Thursday, August 9, 2012

Take a Step Back

      Earlier this week my mom's co-worker passed away after fighting cancer for the past two years. It has stuck with me all week not only because my own mom has been grieving, but because this woman has two little girls that are close to the age that I was when my own father died from cancer. My heart goes out to those girls and the long road of healing they have ahead of them. Mom asked if I would make a sympathy card so that is what I worked on while Harper napped this morning. However I woke her up so I could hold and cuddle her; so thankful for everything we have been blessed with. I hope everyone can take a step back today and be thankful as well.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Harper's Baptism

This past weekend we celebrated Harper Elaine's baptism. We were looking forward to the day, but had not expected to have as much fun as we did! We had family and friends with us in church and Harper did great, even when she was woken up by having water poured on her head. She just looked around at everyone and let the pastor walk her down the aisle with a wet head of hair! Two of my cousins had made the long journey to Rochester and joined us in church with their parents. The pastor included them in the service and they presented Harper with a fish necklace and a crib cross, which made the service even more meaningful.
   After the service, we went to our dear friend Marsha's house and had lunch. It was a wonderful afternoon with wonderful people.

Harper is the third generation of Peterson babies to wear this baptism dress.

Four generations of Peterson women

Hy-Vee Barlows did another amazing job!

This is the box cover to Harper's baptism dress. On the cover, Grandma has written the names and dates of the babies that have worn the dress. It is over 50 years old and in great shape!

Relaxing with daddy after the long day

Taking a nap with her godmother (yes, we did have several outfit changes throughout the day, I'll spare you the details of why)
All in all it was the perfect day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Mommy World

So yesterday was Monday-six weeks ago I would be dreading Mondays as it meant a long stretch of work days were ahead. However, everyday is the same now and I don't wake up dreading a single minute! I can truly say that I am enjoying life as a mom and its hard to imagine my life before. In fact, I am really starting to struggle with the idea of going back to work, even though I promised that I wouldn't! I love being a nurse and I have a good job, but being a mom is probably the best job out there (besides the crappy hours and bad pay!)
   To kick-off the week, I met up with a friend who has two adorable little boys, ages 2 and 4 months. We had been wanting to walk together and decided the mall was our best shot as the weather was not going to be on our side at all this week. We walked, got coffee, and watched her son play in the mall play area. It was an absolute blast and totally re-engerized me! Although I love sitting with my baby and rocking her to sleep throughout the day, seeing my friend with her two little boys and talking about managing a household, reminded me there was work to be done! Once I do go back to work, I will be only working part-time, so I need to work on my time management skills and figure out how to get the household work done, be a mom, and keep up my work schedule.
  With this new found energy, I decided to make cookies for my husband. But that meant I had to open the "baking" cabinet. About a year ago, I took over one of our cabinets and declared it mine. I filled it up with everything I use for cooking and baking, but I have gotten a little carried away with shopping, mostly because I forget what I already have on hand. I'm embarrassed to even show you this picture, but I'm hoping it will help motivate me to not let it get this bad in the future. So here is goes....the baking cabinet BEFORE....

So I started by clearing everything out and was able to throw a few items. I had to stop and laugh though too as I realized that I really need to work on making a shopping list before I leave home and make sure I really need an item before I go out and get it. I found FIVE sticks of Crisco in that cabinet. Five?!?! I think I'm set for a lifetime.

After I got everything cleaned out, I started organizing and labeling. I also cleaned out our tupperware drawer and pulled out a few of the larger containers that are always causing problems and getting in the way. I used these to hold of the smaller baking items like sprinkles and food coloring, so it was a "win-win"!

Now I am proud to show you the after shot!!!

So there you have it. I am going to start going out for coffee more often if it means I come home and get this much accomplished during Harper's nap!
Have a great week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Harper's Newborn Pictures

It's been a nice break from the heat here in Rochester.
A good friend and co-worker retired today, so Harper and I went into my work for a visit. While we were there, Stacy gave us the pictures that she took of Harper when Harper was about two weeks old...there were so many that I liked, it was hard to pick a favorite, but here are a few. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

      I hope you had a good 4th of July! It was definitely warm here in Minnesota, but we were thankful for air conditioning! Our thoughts have been with everyone around the country that havn't had electricity and those that are fighting the fires.
      I wanted to share a recipe that I tried out on my family who joined us for lunch. I had found several cake recipes online but still ended up experimenting a little on my own. I love cake from scratch, but with a four week old, I knew I wouldn't have the time. So this was what I ended up with... (the pictures aren't great, sorry! I need to work my photography skills)

This is a simple white cake with a yummy buttercreme frosting. I decorated the top and sides with blue and red M &Ms, but next time I will probably try blueberries and strawberries.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites
  •  red food coloring
  •  blue food coloring
  • 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 8 cups confectioners'  powered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray 3 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, instant pudding mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs together with an electric mixer to form a smooth batter. Divide the batter equally into 3 smaller bowls; tint one bowl to your desired shade of red, and one to your desired shade of blue. Pour each bowl into a prepared cake pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about  10 to 15 minutes. The cakes will start to pull away from the sides of the pans when done. Remove the cakes, allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, and then set onto a work surface to finish cooling.
  4. While the cakes are cooling, beat the butter-flavored shortening, butter, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Mix in 1 cup of confectioners' sugar at a time, beating in each cup well before adding the next. Mix in the cream until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  5. To decorate, start with the red layer and gently turn over onto a cake plate. Generously frost the top of the red cake, then place the blue cake on top. Frost the blue layer, then top with the white cake; use remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.
Note: I ended up with a ton of extra frosting that I plan on using on cookies later this week. But I probably could of gotten away with half of what I made.
Good luck and enjoy!

And here is Harper to also wish you a Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Feeling patriotic!

      So this is a post that is a little late-it all started the week before I was scheduled to be induced; I started working on a few patriotic decorations around the house. I wanted a few things to put out in the house that would celebrate Memorial Day and I could leave out until 4th of July (since I can't see myself having lots of time to put out decorations with this little one around the house as well).  I wasn't scheuled to work any more on a regular basis but I was going in and working half days and then came home in the afternoons to rest. However, I was feeling pretty good and most days I would get restless and anxious walking around the empty house. So I got a few little projects done.
   I went to Michael's and walked around until I got a little inspiration and that led to a trip to the fabric store next! I started by working on a "wreath" made from fabric scraps that I got from the bargin bin at the fabric store. For anyone who hasn't made one of these before-it is so EASY and it's  the type of project where eveything doesn't have to be type of project!
 I started with this 12 inch empty wire wreath from Micheal's (it was only $2.94!) Then I needed to get my fabric ready...
I had five different fabrics and I cut them into peices that were between 9 and 10 1/2 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches wide.  In total I think I purchashed about 3 yards of fabric. I think its important to think about the patterns on the fabric you pick out. If you have too many patterns going on, it will look just like a bunch of messy fabric. I had two patterns and then three solid colors and I think it was well balanced.

This was the fun part! All you have to do now is tie the fabric on the wire randomally. It's a totally mindless task that I did while we watched a movie one evening. It is time consuming though, almost two hours of tieing knots!
 The back of the wreath needs to look like this, so that all of your fabric is turned toward the front.
 This isn't the greatest picture of the finished project, but it gves you an idea :-)

Lastly, I picked up some scrapbooking paper and wooden letters at Micheal's. After a little cutting and some modge podge....viola!

So there you have patriotic spurt complete! Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Harper Elaine

The last week and a half have brought so many changes in our household! On Wednesday June 6th, I went  in to be induced with our first baby. I was exactly one week past my due date and feeling great! I thought maybe I was having really mild contractions throughout the week, but continued to feel good. Although the induction was long and much more uncomfortable than I anticipated, it was all worth it in in the end when our little girl was born at 12:10pm on June 7th. She was 8lbs 1 oz and 21.5 inches long. I had amazing support from my husband, my mom, our doctor, and the nurses at the hospital-definently couldn't have done it without them..

We have been home for a week and although there is still no routine, we are all adjusting pretty well and learning to function as a family! I can't believe this little girl wasn't in our lives ten days ago because she has fit in so perfectly.

Her dad was even in a wedding this past weekend and Harper was a great party guest.  

Now that I am off of work for the summer, I hope to get to know this little girl even better and also hope to have the time and engery to make some changes around our house that I have been wanting to tackle for some time.