Sunday, June 30, 2013

fresh pico, a summertime favorite.

I’m not sure what it is about the summer that I just crave fresh veggies and fruits from the garden. I could live off of it and be perfectly happy. Last weekend we ventured to the farmers market to stock our fridge full of home grown goodness. In addition to our typical squash, zucchini, and watermelon, I also grabbed ingredients for one of my all-time favorite summertime snacks, pico de gallo. Its so easy to make, and on a hot summer afternoon, it makes a nice light snack with lots of flavor.





3-4 Roma Tomatoes

1/2 Small white onion

3 Jalapenos

1 small handful of cilantro (approx 1/2 cup chopped)

Salt, pepper, a dash of sugar, and lime juice to taste.


I don’t measure anything- it’s all by taste and eyeballing what looks right.  Be sure to de-seed the jalapenos or your mouth will be on fire! The sugar cuts the acidity, but doesn’t make it sweet. You simply chop up all the ingredients, mix, and enjoy!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

pacifier weaning and mama aches.




If you’re like me, you know there are things in motherhood that you have a love hate relationship with. If you’re really like me, its the pacifier. In those first months,  I spent weeks upon weeks praying my child would take a pacifier. All I needed was a few moments of peace, for him to actually NAP without me holding him, and to not want to nurse every minute of every day. If you asked me 18 months ago about the pacifier, I would have begged you to teach my child about the magical powers it had. Sure enough, Landon got the hang of it, and it quickly made life more bearable…and made this mama more sane.

But it seems that as soon as you realize your child is hooked on his pacifier and you praise God above for giving you some peace, you start to dread the day you have to take it away.

My goal initially was to have Landon weaned somewhere around eighteen months. But lets be honest, eighteen months came quickly and we, or maybe I, wasn’t ready. I knew we had summer vacation coming up in August, and just figured I would save the inevitable for AFTER that long car ride. (Hey, I need some peace on vacation too!) I wasn’t pushing it, and really wasn’t that concerned about it right now. But apparently Landon is more independent minded than I thought, because he had other plans.

Last Tuesday I arrived to pick Landon up after work only to find out that my sweet baby had successfully taken a nap without his pacifier. WHAT?! How did that happen?! I was hit with a mix of emotions, beyond excited but that tinge of heartache knowing he was growing up, all on his own. For me, the pacifier was a physical object that kept Landon a ‘baby.’ For some odd reason, in the back of my head, seeing him with the pacifier kept him tiny, and the second that was gone he was a little boy. It may sound silly, but in my weird mama mind, that’s how I felt.

There really is no rhyme or reason as to how Landon was weaned from his pacifier. I have no secrets to share, or wise tips and tricks from some parenting book I read. All I can say is that apparently Landon has found a new friend, George the monkey. And there’s been no looking back. Landon has now been four days pacifier free. YAY! It has gone super well, and he really doesn’t seem to miss it. Which is a huge relief. I really dreaded taking that pacifier away from him. I knew that sleepless nights would ensue, toddler tantrums would fill our evenings before bedtime, and in my mind there was no way it would go smoothly. Landon surprised me though, as he does from time to time. I had nothing to do with this. He did it all on his own, and that is what blows my mind. I know that this is the first of many milestones that he will accomplish all on his own. And while it tugs at my mama heartstrings, there is no greater feeling than knowing, he is mine. I couldn’t be more proud.

So here I sit in that limbo that we mamas often do. Simultaneously feeling that deep ache knowing he is growing up, and that fullness that comes with the joy of watching him do it. I can only imagine if I am feeling this sentimental about a dang pacifier I will be one big blubbering mess when he hits his first homerun, or goes to the prom, or graduates, or goes off to college. Dear Lord, help me.

Buckle up mama, you’ve got a long, emotional road ahead of you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

slowing down


Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.

Ann Voskamp



(morning snuggles with my little man)



I have been loving some Ann Voskamp lately. I’ve always loved her, but it really doesn’t matter how many times I read, or re-read her book, each time I find new points in it that just speak straight to my soul. Its so so good. And so needed.

I think that sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we get so caught up in documenting and doing that we forget the being part. Which is so important. My morning routine is a perfect example. I wake up, hop in the shower, rush to get ready and throw on my scrubs. I go into Landon’s room wake him up, feed him breakfast, change his clothes, and walk out the door. Rarely is there a minute to play or rest or snuggle, we are focused on getting out the door to begin our day. Let me just say, I am so thankful that I am in a job that allows me to be here in the mornings with Landon and to do the whole drop off routine. But am I really here if we are just rushing to get there?

Last Thursday we miraculously got ready with about 15 minutes to spare. But I didn’t even realize it until I was already backing down the driveway. I got to the end of the driveway, glanced at the clock and only then realized it wasn’t time to leave yet. So I pulled back in the garage, unloaded Landon, and we headed straight for the couch to watch a few minutes of cartoons and snuggle…and it was pure heaven. Why, WHY don’t I do this every morning with him?

I can’t say that I’m going to somehow overnight become the mom that wakes up two hours before work. I’m not a morning person. I haven’t been a morning person in 26 years and don’t really see that changing. :) But I do think there’s something to be said for not constantly being in a hurry. Not missing out. Not missing now.

That, I can work on.

Baby steps, people.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Just a quick post reminding y’all to follow me on bloglovin! Click the link in my sidebar so you can keep up with us and our summer adventures!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

its not just baseball


One of my favorite things about this time of year is the abundance of baseball. Its on television every night, and on most nights driving around town you will see the glow of the lights on at the local ballpark.

You see, this sport has been a part of my life since before I can really remember. I grew up in a really small town. My mom is a teacher, my dad is an accountant, and they still live in the same North Carolina town that they raised my sister and I in. Growing up we lived just a quick two block walk from our town’s high school, and most nights during the summer my dad would walk us down to the baseball field behind the school to watch the American Legion games. We would usually wander back home before the game was over. I would crawl into bed far too awake, so I would lay there with the windows open listening to the announcer, the cheers of the crowd, and the crack of the bat. Those were some of my most favorite summer nights.

When I was in elementary school, my parents signed me up for softball. Coach pitch turned to slow pitch, which turned to fastpitch. I played for the middle school team, the varsity high school team, and a tournament team. At one point I was playing on four different teams. I attended camps, clinics, private pitching lessons. You name it, we did it. My days consisted of school, practice, sleep, games on weekends. I grew up at the ballpark, and I loved every minute of it. Looking back, those years were my favorite. It was fun, and exciting, and in the strangest of ways it was therapeutic. The crack of the ball on the bat, the thump of a perfect pitch in the catchers mit, it was comforting. I cannot tell you how many days I would come home frustrated from school and my dad and I would play a game of catch, re-hash my bad day, and 100% of the time after a few minutes of tossing the ball around I would have forgotten all about what had happened. 

Fast forward to college, and I met my husband, John. We instantly bonded over our love of sports. And long before we were actually dating we would meet each other at our college stadium to watch the games. It was not unusual at all for us to be driving by the field, see the lights on, and swing in to watch a few minutes of practice or scrimmage. We would talk strategy, rules, great plays, and big moments. And when we couldn’t talk baseball anymore, we just enjoyed each other’s company.

Some people say the game is boring or too slow. They like the excitement of sports like football, with their constant action. But me? Baseball is the perfect sport. Its appreciating the art of the perfect curve ball, the thrill of a squeeze play ending in your favor. Its the smells of hot dogs, popcorn, and freshly mowed grass all mixed into one, the hum of the big lights, and the intensity of perfect no hitter. 

With the College World Series on television right now, I find myself a bit nostalgic for those memories I have. And I have to say, I’ve looked forward each night to coming home, watching the games, and for just a little while being the John and Katie who didn’t have anything else to worry about besides who the Pirates played that weekend. It even has me itching to dig out my old glove and ball and wander outside for a game of catch.

Even before having kids was part of the picture, I knew I wanted to share my love of the sport with my sons and daughters, and now having Landon, I cannot wait to teach him how to catch a fly ball, perfect his swing, and learn the game that taught me so much about life, hard work, love, and everything in between.

Summer To Do

About this time every year I get that feeling. That moment of deep dark regret, that moment of “what in this world was I thinking?”

You know the feeling. We’ve all had it at some point in our lives.

Like clockwork, those summer months roll in with all their fun stuff to do and see and experience, and like clock work I wonder, Why in the world am I not a teacher? I mean really.

Ohhh, all your little facebook status updates of “LAST DAY! WHOOHOO!” and “Off for three months!” I’m pretty sure you’re going to drive me to deactivate my account. I. Cannot. Take. It. 

Okay I’m finished whining. Truth is, I love my job, and while I would love it more if summers free were included, they just aren’t. But I am determined that my working five days a week will not, you hear me, WILL. NOT. put a damper on our summer excitement. Its time to live in the warm sunshine, to be barefoot, to stay up late and to enjoy all there is to be offered before the chilly days of fall are back with us.

Pinterest has been a great source for summer to-do lists, all you mama’s out there with your free time have made my to do list making a little easier. So today I’m sharing our sweet little list of fun. Some we’ve already accomplished, some we will be doing more than once, and some…well some might just not happen. At any rate,  here’s to Summer 2013!


summer to do list

What’s on your summer to do list??

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Landon / Eighteen Months

Dear Landon,

The past three months have absolutely flown by. You have changed and grown up so much, it seems like overnight you went from baby to little boy. I ache everything I look at you and you seem so big. I should have done a better job of writing down what has taken place over the past few months, but I didn’t, so I will do my best to remember, and hope I don’t forget anything important!


At eighteen months you weigh _ and are _ inches tall.  (I will fill in those blanks after your doctors appointment, that I’ve yet to schedule…) You wear 12-18 month clothes, size 4 diapers, and size 5 shoes.

Favorite foods: You are really a pretty good eater. I’m so proud of your diet, and that you really try anything we give you. Some of your favorites are strawberries, blueberries, and bananas; grilled cheese, spaghetti, barbeque, yogurt, pickles, cucumbers and tomatoes dipped in ranch dressing, chicken with barbeque sauce, mac and cheese, and cheese and peanut butter crackers. The hard part is that one day you will gobble something up, and the next you won’t want to touch it!


We gave you peanut butter about a month ago for the first time. I felt pretty good about giving it to you before the recommended 2 year mark. You loved it! Needless to say peanut butter crackers are a staple snack in your diet now. :)

You finally have taken an interest in books and almost nightly will come shove a few in my lab and proceed to climb up on the couch and snuggle in while we read them. I don’t hate it. :)

Your vocabulary has really started to grow- you say “Ga” (Dad), “Gan-Goo” (Thank You), Go-gie (Josie), Maggie (Maggie), Meeelk (Milk), Bye, Hey, “There it is” (I have no idea how to type that like you say it!), “Ki-Ki” (Callie), O-gan (Logan), I-yuh (short for I love you). Those are just a few that I’ve been able to keep track of, it seems like everyday there’s something new.


I can tell you understand way more than you will speak. For instance, when a plane flies over you always watch it and say “Bye!” but don’t say airplane. If we ask you questions like, “Do you want some milk?”, you will nod your head yes.  If I ask you where something is you turn your hands up like “I don’t know” and start to look for it. When we build block towers you say “whoooaaah!” all excited. You point when you hear birds chirp, And you follow directions really well! Its so fun to be able to communicate with you more and know that you are actually understanding some of what we are saying to you.

In May we went to New Bern to visit Aunt Becky and Uncle Tommy. Grammy and Papa Dave were there too! We went to an ECU baseball game and spent the weekend enjoying everyone’s company. Traveling with you at this age is a little more challenging because you sleep less and want to get out and play more, and don’t understand why you can’t.


We celebrated Mother’s Day. And let me just say Landon, I am so blessed to be your mama. You have made my heart so full and it is the greatest honor to get to be yours. I love you baby boy!

Warmer weather finally showed up, and along with warmer weather came strawberries. You LOVE them, and loved going strawberry picking. I’m pretty sure the pictures speak for themselves.

We also ventured to the pool for the first time this summer. I am so proud of you and how much you love water. Once you got used to the water, you were kicking and splashing, and even put your face in the water on your own. You love to be tossed in the air, and when we dunked you, you came up smiling. I can’t wait for the rest of the summer and playing at the pool. You are such a water baby.


Most afternoons we come home and play outside in your sand/water table, in the sprinkler, or go for walks. You are an outdoor boy, and would live outside from sun up to sundown if we would let you.

You LOVE giving “big squeezy hugs” as we call them. They’re the biggest bear hugs I’ve ever seen and we can’t get enough of them. You also are known to plant big ol wet kisses on us at any given moment. You’re the loving-est baby ever. Its precious.


You are silly, curious, energetic, happy, content, independent, playful, giggly, and perfect, and we are so blessed to call you ours, sweet boy. I can only pray that you feel as loved as you are and know that we would do anything in this world for you. Our lives are brighter, and fuller because you are a part of them.

We love you Landon! Happy 18 Months!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

little fish

Well, today was our first trip to the pool this summer. I am proud to report that Landon still loves the water (as if there was every any doubt). After just a few minutes he was kicking, splashing, and even dunking his face underwater, loving every second. It makes me so so proud to have a baby who loves swimming!

DSC_0112 DSC_0118 DSC_0120DSC_0149

Happy Summer!!

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