Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mustache Baby Shower and B-Day Fun!

This is a little overdue, but that's how I roll...  My sweet gal pals from Young Life, the ministry Mark worked for before we moved, threw a super cute baby shower for the little guy and I.  Aren't they all beautiful?  Oh, how I miss them.  It was very fun to catch up a bit and celebrate together.

Marvelous cupcakes from Oh My Cupcakes.  The Peanut Butter ones are to die for...cancel that.  They are to LIVE for.  Wait...you should live for Jesus, not cupcakes.  They are to EAT and enjoy like crazy.

Bacon, sausage, brown sugar.  Need I say more?  Jess, these were incredible.

Meet our little melon baby!  I think it weighs about as much as our REAL baby will!  

The theme of the baby shower was mustaches.  Can you tell?  Cute little mustache shoes for our buddy.

Yummy food all around.  I am friends with great cooks!

Our photo booth mustache shot.  

After the shower, the girls surprised me with a little birthday celebration - on TOP of the baby shower.  Crazyness, right?  Talk about being spoiled.  We got manicures at my favorite mani place in Sioux Falls.  Please take special notice of the color my fingernails are painted.  My conservative pale pink self has never been so bold and radical.  Hel-LO RED!

I would also like to mention that while we were galavanting around, the Young Life GUYS cleaned up the entire shower for us.  What gentlemen...

Supper at Granite City - another one of my faves.

Birthday dessert!  This brings back so many memories of Young Life camp.  We all looked forward to the ONE meal at camp that had THE big cookie for dessert!  Everyone at the table just dug in, without even bothering to serve up individual pieces, which is totally up my alley.  Granite City had their own version of the big cookie, so the Young Life gals and I dug in, ate after each other and shared all of our germs.  Heavenly.

 Such a fun day.  I was so blessed!  Love you all, Young Life friends!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

33 Weeks

33 weeks, friends.  We are down to the single digits!  Highlights of this season include...
  • Fun baby showers
  • Major kicking, squirming, and twisting around
  • Making final decisions regarding our birth plan
  • Lots of hiccups
  • Getting VERY excited to meet our little buddy in a few short weeks
  • Onesies.  What is it with those things?  They are adorable.  I find myself petting and squeezing and hugging little onesies just thinking about how fun it will be to have a little guy wearing one of them.
Not so fun things include...
  • Sleepiness.  Like, we are talking big time tiredness.  I am usually a high maintenance person when it comes to sleep.  I regularly require 8 hours of sleep...I regularly prefer 9.  I am little embarrassed to admit how many hours Pregnant Liza has been requiring lately...  Yikes.
  • Heartburn.  Holy smokes.  Shots of baking soda and Tums are my best friend - at least they take the edge off.  I have, however, discovered that a good bowl of ice cream before bed leads to the greatest, uninterrupted, heartburn-free sleep ever.  Lesson learned.  Tough life.  I GUESS I will have to make a habit of ice cream before bed....for the baby.
  • The uncomfortable season has begun...there just ain't enough room in my midsection for the both of us.  He is really hogging the space.
  • Shortness of breath...sometimes when I am just sitting still.  Ask my boss how I am handling the stairs in our office.  You'd think I just climbed a mountain or something...  Singing and leading worship for hours on end is getting increasingly ridiculous.
I would like to point out that the third trimester is still much, much better than the first.  I will take sleepiness and heart burn over vomited every day ANY day.  Praise the Lord for 33 weeks of a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lasagna-licious Soup

If you can believe it, I have more birthday celebration things to post about, but I will break up my bragging by posting a yummy new recipe.

The original is found HERE and is by Paula Deen.

At this time, I would like to mention how much I love Paula Deen.  She is funny, messy when she cooks, she is not afraid to stuff her face full of good food on camera, she says ya'll ALL the time, she is unashamed about using lots of butter and sugar, she is not a skinny cook, she seems super approachable, and above all, she is still classy, cute and sassy.

Giada, on the other hand...well, I suppose if you can't say anything nice you shouldn't say anything at all.  Fine.  Convicted.

For as much as I like Paula Deen, I adjusted a few things on her recipe to make it a bit healthier for us...yet still super yummy.  Like REALLY yummy.  Promise.

You should also know that I am a really no-fuss sort of cook, so you can rest assured that this is a really easy, dump and pour, you-can't-screw-this-up sort of recipe.

Here is MY recipe, adapted from Paula's:


  • 1 pound hamburger (I use ground chicken or turkey - you REALLY can NOT tell the difference.)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use the pre-minced kind in the jar and just dump a lot in.  We like garlic.)
  • A good pinch of ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 32 oz. box of chicken broth
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (get the kind that have basil, garlic and oregano already in them!)
  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of italian seasoning
  • some salt...  I don't know.  Just sprinkle some in until you feel good.
  • Noodles - I use 100% whole wheat noodles and you can't even tell.  Paula says to use about 2 cups, but I say add however many noodles you want.  It doesn't hurt either way.
  • 1 5-6 oz. package of shredded parmesan cheese (I get these packages in the regular shredded cheese section.)

In a big pot, combine ground beef/turkey/chicken, onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook over medium-ish heat until the meat is browned and crumbles.  I use really lean meat, so I don't even bother draining it at the end.

Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, italian seasoning and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes - whatever floats your boat.  Add noodles and simmer until the noodles are tender.  Dump in the bag of shredded parmesan cheese and stir it up until it melts.


PS - When I make this, I make two batches and freeze one for later.  This makes awesome leftovers and tastes better with every reheat!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Girls' Night Out Celebration

So, right after my family hit the road...after the Family Birthday Celebration...Mark immediately made me go take a nap...and I went kicking and screaming...  

Yeah, right.  Napping is practically my spiritual gift.

Anyway, he made me take a nap, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  In an hour or so, he woke me up, told me to get ready, handed me a hunk of cash to spend frivolously, and sent me to Sioux Falls for the night.  Little did I know, he had been working behind the scenes with some of my best gal pals to plan a super wonderful girls' night out celebration.

 My super wonderful friends arranged for an entire swanky salon in Sioux Falls to open on Sunday - just for us.  Two gals came in on their day off to spoil us and give us manicures.  It was delightful.

Lisha brought me some sort of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake with L-I-Z-A candles on it.  Leave it to her...

Soaking our toes...

Birthday goodies! 

And supper at Spezia.  Holy moly deliciousness.

Oh, how I love these girls.  They are just the greatest.  Alisha is one of the most selfless people I know.  She is hilarious, sarcastic, real and honest...and she is a killer gymnastics coach.  Shannon's laugh will inevitably make you laugh.  She always sees the best in people and has such a sweet heart...she is also a great roommate.  Danielle is one of the most strong, yet grace-filled people I know.  She has been through every-single-really-tough-thing in life, yet continues to press on with hope and trust in Jesus.  She is so smart.  If I am half the mama she is someday, I will be a happy camper.  

Did I mention I have great friends?.....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Family Birthday Celebration

Friends.  I am officially over the hill.  I'm 30.  THIRTY.  It was a fantastic birthday.  My family came to visit and kick off the birthday celebrations.  We started at Casey's Bakery, one of the highlights of our little town. Fantastic Dutch pastries and baked goods.  Delicious and not-so-nutritious.  Perfect for a birthday celebration.

Oh, and Casey's also has my all-time favorite coffee. Douwe Egberts.  Evidently, it's Dutch as well.  But Young Life friends, you can get your fill in Castaway Camp's kitchen.  Lucky you!  Pregnancy gurus, don't worry - it was decaf.

Mark surprised me with a cute little cake.  How fun is that?  

We burned off the pastry calories by going some serious thrifting in a nearby town.  I blew my birthday money on some treasures.  No pictures for this event, friends.  Thrifting is just too intense to stop and take pictures.

Later, we all went bowling.  Not to brag, but I was the best girl bowler.  The baby and I kicked some serious behind.

Sister picture.  My bowling ball is going to be the cutest.

Mark reserved a party room at a restaurant for supper and mom decorated the table with fun stamping things.  Leave it to my mama.  She is the party queen.  She even BRINGS parties to places.

We had cake for dessert.  Well, I did, anyway.  I may or may not have eaten straight from the cake...without cutting any slices.  

Don't judge me.  You get to do whatever you want on your birthday...especially your thirtieth.

I ALSO may or may not have had one of these cupcakes that my sister brought for breakfast the next day.  To those who have read my healthy food posts - I eat healthy on other days, so I can really celebrate these special occasions with sugar.  Moderation, folks...

And, believe it or not, this was only the start of the birthday extravaganza.  My family and friends are so good to me.  More to come!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

M&L Convo - Potty Training

If you were a fly on our living room wall, you would have overheard this conversation a couple of nights ago.  Enjoy.

Mark: Are you going to love the baby more than me?

Liza: No.  I won't.  I will love God, and then you, and then the baby.

M: But he is going to be REALLY cute.  Are you sure?

L:  Yeah, I'm sure.  I'll love you more. 

M:  How come?

L:  Well, the baby is going to poop his pants.  YOU don't poop your pants.

M: (smiling proudly) Nope!

......seconds of silence..........

Mark again:  Wait a second.  What happens when the baby is potty trained and doesn't poop his pants any more?  THEN are you going to love him more?  .....great.

......a few more beats of silence......

M: We are never potty training our kid.  
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