligned with a lot of our friends. We were those people who they encouraged the kids in the youth group to stay away from because we were “negative” or because we admitted we drink an alcoholic beverage every now and then.

The people who we had been having the exact same conversations with that led us to our decision to step away all of a sudden were the biggest cheerleaders for what they supposedly hated. And they condemned us for drinking, even though we knew half of them did it to, because we used to laugh about it behind closed doors.

Obviously, by no means do I think you can made generalized conclusions and say everyone acted this way towards us. Many people are still some of our great friends. Many are still nice at least to our face. We had the privlege of sitting at one of the family tables for our friend Ashley’s wedding this year and it literally brought me to tears thinking of how faithfully the Brannens stood by Josh and I when most others we stabbing us in the back. It was an honor to know that our relationship never skipped a beat because they realize we didn’t actually join the circus! No joke, someone told me the way that everyone was talking about us that we literally got jobs at the circus. Wow.

In a politics year like this, after experiencing so many crumbling relationships just because Josh and I march to the beat of a slightly different drummer, I have realized why I think they way I do. I have always felt a “check” in my gut, but this election is bringing out in many SBCers and hard core GOPers what I find so repulsive.

The inability to see things may be a little different than they always thought. The complete inability to walk a mile in another person’s shoes for even just a minute. Again, not a generalized statement, as many of my closest friends are some of the most generous people I know, and still GOPers.

When I logged on to facebook this morning after Palin’s speech last night, many of my friends had status messages like “Palin just gave Biden a wedgie and kicked Obama in the nuts.” Honestly. One even said he was “wondering why anyone would vote for the Anti-Christ Obama when you can choose a hero like McCain.” I mean, REALLY!

THIS IS WHY WE WALKED AWAY FROM CROWDS LIKE THIS!

I don’t think it’s any secret I am an Obama girl. I was not too impressed with his speeches at the DNC and I think he has resorted to some name-calling and jabbing that are completely unnecessary. I am not a “hardcore liberal/Democrat.” I think they do just as much harm.

I just think that if Joe Biden’s teenage daughter was pregnant right now, my “Obama Nut Kick” friends would be giving him hell. But they are okay with Palin’s daughter. There is grace for her.

I don’t have the right words to put it in, but I was reading my oh-so-favorite blog today, Dooce, and Heather put it better than I ever could have …

Any time I engage with one of my conservative friends or family members, or sometimes the conservative commenters on this website, it usually devolves into them screaming about WELFARE! and TAXES! and THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING MY MONEY AND GIVING IT TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T WORK! And what they don’t understand is that this is not the issue at all. What I and many of my more liberal friends want is to HELP people, not give them a free ride, but also not to ignore those who would benefit from us tossing them a life jacket.

I just think it’s funny that my Obama Anti-Christ friends walked away from Josh and I because we don’t attend their Sunday morning services anymore. That’s the only reason.

Maternity Pics

September 3, 2008

WARNING … Bare belly pics on the way. Turn away if you’re “one of those.” ERIC!

My friend Melanie took these awesome pictures on Saturday, one day before I hit the official 32 week mark. Some of them have a musical theme given the Dylan Cash namesakes, and since Melanie’s husband is a “music man.” I LOVE them, thanks Melanie! Can’t wait for my boy to get here so he can come and play in your studio, too.

Weight Gain Revelation

September 2, 2008

First, let it be known that I am not exactly proud to admit some of the things I am about to admit, but this blog is about my life right now, so here goes …

I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and was NOT excited about some info that I got. Thankfully I had my favorite nurse and midwife at that appointment, so they softened the blow and we had fun while we were at it. I stepped on the scale and the nurse put the slider thing-a-ma-jig WAY higher than I thought it needed to go, so I gave her a hard time and said something like “Come on now, I’m no THERE yet!” Turns out I was kind of right, she had to slide it back down, but then slide the second thing-a-ma-jig ALL the way to the right, meaning she was only about 2 or 3 pounds off from her original estimate I gave her such a hard time about. For the next few minutes all that came out of my mouth was “SHUT UP!” repeatedly.

I won’t admit to the final number, but I will tell you that I officially hit the 20 pound mark. I had prided myself on doing so well up until this point, and I recognize that 20 pounds is completely normal for someone of my physical stature. But all of a sudden the weekly e-mails I got were spot-on when they had been reflecting MUCH more weight gain than I was actually experiencing.

But this morning at the gym, it hit me. I am a true exercise roller-coaster. I am that on-again, off-again girl with the gym, a healthy diet, etc. I was in one of my off-again phases when I got pregnant, but peeing on that stick lit a fire under me. I immediately stepped it up, and have been reasonably consistent with making it to the gym about 3 times a week, doing cardio and weight training. So, hear me out, I’m gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat, right?

Please appease a fat pregnant woman even if this is crazy talk, but it made sense to me this morning and made me feel a little bit better about my relationship with the scale. So I immediately went to the grocery store for dinner stuff and picked up the box of fudge rounds I have been dreaming about. Makes perfectly logical sense, right?

I go to the doctor Wednesday and am hoping to not have gained 5 more pounds. We’ll see!