This is why

This picture right here sums it all up.  This is why I (we) do it every day.  Why I haven’t had a full nights sleep in over three years.  Why after all of the long days of refereeing, changing diapers, cleaning up art projects and doing laundry I still have a smile on my face.  Watching them together and seeing the love they have for one another genuinely warms my heart.  At almost 3 and 19 months these girls put smiles onto others faces, they make bad days better and long days bearable.  They are amazing little individuals who have beautiful hearts and I am so proud to call them my daughters.

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Spring Fever

Spring has sprung (barely) and we are trying our hardest to enjoy some warm weather!  I know that by living in New England I should be used to Roller Coaster weather but this is just ridiculous!  Today is May 13th and I tjust turned our heat on!  4 days ago it was in the mid 80’s!  Blah!!!!

I really want the warm weather to come and to stay!  I promise I won’t complain when it is so humid we can barely breathe, or when I look at our Electric bill after 30 days of round the clock Central Air.  Pinky promise, I swear!  Warm weather and sunshine is so motivating!  It makes you want to start your day earlier, eat your healthiest and drink lots of summer drinks.  Okay, I know, I know!  I drink all year long so what’s the difference you are wondering?  No difference in quantity but my beverage of choice does change!  Don’t judge me, 2 girls only 16 months apart, enough said!  Back to my topic now.  I want warm weather and I want it now!

Here’s a few pictures of the girls outside!

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399924_10200508526947634_1357423209_n  391123_10200506138687929_189541977_n  Oh and I’m sure you have noticed how huge the Girls are!

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Easter Festivities

Like most Holidays, Easter came with a new excitement now that we have the girls.  Being able to experience the festivities with them and seeing the genuine joy that they feel is truly something remarkable.  It also is an ongoing reminder to take time and enjoy every moment of every day.

We started our Easter weekend with a small egg hunt at a friends’ house on Friday.  It was the perfect introduction to this tradition for McKenzie, and Corinne.  It was also the first semi-warm day since last Fall so it was nice to be outside!  The girls and the other kiddos there had a blast!

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Saturday was our usual routine of Gymnastics and Dance classes for Corinne and I.  The rest of the day was spent running into a million and one stores for all of the last minute items and our weekly grocery shopping.  Before the girls went up to bed they left their baskets out for the Easter Bunny so he could leave them some treats!  After the girls went to sleep Josh, Tiago (our room mate) and I started putting together their Easter baskets.  To me, Easter baskets are more about the thought and are for fun.  I never even knew until after high school that it was possible to buy the pre-made wrapped in cellophane kind.  Not that there is anything wrong with those, it just takes all of the fun out of it for me!  I enjoy doing these little things for them.  We filled our eggs with jelly beans, stuffed their baskets, and set up the table for them.  With two dogs in the house that are especially found of all things candy, the baskets needed to be up high!

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Thankfully the Easter Bunny was finally able to get his paws on the Doc McStuffins doctor’s kit that a certain little girl has been wanting for months!

Corinne and McKenzie woke up bright and early Sunday morning excited to see what treats the Easter Bunny left for them!  Lol!  They were very happy and excited when they came down and saw the easter eggs throughout the downstairs, the baskets on the table, and a note the Easter Bunny left for them.

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 I know you love Corinne’s fabulous outfit!  Her new thing is to “change her outfit”  after we put her to bed every night.  It is amusing to see what she has created every morning when she wakes up!

For Easter dinner we went to a lovely families house!  They are a great big Italian family, that love to eat, laugh and spoil our girls!  Ha ha!  The food is amazing and I always eat too much while we’re there and bring home way too much food!  Besides the amazing hospitality, one of the highlights of spending time with this family is listening to the Women talk about their labor stories and breastfeeding their little one’s.  It’s so cool to hear them talk about nursing, there is an absence of bragging or needing to prove themselves, it was just what was done.  They all nursed one another’s kids when needed too!

All in all Easter was a blast this year!  The girls had so much fun which always makes Josh and I happy.  How was your Easter?  I would love to hear how you spent it and see pictures!  If you wrote your own Easter post link it in the comments!

So they won’t forget

 

I know that the day will come when they bicker more than they laugh together, where they take from each other more than they share, and when public displays of their love for each other will be scarce.  So I will take a million pictures now so I can remind them of their love for one another until that God awful phase ends and they are best friends again! 

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Loaded String Beans

We had these last Sunday for dinner and they were super yummy and as usual very easy to make.

1 pound string beans  Image

4 or 5 slices of bacon

2 cloves garlic

1/2 a small onion (1/4 cup chopped)

EVOO, salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is preheating you will cook the bacon, onions and garlic on the stove.  I used cooking shears to cut the bacon into smaller pieces.  Once the bacon is partially cooked and some fat has rendered out add your onions and garlic and continue cooking.  When it’s all set pour it over top of your string beans in a baking pan.  Drizzle some EVOO and salt and pepper to taste and give it a quick toss with your hands.  Cover with foil and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the string beans are soft.

Hope you enjoy them and as always have fun!

Sunday Dinner

Roasted Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Loaded String Beans

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Don’t you wish you were invited to dinner today?

Ha Ha Ha!

I started the pork shoulder this morning by preheating our oven to 280 degrees and taking out the top rack.  To season the meat I made a quick marinade with green peppers, onions, garlic and rosemary.  I do a large chop of the veggies and lightly saute them with some EVOO and season with salt, pepper, cumen and Spanish paprika.  I then put it all in the blender with some more EVOO, puree and there’s my marinade!

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I poked a few holes on the bottom, sides, and top of the shoulder.  First place the meat in a roasting pan fat side down and pour half of the marinade on top and coat with a spoon or your hand.  Then flip so the fat is on top and pour the remainder of the marinade and again coat with a spoon or your hand.  Cover with a tight layer of tin foil and you’re ready to go!

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I let the pork roast for about 4 hours and then I started basting it every 20 minutes.  After 5 1/2 hours I removed the foil and left it in there for another 45 minutes.  Take it out and it’s ready to go!

This is one of the easiest recipes out there!  If you want to skip the marinade step just season with your favorite flavors and drizzle with some EVOO and you’re ready to go!  I will be posting my secret sweet potato and loaded string beans recipes later this week!  Enjoy and as always have fun!

Some unsolicited advice

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I always knew that one I was blessed enough to become a Mom I would also take on the role of being a SAHM.  I never really put much thought into the how’s and why’s, I just knew it was how it had to be.  After the birth of Corinne the starts aligned in my favor and I was able to stay home full time with her.  The transition has been rough at times but the rewards are obvious and it is something that I love and feel honored I am able to do.

I remember many times feeling guilty when Josh was leaving for work and I was laying on the couch with our beautiful baby sleeping on my chest, or on cold, rainy days when I had the luxury of staying inside nice and warm and he did not.  But like everything else in life there is a balance and all aspects have to be considered.  There are the days when she would be extremely fussy and difficult to console and he would be walking out the door while she was screaming, or when you finally think you are able to take a shower and your peacefully sleeping baby wakes up screaming!  Yeah, it’s not all naps on the couch and play dates.