crayon monogram

I'm a little behind on the blogging but a few weeks ago, I felt kind of crafty and wanted to make something. Now, I know my limitations, and craftiness just isn't really me, but I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and decided that my sweet friend Kim, a first-grade teacher, just had to have it for her room. Thankfully, I got my act together and she received it in the mail just around the time school started.

It was such an easy, fun project. I bought crayons that were on a back-to-school sale and used cardstock as the background. I used a shadowbox to frame it b/c I thought it would protect it from little hands.

I printed the outline of a "J" on the cardstock, then used an X-acto knife to cut my crayons to the desired size. I didn't bother sanding the edges - the X-acto knife provided a clean enough edge for me. Then, glued them to the paper and ta-da! Easy as pie. 



look out, boys...

...Baby Girl Somerville is on her way! And according to her Daddy, she's going to be the toughest little girl in the neighborhood!

We found out this week that Momma's intuition was right and baby was in fact a girl - and, more importantly, healthy, healthy, healthy.

Beautiful already!
I should have been doing this all along so I can look back on this pregnancy, but better late than never!

20 weeks with Baby Girl Somerville

Symptoms: Not too many, thank goodness. I’m having a little hip pain, but the ultrasound showed that Baby Girl is right on my pelvis, so that would explain that. I’m still frequenting the bathroom quite often, but I doubt that will change. It’s really true that the second trimester is SO much better than the first, and I’m trying to enjoy it while I can!
Weight Gain: According to the doctor’s office yesterday…13 pounds. I’m not going to lie – seeing those numbers shoot up on the scale is hard, but I know it’s all worth it. I’m continuing to exercise and I won’t even think about what those numbers would look like if I stopped!

Cravings: I’m not craving anything, per say, but if I hear about something, it will get stuck in my mind until I get it. Enter Exhibit A: Sushi. Enter Exibit B: Petit Fours.(Thank you, Jennifer, for fulfilling that craving today!) Hmmm, that might explain the weight gain :P

Aversions: Just strong smells. I’m trying to avoid cleaning out the fridge and leaving it up to Bob to throw away leftovers.
Sleep: I sleep well until about 5 a.m. when I have to get up to go to the bathroom, and I still wake up feeling tired. Again, I think that’s just the nature of the beast.

I am loving: Finally knowing that baby is a she and getting to go shopping!

I really miss: Not too much. My belly is starting to get in the way, and sometimes I wish I could just get comfortable, but other than that I’m enjoying it even more so that we know she is a she.

Movement: Oh, I’m feeling the first signs of movement! Occasionally, I feel a sensation like a bubble popping in my lower belly. It's becoming more consistent now, and I’ve heard this is what it feels like at first. Now I’m just waiting for the day I feel a full-fledged kick!

Hopefully, Baby Girl will have a name soon!


insert dramatic murder mystery dinner gasp here

This weekend, Bob and I participated in something we had never done before...

Duh, duh, dum...
A Murder Myster Dinner!

(Insert dramatic murder mystery dinner gasp here! )

We joined Katie and Jon, and Leigh and Scott for dinner and a "show" at Chaffin's Barn in Bellevue. The dinner wasn't anything to write home about, but I think we all enjoyed the mystery.

The murder occurred at a wedding and the guests were all, well, how do I say this nicely...redneck. We were encouraged to wear costumes.

Meet Prissy Dorite. I fell in love with the groom. Shhh, don't tell. I was tricked drafted into being a part of the show.

We were given a book of clues. Here are Katie and Jon studying intently. 

Bob wore his best redneck attire.


Prissy and her "assistant" LiLi. Thanks for getting into it with me, LKL!


It was a classic case of "Whodunnit?"

It wasn't Prissy, although she did earn the Best Actress Award! I'd like to thank the Academy...just kidding, I have no idea on what planet I could win best actress, but you better believe it's proudly displayed on our refrigerator!



After the baking bug hit last week, I knew I had to get in the kitchen and make something sweet!

Brownies were my poison of choice, and after the reaction I got from my husband when he saw this picture...


...I knew I had a winner.

One word. Rich. Yummy. Delicious. Amazing. I can't narrow it down!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Recipe adapted from Nestle’s Very Best Baking

Makes 40 brownies as adapted

1 box of your favorite brownie mix
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 40 mini-muffin cups.

Prepare boxed brownie mix as directed. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon). Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet. After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir. While brownies are still warm spoon about half a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Cool completely in pan.

A few notes...
- My centers never "fell", so I used the backside of a measuring spoon to push them in. 
- Definitely let them cool in the pan. The ones that I took out early (I couldn't wait!) crumbled.
- I would definitely do the "mini" muffins - they were really rich and I think a full muffin size would have been too much. 

This recipe's a keeper. Try it, you'll love it.


all i want to do is bake, bake, bake

Thanks to Pinterest, all I want to do is bake right now! Really, I need to thank my friend Whitney for all her delicious pinnings, but I'm afraid my waistline won't be thankful in a few weeks!

Peanut butter? Brownies? Yes, please.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies Courtesy

S'more Cookies. Um, yum. Courtesy
Banana Pudding Pie Courtesy

And this just looks like a heart attack. But I wouldn't turn down a helping!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar Courtesy

And, OMG, Petit Fours! I saw them on a blog I read and now I. Must. Eat. Them. Not that I'd be able to bake these though! I'm going to have to hit up a bakery one day soon. Lunch buddies, any takers? ;)

Look at the pretties! Martha Stewart, of course.
Are y'all hungry now?
Thought so.
You're welcome.


a weekend at the lake

Guess who took his very first trip to the lake this past weekend?

This little guy!

Who wouldn't be excited to put on a life jacket and ride a little boat to potty on the shore?

Getting all suited up alongside Cousins Murphy and Bailey.

Murphy - waiting patiently for his turn..

Feeling the wind in their hair as Dad/Uncle Bob and Grandpa/Dad steer the boat after an exciting trip to the big potty in the woods.

And, just cause he's so darn cute...this is where Murphy thinks he belongs after the day is over


loaded question

Well...gulp...it's happened.

Seeing as two complete strangers have now commented on my rapidly expanding mid-section, I guess I'm due for a belly pic. I'm not going to lie, as much as I wanted to get past the "is she pregnant or just fat?" part, it's pretty unnerving for random people to just assume. Especially since I still just feel fat.

So here she is...
17 weeks, 1 day

And, for the curious, here are how said conversations transpired.

Random Comment #1:

The Scene: Val and Shannon minding their own business, riding up the elevator after eating a normal-sized lunch, obviously relaxed (i.e. Val not sucking in).

Random Middle-Aged Woman #1: Awww, someone has a bun growing in their belly.

Val: Uhhhh, ehhhh. (Nervous laughter.)
Random Comment #2:

The Scene: Val walking solo downtown yesterday during lunch to run an errand. Not really paying attention, just trying to avoid hitting oncoming pedestrians on the sidewalk, probably looking at my phone.

Random Middle-Aged Woman #2 Wearing Dress Clothes and Sneakers: Wooeee, looking good, Mama!

Val: Uhhhh, ehhhh. (Thinking, Is she talking to me? and trying not to face-plant on the sidewalk.)

Clearly I don't recover well.

Seriously, though. I'm not that big yet. What ever happened to not asking or making a comment unless you were sure someone was pregnant?