34 weeks

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As soon as I hit 30 weeks I started feeling like my old self again, mostly because I have my energy back! Alleluia! Although day light savings really hit me hard this year. The kids however, are completely unfazed by daylight savings. Like, what?! Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? I can’t seem to get to bed at a normal hour, but yet I am up at the crack of dawn. Nonetheless, my third trimester energy still has me chugging along! This pregnancy really makes me wonder if excessive nesting is considered an actual pregnancy symptom. If so, I totally have it. I honestly don’t think I have ever nested as much as I am with this little pumpkin. My afternoons are no longer filled with book reading and napping while the kids rest. Instead I am scrubbing, washing, organizing, and cooking. It’s a little out of control but I can’t say I mind having a clean house for once in 8 months! The other day Jack said, “Wow mom, our house is really clean, it’s never this clean! Good job!” Thanks Jack.

So you know how everyone always tells you swimming during pregnancy is so good for you but you never do it because its so much work to just do it? Well I finally tried it this pregnancy and, guys, it’s the best ever. I wish I had started swimming earlier in my pregnancy. Third trimester swimming is a dreamboat. The second you hit that water all your back, hip, and leg pains vanish and for a moment, and you don’t even realize you are carrying the weight of the baby. Plus swimming has helped my swollen ankles tremendously. Swimming a couple mornings a week with the kids has been so relaxing and honestly with this winter we have had, much needed. Swimming is just about the only thing I am allowed to do with this pregnancy which is what forced me to try it out—so happy I did!

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My third trimester cravings have been salads all day long. Seriously I can eat salad for breakfast lunch and dinner. My favorite has been arugula, cabbage, spinach, shaved almonds, feta, and squeezed lemon for the dressing. A restaurant that we frequent for girls night makes a killer Caesar salad that they serve with lemon wedges on the side and that’s what got me hooked on lemon juice as a dressing. So good! Another favorite of mine has been spinach, arugula, feta, granny smith apples, dried cranberries, shaved almonds, with a drizzle of vadalia onion dressing. When I am not craving salads I am craving a crisp, bubbly, Coke. This annoys me because I don’t drink soda really and lately it’s all I want. We have been stocking up on “Mexican” Coke (Coke made with real sugar instead of HFCS) at Costco and it comes in the old fashion glass bottles, it’s real fancy. Plus with all the freezing temperatures we have been having, if we leave the bottles in the garage fridge they end up with the perfect amount of frozen slush in them. Coke slushies!

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I only have one minor complaint and that’s SLEEP. I expect to be uncomfortable at night at this point, but it must be a fourth pregnancy thing because I am way more uncomfortable than my last pregnancies. Being uncomfortable along with daylight savings, and 3 early riser little boys, has me slightly sleep deprived.  I am not one of those parents that can function on no sleep and my husband can surely attest to my friendliness after getting little shut eye. When mama doesn’t sleep, the whole house knows it. I just keep telling myself that we get a baby after all this is done! Another tiny, beautiful, human that God is blessing us with and trusting us to care for. Suddenly sleep doesn’t seem so important at all and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Baby will be here before we know it and I just can’t wait! I can’t wait to see what the baby looks like and find out if we are adding another sweet little boy to our broad, or a precious little girl.

This may or may not be my last pregnancy update post–I am not quite certain yet. If you want baby updates be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram– I am sure we will be posting updates.

 

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Clean house, clean mind

scrubbing away (3)This past weekend I cleaned our house from top to bottom. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I did this which is super embarrassing, but for real, it’s been way too long. It was one of those cleans that you literally are scrubbing floors and tubs with a toothbrush to get every last piece of grime and dirt off. One of those cleans that even the trim, baseboards, and walls get some much needed scrubbing. One of those cleans that is just therapeutic in a way? Besides thinking of how much my whole body was going to hurt the next day, I thought about my promises to myself during this season of lent. Would I be able to keep those promises or would I fail?

scrubbing away (1) And it got me thinking just how many failures I keep track of in my head. The answer is: way too many. I just couldn’t help but think as I was scrubbing the tub tiles with all my might, of just how God scrubs our sins away and allows us to start fresh day after day, sin after sin, time after time again. How lucky are we that we get so many chances to try to get it right even though God knows full well that we will sin again. God never considers me a failure, so why do I think it’s ok to equate my worth with how many things I fail at? As women and mothers especially, we can’t equate our worth with our “failures” or we will never win. More often than not I am constantly in my head counting the tasks I didn’t get done for the day, or the amount of time my kids watched movies instead of playing a game, or beating myself up about the way I handled disciplining one of the kids, just reminding myself of all the things that I failed at throughout the day.

scrubbing away We need to remember that even if we feel like we got nothing accomplished during the day that we are accomplishing the most important task of our lives: raising our children, and raising them well. Whether we have a day where we let them sit in front of the t.v. for way too long because we just need a break, or one of those days where we are doing projects and reading stories all day long, we are doing something great. Our children will never remember all the failures of each day that we keep track of, they will only remember the moments we spent with them and the memories we make with them. My wish for myself and for all moms, is that we stop measuring our success by our failures and we start patting ourselves on the back a lot more often. Our job is extremely hard but at the end of the day if we send our worries and failures to Him, he will let us start anew. Let the grime build up for a while, you will get around to it sometime. In the meantime, tickle those toes, build forts, and kiss those pudgy cheeks before they are gone.

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As my body will be paying for this deep clean for a few days (thank goodness I have a chiro apts all week!), the rejuvenation that my soul received in the process is worth the pain and then some. God knew I needed to slow down and come back to him amongst all the chaos in my life right now, so he gave me this day to clean and reflect. After all, isn’t that what lent is all about?  Therefore I also blame God for letting my house get as dirty as it was because it was all for His cause. It’s ok, I forgive you. Also I love you dearly.

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Our space // Jack’s room

As our move approaches I am starting to photograph our current home, room by room, for sentimental reasons. We loved our cozy little home from the very first time we walked through the front door, so much so that we put an offer in the same day. As much as we loved it that day over 4 years ago, we adore it even more now that we have transformed each room to reflect our family. I want to capture every little detail for our photo albums and I thought it would be fun to share with you some of “our space” before we set off to our new home. So join me for a room by room tour of the Holzmann abode, we hope you like it as much as we do. This is our space.

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Add Jacks roomFirst up—Jack’s bedroom–probably my favorite room in the house because of how much fun it was to put together. Jack and I spent months finding pieces for his room and the end result was greater than the original vision I had by far.

Jacks room tour (9)Jacks room tour (6)The décor style for each room always seems to start with one single piece for me. This piece for Jack’s room was the big pirate ship on his wall. We found the ship thrifting one day for 6$, and then from there, we developed the idea to do a voyage themed room. I am not one for “themed” rooms so I wanted the room to have a theme without really feeling like we just ordered an entire bedroom set from Pottery Barn. We pulled inspiration from tons of catalogs and colors from different pieces we found at thrift shops.

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When we were looking through a magazine to get wall color inspiration, Jack found a room with the navy striped walls that he really liked. From there everything just seemed to come together. Jack’s last room was a colorful Dr. Seuss room and so I wanted this room to be slightly more sophisticated, but also still very much a little boys room. Almost every piece in his room is thrifted from somewhere or another which is probably why it remains my favorite room in the house. I will always remember what fun we had picking each treasure out, one by one, and the exciting feeling of finding “perfect” pieces for the room. Jacks room tour (7) Jacks room tour (5)
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I was so sad to be done decorating this room that afterwards I immediately started re-docrating our master bedroom! I guess once you get the decorating itch you can’t be stopped.

Feel free to comment below with any questions about items in Jack’s room. Like I said, most of them were thrifted but there are a few items that were purchased new–I would be happy to point you in the right direction of an item. As always thanks for stopping by and stepping into our home –remember this is the first part of a series on The Holzmanns, so be sure to check back to see more of our home.

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Chicken quinoa & broccoli casserole w/bacon

broccoli bacon casserole

There are just a handful of things we need to do to our house before selling, so we have been working hard on a few projects around the house for the last few days. Sunday we bought a new kitchen sink and faucet and while researching the cost for a plumber to install it for us, Ralph and I thought he could do it himself. After a few hours and a trip to the store for drains (who knew those don’t come with a sink when you buy it? crazy), success! Ralph is very handy around the house but this was impressive! He saved us 300$ and the sink looks beautiful!

The next thing on our list was fixing cracked plaster in our downstairs bathroom and repainting the walls. I was planning on calling someone to do it for us, but I was feeling confident vibes from the successful sink installation– so off to the hardware store I went. It took me about 5 hours and I will spare you my whining about how I can barley move my body because I am so sore, but I did it! The bathroom looks so fresh and new. This may sound like a lame feat to you crazy do-it-yourselfers (you guys seriously rock), but we are not you. We have lists and lists of projects but then with the kids and our schedules we can never seem to find time. We always end up hiring someone to make it easier but I know most of it we could really do ourselves.  So this plumber guy and  plastering lady are high-fiving all day over here!

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So besides that we are still getting things ready for baby around the house, at least as much as we can until we move. If you’re a frequent reader you know how rough my pregnancy has been, but I am telling you, this third trimester is bliss. I may be sore all the time but I get incredible energy for most of the day, which allows me to cook and clean! I can’t express how amazing this feels after months of my body not allowing me to do these things. Granted by 4pm I am spent from working on things all day, but its worth it! I am back to my weekly meal schedules and this broccoli quinoa recipe made my list this week by the word bacon alone. Besides being incredibly tasty, this casserole is so simple that you don’t even need to cook the quinoa ahead of time. The only part that takes time is frying the bacon and I suppose if you really wanted to you could skip that part. I highly recommend you don’t though…..for obvious delicious reasons. Go make this. If not for it’s ooey gooey-cheesy-ness, do it for the BACON.

Chicken quinoa & broccoli casserole w/bacon
Author: 
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (your choice)
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or your choice)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets

Instructions
  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, bring the chicken broth and ½ cup of milk to a boil. Whisk in the rest of the milk and the poultry seasoning.
  2. Next whisk in flour until creamy sauce forms.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix the sauce from the stovetop with one cup of water, the quinoa and the bacon.
  4. Pour the mixture into a butter greased 9×13 pan.
  5. Cut chicken into strips and place on top of quinoa mixture.
  6. Season, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  7. Next put broccoli in boiling water on the stovetop for 1 minute or until it turns bright green.
  8. Run under cold water and set aside.
  9. Remove casserole from oven and make sure quinoa is done. (you will be able to tell if the germ has popped open to form a little spiral)
  10. It may need to go back in for an additional 15 minutes or so depending on your oven.
  11. When casserole is done toss in the broccoli, cover with cheese and bake again just until the cheese is melted.

Thanks to Lindsay from Pinch of Yum for yet another great recipe!

 

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Fresh Waldorf salad

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Today is Ralph’s 27th birthday. When it’s my birthday I want the royal treatment. I want to be pampered and waited on. Not Ralphy. He woke up just like any other day, made us all eggs and toast, took all the garbages out, did the dishes that I left from the night before, and helped me get the kids off to school. Every morning his selflessness amazes me and his birthday is no exception. Among many other great qualities, one of Ralph’s greatest qualities is putting others before himself. Although his life is incredibly busy and stressful with his work load, he is always thinking of ways to not only help make my life easier ,but for everyone that he cares about. He is one of those people who does really nice things for people who he doesn’t even know and wants no recognition for it. Most times I will find out months later about something generous he did for someone because he doesn’t even tell me. 8 birthdays ago was the first birthday I got to celebrate with Ralph and he still makes my heart flutter just the same. And only people who make my heart flutter get fresh Waldorf salad in the fridge for the week!

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You know those salads with apples, whipped cream, and snickers that someone always brings to a baby shower or get together? Those are my favorite. This recipe reminds me of those salads but a little bit healthier? Maybe, maybe not. When I came across this recipe I had written down ages ago, it sounded so refreshing and I thought it would be perfect to keep in in the fridge all week for a snack. Oh and it didn’t disappoint! It turned out beautiful and so yummy. The kids thought it was ice cream with fruit in it. Jokes on you kids. This salad isn’t totally bad for you if you use the right ingredients; it’s just bad-ish for you. The sugar is the only thing really, but as long as it’s real organic cane sugar we will all live to see another day I think. So whip this up for your next get-together and everyone will want your recipe! I am curious to see how it keeps in the fridge this week, I will get back to you on that.

 

Ingredients
  • 5 apples, your choice, diced (unpeeled)
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits (drained)
  • 1 cup seedless red and/or green grapes, cut in half
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 8-ounce carton whipped topping or favorite whipped cream

Instructions
  1. In a small pot, whisk together sugar, flour, cream, butter and juice.
  2. Heat on medium until boiling.
  3. Remove from stove and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Fold in whipped topping.
  5. Mix with fruit and nuts just before serving.

 

Here is my favorite post I wrote last year about Ralph in case you want to know more about my Mr. Wonderful. The birthday boy requested a chocolate chip cheese cake (his favorite), my Merlot meatballs, lobster bisque (courtesy of Costco!), and loaded baked potato crisps. Works for me. Happy Monday playas.

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