We love you, but you CAN’T come to the hospital!!

So here it goes…the post that is going to tick some people off, make some people sad, and hopefully, for some, have people saying, “You go girl!”

We are allowing absolutely NO visitors to the hospital when we deliver our sweet bundle of joy! Yep, you read that right…none, nada, zip, zilch…NO ONE.  (Well…my parents are going to be there – if they can get there in time – because I want my momma in the delivery room with me…but really…NO ONE ELSE!!)

So now that you are totally ticked you won’t be able to hold my little cub for the first few days of their life…let me tell you why:

  1.  It’s OUR family…not yours 🙂  As excited as you are to meet the new cub, and as much as many of you have prayed for us….Joe and I have prayed harder, cried longer, dreamed bigger.  This is our little family.  Give us some time to process what just happened.  I will be a MOM and he will be a DAD – whoa!  We need some time to let it sink in that it isn’t just the two of us anymore.  We need some time to get to know our cub.
  2. Sleep – Um, so….who knows how my delivery will go, but I am pretty sure no matter how it plays out, I will be EXHAUSTED!  I will already have a constant stream of nurses and doctors coming to check on me and the cub.  I need the other time to REST and prepare to take this baby home and do this on our own!
  3. Breast Feeding – yeah, that’s our goal.  So please understand how difficult, awkward, and uncomfortable it is to try and get that whole process going while also entertaining guests, or having to ask guests to step out of the room for a minute.  I need some privacy here people.
  4. It’s only a short time – If all goes well, we will only be in the hospital for less than 48 hours.  We promise we will send pictures out to the world, and we promise as soon as we get home we will start letting visitors come see our new love.

Yes, this is just a plan.  If we feel differently once we are in the hospital we will be sure to let you all know…but for now…don’t plan on coming to the hospital.  This is a decision Joe and I have talked about, prayed about, and discussed at length.  We are in a agreement here, and there is no tearing down this wall.  We have no other motive than to just make the best choice for our family.

We really do love, value, and appreciate every single one of you and can’t wait for you to meet our cub….just give us a minute to settle in first 🙂  We will call you when we are ready for visitors.

Jello Yogurt Bites

Here is a fun little snack that everyone in the family will love…I mean just take a peek at these ingredients…

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Yep – super yummy and super easy!!  Mix 3 (6 oz each) strawberry yogurts and one .3 oz Sugar Free JELL-O Strawberry gelatin into a large microwaveable bowl.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir.  Microwave 2 to 3 more minutes or until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring after each minute.  Spoon into 16 paper-lined mini muffin pan cups.

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Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.  Remove from liners and top with half a strawberry.  Its the perfect combo of jello and creamy yogurt!  And it tastes like a sweet dessert treat! The kids will definitely LOVE this one!  ENJOY!!



Broccoli Mac and Cheese

I can’t believe the weather here in Georgia…it goes from snowing, to 70+ degrees in less than a week!  We have been craving some lake time, so we cleaned up the boat and slipped on over to Lake Lanier for a family evening on the water.

I knew the hubs would be hungry so I whipped up some homemade broccoli mac and cheese for a dinner on the boat!


Its super simple, quick, and travels nicely in small containers.  Plus you get to toss in that serving of greens too…can’t beat that!  Enjoy!!

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 12 ounces elbow noodlesIMG_6040
  • 2.5 Tb light butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • cooking spray


  1. In a small bowl, mix together parmesan, bread crumbs, and oregano.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente (about 8 minutes) – do not overcook since it will continue to cook slightly in the oven.
  3. Put broccoli in a microwave safe dish with 2 Tb water – cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add flour and cook another minute or until flour is golden brown and well combined.
  7. Whisk in milk and chicken broth, raising heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  8. Cook about 5 minutes whisking constantly, or until the sauce is smooth and thick.
  9. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
  10. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheese.
  11. Combine noodles, broccoli, and cheese sauce and then pour into baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  13. Broil for a few minutes to brown the bread crumbs.


Roast Chicken in the Crock Pot

I absolutely LOVE chicken from the crock pot!  I feel like you just about can’t mess it up.  It always comes out tender and full of flavor.  Let’s also not forget the easy clean up, and dinner is practically done when you get home!  This week I tried out a whole chicken in the crock pot and used the meat for a couple of dinners!


Doesn’t it look so yummy!!!  I started by placing 4 foil balls in the bottom of the crock pot to keep the chicken out of the juices while it cooked.  Then I packed the inside of that 5.4 lb bird with 1/2 cup onions, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup celery, and 2 lemons.  I finished with a covering of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning over the outside of the bird.

I turned the crockpot on high for 4 hours and left for work.  I shortened the suggested cook time because I knew I would be gone 8+ hours for the work day.  Once my crockpot is done with cooking time, it will stay on the “warm” setting (which is still pretty hot for my crockpot) until I turn it off…so I knew the bird would keep cooking the remaining 4 hours. If you are home to watch it, cook for 4 1/2 – 5 hours (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).


I ALWAYS use a crock pot bag, so when I got home I just lifted the bag out of the crock pot and placed it in a roasting pan so I could easily slice the chicken.  Well, honestly I attempted to slice it, but it was so tender it just fell apart.  It was AMAZING!!!  SO much flavor and melt-in-your-mouth tender.


I pulled off enough meat for that night’s dinner, and then pulled off the rest of the white meat and put it in the fridge to make chicken and cheese quesadillas the next night!  I also pull off all the dark meat and save it for the dogs. 🙂



TTC – IUI on the Horizon

**Personal Post**

A few weeks ago, I stepped out onto a limb and shared my Trying To Conceive (TTC) story with you all.  I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from everyone!  The words of wisdom, the stories of hope, and the acknowledgement of our emotional struggle was amazing.  Thank you all for loving my family, and continuing to pray for the growth of our family!

Since so many people seemed to want to support us in our journey, I decided to continue to post some TTC updates for you all.  Hopefully I will soon be able to transition from TTC posts to “baby on the way” posts, but we aren’t there yet.

In the last post, I mentioned that we had wonderful results from the HSG procedure and our doctor wanted us to try naturally for a couple of months.  Well, as you can probably already tell, naturally just isn’t working in our situation.  The emotions of the last three months have been a roller coaster to say the least – up up up to the “is this it?”, “is that twinge in my side a sign?”, and googling everything from “gas” to “acne” to “excessive crying” as signs of pregnancy….then down, down, down when we would take the pregnancy test and get a negative result.  To explain those feelings of hopelessness, loss of control, and heartbreak would be impossible to put into words on a blog…


So last week I made a phone call to schedule the next step – an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) procedure.

** Doctor Talk ** Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. ** End Doctor Talk **

The phone call was a shocker to me….after almost 20 years of seeing the same gynecologist, after crying with her, hugging her, going through all the previous testing with her, I was told on the phone that she is no longer at the practice!  WHAT?!  This is not what was supposed to happen!!  When the rubber hits the road, she is supposed to be there with me!  I was devastated to hear the news, but then received this letter in the mail the next day:


My incredible doctor, who has a heart of gold, did exactly as I suspected.  She took a position that will give her career a wonderful path.  I am not mad, not hurt, just a little sad.

The short phone call wasn’t all sad though.  I was automatically placed with the other female physician in the office because I was in the process of fertility treatments – this means I am not out seeking a “new patient” appointment with other doctors, which in turn means we aren’t postponing the process!  Also – the best news of all – the $7000 estimate we have been saving for….yeah, nope….we are only looking at an approximate $700 per treatment fee!  Yippee!  This means that this is not going to be a “one shot” deal for us.  Don’t get me wrong, $700 is not pocket change for these two teachers, but it is a more reasonable number that will give us at least a couple of opportunities to grow our family if the first one doesn’t work out.

So we have a consultation appointment scheduled for the first week in April to move forward with the IUI procedure.  Yeah, we are still holding out hope for a natural positive pregnancy test before the actual procedure, but we have placed the process in God’s hands.  All we ask from our dearest friends is to pray for continued peace in our hearts, pray for our little miracle that isn’t ready to join us on earth quite yet, and pray that whatever our path holds for us we will continue to be faithful to God about the process and be good examples for others with similar struggles.

We will keep you updated – promise…until then we will trust it all to God!

**The song below gets me through every day – when I think I can’t take another day – when I think I want to take it back from God – when I think our miracle will never happen….Enjoy…

A Better Sweet Treat

What kind of sweet tempts your sweet tooth the most?  Are you the chocolate-chocolate lover, the sour candy pucker face, or the fruity-chewy combo kind of sweets eater?  I am not picky…I love them all, but I will say that a good fruity sweet is probably my favorite.  When I am trying to make healthier choices, but that sweet tooth is really nagging me, I turn to this quick little trick.


Grab a pound (or two) of grapes – red or green – whatever suits your fancy.  While you are there, hop on over to the jello isle and grab a 3 oz box of sugar free gelatin – again, whatever flavor suits your fancy. (Tip: One 3 oz box of gelatin will cover 1.5 – 2 lbs of grapes!  A little goes a long way!)

Poor the dry gelatin onto a plate, rinse your grapes and SHAKE dry.  The grapes still need to be slightly moist so don’t pat dry or leave them out to dry too long.  Pluck those grapes, toss them into the gelatin, and give the plate a little shake, shake, shake!  The grapes will roll around and get coated with the gelatin.  Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then take them out, and pop those little sweeties into your mouth!


Today’s combo at my house was red grapes with strawberry sugar free jello (just because I had some jello left over from another recipe), but the best part of this treat is trying out different combinations!  My absolute favorite combo is green grapes + green jolly rancher jello!  They taste like sour patch kids!!  Speaking of kids, this is a treat they LOVE and can even make themselves!

Make sure you try them out, then come on back to the blog and leave a comment with your favorite combo!

A Quick Upcycle

As we begin Project Lighten Up the Living Room, I was on the hunt for a clear or white lamp base to change up this green one we had on the sofa table. 

I love the style of this lamp but it just doesn’t fit the new decor.  As we hunted for new lamps, hubs and I couldn’t agree on anything.  Rule number one in our projects is that no piece is bought or redone unless we BOTH agree on it, so no lamp…

But then while we walked around The craft store the other night, I fell in love with this:

Hubs proceeds to say, “Hey, why don’t I just turn this into a light?”  I followed that with a, “Yeah right!”   I mean I know my hubby is good…but that good???

We bought the lantern, took a pit stop by the hardware store, hubs spent a few minutes in the garage…

Well well well….I was wrong to ever second guess the mad scientist!


I mean, what!?  You can’t even see the wires!!  Yeah, I am one lucky girl to be married to such a talented guy!  One project down and we are well on our way to lightening up the living room!!