Wednesday Wisdom: Love

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

With Valentines Day approaching faster than I can comprehend, this is the perfect message for today's Wednesday Wisdom!

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I can't believe that January is almost over, and right after Valentines Day is here, I will have a four month old. Holy moly. Time - SLOW IT DOWN!!

Happy middle of the week, ya'll!

Taco Bowls

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Earlier this week I promised a post about a favorite weeknight meal. The first thing I will tell you is I'm sorry for the horribly low quality photo that is to come. It's just not in the cards lately, getting out the DSLR and setting a scene for my food shot when I barely have time to eat it.

Our nights with the babe are short and sweet on a weeknight. Dave and I both typically get home around 6 pm, the sitter leaves, the dog gets a walk, Noelle gets a bottle, and then it's bed time between 8-8:30 pm (for her, not us). In that two hours somewhere one of us makes dinner and we eat. 

Years ago Dave and I started making "Mexican Stirfry." It was one of our favorite dishes. Over the years though, it has transformed into more of a taco bowl. We love eating mexican food, and this is a super easy way to get that fix without all the work and assembly that tacos require.

You'll need ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning, and your veggies of choice to mix in. This night, we chose a red pepper, a green pepper and half an onion that was leftover. We made a side of my favorite yellow rice (Zataran's is the best if you ask me) to go with it. I put my rice and taco mixture in a bowl together, and topped it with chunky avocado. 

In the old days where we had more time to linger over our meals, Dave would make his own pico de gallo, and guacamole. We would have other toppings such as salsa, sour cream, and melty Chihuahua cheese. If you like, I highly recommend these items! However, the sour cream and cheese definitely pack on the calories, so if you're looking for something with slightly less, don't cave into their deliciousness!

From start to finish, I'd say this takes about 35 minutes. Get your rice going first, and when it has about 15 minutes left, start your ground beef. After you've drained the fat out of your pan, add the taco seasoning. Once that is blended together throw in your veggies until they're soft. By the time this is done, your rice will be finished, and you're ready to chow down.


Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This week has been exhausting in our house. Mostly for dad, I will admit. With the cold temperatures a lot of his staff is sick, and as the GM it's his job to pick up the slack. So, Noelle and I have had two nights of mommy baby time, lots of snuggles, but tons of missing daddy too. This week's Wednesday wisdom is for him.

"Just because we cannot do everything for everyone, does not mean we should do nothing for anyone." Bill Clinton

This time of the year, when we're all sluggish, not wanting to get out of bed and head into the real, cold world, I think this little saying will go a long way. Hang in there, help out your friends and coworkers when you are able to. It will come back to you.

Happy end of Wednesday - two more days in the work week!

Stay warm out there, friends.

Noelle's Third Month

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Noelle turned three months old this week. I can't believe how quickly three months has gone by. It's hard to remember what we filled all of our time with be fore she was here. Since I've gone back to work, I made a promise to myself to not let things slide. I've made a huge effort in the past couple weeks to make sure that we eat a good dinner* (I say huge effort because Dave used to do all of our cooking), keep up with chores, and try to have some us time each night too.

One of my favorite things to do each month (or every few days ...) is to look back at the photos from the past few months, and see how much Noelle has grown. We don't really notice it on a day to day basis, but she's obviously grown a lot! So, without further delay, my favorite way to compare Noelle's growth - pictures of her in her swing.
First Month
Second Month
 Third Month

As I mentioned in my 'Mom's Must Haves' post, the 2 in 1 swing is one of my favorite things that we have for her.  We're pretty lucky that Noelle loves it so much too. She plays, naps, and hangs out in it at least a couple times each day (all with supervision of course!).

In the past month Noelle is really found her hands. She reaches for things, and can hold onto toys and blankets so much better than in the last month. She has also gotten really good at holding her head up during tummy time, and when we sit her in our laps. We can tell she wants to roll over, and loves being on her side. When we say "mama" and "dada" to her, she gets really excited too. 

I know this fourth month is going to fly by. January will be over before we know it, and then us girls are using my birthday present plane ticket, and heading to the sunshine state to spend some time with Cammy and Gramps "TBD." I should have some great photos after that trip of Noelle's first big travel adventure. Stay tuned!

*I'll be posting one of my favorite dinner meals sometime in the next week. Be on the lookout!

Another Year

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well, the last year of my 20s has arrived. To be honest, I'm feeling really good about it, too! I had a fantastic 29th year (as my boss reminded me, now actually starts my 30th year), and just know this next year will be even better.

The year started with a ski trip in Colorado with my Father and Brother-in-law, and hubby of course! We skied Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. It was a quick trip, but so worth it to get the skis on and remind myself "I can do this."

In March we took our "spring break" trip to Naples, FL to visit my parents, and all of the great friends we have that joined them for the snowbird life. This was a jam packed week including a trip to Ft. Lauderdale to visit Dave's God Brother, and a couple days in Key West for a friends' wedding.

Over the summer months we enjoyed living by the lake and taking the dog to the park.

We celebrated the upcoming birth of our daughter with three baby showers. One here in Chicagoland with the Dave's side, one in Michigan with my side of the family, and a final shower back here in Chicago with my girlfriends.

Thankfully we managed to squeeze a very quick trip to Higgins Lake. I can't imagine a whole summer passing and not going there. I only hope it will one day be as special a place to Noelle as it is to me.

In the fall we moved, endured a big job change, and welcomed our daughter in the middle of October. Just close enough to Halloween to have a big 1st birthday with a Halloween theme this year. Daddy is excited already!

Thanksgiving was low key here in Illinois with a small group of family - those of us left here.

Christmas was spent in Michigan in the quietness of the "woods." It was so great to get away and really have some R&R. Noelle got to meet half of her Great Grandparents, and her Great Great Aunt. It was nice to be with the family in my favorite place for her first Christmas.

We spent time with the other half of the family back in Chicago, after the holiday. It's always nice to have family in town, and even more so now with a baby. It makes the holidays just that much more exciting.

New Years was the most low key one yet, and for these new parents it meant asleep before the ball dropped!

I truly had a fantastic year, and am so excited for all that this year has in store.


Wednesday Wisdom: Family

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Family has recently (well since October) taken on a whole new meaning to me since the birth of Noelle. Our family is pretty small, so my friends have always been an extension, and much like family to me. When I saw this quote, I just had to share it.

"Family is one of nature's masterpieces." George Santayana

The (Chicago)  Silverman have made it half way through mom's first week back to work without a hitch! Yesterday was our first day with the nanny, and we came home to a clean, fed and happy baby. I guess that's all we can ask for until she can talk!

Happy Wednesday, all.

Back to The Office

Monday, January 7, 2013

I can't believe nearly three months have passed since I've sat at my desk.

The last time I sat there here, I was hoping so much that I wouldn't return the following Monday. I was so ready for our baby girl to join us. It was like I knew. At 11:30 pm that Sunday, my water broke, and off to the hospital we went.

These past few months have gone by in a flash. We've had a ton of visitors, gone on lots of "adventures" (at least for Noelle they are), and made the trek to northern Michigan for Noelle's first Christmas. She's an experienced city girl, and loves the train, or really anywhere she goes in her car seat - such a traveler! Her little personality is starting to shine, and mom and dad get lots of smiles now. It's crazy to look back at the first weeks' photos when she was a bity 6 lbs, compared to the 11 lb "big" girl she is becoming.

two weeks old
two months old
11 weeks old
While in a perfect world I'd stay at home with my munchkin, it is not, and I will return to that desk on Monday returned to work today. I have been was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to spend all of December working from home. I'd like to think that it's made the transition a bit easier than it would have been otherwise.

To even further help with this nasty transition, Noelle will spend Mondays and Friday mornings with her dad. I'm so happy that my first work day in the office she gets to be with the only person who knows her as well as I do. It will ease those nerves just a bit I hope. And, we have been lucky enough to find a nanny that we feel comfortable with, too. Hopefully Noelle will agree with us.

With a lot of support, and encouragement, I'm feeling very good half way through my work day. I managed to make it to the office without too much trouble, and was even early! The only hiccup was that I forgot my lunch, but, I guess I deserve a treat today anyways, right!?

Happy Monday!

P.S. Sorry for all the strike-throughs ... I started this blog a few days ago. One of these days I swear I'll get into a better posting routine. One thing at a time :)