Thursday, November 13, 2014

What's in a name

As the way things always seem to work out, Pat and I had two girl names picked out for future kiddos. Knowing we had girl names down pat I just knew we were having a boy.

Stone Mountain Scottish Highland Games, October 2014
We had so many discussions on boy names that we were both getting frustrated. I had one stipulation- I wanted to use family names. He had two stipulations- We couldn't name our child Asher (my favorite name for 10 years now. Bonus points if you know exactly where the name comes from). Also, we couldn't name our child Brooks (a family name of mine).  After a lot of time on Ancestry.com and discussing family names with family members we were getting nowhere. My family seems to have plethora of names that could be easily thrown in and then there is Pat's family... They lived and died by the rule that their last name should reflect their current occupations. Sorry Charlie, but I am not naming my child Provost...

So, how did we get to Ehren McAllister? It took some convincing on my part. You see, Pat's middle name is Ehren (pronounced like Aaron) and he felt weird about naming his child after him. It never occurred to me to really use McAllister until my mom said she had tried to find a way to use it for me and my siblings and never could. McAllister is her maiden name.

So here we are preparing for little Ehren McAllister to enter into this world. His nickname will be Macca. It's the British nickname for people with a Mac name. You might have heard of the most famous Macca, Paul McCartney.

Thank goodness we have two girl names picked out. I'm not sure I could handle that much work for a name again!! ... of course this means we will only have boys. Better get to brainstorming!! ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When life is flying by...

I have found life passing by at an insanely fast rate the past few months. Maybe it had to do with the surprise of finding out we were pregnant. Maybe it had to do with hubs job hunting and finding not one but two jobs. Maybe it's the fact that it's football season and football in the south is unlike anything else. Seriously, my mom and I have our superstitions. My husband had no idea what I meant when I said that I loved football. He gets it now.


I think it has more to do with us getting the surprised of a lifetime in June. There's no way I am almost 7 months pregnant but here I am.... almost 7 months pregnant. 


I fully plan on explaining his name in another post. For now, relish in the fact that it's a boy and I'll be running around with a mini version of my hubs. Lord, help me!! ;)

November 8, 2014- Dahlonega, GA

Life has been flying by at a speed I did not know was possible. We will be welcoming a little bundle of joy in February, Lord willing. My perspective on life has changed drastically over the past few months. Not to mention my spending habits...

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. Sometimes the days pass by at warp speed and all I can do is manage to catch up on some sleep after work. That whole "2nd trimester energy is great" thing was a big fat lie for me. So hang in there with me as I catch up on life and sleep. Oh, and maybe start on that nursery this weekend... I think Ehren would like a place to sleep... 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chicken Taco Soup and about that break I just took...

So, I took a break. An unintentional one but one that was needed. I can tell you how work has gotten crazy now that summer is over and boss lady is still out on maternity. Oh, and that she still doesn't know that I'm preggers. "Hello! Welcome back, boss lady! Do you happen to notice the small beach ball I'm hiding under my shirt now?!" Can't wait for that conversation in a couple weeks...

Or how I believe that the second trimester energy boost thing is a big fat lie. I don't think I've slept this much since I was a teenager. I've always been a good sleeper but goodness I'm taking sleeping to a new level right now!

Or how I'm stressed because we are figuring out jobs, money and childcare all at once. My dream is to be a stay-at-home mom and the cost of childcare just might give me my dream! $1300 a month... I don't even want to describe the panic that came over me when I saw that price tag. Prayers are something we covet right now from everyone. Prayers to trust and to not stress about tomorrow. Prayers to believe that He will always provide.

Or how I have finally started cooking again. My hubs just yelled out a big, "AMEN!" to that... Guess I've been slacking a little ;)

So that brings me to this. My first venture back into cooking and wouldn't you know ... it's a crockpot recipe :) Just the way I planned it!

HOORAY! It's fall!! Fall means soups and all things warm and cuddly. Get ready for soup recipes, y'all. This little girl L-O-V-E-S a good homemade soup. So without further ado, I present to you....

Chicken Taco Soup (Crockpot Style)


Ingredients
2-3 chicken breasts (uncooked)
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 can of chicken stock
1 can of rotel
1 can of corn kernels
1 can of chili beans
1 can of black beans
1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce

Add everything but the chicken to your crockpot. Once you have everything in there place your chicken in the mixture until it is just barely covered. Cover your soup and cook on low for 5 hours. After 5 hours take out your chicken and shred it. Place all of your chicken back in your crockpot and continue cooking for another 2 hours. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and whatever your little heart desires!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Currently

So as you can tell life has gotten away from me. I feel like I spend my days working, eating and sleeping. Every couple weeks a doctors appointment is thrown in there. I love a good linkup and this one always helps put things into perspective. I know what I'm spending too much time on and what I should focus my time and energy on to more. So without further ado, here is what I am up to Currently...

Recovering.


My Labor Day weekend was spent in Nashville celebrating one of my BFFs on her Bachelorette Night/Weekend. Look y'all, prego just can't hang. I had a blast going to Opryland and the Grand Ole Opry but Broadway was just not happening for me. I did thoroughly enjoy hearing all of their stories about their time out on Broadway when they got back to the hotel and on the ride home to ATL though :) Somehow I ended up feeling like I had been one who had one too many glasses of wine on the ride home? I guess that's what happens when I don't get my needed 10 hours of sleep one night ;) Sidenote: I wish I could store up sleep and use the energy I get from it for later use. Lord knows I'm going to need it soon.

Craving.

Pasta, pasta and more pasta. I can't get enough! So much so that I now feel all Italian like in the kitchen. I even made up my own tomato sauce on Monday and LOVED it! I'll have to share soon.

Nesting.

Poor hubs survived his first bout of nesting on Monday. For someone who had never heard of it before I would say he did pretty well. I'm enjoying having our white couch be white again and our other upholstered items being super clean. Next up, reorganizing our kitchen. You all should be jealous of my plans for this Saturday ;) Sidenote: If you want to clean your couch/chairs rent a rug doctor from Home Depot. SO much cheaper than having Stanley Steemer come out and do it for you. It's around $50 and some elbow grease when things are all said in done. It's more like $200 with Stanley Steemer.

Coveting.

Source
Melissa Button Frye Boots. I want them, I need them, Oh baby. Seriously, I have been coveting these specific boots for a few years now. Maybe one day down the road I will be able to obtain them. For now, I'll stick to my other riding boots that sort of looks just like them! :)

Linking up with Jenna and Anne

Friday, August 22, 2014

Y'all, it's football season!!

I'm just your average southern gal. I am obsessed with college football. 

If you're a student you have to be there early to save your seats. Always.
Yes, we are all obsessed with SEC football down here (with some ACC fans thrown in the mix). Yes, we are insane. Yes, we have the world's most insane tailgates.Yes, some of us get up at 2am to tailgate for an 11am start (I'm looking at you LSU). As much as I know that people think we are insane, I wouldn't have it any other way.


There is just nothing else like football season. Themed tailgates according to what team you are playing are the norm. Playing Florida at home? Expect to see someone with fried gator at their tailgate. Playing Arkansas at home? There will be several people cooking a whole hog all across campus.

Sneaking into the stadium at Auburn before our game
If you're going to a game in the SEC you'll most likely only see students wearing jeans to a game when it is freezing outside. T-shirts only happen when it is required for the game or you are wearing them for layering purposes. Your wardrobe quickly begins to look like your nicest clothes only come in your school colors.


Superstitions are real, people. They scored when you sat down in frustration? You won't move again until something terrible happens that requires you to move. They keep scoring or holding their offense while you are sitting in that position? You'll be sitting like that for the rest of the game.

We sat like this for a whole quarter of The Egg Bowl in 2007 after we scored and took the lead. Don't say we aren't team players.
All-in-all, I am envious for every freshman who started at my school this fall. Enjoy these next 4 football seasons and try to convince your parents you need to stay for a 5th ;) They really do all fly by!

Linking up with Erin at Love, Fun & Football!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"O, Captain! My Captain!"

Is it normal to be brought to tears when you find out someone you have never met passed away? I have never been one to be seriously upset by the passing of a celebrity. I usually feel for their family and say a prayer for peace. It was different last night. It felt like a huge part of my childhood all of the sudden was gone. One of those parts that I have always so desperately hung on to. I still watch Hook religiously to this day. 

Source
Robin Williams's passing brought on some other memories of mine. My dad and I used to watch Mrs. Doubtfire whenever I was visiting him growing up. He always managed to make me cackle in that movie. Cackle, not just laugh. 

Source
I have grown  hyper sensitive to the dangers of fame and depression in Hollywood. My family has seen first hand what it can do to a person. I know it's hard to imagine a person who seems to have everything as someone you should ever feel sad for. It's not easy. It's not easy to watch your aunt slowly slip from this earth and go to the hospital to see her only to be bombarded for autographs. It's not easy for the National Enquirer to show up at your elderly father's home to fish for a story about something that happened before you were even born. I know this because I've watched my cousin deal with this for years. Very professionally, I might add. It's a very lonely place and you only have a few people you can truly trust. It is very easy to start battling the demons of depression.

I say all this to say, that on matter who you are. No matter where you live. You. Are. Loved. Please ask for help if you need it. Depression is a very serious problem and disease and you deserve all of the help in the world. You deserve to be heard.

Robin Williams is a man that will be remembered for generations. I no longer think it will be just because of his hugely successful career. The amount of stories that have come out about him helping others just to make them laugh and see them smile are growing into the hundreds. He loved to make people feel better. He loved to see someone smile no matter how bad their situation was. Shouldn't that be something we all strive for?

Source
"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world." Dead Poets Society

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Currently

Writers block? Check!
A link-up that is super easy? Check!
A new blog post? Finally!

Currently

 Reading: Blogs. Mommy blogs, birth story blogs, Postpartum blogs, How-to Stock up for a baby blogs. I really need to stop reading those postpartum blogs. B = Officially terrified to pee post labor

Enjoying: Sleep and a lot of it. I seem to crave sleep almost all of the time right now. This of course means that I am extremely entertaining and outgoing right now. Note to self: Try and get out of the house more to see friends and go on dates with the hubs. Your life is about to change drastically!

Chloe so elegantly captured in a picture of what I look like 90% of the time
Eating: Everything in sight. I have never been this hungry in my life and I swear I have a tapeworm living inside of me. Excuse me while I go eat my third breakfast of the day. Yes, my third. It's a miracle I have only gained a pound. In other news, I am trying to get Chick-fil-A to change their rules so I can open a franchise. I'm pretty sure I have kept our Chick-fil-A open on my own this past month.

Photographing: Food. Apparently I love to take lots of pictures of my food. Maybe I should branch out?

Linking up with Jenna


Friday, August 1, 2014

August = The month of birthdays

As if July isn't already busy enough for us, August always seems to be busier.

 It's both mine and my husband's birthdays. 12 days apart. I'm older. And yes, he does love to rub it in. Those 12 days are now affectionately known as "The 12 days of B-Mas." I told Pat he is allowed to celebrate my cougardom as along as that means I get 12 days of presents. Fair trade, right?!

This year is a little different due to the massively huge surprise we got in June. In case you missed it, read about it here. When I say surprise, Pat and I stared at each other for two hours and then couldn't process it for about 3 weeks. I wish I was kidding. We are SO excited to be parents even if it was earlier then we planned! God's plan is always better. Am I right or am I right??

So all this means is that all birthday celebrations are going to be on a tighter budget this year and I'm in a panic. I have no idea what to get the hubs except for this-

Source

So help a girl out! What else should I get my hubs for his birthday?? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

5 of my favorite things: DC Style

1. Georgetown. Cupcake.


When I interned in DC the summer of 2009 everyone kept talking about this little cupcake shop in Georgetown. We tried to get there all the time but the line was constantly out the door. We finally got there one day after work. The run from the metro to the shop was SO worth it. I bought myself 4 cupcakes. I ate all of them that night. No shame and I was in love. About 6 months later I started seeing that little cupcake shop on TLC. They are worth the wait and all of the attention they get. Who doesn't love a good cream cheese buttercream frosting?! 


2. Jefferson Memorial


The Jefferson has always been my favorite memorial. I think that's because it's usually the more peaceful of all of the major memorials. It's way off the beaten path and it's just easier to take a car there. 


3. Remembrance. 

Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
One of my all time favorite things about DC is the ability to go to a place and reflect on something from our nation's past. It's not always the best moments in history, but I firmly believe you should always remember the bad so you can help prevent it from happening again.

Marines Memorial
4. A Framer. FINALLY.


We finally got some pictures of us that are decent enough to be framed. 

5. The US Capitol


The Capitol will always hold a special place in my heart. I spent one of the best summers of my life running through the halls of that building and I learned so much about our country. I'm almost 100% positive that I can still recite the video they play before the Capitol tours word for word. 



Happy Friday everyone!! I hope your weekend is a great one and very restful. I know I will be doing A LOT of resting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Confession

I am almost 26 years old and I just ordered in Chinese food for the first time ever last night.


And it was darn good.

Side note: I don't think I have ever seen my husband move that fast. I agreed to ordering Chinese in and the stuff was ordered in under 2 minutes. Also, I now have an upper hand. "If you sweep the floors we can order Chinese food again next week..." *floors are pristine in 5 minutes tops*

The end. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fireworks on the National Mall- Check!

It's no secret that I love America and any reason to celebrate her. So when the opportunity came to spend the 4th in DC (thank you tax return!!), we jumped all over it. I was pretty gungho about doing two things. 1-seeing my grandfather's grave site in Alrington and 2- watching the fireworks on the mall. Thankfully we were blessed enough to do both. Today I'm going to focus on fireworks on the mall and try and convince all of you that this event should be added to your Bucket List. 

Here's all you need to know-


Get there early and pick out your spot. We made sure to bring two blankets with us and we spread those suckers out. No need to have people sitting super close to you. I mean I love America and American's but I love my personal bubble too.


Make sure to be all decked out in 'Merica gear.



Pose for a million pictures in front of the monuments. Bring lots of dips to snack on and have a cooler full of drinks. This was something I learned the hard way. 4 years ago we went all excited to watch the fireworks and all of us walked away starving. Hello late night McDonald's run out of desperation!


Enjoy the sunset with hundreds of thousands of other Americans.



Be in awe. Seriously, there is nothing else like it. It's worth the two hour wait and such a fun relaxing way to enjoy the evening. 

Biggest tip of all- Walk around for an hour or so after the fireworks. That way you avoid the massive crowds at the metro stations :)


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Pat and I had been planning our trip to DC since February and we were SO  excited to get away for a few days. This was my first time back since interning and Pat's first time back since he was a moody 14 year old who hated everything in sight. This was going to be so good for the both of us!

Enter last Monday when I started to hear more and more about this little tropical depression they had so lovingly named, Arthur. I thought nothing of it. I was done with hurricanes now that I didn't live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast anymore. WRONG. 

Now last Thursday we got to the airport super early because I stress out when I travel. Getting to the airport meant we had to take the train in and fight our way through the ATL airport crowds. The ATL airport is basically my second home, but I can't ever get over how busy the place always seems to be. 

While we were sitting at our gate I started noticing all of the flights up and down the East Coast getting cancelled. Enter: slightly stressed B. I just knew what was coming next. Our flight : Cancelled. But you  know what? I was eerily calm when I found out the flight had been cancelled. 

We called Delta, got a refund on our flight, got a rental car and then started the mad dash to DC.

Our trusted stallion w/ some artwork from my hubs
We actually had a blast during the 10 hour drive. We were both so calm and just jammed out to music the whole time. Even my iPhone got in on the all nighter excitement.

What up, NTB?!
There came a point in time where I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer- I put in my headphones, turned up my sound machine app, and laid back my seat. Pat was such a trooper. He turned the radio up to his favorite XM station and just powered through until we arrived at 4:30AM.
4:30AM has never looked so beautiful in my life. Annnnd probably never will again. But...


WE MADE IT!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DC, I still love you


We're back!!! 

And exhausted.

DC was a blast as usual. I miss it now, but I think I've decided that I couldn't live there now. I forgot just how busy it is and I'm old now. My 21 year old self relished in the busyness of the The Hill. My almost 26 year old self is more of a home body and enjoys the calmness of Atlanta (chalk that up as something I never thought I'd say about Atlanta).
The weekend itself was quite the adventure. Let's just go ahead and say that tomorrows post will be all about planes, trains and automobiles. Hurricane Arthur, we are not friends. Nope. Not in the slightest.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Currently...


Packing... For our getaway DAYS in advance. I don't think I ever packed for Europe this far in advance. SO ready to get away.


Hoping... little Tropical Storm Arthur decides to veer off course. Boo 4th of July hurricanes!!

Wishing... my little bout with vertigo would go away. I'm tired of feel queasy 24/7

Watching... The World Cup. All day, every day. SO proud of team USA. It seems like everyone has started to jump on the soccer wagon. Hope on, it's a blast!


Listening...to NEEDTOBREATHE. Their songs always speak right to my soul. You should check them out. Like right now. Watch the video.

Lille, France. June 2010
Missing... European summers. The World Cup has me missing my French family and friends more than ever.

Craving... Georgetown Cupcakes. They blow Sprinkles out of the water. I'm so ready for our store to open here in ATL. My wallet and waistline think differently.


Cooking... Everything. No, really. I have been a cooking machine recently. Get ready for a lot of recipes to come your way.


Linking up with Jenna and Anne!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life Lately

I think it's safe to say that life lately has been hectic. A lot of changes have come our way. Some big, some not so big. The biggest in our lives is Pat finally graduating college. 

Graduation Celebration
Pat graduating was a huge accomplishment. If you are new around here you might think that he is kind of old to have just now finished his undergrad. Well, that husband of mine is a freak of an athlete. He took a few years off college to play soccer professionally in Europe. This blog would be a totally different place if that darn economy hadn't crashed so hard in Europe. Let's just say Pat is not a big fan of economics.

All that to say we have been stressed. So incredibly stressed. Pat is not only a freak of nature athlete but he was that person you hated in high school. So freakishly smart. He graduated Suma Cum Laude for goodness sake!! He should be able to find a job easy-peasy right?! NO. 

I know the Lord is using this time for us to trust in Him and know that he will always provide for us. He always has before. Why would He stop now? 

I ask that you please say a prayer for Pat and for our sanity. He really is a gifted man. A renaissance man if you will. I know that he will be an amazing employee for whoever hires him and will always work his butt off. I see him do it daily with all of the kiddos that he coaches. He is the number one goal keeper trainer in Georgia. You don't get to that level if you aren't a hard worker.
So just please if it happens to cross your mind, please say a prayer for peace. We are stressed. We are nervous. We are scared.
Thank you.

PS- If you live in ATL and you know of anyone who needs a bilingual (almost trilingual), mathematically efficient, engineering skilled, biologist please let me know. He's a catch. Trust me, I know ;)


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ravioli Lasagna


This recipe is one of those recipes of my mom's that I just knew Pat would love. The man loves him some pasta so of course this was right up his alley.


Ingredients
1 lb of Ground Beef (Turkey would work too!)
1 cup of onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Bag of frozen cheese raviolis
1 1/2 jars of marinara
1 bag of shredded Italian cheeses

Throw the garlic in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Allow it to saute for 1 minute so the garlic begins to open up (I sound like I know what I'm talking about!! I assure you it's from watching too much Food Network). After the garlic has been sauteing for 1 minute throw your onion in to the pan. Allow them to saute to together for about 3-4 minutes. After 3-4 minutes add your meat and cook until browned all the way. Drain your meat once you are done.

Add your meat back to your pan and add your marinara sauce. Allow it to warm through. Add one ladle full to the bottom of your pan and spread evenly. 
Side note: I use a 9x11 Pyrex dish when making this. I spray mine with Pam to make the clean up easier.
Once you have added your ladle full or two of sauce add one layer of raviolis. Sprinkle a handle full of cheese on top and then add a ladle full of sauce and spread evenly. Repeat the previous steps one or two more times. It really depends on how deep your dish is.

Make sure to save enough cheese to sprinkle on the top of your lasagna. Cover your dish with aluminum foil before sticking it in the oven.

Bake at 400 degree for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wanderlust Part 2

I love living in the city I grew up in. I have my favorite places to eat, favorite shops and know the back roads as well as the freckles on the back of my hand (there's a lot of those). Every once-in-awhile I get wanderlust for places I have been or lived before. Today and right now? I am wanderlust for DC. 


Living there for the summer of 2009 was hands down the best experience. I love history and I love America. Perfect combo.


I made some of my best friends that summer. We discovered the places we loved most- Eastern Market, weekend excursions to Annapolis, going to Georgetown to eat BBQ and get sweet tea, our weekly trips to Five Guys, etc. The summer of 2009 was by far the best summer of my life.


I loved every thing about being on The Hill every day. Everything. I loved learning about the way our country is run and what goes into actually making a bill and then getting people to support it. My most favorite part was giving tours of The Capitol. I was one of two interns in our office that got to do it and I will never regret signing up for that job. 


I loved being able to sit in on Senate meetings and do something so simple like take minutes for the senator. I loved just being able to walk to the rotunda and sit in awe whenever I wanted. I even loved the stupid little Willy Wonka train that ran from the Senate buildings to the Capitol to the House Buildings.


I will never forget how sad I was when I realized our summer was over. When I realized that our last self-guided tour of the Capitol was really our last one.


But no worries!! I get to cure my wanderlust next month. I cannot wait to go back to one of my favorite places on earth and reunite with one of my BFFs from college. I can't wait to show Pat around and show him my favorite places and favorite treats (what up, toasted marshmallow milkshake!!). 


The only thing I'll be missing are my two amigos to complete the Three Amigos of DC.  Oh, and that dang red badge that would allow me to go to the rotunda when ever I wanted. I'm really going to miss that.

Hurry up, July!! I can't wait to get back to DC.