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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thrifty Finds!!!

Last week I stopped by our local Goodwill on Thursday (Thursdays are 50% off all infant and toddler toys and clothing). I was thrilled with my findings for our little girl-it was a good trip! (sorry about the reciept being upside down, I couldn't figure out for the LIFE of me how to make it right!!!)
Four items in great condition! The pumpkin on the butt is my favorite though :-)

Grand total: $5.45-thank you ma'am!

In other news...I am now 36 weeks pregnant! Starting next week, my baby will be considered term so she can offically come any day. We are still putting the finishing touches on the nursery, but are feeling fortunate for how great this pregnancy has gone and we are anxious to meeet this baby girl :-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April Showers...bring a May baby?

Last weekend my husband and I were blessed to truly be "showered" by good-wishes and gifts from family and friends. It started on Friday with my amazing co-workers over our noon hour. Our work has had a lot going on with people getting married, having babies, retiring, graduating, etc-yet they found time and energy to put on a great shower for myself and baby Harper. They even went with our owl theme and served pink owl cupcakes!!
Saturday morning, I woke up early and intended on heading to my mom's house to help her prepare for a birthday gathering for my cousins. My husband however was doing an excellent job of distracting me by making my favorite breakfast, scrambled eggs! Then my mother called and gave me the task of picking up a last minute cake, so I didn't make it until almost 11am, a hour later than I intended.  I was kind of stressed and mad that I was late, but my mood quickly changed when I walked into a surprise shower from my family! Again, they ran with the owl theme..

We spent a fun afternoon playing shower games that my aunts and Grandma had worked on coordinating. I am not usually a fan of games, however these were a blast! Espeically when my teenage boy cousins got involved in them!

Sunday came and I had one more April shower! My friends Lindsie and Amy had coordinated an amazing shower totally through email and having never met each other! We gathered for desserts and more owls!
It was a great afternoon with friends! Harper got lots of books so she has a more complete library. I came home and tried reading some of the books, but found myself sitting on the floor of Harper's nursery crying :-) I love children's books!

I can't thank all my friends and family enough for helping us celebrate our little girl. We can't wait for everyone to meet her soon! Stay tuned for nursery pictures and some thrift store finds :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

From Old to New...

So today I am 32 weeks pregnant!  The excitment of the new baby is really kicking in for me as we finish preparations for her. I can't say that nesting as completely kicked in, but I do find myself engrossed in little projects around the house and trying to stay on top of things at work, so I think that is my way of "nesting."
    One of my new found "loves" is thrift stores and garage sales. I have an aunt who has been going to thrift stores and sales for years but I never really got into it myself. This winter though I found myself at Saver's one day looking for some baskets to use for a fundraiser. About a hour later I was walking out with all sorts of fun finds! I now have hit all the major thrift stores in Rochester and even know their sale schedule so I have specific days I go to certain stores. I am also hoping to take full advantage of garage sales this summer, espeically since I will be on maternity leave!
   Recently, I was in Saver's and happened upon a baker's stand in the furniture section. They had a $12.99 price on it, but I had a 25% off coupon, so I decided to take this darling little peice home for the hefty price of $9.98....
Now, once I got it home and unloaded into the garage, I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it. I hated the white color so that needed to be changed and I wasn't so sure about the grapes at the top. So  left it for a week until I was walking through Hobby Lobby and they had a sale on spray paint for $2.50/bottle. I found some chocolate brown spray pain, found matching stain, and went home in a hurry!!!
   Once I got home however, I realized that I was not suppose to be around paint or stain during pregnancy. So I preped the baker's stand and gave very specific directions to my darling husband...
I will spare you the details, but it did take twice as much spray paint as I had anticipated and the stain was kind of a disaster. However, the entire project cost me less than $35 and I am pretty happy with the end result:
I'm still looking for little items to add to the shelves, so I'm hoping my next thrift store/garage sale adventure turns up some more fun finds!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is It a Boy or Girl?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I hosted a little get together with our family and friends. Earlier that week we had our "offical" ultrasound to see little baby Hesby and ensure everything was going well. It was by far the most exciting day of this pregnancy. Not only did we get to see the baby, but the ultrasound tech was amazing and we were able to see the baby's brain, the spinal cord, the heart, and lots of little bones that are growing fast! We were able to take a big sigh of relief as we were told everything was in the right place and looked great!
     Then our tech checked for the sex of the baby, and placed the results in an envelope. I took this envelope to Hy-Vee Barlows bakery where they made cupcakes for us. These were vanilla cupcakes with green frosting and a very special filling.

Once everyone was there, we passed out the cupcakes and everyone bit into the cupcakes at the same time. Now, I was preparing myself to act surprised as I had been pretty sure that while we were in the ultrasound, I had seen some "boy parts" but I didn't want anyone to know. My husband has also been convinced this entire pregnancy that we were having a little boy, so I was ready for the blue filling!
 So here we go!! My husband, myself, my mom, and my husband's parents all stood together....
And we all got a HUGE surprise! Its a GIRL!!!!
It was such a fun night with friends and family to celebrate this little girl coming into the world this Spring. Thank you to Hy-Vee bakery for working with me on this little project and a HUGE thank you to Stacy Epps for coming over and taking pictures so we could have somethig to show our little girl when we tell her about the night we all ate pink cupcakes!