Saturday, August 27, 2011


I have a younger sister.  Her name is Melissa.  We've been friends my whole life.  But I'm not going to talk about her in this post.

This post is about two of my sisters that God has blessed me with through marriage, Erin and Connie.

Erin and I got along from the start.  I helped time her wedding processional.  But we didn't really get to know each other until January 2010, when we both found out within days of each other that we were pregnant.  My second, Erin's first.  Of course, that was an instant connection.  Then we both started having symptoms that led us to believe we might be having miscarriages.  That was pretty much an instant bond.  At that point, we were emailing each other every day, sometimes twice a day, to check on each other and comfort each other.  What a relief when we found out both the babies were ok!

And the bond stuck.  We continued emailing each other (though not quite as often), about our pregnancies, and then about labor, and then about our babies.  And our topics of discussion just started widening out more and more, until here we are a year and a half later, and we literally talk about everything (seriously, you probably can't name a topic that we wouldn't talk about).  If anything happens, Erin is one of the very first people I have to tell!  Getting an email from Erin is always a highlight in my day.  Or a text.  Neither of us likes the phone very much. Having Erin as my sister has been, still is, and I'm sure will always be a huge blessing in my life.

I took longer to adjust to Connie.  The first time Omar took me to visit Connie, when we were just engaged, I was so uncomfortable.  I didn't know how to talk to her, or what to do.  Now that I've gotten to know her better, I absolutely love her.  I can tell she likes it when we visit; she smiles when she watches the kids, and likes to see photos that we bring for her.  She pays attention when I talk to her, and she likes to be touched: rubbing her arm, or especially stroking her hair. She always closes her eyes in enjoyment when I stroke her hair.  I enjoy the time we spend with her now; it feels natural just to sit and chat with her and let her know what's going on in our lives.  This last time we were there, I showed her some pictures of Titus, so she could see how big he is getting.  I showed her some of the scenery in Wyoming, too.  I think she agrees that would be a wonderful place to visit. We always try to take the kids, because Connie likes to watch their antics, but they limit our visits, because by the end of an hour, they are pretty restless and ready to go.  But they are getting used to visiting Connie, too.  William used to be afraid of the big wheel chairs and everything, but he's much more comfortable now.  And Joy was so sweet to Connie this last time, she stroked her face a little and waved bye-bye when we left (Joy doesn't wave bye-bye very often). We need to get down to San Diego to visit her more often.

My beautiful sisters.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crockpot Magic

I am currently in love with my crockpot. Cooking only one or two times a week?  Five minute clean-up after dinner?  Yes, please!

The last few weeks, we've simply been doing a large crockpot meal at the beginning of the week, and eating the leftovers for the rest of the week.  Saves money and time!

It's so wonderful to come home and not be rushing around trying to figure out what's for dinner and cook.  Instead, I can come home and play with my kids, knowing that when it's time to eat, I just have to put a plate in the microwave for a couple minutes.

And after dinner?  Stick a few plates and glasses in the dishwashers, wipe down the table and counters, and actually have some time to relax after the kids go to bed!

I've also found that I really like crockpotting overnight.  It's an idea that has come to my attention many times before, but I always forget about it before actually trying it.  Now it's my favorite.  I discovered that after the kids are in bed, I can actually relax while I'm cooking, and I enjoy the process of chopping and sauteeing and mixing things to put in the crockpot.  The next morning, I transfer the food to tupperware and put it in the fridge, and then quickly wash the crock before the food dries onto it.   Then I head to work already feeling a sense of accomplishment in the day!

And we're cranking out some great meals.  My sister Erin gave me a taco meat recipe that is so delicious!  And this week, we produced our own version of beef stew served over rice that came out quite good.  I also have a southwest chicken recipe to try, from one of my coworkers.  And of course, there's always my classic crockpot stand by: chili!

If you have a great crockpot recipe that I can try, please share!