Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year and a New Start

I love the New Year because it allows me the opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and make some much needed changes for the upcoming year.

Last year, I am not sure I really took the time to do this, as we had a 10 day old baby at home who kept us pretty busy ;)

I have to say, this year seems to have flown by compared to others in my life. Perhaps the physical manifestation of "One Year" cruising around the house causing a ruckus has made it more tangible than other years!

Here is my basic list of New Year's Resolutions.

1. Eat healthier (includes shopping healthier and cooking healthier)

2. Meal planning (I want to do this on Saturdays, so that I can be set for the next week). I am so proud of myself, because I meal planned this past week from my Weight Watchers and p90x cookbooks and it made life so much easier!)

3. Calorie counting/weight loss (It's been a year now and the baby weight as GOT to go! The above resolution has helped with this one. These cookbooks include a calorie count, so it has been nice to be able to write in my calorie journal what my dinner will be ahead of time and plan my daily eating accordingly)

4. Work out at least 5 days a week. (I have started this one this past week as well and it's amazing how much better I feel when I at least get a 3o minute work out in!)

5. Read at least one book a month ( I may integrate this some with my graduate school program this next semester and my thesis in the summer. But I want to always be reading and learning)

6. Be more consistent in my personal prayer and Bible Study time. (This is something that I just did not keep up with this past year and I really missed it!)

7. Living life with the blessings of God in view. ( I want to focus on enjoying the the little moments I have with my husband and daughter and thanking God for the roof over my head and the food on my plate. I truly am blessed!)


Here is one of the meals I had in my menu for this week. It was yummy!

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry (serves 4)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 red onion
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1-1/2 pound top sirloin steak, sliced 1 inch thick
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces dried soba noodles

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of soy cause in a large saute pan, add the onions and garlic, and saute until opaque.
3. Add beef and saute, turning often with tongs for 7-10 minutes. Stir together oil, vinegar, and ginger and add to the saute mixture.
4. Blanch the broccoli in the boiling water (or microwave on high, covered and vented for 2 minutes). Add the meat mixture and keep warm.
5. Prepare soba noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss with the beef and broccoli, and serve.

Nutritional information: 466 cals, 11 g Total fat, 46g protein, 49 Carbs, 99 mg Chol, 1,591 Sodium

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Madison Hope Baylor

I can hardly believe it but tomorrow our baby girl turns 1 year old! The year has just flown by. It has been such a wonderful year! I can remember this night last year, trying to get to sleep knowing that tomorrow I would be meeting Madison. She has brought so much joy to our lives - more than we had ever imagined! As Tim wrote in her birthday card, "this has been the best year our family has had yet ;) " I agree. We love one another so much and we have really enjoyed sharing our love and the love of God with our little one. We pray continually that we will be a good example for her and that she will grow up to be a young lady after God's own heart.

Madison has been taking lots of steps here and there by herself while she is playing, although she prefers to crawl still. She giggles and smiles a lot- especially when people are watching her!
She is learning how to drink out of a sippy cup little by little. I am planning on trying to make the big transition to cow's milk and the cup when we get back home to Chicago. She is jabbering up a storm, but only consistently saying mama, dada, and noanana (which is no no -haha- she repeats it after I say it! It's so hard not to laugh ;)

The following are some pics I got of Madison at JCPenny a little over a week ago. They had such a good day going on!

I can't believe she is 1 ?!?!

We had a small party for friends in Chicago. I had a little kiddie station of snacks and party favors set up.
Maddy's friend Michael
Pink, white, and brown m&m's ;)
Her "Birthday Bear" that we got her. She giggles every time I press the paw and it plays the "Happy Birthday" song.

My first time trying my hand at the frosting piping for the cupcakes. It was fun!
People came in shifts so it worked out well since we have a pretty small condo.
Katie and Madison
She was not sure what to think of the cupcakes at first!
Then she dove in!
Happy Birthday Madison Hope! Your Dad and I are so glad that God brought you into our lives!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recent Happenings

Well, Thankgiving was fabulous! We of course missed being with family, but we are thankful that we have good friends here in Chicago. We had lunch with some of the college kids from church that couldn't make it home and then had dinner with our dear friends, the Barkers. Katie had a lovely table set for us and made an amazing (looking and tasting) turkey! We had such fun reminiscing God's goodness with them.

This is a pic of the table after dinner. I totally forgot to take pictures unttil the whole meal was over! Katie posted some more pics she took with her camera at "Kate's Journeys" if you want to check them out.

Afterwards Katie and I checked out the Black Friday deals. I hadn't been planning on going out, but some of the deals were so good, I just couldn't pass them up!

We were being pretty silly by the end of the night ;) Katie also posted some great pics of our shopping escapade starting at 4:30 the next morning!

Last weekend Maddy and I traveled to Missouri for my brother Tim and his wife shannon's baby shower.
We left early Friday morning and left to come home Sunday morning. Each way we were on the road for about 11 hours. I was terribly afraid that she would freak out the entire way and I would be pulling my hair out by the end of it. But she really was so great!

We found a great public library half way in St. Louis for Maddy to get out and play.
She loved watching the big kids color!

Playing in the bucket
Then I let her sit in a high chair to eat her lunch at Noodles (on the way) and Fazzoi's (on the way back). We had a lot of fun together!
When we did stop, I tried to make the stops just a little longer than normal so she would go crazy. On the way there she was a dream! She just played, ate snacks, drank her bottle, or slept. - I was completely amazed! On the way back she was pretty fussy about an hour an a half before bedtime. But once it was completely dark and it was bedtime (about 2 hours from home) she was sound asleep! Overall, she was a trooper!

I had a wonderful time visiting with family there and
"representing the Jordan Family" with our combined famly gift -haha!
Saturday evening, my brother and I were playing with Maddy and she took her first steps! It was so exciting! I really didn't think I would be THAT excited, but it was just thrilling -ahha! Shannon got a video of it that you can see on facebook here.

Other than that, now I am in the rat race to finish everything before Christmas: Maddy's b-day party for friends, 3 more classes (Sat, Mon, and Tuesday) and the homework that goes along with them. As well as Christmas cards, packing, college luncheon on saturday and a few other holiday events.It's such a fun time a year, but so busy too! We leave for PA on the 16th! Whoohoo!

Hope the rest of your days before Christmas (only 15 now ;) are Merry!