Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Food for Thought

and maybe a little foreshadowing...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 23, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude

This year, I am extremely thankful for the love of those in the photo above (Especially the two sweeties who aren't actually in the picture, but have already gone home. More on this at a time when I actually feel like writing about it.)

{EDITED TO ADD: See bottom of post for explanation.}

For now, though, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without counting each and every one of our blessings. Since the "each and every one" lists get lengthy, I've again asked each Bauer to narrow it down to three. Click here if you'd like to check out last year's post. (Owen's was my favorite.) Now, take a look at the Bauer family's thanks, plus a few peeks at this year's family photos:

Name: Jessica
Age: 28
Thankful for: "A supportive husband, fantastic little boy hugs, and the hope my God provides."

Name: Jonathan
Age: 29
Thankful for: "Loving family, faith in God, you." (That's ME!)

Name: Nathan
Age: 5
Thankful for: "God, that God gives me everything I need, and that Santa gives me everything I want." At least it started off good.

Name: Owen
Age: 1
Thankful for: "Being a baby, having my own room, and Toy Story" This was dictated by big brother, but it's all probably true (except the second one).

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

EDITED TO ADD: The vagueness at the beginning of this post was due to the fact that I was having trouble early in my pregnancy with Nora and assumed I had miscarried. It would be the next week that I learned exactly how much thanks I needed to give. Read more here, if you'd like.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mama's Mashed Potato

I may not have a secret recipe for turning leftover turkey into a fabulous new delicacy, but I have a mashed potato that'll melt your heart.

Before I jump in, let me tell you one thing, there's nothing like the joy in a mother's heart the day her kid comes home proclaiming that he will play the part of mashed potatoes in the school's upcoming musical. It was early October, but I circled the date on my calendar and made immediate plans to charge my camera battery.

When I realized the Thanksblogging Challenge's {Foodie Friday} coincided with said Thanksgiving Musical, I knew I had no choice but to write about my own tater. (This is way better than any recipe I could dream up.)

Nathan and his crew of five-year-old mashed potatoes were flanked by shiny red cranberries, a group of hip-hop turkeys, pumpkin pie topped with dollops of puffy whipped cream, and some elderly people who seem to have eaten a bit too much.

It was pretty awesome.

You don't know a Thanksgiving Musical until you hear a love ballad dedicated to cranberries. And trust me, I've heard it a couple dozen times over the past few weeks.

Nathan stole the show with his butter-pat hat and sweet dance moves. He concentrated hard on hitting every beat, with both lips and hips. Although I don't have the video feed to share with you now (trust me there will be video), here are a few photos to tide you over:

Now, if you want some recipes that are more yum than cute, head on over to the Arkansas Women Bloggers by clicking the icon below for more of {Foodie Friday}.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Facebook Fun

In my Thanksgiving blogging challenge, today's prompt was a bit of a curve ball. We were challenged to link up to our blog's Facebook page to promote social media and all that jazz.

Problem is my blog doesn't necessarily have a Facebook page, and to be honest, I'm not quite sure it's to the point of deserving its own space. (although the top ten reasons I should have one has the wheels turning). In the mean time, I'm going to spin this to make it work for me.

I won't link you to a page dedicated to my blog, but I will link you here, to my personal page. Stop by and make friends! You can keep up with all the zany antics brought to you by my boys and every so often, I'll post a blog link. THEN, one day, if I get my blog into Facebook-worthy shape, you can bet I'll promote the heck out of it.

Until then, here are a few of my favorite bloggers whom I read as often as I can. Check their fan pages out and I'm sure you'll "like" them, too. In no particular order are:
Also, one more treat for you. (score!) Since I can't give you an actual blog Facebook page, I'll happily share a few recent status updates. Each of them reminds me that sometimes, you just have to laugh:
  1. Woke up to Nathan drinking a Coke and eating my Milano cookies. Happy weekend, y'all.
  2. "Mom, I know your PJs are comfy, but you were looking foxy in your church clothes." - Nathan.
  3. Started my Friday by googling "baby drank laundry detergent." Oops. He's fine, though, and smells great!
  4. "There's nothing as awesome as getting your first library card!" He's definitely my kid.
  5. It's probably not a good thing when your toddler walks out of the bathroom sopping wet and brushing his hair with a toothbrush.
  6. "‎Today in music we learned about the national anthem and who wrote it a hundred years ago. It was Carrie Underwood." -Nathan
  7. A blue crayon in Owen's chubby little hand is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully stuffed animals are washable.
What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love Story

Here I sit staring at a blank computer screen, sporting fuzzy pajamas, sipping a glass of iced tea, and smiling at the bedroom door, shutting me off from the chaos on the other side.

It didn't take long to figure out today's topic, y'all.

In this week's blogging challenge, today's idea was very open. The simple prompt was "I'm thankful for..." On the first day, I covered my babies and my motherhood, which rank pretty high. Today, I'm going to talk about the guy I met at the youth convention many moons ago who made it all possible.

You know, the guy who is herding children as I leisurely type.

Ahhh, love.

I met Jonathan when we were both in high school, it was very passing and we were more acquaintances than we were friends. That all changed in college. We didn't date at first, but I loved him. Maybe not in the way both he and God wanted me too, but he was a very important piece of my life. We told each other secrets, we talked all night long, we took care of each other. He was my best friend.

Fast forward to a year or so later, he popped the girlfriend question in July and the wife question in October, we said our vows in June, and announced Bauer Baby #1 in November.

Oh yeah, kids, we work fast around here.

Jonathan is a great husband, but the boys might argue he's an even better daddy. The last person on his list is himself. He does so much to take care of us all, making sure we're happy, healthy, and always laughing.

Even if it means letting me sit at my desk while the boys ruin the house he cleaned today on his day off. When I walk in to check on my three favorites, I can guarantee he will be involved in the pick up. You've got to give credit where credit is due, and this man wracks it up.

Although I still look at Jonathan as the guy who drove me home after hanging out with friends (just to make sure I was safe, not because he was madly in love with me or anything), I can tell he's changed. He has evolved into this awesome grown-up version of himself. He's still goofy, and I'm still his number one, but he's better.

He is an incredible father. I am thankful that he not only gave me the chance to become a mama, but that he is my equal when it comes to parenting. (heck, right now, he's winning).

I am so blessed he chose me. And I thank my lucky stars that I chose him.

And because I do enjoy a list, here are ten quick reasons (in no particular order) that I'm thankful I caught my husband's eye many years ago:
  1. He has a humongous heart.
  2. He is an excellent cook.
  3. He loves his friends and genuinely cares about others.
  4. I don't know how to mow the lawn.
  5. He takes me to see Twilight movies.
  6. He likes to be outside and appreciates nature.
  7. He came packaged with a fantastic family.
  8. He stays up at night with me, just to talk about nothing.
  9. He loves God.
  10. He is still, first and foremost, my best friend.
What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Kids' Table

I found this picture in the catacombs of my pre-baby computer folders. The image was named "Kids' Table 2005" - there's no escape, is there?

Today's prompt in the Thanksblogging Challenge invited me to write about a favorite turkey day memory. I set my brain to work and the results were all similar. Every single memory I conjured up involved eating from fancy china, drinking Coke or tea from a glass goblet, and being banished from the main dining room.

And loving every minute.

Sometimes we would tell inappropriate jokes, sometimes we would see how many olives we could stuff into our mouths at once, sometimes we would be summoned by a parent to fetch a Diet Coke, but most of the time we laughed. A lot.

My cousins, my brother, and I grew up at the kids' table. Just me and a couple of silly boys until our youngest cousin joined us a decade later. Even when a wife and a fiance joined the table (see above), we were destined to be away from the grown-ups. Little did they know, it's just where we wanted to be.

We saw each other as much as humanly possible. My brother lived in the next room for crying out loud, but there was something special about that day. I don't know if it was the fact that after years of attempts, we were all skilled at making our crystal glasses sing. It could have been that we were stationed in the same room as the colorful Thanksgiving spread. Maybe it was the unspoken feeling of being on each others' thankful lists. It was just different.

And it was awesome.

When I think about all of those years telling secrets and spilling gravy with kids of my own kind, I get so psyched at the possibility of a kids' table in my own home.

Although I lament actually making the move to the grown-up table with the addition of children of my own, I can't wait to eavesdrop on Nathan and Owen and their future siblings and cousins. Lord only knows what their inappropriate jokes will be.

What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Birth Days

D'awwww, right?? Cuteness. Overload. (Owen above, Nathan below.)

Today begins a fresh new blogging challenge, brought to you straight from the web-savvy minds at Arkansas Women Bloggers. This month's challenge encourages writers from across the state to concentrate on the blessings in their lives.

I'll go ahead and admit that I started Day One by cheating rule-bending. Our first prompt was to show what we are thankful for by snapping a picture and then editing with Pic Monkey.

Here's today's two-step process in deciding what to write:
  • Step 1) Think of something you're thankful for.
    Immediate Answer: Bauer boys.
  • Step 2) Peruse Pic Monkey.
    Immediate Answer: "Create a Collage."
Boom. Here we go, with admittedly old pictures.

When I count my blessings, near the very top of my list are always birth days. No, not the ones where I painstakingly search out the perfect pinatas, scour Pinterest to find recipes to match themes, and herd cat-like children through rigorous activities. Although that's a blast, today I am talking about the days of actual birth. The days that made me a mother.

I remember well the days I pushed life into this world and at this point I don't remember pain. Funny how that works, isn't it? I remember feeling like the most incredible person in the world. I remember feeling super human, indestructible, and very, very woman.

Those birth days not only introduced me to two of the most precious people I know, those screams of life woke something deep inside of me. A brand-new Jessica began the day a brand-new Nathan opened his eyes for the first time.

So, there you go.

I am thankful for 07.07.07 and 03.10.11. I'm thankful that God blessed me with two wonderful sons and gave me the chance to do my best as their mother. I make mistakes and I only learn through error, but this aspect of my life is by far my favorite.

What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Friday, November 9, 2012


It wasn't your average, everyday messy lunch.

Every time I crack open a can of Chef Boyardee, I know I will be wiping orange gook off of the floor, the counter, the high chair, and the baby. I went all out today, though. Raviolis for lunch and apple sauce for dessert. Look closely at Owen's hair:

The light colored globs are hardened apple sauce chunks. I figured the longer I let it sit, the easier it would be clean off. Well, it turned into some sort of delicious hair gel instead:

Oh well, he loved his lunch and was delighted with the surprise of an afternoon bath (facial expression above). The kid loves to get clean as much as he loves to fling raviolis at my face.

Also, I will give you an entire quarter if you can search through this blog and find at least three photo sessions of Owen in the high chair with raviolis on his face. It's a common theme, but you know what, it is beyond my control that it's so stinking cute. It is impossible to keep the camera at bay.

Hope you took the time to clean your lunch out of your hair this afternoon! Happy Friday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Owen the Patient

It takes serious work to look this good with an ear infection. Yep, he works out.

Poor Owen is sick. Unpleasant liquids are simultaneously draining from his nose, mouth, and ears. His barking cough is keeping everyone awake as it rattles his 32-pound frame all night. He has the saddest (although hilarious) little voice, hoarse and manly.

It's hard not to bust a gut when a baritone, "Mommy!" rings loudly through the monitor.

Oh, and he's calling me Mommy.

I kept him home today as the thermometer showed triple digits both last night and again this morning. We took a visit to the pediatrician's office and returned with requests for antibiotics, cough medicine, allergy stuff, and ear numbing solution. Nice. Although the previous list of meds will help this little guy feel better, I think I have my own solution.

In the few hours we had between doctor's office and car line, Owen grabbed his Mickey Mouse juice cup and favorite blanket. He walked over and handed them both to me. He then looked me square in the eye and managed a squeaky, "Mommy?"

Oh yeah. Snuggle time.

As pitiful as Owen looks and as bad as I can tell he feels, I love those moments. I really want him to start feeling better, but until then I guess I'll have to suffer through the free cuddles.

Send prayers, good vibes, and tissues our way, y'all. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Costumed Kids

This little skeleton and his big brother, the Red Ninja, had a very successful and only mildly spooky Halloween. (We made it through the night without any allergic reactions and we only trick-or-treated at one terrifying house. Oops.)

After making the neighborhood rounds and hauling home two pumpkins full of the good stuff, the boys were happy to sit in the living room and wait for the doorbell to ring. Nathan loved seeing all of the kids dressed in their Halloween best, and Owen was delighted to hear he wasn't the only one who could shout "TICK-A-TEET!"

Hope all of y'all had a happy and safe Halloween!