Friday, December 30, 2011

1st Christmas!

Now, I know that Aiden won't remember this Christmas at all but it's still his first one so we took pictures and I even made him a "1st Christmas" ornament!

Here he is getting ready to open his first present (more like me opening it!)
I love his little outfit!

He got a Jump & Go! I love the look on his face! So far he likes it but I'm sure when he figures out how to jump he'll love it even more. :)

Eli & Aiden got matching hats, lovingly made by Nana.

Aiden's "1st Christmas" ornament. I don't know about all you other mothers, but I could not find a cute 1st christmas ornament that didn't cost $25+. Ridiculous! So I made him one.
All you need is a clear ornament (Jo-Ann's), some sort of filler (snowflakes, also from Jo-Ann's) and some fabric paint (scribbles, Fred Meyer's). So simple, cute and personalized!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time Flies...

I can't believe it's almost Christmas! I just noticed that I haven't posted anything since Thanksgiving.... oh dear. Life has been so hectic lately but I'm hoping that after the holidays things will slow down and we'll get to relax more. :)

One reason why we have been so busy is because of our busy little man! 3 months old and he is eager to move. All the time. Here's a video I took of him, showing off his new move.

Ahhh, he is getting so big! I miss his little-ness. :( To tell you the truth, I've been reluctant to put him in 3 month clothes because I don't want him to grow up. But he has SO many cute clothes in that size that I finally gave in. :)

Christmas will be different this year. This will be the first time that the whole family won't be together. I know we'll still have fun, but it's just..... weird. And it's Aiden's 1st Christmas, too! Not that he'll remember it. I guess I need to remember that Christmas isn't about the gifts or even family, it's about God's amazing plan and His awesome gift to us!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year's!
Courtney (and boys)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and fun day!

We sure did. Got to celebrate the day with almost my entire family. Just 1 sister missing. :(

God has truly blessed us this year! So my list is kinda long, but here it is....

1. My sweet, healthy baby boy. At his 2 month checkup he was 11lbs 14oz and 22 1/4 in! They grow so fast!

2. Brittany and Jeremy coming up for Thanksgiving. It's been a long time since Britt has been home for this holiday.

3. My sweet little NIECE! Yup, they're having a girl. I'm so excited! What to knit her...

4. Eli's new job. He is really enjoying it (which is a plus!) and hopefully in a few years he'll be making enough money and I'll get to stay home!

5. All this lovely snow! It's beautiful outside right now. Sun peaking through the clouds and bouncing off the crystalized snow on trees and buildings, gorgeous!

6. God and His unfailing love for us.

7. Life. Some friends of ours lost their brother in an accident a few weeks ago and it just reminds me how precious life is and to be thankful for for it.

8. Friends who love and support us. Our community group is awesome at this! Praying over our grieving friends this past week was another reminder of how important it is to have supportive, loving friends.

9. Our ever growing families! How could I forget them?

Our little turkey!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nutella Cupcakes

Saw this recipe on Pinterest (cool sight!) and couldn't resist making them. And I just happened to have Nutella on hand. :)

Don't they look yummy?!?!

Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola or mild vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. The batter will be thick. It needs to be in order to swirl in the Nutella!

Divide the batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each, and swirl through the batter with the tip of a bamboo skewer, knife or other pointy object. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Tilt them in the pan to help them cool. Makes a dozen cupcakes.

I was making these to take to a party, so I used my mini muffin pan. It made at least 24 mini cupcakes (I still have a little bit of dough in my fridge).

If you've never tried out Pinterest, I definitely recommend it! So many cool ideas, recipes, pictures and you can keep track of everything you like. So handy! You do need an invite from a member to join, let me know if you want in!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

State Fair 2011

This was actually back in August, but I figured I'd get caught up on my blogging while Aiden is sleeping.

The Alaska State Fair is synonymous with rain and clouds. And surprisingly, it was rainy and cloudy when we went! But we still had a good time. Mainly people watching and eating fair food. :)

Eli and his dream car! It was pretty sweet.

They had a "Down Under" exhibit this year. The little kangaroos were adorable!

This guy kept on making weird noises and walking up and down the fence way. I don't think he liked being confined.

Who knew that pelicans were this big?!?! I was amazed.

A Kookaburra. He didn't like me....

I entered an arrangement into the Wedding Bouquet category and won 1st place! I was super nervous that I wasn't going to get anything!

Stock, Lisianthus, Bear Grass, Plumosa and Yarrow.

The Many Faces of Baby Aiden

I obviously haven't been on in a while, but I have a good excuse. Babies take a lot of work!

I realized the other day that I haven't put up any pictures of Baby Aiden, besides the ones from his birth. He makes the funniest faces that I just have to share them with you!

He makes this face all the time while sleeping.... doesn't look very peaceful.

We were getting ready for a walk and I don't think he really cared for the position he was in. But he fell asleep a little bit later.

So serious!

And now goofy!

This one just makes me laugh. :)

I sure do love him! Especially when he is sleeping in his own bed! Now to see how long he'll sleep.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aiden's Birth Story

I can't believe Aiden is already a week old! It flew by so fast! I figured that this was a good time to sit down and write out his birth story, before I forget any of it. :)

It all started on a saturday morning...

I lost my mucous plug around 11 am (sorry if that's TMI). Now, I wasn't quite sure what that meant so I gave my midwife a call. She told me that it meant I was dilating (I was at 1 1/2cm earlier that week) and that labor could start within 24-36 hours. We didn't want to get everybody all excited, so we only told our parents and a friend, Sarah Cornett, who was going to take pictures of the birth for us.

Contractions started just a few hours later but they weren't very strong or consistent until late afternoon. Now, the timing of everything was just perfect. Eli's cousin was getting married that day and a bunch of his relatives were in town. Everyone (and I mean everyone!) kept telling us to wait to have the baby until after the wedding but before they left! We went to the wedding and then the reception and had a wonderful time. We left the reception at about 9pm, by that point the contractions were pretty strong and were coming 10 minutes apart. Came home and took a bath to see if that would help any. And it did! I didn't have any contractions while in the tub but once I got out they started coming stronger and closer. By 12am they were averaging 4-5 minutes apart. We left for the birthing shortly after that! My midwife checked me when I got there and I was almost at 5cm! At this point I decided to take a shower 'cause my back was killing me. It was wonderful! A little while later I transfered to the hot tub and labored there for 2-ish hours. And ended up getting sick! This is Eli's favorite part to tell. :) The midwife gave me a bowl and I threw up in it, so she went to clean it out. While she was away I threw up again and since I didn't have a bowl, Eli caught it in his hands. What a great husband I have! After that, I was checked again and was at 7cm and my water had still not broken. So she broke it for me and boy, did those contractions get more painful! I kept telling Eli that it hurt and he kept holding my hand and telling me I was doing great. He was wonderful and so supportive! At around 3am, I got out of the tub and labored in bed because my back hurt so bad and none of the positions in the tub were helping it. By 3:30am I was ready to push! That was probably one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. But less than 2 hours later, Aiden was here! The official stats are: born at 5:19am, weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.

It was one of the most amazing experiences when he came out and was put up on my chest. I was in shock, just couldn't believe he was actually here! And Eli was all teary eyed. :) Aiden was so calm, barely cried and just laid there, looking around with his gorgeous little baby eyes.

Now, I won't lie and tell you it was easy. It was definitely hard, but so worth it. While I was in labor all kinds of thoughts ran through my head about how I couldn't do this, it hurt so bad and now I understand why people get the drugs and c-sections! Looking back, it wasn't that bad and went by very quickly. I'm so glad I made the decision to have an all natural birth. Now I feel like superwoman! It's just an amazing feeling knowing that I gave birth to this child! I feel so accomplished!

Here are some of the pictures Sarah Cornett took!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scented Pine Cones

This was a super easy and fun project! I definitely recommend it if you like scented pine cones. Well, maybe I should put off judging it until the final result is seen and smelled (it takes 1 week), but I feel pretty confident that they'll turn out fine. :) What I like best about this project is that we already had everything for it! Yeah for inexpensive-ness!

What you need:
pine cones
essential oils (we used cinnamon & apple)
baking sheets
plastic bags

First off, gather pine cones.
We just went out in the yard and picked up ones that had fallen off the trees. Isn't my little helper a cutie!?!? We filled a gallon sized ziploc bag.

Next, rinse and dry them off.
This will help get rid of the dirt and other things stuck on and inside the cones. And the little bugs and flies, ick!

After that, lay them, single coat, in a baking sheet.
Or 2 in our case. Now, the instructions I read say the put them on a foil covered sheet, but we didn't and they turned out fine.

Then bake them for an hour at 200 degrees.
This will kill any bugs or flies that may still be in there.

And they should come out nice and toasted.
The pine cones kinda had a funky fall smell to them.

After baking, let them cool off for a few minutes.
Not that their really hot, but I didn't want to take any chances of burning myself or melting the plastic bags.

Finally, put them in a sealable plastic bag, add a few drops of essential oil, seal the bags and shake the cones around so that the oil gets spread around.
We did 2 different "flavors". Cinnamon and Cinnamon Apple. I think put about 6 drops (?) of oil in each bag. Hopefully that'll be enough! If not, I can always add more. :)

Lastly, let them sit for a week.
I can't wait to smell them! I was also thinking that these would be great little party favors or thank-you gifts! Just put a couple in a little baggie or satchel type thing and voila! yummy-ness to share!

Let me know if you try this recipe and how it worked for you! And what oils you used. Orange and peppermint were 2 other oils that were suggested. Maybe I'll have to make another batch of christmas scented pine cones. :)

*Sorry for the bad lighting in the photos. My camera is having issues with the flash right now*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please come soon, Baby Aiden!

I don't mean to complain, but I am so ready to be done being pregnant. Just ready to be done with the back pain, tiredness, feeling large, being HOT all the time and the random contractions. Especially after last night. Had about 3-4 contractions within an hour, went to bed and started getting them closer together and on top of that had constipation and diarrhea. Ugh, really! Spent a miserable hour laying there before I was finally able to fall asleep. Now, I must admit, I was pretty excited that I was having contractions, it's means something is going on, right?!?!

I can't really complain. This pregnancy has been so easy. No morning sickness, no heartburn, no swelling and no weird food cravings. We're both healthy, but I really want my normal body back. Or at least close to my normal size.

So I guess the point of this post is to ask for prayers. For strength, energy, patience and acceptance of my body right now. Sounds silly, but I really hate the weight I've put on.

On a lighter note, I am going to attempt to make scented pine cones tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blessings From All Around

We have been so blessed lately by friends, family and even strangers that I thought a post about them was due. :)

Our Baby Shower (Aug.7th)
My wonderful friends, Sarah Cornett & Sarah Rafeedie, threw a shower in honor of Aiden and me and they did such a great job!!!! Everything was absolutely beautiful! I don't have pictures yet, but I will definitely post some as soon as I do. It was such a wonderful time being surrounded by friends and family who are happy for us and who were so generous to us! We received so many clothes and necessities! Like blankets, bath stuff, diapers, toys, books, car seat cover (which is needed in Alaska!) and much more. We were blessed beyond our dreams. :)

Eli got a new job! We had been praying all summer that God would open the doors for a new job and He did! It is with Xerox as a technician and a step forward, money and career wise! We are very excited. Now, the only "problem" with this job.... Eli has to go to Seattle for two weeks of training. We told them from the very beginning that we're expecting a baby in mid to late September. Unfortunately, there is only so much training he can do up here with out the training in Seattle and Xerox can't just pay him to sit around here doing nothing so Eli will be leaving Sept. 26th for two weeks. :( We were given the choice of Sept. 6th or Sept. 26th for the training dates and after talking and praying about it, we decided to go with the later date. Please join us in prayer that Aiden does not come later than his due date, Sept. 21st. We're pushing it kinda close! I'm personally hoping he comes around 38 weeks..... :)

Eli came home the other day with two surprises! First, FedEx's district manager's wife (who lives in Hawaii and whom we have never met) knitted us a beautiful present! A cute little baby hat and booties! Apparently she makes them for all the employees. Secondly, Eli had (at work) helped out a couple of ladies from the State Library, I believe, with some signs and had told them we're having a baby. Well, they came by and gave him some baby books! Brand new and two of them are by Eric Carle. I love his stuff! I was shocked by their kindness and generosity!

May God bless you all,

Friday, August 5, 2011

2nd Anniversary!

I apologize for the long break between posts..... was unintentional, life has just been busy! That's how these Alaskan summers are!

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary on July 18th. I can't believe it! 2 years really flew by! We kept it low key this year, even though we did dress up a bit. I had to try out my new dress! :) Dinner at Glacier Brewhouse and then Rollo McFlurries for dessert. They are delicious, by the way! We did have a slight problem..... after dinner we walked around the block and upon arriving at our car discovered a flat tire! And to make it worse, didn't have the right size tire iron in the car (who buys the wrong size, I don't know, but very annoying).

Overall, we had a nice day remembering each other and when and why we said our vows.

Oh, and Eli surprised me by getting off work early and helping clear some boxes out of the nursery!

I love this man so much! I am so thankful for him. Some one who loves me, holds me when I cry, laughs with (and sometimes at) me and reminds me that God is in control.

Belly Picture!
30 weeks & 5 Days!

My anniversary present! A complete surprise! It is very comfortable and I love it..... so does LaRue (our cat). She thinks it's hers, silly girl!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Only 3 (ish) Months More Till...

Baby Aiden gets here!

I can't wait. :)

But in the meantime I am keeping myself busy with work and getting things ready! We went and registered the other night... whew, was that overwhelming! So much stuff, so many different brands and I have no idea what I really need versus what's fun or cool to have! I'd much rather receive useful items than fun (but useless) items.

Eli's cousin was very sweet and send us 2 boxes full of new or gently used baby clothing! Look at all those cute outfits!

And we got the crib! I love it! Now all we need is a mattress and bedding set!

And I found all of this baby paraphernalia at a garage sale for $5. What a steal! Burp rags, receiving blankets, hats, bibs and a couple of outfits! I think Baby Aiden will have enough cute outfits to wear. :)

God Bless,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Porch "Garden"

Having a real garden is definitely one of the things I look forward to the most when we have a house. I just love all the colors and variety of plants! But for now I will have to be content with my "garden" on the porch. :) Somehow, over the past few years, I have accumulated several pots/planters, so I decided that this year I would put all of them to use! And I am loving it so far!

First Planter: Marigolds
Colors: French Vanilla & Inca Orange

I found this cute wood planter at Michael's for just a few dollars. I love the old fashion, worn look of it.

Second Planter: Lobelia, Mimulus & Lotus (berthelotii scarlet)
Colors: Riviera Sky Blue, Magic Blotched Mix & Parrot's Beak (orange)

I can't wait for the lotus to start blooming! They (the blooms) look so cool and funky!

Third Pot: Dusty Miller & Salvia
Colors: Vista Purple

I LOVE dusty miller and the salvia is a beautiful plant and color, so I thought the two would look great together! What do you think?

So here's my "garden". I have the whole corner dedicated to it. :) Eli was nice enough to move his grill over so I had more room to enjoy them!

From left to right: Dusty Miller & Salvia, Basil Seeds (starting to see some sprouts!), pretty yellow Violas, Wildflower seeds (also starting to see some sprouts), Marigolds, & more Basil Seeds.

I'm excited to see what wildflowers I get. My mom gave me a cute maternity shirt and the tag was made out of wildflower seed paper so that it can be planted. Great idea, huh?

Strawberries!!!! I attempted to grow some last year and didn't have much success, but I am hopeful for this year! Just planted them yesterday, so probably won't see any berries for a little bit.

Monday, May 16, 2011

22 weeks!

I guess I should be official and say 21 weeks and 5 days. Never really understood why you had to state the exact day......

Anyways, this picture was actually taken at 20 weeks, but that's pretty much what I look like now. Maybe a tiny bit bigger, but not enough to really notice.

I promised Eli once upon a time that I wouldn't post any bare belly pictures (any maternity pictures actually!) on Facebook. But this isn't Facebook so I'll post one here.... :)

For some reason maternity pictures kinda freak him out, especially awkward ones!

Aren't these adorable?!?!
I love them! I went to a pottery studio about 2 weeks with some ladies from church and had a blast painting these little vases! Yes, they're vases and I will (hopefully) use them for that purpose.

I decided to go with a jungle/safari animal theme for the nursery. These little guys were kinda my inspiration. Now to find some cute fabric for the bedding, maybe curtains and decorations for the walls!

And the little elephant matches a canvas painting my brother-in-law brought us back from Africa 2 years ago! Perfect!

In other news,
I am getting my first EVER massage next week! So excited!

God Bless,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Baby Blanket Update

I finally finished the baby blanket I was making for Cameronn and Baby Lily! And just in time, Lily was born on Good Friday. A few weeks early, but she is healthy and cute! I have only seen pictures, but everybody says this is true!

I really liked this pattern. Super cute and pretty easy.

Now to start a blanket for our baby! I already have the yarn, just need to download the pattern!


Friday, April 22, 2011

It's A.......


We decided to use a cake to reveal what we're having (Thanks Gail for the wonderful idea!) and it was so much fun! Not only did our families not know, neither did Eli and I. :) I love that we were able to find out all together. We managed to get almost everyone either on the phone or there in person. Kinda chaotic, but still fun!

The cake, thanks to Amanda Cook.

I love my parent's faces in these pictures!

It's blue!!!!

Baby Aiden Liam's first presents (from Grandma & Grandpa Rushing)

Can't believe we're actually having a boy! That is what I secretly wanted all along and we got him! September cannot get here soon enough!

I do have ultrasound pictures, but not on a cd, so I don't if I'll be able to post any. But Baby Aiden looks perfectly healthy and is definitely a BOY!