Sunday, July 6, 2014

Projects, projects and more projects - 4th of July weekend


Life is bustling around the Oehler homestead. With the due date now approaching in less than a month (August 4th), there is a lot on my list that I hope to get done. As soon as summer classes ended, I pivoted to doing all of the things that I have been putting off.

First, we signed up for several baby related classes. We are attending birthing classes, an infant cpr class, a newborn basics class and I am attending a breast feeding class in the coming weeks.

I have this overwhelming desire to clean and organize everything. I have this feeling that if I don't get to it now, I won't get to it until next summer after I graduate (if even then). I know that once the baby arrives, I am going to be one very busy mama.


So, my mom and I spent the early hours of 4th of July cleaning up the garage. She is such a good sport. She also helped detag, sort, wash, sort and fold all of Evelyn's clothes. Both were a huge help. Yay for grandmas!


Meanwhile, Joshua has been fixing up an old dresser that his dad built for his brother James. As it was no longer being used and had a little water damage, we took it off of his parents' hands, for Evelyn. Joshua has been sanding, staining, refacing two drawers, sealing the inside so that there aren't splinters, etc. It is looking really great and appears to be nearly done, which should kick start some major work in her bedroom.

Today, both Joshua and I got up early to enjoy the cooler morning temperatures. He worked on the dresser along with various other outdoor projects. I worked on cleaning up our storage room. Ewie...it was bad! I still have some work to do in there, but I do feel a lot better about how it is now. If I did nothing else, I know that I can at least live with it for another year. 

The weather this weekend was wonderful...for Phoenix, Arizona. We have been topping off at 100 degrees at the most. Typically, it has been cloudy and breezy too. It would be terrific if we could squeeze some rain out of those clouds, but if we can just get cooler temperatures - I'll take that too! 

It does seem that as soon as I check one thing off of my list, I add two, new items. Maybe this is just how I am dealing with the anxiety of impending childbirth? Maybe I thoroughly understand just how much my life is going to change in a few short weeks. Who knows? Either way, it does make me feel a lot better to clean, organize and prepare. 

Most of all, I am thankful that I feel good enough to be able to keep busy. I definitely have to rest and have been taking a lot of naps in the afternoon and drinking tons of water. But, all in all, I feel pretty darn good!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Joshua!


Father's Day, much like Mother's Day, took on a whole new meaning for me and Joshua this year. After seeing our little 4lb bundle of joy on Friday, it is more real than ever that she is going to be here before we know it. The ultrasound technician even showed us that she had hair and we got to see her practice breathing.

If there is one thing that I know for sure, it is that Joshua is going to be a great Father.

I might just be the only lady out there that let her husband do the entire baby registry with very little feedback. In fact, I may be the only lady out there that has a husband that wanted to put together the baby registry! Ha! I love that he put together each item as each one arrived. I've heard horror stories about being 9 months pregnant and having to put all of the baby gear together and having a mental breakdown. I love that he wanted to be at the baby shower and wanted to go to ultrasounds and just generally supported me through the entire process of getting pregnant and being pregnant. This isn't to say that we haven't had our share of imperfect moments along the way, because we have. But, when I step back and look at the big picture, I am one lucky wife and Evelyn Rose is one very lucky little girl.

So Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband. Happy Father's Day to his Dad, my Dad, the Papas (Mike and Scott) and to your Dad, dear reader.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Birthday Bliss in California

Joshua and I took our last vacation before the baby arrives over my birthday weekend - a babymoon. It was a quick getaway to Carpinteria, CA - our favorite beach town. As the count down really begins, Miss Evelyn Rose was on our mind the entire time. We are getting so excited to meet her sometime in the next 10-12 weeks. It is hard to believe that I am now officially 35. Wow, time does fly!

















Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baby Shower for Evelyn Rose

A few weeks ago, we had our first party for Miss Evelyn Rose. We had a baby shower. Many of my closest friends and family pitched in to create a beautiful event. I'd like to send out a special thank you to my Best Girlfriend Erin, her step-daughters Emily and Olivia, my Mom, my Mother-in-law, my Aunt Sharon, my Cousin Virginia and my Brother-in-law Jody and Sister-in-law Meredith for helping pull everything together.

Here are a few pictures from my Sister-in-law Meredith of the festivities....










Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter From The Oehlers!


Getting pregnant was not an easy task. Truth be told, we started trying to have a baby when we got married. We will be celebrating our third anniversary later this year. It was two very long years of being asked when we'd have a baby. It was two very long years of watching holidays pass by, like Easter, waiting and wondering.

Now, as another Easter holiday descends upon us and knowing that Evelyn is on her way, I find my holiday joy amplified. I don't feel the dull ache for a baby in the pit of my stomach or lingering in the back of my mind. I'm excited - not just for Easter but for all of the upcoming holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas too! There are very few holidays left between now and Evelyn's arrival. Once she arrives, I anticipate both Joshua and I having fun making each new holiday unique and special for our baby girl.

If you are out there and you are struggling to have a baby, please know that you are not alone. I wish that I could advise you that your time will come too. But, without a crystal ball, I simply cannot do that. I can tell you that we were successful with a lot of patience, love and the help of a very good doctor in Scottsdale (Doctor Ketan Patel). Most people don't talk about infertility because it can be embarrassing, painful and scary. But over the past few years, as I have opened up about my fertility issues to others, I have found that many, many, many people have had issues too.

So, on this particular Easter holiday, I feel grateful for my immediate family - Joshua, Eve and Halo. I also feel grateful for my closest friends, mom and Josh's parents for offering us love and support, both in the good and the bad times. I wish each of you a very Happy Easter!

Friday, April 11, 2014

First Kicks



I've been feeling Eve move around for a few weeks now. But, last night, I was in just the right position for Joshua to feel it too. It was such a special moment for me to get to share that experience with him. Up until recently, she has just been a picture or an idea that we have been talking about. Now, we can actually feel her moving around and it is pretty amazing!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

22 weeks along - Life is good!


I feel very fortunate that pregnancy has been fairly good to me so far. Now that I am in the second trimester, I feel energized. I am crossing my fingers that the second half of this pregnancy will be as nice as the first half. I certainly don't take for granted that everything could change dramatically as I get closer to the due date. I have heard all sorts of stories about ailments that mothers manage while giving birth. I pray that this isn't the case for me. I've also seen the reality of babies born with health issues. And, I pray that she arrives perfectly healthy.

Meanwhile, we are starting to really celebrate the baby's arrival. Clothes and books and blankets have been pouring in and each gift touches my heart and makes the reality of her arrival somehow seem a little closer. She is starting to gain a little stockpile of items which means that I have got to get busy on preparing her room. It's a total nightmare mess in there right now. I'm hoping that I can make some headway on this project soon. It is hard to believe that another little person is going to be living in this house with us soon!

I am starting to feel her move around. For now, it just feels like little butterflies but as she gains weight and strength, I am sure that it will feel a little more intense. It is hard to believe that she will be right around a pound this coming week. A POUND! Already? I can't hardly believe it. 


We've also been doing our fair share of traveling. This year, I have visited Knoxville, Tucson,  Sonoma and Albuquerque. Joshua has been to Memphis. Last weekend we took a weekend long trip down to his parents place in Cochise County. Halo needs to travel sometimes too!

Joshua has a million and one projects going in the yard. He's torn out fences, a shed, a tree, rose bushes and still has some more things that he'd like to work on before it gets too hot out there. We are finally getting to the point where we can landscape the yard to fit our taste. That is very exciting.

I continue to plug away in school. I will hopefully graduate in a little over a year, May 2015. I can't wait to have it be OVER! It is hard to keep up with it all. I have a hard time imagining how I will do it next year with Eve too. But, I am so close, and I just have to get it finished.

All in all, life in the Oehler household is great. We are all healthy, happy and excited for what the future holds. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Big Announcement: Baby Oehler is Due August 4, 2014

2014 is going to be a very special year for my little family. Joshua and I could not be happier than to announce that our first baby will be due at the very beginning of August. I am 12 weeks into the pregnancy and we can hardly believe that this is (finally) really happening.  Thankfully, pregnancy hasn't been too bad for me (yet). I get headaches occasionally and go to bed early almost every night because I'm incredibly tired, but even those symptoms seem to have subsided in the last week or so.  Let's all hope that the rest of this adventure is as easy-peasy as the first part. We hope to find out if it will be a boy or a girl next week - I had a blood test done today that should give us the answer. In the meantime, we are just thrilled and hope that you will share in our joy with us!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Holiday 2013

Christmas has come and gone again. Although, it still feels a lot like Christmas as I type this since we haven't taken down our decorations yet. It is only January 5th, after all.

 

Our Christmas tree this year was extra special. I think that you'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive tree that could fit into our living room. Everyone who saw it, had to stop and stare. I give full credit to Joshua in choosing it. He has an eye for these things and is persistent enough to tromp around the tree lot for 45 minutes to find just the right tree.


Joshua's dad built us a dining room table and delivered it just in time for Christmas. It is made with a steel frame and a birch and glass top. It is stunning and changed the dynamics in our living area dramatically. It can also seat 8 people comfortably which will make holiday celebrations a little easier. It is extra special since it is built to last for the rest of our lives (if not hundreds of years after  that) and was built by Joshua's dad. Such a great Christmas treat!


Baking is an essential part of Christmas in the Oehler household. This year, we baked quite a bit more than usual since we hosted a Christmas Eve party at our house.



We had lots of family stop by and enjoy visiting each other. We offered a spread of cookies,  snacks and hot cider. It always warms my heart to have our home full of the people that we love.

 


No holiday is complete without our sweet Halo. He provides us with so much happiness and joy. Not to mention, he is so good to wait until Christmas to open gifts and doesn't bother the tree that all of a sudden appears once a year in our living room. This year, he even wore his reindeer antlers for about 5 whole seconds - long enough to get one fuzzy picture. He is a good boy.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday. We have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for in 2013 and now we look forward to all that awaits us in 2014. Both Joshua and I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year full of new possibilities!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stuffed Green Peppers Recipe



Ingredients:
4-6 green bell peppers
Olive oil
1/4 red bell pepper (chopped)
2 portobella mushrooms (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2lb ground turkey 
Salt and pepper
1 bottle of Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
1 bag of Uncle Ben's Ready Made Rice
Grated mozzarella cheese


I buy this butternut squash pasta sauce at my local Safeway. It is incredibly tasty. You could substitute for a tomato sauce of your choice. 

1. Wash green peppers and cut out the top with a knife and clean out the seeds. Drop into a large pot of water and bring to a boil. You will boil them until they are slightly soft. Bring the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a sauce pan, using a little olive oil, cook red bell pepper, portobella mushrooms, onion and 
garlic. When the veggies are almost done, add the ground turkey and cook thoroughly.

3. Cook the rice either in the microwave or on the stove top.

4. Add the sauce and rice to the turkey mixture in the saucepan and simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Drain the green peppers and place in an oven friendly dish. Stuff the peppers. Cover the stuffed peppers with shredded mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake until the stuffing is bubbling and the cheese is melted. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes. You want the green peppers to finish softening to the point that you could cut through them with a butter knife.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 - What To Do When Your Turkey Is Done Too Early


This year was a really special one for us. We were thankful to provide a meal for a combined group of 9. Halo was our non-stop entertainment. I worked pretty hard on Wednesday and Thursday to cook up the best Thanksgiving meal that I've ever made. The work was all worth it in the end.


My favorite dish was the stuffing. I used my mother-in-law's recipe, but I baked fresh break in my bread maker. It was delicious!


 The turkey was wonderful too, but it was done 2 hours before mealtime! So, I did a quick search online and found that you can take it out, cover it first in tinfoil then in a towel and let it sit. Joshua surprised me with a really fancy meat thermometer this year. So I left that in and monitored the temperatures. I let it sit for 2 hours and it never dropped below 167 degrees. Maybe this little bit of knowledge will be helpful to someone else some day too!


I ended up making two pies. I used a mini cookie cutter in star shape on my apple pie, but I cut the stars too close together and it didn't hold up entirely through the baking process. I'll have try this again but leave more space between each cutting.


I have so many things to be thankful for, but I am most thankful for my loving and supportive husband. He is my north star. I hope that all of you had as nice of a Thanksgiving as we did.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall 2013

It has been another busy Fall in the Oehler house. I find it hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us. We are excited this year to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I've been busily making lists, crafting decorations and making plans. I am going to attempt to make my first tablecloth this weekend. As you all know, I love an opportunity to be creative!


Poor Joshua had all 4 of his wisdom teeth pulled. The older you get, the more difficult this procedure becomes. Thankfully, we got through it but the first day was quite scary. It amazes me that when people have surgery, they just rush them right out as fast as possible. He was still bleeding hours after we got him home. It just doesn't seem right to send anyone home bleeding! Halo didn't know what to think, but he was quite worried.


Speaking of Halo, we took him to the Franciscan Renewal Center to get blessed. We continue to consider getting a second dog. We both waiver back and forth about the pros and cons.


But mostly, I have been busy going to school. It takes up a lot of my personal time. Each day, it feels as if I barely have enough time to do it all, but somehow I do get it all done. I have about 3 weeks left of the semester. I am so thankful that I can both work and attend school online and be home with Joshua and Halo, even if I am working or studying.


Finally, we celebrated our second anniversary. We gifted each other bikes! I found my bike on Craig's list and just love it. It is an all original 1971 Schwinn cruiser. Joshua is still looking for his bike. He wanted to do some research and find a bike that he'd really use for a long time. We hope to pick something out this weekend so that we can start to go on bike rides together. 

It has just been a whirlwind of activity. But, we are happily enjoying our life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bark In The Park


It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close. I suspect that this makes most of you out there rather sad. Here in Phoenix, we start to get excited. As we wait for things to cool down, Joshua and I have gone to two baseball games. Chase Field has a nice dome that keeps the cool air in and the hot summer sun out, but you still feel as if you are outside. Today we took both my mom (for a belated birthday present) and Halo to their first MLB game. We got there early enough that Halo could walk in the Puppy Parade with Joshua. Yay, baseball!


So a big (although belated) happy birthday to my Mom. It is also her first anniversary as a Phoenician - so it was only appropriate that she get a chance to root for the hometown team.

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