Life is A Journey...Come Follow Our's

Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Recipes

3 more fabulous recipes have been added to my tried and true list so I had to share them.

The first one is Cooking Light's Ginger-Lime Beef Stir-fry ( I've never been a big fan of ginger, but boy was this one amazing! Maybe it's the fresh ginger that really makes the difference. I served it over rice that I stirred almonds and green onions into. Can we say DELISH!?!?!

Next, what beats soup on a cold snowy day? With almost 8 inches of snow on the ground and a snow day calling us out of school, I was excited to make Cooking Light's Baked Potato Soup ( I substituted skim milk for the 2% that they call for and fat free sour cream. Holy Yuminess...thick, warm, and filling. Our bellies were definitely smiling and Baby Pope was happy too kicking like crazy after tasting this one!

Lastly, Cooking Light's Apricot-Lemon Chicken ( I have to admit that I haven't made this one's on the list for tonight, but I wanted to include it anyway. So far, we're 5 for 5 with our recipes so I'm hopeful this one will make us 6 for 6. I'll report more next food blog!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It seems to me that the traditional New Year's Resolution to get in shape isn't happening that much around Northwest Arkansas. The gym has been quieter than I remember it ever being at this time of the year but I have to admit, I'm okay with that. I love being able to still get in my workouts without fighting with anyone for a silly machine!

Since making a resolution to exercise doesn't really seem necessary for me, my resolution this year was to make 52 new recipes and try to branch out from my cooking comfort zone. So far, we have not had any flops though I'm sure over the course of 52 weeks, something is bound to not taste too good.

Week 1: Spinach Lentil Soup. I had never really eaten lentils before so I thought it would be a good vegetarian option to add to my repertoire. I was really surprised by how "meaty" lentils taste and am excited to try some more recipes that use them. The recipe I used this time was:

Week 2: Pecan Crusted Tilapia. Can you believe I've never pan-fried fish before? Something about splattering oil always deters me from wanting to try, but was pleasanty surprised when I cooked up this recipe:

Week 3: Spicy Black Bean Empanadas. When Brad and I went to visit Anthony in New York City last year, he took us to eat our first empanadas and we LOVED them. I didn't know at the time they were made with lard or I probably wouldn't have even given them a chance. I decided to scour the web for options other than lard and found that you can use puff pastry or pie crust (like either of those are much better for you) to get similar results. This recipe could use a little more spice (if you like things hot) but otherwise, it was really good:

Up next: Baked Potato Soup, Apricot Chicken, and Ginger Steak Stir-Fry.

What's Shakin' In The Pope House?

January seems to be quite the busy month for us this year even though it almost seems as if we're not doing all that much! Do you ever feel that way? Reality is, a lot has been going on. We're still working out like crazy, both of us have started back to teaching at the community college, we're pregnant, and we're trying to take advantage of all the childless free time we have!

A lot of people keep saying, "I bet you can't wait for your baby to get here," and while they're right that I'm excited, I'm also savoring my sleep (when I can get a full night of it) and all the time I have where I can still be greedy and do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want. To start the month we celebrated Brad's 32nd birthday back at the beginning of the month with a pizza and game night with some of his close friends here. I have to say, I made some GREAT pizzas, especially my pesto veggie pizza with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, broccoli, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, feta, and mozzarella cheeses. I even made my own pizza dough that doesn't have to rise. If you're interested, the link is: I add oregano, garlic powder, and rosemary to my dough to add a little extra flavor...DELISH!

As far as our pregnancy is concerned, we are now 24 weeks along (almost 25) and I'm still feeling GREAT. Brad and I were finally able to feel Baby Pope kick last weekend and it's amazing. I had been to the doctor just a few days before telling him that I hadn't felt him moving at all. The doctor was really concerned until he started listening to the heartbeat and had to keep moving all over the place in order to keep up with the little guy!

We also started our Lamaze Classes and were both quite excited that it wasn't too "granola-y!" In fact, we both learned quite a bit. There were 2 things that we found most interesting. 1) The main reason for death during childbirth back in the day was un-hygenic practices. Think about it. The doctor would go and amputate someone's leg with gangreen and then, without washing his hands, would deliver your baby. GROSS, but doesn't that make a ton of sense? 2) If you were left in a room by yourself with no medical attention,you would still deliver your baby...shoot, we are animals after all. I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty, but that baby would still come out. Brad and I are excited to learn more especially since I'm hoping for a natural (no medication) labor in a few short months.

And...for wondering eyes, here's what my 24 week belly's looking like:

Life is good in the Pope House! I had my first real craving - pancakes with strawberries and whipping cream. I think it was more the whipping cream that I wanted than anything else, but boy was it good! Just 15 more weeks to indulge these cravings and until this little guy makes his appearance! seems like yesterday I was asking for prayers that the In Vitro would even work!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I LOVE Christmas. Actually, Christmas is my 3rd favorite holiday after Christmas Eve and my birthday. There's something about the traditions and the chance for everyone in my family to come together in one place no matter how far away we live.

This holiday season was no exception. Brad and I road-tripped back to the Good Ole Midwest to spend Christmas with my family and then shortly thereafter, we headed up to Madison to spend a few days with his family. This year, despite the ice storms which weren't as bad as we were expecting, the weather was much more tolerable. Not a single day where the temperature stayed below zero (did I mention that my blood has thinned out over the past 12 years living in North Carolina, Arizona, and now Arkansas where we are currently celebrating our 3rd snow day due to the impending blizzard with whiteout conditions?!?!?!).

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Celebrating Dad's Birthday at Prime Quarter where you grill your own steak

Christmas Eve Lunch with Anthony, my dad, Lisa, Brad, and me

Mom hypnotizing the lobsters before they go into the pot

My favorite part of Christmas Eve - The Feast of the 7 Fishes

Christmas Day - Next year they're will be 3 of us!!

Wine and Cheese Party at Mom's

Brad's niece Reagan and my sister-in-law Michelle

Brad and Grandpa Pope

Grandma Pope and Kristie

Our brother-in-law Fred and his wonderful skills!

Grant can do it too!

Our Pope Family

Belly Shots

We are officially 22 weeks today and our baby boy is "the size of a papaya." I don't think he'll appreciate that when he's 16 but for now, I'm tempted to go to WalMart and see how big this papaya really is.

So far, everything about this pregnancy is going great. I'm working out 6-7 days a week, running, spinning, lifting (that's the hardest), and just trying to keep myself sane and Baby Pope happy. Seems to me our baby's happiest during a workout...smiling and loving every second of being active. Could it be that like Jimmy on Seinfeld who talked in the 3rd person, I'm talking through our child? Hmm...I'm sticking with he LOVES the gym!

Here are our belly shots as we progress through the weeks. Sorry if it's too much.

10 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant

18 weeks

20 weeks

22 weeks