First Snow

2535pdate We finally took a few minutes to put Eliza out in the snow.  Since she doesn’t have a snowsuit we bundled her in lots of layers.  She had on a long sleeve onesie, socks, tights, sweater, jeans, light jacket, warm-up pants, winter coat, and shoes.  It didn’t all coordinate very well, but you work with what you got!   She didn’t mind being in the snow for the first five minutes and then she just wanted to be held, not go inside, just held.  I think she was just upset that we were so far away taking some great photographs, but once Kirk picked her up, she wanted to stay outside, despite the cold.  It also worked out well that the snow had been packed down and a bit icy on top, so she didn’t sink!2542pdate2520update 2521pdate2545pdate2560pdate


Eggs In a Hole

We have a new quick go-to recipe in our house.   I have perfected it more and more each time I make it.  I have never followed a recipe, but this picture from Serious Eats – Dinner Tonight is where Kirk got the idea.   We added leeks to the baby bellas tonight, and that was fabulous (the batch below was made without the leeks).

Dinner at the Elmore’s

Ryan and Emily had us over for dinner on Saturday night.  They made a GREAT Thai meal for us.  No one outside of Bangkok has ever cooked Thai for us before, so we really appreciate their bravery!  The highlight was the salad which was delicious and a fantastic flavor combination.  We had a great time eating and just hanging out.


A Mess

I am learning to be OK with Eliza getting messy.  I know she needs to learn the ins-and-outs of eating.  So we are both on a learning curve!  Eliza has a few “messy” outfits that we put her in when the meal is going to get everywhere, and then we often go right from the highchair to the bathtub!


Raising a Hand

This week Eliza has been using her hands a lot!  It is so cool to see her wave bye-bye!  She will wave to strangers that walk by us and wave to her daddy when he leaves a room.

Another way that she has used her hands was during the worship time at church.  She kept her hand up during half of the songs, but really she just liked the sanctuary’s ceiling lights.     


10 Months!



Eliza is 10 months old!  She is “talking” all the time.  She has learned to wave, but has a bit of a fear of strangers.  She scoots to move around the room or crawls backwards.  She loves to watch her puppy and say “dada!”


A Julia Child Birthday

Sonja had a birthday a few weeks back.  She celebrated with a little pitch-in party and the theme was “Julia Child French.”  We brought a mushroom and leek quiche which was adapted from one of Julia’s recipes.  For this, I tried my first ever homemade crust.  (I had made quiche before but had used phyllo dough.)  I had to make a second batch of crust due to some technical problems.  This is definitely something that I am going to have to work on in order to master!   We had a great evening and took a lot of pictures.  Kirk got some of the best shots of the night.  He is getting quite the eye!          quiche   

To see more photos, go to Alex and Sonja’s flickr.  To get the recipes check out their blog post.


Reader Beware!

If you have a sensitive or queasy stomach do NOT read this post!


OK, we tried to warn you…

Parents have warned us that poops change once the kiddo is on solid foods. We expect this to happen, but those parents did not truly explain the situation! They did not say that these diapers would make our knees quake and bring tears to our eyes. Nothing was ever said regarding the need for our stomachs to be empty during these combative moments (us vs. the diaper). So obviously this has been an issue since Eliza is very “regular” and makes a noon “deposit.”

Kirk will not battle alone. Today I was in the shower and he came in to say that when I was finished he needed my help. I was pretty confident that I knew what had occurred. Upon further explanation, Kirk said that “something had crawled in Eliza’s diaper and died.” The sad thing is that this diaper was better than yesterday’s which had us both holding our breath (as well as our vomit)! And Kirk’s probably smart for requesting help; it takes two people to clean it up while keeping Eliza from playing with it…yuck!

Thai Made by Kirk

We had Alex and Sonja over for dinner two weekends ago. Kirk did all the cooking! He did an amazing job and made a Thai feast. In doing so, we realized that we hadn’t made Thai food for a long time, which is strange since it used to be our most frequent ethnic cuisine. Cooking for Alex and Sonja gave us a chance to try a bunch of new dishes, too.

First course – tom kha soup. The soup is a coconut milk base with mushrooms, cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, lime, chiles, and other spices. This is one of our favorite dishes, but we added some new twists for our dinner guests. Normally we make this with chicken (tom kha gai) and chicken stock, but to keep it veg-friendly, we used vegetable stock and added many more mushrooms. Usually the soup looks whiter and less brown, but the vegetable stock really darkened the color.4347426005_0816ee8557

Next we served a salad of shredded Chinese white cabbage, carrots, celery, and cucumber. It was served with a homemade peanut dressing that was spectacular (but not pictured, since it wasn’t nearly as pretty as the undressed salad). We had never used that type of cabbage in our kitchen (and Kirk usually isn’t a big cabbage fan), but it had a great flavor and we really liked it. 

The third course was mussels in a coconut cream sauce. These were so simple and yummy. We have really enjoyed eating mussels more at home.

For our main course we had a curry dish that I think we’ll just call “Kirk curry.” We are big fans of Penang curry, but we really appreciate all types of Thai curries (green, red yellow, Massaman). We had never made a curry from scratch before, instead using a pre-made curry paste and starting from there. Kirk wanted to do it all though, but after looking through dozens of curry recipes, couldn’t find one that satisfied him. So he created his own. The base of the paste was fairly complex but included most of your Thai spice standards, including green and red chiles. For the complete dish, we served it with shrimp, green beans, and red bell pepper. While simmering the curry we added our last Thai makrud lime leaves, which is the secret touch that is hard to do at home (these specific type of lime leaves have to be special ordered), but make all the difference.


For dessert we made sweet sticky rice using even more coconut milk (every dish we made had at least a little coconut milk in it) and served it with diced mango. So simple yet so delicious. We love making sticky rice, too, since we get to bring out our Thai bamboo steamer.

The only thing I wish we had added would have been Thai iced coffee, but after a meal like that, we really didn’t need more sweetened condensed milk in our bellies!

For more pictures see Alex and Sonja's Flickr page.

Way to Go Jerry!

My step-dad, Jerry, quit smoking this past month!  We helped him celebrate his one month mark with cookies…one of Jerry’s favorite foods.  Every month he will get cookies, for the first year at least :)   We are so proud of him and can only imagine how difficult this habit is to break.   We know you can do it!KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA



It has been beautiful around here for the past week.

(this picture was taken before we got another round of snow)

Going Backwards

Eliza has learned to crawl…backwards.  It is a great way to get around except for the fact that you can’t see where you are going!  It was pretty amusing to watch her get stuck under the couch and buffet table.

More Finger Food

Eliza has continued to try new food and LOVE it more and more!  Last week we gave her ground beef for the first time and she thought it was great.  She has also had peas, rice, and banana.  Each one has been a hit.  We are so thankful that she has continued to eat well after the bumpy start with solids.


A Champion

I'm glad that Indianapolis had already won a Super Bowl. It made it a lot easier to celebrate the thrilling Saints victory last night among Colts fans. My man crush on Drew Brees has already been documented, and it just grew even more after his near-flawless performance in the biggest game of his life. I expected him (and the Saints) to be nervous and make some poor decisions, but Drew was far more clutch than even I anticipated.

As I grinned ear-to-ear and watched the post-game festivities, three things stood out as awesome:

1. Len Dawson had the honor to carry in the Lombardi trophy and present it to Brees and the Saints. Dawson, also a Purdue graduate, is one of three quarterbacks from Purdue to win a Super Bowl (Bob Griese is the third). No other college or university can boast this. Seeing Len was even more fun since he's an alumni of my fraternity at Purdue, Alpha Tau Omega.

2. Listening to Brees speak about the victory and overcoming adversity throughout his career really showed what a classy guy he is. Not only is he incredibly humble, giving thanks to the right people and acting like he still can't believe how blessed his is, but his heart is enormous. In the pre-game show, everyone got to hear a lot about what Brees and his family have done to help the city of New Orleans since joining the Saints a few years ago, but it's apparent that Brees doesn't give of himself out of obligation or a sense of prideful charity. He gives and gives because he geniunely cares about others and has used his life, talents, and fortune to do far more good than most. Brees mentioned "destiny" a lot when referencing the path that brought him to New Orleans and the timing post-Katrina, and he is clearly a man who has embraced every opportunity God puts in front of him.

3. As a ridiculously proud father who is completely smitten with his daughter, seeing Drew on the field with his baby boy, with tears in his eyes, made me tear up, too. From Most Valuable Player to most valuable papa.