Food - aka A Pioneer Woman Testimonal

This post is basically about nothing but food.  What?  I'm pregnant!

First off, if you haven't made the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, make it.  I made it again this weekend and it was still delicious.  And be sure to serve it topped with lettuce, tomato and feta.  That's the best way to do it.  Just saying, the feta totally makes it.

Second, I bought a pack of Halloween Oreos yesterday and I've already eaten half of them.  They shouldn't allow pregnant women to buy Oreos.

Third, I've never eaten meatloaf in my life until last night.  I had 2 pounds of ground beef in the fridge and was looking for something to throw together for dinner, and stumbled upon Pioneer Woman's meatloaf recipe.  I'm kinda feeling like Ree owes me something for all this promotion she's getting lately....but I'll settle for being able to use her recipes non-stop.  Now, Jeff "doesn't like meatloaf" (I put that on quotes, because there are many many times the man says he doesn't like something and then ends up actually eating it and loving it) although when we make anything made of beef and there is a morsel left over, he shoves it in his mouth so fast he gets the hiccups.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Yet, he doesn't like meatloaf.  Confession, maybe part of deciding to make meatloaf is to prove him wrong.  How can you scarf down a left over burger without even chewing it, yet hate meatloaf?  Now, a loaf of meat sounds disgusting to me.  I worked in a kitchen at a youth camp for a few summers, and my only experience with meatloaf was there....serving 300 people....and all I remember is all of the grease and nasty.  And I hate touching raw meat.  BUT this recipe had nothing too offensive in it (no onions, which is why Jeff says he hates meatloaf) and I had lean ground beef, and Ree has never steered me wrong, so I did it. was really really good.  Jeff had not only seconds, but thirds.  And ate some more as we were putting away the left overs.  I win!  Ok, Ree wins, but I'll take a bit of that credit.  And I loved it, too!  Highly recommend, especially with mashed potatos and The Bread.  The Bread is yet another Pioneer Woman recipe (am I obsessed with her?), and it's the silliest things ever, and the most delicious thing you'll ever eat.  And I ate a lot of it last night.  Did you notice there is not a stitch of vegetable in our meal last night?  I almost steamed some green beans....almost.  But then I wouldn't have had room for all that bread!

Here's the recipe, straight from PW's website:

 My Favorite Meatloaf
  • Meatloaf:
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices White Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
  • Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Tabasco To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)

Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.

Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top.

Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Fall Family Pictures

I've got to brag on my girl Sabrina Gebhardt.  We had family pictures taken a few weeks ago and got the pictures back today and I love them!!  She did such a great job!  Especially with crazy Jack running around.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

 Jack is so serious!!  Pondering life, I assume.
Can you say, "Cutest 2 year old ever!"???

I really like this one...

And our little musician!  Couldn't have a photo shoot without the guitar, could we?

Just heading down to the beach to play a few tunes...

I am absolutely in LOVE with this one.  Jack was being crazy and Jeff was just chasing and Sabrina made something beautiful out of it!

And at the end, the only way to wrangle crazy was to put him on Jeff shoulders.  And I love it!

Perfect Morning for a Train Ride!

This morning the three of us headed down to ride the Forest Park Train!  I've never done it before and Jeff hasn't ridden it since he was a kid.  Jack's in love with all kinds of transportation, and we knew it would be a hit. 

Animal crackers were the star of the train for probably the first half of the ride.....

Half way through the ride, the train stopped to pick up a few more peeps and then....the engine was the star!  He loved it!  Look at that face.

What a fun way to spend the morning!  We'll be doing that again.  For sure.

Jack's Birthday!!

How is it possible Jack's two.  Seriously.  The time has flown by!  Now, I don't think I thought that when he was 3 months old, basically I assumed people lied about time flying......because those first months were the longest ever!  But now?  Where has the time gone.  He's getting so big!!

Jack's been to quite a few birthday parties this summer and was kind getting what this whole birthday thing was about.  Well, really he just knew where there was a birthday, there is the "happy to you" song and a "cuppycake" so obviously birthday's are a good thing!

Jeff and I woke him up singing Happy Birthday, and he loved that!  I had contemplated the millions of fun birthday wake up ideas on Pinterest, but was too lazy to fill the room with balloons.  Thankfully, singing was just enough for him.

We got up, got dressed in our birthday best, loaded up

and headed to "Chick-a-way" for some breakfast.  That child loves Chick fil A and loves the play yard, too!  Win, win for this birthday boy!

Jeff had the idea to get him one of those adorable little red cars for his birthday.  They're so cute and Jack doesn't have any riding toys.  So, perfect!  Chick Fil A, then straight to Target to get his car.  PS, they don't come put together.  They look like this.  Plus a eleventymillion other parts.

Parenting fail!  Jeff spent pretty much the whole rest of his time before work putting the car together while Jack watched out the window!  But, the end result was great.  Jack loves it!  His favorite routine is:  get in the car, shut the door, say, "Bye Mama!  Bye Dada!  See you later!", take two steps, open the door, say, "Welcome home!", get out of the car, shut the door, walk away for 2 seconds and repeat.  


Jeff worked that evening, but Grammy, Aunt Kat, Nana, and Papaw came over for some presents

and dinner and Jack got his birthday cuppycake!  He's a little uncertain about getting messy, so he didn't necessarily dive into the cupcake, but definitely got enough for a birthday sugar rush.  Cute little boy!!

Grandpa and Barbara came in for the party and, of course, brought super fun presents!

Saturday was the big birthday party day!  I love planning and hosting parties and tend to go all out for them....and that's kinda what happened here.  I just get started and can't stop!!  Plus, I got a Cricut die cut machine for my birthday, so I just had to use my new toy!

Jack loves the water so we had a sprinkler party!  Jeff put together this amazing PVC pipe sprinkler thing for the backyard (thank you, Pinterest!), and it was a HIT!!  

The kids had a great time splashing and running around and Jack had an absolute BLAST!

 Add in a baby pool with some beach balls....
 another pool at the bottom of the slide...
 other backyard goodies....
 good friends and family....

and you've got yourself one heck of a birthday party!!

 And don't forget to add the babies.  Got to have babies. 

The menu was full of Jack's favorite things:  peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, and goldfish crackers.  Easy enough, and it was perfect for all the kids.  I dare say the adults enjoyed the sandwiches as much as the kids did!  What's not to love?

Cake time was great!  My mom was in charge of the cakes and cupcakes and they were all winners!

Jack's pretty much a pro at this.  He blew out his candle and cupcakes were passed out.

 The best thing about the party were the icing faces of all the kids!!  Hilarious.  I mean check these out.
The party was a success and Jack was celebrated!  I just can't believe he is 2!  Although most days, I can totally believe he's 2, with the crazy 2 year old-ness that he pulls out, but boy, does time fly!  Just praying I treasure every moment of his 2 year old-ness!  Because before I know it, it will be 13 year old-ness. 


I haven't talked a lot about being pregnant this time around.  

Sorry Owen.  Consider it the first of probably many things that I was emphatic about with Jack and not with you.  You'll probably come to appreciate it one day!

Anyways, this week, the pregnancy clumsiness kicked in full time.  

It's been fun!

Clumsy #1
We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday night, and it was great!  I really love hosting.  I made the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork and it was amazing.  Truly.  I take no credit, all I did was follow the recipe, but if you haven't done it, get the to the grocery and get this stuff together!!  I cooked up a pot of pinto beans, some lime rice, and picked up some tortillas from Taco Cabana, and the meal was a hit!  In the middle of throwing all of this together, I somehow managed to throw a glass jar of sugar crystals on the floor, where it of course shattered and sugar went everywhere.  Right before everyone showed up.  Good times!

Clumsy #2
The morning after said dinner party, I was getting milk out of the fridge for the little man and knocked a huge tub of sour cream off the shelf, where it promptly splattered all of the floor.  Good morning to me.

Clumsy #3
I was making Jack's lunch for school yesterday, and somehow dropped the plastic (thank GOD) jelly jar on the floor, where the top cracked in half and jelly shot across the kitchen floor and cabinets.  Again, good morning to me.

Clumsy #4
At Bible study this morning, I knocked over a cup of coffee.  Thank you, Lord, it was empty.

What's next?

And while we're at it, what in the world am I going to do with a newborn and a 2 year old?

First Day of School

Yesterday was Jack's first day of Parents Day Out!  Pretty exciting, right?  It honestly wasn't too big of a deal around here, only because he was in the program last year, and even through the summer.  He's in the same room, with the same teachers as last Spring, only going one day a week, just like he's done since last January.  So, really, no big deal. 

But, let's do a little comparison!

First, please excuse the fact that my camera battery was dead yesterday, so all I have are iPhone pics that pale in comparison to the real deal.


Pretty much adorable at all ages.  That's my conclusion.  :)

He walked into his classroom, turned around and said, "Bye Mama!  Later! I owe u!", which obviously means, "Bye Mamma!  See you later!  I love you!" And ran right over to the toys to play!  He loves it there and is so comfortable.  

On a side note, I'm really glad we decided to start him in some type of school early.  He loves it, loves his teachers, and isn't afraid for me to leave him, and is super excited to see me when it's time to go home.  Today, I started a Bible study at a church he'd never been to.  When I dropped him off at the nursery, a place he'd never been, he didn't skip a beat!  Ran right in and started playing, the same way he does at school.  "Bye Mama!  Later!  I owe u!" and ran off to play!  A few minutes later, I realized I'd left him in the wrong room, and went back to pick him up, walked him down the hall to his correct room, and he had no issue.  Ran right in and started playing.  It makes me smile.

After school we went for some fro yo for a little first day of school treat!  Of course, it was disgusting and the grossest thing he'd ever thought about tasting....until I shoved a little in his mouth as he was taking a bite of a vanilla wafer.  You're welcome, Jack.
You can tell he hates me for it.  :)

And then, because it's not 108 outside, we went to the zoo with a friend!  

What a great day! 
(Cue the Fresh Beat Band music)

Pump It Up

This week we bought a Groupon for Pump it Up.  If you don't know what Groupon is, you're missing out!!  It's this awesome website that brings you local deals each day.  I'm a fan.

I was a little uncertain about what Jack's reaction to such a place would be.  He can be timid on the playground when there are other kids around, and I was pretty sure there would be other kids there.  

I mean, it's kinda hard to tell if he liked it. Right?  :)