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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are There Really Only 6 Weeks Left?

From the beginning of this pregnancy, I kept saying that I just have to get to Spring Break and then Quinn will be almost here. Well shoot...Spring Break has come and gone and there are only 6 weeks left!

Brad and I took full advantage of our freedom and took one last weekend trip to Memphis over our break (or should I say over my break). What a seedy town (sorry if you're from there), but boy was it fun. We stayed in Germantown per many recommendations (Memphis doesn't have the safest reputation) and had great workouts, awesome cooked breakfasts at The Embassy Suites there, and great naps all before noon each day. Once we finally got moving, we ventured out to Graceland, Elvis' homestead. We assumed it would be pretty over-the-top touristy, but we actually really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, when I get hungry, the world must stop, so we cut our trip to Graceland short and headed out for some lunch. Before our trip, I did a bit of research checking out where Man V. Food and Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives had visited in Memphis and I found what I knew would be a sure bet, Gus's Fried Chicken. You all know I am not a fried food eater, but after 14 years without fried chicken, and recommendations by both shows, we couldn't pass it up. At 3:30 in the afternoon, we still had to wait for an hour for a table so we knew we were at a good place. Was it good? Let's just say that we will never drive thorugh Memphis and not stop at Gus' was to die moist, spicy, and incredibly not greasy!

Later that night we headed out to Beale Street to listen to some live music at BB Kings and to get ribs. How can you go to Memphis and not get ribs, right? I'm not much of a ribs girl, but they sure did fall off the bone making them quite tasty. Overall, we had a GREAT time in Memphis. We missed the 8 inches of snow that they got here in NWA and it was the perfect little BabyMoon for us. No more major trips until Quinn arrives and we go scuba diving in July...WOOHOO!

On that note, Quinn is scheduled to arrive in less than 6 weeks! I'm still feeling great, lifting, working out, and teaching PE. I've been running sprints with the kids on the track this week and although almost all of them can now beat me, I'm happy that I can at least try and still do what it is I love. Until next time, I'll leave you with just a few more pics:

34 Weeks Pregnant

I read once that there is no pregnant woman with good arms...I beg to differ =)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


And the good food keeps coming over here in The Pope House! 3 more good recipes to share including the Guinness Beef Stew I served for St. Paddy's Day, Shiitake Angel Hair Pasta, and my first attempt at making homemade bread - Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

For St. Paddy's Day, I decided there was no way I could bring myself to make corned beef and cabbage. Since smells are sometimes bothering me now-a-days, I didn't trust how I'd do with a house smelling like cooked cabbage (first and foremost) and then the smell of the aftermath (if you catch my drift) of 3 people dining on cabbage together, I opted to try my hand at Guiness Beef Stew ( I'm not much of a dark beer drinker, okay, I'm not much of a beer drinker, but ever since making this stew, I've been craving Guinness. The stew was delicious (especially for Irish food). I doubled the meat but otherwise kept the recipe as written. It was very thick and was served very well with mashed potatos. This might just become a March 17th tradition.

Last week, one of Brad's co-workers brought in bags of shiitake mushrooms. Did you realize they sell for $10.99 a pound at the natural food stores? Incredible! I don't plan on buying any anytime soon, but it was fun to try to find recipes that include them. Last night I tried our luck with Shiitake Angel Hair Pasta ( It seemed like a pretty safe bet - mushrooms and cream can you go too wrong, right? Brad and I learned a couple things about shiitake mushrooms. 1) You have to really trim down the stems or else they are super chewy like overcooked calamari or octopus, and 2) they're not our favorite kind of mushroom...or maybe we just haven't developed a taste for their woody flavor yet. The sauce for this dish was very very good. In fact, I'm planning on keeping it as part of my reportoire and will use it for a primavera base in the future. Super simple and very flavorful. As for the shiitakes, we'll leave them out next time, but I will try at least one more recipe with the ones I have left in the fridge.

The most exciting recipe I tried this week was just this morning. Throughout the past month or two, I've been having a really hard time staying asleep. I guess it worked out to my benefit this morning because by 4am, I had started the process of making Cinnamon Raisin Bread ( my first attempt at making homemade bread. End result...DELISH! I baked it for 35 minutes and ended up with 1-9x5 inch loaf and 3-8x4 inch loaves. Next on the bread agenda...Challah...hopefully later this week!

Stay tuned...the challah might be worth making for Easter...the Cinnamon Raisin Bread definitely is!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ultrasound Update

We had what will probaby be our last ultrasound today and everything is looking great. In the words of the technician we "definitely do not have a skinny baby." Quinn is around 4 pounds right now and is head down and ready.

One of my friends here in NWA had her baby yesterday via C-Section and I admire her for her bravery. I just kept thinking of her with her stomach cut open today and would shutter. She did great though and although no one really wants a c-section, she had the best attitude about it. That being said, everything is looking perfect for a normal delivery for us. I am just hoping and praying that things stay this way!

Here are a few of the 3-dimensional photos we got today. He's really too big for 3-D as he is so smooshed in there, but here they are anyway. In this first one, his nose is squished (I hope...or else we might have a snuffleupagus on our hands!) and one arm is across his body and one is reaching over his head. And don't worry, his bottom lip isn't HUMONGOUS, he is sticking out his tongue...

Profile Shot...

Not the best picture but you can use your imagination. He is resting on the placenta...

Less than 8 weeks and we'll meet this precious little man! We're super excited, but are enjoying our sleep and alone time. Heading to Memphis tomorrow...I'm sure there will be pictures soon to follow!

Mrs. Pope...I see his nose!!!

Kids absolutely crack me up. I was teaching first grade and they were asking me if my baby kicks a lot. When I told them that he was kicking right then, they wanted to watch so I pulled my shirt tight and continued on with the lesson. Not more than a minute later, one proudly proclaimed, "Mrs. Pope, I see your baby's nose!" I looked down to figure out what they were seeing and had to say "That's not his nose, that's my belly button!" "OH =( " Too cute!

32 weeks this week and today's a BIG day. We have our final (supposedly) ultrasound. I am so excited to get to see how much our Little Man has changed since we last saw him 14 weeks ago! It seems so long! From what I am reading, he weighs about 4 pounds and should be 15-16 inches long. AMAZING! I'm sure to post those pics later tonight. Looks like it will be a busy blogging day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On A Roll with New Recipes

I have been cooking up a storm and LOVING it. In the past 3 days, I've tried 3 new recipes, but actually have 4 to report on (Giada's Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli, Lime Chicken Soft Tacos, Monkey Bars, and Sauteed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing).

I simply love Giada De Laurentis. She is beautiful, has fabulous recipes, and is so fun to watch. I decided to try her Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli ( but had to make a few adaptions. First off, I could not find mascarpone cheese anywhere so I had to substitute in ricotta cheese and secondly, I didn't feel like making fresh pasta sheets so I used wonton wrappers instead. If you've never used wonton wrappers before, they're GREAT. They are so easy to use and make the perfect ravioli. My only complaint is that they are really thin. Overall, this was a good recipe...heavy on the spinach flavor but I think it could be really spruced up with the addition of some fresh herbs. I'm not quite sure which ones, but it needs something.

One recipe that needs no adjustments or substitutions this week was definitely Cooking Light's Monkey Bars ( Think of this recipe as a banana bread cake with rum raisins. If you know me really well, you know I LOVE plump, juicy raisins. I have been known to buy 3 cinnamon raisin bagels just to pull out the raisins and throw out the bread because the plump raisins are just that good to me! This recipe delivers after soaking and microwaving the raisins in rum. Brad and I managed to clean out the whole pan before the weekend ended...and just a heads up, I baked them on Sunday morning!

That Sunday night, I also made Lime Chicken Soft Tacos ( I feel like I'm cheating counting this recipe because it was so simplistic, but I have never cooked chicken with lime nor have I ever made chicken tacos and I've never tried out this recipe before so I'm counting it. This recipe was super-simple and yielded really tender tasty chicken. It will definitely be a part of our recipe rotation!

Last recipe of this week came just last night and it's another one I'll be adding to our rotation...Sauteed Tilapia with a Honey-Scallion Dressing ( Tilapia is one of those fish I always have in my freezer. It thaws quickly and is so versatile. I always bake my tilapia, but this recipe called for it to be sauteed...YUM. Keeping with the tradition of tilapia, this recipe was super quick and easy. The dressing made with soy sauce, honey, scallions, lemon juice, fresh ginger, and sesame oil had a really good, yet not too strong, taste. If you're looking for something new to do with your tilapia, I would definitely give this one a try.

This next week is St. Patrick's Day and while I'm far from being Irish, I've decided to try to make Guiness Beef Stew. I can't stand corned beef and cabbage, or the way it makes one's house smell, so this seems to be a good traditional alternative. Stay's bound to be good!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

30 Weeks

Just a quick post to update my ever growing baby bump! 10 weeks from today (give or take, right?) Baby Pope will be making his grand debut. Let me tell you a little about him already:

He LOVES to kick (think he'll be a footy player like his daddy?)

He really LOVES to be in the pool (I started swimming last week and it feels amazing) which is good because he just got this adorable new bathing suit and orange sun hat in the mail yesterday

He is going to be one well-dressed baby with mom's obsession with on-line shopping lately (luckily Daddy finds everything super cute and well priced)

He can't wait to meet all of you soon!