Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas came early

Christmas came early for Lilly this morning. Because we are headed to Salt Lake we decided to give her the kitchen early. She loves it. She also received an apron I made for her and some fruit and vegetables from Uncle Richy and Aunt Marie. We had a great morning. Well my next post will be from UT. Yay!! Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who would have thought.

Well this week has been interesting to say the least. I had already been dreading this week because Ryan was going to be so busy with finals that I knew I would be flying solo taking cake of Lilly. Well nothing could have prepared me for Monday night. Late Monday night Ryan got home from studying and was complaining that his stomach hurt. He said he was going to watch some TV and drink a soda to see if he could feel better. Well about 1 am Tuesday morning he came in and said he was in a lot of pain. Before I could even think about what to do Ryan was dressed and telling me not to worry that he was just going to drive HIMSELF to the hospital.(Maybe he does have a little Ken Burns in him) Before I could even protest he had pulled up a local hospital on navigation and was out the door. (Note: when moving to a new city locate your nearest hospital and know how to get there!) A few minutes later he came back to get his back pack in case he had free time he could study for his finals. That kid thinks of nothing but studying. It was so hard to sit there and let my husband drive himself to the hospital when I could tell he was in a lot of pain. After he made it to the hospital they quickly took him back because the pain was getting worse. A few hours later after a CT scan, a lot of poking and prodding determined that it was his appendix and that it needed to come out that day. Lilly and I joined him at the hospital in the morning. Lilly was very concerned about Ryan. She wanted him to get up and play with her. They finally got him into surgery at about 1 pm on Tuesday. I was relieved when the surgeon finally came down and told me that his appendix had not ruptured and that they were able to take it out with no complications. We feel so blessed that Ryan was prompted to go to the hospital so quickly and that he is his doing well. Ryan was released on Wednesday. As soon as he got home he began studying for his final on Thursday. He wanted to be ready to take his final with the rest of his class. Ryan is determined to catch up on all his finals by Friday. Ryan is determined. Thanks to our friends Trent and Britini I am not losing my mind. They took Lilly all day for me yesterday. Also Mitch and Mandy brought us dinner. Oh and Erica who helped me get Ryan's car home from the hospital in a snow storm. So despite it all we are still coming to Utah on Saturday! I can't believe this week. I fell so grateful for the help we have received and the love and concern that everyone has shone us. I know now more than ever that I am not alone here in Milwaukee and that our Heavenly Father is always watching over us!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving week. Last Tuesday we headed on a 11 hour car ride to Pittsburgh. I can't believe I did it. But the prospect of getting to spend Thanksgiving with family got me through. Ryan's brother Richy lives in Pittsburgh. It was great to see them again. We had a great week of shopping, eating and hanging out. As Ryan and I reflected on the week we didn't come up with one sour point. (Yes Richy and Marie I didn't even mind the killer bunnies.) We even got a date night. Marie's mom Joy was in town and watch both Lilly and Linus so we could go out. Ryan and I have not been without Lilly since July so it was a much needed break. Anyway thanks for the great week Richy and Marie we loved it!

Lilly in the car ready for our trip. If Ryan and I wear sun glasses then Lilly needs hers as well!

On Wed. we went to one of my favorite places ever, Rita's Italian Ice!!! It is so good. We were lucky to get some because that was the last day they were open for the winter. Man it was just as good as I remember!

Here we are on the strip. It is this cool place where you walk up and down the streets and do all kinds of shopping. There are all different kinds of street vendors and the best food ever can be found there. It is a good thing I don't live in Pittsburgh.

Cousins are the best! Lilly and Linus seemed to have a great time together! Linus was such an awesome cousin and friend to Lilly. He even shared all his trucks with Lilly.

Well I almost left out one of the highlights. Richy smoked our turkey for Thanksgiving. (I did not take a single picture of our Thanksgiving feast. I don't know what I was thinking!!) The turkey was so moist and had great flavor. We were all worried that it would be dry. We had a great feast.

Well thanks Richy, Marie and Joy for the best week. We loved seeing you guys!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Orange Juice to the rescue!

Growing up my mom would always make fresh orange juice for us to drink. I love fresh orange juice! I swear it has some healing powers. This weekend when we were all sick my mom suggested that we buy some oranges and juice them with the juicer she bought us last year for Christmas. She is a genius! The fresh orange juice worked wonders for me. Lilly and Ryan are also getting better. So for any of you getting sick out there or when you get sick this winter don't forget the magical powers of fresh squeezed orange juice!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am a new Auntie!!!

Easton Cody Burns was born yesterday Nov. 17 2008. I believe he was 7 lb 8 oz and 21 inches long. I am so excited for my brother KC and sister in-law Amber. I wish I could be there to hold him but in a few weeks I will. Mom and baby seem to be doing great from what I hear. Congratulation K.C. and Amber!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What is new? (with recipes)

Well nothing to exciting has been going on around here. Ryan is still studying all the time and Lilly and I are hanging out trying to keep busy. I have been trying to improve my dinner menu and made this amazing quiche the other night. It was so good I had to take a picture.

Speaking of cooking, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We are excited to head to Pittsburgh this year. I made a trial run of my triple layer chocolate pumpkin cheese cake. I was worried that it would not turn out because I have not made it in years. But it was sooooo good.

As for Lilly she is as cute as ever. Her little personality is just blooming. We have a lot of fun together. Here we are playing in the leaves at the zoo. She thought it was so funny when they would crunch under our feet.

And finally dress up. Lilly came out the other day with this outfit on. She was so proud of herself. Then she got on her little scooter and said "bye bye" as she drove away!

Here is the link to the Quiche it has a hashbrown crust but I think it is really good.

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serves 12
Active: 45 min/Total: 2 ½ hr (plus 1 hr cooling in the oven and at least 4 ½ hr chilling)

Planning tip: Cake can be completed up to 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

1 ½ cups purchased chocolate cookie crumbs
½ stick (4 Tbsp) butter, melted

3 bricks (8oz each) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 large eggs
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) milk-chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Chocolate Glaze
3 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp stick butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat an 8-in. spring form pan with nonstick spray. Have ready a roasting pan larger than the spring form pan.
2. Crust: Put crumbs in a small bowl; stir in butter until evenly moistened. Press firmly over bottom of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Cool on rack. Wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.
3. Filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping sides of bowl several times with a rubber spatula. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Divide batter evenly between 3 medium bowls. Sir melted milk chocolate into 1 bowl; pour on to crust in an even layer. Whisk pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice into another bowl of filling. Carefully spoon over chocolate layer to cover, then gently smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula (take care batters don’t run together). Stir semisweet chocolate into remaining batter. Carefully spoon over pumpkin layer; spread carefully as above.
4. Set spring form pan in center of roasting pan. Place roasting pan in oven rack and add boiling water to come halfway up sides of spring form pan.
5. Bake 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours until set, but center still jiggles slightly when shaken.
6. Turn off oven (leave door closed); let cake cool in oven 1 hour (if cake hasn’t pulled away from sides of pan, carefully run a thin knife around edge of pan, to release cake). Remove foil. Cool cake in pan on wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
7. Chocolate Glaze: Stir ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
8. Remove pan sides; place cake on serving plate. Spread glaze over top to edge (some may drip down side of cake). Refrigerate until glaze sets.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Card Time

It is that time of year! I have never sent out Christmas cards before but this year I am determined to get them out. There are so many of you that I don't have an address for. I would love to send you all a card! So will you please email it to me or leave it in a comment. Thanks

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Yep my Lilly is now officially 18 months old. I can't even believe it. Lilly has been very interested in birthdays and especially birthday cakes. She learned about birthdays on Sesame Street. We are often singing the happy birthday song around our house. So we decided it would be fun to make a cake with her. While it was fun she got very upset when we had to bake the cake. But she loved eating the cake.

This was our first family photo, just after Lilly was born!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween everyone! I love Halloween. It has been hard this year because I have been sick but I pretended that I wasn't today and we had a great time. The weather was awsome here. It got into the upper 60's. We went trick or treating at the Bayshore Mall. Lilly loved trick or treating and even started saying thank you after they gave her the candy. She could not wait though. She wanted to eat all the candy as soon as they put it in her bag. Well here are a few great shots we got.

Lilly needed a pre trick or treating snack.

Me and my baby. (She does not look like a baby anymore.)

Lilly got to do most of her trick or treating from her stroller which she loved!

A small pumpkin patch where Lilly got to pick a pumpkin.

Scary decorations at the mall.

Small clip of Lilly meowing and signing. She is so tried of us asking her what a kitty says.

Oh and one more thing....

I want to tell Ryan how much I love him. I have been pretty useless this week and he has just stepped in and helped me so much. He is a great father and husband. The poor guy only got one hour of sleep last night because he had a big test today. He could have come home and just went to sleep. Instead he helped me get Lilly ready, went trick or treating, hung out with our friends and even helped me get Lilly to bed! (Oh and did I mention he had a good attitude the whole time.) I could not ask for anything more. I am so proud of how hard he works at his schooling and how much he tries to be a great father and husband.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A visit from my mom!

I know I should have posted these pictures days ago. I don't know why it has taken me that long. I wish I could say I have been really busy doing all kinds of fun and important stuff. Away we had such a great visit with my mom. She has such a way of making me feel like everything is okay. Her excitement has made me look at Milwaukee in a new light. Thanks mom for helping me see the positive in every situation!

Of course we took my mom to the local zoo. Lilly loved showing her all the "anima" (animals).

This place was so cool because the bird are able to fly around and they do. Some of them are really big and I always get scared when they fly.

Lilly loves the elephants or "ella" as she calls them.

Next we did some shopping. I love shopping with my mom we always find the best deals. Sorry I did not take any pictures of us shopping.

Finally we rode the Metra to Chicago. It was so fun. Driving and parking in Chicago is a mess. Ryan and I were so excited that we found a better way to get there. Once you get into the city of Chicago they have several different free trolleys that take you to cool places all over the city.

Ryan and Lilly riding the Metra train to Chicago.

Here we are on a trolly.

Chicago river.

This was an awesome street performer. He would move when people would tip him.

Hershey store. They gave out the best samples!

Lilly stopping to check out the flowers.

Well that is are visit in a nut shell. I wish I would have taken more pictures of my mom and Lilly. I guess she will just have to come back again sometime. Our next big adventure will be driving to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving to see Ryan's brother and his wife and little boy. Then we will be headed to Utah for Christmas. I can't wait to see everyone.

Thanks again mom for the visit. I seem to be looking at this place a little differently now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Mom is coming today!

My Mom is coming today!! Hooray!! I can't believe today is finally here. The only thing that would make this visit better is that if all my family could have come. I really miss everyone (friends and family) sooooo much. Well I only have two months left and I will be home for Christmas. I can't wait to get a big hug from my dad, punch in the arm from my brothers and be able to catch up with everyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our first fort

We were home all day on Sunday watching conference (or trying to) so Ryan and Lilly built a fork to keep themselves busy. Lilly's imagination is really starting to unfold. We are often favored with pretend soup. I loved playing make believe when I was a kid and I love going though all the imaginary stuff again with Lilly. Life seems so much simpler in a pretend world. While here are a few pictures of the fort.

Lilly's fort even had a small nursery for her baby.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Apple Picking

On Saturday we visited a local apple orchard. They had some great apples and Lilly loved pointing out every apple she saw. On Sunday we made a lovely apple crisp that we shared with some friends of ours. The weather here changed. It has a fall chill in the air. While I love jacket weather I hate the cold. Hopefully we still have awhile before it gets really cold.

Lilly picked out her own little pumpkin as well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Zoological Society

Well we are now officially Zoological Society Members at the Milwaukee County Zoo. We joined a week or so ago. Ever since Lilly was born Ryan has wanted to take her to the zoo. He would get so sad every time we would go to any zoo without him. So it was so great when we were finally be able to go together on Saturday. We had a lovely time at the zoo. It was the perfect weather for watching animals. We really like the Milwaukee zoo. The landscaping is beautiful and the animals have all been pretty active when we have been there. Oh and with my pass it gets me and one other adult in free. ( Children 2 and under are free.) So if anyone wants to visit I will take you to the zoo on me.

Lilly is really into wearing her hat and sun glasses. I tired to take them off when we went into the buildings but she did not want them off. I think she just likes being like her daddy.

Lilly kept telling the bear to go into the "Wawa!" but he did not listen.

I love this shot of Lilly and Ryan sitting and learning about bugs. I love the way she looks at Ryan. I think he could do no wrong in her eyes.

Lilly is signing what the goats are doing.

They have a great area where you can feed the goats. Ryan took Lilly in because I am a little afraid of them, and I don't like the way they smell. Lilly thought it was cool to pet them. I think she is confused though because she kept barking at them. I can see how they kind of look like my parents dog Allie. (correction I mean their dog Sarah! Maybe I have been gone to long already.)