Sunday, August 26

Sugar Cookie Recipe

This past week was wonderful to say the least.  I only had to work two days!  The office was closed for the week, so I decided to take advantage of the time off and get some things done.  My poor house has been neglected with this pregnancy.  It was catch up time.  It felt so good to scrub my bathrooms, fold the laundry, dust, vacuum, etc.  I had one happy husband at the end of the week.  

Since I won't be working once I have the baby, I still want to help bring in some money.  The perfect opportunity came for me to learn how to do eyelash extensions.  Tyson ordered me my table, we purchased the light, and before we knew it, I had my own one stop eyelash stop right in my house.  My friends were gracious enough to let me practice on them, this week.  I really enjoy putting the eyelashes on.  It's the ideal job for a perfectionist.

So if you come visit me in Cali, I will do your lashes.

It has been fun spending time with GiGi.  The time is winding down that she will not be the only little girl in our house.  

I love her to pieces and am soaking up every minute.

Tyson finished painting baby girls cradle.  I absolutely love how it turned out.  It was his when he was a baby.  I am so happy his mom saved it over all of these years.  

We still need to paint her dresser but her nursery is finally coming together.  I ordered her bedding and am in the process of finding some unique pictures to fill the frames in her room. 

I had my blood glucose test this week.  I had heard so many nightmare stories about the drink.  I was anticipating gagging, possibly throwing up after what I had heard, however after trying it, it wasn't so bad.  Getting my blood drawn was the worst.  I HATE getting pricked.  I am so nervous about the epidural.   Needles and me do not go very well together.

I start my third trimester tomorrow!  Hip Hip Hooray!  The end is in sight.  

This pregnancy had done some funny things to my taste buds.  I crave salads, salads, salads.  I usually hate salads, unless of course it's from Cafe Rio, but for some reason all I want is salad.  My new favorite as of late, is Broilers chicken salad.  I think I had it three times this last week.

Tyson's friend needed him to model for some pictures for his photography website.  I loved each and everyone of them.  This one was my favorite.  

Isn't he a dreamboat?

In between all of my running around I found some time to whip up Grandma Betty's Sugar Cookies.  I wasn't lying when I said I have been in a baking craze.  Now sugar cookies are one of my favorite treats.  I never had a good recipe, until I married into the Parker family.  I remember back to when Tyson and I were dating and a package came in the mail, from his mom and dad for Valentine's Day.  Inside were the dreamiest cookies I have ever tried.  

If you don't believe me try for yourself.  I promise they do not disappoint. 

Grandma Betty's Sugar Cookie Recipe

Mix: 3/4 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add: 2 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt.
Wrap the dough in tinfoil and let sit in the fridge over night or at least for 4 hours
Roll out cookies
Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes

Buttercream Frosting 
(on the back of C&H Pure Can Sugar box)

1 box powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick of butter (softened)

Beat with a mixer and enjoy

Hopefully next week I can have as much energy and can continue the nesting around these neck of the woods. 

Tuesday, August 21


Fall must be right around the corner because I am finding myself in the mood to bake and craft, like no ones business.  I have even put out the fall scented soaps and candles throughout my house.  Don't get me started on the Halloween decorations in Home Goods right now.  I just can't hold in the excitement for my favorite season of the year, any longer.  

I had been promising Tyson that I would make him some chocolate chip cookies, for some time now, so I decided there is no better time than the present.  Tonight I whipped out his mother's chocolate chip cookies, while watching Netflix.  These cookies are fantastic, but the dough is even better.

The Recipe

1. Cream together 1 lb. softened butter, 2 cups dark brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups white sugar.  Beat together with 2 tsp. vanilla

2. Add 3 eggs and beat 3-4 minutes

3. Stir together 6 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt in a separate bowl.

4. Combine flour mixture to cream mixture.

5. Add chocolate chips (I use Guittard real milk chocolate chips and Ghirardelli class white chips)

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Hope you enjoy!  As for me, back to Netflix.  Tyson finally caved!  Love that boy of mine.

Wednesday, August 15

What Not To Say

A Few Helpful Hints On What Not To Say To A Pregnant Lady

-Look at your ghetto booty

-Maybe I didn't recognize you because your face has gotten wider
-Move it fatty
-Hey chubby
-Wow your feet
-Look at your ghetto booty
-Are you on a regular exercise plan
-You better start using stretch mark cream

If you can't tell already, I have been told by one to many people that I am large.  I have seriously wanted to slap a couple of  people.  Maybe, a time or two I have noticed a little weight gain on someone, but never would I flat out tell them.  There are some things that you should just keep to yourself.

Sometimes I want to cry other times I want to laugh.  Yes, maybe I had to get maternity jeans a lot earlier than most other women and I might have even grown out of them.  But I can say, I have a healthy baby girl growing inside of me and that is all that matters.

Thank heavens I have a darling husband who loves my new curves and makes me feel more beautiful than ever.  He has even let me spend countless dollars on maternity clothes, even though I know that is the last thing he would like to be spending our money on.  One of my sister-in-laws took me shopping.  She was kind enough and knew how much I needed maternity clothes.  This was one of the kindest acts anyone has ever done for me.

I now have sympathy for pregnant women.  I can understand why they waddle, why they NEED the AC blasting and why sleeping with a million pillows is totally normal.

So if you see a prego, take my advice and leave out the fat jokes.  There are a few situations in life where I think it is totally okay to lie.  I realize I am hormonal and most people have good intentions but the feelings are still real.

If you are pregnant or become pregnant you deserve to pamper yourself.  A warm bath, massage, pedicure, your favorite meal, a good show or book are what I have found help.  For goodness sakes you are growing a human inside of you.  I have to remind myself of that daily!

Wednesday, August 8

24 Weeks

I have been horrible about documenting my pregnancy.  I always imagined how I would surprise Tyson with the news, take weekly photos, and document all of my feelings.  I have done non of the above.  I hope to do better at writing my feelings and emotions as I go through this pregnancy.  

It all started a few months back.  I couldn't contain my excitement when I saw the words pregnant on the test.  I screamed from the bathroom, TYSON!  I ran out to him in the kitchen jumping up and down.  He had no idea what was going on.  I showed him the test that read PREGNANT.  I didn't imagine seeing those words again for awhile, especially after being a month after my miscarriage.  Words couldn't describe the feelings I had.  I called my mom immediately.  It was almost impossible to contain my excitement and not shout it from the rooftops.  

Going to my first doctors appointment was a little nerve wrecking, seeing as the last time I was there I had received bad news.  The appointment went well and everything looked great.  We couldn't stop smiling.  It was hard to allow myself to be completely excited at first because I didn't want things to turn out as they did the last time.  I had a better feeling this time around and prayed for the strength to push out any negative thoughts.

The following doctors appointment we were able to hear the little hear beat.  Tyson and I had tears.  It was the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard.  She looked like a little bean and I couldn't have been more in love.

I have always heard of girls being able to wear there regular jeans their entire pregnancy or only gaining 20 lbs.  I am the complete opposite.  I was in maternity jeans after the first month...... no joke.  I couldn't and still can't stand tight clothing.  As soon as I get home from work, off came the clothes.  The first trimester I was able to make it through work all but one day, but as soon as I walked through the door I was in bed and out for the rest of the night.  Nothing sounded good to eat, I had horrible sinus issues, and headaches.  Being in the kitchen made me sick.  As for my back well that's a story in its own.  Thank heavens for my chiropractor for putting my pelvis back in alignment.  I defiantly slacked at my wife roles this trimester.  No laundry or dinner for months.  There was a complete lack of energy.  My growing boobs hopefully made up for that. 

All of the ups and downs are so worth it when we got to see an ultrasound.  Seeing our baby girl move around for the first time was so sweet.  Finding out we were having a girl was even more fun.  Each ultrasound has been great watching her evolve into a tiny human.  Being able to see her little features kills me. 

As many have stated, being in the second trimester has been much better.  My back has felt so much better.  My love for food has returned, however the acid reflux has now kicked in.  I wake up in the middle of the night choking on my acid. It's awesome.  I can no longer wear my wedding ring and my feet have grown who knows how many sizes bigger.  Thank heavens for Tyson's foot and back rubs.  

I am happy my mom has been there to lend an ear.  She sits and laughs and cries with me.  She gets a kick out of me being a hot mess.  Mom's are the best.  I always tell her what I would give to have her come cook Tyson and I dinner or mop my stinkin floors, because I know she would do it.  I already look forward to the day she will be here to help me take care of this little girl.

Feeling our baby move for the first time was so neat.  Having Tyson feel her kick for the first time was even better.  I loved seeing that smile on his face.  She has been kicking like crazy.  I love watching my belly go up and down.  These little moments make everything worth it.  

I feel so blessed to be having this little miracle.  As much as I complain about all of the weight that I have gained or how awful I feel, I wouldn't change it for the world.  I get teary eyed every time I think about holding her for the first time.  I can't wait to see what she looks like.  More than anything I can't wait to see Tyson as a dad.  I know that he will be an outstanding father and is going to be wrapped around her little finger.  He already takes such good care of us.  

This pregnancy has deepened my love for my husband and opened my eyes to a whole new feeling of respect for mothers.  I know it will only continue to grow.  I honestly don't know how my mom did this five times.  She continues to be my hero in more ways than I could have imagined.  

There have been a few moments since my dad has passed away, that I cannot deny his presence.  Just the other day, I was blessed with one of these moments.  I was sitting on the floor in Newport getting ready and I had this overwhelming feeling that he was proud of me and was so happy for this chance  I get to be a mother.  Tears came to my eyes, knowing that my dad loves me and this little girl and that although I cannot see him I still get to feel him near.

Who knows what the next fews months have in store for me but I know they are preparing me for this next stage of life and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, August 5

Newport Beach 2012

One of the highlights to every summer is the Parker/Cleveland Family Reunion to Newport Beach.  It has been a ongoing tradition for Tyson's family for years.  I had been craving the weather, food, and the beach for months.  

Our first day there we had to indulge in some Cafe Rio and Balboa Bars.  Two of my favorite things.  

The chapel that we attend church in, is right across from the Newport Temple.  It is such a gorgeous Temple.  

We attempted to take some family photos while at the beach.  I have never been one for for family photos, but I realize there are just some things that have to be done.

My sweet in-laws who make this trip possible every year.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Tyson ever.  I seriously love his smile.  

Our nephew Jon.

Something seems to always happen while attempting pictures.  Our niece Brielle took a face dive into the rocks, right before we were supposed to take the pictures.  The poor girl had the biggest goose egg on her head.  Needless to say, we are missing a few in the picture below. 

 Jon and Ashley (Kyle's family, Tyson's brother who passed away) were able to come to the beach this year.  It was so fun to catch up with them and get to know them even better.  Ashley was so sweet to take me shopping for some maternity clothes.  Honestly one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.  I was in such need.

What can I say we tried!

 My feet have swelled significantly, so Tyson took me to get some new shoes.  Don't worry that a day after purchasing a 1/2 size bigger shoe than normal, my foot could no longer fit into the shoe.  Oh the joys of pregnancy.

We spent hours laying out by the beach.  

Me and my beautiful sister-in-laws at the family campfire. 

 We took a little bike ride down the boardwalk to Jane's Corndogs.  It was soooo tasty!

One of my favorite places in Newport is Fashion Island.  I am a sucker for puppies and they happen to have the most fantastic pet store.  They let you hold as many puppies as you would like and for however long you would like.  I fell head over heals for this baby bulldog.  

I tasted my first ever Macaroon.  Salted carmel was by far my favorite.  

I spent hours falling more and more in love with this book.  Seriously one of the best books I have ever read.

I got to watch Tyson surf one morning.  I was very impressed.  It was only his second time and he no fear.

We got Pinkberry every chance we could get.  It was oh so fantastic.

Since Kiersten lives so close we decided to take a drive to San Clemente to see her and Jordan's apartment.  They took us to a delicious breakfast cafe.  I had Huevos Rancheros, my favorite.  

While eating we noticed a parrot sitting on a palm tree.  Don't worry some guy just brought his pet a long for some breakfast.  I was nervous to have this beautiful guy on my arm.  Luckily he didn't bite.

Kiersten and Jordan took us on base to the beach.  We had a blast watching the boys boogie board.  The waves were enormous.  I was a nervous wreck watching them.

It was great to spend some quality time with my sister girl.  Her and her hubby made us dinner and while the boys went to Batman we made cookies and watched Gossip Girl.  

Vacations are never long enough, but it always feels so good to come home to this little face.

Next year will be an entire new chapter taking a baby to the beach.  We soaked up every second being just the two of us but cannot wait for our little one.  We got her some cute outfits while at the beach and can't wait to put them on her.

Until next year....