Friday, January 27, 2012


I don't know what my deal is, but I am not a fan of cooking, especially cooking dinner. It seems like I build up anxiety all day long as I think about how I have to cook dinner, and then dinnertime comes and I'm almost afraid to cook. I'm afraid fear making something that flops. It's expensive to make something and then end up hating it. This means I have my few trusted recipes, and it's easy to get sick of them. I also fell into a nasty pattern when morning sickness took over my life. What's for dinner? Well, I don't want to even leave the couch, so we're having a box meal, again.

I knew I needed to change my attitude toward cooking, so one of my New Year's Resolutions has been to be better about dinner. Sounds vague, but I needed it vague because I have a lot to work on. First, cooking isn't a big deal - why be such a wimp? Yes, things flop, but rarely so bad that you can't at least eat it. Then you don't make that again. And forget about those box meals - a real dinner will taste so much better.

The biggest lifesaver for me in keeping this resolution:

Have you discovered how amazing Pinterest is yet? You should. Crafts, DIY projects, fashion, humor, artwork, home decor. You name it. It's all on there and more. Including recipes. Thanks to some wonderful pins, I have discovered that there is more to cooking than just standing in front of a stove. It's about creation and creativity. And seeing how good you can make food taste.

So far, my resolution is basically a success. I have mostly avoided box dinners, and I have even branched out for dinner. Rich is happy about this - he encourages my exploration into the world of cooking. I'm still afraid of intense recipes that require more ingredients than I have in my cupboards and cooking techniques I've never even heard of, but I'm getting better.

Big success: Cafe Rio chicken burritos with cilantro-lime rice and creamy tomatillo dressing - tasted almost exactly like Cafe Rio

Flop: A certain recipe for crockpot macaroni and cheese - much too dry and rather chunky

Needs some work: Winger's amazing sauce - too runny and just not quite the right flavor

Excited for these:
Pesto stuffed shells
Pinned Image

French breakfast muffins (not dinner, but they sound so delicious)
French Breakfast Muffins

I discovered this great website today: Budget Bytes. The author breaks down the cost of each of her recipes for the whole meal and per serving.  Plus, her recipes look super delicious.

If you have any suggestions on how to stay positive about cooking, I'd gladly take them. Also, any of your no-fail recipes would be much appreciated. I'm working on building up my own recipe arsenal.

Here's to a future of positive cooking!

In baby news,
things are going well in the belly so far. I reached 23 weeks yesterday, and I am feeling kicking and movement all of the time, although it took me forever to realize that what I thought was my stomach twitching was actually baby girl. Rich was able to feel her kick for the first time last week, too. I was pretty sure I was feeling her kick on the outside, so I had Rich put his hand on my belly to make sure. At one particularly strong kick, Rich said, "Was that her?" and I knew he felt her. And then I teared up because I'm already an emotional person, and I'm pregnant. I've only felt a couple kicks as strong as that since, but I'm looking forward to more in the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The results of our ultrasound are in. Rich and I are having a


I guess I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself. Our little one was being stubborn during the ultrasound. She didn't want to move around much, except her arms and legs. But we needed her to flip her whole body around, which she wouldn't. Goodness knows we tried - I flipped from side to side, I went to the bathroom again, I took a walk down the hall. No such luck. Our modest little one just wouldn't give us the best shot. The ultrasound technician did her best, and left us with, "I'm about 95, no 98% percent sure it's a girl." So, we're now 98% sure, too. And that's enough for me. But wouldn't it be something if the baby came out a boy? For now, though, we'll take our chances on the girl.

People kept asking us if we wanted a boy or a girl, and we really didn't care one way or the other. Either one would have been perfect. We are just so excited to have a baby. But now that we know, it's been a lot of fun to start looking at baby things with a little girl in mind.

We haven't bought anything. Yet. But my mom sent us some darling things and gave us the most adorable dress for our little girl. I actually saw this dress years ago at Baby Gap (I think before Rich and I were even married). My mom bought it and saved it through all of the baby girls that have been born, just for us and our little girl.

I absolutely adore it.

Now, the real waiting game begins. The second chunk of 20 weeks 'til this baby comes. I think we have a lot of preparing to do.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sayonara 2011

Trying to be positive, I think I'll call 2011 a learning experience. The Nelly household never thought at the beginning of the year that we'd be in Spokane by the end. Last year, we learned that life rarely goes as expected. We wouldn't say 2011 was our most fun or most inspiring year, but we still know that we were blessed throughout and are still being blessed now. We know very little of what 2012 will bring, but we're mainly praying for two things here: a healthy baby and a good job for Rich.

Here are some photos to say farewell to a challenging (but rewarding) year.

Our anniversary was December 27th. We've pretty much accepted that this day is never really going to be anything fancy since it's so close to Rich's birthday and Christmas, and we're okay with that. This year we celebrated with dinner at Olive Garden (my favorite), and Rich, like a good husband, brought me flowers.

Rich surprised me with two bouquets this year to liven up our apartment. They're still going strong, which helps brighten the place up now that the Christmas decor is down.

Rich and I spent New Year's Eve at his parents' house at a party with family friends. There was much camaraderie and delicious food to be had. We just can't celebrate a new year without a bottle of Welch's sparkling white grape juice! (It always reminds me of my family - it's the Fredrickson go-to celebration drink.)


Rich got this awesome shirt from Cami and Ethan for Christmas, and it was perfect for New Year's Eve. You just can't close out 2011 without this song (that's LMFAO performing it on TV).

Oh, and I reached 19 weeks at the end of last year. And I pulled on the maternity clothes at last. It's nice to be in them, but I feel like putting them on made me look even bigger. Oh well. It's feels good to have clothes that fit again.

Yes, I officially look pregnant now. It's not just fat.


We find out if baby Nelly is a boy or a girl THIS THURSDAY

So, if you're reading this, please make your gender guess in a comment! I want to know what other people are expecting because Rich and I really have no idea. No premonitions or feelings or even good guesses in our house. We're going to be completely shocked when that ultrasound shows us the truth!

We are so excited to know!

Hope you all have a great new year! Here's to 2012!