Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 9 in 2010!

We were so blessed this year with many additions to our family and friends' families:

Andre Adam (nephew) - January 25
Gracie Nichole February - 15
Kadynce Grace - May 13
Jace Wade (nephew) - May 21
Bailey Michelle - June 29
Vince Allen - August 3
Avery Sue - August 7
Ivy Elena - November 7

PLUS we've been blessed with 3 of our very closest couple friends expecting in 2011!
God is SO good!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas break goals

1. recover from my root canal
2. complete our rearranging of every room in our house...(minus the bathrooms and kitchen)
3. finish our address database
4. read A Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers
5. get Mylin on a nap schedule

I have 3 weeks and 5 goals, can I do it?!

What are your Christmas break expectations?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

root canal analysis

Friday evening I had a root canal :(
This is my story.

So, the procedure took well over an hour
As the procedure was explained to Joel and I my palms started to sweat and tears were stinging my eyes as my heart rate picked up
They began to numb me (cut to me tightly closing my eyes so I don't accidentely see the giant long needle in my mouth...)
And then they came back and injected my mouth again with more numbing juice, or so I thought...NOPE! this time it was epinephrin - "so don't think you're so anxious your heart is racing, the drug is actually making it race!!!" nice.
I sat in a chair with my mouth wide open...trying to swallow naturally and not choke or cough and be pierced by the tiny metal dental tools
And then they started to drill, apparently to China.
This was followed by teensy little capillary tubes sucking the infection out of my mouth through the crater in my molar.
Next, as my 'yoga instructor' (as the dentist referred to himself) was helping me concentrate on breathing, I noticed that 'dradle dradle dradle' came on the radio, a Draper family Christmas/Hanukkah joke, and I could hardly keep myself from laughing!
I couldn't make eye contact with my Sports Illustrated reading husband in the super comfortable plastic dental(torture) chair(device) not meant for sitting at all...much less for a near 2 hour dental I was able to contain my laughter - thankfully to find out later Joel also heard the song and was chuckling to himself.
After it's all said and done, we are sent to the pharmacy with lots of prescriptions and questions about what a nursing mother can take.
Getting stocked up from them and getting a much needed shake to fill my belly while the left side of my mouth was still not working, we headed to pick up our sweet baby
We make it home and relax on the couch watching Home Alone 2 and I let the painkillers sink in
My lovely baby slept 9 hours straight that night - which meant mommy got some good sleep too!
So, a day and a half later - I am feeling pretty fine and ready for my follow-up appointment in a week and a half to have all this tooth pain behind me!
Whew. Glad I survived

Anyone else out there have a lovely tooth surgery story?!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

white house black shutters giveaway!

do you have a sweet baby girl?
or a sweet baby girl in your life that you want to shower with an adorable gift?!
visit my friend ann marie's blog
and also visit the baby g's tutu shop on etsy to find out about great tutu's, petti-tutu's, and headbands that might transform my hair and face....

enter their giveaway!

good luck!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

breakfast + Christmastime = dessert...

So, its Christmastime aka cookies/desserts/candies galore...
And this morning I had a banana and a glass of milk for to my scotcheroo...

Then at lunch this morning Joel told me that he wanted to eat either our cold leftover pizza or the Oreo dessert leftover from our Youth for Christ Steering meeting yesterday, for his breakfast this morning

What is happening to us?!

Does anyone out there relate?!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Adventure Box

In my Mom's group on Thursday we were privileged to hear from 3 different mothers who have excelled in specific areas of parenting
One mother discussed their Christmas Adventure Box that they did as a family each holiday season
This box centers around the message of Jesus and incorporates all sorts of Christmas and holiday traditions
I am so excited to start implementing this with our family and preparing to do it with Mylin next Christmas!
Maybe we'll even incorporate some of the ideas this year - such as the family prayer photo album...

Check out the above link and let me know what you think!

Also, what are some great Christmas traditions you grew up with or implement in your family now?!

Friday, December 10, 2010

1st Christmas!

Mylin's first Christmas season is here!
We began celebrating by helping Bushie and Jodgie (Polish names for grandma and grandpa - the drapers) decorate their tree this past weekend
This first picture looks like she is actually helping Joel hang an ornament
What really is happening is that he let her get close enough to the tree that she's grasping for a grip and is probably trying to yank off the ornament he is placing...

Joel was attempting to get a simliar picture of Mylin and me hanging an ornament and in his accidental artistic photo taking he captured this great picture! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


i have a toothache so severe it required an 'emergency' dentist appt. early tuesday afternoon...oops.
i have to have some type of surgery on it (root canal or complete removal), to be determined early next week...oops
it ran so late that by the time i was able to leave to make it to my class it wasn't worth my time in driving (first class i ever missed in 2 1/2 years of grad school!)...oops
i went to the grocery instead and nursed my sore tooth with impulse dessert buying (sweet moments chocolate/caramel cake finger food things, chex mix new holiday cocoa mix, mud slide ice cream, and oreos and pudding for my most recent dessert addiction)...BIG oops.
(nevermind that i'm enjoying some of these as i write this post!
and lastly, tonight when i got home i sneezed so loud and hard that i woke my precious baby from a nap and caused a freak crying fit from her...oopsies.

how'd your day turn out?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

oatmeal cereal

Little miss started eating oatmeal cereal last weekend!
After her first bite, she looked at me and grinned from ear to ear, while all the cereal just fell out of her mouth onto the bib :)
She's got it down after about 10 days, just jabbering, yelling, grabbing the spoon and trying to spill the bowl each evening - what an adventure!

Friday, December 3, 2010

an update and review

about 7 weeks ago I posted about my quest for simplification
i thought it was about time for an update!

As of that posting I had completed one goal of the ten goals: to delete my facebook account!
This was something that I felt I needed to do for me and my family in order to be more fully present with them and less consumed in checking for updates, new pictures, and the status' that are not always G rated...

Since then I have pretty much eliminated t.v. watching aside from grey's anatomy, and the occassional intervention (from A&E) episode I can catch on Netflix online. Any other t.v. watching is Joel and I together, be it Netflix movies or a quick few minutes as we wind down in the evening
I have also begun to surround myself more with Christian women and couples. Joel and I have recently become more invested in the lives of a couple at our church and are feeling so blessed by their friendship and the Godly relationships that it provides for us. I have also been a part of a Mom's group this fall and feel enriched by the other Godly women I am meeting and learning from. I am also going to be in another women's Bible study this winter and am excited about meeting weekly again in a small group to discuess Scripture and our lives.

The three goals that I must concentrate at each day are to listen and talk to Joel each day without the distraction of Mylin, to focus on Mylin while she is awake, and to read Scripture daily. I am doing ok on these three. Each day is different and I pray for motivation, determination, and focus for these goals!

Joel and I have worked out with some friends to trade date nights once a month. So while we haven't worked it out to have a date every other week, we're getting there...

I was exercising 3 times a week when I had a 3 month membership to a local gym, but that membership is up and so is my exercise...I hope to begin running again and Joel and I want to join our city gym that is only 5 blocks away this next year so we have the convenience of walking/running there (instead of scraping our cars) and not have the constraints of strict class times (I was spinning at 5:15am twice a week...that made me sleepy...)
I am still NOT getting up at 6 a.m. each day, even though when I do my days go so much smoother and I am better equipped to meet these simplification goals!
And lastly, my fall semester is wrapping up and I am nearing my graduation date of May 14th, and requirement completion that will happen sometime this summer...I feel as though I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I know its there somewhere!

So, 3 completed, 3 working on daily, 1 in progress, and 3 left to go...I'm not too disappointed!
Any tips, encouragement or hints on how to continue to meet these is appreciated :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

suggestions for study

I am going to be offering a bible study for women at our church this winter
I have been a part of this group for the last year and a half and we have done several different types of studies:
A Wife After God's Own Heart - Elizabeth George
Esther - Beth Moore
Crazy Love - Francis Chan
For Women Only - Shaunti Feldman

I have really loved the different aspects of these groups and how they have grown me as a Christian woman, wife, mother, and humble servant

I am thinking about doing another Beth Moore study this winter because I love the intensity and discipline it requires!
We are probably going to do A Heart Like His, a study of David

What Bible studies have you done or books that have been the center of a study that you have enjoyed and recommend?
What did you learn from them and how did they change your life?!

Monday, November 29, 2010

'bama turkey day

Traveling to Alabama for Thanksgiving in pictures...
Mylin was like Maddie's own little baby...

Joel and Mylin Rachel and Hudson (I promise that was a real book, not just blank pages...)

Maddie, Cosi, and baby Mylin

Hudson, Maddie, and Mylin

Andre (10 months) with Mylin (sadly Andre was sick the first few days so had to keep them separated - this is how it worked!)
This gal couldn't get enough of her cousin :)
Thanks 'Bama Merkles for hosting us on this holiday weekend
We love you all and can't wait to see you at Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

favorite christmas carols

I LOVE christmas music!
There's something about them that swells my heart with love and togetherness
Some years I can hardly wait until the day after thanksgiving when we can start listening to them! (this is Joel's rule...)

My favorite tunes to listen to this time of year are:
Carol of the Bells
Holy Night
12 days of Christmas (only by Straight no Chaser)
What Child is This
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Joel's favorite Christmas tunes are:
Mele Kalikimaka
O Christmas Tree
Silent Night

What are your favorite Christmas carols and when do you start listening to them?!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the easiest muffins ever

i have been making these for the past three thanksgivings
a friend of mine, kim, made them again this year and i realized i could make them with a whole new twist!

1 15oz can pumpkin
1 box of ANY cake mix you desire! (my failsafe is yellow, but i've also used devil's food cake, french vanilla, chocolate fudge, and spice)

mix both until well blended and bake at 350 in muffin tins for 25-30 minutes

vary these recipes with chips or spices of your choice!
my favorites are cinnamon chips in the yellow, french vanilla, or spice, or chocolate chips in the devil's food or chocolate fudge

report back with any new combinations or favorite flavors of your own!

Friday, November 26, 2010

a thanksgiving preview

We ventured to Alabama for Thanksgiving this year!

My brother Adam, his wife, Jill, and their four kids, Maddie, Hudson, Cosi, and Andre, moved here in April

We knew that if we were so far away from our families during the holidays, we'd want some company, so we decided to take Mylin on her first big vacation to visit some of our favorite people!

This is just a preview of the fun we are having :)

Our trip started Tuesday evening and we stopped halfway in Nashville at Opryland to spend about 7 hours in this gorgeous condo, compliments of my parents!

Our amazingly comfortable bed (and my camera flash in the mirror...)

I call this one: 'little girl in a big bed'

And a bonus adorable picture of little miss in the morning!

More to come soon!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

blogging ideas


i need some future post ideas - i have been feeling tired and drained from the new mom/end of semester/holiday craze time of year...and am in need of inspiration!

what blogging topics would you like to see/read?!

(p.s. look forward to some upcoming guest bloggers from my siblings this holiday season!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

oreo delight

1 stick margarine, melted
1 pkg oreo cookies
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (i use fat free because regular is too rich for me)
1 tub cool whip
1 lg. box french vanilla instant pudding

1. crumble (or food process) oreos, add melted margarine and mix well (save some oreos for the top if desired)
2. press mixture into 9x13 pan
3. mix the pudding, using only 3 1/2 cups milk and set aside
4. whip cream cheese until fluffy (i'm lazy and i just warm it), add cool whip and mix well
5. add pudding and beat all together until well blended
6. pour over oreo crust and sprinkle with remaining (if you didn't eat them) oreos
7. refridgerate and enjoy!

i dare you not to eat this all in one day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


today marks a turn in the gorgeous fall weather we've been having, to some cooler temperatures
we try to keep our heat level low in our house to save money, but also high enough to keep our chubby bundle (otherwise known as 'mylin') warm!
i spend a lot of sunday afternoons at my computer finishing up my week's homework while joel and mylin watch football and nap
today i am so chilly!
so i've got myself wrapped in a blanket, sitting over the heater vent in my computer chair, channeling the sweet heat into my warm cocoon!
i guess this makes my homework more bearable...

what are you doing on this cool sunday afternoon?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ladies of the house

I love having a daughter for many reasons
Especially because we get to match our outfits when we go out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Schisler Wedding

On October 30th we were privileged to be in the company of so many celebrating the love of our friends, Ryan and April
Joel was honored to stand up with Ryan, a long-time friend and college roommate

Luckily we caught this sweet moment with our small family after the ceremony before Mylin had a complete meltdown at the reception :) My handsome groomsman with his lovely bridesmaid (the dresses and flowers were gorgeous for an autumn wedding! They even decorated with pumpkins - how cute!)

What a ham :)

The lovely, happiest couple: Ryan and April Schisler!

Monday, November 8, 2010

daylight savings time

this past weekend we all got an 'extra' hour!
yay for a 'long' weekend :)

the draper family rose at 6:00 am when the littlest one decided to wake up starving
she was ready to play after that so we were all up and running several hours before church began
somehow we still managed to not have time for breakfast and had to raid the donut room at church between service and sunday school.....
(p.s. they have cinnamon vanilla creamer and i am in LOVE with it this season!)

all of the above is to point out that we probably got our extra hour of the weekend sunday morning
so what did we spend it doing?
joel and mylin sat on the couch and watched the newest channel our antenna picks up....its a very weird music video rhyme or reason to the videos they choose
want popular country music?!
got it.
how about some creepy videos from the early 90s?
got it.
and back in time to the late 70s when they first started making them?
i, however, spent my extra hour correcting a group homework paper that i spent 4 hours doing saturday night (apparently incorrectly...)

how did you spend your extra hour?!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


At our friend, Michael's annual Halloween party, Joel went as a white board :)
He loved getting out his old college notes and writing fractions all over it!

We didn't go trick or treating with Mylin, but did dress her up for our parents :)
(ignore Joel's serial killer wild eyes in this photo...)
This was a hand-me-down for our nieces Maddie and Cosi!

George and Kari found the funniest glasses at Dollar General and we just had to try them on our little pumpkin :)

Mylin filled out her other sweet outfit from cousin Ethan - very fitting for our little lady that we fondly refer to as pumpkin

Friday, November 5, 2010

goal: attained!

It happened!
This morning the scale showed me the same number it did when I found out (just over a year ago) that I was pregnant!
Newsflash: weighing in post-pregnancy at your pre-pregnancy weight does not mean it is all distributed back in the same way....some stuff still doesn't fit!
But I will take this as success :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


1 year ago today we found out that Mylin was on her way!

Friday, October 29, 2010

a morning in the life of a newborn

this morning mylin and i got to spend some quality time with my sister-in-law leslie, and her 5 month old son, jace
we try to get together often to have some mommy/newborn bonding time - but this is difficult with two teeny babies!

this morning we met at a local bakery downtown
while enjoying our cinnamon rolls and the warm atmosphere, we traded stories of being a new mom, how we're balancing school, time with our husbands, and a social life admidst our kids we sometimes feel out of control emotionally and laughing, a lot (like usual)
as i was bouncing mylin around to help ease the pain of her hiccups i noticed her morning relief rippling against my belly...
i knew she'd need changed, but there was no place to change her, so leslie suggested just sticking her in her carseat
i think leslie may always regret that decision.

as i peeled off her pants, i noticed the poo leaking out one side of her onesie!
i quickly slid a changing pad under her and grabbed my wipes as leslie got jace situated in his carseat so she could assist me
the poo kept coming out and getting all over her clothes, the carseat and my hands!
we ended up stripping her completely nude - and while leslie held her up for my i did my best to 'wash' her whole poopy body off with wipes - during which i realized i had run out and had to borrow leslie's (luckily i was with another diaper bag mom!)
i used my last diaper i had to cover her back up while leslie searched for a replacement outfit...
during the entire poo-shenanigans, the guy behind the counter just watched and chuckled, offering me a plastic bag to dispose of all our mess (sidenote: bag said 'thank you' on it...hahaha)
as i dressed mylin back-up, wonderful aunt leslie used her tide pen to wash off the carseat strap, which innocently got in the way of the morning's explosion!

when i was finished i was sweating!!!
leslie and i will never forget our memorable breakfast out with the babes - and may never share our breakfast's out of our house's again!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

winter comfort meal

vegetable soup and croissants

veggie soup:
1. chop zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and garlic and saute in oil of choice
2. boil a few cups of water with a few chicken bouillion cubes and diced carrots in separate pot
3. in dutch oven combine large can of crushed tomatoes, corn and peas and begin to heat
4. when other veggies are cooked combine all in dutch oven and simmer
5. add pepper, seasoning salt, cumin, and other seasoning as desired

1. unroll a roll of croissants, slather with butter, sprinkle with garlic herbs, or seasonings of choice
2. roll up and cook according to package


Saturday, October 23, 2010

bailey dates :)

Mylin gets to enjoy lots of fun dates with her friend and neighbor, Bailey :)
Eme enjoys these dates too!

Joel and I get to trade dates with Bailey's parents
Last night we had Bailey over
I had just returned home from my counseling internship, and Joel wasn't expected home for 20 more minutes - so I just sat in front of these beauties eating a snack!
I was too afraid to get them out and try to handle it myself in case they both got mad!

Miraculously, when Joel had our delicious dinner all ready, Bailey and Mylin both fell asleep!
They slept for 30 minutes - allowing us to eat and clean up
P.S. this never happens to us during dinnertime with just one baby....

Monday, October 18, 2010

a bundle of fun

I should have posted these long ago :)
They are from when she was 12 weeks old - now she's 16!

Kissing these chubby cheeks each morning is the best part of our lives :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


i am starting a quest to simplify my life
i desire to become more patient, more focused on Christ's work in my life, more focused on my husband and daughter and my roles as a wife and mother, more laid-back, more cheerful, more loving, more humble, more disciplined, and more organized
here are a few of my ideas on how to accomplish these goals (or at least work towards them)
1. deactivate my facebook account (DONE! as of today)
2. watch less t.v. (basically narrow it to my thursday night of grey's anatomy - my weekly 'me' time, and then our Netflix movies and shows we get twice a week or have access to online)
3. spend time daily reading Scripture (how many times have we ALL made this a resolution?!)
4. focus on Mylin when she is awake (don't text, don't always watch a will&grace episode, don't change the laundry and wash the dishes...)
5. spend time talking to and listening to Joel every day without Mylin (its amazing how infrequently this happens!
6. have a date with Joel every other week (going out or staying in, without the baby!)
7. surround myself with Christian women and couples (to challenge me and keep me accountable)
8. complete graduate school!
9. spend time exercising 3+ times a week
10. get up at 6 a.m. (or earlier) most days (for chores, getting ready before Mylin is up, and some time with Joel to begin our day)

ok these were just off the top of my head and in no particular order
it helps me to have a list written down, and to tell others so I can be kept accountable
i have one goal complete! and nine more stated...probably many more to come!

what goals have you all set in your lives lately?
which ones have you accomplished?!

Friday, October 8, 2010

crockpot chili

i am not one for 'following' a recipe or 'measuring' ingredients

this is why i love crockpot cooking - cause you don't really have to do either of those things!

i make it different every time...i know some amounts of what i put in, and some i have no clue :)
1 lb ground turkey seasoned with chili powder while cooking
1 lb hamburger
(ended up NOT being able to fit a 3rd lb - sausage, b/c the crockpot was nearly overflowing!)
1 large can diced tomatoes
emptied a leftover jar of chili sauce that was in the fridge
2 cans hot chili beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 green pepper pureed
1 med. onion pureed
5 jalepenos from our garden pureed
1 package of mushrooms chopped
a lot of corn off the cob pulled from our freezer stock
a lot of garlic (we always use a lot of garlic - yum!)
onion salt
garlic salt
brown sugar

i might have forgotten something...but you can't really go wrong with chili!

one of the best parts about crockpot cooking? especially with chili? crockpot liners :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

$ saver ideas

2010 has brought on a LOT of changes for us!
These family changes required us to make some life changes in order to rearrange our budget

These are some ways we've figured out how to save $ in the Draper household:

We got rid of satellite on our t.v. (now we 'enjoy' the farmer 5)
I cut both Joel's and Eme's hair...yes, with the same pair of shears :)
Joel rides his bike to work on every day he can
I carpool to HU with a neighbor who is in my program
We began a garden this year to grow some of our own veggies (sidenote: this got WAY out of control...I'd venture to guess we have been the owners of well over a thousand tomatoes this year...)
Joel has learned how to fix/replace some of our car parts and problems to save on labor costs at a mechanic
I borrowed about half of my maternity wardrobe from a sister-in-law, another sister-in-law, and close girlfriends
We got as much hand-me-down furniture and clothes for Mylin as possible, from my brother's families (cradle, crib, pack-n-play, 0-18 mo girl clothes)
I also tried my hand at making baby food (um, way easy!) and made over 50 containers this summer
We keep our house warm in the summer and cool in the winter to cut down electricity costs
And we elected not to get any extra tests with and for Mylin in preparation for her birth

While we have had an expensive year with pregnancy, a surprise c-section, and graduate school, we hope that what we have put in place and continue to change will keep us afloat, financially!

Do you have any tips for us?
How have YOU saved money this year?!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

birthday love!

September 27th was eventful :)
1:00 am Mylin wakes up mommy to tell her happy birthday (she was screaming it...) and to eat!
5:00 am Mylin gets mommy up again to scream that she loves me and wants some more food :)
8:30 I'm up for my day - I kind of slept in!
10:00 we bundle up and go to the Bohemian Bean for a large Mocha Mudslide (mocha, irish cream and chocolate milano...YUM!)
12:00 - 1:00 lunch at home with hub!
1:30 drop Mylin off at grandma Karen's while I go to class (blech - no one likes school on their birthday!)
4:45 I arrive back home the same time Joel gets home with Mylin and we change (I pump) and take Mylin to the towne's for the evening
5:50 Joel drops me off at a massage he got from Groupon !!!
7:30 We get lost in Fort Wayne :)
8:00 We make it to Club Soda (another groupon deal Joel found!) for an AMAZING dinner! We enjoyed tuna seshemi, crab cakes, a duck roll, coconut shrimp, and smoked gouda dip - which was our appetizer! Soup and salad and bread in between and then a seafood pasta we could barely get a few bites from! (enjoyed the next day for lunch)
10:00 arrive home to our baby girl
12:00 everyone is finally asleep and I am officially 26.
p.s. next morning Joel gave me Francine Rivers newest book, A Mother's Hope

Thanks for such a wonderful, surprise birthday babe! I love you SO much!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

workout/weight loss update

spinning is going great!
i'm still doing it 2 times a week with another new mama - which keeps me accountable!
this last week i also joined a zumba class that was free on saturday morning
that was SO fun and funny and i was sore afterwards!

the exercise helps me sleepy body be productive when i get up and get it moving
it also helps me get a great start to my morning and provides some alone time for joel and i on those mornings to enjoy breakfast together (i'm up at 4:30, home and showered by 6:30 and joel doesn't leave until 7:15)

all this to say that i'm feeling good post baby!
my goal was to lose all the weight by my birthday (6 days away)
however, these last 5 lbs are just lingering (this may or may not be due to my new obsession with all things oreo...oreo ice cream, plain oreos, and this new oreo/pudding pie - recipe coming soon!)
it also doesn't help that bluffton's 100th street fair begins tonight and we live so close that the grease smell permeates our house and the food somehow makes it to my stomach (and thighs, and bottom, and so on...)
i'll enjoy all of it though!
yummy! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

quick and easy dinner and dessert!

ground chicken (or chopped chicken breast)
any dressing/marinade (our new favorite: roasted red pepper vinigrette)
whole wheat pasta
any other veggies wanted
salt and pepper

cook chicken in skillet
put in bag/tupperware with marinade (freeze or refrigerate until day of use)
cook pasta and drain
return pasta to pan and add chicken marinade and veggies (and some extra marinade...)
warm all together for 10ish minutes

easy and delicious!
we served ours with a side of asparagus which we are currently addicted to this summer

bonus: great recipe cause 1/2 of it can be made ahead of time and stocked up in the freezer!

1 can crescent rolls
chocolate chips
melted butter
egg white
cinnamon/sugar mix

roll out the crescent rolls on a pan and brush with melted butter
fill with chocolate chips and roll back up
brush tops with egg white/water mixture and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top
bake at 375 for 15 minutes

DELICIOUS! i just got these out of the oven and i'm pretty sure they'll all be gone by tonight...
can make them with peanut butter and chocolate, or add some marshmellow creme to the chocolate crescents for a smore! thanks kim!!!
i made some with chocolate and some with butterscotch chips :)

bonus: can be used for breakfast, snack, or dessert

Monday, August 23, 2010

the summer in numbers

My crazy summer:

16 hours of labor without medication
4 1/2 days in the hospital
1 precious baby girl that is my daughter!!!
6 hours in a graduate class with a 4 week old
43 tupperwares of baby food made and frozen (peaches, green beans, squash, carrots, and peas&carrots)
24 jars of salsa canned from the goodies in our garden
1 bushel of peaches pitted, peeled and canned for winter
5 lbs of frozen blueberries
7+ weeks of not having to cook any meals for ourselves!
2 grandma's that will care for Mylin as I finish school
12 credits left until I have my Master's in Counseling
4 long car trips to meet (for Mylin) and visit (for Joel and Rachel) family and friends in IN, MI, and OH
countless visits and presents from friends and family
handfuls of times rolling from tummy to back (Mylin, not us, we've been doing that for years...)
millions of sweet smiles from our baby girl

1 amazing, loving, and serving husband who has made this whole experience of motherhood more enjoyable and exciting than I ever could have imagined!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


today i went to a spinning (cycling) class at our local gym/workout placething
i went with a girlfriend of mine who also had a baby girl in june
we signed up for a 3 month aerobic package and are trying to go spinning twice a week to help melt off the excess baby weight!!!

day 1: can't remember the last time i sweat this much and my undercarriage is SORE from 'riding' a bike again (we all know this feeling...) but i felt great afterwards!
plus, because the class is at 5:15am, when i get home shortly after 6 and showered up i am able to spend some one-on-one time with joel which is hard to come by these days

wish me luck!
i have 7 lbs to go in about 5 weeks before my goal of being back at pre-baby weight by my birthday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

look what's blooming at our house...

seriously. how cute is she?!
and how cute is that adorable headband?!?!

Monday, August 9, 2010


i have been struggling with finding contentment in my daily life
a lot of my time is spent with miss mylin - which i enjoy!

however, when i'm nursing her, i'm thinking about whether she'll fall asleep, how long will she stay asleep, what can i do while she's sleeping, and if i can get a chance to sleep some too...
then while she's sleeping i'm worrying about what time she'll wake up, how long she will eat, if i can manage to eat at the same time, if i can leisurely read while nursing her, or if i'm just going to continue through the will&grace series like i have been...
when i'm away i'm wondering if she's crying, hungry, gassy, sleeping peacefully at home with daddy or at our parents houses...

all of this to say is that i am not being fully present in the moment of my day - i'm always looking one (or seven) steps ahead instead of finding contentment in the nursing, the napping, the chores, and the time away

any advice or suggestions?!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The WHOLE family!

Mylin meets the whole Merkle family!
We got together for an afternoon since Adam, Jill, and their kids were going to be up from Alabama for the weekend - what a crazy and fun afternoon with our parents, the eight of us kids and eight grandkids!

Cousin Maddie wanted to hold baby Mylin every chance she got! VERY sweet :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I promise that one day (maybe soon, maybe not) I will return to having posts that are not entirely about Miss Mylin :)
I'm assuming I will have things in my life again that don't revolve around her!

Today Mylin and I went on our first expedition by ourselves! It was my first time driving in 3 weeks and also my first time driving around our sweet little birdie! I went to Huntington for a 1 hour meeting and our graduate receptionist insisted on scooping Mylin up and watching her during my meeting - what a blessing! When I came out she was feeding her a bottle and had just changed her diaper :)

Also, being a mom means you learn all sorts of new tricks that are amazing...
1. I fed Mylin a bottle in the middle of the night while going to the bathroom...(wiping was a challenge)
2. Today I pumped (which I have to hold onto) and had her wrapped up comfortably on my lap at the same time!
3. Generally carrying things up and down the stairs (which I am supposed to limit) is crazy from looping pillows around my arms, carrying water bottles, trying not to drop my cell phone and remembering to grab our sheet to keep track of nursing amounts/times - all while trying NOT to trip over Eme who is ever at my feet!

Overall my life has changed drastically in an instant and I feel like I am in an alternative universe! Hopefully I'll be returning shortly...

Friday, July 9, 2010

bottles, 2 week birthday, and weight loss goal

Miss Mylin had her first bottle last night! As you can tell by the pictures, Daddy was loving it!
He said the first time he gave her the bottle her eyes were closed and she latched on right away...but the second time he put it in her mouth her eyes were open and she didn't take it right away, but just furrowed her brow and stared at 'hey, this isn't what i think it is and you're not my mom...'

Today is Miss Mylin's 2 week birthday! I can hardly believe that :) To celebrate the occasion I accidentely dressed us alike - which I'm afraid I may become too fond of... (she didn't want her picture taken...)

Lastly, with 2 weeks post baby under my belt I've gone from 35 extra lbs of baby to 10 lbs left to go before pre-baby weight! I hope to hit this goal by my birthday at the end of September...
Then my next goal will be to lose an additional 8 lbs that will take me back to my wedding weight! I'm hoping to reach this one by Christmas
Joel is also hoping to lose 10ish lbs to get down to his pre-baby weight of last summer as well :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

first baby sitter!

Last Friday night Joel and I took a big excursion to Wal-Mart and Mylin stayed with her first baby-sitter - Aunt Roni!
We were gone for a whopping 1 hour (and I missed her the whole time) and Roni said Mylin slept through it all :)

We took a picture with her before we left to mark this momentous occasion!