About Me

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Hi I’m Jen- I'm one lucky lady to be married to the most wonderful man, Jason. I am a mother to three beautiful children, Grant, Norah, who was born with hydrocephalus, and Mason. I love spending my time with my family. I also like to challenge myself with new things. I'm on a constant quest to become more organized, it may never happen but it's a dream. I currently work part-time as a RN in an emergency department. I love this journey of life that I am on with God by my side, knowing that all things are possible when you Believe.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Craisin Pecan Chicken Pasta Salad

When we were at my parent's cabin over the 4th of July, my mom made this fantastic salad. I can't tell how yummy it is, you have to try it. This recipe makes alot, you may want to cut it in half.

1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 bottle Kraft Creamy Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
1 onion, diced
1 lb Farfalle pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained
2 c. Craisins
1 c. Chopped Pecans

Remove chicken from bones, discard skin, then cut up meat.
In large bowl place cook pasta, coat with dressing. Mix in the craisins, onions and pecans.
Chill for at least an hour, then serve.


Toot Toot!

Grant loves watching the trains at the zoo. He gets so excited when he hears the whistle. He stops whatever he's doing, looks at me and says "toot toot." Then he takes off running to see if he can catch a glimpse of it passing by with waving passengers. I think he could have spent the entire day in this spot, watching the trains coming and going.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Norah!

Our beautiful baby girl, Norah Cynthia is ONE today!!

A year ago I barely slept throughout the night while I had increasing pain on my left lower side. I was exactly 36 weeks pregnant. I was scheduled to have an amino on 4 days from that day to see if Norah's lung were mature enough to deliver her and find out all that was going with our little girl. Jason and I were both ready to have her on the outside and start getting the pressure off of her little brain. I called my OB right away in the morning and managed to drive myself to her office. I remember curling up in the chair and using the wall to rest my head on as I waited to see the doctor. It was quickly decided that I would go check into the hospital. Once settled into the hospital, I went for an ultrasound to check on our little girl and to see how my uterus looked. I had a csection with our son and a uterine rupture was a possible cause of this pain. There was no longer a "weeks gestation age" to go with Norah's head measurement, and it was unclear how thin my uterus was becoming. The one thing I knew for sure is that the pain wasn't getting any better. All things pointed towards having a baby. Norah was born Monday evening by csection. So scared that I would lose my baby after she was born, I was thankful and filled with joy as I heard her cry and held her for the first time. She was whisked away to the NICU and I went to recover.

We experienced many ups and downs that first month, but once we finally brought Norah home we fought hard to keep her home and healthy. Norah is thriving. We were prepared for the fact that we may not be bringing home a baby from the hospital and we did. We were told that our child may have a poor quality of life and never reach some of the basic infant milestones. Norah is full of life, smiling followed by sweet giggles, clapping her hands and learning to crawl. While she may not be reaching her milestones when she's expected to, but she's getting there and working hard everyday.

Norah truly is a miracle, God is good. He has made this precious baby girl and has a plan for her, and He is giving us this amazing opportunity to be her parents.

Birthday Party!

Sunday we celebrated Norah's 1st Birthday. Her actual birthday isn't until July 20th, but we were definitely ready to celebrate our little miracle.

We had a small group of family over and had a nice party in our backyard. We grilled up some brats and burger, and cooked up some good summer barbecue foods for lunch. Then splashed in the baby pool and on the splash pad, and jumped away in the bouncy house Jason's brother brought over.

Then Norah ate cake, she eyed it up...

took hold...

then stuffed her face...

until there was nothing but a messy little girl left!

Once she was all cleaned up, she began to dig into her gifts.

She enjoyed playing with all the wrapping and tissue paper, or should I say eating it!

Happy Birthday Norah! As part of Norah's birthday we have formed 'Team Norah' for the Walk for Hydrocephalus in October at the Milwaukee County Zoo. All our welcome to join our team and help us raise funds for hydrocephalus research.

Monday, July 12, 2010

4th of July Weekend Fun

We spent the 4th of July traveling back out to Minnesota for a long weekend of fun at my parents cabin. This time we brought Jason with us, unlike we did two weeks ago. The kids are super travelers, however we got off to a rocky start. We only traveled two hours from our house in four hours time. A break in Wisconsin Dells, helped get us back on track. It was smooth sailing after that. 

I love being at the cabin over the 4th of July, it has become tradition. Growing up this was the time when all my extended family would gather at the lake. Now with my siblings with our families gather there and spend time together. I watched all the kids run and play together and hope that they make as many good memories playing with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents as I did when I was younger.

Here are some of the memories we made last weekend.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Backyard

I love spending the long summer afternoons in our backyard. I find it to be a peaceful oasis in the middle of this noisy city. Jason and I have worked hard to make this peaceful retreat for us, a safe place for the kids to play and a spot for our dog to run. A couple years ago we put in the patio. Then after having furniture stolen, twice, we added the fence. I have to thank my mom for helping plant flowers. While we were in North Carolina in May with Norah, she and Grant planted some beautiful flowers.

I am attempting to grow tomatoes and summer squash in a containers along the fence. I would love to have a full garden, maybe someday, where it would go I don't know. These will do for now. I love to check them out everyday to see it anything new is growing. The best part is showing Grant, and listening to him ah over the tomato, or try and pick the squash flowers.

I like having the window boxes on the two garage windows overflowing with flowers, especially when the begin to trail down.

I love making fires in the fire pit on cooler summer evenings. Before Grant and Norah came along we were out be the fire at least once a week. Now we are lucky to make it out there twice a month. Right now, Grant is too curious about fire, so the pit stays covered most of the time.

Maybe tonight would be a good night to sit by the fire....I think that's what we'll do.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

I'd like to share my favorite recipe of this summer that we have been eating around here. I don't know wha's best about this recipe, it's health, super easy and fast to make, and uses fresh ingredients easy to find at the farmer's market. I hope you try it and enjoy!

Adapted from Kraft Foods

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided
3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese or Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Cover half the grill with sheet of foil, then heat grill to medium.

Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.

Combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
Place chicken on uncovered side of grill; cover with lid. Grill 6 min.

Turn chicken over; placing it on the foil. Top with tomato mixture. Grill, covered for 8 min. or until chicken is done.