Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful for:
  • My husband Jon. I would not trade him for anything, except maybe coffee, but probably not.
  • My daughter Brooklyn. She is hilarious! I laugh everyday with her around.
  • My son Travis. When he smiles my heart explodes. That's a good thing.
  • My huge family. They have made me the crazy person I am.
  • My husbands family. They are amazing.
  • Coffee! Without which nothing would get done.
  • Digital Cameras. Without pictures I have no memories.
  • Facebook and Blogs. Don't judge me, you are too!
...and so much more.

I am so blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sick and cozy...

This is what we have been doing for the past three days. Brooklyn came down with a crazy cough and sore throat on Thursday night, so we have been laying around watching movies. I'm just thankful that she has this next week off of school so she can rest.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

7 weeks old

As of yesterday my son Travis is 7 weeks old. Seriously? It feels like he has been a part of our family for much longer than that. Maybe that's because I am attached to him, or more accurately he is attached to me, 24 hours a day. The boy thinks that if he is awake he should be eating and that if he is breathing he should be in my arms. 99% of the time I am alright with this...I actually love the closeness that I feel with him. There are times though (the other 1%) when all I want is to take a long hot bubble bath with a book and a glass of wine. **sigh** Someday. Until then I will enjoy my baby snuggle time;It goes by way too fast.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

A couple weeks ago I was reading my friend Mary's blog and found a recipe for Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing. I am not one of those people who love to be in the kitchen experimenting with random recipes...I wish I could be, but I am not. I have a few simple recipes that I make and that's it. I am not a fan of recipes with 27 ingredients. A dash of this and a pinch of that and an oodle of something else; it's just not my thing. Right in the title of her blog post is "5 ingredients or less". Heck yeah! Now that's the kind of recipe I can get excited about! Add to that the fact that the name of the recipe alone had me salivating and I just had to try it.

Yesterday me, Jon and the kids went grocery shopping and I got the few things we needed to make the recipe...I was so excited! We got home and I started right away browning the pork chops and making the stuffing. As I was spreading the apple pie filling in the bottom of the pan I was giddy with excitement and Jon was in the living room trying to recover from the shock of seeing his wife in the kitchen. I took the browned pork, layed it on the apples, then covered them with the stuffing and then foil before popping the whole thing in the oven.

The recipe was everything I had hoped for it to was simple and fast and the way the flavors mingled was amazing. I will definitly make this again, but next time I plan to use thinly sliced fresh apples instead of the very sugary pie filling.

Thanks for the recipe Mary! Keep the easy ones coming for those of us who are Kitchenly Challenged:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Today was gorgeous. This afternoon we loaded up the family in the car and headed out to a local walking trail. Brooklyn rode her bike while Jon and I walked with Travis in the stroller. It was so nice to get out in the fresh fall air and get a little exercise with the family. I hope to do this more felt amazing.

Jon, Brooklyn, Amy and Travis getting ready for the walk.

Take 2: I'm not used to taking family of 4 self portraits

She loves to ride her bike.

Me and my girl...

Oops! How did this one get in here?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gingerbread and Family Traditions.

With the beginning of the holiday season comes all the gingerbread stuff which reminds me of my experience of baking gingerbread cookies for the first time. This is a blog from December of 2006:

Before Thanksgiving I was reading a magazine and there was an article about people's favorite things about Christmas. One woman wrote that there was nothing better than the smell of Gingerbread baking. I have never made them. My family has never made them-at least not when I was around. I decided that I was going to start a new Culp Family Tradition for Christmas-Baking gingerbread men (and women).

About a week ago I was talking to my sister Fish on the phone and I told her about my newest tradition. She asked me if I had ever tried them and I said no. She laughed at me and suggested that perhaps I should try them before I decided to make them a tradition. I told her that I just didn't care. I liked the idea of Gingerbread men(and women) being a Christmas tradition for my family; that Brooklyn would one day grow up and make them for her children and that the smell of them would bring back memories of Christmas Past. I even told her that even if they were nasty I would make nasty cookies every year because it was a tradition-I think I may be a little stubborn:)

Today I drove to a couple different stores looking for the cookie cutters...the gingerbread man shaped one was everywhere, but I couldn't find the one shaped like a woman-with a skirt as opposed to wearing pants as if that really indicates the sex of a cookie, but it was the principle. I finally found her in a 20 pack of christmas cookie cutters at Bed Bath and Beyond. Score!!! I went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients that I would need to bake gingerbread cookies as well as sugar cookies. I pulled out my cookbook and flipped to the recipe so excited to start my great new tradition. I made the dough for the sugar cookies and put them in the fridge and then I started on the gingerbread. Halfway through the mixing I noticed the nastiest smell but ignored it hoping that it would get better-it just had too! When I finished mixing the dough the smell seemed even worse but I thought, "Well, it is supposed to be refrigerated for at least two hours, maybe the smell will be not so bad then. Or maybe it smells oh so much better once it's baking in the oven. That is what that lady in the article said....that the smell of it baking was wonderful."

Fast forward a couple hours.....I finished baking the sugar cookies-yummy!!! Now on to the gingerbread!!! I pulled the bowl out of the fridge and opened the lid expecting to inhale this heavenly scent-despite the fact that three hours prior the smell had made me want to jump out a window. What I smelled hit me like a brick wall and sent me into a gag attack that would make any bulimic proud. It was even nastier then before! All I could think of was the poor woman whose fondest memory of Christmas was the stench of this wretched stuff baking. Oh the poor woman! What kind of torture has she endured in her life to make this seem pleasant? Once my stomach stopped turning I laughed at myself and dialed my sister Fish. I knew she would get a kick out of my new "tradition" and what a flop it had turned out to be. We laughed and then I would smell it again(out of morbid curiosity-you would too)and then the gagging would start again which would make Fish laugh harder. I threatened to smear some on a card and mail it to her so she could share in my pain, but decided that the postman did not deserve that. Needless to say Gingerbread men will not be a Culp Family Tradition, but this story will be told every year at every family gathering and pretty much any time gingerbread is mentioned.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Listen to me! I'm the MOM!

Brooklyn is going through a phase where she won't answer me and has the biggest attitude about the tiniest task I ask of her and it is driving me crazy.

I cried today. Sitting on the couch feeding the baby and bawling my eyes out.

Most of the time I feel like I am doing a pretty good job, but days like today I feel like a big I am faking my way through life as a parent.

After I prayed I felt much better:)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Loving every minute

So the laptop is back from the shop...Yay! That means that I can stay connected through blogs and facebook again.

One month ago today our son Travis was born. He has grown so so so much over the last month that i find myself staring at him to see if I can catch the exact second that he changes from one stage to the next. They just grow up way too fast. My house is a mess and some days I don't take a shower, but those are choices that I make so that i can enjoy this wonderful baby that God has gifted me with.

I love to watch him sleep...he smiles and laughs in his sleep. He laughs! I have never known a more pure joy than the sound of my tiny baby laughing. It is as if he is so filled with joy that it just bursts from within him. Such a blissful thing to witness and I don't ever want to miss it when he does this.

Even in the moments when he won't stop crying and I have done everything I can think of, I am filled with a love and joy so deep and thank God for that moment with my son. The son that I thought I would never have. I am so very blessed.

Brooklyn adores her little brother, but sometimes she resents him. She has had her parents all to herself for six and a half years. Then this little baby comes into our lives and changes everything so completely. I try to remember this when she acts up and I talk to her about what she is feeling and why. It helps so much to understand why a child is acting the way they are so that you know how to respond.

"A misbehaving child is a discouraged child" ~Jane Nelson, author of Postive Discipline
The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
~Jill Churchill