Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prettier Pictures

In the back of my mind, I have always wanted a good photo editing program that's easy to use, but they're quite expensive so I never even thought to ask for one and was really quite content without one.

Through their connections with someone who works for Adobe, my brother and his wife were able to purchase Lightroom 2 for super cheap and they gave it to me yesterday for our family's belated Christmas celebration!

I took a few pictures of their precious two month old just a couple of hours before opening the gift. After I received it, I installed it on my netbook, received a little tutoring session from my big bro, ran a photo through a preset action called "Creative - Cold Tone," upped the saturation a little bit, and voila!, she looks like a snow angel from heaven.

Here's the already adorable original: 

Thanks Dan & Erica!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What Will She Look Like?

Will she get Daddy's brown, acne prone skin or Mommy's mole-dotted, pale skin?

Will she get Daddy's black hair or Mommy's multi-colored hair?

Will she get Daddy's brown eyes that disappear when he laughs really hard or Mommy's green eyes that are so big she has been called both a Disney princess and a cartoon cow?

Will she get Daddy's wide, Thai feet or Mommy's narrow feet with fallen over toes?

Will she get Daddy's six pack or Mommy's little tummy pooch?

Will she get Daddy's four-head or Mommy's five-head (my forehead isn't four fingers tall like most, it's five fingers tall)?

Will she get Daddy's family's not-so-tall genes or Mommy's family's super tall genes?

Will she get Daddy's thick eyebrows... or Mommy's thick eyebrows?

I can hardly wait to see what she looks like, I am sure that she will be the prettiest thing I've ever seen, and I hope that she internalizes what I think of her, what her dad thinks of her, and what God thinks of her over the strange, narrow portrayals of feminine beauty that saturate our culture.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Third Trimester

The third trimester is here! Our little daughter will be here in less than three months!

My friend, Heather, asked me today what I was most looking forward to. I am quite simply looking forward to seeing her face, touching her soft skin, holding her tiny body, and gawking for hours at all her perfect little baby eyes, nose, ears, toes, fingers, elbows, on and on. In short, I am looking forward to being with her!

Today, a neighbor with a two month old gave me about three dozen little onesies and outfits and about fifty diapers that her little boy has outgrown. I love staring at these little bear feet on this onesie she gave and imagining putting our little girls tiny toes into them!

A few more random thoughts and updates...

Someone recently told me that they call the first trimester "dreary," the second trimester "cheery," and the third trimester "weary." So far, the first two have held up and the third is on course to be weary. I wake up multiple times (as in three to six? ten?) times per night because my hips and back are sore and/or I have to go to the bathroom. I have created a little pillow nest in bed for comfort, take some low strength acetaminophen at times, and have started taking warm baths about every other day to help with the pain.

People tell me it's good prep for not sleeping through the night with a baby, but I would rather not have the practice!

A few days ago, I laughed out loud when I reread my old blog posts and found one from a couple of months ago where I mentioned that the weight gain seemed impossible. I have gained about twenty pounds! Which means that by the end of pregnancy, I will probably have gained about a fourth of my body weight. It now feels like I will never be thin and in shape again!

But, honestly, I don't think I've ever felt so beautiful in all my life. I absolutely love my pregnant lady curves! As if you can't tell by all the pregnant belly pictures I've been posting. :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Mom's Enchiladas

Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, my mom removes all the meat from the turkey carcass and makes turkey enchiladas. They are so good and I have wanted to learn how to make them for the longest time, but when I've asked her for the recipe, she says, "There is no recipe, but they are so easy! All you have to do is..." The "..." being her description of a process I can never seem to remember.

Well, this year, when I saw her in the kitchen getting ready to prepare the turkey enchiladas, I watched. And she was right. They're almost as easy as they are delicious.

I made a big pan and a little pan of these a couple of weeks ago, and between some dinner guests, my husband, and me, they were gone in less than thirty hours. So, I made them again later that week, and between just my husband and me, all twelve enchiladas were devoured in less than three days.

So these enchiladas are apparently too delicious to have enough time to take a picture of the final product. You'll just have to make them yourself to see what they look like in the end before you dig in!

The Adapted Version of Mom's Enchilada Non-recipe (write THAT on a recipe card)

  • Onion chopped up
  • Two big, deep green, almost black chiles chopped up. I'm pretty sure they are called chiles pasillas, but really any chiles will do. Get rid of the seeds if you don't want them spicy.
  • Three large, cooked chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces (or leftover bits of Mr. Turkey if it's that time of year)
  • The big, 28oz yellow can of Las Palmas hot green enchilada sauce, or really any other brand if your grocery store doesn't carry Las Palmas.
  • Sour cream, about half a cup
  • Cheddar cheese, about half a pound
  • Tortillas, about a dozen

1) Brown the onion and chiles. 
2) While they're browning, mix the entire can of enchilada sauce with the sour cream. Spread a thin layer on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
3) Add the chicken to the now sauteed onion and chiles. Pour in the enchilada sauce/sour cream mixture reserving about a cup.
4) Heat it all up to bubbling. This is the filling for your enchiladas!

5) Assemble the enchiladas: Hold a tortilla in one hand, scoop some enchilada filling inside, and then sprinkle with the cheese. I usually put in just a little more cheese than this picture shows.

6) Roll up the enchilada and place it in your prepared pan with the seam down so it doesn't unroll. Continue assembling trying to ration the ingredients evenly(ish). Don't be afraid to cram them into the pan! In the picture below, I still have room for at least four more.

7) Pour the rest of of the enchilada sauce/sour cream mixture over all of the enchiladas.
8) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
9) Serve with a spicy, fresh, handmade salsa from a local Mexican grocer and a gigantic fruit salad.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Childhood Memories

It seems that almost every time I visit my parents, they direct me toward a box of assorted items from my kid and teen years for me to sort through and bring back with me to California. Usually I am able to use the "our apartment has no room" excuse to weasel out of it, but this Thanksgiving, now that I live in a bona fide house, I didn't even try the excuse and came home with the rest of my stuff.

Sorting it has been entertaining. Here are a few favorites!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't proud to have had a passport made at such a young age! World traveler from birth!

Here's a man I drew in preschool. I can't decide if it's the enormous left hand or the squished face, but something about him is truly frightening. 

A tree. I definitely don't have this creativity anymore. :-(

I found diplomas from all school milestones starting with my preschool "diploma." Pictured here with my law school diploma (holder), they represent over two decades of education. I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

In high school, I went on a life changing missions trip to Brazil and made an ugly scrapbook when I came home.

And in the back of the scrapbook was undeveloped film! I'll have to pull this out to educate the grandkids. Scratch that. To educate the kids!

I lettered in academics in high school. I also lettered in another area of high school life that begins with a 'B' and rhymes with 'land.' Though, believe it or not, my husband and I have compared our high school activities and decided that I was the cool one of us two. Scary.

I strongly dislike having stuff around the house that I don't use, but rummaging through these memories has encouraged me to save at least a few things from every year of my daughter's (and other kids') childhood and teenage years.

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