Waiting…& Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

In case you can’t tell from the title of this post…. no baby yet 😦 We are now only 3 days out from our due date and not much seems to have changed, although according to my doctor things are still moving in the right direction, so at least there’s that! I’ve cleaned all I can clean, run all the errands there are to run, done all the laundry there is to do and the nursery is completely finished. Nesting is officially complete so now we wait…and wait…and wait.

Ingredients

If our girl doesn’t arrive before her due date we are going to discuss inducing (induction?). My OB doesn’t like for you to go more than a week over your due date, and although I was initially very reluctant, I am becoming more open to the idea of being induced. I am not terribly uncomfortable physically but emotionally the anticipation and waiting has taken a toll and I am ready for a change. Above all else I am thankful for a still healthy and growing baby girl and that is the most important thing!

Wet and Dry

One thing that made the waiting slightly harder (but also so very exciting!) is that my good friend Lindsay who was due a few weeks after me had her baby boy a few weeks early on Tuesday! He is absolutely darling and they are both happy and healthy despite his early arrival. Seeing her little one definitely made me more ready for the arrival of our own, and I think finally made it more real for Robert! I’m still not sure he quite knows what he’s in for (um do I even know? Probably not) but I think he’s going to be great in the moment!

Chocolate Chips

When my friends give birth or are going through a major life event I am a big believer that the most helpful thing you can do is bring a meal. Bring a meal, then leave, to be precise. Not bring a meal and stay to share it or bring a meal and stay to be entertained for a few hours. I imagine that new parents have quite enough going on and often family around to entertain so I like to drop something hot off, hold the sweet babe for a minute if they so wish and then merrily be on my way. It’s been a tried and true formula that most people seem to appreciate so I highly recommend it.

Dough

I have a few go to recipes for times like these; Chicken and vegetable casserole, Sausage and Tortellini Soup (Can be prepared Gluten Free if need be!) and most recently Chicken and Poppyseed Casserole. None of these recipes qualify as health food but all are delicious and comforting which is exactly what you want during a time like that. I typically add a bagged salad to the casseroles to be made at their convenience, or a loaf of fresh bread to the soup and in the case of new mamas, I always bring lactation cookies. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Protein Balls & An Announcement

Yikes! No blog posts in over a month! I am feigning shock because lets be honest, this happens every summer (insert emoji with the grimmacing face here). Life is always busy but it seems to get infinitely busier when the weather is warm and despite school being out, I always seem to find myself with less ‘free’ time than ever. One of my goals for the coming year is going to be getting serious about practicing the art of saying “no”. That and more organization. Always more organization 😉

So why don’t we begin with a life update. Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to over the past month, besides not writing blog posts of course: In June, school ended, I put on a yearly event for the non-profit I work with (our biggest yet!), we attended two out of town weddings, Robert and I celebrated our three year anniversary with a fancy dinner out and a weekend getaway to Sea Island, Ga. (I hope to recap that little trip here soon) AND our favorite aunt and uncle officially moved to Hilton Head (Welcome Vanessa and John)!

John and Vanessa

In July, my whole family visited for the 4th, Robert’s whole family visited for a party at his aunts, we moved a LOT of furniture around (our house, friends houses, families houses…and by we I mean Robert), we hosted 3 dinner parties, had two sets of friends come stay for the weekend and a surprise visit from my grandparents. And that’s just the fun stuff!

4th

So now it is officially August and I am trying to get back on track, with blogging and with life in general, for now.

I say for now because there is still one big change that has added to life’s ‘busy-ness’ that I’ve yet to mention; as of this week I am officially 4 months pregnant.

Since discovering we were expecting again I have experienced a whole range of emotions; excitement, terror, awe, immense worry, sweet relief, an odd sense of guilt, pure unadulterated joy. You name it, I’ve experienced it at one time or another over the last few months. Losing a baby, especially your first pregnancy, changes your experience, or at least it did for me. Despite my best efforts, I worried through the first 11 weeks. I hoped that passing the point which we got to with our last pregnancy would calm my fears, and in a way it did, but I’d be lying if I said the worry didn’t creep back in…daily. Over the last few weeks, thanks to the passage of time, a finally visible baby bump and some scriptural words of wisdom I feel like I am finally turning a corner. I’m not yet at the point of visualizing a nursery, but I have begun to say, “when the baby comes” instead of ‘if’ the baby comes. It is both a scary and exciting time, and more than anything I am very, very happy.

ingredients

I am also very hungry. I typically have a hearty appetite but being A. pregnant and B. home for summer exacerbates it immensely. I tend to eat more if the food is close at hand so when I have access to my fridge all day long instead of only before and after work, I find myself opening it frequently. I consider myself to be a generally healthy eater, but if I don’t have something quick and healthy to grab when a hunger pang strikes, I have been known to substitute with a few bites of ice cream. Also don’t ask me to define “a few” when it comes to ice cream. I mean really.

Enter peanut butter protein balls. These perfectly fit the bill for quick and easy. They are also equally as tasty and definitely a lot better for you than ice cream. I got this particular recipe from a friend but as with any “ball” recipe, it is endlessly customizable. Sometimes I add coconut, or cinnamon, or whatever else I have on hand that will mix in well. So feel free to swap ingredients in and out as you see fit.

So with that, I leave you with these final thoughts: I’m going to try to start blogging more regularly again (and re-claiming some ‘free’ time while I still can), I hope you enjoy these protein balls and if you are the praying sort (or even just the finger crossing sort), say one for our little one ❤

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients:

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I actually use almond butter so any nut butter works)

1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed

1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Optional: chopped nuts, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, almond extract, etc.

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together thoroughly. I find it easiest to add the chocolate chips and any other chunky mix-ins last and fold them in.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container and enjoy at will! They will keep for at least a month in the fridge but I doubt yours will last that long 😉

 

Chewy No-Bake Tahini Nut Granola Bars

The summer time clock is ticking and back to school is inching closer by the second! My goal this week is to ease myself into the transition by waking up a little earlier each day. So far so good, we’ll see how well I stick to that plan once we get to my grandparents house on Friday. They are early risers so hopefully I’ll do the same, but there is something about their guest bedroom that makes me revert back to high school and want to sleep in as late as I can.

Ren Golfing
                  So long sweet summer…

As I mentioned in my last post, my mother and sister are here visiting for a few days until we head to my grandparents. They got in late last night and I can’t wait to spend some quality girl time. If the weather cooperates we plan to get some time in at the beach. It’s been extremely rainy over the last week so if that trend continues we’ll just have to do a little shopping instead. Needless to say, I’m A-OK with both of these options.

mom and Haley
Wedding dress shopping… hence the wine glass 🙂

Robert informed me last night that he has chosen my birthday present and that I shouldn’t make any plans for the weekend after next. I’m not sure what exactly this gift could be, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t a trip to Thailand or a puppy sister for Renly (My top two gift requests always). It’s probably not the workout tops I picked out either as those wouldn’t cause me to block out any time on my schedule. I’m thinking it may be a weekend getaway, but to where? I have no idea! I love to travel any and everywhere so I can’t wait to find out what he has up his sleeve. Sweet sneaky husband.

Nuts  Dry

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Watermelon Caprese Skewers

Happy Monday! Today marks the first full week of summer break and it is glorious! Renly has mastered sleeping in, I’m still working on it.

 Spring Break Renly

Robert and I had a big weekend; a family cookout Friday evening, a trip to Savannah Saturday to celebrate a friends wedding and we stayed busy Sunday celebrating our own first anniversary!

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Robert surprised me with gorgeous flowers, a beautiful gift and our wedding pictures when we arrived home from Savannah. He is so thoughtful and romantic (most of the time Winking smile).

 Anniversary Gift

After exchanging gifts we spent the afternoon paddle boarding and then went out for a delicious dinner. When we got home we watched our wedding video before bed, so glad we had that made to be able to re-live the day every year! If you are planning a wedding and are on the fence about a videographer, do it, you won’t regret it!

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It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since our own walk down the aisle. Despite a little rain, our wedding was absolutely perfect (as everyone’s should be!) and we enjoyed reminiscing about our special day and the past year. Robert and I dated for about 6 years before we got married, 4 of which were long distance, and we both agreed that this past year has been the best and easiest we have shared to date.

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Marriage is truly a blessing and there is no one I’d rather have by my side to help me navigate this sometimes tough, usually wonderful and always beautiful and exciting life.

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Ok, enough sappy stuff Smile Let’s rewind to Friday so I can share this tasty summer appetizer with you! Robert’s aunt and uncle came to town Friday and we decided to grill out for dinner. I’ve been asked to bring the salad to the last few family get togethers and was getting a little burnt out (not to mention running out of salad ideas!), so I was thrilled when I was asked to bring an appetizer this time.

 Drizzle

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Twice Baked Pumpkin Maple Pecan Granola

     Does that title make you feel instantly warm and cozy or what? I am perpetually cold and just typing it warmed my bones a little. I know the internet is inundated with pumpkin spice everything this time of year but ‘tis the season! This granola is not only seasonal, but also easy and delicious which seem appropriate for my first recipe post.

overflowing

 

I feel like granola sometimes gets a bad rap for being highly caloric, and many store bought brands that are full of sugar and artificial crap certainly are. Luckily, it is ridiculously easy to make your own, much healthier version, and as long as you keep the appropriate ratio of dry to wet ingredients (about 3.5 cups of dry ingredients to ½ cup liquid) then it is endlessly customizable based on your taste! I don’t usually calculate calories for my recipes, but out of curiosity, I did with this one and ¼ cup (which is the typical serving size of granola) clocks in at under 100 calories and about 3 grams of sugar, all of which is natural, not bad!

 

You start with a base of old fashioned oats. Make sure they are old fashioned and not quick cook which will throw your texture off. The oats are then combined with pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) and chopped pecans.

 

OFO 1     Granola Dry Ing     granola seeds

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