Monday, March 29, 2010

My Joy in Homemaking: Cooking

(Banana Bread and Mini Onion Quiches for Small Group!!!)

I love to cook. This has not always been one of my hobbies, only since I got married. Even then, when we first got married, all I could do was pretty much boil water (if I was lucky) and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (if I was lucky). I mean, there were a few things here and there that I could make, but for the most part, I knew NOTHING about cooking.

My poor new husband. He has had to endure taste test after taste test. And he never would say anything negative about my cooking. I had to squeeze it out of him. "You better be honest and tell me if you don't like it," I'd say, "or else I'll make it again!" Usually then he would tell me if he didn't like it.

I spent the first 2 years (heck, I'm still doing it!) calling my grandma, mom, and mother-in-law about cooking questions. How many ounces are in a pound? Can I freeze this meal? What is oleo? Is it butter or Crisco? How long do you cook eggs before they become hard-boiled eggs?

And though it was a whole new world to me, I began to love it. I began to love that I could pick any new recipe and try it! I could pick something I had always loved, something I had always wanted to try, an old favorite, something my grandma had made for years, or something my husband had always loved. It was my own area that I could explore and learn, and an area that you never figure it all out. There is always something new to learn, and that's what makes it fun!

I'm so glad that I enjoy this area of homemaking. If I didn't, I can't imagine begrudgingly making meal after meal and putting something dreadful on the table to feed my family night after night.

Cooking brings together all the things I love. Creativity, entertaining, exploration, and most of all - food.

Granted, this newfound hobby has definitely caused me to pack on the pounds over the past few years, so I must learn to balance my love with some light cooking and exercising. I hope to begin photographing as I cook and posting some of my favorite recipes on this blog. I have photographed a lot of things I have made but not the actual process to get to that point!!

So, if anybody is reading this blog, hopefully you like to cook or to read about someone who is learning to cook new things all the time, because that is coming in the future!!!

Just had to add some pics of my little stinkers!!
They sure do love each other!!!

P.S. About the motherhood blog post that I emailed people about and wrote on Facebook about, I didn't get very many responses, so since I didn't get much feedback, that blog post is on hold for now. So if you haven't responded yet, think thru it and email me back!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winter Suffocation

Our family loves to get outside. Any chance we get, we go out for walks, go to playgrounds, jog (occasionally), go to the beach (in the summertime :) ), go for walks, go for walks, go for walks...

So in the winter, we suffocate. Our lives are totally different in the summer vs. in the winter. I wouldn't be as much of an outdoors person were it not for my husband, but after being with him for so long, I have come to love the outdoors, and crave it.

In the summer, I take Maddy to the playground almost every single day. The sun is out, it's warm, and we crave the fresh air. We pretty much go home to each lunch and take naps, and then we go back out. It's hard to get housework done because I don't want to be stuck in the house cleaning, I want to be outside enjoying the sun with my daughter.

Then comes the winter. Now, winter is one thing when you don't have kids. But when you live in a big city in a little apartment with a crazy 3 year old person with tons of energy, it's enough to drive you crazy!!! It's soooo different. We go from being outside every day, to not at all. We have limited "running" room. We take Maddy out into the hallways of our apartment building to run out her energy. This past winter, we started taking her downstairs with her Barbie tricycle and having her ride around. I even encouraged her to do a mini "triathalon" and run some laps, ride her bike, and pretend to swim. Tad would regularly take her and they would do the stairs up our 9 story building and then take the elevator down to our 2nd floor. This is truly city living at its finest.

And now that she is getting older, she is asking, "Is it summer? Do I have to wear my coat? Can we go swimming?" And how do you explain the seasons to a 3 year old who is just dying to run and run and run??? You can't.

It must be so different to have a big house for your toddler to run in. Or a backyard to let them run around in in the summer. Every bit of getting Maddy's energy out is a concerted effort on our part to get out of the apartment and make her run!!!

So my plea is this: Springtime, hurry up and come. My daughter is ready for you, we need the sunshine, and we are going crazy in this apartment!!!
the crazy northern city dwellers

Friday, March 26, 2010

Highlights from our Oklahoma Trip

My little man is getting so big!! Here he is with his aunts and sister swooning over him!!
Maddy seriously intaking that smore!!

We had a really fun bonfire!!

Maddy's first time trying rock climbing!!! Following in her aunts and uncles "footsteps"
I got a sweet new haircut by my sister-in-law who is studying cosmetology at the local tech school. She also gave me a free (amazing!!) hour-long facial. Thanks Lydia!!!

Maddy's aunt and her little brother have the same age span between them, Aunt Charity is 3 1/2 years older, and baby Judah is 3 1/2 years younger!!
(Tad playing Rock Band)

We had a great time on our visit to Oklahoma to visit Tad's family. This is what Tad did most of the time we were there. Playing some sort of video game, usually in the dark, and coming out of the room with blood shot eyes. I had to remind him that he was a dad, and I needed some help. LOL. He had a great time relaxing, and he really deserved it after working so hard the past year. The Oklahoma trips are usually his only breaks during the year.
So we look forward to when we make it down to Oklahoma again, and thank Grandma and Pops for the fun times and for letting us stay with them for yet another fun trip!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Sometimes, you have just one of those days when your kids wake up too early, you're spilling breakfast on the floor, both kids are screaming at once, and your coffee pot doesn't work. We've all been there as moms when we are out in public trying to get one or both of our kids to stop screaming while dropping our groceries on the floor, and trying to find our wallet all at the same time. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has these days. Yesterday was one of those days. I'm thankful that Maddy slept in until 630 am, but the feat of trying to get both kids to the zoo by myself, with a double stroller that doesn't work too well for us, was a difficult one. Judah just wanted to be held, and Maddy wanted to walk, so I was left pushing a big double stroller while I held my little blue marshmallow (Judah in his blue snowsuit) and tried to guide Maddy in our direction. But when Maddy fell face first on the pavement, then I had to put Judah down, pick Maddy up, console her, pick Judah back up, and keep pushing on.

It was a series of these kinds of situations all day long. We were suppose to be meeting a friend for a playdate at the 1030. But we didn't even leave our house until 1130. Needless to say we didn't get to see our friends, but we did have some fun while we were at the zoo. Sometimes you wanna just laugh at your seemingly impossible circumstances, but in the moment, you just wanna cry. I was glad for a good night sleep last night, my husband finally home after a double shift, and dinner with a good friend who has been out of the country for awhile.

And this morning, today, we start it all over again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Staying at Home

It's interesting being a stay at home mom. It's so much different than anything I have ever done. I have always been on my own, meaning, that I had my "own life" and came and went and did whatever I wanted to do. Now, my life revolves around two precious little people, and hardly around what I am doing for me. When I first became a mother 3 1/2 years ago (already!!) it really occurred to me that I had lost my freedom. Now I am used to walking out the door with a diaper bag and usually someone fussing about something, usually Madelynn not wanting to zip up her coat, or take the stairs, or wanting a teddy bear, or something dramatic!!!

Sometimes being a stay at home mom can be lonely, and I turn on the tv just to hear noise and to feel like I have some company. It's weird not going to work and getting a paycheck, and it's weird that my job is a 24/7 kind of job. Everything else I have ever done had an ending time (although all-nighters writing college papers didn't always feel like they had an ending time.) Some people don't realize the extreme amount of work it is to be a stay at home parent. It is a big job and that's why I love when someone said they are the CEO of their household.

I am convinced there are certain things you wouldn't learn unless you had kids. You just don't learn to put yourself aside and really focus on someone else until you are FORCED to!! You don't really have a choice but to completely focus on your kids because they need your 100 % attention and I am reminded of this again with the birth of our second, Judah.

So in closing this post, I will just say that being a stay at home mom, and just a mother in general, is one of the best if not the best thing in life so far. So rewarding and amazing and I am just glad that God has called me to this. I am enjoying this season in life!!! More on this topic in the future!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

First Post, March 1, 2010

Well, this is the first of hopefully many posts on this blog. Up until now, I was not a blogger. But I do love to write, document our family's adventures, post pictures, cook, show off my kids, etc. and now I can do all that on this blog!!
I am a stay at home mom, wife to Tad Davis, who I met at Moody Bible Institutde, and mother to 2 beautiful kids, Madelynn who is 3 1/2, and Judah, who is 2 months. I stay home and raise my kids in our little Chicago apartment, which can be hard in the long winter months, which we are in the middle of right now.
Tad works at the Four Seasons Hotel, seeing all kinds of famous people over the 4 years he's been there. He is a bellman/doorman, and he really enjoys his work and seeing celebrities!!
We like Chicago, but we never intended on staying there after we graduated from Moody, so the fact that we have been there ever since we graduated in 2006 is pretty crazy, but for now, we call it home.
We love to go on "urban adventures" in the city, so hopefully I will get to post some of these on this blog as well. We love long walks in the city, jogging along the lakefront, playing at the beach in the summer, finding fun free stuff for Maddy to do, going to the museums, and just being together as a family. Hopefully someone will enjoy reading about these adventures on this site!!!
Hope you enjoy our blog!