Pumpkin is good for much more than just fall recipes in my book, and considering I bought about a dozen cans of organic pumpkin a few months ago, this was a great way to use some up.  It disappears from grocery stores so quickly, so I makes sure to stock up once it's there.

My mom found this recipe and I made it last week on quite a chilly night.  It's flavorful and hearty enough for the main course.  You could add any spices you like to kick it up a notch, either to the soup or the homemade croutons - and trust me on making the croutons, they only take a few minutes, are super-simple and so delicious!

Ingredients for Pumpkin and White Bean Soup:
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 15 1/2 ounces canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/8 sea salt
  • 1/8 black pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Coat large pot or dutch oven with olive oil.  Add onion and cook until tender.
2.  Stir in pumpkin, beans, broth and oregano and simmer for about 8 minutes.
3.  Transfer soup into a blender and process until smooth.  Return soup to pot and reheat.  Season with salt and pepper.
4.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese and homemade croutons.

Ingredients for Homemade Croutons:
  • once loaf sourdough bread
  • olive oil

1.  Slice bread into one-inch cubes.
2Spread on baking sheet, coat with olive oil and toss to distribute.
3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Enjoy!  Hopefully this will warm you up while we're still stuck in the middle of winter here.  I, for one, am so ready for warm weather!  (And summer, because that means baby girl will be here!)



From a jellybean to an onion, our little one sure has grown over the past few months!  Is it strange to feel they grow so fast even before they make their arrival?!  Because they sure do.

We wanted a fun way to document my pregnancy, and liking food just a little bit (ha!) ourselves, we decided the fruit-the-size-of-the-baby-thing was the perfect way to go.  Here's weeks 6 though 18 looking!  I'll update more regularly now that our little secret's out.



Happy Valentine's to my one and only, forever and ever.  On top of the rare and remarkable person you are, you're also quite the hunk.  

Baby girl already has daddy as her valentine, last night he felt her move for the first time, at 20 weeks, 5 days.  I think that was the best moment so far.  Love you babe.



You know I love Valentine's Day and you know I think haters are lame.  We don't need a made-up holiday solely for the purpose of spending money to tell our sweetheart we love them, but exclude the flowers that are three times as expensive this week and the long lines to go out to dinner, and why not have fun with a little love note or some homemade heart-shaped pizzas?

You're not trendy because you don't like Valentine's Day, everyone says that these days.  So just enjoy it.  Tell your sweetheart you love them and ask them to be your Valentine, you'll be happy you did.

I really love all the pinks and pastels, the hearts and the love.  I know the holiday can be infamously cheesy, but just take a look at these lovely Valentine's ideas below and cheesy is the last word that comes to mind.

Here are a few of my favorite Valentines' ideas I've stumbled across so far.  Twine wrapped books with hand-painted watercolor hearts, scrumptious-looking heart-shaped waffle sandwiches with prosciutto and salted rosemary butter, and some sweet and simple handmade mini love notes.

What about you?  What will you being playing cupid with?

Photo credit: hearts, sandwiches, love notes.


IT'S A...

BABY GIRL!  We are so, so excited and knowing we've got a daughter coming just makes things that much more real.  It makes me want to meet her and hold her so badly!  I know the time will fly though and am focusing on enjoying it while she's still in my belly, always with me.  The thought of my husband holding our little girl is more than I can bear, we are so blessed.  Thank you all for the prayers, we know they're being heard and appreciate it more than you know.



Hey I just got pregnant... and this is crazy... but at the end of this week... we find out the gender of our baby!  You're welcome for that.  Anyway, this week we will be 20 weeks along... which means halfway, second trimester ultrasound, gender.  I could not be more excited!

We have decided to find out because it's just the best choice for us.  Neither one of us thinks we could look away from the image of our baby for a single second anyway.  It's just too precious and just the two of us finding out together will be perfect.  To celebrate though, and to share the big news with our family members, we're having a little gender reveal party where we get to sit back and watch everyone guess.  Nothing big or over-the-top, just a simple and intimate get together.

And of course it all starts with invites, which I created using PicMonkey and then had printed onto postcards and mailed out. 
I also put together a moodboard to get all my ideas in one place so we can pick and choose what we want to do.  For the reveal itself, my BFF is making cake pops with either blue or pink on the inside and everyone is biting into them at once.  Should be fun!  And yes, everyone will have to cast their vote.  I'll probably have some hints in the form of old wive's tales to help everyone out.

Has anyone else been to a gender reveal party before?  Like I mentioned, I just wanted a fun, small and intimate gathering so we could tell everyone.  Not a big party or anything too material, just something fun for family.  Let me know if you have!  I'll be back next week with a recap of the party and of course, the reveal itself!

What do you think - girl or boy? 

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.



Let's continue the catch up, shall we?  I know we're into the second month of the new year, but I still wanted to share our New Year's Day events.  Our New Year's Eve events aren't much to share since they consisted of ordering pizza and passing out (no alcohol involved) before the clock struck midnight.  Ha, before it struck ten.  Oh, how life changes...

Anyway, we love hosting get-togethers with family and friends and although we've yet to take on a major holiday yet (we did host a Mother's Day brunch last year), we jumped at the chance to make a New Year's Day dinner for our family.  Here's just a few pics from the day...

It was pretty casual for the most part, with the exception of my husband's seriously amazing turkey.  Brined and baked, it was delish.  I also had the idea to use all the fortune cookies we've accumulated from ordering Chinese food as little place settings.  They also to provided a fun little fortune for the new year.

We had a great time, so maybe it'll become a tradition of sorts?  Happy New Year everyone!



We had a wonderful Christmas, and yes I realize it was more than a month ago and had I been on top of it, I would have blogged these things a week before Christmas like a proper blogger, but I'm over here busy growing a human and all, so here we are.  And since I treat this blog as documentation of our lives as much as anything, it's all good.

Christmas was wonderful, and I can proudly say that the gifts my parents gave us (a Bible with a plan to read through it in a year, a prenatal yoga DVD and Ryan's beloved roaster) are all getting great use.  So let's make those things our New Year's Resolutions too, shall we?

Those and gaining weight.  That's my main resolution.  So far, so good!



We're having a baby.  It really is indescribable.

I'm keeping a journal of all this, so I won't go into too much detail here... plus maybe not everyone wants all the details of my pregnancy... just maybe?  Anyway, we've been talking about starting a family over the past year and realized we were both pretty serious about it recently.  We thought we had an idea as to the timing of it all but little did we know how quickly it would happen.  This experience, more than any other has taught me to trust in God's plan since it really is the best for us.  You really can't fully experience joy without giving control to God and trusting His plan.

On a Saturday morning a few months ago, something urged me to in turn urge my husband to drive to the store at 6:00am for a test.  I wasn't one of those women laying in bed feeling like I was pregnant, but something just made me make him go.  He got home and then those two pink lines popped up faster than I could turn around and exit the bathroom to find something to do to pass those infamous few minutes.  All elaborate plans and creative ideas of telling my husband that I was pregnant with our first child flew out the door.  I called his name and he knew immediately.

Here are a few pictures from the day we found out.  We had plans to go to Fort Collins for the day and despite the early morning commotion, we made it up there.  My parents were picking us up for the trip and we just couldn't hold it in when they arrived.  So much for grand schemes of how to tell them too.  They were definitely as thrilled as expecting grandparents can be.

A few weeks after that, an ultrasound confirmed that yes, we have a baby.  That was the sweetest moment of my life.  I'm sure you other mothers and mothers-to-be can relate when I say that that first ultrasound is really what does it.  I have a few pictures of us after seeing our baby for the first time at that appointment, but they really seem to precious to post here online.

As soon as we found out though, I came across things like this... Ryan laid out a towel by the shower since we don't have a mat.

And we made Christmas cookies that depicted the fact that yes, there's a baby in there.  And we took pictures like this, that yes, we had to keep secret until now.

And my parents came over for a celebration, champagne and pasteurized sparkling apple cider in tow.

And we told Ryan's parents, who were equally excited and surprised.  These moments of telling our family are stuck with me forever.

And just because it's only fair, I have a bump like this!  Although this was now a few weeks ago.  19 weeks and counting baby!