Thursday, August 20, 2009

testing testing...123

Is anybody still out there? It is okay, if you are not. I talk to myself in real life so why not talk to myself on here :)

I have a special reason to post. Our best friends in the whole wide world just had their first baby. We are so blessed to call them friends, much lest best. We love you THREE dearly and are so excited that your first is a girl. This combats any potential awkwardness with future vacations with our travels buddies...rahaha.

Without further ado...

Miss Gabriella Paige Whitaker
7lbs.11ozs/18.5 inches

You are absolutely gorgeous Miss Gabbie Girl and we are so thankful to be a part of your life!

Your slideshow....Click HERE



This picture reminds me of Becca so is the I just woke up look :)


new and old


you are PRECIOUS!


Our family and theirs. LOVE girls!


P.S. Ada LOVES Gabbie. She wanted to give her hug after hug after kiss after pat on the head and over and over and over again. She was really great with her and only had to be reminded a couple of times to be gentle and this was running on no nap for the entire day. Good thing we had Grandma Whitaker, Aunt Sydney and Cousin Casey to play :)

I hope to do a strictly Ada update sometime soon. She is doing fabulous and I am kinda starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with editing and photo sessions and stuff. I don't mind being busy, but suffocating is a bit uncomfortable to sat the least :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

molly ruth has arrived

Molly Ruth Hampton

7 pds . 13ozs. 20 inches

Monday morning started just a little earlier than normal in the Moncrief household. With a call at 5:36am stating her water had broke, Jessica and Michael let us know that they were taking us up on our offer to keep Reed until a family was available (or indefinitely...we like the kid, after all). 6:20 arrived and so did Reed. He was rocked back to sleep and sleep he did until 10:22am. He was hovered over constantly ensuring that this usually early riser was still in fact alive. In the meantime, Granna called at 9:13am to say Reed's little sister, Molly Ruth Hampton had made her grand appearance at 8:42am. Molly Ruth more than made up for the false alarm she gave Jessica and Michael just one week prior. Once Molly decided to say hello, she did it fast. We know you are a sweet girl already! You were good to your mommy :)

After Reed decided he was rested up to see his little sis he had a breakfast for big brothers consisting of banana, strawberrry oatmeal and a side of o's. He did a little pre-Molly practice with Ada as his little sister at the breakfast table, in the car and a little morning play. Poor Reed was immersed in girly colors from the first hour of Molly's arrival. A purple sippy cup for breakfast, a pink floral car seat, a pink sippy cup in the car and socks. In the hustle and bustle he accidentally left his shoes and socks at home. Picking up Amy and Anna Kate, Reed was sent to the hospital to meet his little sister.

Reed is such a trooper and is going to be the BEST big bro. . .

Check out this slideshow of Molly's first day, largely through the eyes of her big brother. You will have to click there to meet Molly if you have not already :)

We love you Molly girl and can't wait to watch you grow up!

-Sidenote- Hope to be back on here more often. Need to update on what Ada has been up to since she turned one. Be back soon (fingers crossed)!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

she loved and was loved

A good wife, mother, daughter, sister, "Gran" and friend. Her cancer cured. Her pain is gone. She can again be with the man that she continuously called for, her Hawthorne (She always called the love of her life by their last name). This women who loved and was loved, Jimmy's Gran, went to be with the Lord yesterday.

Always holding pictures close to my heart, during times like these they are held even closer. Encouraging you to continually take pictures/have pictures taken of your family.

November 2008: The last time Ada got to be with Gran. Great Gran had many collectibles and wanted to share one with Ada...

(click photo collage to enlarge)
My favorite...


Now you are free Elizabeth "Gran" Hawthorne. You can dance again with your beloved...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

happy birthday ada luv

We dreamed about you. We wondered who you would be. We envisioned different personalities and an even more eclectic look. We thought about you often, spoke to you frequently, and prayed for you much. Counting the kicks we knew you would be active, but remained clueless on the specifics of your reality. Though our dreams were big, you far out weighed them. You, Ada Olivia (also know as Ada Luv) are better than we ever imagined. You have made us love stronger and deeper and know love in a way that we never knew existed. You mean more to us than I am certain you will ever know until you, one day, are able to experience the same thing we did exactly a year ago today. We thought we loved you in my belly, but our love for you has grown even greater though we did not think possible. This day is bittersweet. Today you are ONE! We want to keep you little forever, but at the same time you get even more fun everyday. We love you our Ada Luv and are so thankful that the Lord entrusted you with us for our short time on earth. Thank you for coming into our lives and allowing us to love you as well as we know how!

2.10.08 @ 12:28am
6pounds 13ounces


Love you forever
Like you for always
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.
(anyone recognize this excerpt? It is from one of our favorite books)

We love you sweet Ada Luv!
Happy FIRST Birthday!
Huge huge thank you to our fabulous friend Tobi for this awesome hoodie! If you think this is cute and were unable to make it to Ada's b'day party then you are in for a treat. Tobi embellished Ada's b'day garb too. Tobi could you share just a smidge of your talent with me? Just a little tiny baby smidge? Visit Tobi's place here.

P.S. Click to enlarge any of the storyboards

Sunday, January 25, 2009

my baby's birthday

Yep, you are right. Ada's birthday is not for 16 more days, but today is Jimmy's birthday. No. 28. Whoop Whoop!(click to enlarge) : Jimmy in new b'day cycling garb

I will have known Jimmy for 9 years this year and will have been married to him for 7. I can NOT believe it (almost as much as I can NOT believe our little love is soon to be one). He knows me better than anyone else, though sometimes he may not think so. He knows my mannerisms and strange habits and facial expressions. He knows that I love the night and hate the morning. He knows that I hate scary movies, but love romantic comedies and that I really LOVE to travel. Anywhere. That when I do decide to eat a hot dog I take it plain and that chocolate is my true obsession, but this is not about me. This is about him.

I won't tell you how we long we dated...where he proposed...or about our wedding day. I won't even tell you that he once gave me an odd and potentially offensive gift for our first Christmas. Okay, I will tell you about that one. An AB ROLLER! Potentially offensive, ah-yeah! Promise, he did it out of love or at least that is what I have told myself all these years :). Either way I love him anyway and about all that other stuff, I am sure I will talk about it at some point. Anyway, today is his day. I love him for so many reasons. I love him because...he is like my dad. He, like my dad, puts special items in his underwear drawer. Like the hand written response he received just today from Charlie Monger, ya know Warren Buffet's best friend. Yeah that's right, the richest men in the world. Okay, yeah. You don't know and well, neither do I. So if you want more information from this section of the post then be sure to contact the birthday boy. Back to the underwear drawer. Does anyone else out their have a husband that has converted his underwear drawer into a secret treasure chest? Proceeding. He changes my oil for me. He will go to the store to get an ingredient I need for a recipe even though he JUST got back from the store and I failed to mention said ingredient the first time around. He cleans the bathroom, empties the dishwasher, irons his own clothes and takes out the trash while never complaining when he comes home to a tornado plowed threw house. He let's me play every day with my most prized possession, my little love, while he works all day to pay the bills. The hubs. He is my sunshine. He literally does make me happy when skies are gray. I love him more today, than the day I first met him. He is my help mate in so many facets. He is the spiritual leader of our home. He is the bread winner and always has taking care of his family at the forefront of his mind. He has always been a great husband and I have been continually floored to see he is an even more incredible father. I love to see their initial response to each other every. single. day. when he gets home from work. Sweeter than pie. His daughter is the apple of his eye and he is the twinkle in mine. Hun, I hope you have a most fabulous continuation of your birthday! You have made me the luckiest girl alive.

Exhibit A: Jimmy gets down in the floor as soon as he gets home to play with his daughter. These are from last week and no neither Ada nor I received something from Tiffany's. I wanted a little blue box for our first anniversary and so six years later of course I still have it and Ada mysteriously found it. Hey, it is almost Valentine's Day. Any men out there? You should go get the lady in your life a little blue box. You will not regret it. (click to enlarge)

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Eskimo kisses at Fresh2Order (btw, yum factor of 5+ get the salmon panini and you will not be disappointed)...

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The reaction Jimmy gets from Ada when he wakes her up from a nap...

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And a couple more as a fam from our sweet December photo session.

If you would like to leave him a happy birthday hello you can do so here or on his blog.

(and yippee, finally a Non-Meal Item Monday post..hiphiphooray)

Monday, January 19, 2009

meal item monday

My fear has come to fruition. I am becoming a recipe blog. Yikes! No offense to anyone who HAS a recipe blog, but that was just never my intentions with MY blog. Yes, two post in a row now are titled "Meal Item Monday". This must stop. Hold me accountable, people.

As if THAT was not enough. I did NOT try a new recipe this week. GASP. But, hopefully y'all will forgive me and we can try one together. The following recipe is one I intended to try this past week and specifically chose it bc I felt like I already had all of the ingredients on hand and I STILL did not try it. I honestly, completely forgot. Well, hopefully you have the ingredients and will be able to try it on a whim.

Pasta Cartwheels with Cheese and Broccoli

prep time: 10 minutes

cooking: 35 minutes
nutrients: calcium, protein, B vitamins (folate, vitamin A, zinc)

1/4 lb. pasta cartwheels (will definitely use a cartwheel alternative so I don't have to specifically go out and buy also, will definitely use wheat pasta..bc that is all we had and well, I love it)
1 1/4 cups broccoli (cut into small florets)
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn

Cheese Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 c milk
pinch of nutmeg

1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbsp fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook pasta according to packaged directions, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place broccoli and sweet corn in steamer and cook for 4-5 mins or until tender. Cover to keep warm and set aside
  • Sauce: Melt butter in small pan. Add flour to make paste and stir over low heat for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk, bring slowly to boil, and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, stir in cheddar cheese until melted and season.
  • Stir veges into sauce, then mix with pasta. Pour mixture into greased dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 mins.

Yum Factor: sounds yummy
Ease of Recipe: seems easy

Let me know if you try it and I will be sure to let you know too.

And because a post is always better with a picture...Here is one I snagged of Ada passed out in the carseat last weekend. She was REALLY passed out. I can not believe she did not wake up when I a.)stopped the car b.) opened my door c.) opened the trunk door d.)started taking pictures.

Monday, January 12, 2009

meal item monday

I received some great feedback on the inaugural Meal Item Monday so I am happy to continue the recipe sharing in hopes to further combat picky eaters or just offer some variety to meal planning. This Monday there are two items listed below (one main course and one snack or side item)

Snack item first. I l-o-v-e smoothies. Who doesn't? Hubs and I have periodically made smoothies for ourselves for at least half a decade. It just dawned on me last week...Ada would probably l-o-v-e smoothies too. All the antioxidants in the berries make me so happy. This simple snack was a great hit with Ada. Coupled with a cheese omelet and the smoothie became a complete meal for her.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

prep time: 10 minutes
nutrients: vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron, folic acids

16 ozs frozen mixed berries (I used the strawberry/blackberry/blueberry/red raspberry combo)
16 ozs vanilla yogurt (This is NOT to be confused with plain yogurt. Plain yogurt is bland and completely disgusting. You only have to make the mistake one time and it is never to be forgotten)
  • Blend frozen mixed berries in blender until you have reached a smooth consistency. A couple of times during blending I take container off and shake it. My blender is seven years old so this may not be neccesary on new models.
  • Add yogurt to blend all items together.
  • Pour
Yum Factor: * * * * *
Ease of Recipe: * * * * *

My only dilema in offering this to an 11 month old was in what manner she was actually going to be able to drink it. I tried several different sippy cups and ended up opting for a topless sippy cup with an adult straw. I sometimes add ice for adults, but have not felt a need to do so for Ada's smoothie. Using frozen fruit makes for a nice consistency either way.

By the looks of it, I think she liked it. . .


Many of you are aware that we have made the decision to raise Ada vegetarian during this portion of her life or a fishetarian I should say. As she grows up she is welcome to make her own decision on meat, but for now only fish for her while her parents are complete hypocrites (I actually do not eat that much meat myself and while I do not consider myself a vegetarian I would not be completely opposed to the idea).

Fillet of Fish with Vegetables

prep: 10 mins cooking: 35 mins nutrients: beta-carotene, calcium, protein, B vitamins (including folate), and vitamin C

1 tbsp butter
2/3 c leeks, washed and finely sliced (left this item out bc the hubs did not get this at the store-purposefully or accidentally is unbeknowst to me :)
1 c carrots (used baby carrots since they are already peeled and "chopped" aka small)
2/3 c broccoli (cut into small florets-used frozen that were already in small florets)
1/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/4 lb cod, hake, sole, haddock or halibut fillets, skinned (used frozen halibut that was already skinned)
2/3 c milk
3 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
sprig of parsley


1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

  • melt butter in saucepan, add leeks-saute for 2-3 mins (did not use), add carrots, cover with water and cook for 10 mins. Add broccoli and cook for 5 mins. Stir in peas and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until veges are tender (add little more water if necessary)
  • Meanwhile, put fish in pan with milk, peppercorns, bay leaf, and parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked. Set aside, reserving cooking liquid. Discard peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley.
  • For sauce, melt butter in a pan, stir on flour, and cool for 1 min. Gradually whisk in fish cooking liquid, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until melted.
  • Drain veges and mix with flaked fish and cheese sauce. Blend to a puree of desired consistency for the wee ones. Veges should be tender so they can be mashed or chopped for older babies who are starting to chew.
Yum Factor: * * * * *
Ease of Recipe: * * * *

I tripled this recipe so hubs and I were able to eat it for dinner along with Ada. We had leftovers so that Ada could have it for lunch two more times. The first time we set it before her she refused it before she had even tasted it. I truthfully forced her to at least try it. She loved it after that every time we gave it to her. It actually seemed she liked it the best on the third time she had it. This dish is suitable for freezing if you so desire.

I hope this dish is an even bigger hit with your little ones than the couscous (Reed, Anna Kate and Ada actually all ate couscous together this last week. Two out of three kids really liked it. My cousin told me that her little man Brooks also enjoyed the couscous so with this small sample of kids we are at 75% on the yum factor for the couscous). As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

meal item monday

I know what you are I have not already written every ones ear off already.
Yeah, and for those of you who don't know there are at least four other very recent blog posts lingering under this one. So if you are having a boring (very boring Monday) feel free to proceed.

Tangent annihilated (finally you say) and back on topic. So I have seen all around the blog-o-sphere a little thing called Meal Plan Mondays where one maps out there entire menu for their entire week. In addition to her menu, I once saw a blog chick type out her grocery receipt in its entirety. Interesting, but not what you will see here. So my blog title is a bit bland and may end up changing it once I get some creative juices flowing, but for now we have Meal Item Monday. Every Monday (hopefully) I will share a concoction that I have whipped up for my sub one year old. To give a smidgen of background...this whole idea was contrived after a sickly month of December for my little love that resulted in an unwillingness to eat the variety of foods that she once voluntarily partook in. If you have not experienced this in a child it can be VERY frustrating. One day the child willingly eats something (scarfs it up even), a few days pass and you offer the child the same thing again and she refuses. You try to cram it down her throat calmly offer it several times and still no such luck. I want my daughter's taste buds back. Things have been going well with these new tasty/healthy/easy recipes so I thought I would pass them along. So here goes the first run of Meal Item Monday. Would love some feedback if you end up trying this....don't want to deprive myself of quality time with my family for nothing after all...what am I kidding myself? It is 3am in the morning I am not depriving anyone of anything., ha! Oh my, I really should be sleeping like normal people. I regress....

Cheesy Pasta Stars Couscous

prep: 10 mins
nutrients: Beta Carotene, Calcium, Folate, Protein and Vitamins B12 and C
Also, Vitamin A and Iron if couscous is substituted

1 cup carrots (I used baby carrots that were already peeled)
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp butter
1 cup tomatoes (skinned and chopped)
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup couscous (calls for 2tbsp pasta stars, but I obviously substituted)
  • place carrots in a small pan, cover with boiling water and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes
  • warm 2 tbsp butter in separate pan, add tomatoes and saute until mushy. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.
  • meanwhile, microwave in glass container 1/3c couscous, 1/2c water and 1tsp butter for 2 minutes.
  • mix together cooked carrots with their cooking liquid, cheese and tomato sauce. Blend to a puree and combine with couscous.
Yum Factor: * * * * *
Ease of Recipe: * * * * (would have received a rating of 5, but it dirtied up so many pans)

Hubs and I thought this was delicious also. I am going to make more next time so we will be able to indulge as well. This dish is suitable for freezing if you so desire.

merry christmas eve

So our Christmas did not exactly start out as we had expected. Ada had ran an elevated fever for almost 48 hours so we booked a last minute appointment on Christmas Eve to rule out a potential ear infection. We bundled up and headed off.

But, not before taking a picture of our crazy Weim, Daisy. Poor think has only made the blog cut maybe two other times so since it is Christmas thought I would be generous :) Lurking behind her is Brown Dog (best dog name ever, yeah) a 149 lovable beast that we were dog sitting for friends. {side note: we love to dogsit. We have had many many dogs in our backyard and would be glad to have yours. If you are ever in a pinch with your canine, just let us know and they are welcome to come keep our crazy firstborn pup company}

Brown Dog himself

Back to the story. So for the first time we entered the dark side. The side where microscopic illness causing organisms breed. So we took a quick glance, heard the coughing, sneezing, sniffling sounds and turned around for the car. We were not ready for the dark side.

Ada took a short, I am talking brief nap in the car before she was summoned by the Doc. A quick glance down the auditory canal and the doc declared it was most definitely an ear infection which is not contagious though the cold that caused the ear infection could be contagious to possibly ease the minds that we have come in contact with in the last few weeks.

Ada's first prescription and first antibiotics sent us in this direction. Poor people have to work on Christmas Eve...Doctor, Walgreens Employees, etc. I thank each of you very much!
Her prescription packaging even acknowledged it was her first time by welcoming her to the world of prescriptions on 12/24/08. Hopefully this is one of very few times needed.
Back to festivities and such. We did something completely different with the Christmas Tree this year. You may find it creative, ingenious or completely tacky. Instead of ornaments we hung your (yes yours!) shiny happy faces on our tree. It was fun to watch our tree fill up with the faces of friends and family and made for a much safer environment for Ada. It was also very neat and very humbling to see some of my work come in the mail. Thank you for sharing my work of your beautiful families this holiday season. I plan to share some of those at some point.
For now I will share ours once again. Check out the clips used to trim the tree with cards. I got those at IKEA (one of my absolute favorite places) last year.

We normally go to a Christmas Eve service at my parents church, but were unable to attend this year with the E.I. of our little babe so instead we stayed home and read O Little Town of Bethlehem which is quite the intriguing version of the Christmas Story to a ten month old with all of the twinkling stars that go along with the story. So after slurping up her first round of antibiotics (amoxicillin to be specific) in its form of brightly colored bubble gum pink, a great nap and picking up a last minute gift for my mom (which may or may not have been a live animal hence the last minuteness of picking up the gift) our family of three headed to my parents house.

Mom fixed a delicious meal and we topped off our Christmas Dinner with a beautiful made from scratch cake from my sister Jennifer.
Ada was still not completely herself and had lost much of her desire for varied types of food.

Roman could NOT wait to open presents and gave us this face when told we were going to take a few pictures first :)
He quickly turned his frown upside down
All the little monkeys. (Roman, Peyton Carli, Ada and Preston)

Mark was unable to be with us this evening, Dad was on the phone with a friend in the hospital and Jimmy was behind the camera so just the ladies and kiddy kats in this silly pic. Left the serious ones for our personal photo albums :)

Ada's emotional progression while opening presents. It started out really rough, but by the end she could not get enough of her Busy Ball Popper that she got from Aunt Suzi and Roman nor could any of the other kids. That little machine entertained each of the four ranging in age from 10 months to 10 years. This is a great gift idea for a child turning one.

Not a great gift idea for your mother is surprising her with a dog, even though hers died earlier that year and you could have sworn she said she wouldn't mind having another one. Not only did said mother not appreciate the gift from her daughters, she insulted the gift and proceeded to cry. YES, she shed tears and said she would never be able to workout again and never be able to travel again because she would always have to come home and let the dog out. Well good think we PUNKED you mom! We are so mean, but you would think mom would not believe us because we do something like this to her every single year. After announcing the joke was on her she withdrew her insults to the gift and said she really did like the dog (I videoed the whole thing and unfortunately during a pass off with the video the volume was turned off-tragic-hopefully I can get a copy of Suzi's) Thank you Brent and Becca for allowing us to borrow Fiona and completely traumatize her. I hope she will be released from therapy soon.

Thankfully we had a "real" gift for mom and dad. It is a 26x29 family tree personalized with pictures and names of our family. They look way better in person. From the same website, a couple of years ago Jennifer got us the personalized plaque that says "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15. Yeah, that year the joke was on her bc she spelled our last name wrong :), but we really do like the plaque.

Jennifer and I are always in competition of being the favorite Aunt. Last year she won Roman over with Crayola's Ozzie The Octopus Spout Cover that colors that bath water. He slept with the Ozzie under his pillow. Yeah, how could I compete with that? So this year, I was determined to win. It was not in gourmet packaging nor did it (they) cost a lot of money, but they were his favorite! Roman got four new fishy friends for his aquarium.

Suzi was sure to tell Roman that he was not allowed to hold the fish. After I acknowledged what he was doing in this picture he was sure to tell me not to worry and that he was not holding the fish he was just petting them. Surprisingly, last I heard all fish were still alive and kicking, but seriously if you want to win over a three year old spend forty cents and get him a couple of goldfish and so you don't feel too cheap some accessories too, even though the fish would suffice :)

Ada is so little big and I think this picture displays just that.

Do you know the tradition of the Christmas Pickle? I heard of it a few years back and forgot about it until one popped up this year at an ornament swap. I was on the tail of the Christmas Pickle the entire time, wanting to take it home and make it my so I would not forget again the tradition that this special cucumber would bring.The pickle is a German symbol of good luck. Traditionally, German parents decorated the tree on Christmas Eve, hiding the pickle ornament last. On Christmas morning, the first child to located the pickle was rewarded with an extra gift from St. Nicholas.

Mom also introduced the Christmas Pickle this year and Preston was the one who in the case received a monetary gift from St. Nick for his find.

Just a random slice of our Christmas Eve. More to come. Barf you may say. I know I know I am almost done with my ramblings. On this event, at least.