The night I made...MADE tortillas...

Raise your hand if you loathe store bought tortillas? 

Um hum, that's what I thought.  They're so not good.  They taste exactly like cardboard.

But, there is nothing in the world better than a freshly made tortilla, right?  I, personally, could eat about a million of them.  There is nothing like it!  Fajitas made on anything other than a homemade tortilla are less than appealing.  Thank goodness for Central Market, right?  (Strange, that's not the first time I've ever written that.)  It's the perfect fix.  You get your homemade tortillas in your own home to make your own homemade fajitas! 

Tonight I wanted to make fajitas.  Yum!  I knew all I had were cardboard tortillas in the fridge, so a stop to CM was a must!  Only things that are a "must" sometimes become a "can't" when you throw a 1 year old in the mix.  Jack's teething like crazy right now...random bouts of sobbing, refusing to nap, throwing his food to Vincent instead of eating it...good times.  So, basically he's eating only grilled cheese sandwiches and blueberries (because it's the only thing he'll eat instead of tossing) and napping whenever he wants to.  And today he chose to nap on the way home from the zoo.  Which was when I wanted to go to CM.  So, home we went and a conundrum I was in.  I couldn't do the cardboard tortillas.  So.............I turned to the Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond is pretty darn amazing, and she knows how to do anything.  Including making homemade tortillas.  And she should.  She's amazing. 

I did a little search, found her recipe and got started!  I followed her directions, but halved the recipe, since I'm cooking for a family of 3 and she cooks for a family of like 6 or something.  I also used Crisco instead of lard.  I didn't have any lard on hand, believe it or not. good!  I followed her advice and rolled my tortillas super thin, but think  I might go a little thicker next time.  I used my cast iron skillet and it worked perfectly.  Once you are past the resting phases, it goes really quickly!  I probably did my half of a recipe in 5 minutes, rolling out one while one is in the pan.

The best thing was the soundtrack of the sobbing, tearless 1 year old who only wanted all of my attention...not wanting to take a mommy break for a few seconds at a time.  A 1 year old who didn't want juice, didn't want his paci, didn't want his talking bear, didn't want his magnet toy, didn't want Monk, didn't want the ice he's been chomping on to ease the teething.  He wanting nothing but mommy holding him.  And to be outside.  It was a rough 5 minutes in our house. 

But we made it through and the tortillas were fab and totally made the meal!  And I'll be making my own tortillas from now on, thank you! 

I stole this pic from the Pioneer Woman's website.  She does great pics and you should totally look at her recipe of pictures.

Here's Pioneer Woman's tortilla recipe:
Homemade Tortillas

Prep Time 1 Hour30 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes Servings 16 Difficulty Intermediate

■2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
■2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
■1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
■½ cups Lard Or Vegetable Shortening
■2 Tablespoons (additional) Lard Or Vegetable Shortening\
■1 cup Hot Water

Preparation Instructions:

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large wooden bowl. Stir together.
 Add spoonfuls of lard or shortening (use 1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons), then use a pastry cutter to combine the ingredients. Cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Slowly pour in hot water, stirring to bring mixture together. Lightly knead dough 30 to 40 times, or until it becomes a cohesive ball of dough and is less sticky. Cover with a tea towel and allow dough to rest for at least an hour.

Roll into ping pong size balls, place on a tray, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rest for another 20 to 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to make the tortillas, head a dark or cast iron griddle to medium/medium-high heat. One by one, roll out balls of dough until very, very thin. Throw tortillas (one by one) onto the griddle. Cook on each side for 20 to 30 seconds, removing while tortillas are still soft but slightly brown in spots. Remove and stack tortillas, and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in a container. To warm, nuke tortillas in the microwave, or wrap in foil and warm in the oven.

Helpful tips:

* Make sure the water you pour in is very warm.
* Allow the dough to rest, both after kneading and after forming into balls.
* Roll out very thin.
* Get the heat right on your stove: Too hot, and the tortilla will burn in spots. Not hot enough, and the tortilla will begin to crisp before you can get it to brown. I get my stove between medium and medium high heat; that seems to do the trick.
* Use a dark griddle or cast iron skillet to brown the tortillas.
* Cook just long enough to lightly brown the tortilla in spots; don’t cook too long or tortillas will crisp. You want them to be soft and pliable when you serve them.
* Finally: Have fun! And enjoy them. They’re absolutely scrumptious.

1 Year Pics!

One LAST first birthday post...I promise...just indulge me one more day and I'm done!!

Today we went to get 1 year pics done!  Of course, last night, Jack was up from 3-5am and then decided to not take his morning nap this morning.  So I had no idea what to expect from him when picture time came.  He's working on getting some molars in and they've been quite beastly. 

But...we ended up with some super cute ones!!!!

Motherhood Fail

 A few days out of each week Jeff gets to come home on his dinner break, which is just great.  Makes the day go by faster for him...and it a great break for me!  I've been struggling to figure out how to actually cook dinner with a curious 1 year old walker in my house!  You can't leave him alone...he'll get into something.  He won't stay put...he is not a fan of the exersaucer anymore.  And the only things that entertain him for longer than 30 seconds are the naughty things!  Like playing in Vincent's water bowl or sticking tiny fingers into plugs. 

Sometimes I whip up a casserole while Jack's taking his afternoon nap so I can just pop it in the oven before Jeff gets home.  But most days seem to contribute to us quickly becoming connoisseurs on Bertolli bag meals.  Since it was so nice outside yesterday, I decided I'd grill!  Jeff just taught me how to start the grill on Sunday, so with my new found knowledge, I thought it would be perfect.  Jack an play and explore outside and I can make dinner.  Grilled chicken, grilled veggies, and grilled buttered hot dog buns (we have about a million left over from the party on Saturday so we've had hot-dog-bun-french-bread for dinner a lot this week). 

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Partly cloudy, high in the upper 80's, less humid that it has been was so nice.  And lately Jack has been loving to play outside!  He has this dinky little wheelbarrow that he loves to push around.  It's so dinky that when it gets crooked or tumps over and he can't push it anymore, he just picks the whole thing up and carries it around.  Dinky but he loves it! 

So we were outside, I was grilling away, Jack was walking around with his wheelbarrow...things were going well!  I turn around to check on the chicken and then back to check on Jack and I don't see him.  Where could he be?  I did see him eyeing those concrete steps up to the house a while I start walking over to the steps just in time to see him do a no handed cartwheel down the bottom 2 steps.  EEK!  I ran over to him and scooped him up as he wailed away.  And why wouldn't he!  It was not a pretty fall. 

His fall resulted in a tear stained little face and a goose egg on the side of his head, and a huge heaping pile of mommy guilt on me.  I know, I know, kids fall, they get bumps and bruises, but it's not fun to watch as a mom!  How could I not think, "Why weren't you watching him?  What were you thinking?  Didn't you see him eyeing those steps earlier?"  Yes, I know I can't watch him constantly.  And him falling is him learning.  There wasn't anything bloody or broken.  He went to bed with out any trouble, slept straight through the night, and woke up this morning not seeming to care about his  bump.  

I'm still amazed at how much I have to learn as a mom.  Not learning to be more careful with him (although that couldn't hurt) but learning to let go, that I'm here to care for God's child that He's blessed me with.  And knowing that God has him, safe and sound, right where He wants him to be.  Regardless of what can/will happen, we're going to be ok. 

All that to say....we went to Babies R Us this morning and got this.

Jack's First Birthday Party

I've been thinking about it for months, preparing it for weeks...and last Saturday was the big day.  Jack's first birthday party!

We went with a baseball theme...he likes this one baseball toy so we figured why not!  Plus, we threw a 4th of July party a few years ago, so we had a few left over patriotic decorations that would be perfect to use.  On the 5th of July this year, I went shopping...and got a TON of patriotic stuff on sale, big time!  One of my reciepts showed that I spent $47 and saved...wait for it...$95!  For real. 

So, the invitations went out, the RSVP's came in, family banded together to make fruit kabobs and cupcakes...and the party was a hit!!!  Here are a few pics.

Getting ready was quite a family affair.   On Saturday morning, Jeff mowed the yard, and it looked so nice for the party!  Jeff and Katherine blew up baseball beachballs and I set up all of the tables and things.  Jenny and Barbara put together the fruit kabobs and mom and I iced and plated all of the cupcakes she made.  I'd been sewing random things for weeks...table cloths, koozies...ridiculous stuff, Katherine and I put all of that stuff out.

We squeezed in a few pics of family before everyone got there.

We planned Jack's party for later in September, thinking that it would be nice and cool.  We were wrong.  Saturday was forecasted to be 97 degrees.  So last week, I emailed all the mammas and told them to bring a swimsuit and we'd set up a sprinkler!  I found a fun sprinkler at Toys R Us on sale and it was surely a hit!  The kids had a blast. 

On the menu was ballpark nachos, hotdogs, fruit kabobs, popcorn and a tray of Jack's favorite snacks, consisting of goldfish, cheerios, and cheese cubes.  Of course, as things go, Jeff realized the propane tank was out when he fired up the grill for the hot dogs!  So he and my dad made a quick trip down to 7 Eleven to do a propane exchange, and we didn't skip a beat!  The nachos, popcorn, fruit and snacks did a great job of distracting and once they got back and grilled up the hotdogs, people dug in!

Jack had a wonderful time!!  He loves balls and loved seeing the two dozen beachballs in the yard!  He was pretty hot, so Grammy took him in the sprinkler and he loved it!  The splash pool was a big hit, too.  He was completely soaked by the time it was time to eat,so it was time for a costume change! 

He was pretty overwhelmed and tired by the time the whole eating and singing part came around!  He didn't dig into his cake quite like he did his cupcake on Monday, but he definitely enjoyed some frosting. 

The party was great, we were surrounded by so many of the people we love, and it was such a blessing to get to celebrate our little boy with such a wonderful group of friends and family.  It's so easy to see God's blessings when things are good.  I pray that we will never cease seeing that goodness, in joys and trials.  And I pray that for Jack as he turns 1! 

Happy Birthday to YOU!!

I absolutely can not believe Jack's had his first birthday.  I literally sat, looking at him this morning, and thinking to myself, when someone asks me how old he is, I will have to tell them he's 1!  Not almost 1, not 11 months...but 1!  Where did the year go.  Seriously. 

I think about the first 3 months of his life...and know I can't remember those due to the prisoner like sleep deprivation and  breastfeeding struggles and just trying to keep the little peanut alive.  I think about months 3-6, where we were formula happy, but not entirely entertaining...and still really tired.  Then things took a turn for the fun-ner in months 6-9, where he started sitting up and could play a little more, started on solid foods and consistently slept....through....the...night!  Praise Jesus!  And then...months 9-12?  Absolute fun.  I'm not kidding.  Serious fun.  Like, the most fun ever.  The crawling began at 9 months...which everyone said in their cheery little snarky-ish voice, "Oh, now the fun really begins!"  And it truly, truly did!  I LOVE watching him move.  I love watching him choose his favorite toys.  I've loved watching him fall in love with Monk...and learn to show his love for Mama and Dada.  I love how excited he gets when he sees Jeff or me.  I love that when we go to pick him up in the nursery at church, when he sees us, he basically starts crying because he realizes how much he's missed us!  I love that he walks over to the window to watch Jeff's car drive away when he goes to work.  I love that he's (finally) learned to clap...and gets so excited about it!  I love that he's a little naughty.  Yes, some days I love it more than others.  :)  I love that he can eat whatever I'm eating, that meals don't have to be so planned.  But one day, Jack, you will have to eat a vegetable...any vegetable will do...seriously...pick one and I'll be happy.  I love that he will eat an entire kiwi in a sitting, that he'll snarf down half of a mango for lunch.  I love that he is frantic for a cheese, hello!  At least 3/4 of our eating out is at a Mexican food joint...and now he can join in on the love!!  He's even started sampling tortilla chips!  He is totally our son.  He's in love with milk...and I think is as glad we're done with formula as I am.  I love that he knows just what to do to bug Vincent...and how to play with Vincent.  I love seeing him explore the backyard, and seeing how proud he is when he walks a long distance.  I love watching him walk straight for the bedroom for a nap when we ask, "You want to go see Monk?"  And I love that he throws his pacifier in the crib when he gets up for a nap...and I love it when I walk in his room when he's playing by himself for a minute and he's snatched the paci out of his crib for a quick fix.  I am absolutely in love with him. 

It's so crazy to think that one year ago today, we brought him home.  Put him in his lamb swing and were FREAKING OUT with the fact that they actually let us go home to do this on our own.  We were exhausted, overwhelmed, and I'm willing to bet I'd had a few breakdowns already.  I had no idea what it would be like to be a mom.  And as cliche as it sounds, it the freakin hardest and most wonderful thing I've ever done. 

I've learned this week how much Jack can do.  He's not totally reliant on his morning nap anymore...which he showed me when he stayed awake and played for his crib for a few days last week.  He is a trooper and can go visit another church for a Sunday and do absolutely wonderfully in the nursery.  He can explore in the children's museum, even go where he can't see me, and be ok with that.  He can stay up really late for a few days in a row...and be just fine.  I am learning that he's not totally dependant on a schedule anymore.  At least not as much as he used to be.  He is pretty much amazing.

As I've wrestled with Jack growing up, I've just been reminded that he is not mine.  He is a gift that the Lord has given Jeff and me, and it is a privilege and joy to raise this little boy, not just to put up with him, and "do our best" but know that it is such an honor to be able to be his parents.  And realizing what a responsibility that is, not just to make sure he stays alive, but to raise him into a Godly man!  And how hard that is, how intentional we will have to be...and of course how we'll fail...and by God's grace alone, will he end up making it.  Man, we are blessed to be able to walk with him. 

Now, for some birthday pictures!

Jeff gave him this cute lawn mower.  And Jack loves it!

I got him this trike, which is obviously too big now...but not for long!

And what would a first birthday be with out a cake?

I'd say he liked it. 

Is this love, that I'm feeling?

Is this the love, that I've been looking for?

Today I introduced the snack trap to Jack. 

The snack trap is this ingenious little cup that has a slotted type lid that allows kiddos to reach their hand in the cup and grab a snack, but doesn't let them spill it all out.  And I think it's about time for a little snack trap in our lives. 

Jack was a little unsure about it in the beginning...but Vincent was sold the minute Jack started flinging the cup around and a few goldfish escaped the trap. 

At first, Vincent just hung around in the background, waiting to catch those flying fishies.

But then he got a little more daring. 

Is this love?

Labor Day

I remember last year, wondering if I'd be in labor on Labor day.

I wasn't.

This year, Jack helped Jeff grill some delicious hamburgers...which is probably what I ate last Labor day, too.


I'm not sure how you feel about consignment when it comes to kiddie type things.  I feel like some people love it, and some people...not so much. 

I am of the camp of loving it.  Now, I am a picky consignment buyer.  I really only buy things with tags on them or dressy clothes...things that are smocked or embroidered don't get worn a lot, so they look like brand new, even buying them used! 

This week is the Fort Worth Just Between Friends consignment sale.  It's a massive, MASSIVE, consignment sale and I am completely in love with it.  When I was working on Jack's nursery, I found an amazing changing table that I painted and spruced up.  Last Fall I went I found all kinds of precious bubble suites that Jack wore for his dedication and Easter.  Last Spring I went and found some good toys and a few good clothes finds. 

This year I signed up to volunteer so that I could be among the first people to pick through the sea of goodness. 

Look at tha sea of goodness!

I mean, are you kidding me?

So, early Saturday morning, there I was.  I brought a cart, which I'd never done before, and got BUSY!  I'm not kidding, you guys.  I walked out of there with over $300 in clothes.  Everything from jackets to sweaters,  a huge pile of footie pajamas, tons of pants and jeans, 5 pairs of shoes, and about 6 pairs of embroidered or smocked overalls.  After freaking out a little bit when I heard the total, I reminded myself that if I were to buy all of the Gymboree pants, sweaters and jeans that I'd picked up brand new, that alone would be well over $300!  Not to mention the overalls and JonJon's I'd snagged!  And, I found a Halloween costume!  Jack's gonna be a frog...sooooooo cute!  Just you wait. 

Jack showing off some of his new pajamas.

So, chances are, if you see Jack in the next few months and he's wearing something cute, it was a JBF buy...and I love it!!

Rah Rah TCU!

This weekend was the season opener for TCU and we decided it would be the perfect time to take Jack to his first football game! 

They played in the new Cowboys Stadium, and we also figured it would be a good time to check out Jerry's World...seeing as we won't be paying hundreds of dollars to go to an actual Cowboys game.

Jack put on his jersey and we geared up in our purple (is my shirt actually purple?  I know, it's up for debate.) and headed out!

My sister, Katherine, got us the hook up for CiCi's right across from the stadium.  Best part?  It came with a coupon for a free pizza!  Perfect, right?  Especially seeing as though a hamburger inside the stadium is $9.  Seriously.

The game was good, Jack did pretty well!  With the exception of the jackhole sitting behind us who was drunk and yelling so loud that it made Jack cry.  There might have been a slight bit of anger coming from Jack's daddy...and there might have been a little worry from Jack's mommy about what was actually going to go down...especially seeing as though the offender bared quite a resemblance to the Hulk (who was, at one point, explaining to his 7 year old son how the defense needed to "run the ball up their ass"). 

All's well that ends well, right? 

Outside time!

Since the weather's been so nice, we've been spending some time outside...and of course, taking pictures!

Now, Jack doesn't really like the grass...he won't crawl or walk in it.  We're working on that...

He does love leaves, loves to pick them up, shred them, and hand them to me in tiny little pieces. 

And sometimes try to eat them.  Which doesn't end well. 

And sometimes Vincent graces us with his presence. 

Will you look at those eye lashes???

Birthday Month

It's September!!! 


Jack's birth month.

One of my favorite things to do right now is think back to what I was doing a year ago at this time. 

I was LARGE with the thickest ankles in the neighborhood, bloated sausage toes, eating an obscene amount of hamburgers, waddling around thinking to myself, "Any day could be the day!"

Now I know why my mom always wanted to tell me all of those "boring" things about her pregnancy and me being born.

Come to think about it, shouldn't birthdays actually be a celebration for the mothers? 

I mean seriously.  That was hard. 

And soooooooo worth it.

Happy birthday month, Jack!
(and by "Happy birthday month" I really mean, will you please get back to taking really good naps?  Morning nap, don't leave me now!!)