Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good Morning.

I can say that, as it is officially after midnight.

Look at me burning the midnight oil.  I could't sleep, so I got up to read, and then I had to set my book aside because it is coming to the end and it's one of those books where I'm just not ready to let the story go, even though I want to gobble my way through the remaining chapters.  Luckily it's a series, so I foresee a walk to the library tomorrow to get the fourth book.  I'll be disappointed if I have to wait for it.

For your Wednesday morning: blue skies and the Minneapolis skyline.  Don't you love vacation?  I sometimes wish I could be on vacation forever. But then, home is nice, too.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Well played.

Last weekend I told Finn: "Go find your dad!  It's Father's Day and you should spend as much time with him as possible!"  Because he loves me, the little lamb complied.

Did I mention Finn had just filled his baby-drawers with a load of liquid hot magma?

Friday, June 22, 2012

On the road again...

Everyone in my house is still sleeping.  Every single person.  Except me, which is rare, because we all know I'm not a huge advocate of morning. But the birds are singing outside, the coffee is happily percolating and do I have huge plans for my small ones this weekend. Huge. We are on the road again (in approximately one hour if I can swing it!) and boy, do I have some surprises up my sleeve.  Sometimes it's good to be the one who gets up early, makes the coffee and has an entire hour to herself to plot and plan these kid's weekend away.  And you know, I've come to the conclusion this week that, while the summer of 2012 is going absolutely nothing like I had originally planned (I officially put the Hefter Family Bucket List on permanent hiatus a few days ago), it's actually going much better.  So much better.

From our trip last weekend, lunch stop in Atlantic, IA:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sarah & Michael sitting in a tree...

My littlest sister is getting married.
She asked me to be her maid of honor.
I accepted.  Obviously.
I thought it was fun to plan my own wedding.
Helping someone else spend their money should prove to be even more enjoyable!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You Capture | Pretty

Someone who figures that taking a step backward
after taking a step forward is not a disaster,
it's a cha-cha."
Robert Brault

I'm always the glass-half-empty girl.  This week, I'm going to try to be the glass-half-full girl (and by half full, I mean of flowers, not of gin!).  Trying to be inspired to capture more pretty things and also trying to view the world as one big cha-cha.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Back from a mini-vaca to the hot as blazes, humidity-ridden Kansas City.  Just enough time to get some laundry done and our house in order before we head off on another adventure next weekend. Wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten about you.  I've just been...distracted.   All will be balanced soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kitty Kitty & Tomatillo Shrimp Enchiladas (I know, they don't really go together.)

I swear, I only turned around for one second and Finn was feeding Kitty Kitty at the table.  I don't even know how Kitty Kitty made it to the table without me seeing her (toys stay away from the table at dinner time - too much of a distraction), much less how she got her fluffy, stuffy face shoved in some corn and ketchup.  And Finn kept saying things like: "Go ahead." and, "Kitty Kitty eat?  Yum!" and, "Eat it up!"  We seem to have tipped over the precipice into full-on toddler mode.  His thoughts connect and his sentences have 3-4 words in them and I swear, one of these days I'm going to look up and see sparks shooting out of his ears because he's thinking so hard.

In other food-related news, we had these shrimp enchiladas the other week, mostly because I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer and also because I needed something that seemed relatively easy to make for dinner.  I'm all about ease, these days and I have been scouring my recipe box and bin of magazines for new things to try.  I'm also all about lighter fare.  I make some wicked chicken enchiladas, but they tend to be a little heavy on the red sauce and cheese, so I'm saving them for cooler days.  Tomatillo Shrimp Enchiladas, however, scream summertime and eating outside and these were a very easy-on-the-WW-points meal.

What are your summer dinner staples?

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium-sized green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined, cut in half 
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 tortillas*
  • 1 bottle (16 oz) tomatillo salsa
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add shrimp; cook an additional 3 minutes until shrimp is opaque.  Stir in corn, 1/4 cup water,  chili powder and cumin.  Heat through.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 13"x9" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Wrap four tortillas in damp paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds.  Brush one side of each tortilla with salsa, spoon 1/2 cup shrimp mixture on each.  Roll up and place seam side down in pepared dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.  Top with any extra filling.

Mix remaining salsa and half-and-half.  Spoon over enchiladas.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with chopped, fresh cilantro to serve.

*The recipe called for corn tortillas, but I used Mission brand fajita sized tortillas for the best points value.
**Recipe adapted from Family Circle, April 2010.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This pretty much sums it up these days:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Funny naked baby.

Uriah told me I’m not that funny anymore.  And my question to him was this: Was I ever funny?  Immediately followed by: Wait, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to know. 

Because here’s the thing, I don’t think I ever was really that funny.  Sarcastic, yes.  Borderline inappropriate, usually.  But funny?  I don’t know…probably not.

I get that I’ve been pretty vanilla here lately.  I’ve lost my sense of writing direction.  Finding out that Abby’s little friends found my blog has made me put on some of the share-all brakes.  The truth is, knowing that she occasionally reads this and might not always get my sense of humor (God bless the girl, but she just really doesn’t understand the concept of sarcasm.  She takes everything so personally.) makes me re-think the things I'd normally tell you about her (because she does funny stuff.  Annoying stuff, too, but some of her annoying stuff is funny.)And to be perfectly honest, this whole single-parenting gig that I’ve been doing lately isn’t really that fun or funny. 

Okay, maybe a little funny, but only in retrospect, never usually in the moment when I'm ready to pull my hair out.  Yesterday Finn decided it was Naked Day and he ran around the house for about half an hour in the morning with his little baby buns airing out.  And he’s a quick little devil, too.  There is nothing more exasperating than making sure your son doesn’t learn that he can pee without his diaper on when your whole house is wall to wall carpet (Dumbest idea ever, elderly couple who lived her before us.  What compelled you to put carpet in a kitchen and a bathroom?!  Gross.).  It was kind of funny to see his little white behind streaking all over the house and these days I’ll take my humor where I can get it.

Dear Food Network:

I’d like to pitch an idea:  Cooking in the Raw with Finneaus.
His recipe box includes classics such as: "nutbutter and jewy" and "goldshish" and "pie.
It’ll be a big hit with the pre-school crowd, I’m sure.

Have your people call my people.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer reading.

Last summer, between Abby and myself, we read 8,752 pages.  This summer we've challenged ourselves to read more than we did last summer, we don't have a set number, we just agreed to try to read more than we did last summer, but maybe we'll shoot for 10,000 pages this summer, just to make it interesting.

The rules are the same:

  1. It has to be an actual book (although this year Abby can use her Kindle); magazines do not count.
  2. You can re-read a book you've read before (I try to read the Little House series every summer) but you have to be honest and actually re-read the book, not just skim it.
  3. Audio books still do not count (side eye to Abby, who tried to get them to count last year.  No.) 
  4. We will pull out our list of classics again this year and continue to read through the books on it.
This summer we are also going to keep track of the books Finn reads, although his are limited to the new books we get from the library and they only count once (we tend to read his books over and over and over).  Currently, we like the Charlie and Lola books and he's also got two Cars (the movie) books that we read every single day for nap time and bed time and pretty much any time in between.  

Do you have any good summer reading suggestions?  I am currently into the second book of the Maisie Dobbs series and will probably read my way through the whole series this summer, but I always love a good suggestion!