Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.
~Christina Rossetti
First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus! This Christmas means so much more to me than years past. Each Christmas my love for Christ becomes stronger (since becoming a Christian) but this year is different. Maybe because we are having a baby and I have a new understanding of how I cant even begin to fathom God's love for us. There is no one on earth I love enough to sacrifice my daughter, yet that is exactly what God did for us. He gave us the most unbelievable gift on this special day. May we always have Christ in our hearts and praise God for this glorious day!

 30 weeks & 1 day - 12.24.10
So excited to be on the downhill stretch! 10 or so weeks left to go before we get to meet our little girl.
 My Christmas puppies - Reagan & Riley
Our last Christmas just us two.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crinkle-top Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are moist and fudgy. Super simple to make and absolutely delicious! I have to limit Steve and freeze most to last until my Christmas gift baskets.
* 2 c (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
* 2 T softened butter
* 1 c sugar
* 2 egg whites
* 1.5 tsp vanilla
*1.5 c flour
*1.5 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 c water
* 1/2 c powdered sugar

1. Microwave 1 c of chocolate chips until melted. Stir until smooth, set aside. In med bowl, beat butter and sugar until lumpy. Add egg whites and vanilla, beat well. Add melted choclate.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mix, alternating with water. Stir in remaining 1 c chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 350* for 10-12 min. Let cool on wire racks.

*** I recently recieved a "Tast of Home - Best Loved Cookies and Candies 2010" cooking magazine, which is where I found this recipe. Thought I would give a shoutout since this isnt an original recipe. :) Many more to come!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Delicious Lemon Bread

I finally perfected the icing! (Inspired by Starbucks Lemon Loaf  icing that I LOVE!) And since it is that time of year, get ready for lots of new recipes!
* 1 3/4 c flour
* 3/4 c sugar
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 egg
* 1 c. milk
* 1/4 c. cooking oil
* 2 tsp fine lemon peel shredded
* 1 T lemon juice

1. Grease 8x4x2 bread pan. Set aside. In medium bowl stir flour, sugar, baking poweder and salt.
2. In another medium bowl (or kitchenaid mixer) combine egg, milk, oil, lemon peel and juice. Either add to flour mix or add flour mix to kitchenaid mixer on low speed. Stir/mix until moist but still slightly lumpy. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 350* for 50-55 min. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 min, then on wire rack. **Let cool completely before adding icing.\

1c. & 1T powdered suger
2 T milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract (or 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Storm 2010 & 26 weeks pregnant

We had quite the week this last week. On Monday morning we woke up to snow. Sweet! We never get snow so it is always a mini-holiday! That is until about 4pm and it became windy. And not just a little wind,  we thought we were in a blizzard-hurricane!! The wind was spinning the trees in circles. About 7 pm we lost power. And then the snow stopped, it is became COLD. Like 15 degrees cold. 55 long hours later (early Thanksgiving morning) power returned. We bacame acutely aware of how little we have control of anything in our lives and reflected on how much we forget to thank God for the simplest of blessings. Power, hot water, heat. We spent 3 days talking and sitting around staring at each other, that was a blessing too -  enjoying the quiet, technology free time we had together. We have been warned this will be a rough long winter, so we know this is just the start!

 Of course being 26 weeks pregnant helped keep me a warm for a while, baby Grace is getting big! (approx 2 lbs now!) There is no where for this baby to go but out when you are 5 feet tall! When I look in the mirror, I see a little bump, when I see this in a picture I look huge! 13 weeks to go!! ( this was 11.28.10 - 26wks, 3 days)
Our lovely little home during the storm. The warmest place to be is in the living room near the fireplace (off to the left) so we camped out right here for 3 1/2 days. Lots and lots of layers of clothes and blankets, we all survived just fine. (Actually I was only home for the first 40 hours and Steve took me to my dads with power, we determined it wasnt safe being cold and pregnant - my family loves me and Grace!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

She Already has a Personality

I'm learning more and more about little Grace's personality. At first I thought some of these things were coincidence, but since observing her for a few weeks now, I'd say they are not by chance, they are indeed a glimpse of who she is...
* When it is just me and quiet, or Steve and I she will move and kick all around, especially when I am eating!
* If there is a lot of noise in the background or a lot of people talking at once she is very still. Even if I am eating she doesn't budge. (which is interesting because at home she violently kicks at mealtimes!) Now as soon as I leave the noisy atmosphere, she wiggles all about again. Its like she just hangs out and listens.
* The exception is music. She goes crazy when music is on, especially at chuch when the worship band is going. Sunday morning worship is the loudest area of my week and it is definately her favorite. My little one loves the Lord! Or if I have music on in the house or car she dances around, but not nearly as much as church. I cant help but get teary eyed on Sundays, it is so precious!
* At night when I lay down for bed I can just watch my stomach move about. So I  "play" with her by poking her and she will kick back. I call it playing, but Im sure it is more annoying to her than fun to be pushed.
* Steve has been able to feel her kick a couple of times. Here soon he should be able to feel it more often.

Today I am 24 weeks & 4 days. I will post a new belly pic when Steve brings the camera home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Current thoughts - Being Pregnant Completely Changes You

I can only imagine how much my life is going to change once my daughter is actually here. For all my non-pregnant/non-momma friends you have no idea what is up ahead of you in the future. It is beautiful, it is scary, it is emotional and dramatic. And I cant imagine not being in this position. I am so in love with a 1 lb. kicking little baby.

* I woke up early every morning that week in June and anxiously stared at that little stick praying it would show me two lines. It took 3 days before that happened. The moment it happened I panicked. I was terrified, I changed my mind, I take it back! My life was forever going to be different and I was no longer sure I was ready! I laugh now at that day and I also know I am not alone. All moms go through a moment of fear. My husband brought me back and reminded me that we trusted God and prayed for His timing and that magic urine was not by chance. Since that day I have been nothing but excited!

* You look at life completely differently. Actually you look at life as if you were a small child. I wonder what bad decisions our country is making that my baby is going to have to deal with. Suddenly issues on politics, safety and education have a new light. It isnt about what is best for me and my generation, it's about the generation coming up. I just voted for an election with a whole new perspective.

* Every child looks different. Especially since finding out baby is a girl. When I see a little baby girl or waddling toddler or little girl dancing around the grocery store I tear up. I imagine little dresses and hair bows and princesses. All children look different. They are more precious, more special and more beautiful than I ever thought before. (and I am a teacher at heart!)

* I love my husband in a whole new way. I cant wait to see him be a father. I see him stronger yet more gentle than before - even with that burley beard he refuses to shave. Watching him create the baby room - paint, install flooring, build the crib - was just as romanitc as the proposal. This is a little person, a little mix of both of us that will physically bind us forever. She is the result of love in a marriage between a husband and wife. You cant possibly understand this feeling unless you are married and expecting a baby. I only fathomed it before, and it was nothing I imagined.

* Your body transforms into one you no longer recognize. I cant name one area of my body not changed. Everything. Sometimes I am sinfully vain and hate my new body. Sometimes I feel liberated that I dont need to feel pressure to conform to societies standards. I'm beginning to view my new shiny stretch marks as badges of honor, a right of passage into motherhood, something to be proud of. And it always seems that in a moment when I am down, when I look in the mirror and see anything but a "glow", I get a kick, a precious little reminder that it doesnt matter anymore. She does. Growing this miracle is more joyous than a size 2 body.

* Most importantly my love for God has grown. I am being given a gift that I do not deserve. I get to be the mother of this child of God and can only hope that we can raise her to love Him as he truely desires. I pray continually for strength in this pregnancy, for both our health, and for wisdom to raise a daughter of the Lord. I am so thankful and blessed! We are so excited to meet this little person God is preparing for us, and so excited to see what is in store for the rest of our future!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

20 down, 20 to go!

We are halfway there!
20 weeks 4 days~ 10.18.10
So excited to be at the halfway mark (or so...)! I can definately feel Grace getting bigger, or at least her kicks are getting stronger! She is very active in the middle of the night and Momma is not too excited about that, I guess it's practice for the future!
My belly is growing super fast now, it's hard to believe. (Even harder to imagine what it possibly will look like 20 weeks from now!)
Other than the normal aches and pains all is well and healthy with the Martinsen family.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I think she looks like you

Finally uploaded pictures from Wednesday's ultrasound. Grace held still enough in these to get a couple side profile shots. She moves around a lot! (and I love it!)
18 weeks 6 days - October 6, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's a...

We are having a GIRL!!!
Baby Grace Olivia Martinsen
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

Saturday, October 2, 2010

18 weeks down!

The baby bump is officially here! Here I am 18 weeks & 1 day (10.01.10)
This is was at 13 weeks. There is a BIG difference that's only going to get bigger! :O
Some of my crazy pregnancy symptoms so far:
* This burger is an example of a specific craving. I had to have a giant, greasy, bar burger. Steve made this for me and it was delicious! I ate the WHOLE THING! He was surprised. An hour later I was back in the kitchen looking for a snack...haha the last couple weeks my appetite has really increased!
* My weirdest craving so far would have to be lemons. For a while just having them in my water was enough, then I started eating them...I couldnt get enough of the sour taste! :o)
* Aside from lemons I need something strong flavored with my meals. Pickles, onion, vinegar, italian dressing, spices, etc.
* I have been feeling the little one kick around the last couple of weeks. What an amazing experience! It makes all the not-so-pleasant side effects totally worth it! (I'll have to actually hold the little one to admit the stretch marks are worth it though...haha)
** We find out Wednesday the 6th if Baby is a Boy or a Girl**

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh Baby!!

Here is our little blessing!

10 weeks & 4 days Baby's arms/hands are up by the face (on the left) and you can see the tops of the knees - the feet are tucked under. We also heard the heart beat today! That was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard! I still cant believe there is a little person inside me! Baby was jumping and wiggling all around on the ultrasound...already an active little thing.

Updates so far:
*I did end up having some morning sickness (nausea only thank goodness!) from weeks 6-9. Now it is pretty much gone, I am just SO tired all the time.
*No belly bump yet, just a few extra pounds from how much momma is eating!
*My official due date is March 3, 2011

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Hot Summer Day at the Beach!

The first day of summer has finally arrived (and hit 90 degrees!) so we took a trip to the coast with the pups. Hopefully there is a few more this year like this!Reagan LOVED the water. Riley, not so much.
I got bored, and Riley didn't care at all that I was covering him in sand. HAHA!

Beach Bums!

Steve out in his kayak. He had a blast!

So tired after a long, hot day at the beach. I came home with some sand dollars and a sweet tan!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Greatest Gift of All!

My Birthday was a wonderful one this year. On Wednesday the 23rd I saw a very light pink line and on Thursday the Dr. confirmed... WE'RE EXPECTING!!!! We waited to tell most people on my birthday and a few family members before. We feel so blessed by this gift!

So here is the rundown for everyone who has been asking:
  • I'm almost 5 weeks along now
  • I had a gut inuition long before a positive test...I know my body and something was different!
  • Sometimes I will have a moment or so of nausea, but nothing to complain about.
  • For the most part I have MORE energy now...but then again about 8pm and zonked out till morning.
  • I cannot stand the smell of coffee (sad I know!) or anything greasy or deep fried. My two favorite things: Starbucks and a cheeseburger are off the menu for now!
  • I crave sandwiches and fruit. I would eat a sandwich for every meal, but I dont think Steve would like that as much as me! Subway? Yes, please!
  • I become out of breath quicker and cant workout for anywhere near where I used to. But slow and steady is fine for me... Im listening to my body and not pushing anything.
  • I will be due sometime in early March (3-5). The Dr. will pinpoint that date at my first appt.
  • We have our girl first name chosen for sure (but keeping that to ourselves till we know what Baby is.) Kinda decided on a girl middle name, and have no clue for a boy. We keep tossing around different boy names and one of us wont like it. We wont find out the gender till end of Sept-Oct. so we have lots of time to discuss it.

We are so excited and thank our family and friends who call me everyday to ask how I'm feeling and share their excitement. This is the most amazing experience Steve and I have yet to walk through..Thank you for sharing it with us!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's one of my favorite times of the year! On Saturday I celebreated my 23rd birthday. Thank you to everyone who remembered me! I got two wonderful gifts from Steve. My Kitchenaid shredder/slicer attachment is amazing! Shredding cheese was always his job and he obviously disliked it enough to get me this attachment. It makes cooking so much faster! Again, I LOVE my Kitchenaid!
And my favorite: the ice-cream maker attachment. I made french vanilla here and it only lasted 4 days! It was delicious. Nothing beats home made!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Projects and Fun

There is never a dull moment in our house! Steve's buddy gave him and old canoe and he is custom making it for me! Here it is all sanded and put back together for the most part. It was originally about 16-17 feet long...way to big for me to be solo. So he cut out the middle and now it is about 10 feet long and a lot lighter!
Here's the nice chunck still in the back that was cut out. Its in our dump-run pile. but I wonder if they'll take it?

As soon as the roof was done we purchased Steve's dream. A Liquidlogic kayak. He is in love!

Speaking of roof, we did finish that over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Like I said, we are always busy and up to something around here!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Here's to both my great dads!
Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. Maybe next year Steve will be able to celebrate being in the dad club. :o) Dad Rick at CWU graduation. June 2009
Dad Brian at Airport in Chicago. December 07

I Love You!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Congrats to all the Graduates!

We have been busy with lots of graduates this year! Last night we went to cousin Amanda's graduation and tomorrow we celebrate with friends! Congrats to all the grads of 2010! The ladies of my family.
Steve, me, Kelli and cousin Amanda.

June 11, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Roofing - Day 1

Goodmorning! The Martinsen household are early birds and it WASN'T raining. I made him wait till 8am to start making noise, so at 7 am he was up there prepping the roof and tearing off this skylight. He patched it all up and completely got rid of it. It was placed in a valley on our roof its leak was impossible to get rid off, so we just decided to board it up. Really bad design in the first place, putting a a skylight where water can stand. Anyways by 8am I am loving this hole in my ceiling... This definately made me cringe! But to my wonderful surprise, he came in and cleaned it all up before I even managed to get there. Sweet!
The before picture. He's patching that skylight.

Another before picture. Goodbye old roof! By this point I am also participating on the roof. I have to say it was my first time up on a roof and it took some getting used to. My job was to open the shingles and set them up for him so he just had to nail them down. We cruised pretty fast once we got started!
This is the normal skylight. (above the bathroom) We were almost done flashing and laying shingles here. I am learning so much about roofing!
And the after picture. All in a days work! I must say, we work as a great team!
Tomorrow we begin by "capping" this section of the roof and beginning on the other section. Hopefully the weather holds out and we can complete the other section in a day as well!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." ~ Galatians 5:22

These are my strawberry plants growing strong. We are starting to have lots of little berries on them, sometime soon they will explode with fruit! This is the very first berry and the only one that is now almost ripe. I am so excited!

My green onions. Still a long way to go, but they are getting big.

Lettuce, spinach and carrots
My garden.
I surround it with smashed eggshells. This prevents slugs & snails from entering.

Jalapeno plant. I am praying it will live so Steve can have at least one pepper. That is all he wanted!

One of the clusters of radishes. They should be the first crop that I can enjoy. Steve built this gate for me this weekend. I love it! It keeps my beagle from seeing out front and barking all the time and it allows me more privacy when I'm out in the garden. He is so talented!

I planted these out front. They are the only flowers I have this year. Maybe I will plant more... Ive been so focused on my vegetables that I havent cared too much about flowers.
Well my garden - and gardening skills - have come a long way so far! It is so relaxing to work in the garden, especially in the early morning or evening. I completely understand now why Jesus liked to pray in a garden! The solitude is peaceful. If all vegetables fail, it is still worth it. More pictures to come later!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pizza Night

First off, I LOVE MY KITCHENAID MIXER!! It makes the best bread.
Now that my hubby is home, I am happy to be back in my kitchen. The other night I made homemade a pizza. It was amazing!
1 pgk. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105-115)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 c. flour
1 TBL cornmeal
1. Disolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixing bowl. Add oil, salt an 2 1/2 c. flour. Attach dough hook and bowl to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix for 1 min.
2. Continuing on speed 2, add remaing flour 1/2 c. at a time and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of the bowl about 2 min. Knead 2 min longer.
3. Place dough in greased bowl and turn over (grease all dough). Cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour or until double in size. Punch down dough.
4. Spread cornmeal on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread dough out, leaving an edge around sides. Add toppings. Bake at 450* for 15-20 min... YUM!
As you can see, Steve chose pepperoni and I like bell pepper, onions and mushrooms. This was Steve's opinion. :o)

And just for beagle tangled himself in my curtains. I had to laugh at him and take a picture before I rescued him. Silly boy.