Friday, December 19, 2014

#nelsendays2014 Week 50: hospital visits, birthdays, and Christmas

We had a bit of a scare this week that I am so happy to say ended (or is in the process of ending) well.

On Wednesday, Ryan and I went to visit my uncle in the hospital before he went in for a heart catheterization to check to make sure he didn't have any blockages. A physical he had a few weeks earlier showed that there may be some blockage, so the heart cath was scheduled to make sure everything looked okay. Worst case, the doctors were going to insert a stint and take care of any blockages they discovered.

So Ryan and I thought it would be fun to surprise Uncle Riley before he went in for his procedure, cleared it with my aunt, and brought my mom along for the fun.

Uncle Riley was so excited to see Ryan. It was so sweet!

Three hours after we left, we got a call from my aunt and things were not going well at all. After some pretty serious complications and three separate surgeries, my uncle ended up with 6 stints and and something on one of his arteries to help with the blood flow. He was moved to ICU and the doctor was not sounding very positive about his condition.

But praise the Lord, I am happy to say he is doing SO much better already and has miraculously bounced back much faster than any of us were expecting. Based on the last report, he is going to be released on Sunday!

Looking back at the pictures on my phone after receiving the news that things were not looking good made me step back and appreciate the family and friends that we have, knowing that life can be taken away so quickly. Needless to say, I am so thankful that my uncle is recovering and that we'll get to see him again soon!

Here's a look at the rest of our week:

Day 344: My second day in a row eating at the Nordstom Bistro Cafe. The first day, Ryan and I stumbled upon it on our way to the women's lounge and decided to have a date there after I fed him his meal. And it was so delicious that we went back the next day with Matt and his mom! So since I we ate there twice in two days, I made it one of my favorite finds for December.

Day 345: Celebrating my sweet friend Laura's 30th birthday at the Swan Coach House

Day 346: Getting this buddy out of his crib in the morning is one of my favorite parts to the day :)

Day 347: Celebrating Christmas in Monroe!

Day 348: Ryan was working on making a new friend when he let out his velociraptor squeal and scared poor Henry! I love the look on Ryan's face in the second picture, like "What happened? Did I do something?!" These two are almost exactly one year apart and will have lots of fun play dates in their future!

Day 349: Another one of my favorite parts of the day is the naked walk (on Ryan's end ;)) to the bath every night. We usually let him wiggle on the changing table for a while before we take him into the bathroom and that's where he gives the biggest smiles and squeals and the occasional short-lived laugh. ;)

Day 350: It's so fun to watch Tally and Ryan together now that Ryan recognizes him and reaches for his face. Tally is so sweet with him- always laying by his side, licking his feet (and occasionally his face... but we try to catch him when he does that!), and letting Ryan grab his fur. I can't wait to see them together as Ryan gets older!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Week's Meals

Christmas is 8 days away! That means one week from tonight will be Christmas Eve! (in case you needed help with that math) I can't wait to wake up Christmas morning and celebrate with our little family and then go to visit our parents and siblings that day. Can.not.wait!

Here's a look at 4 meals me ate last week:

I shared this recipe yesterday. It came out of a mistake at the grocery store and turned into one of our new favorite meals! I think I may make this the next time we have guests over for dinner since stuffed chicken looks like a fancy dish (and is really so easy to make!). ;)

Tuesday night, we celebrated Matt's birthday at his sister's house and got some sweet time with this little angel! She is doing so well! And here she is sporting her first pair of skinny jeans gifted to her from yours truly. ;)

This recipe gets repeated a lot this time of year. And it never disappoints. This has been my go-to meal for new mamas this Fall along with a tray of corn bread. It makes so much that I can divide it in half and still have enough for a meal for us one night, and then my left over version the next night...

I might enjoy the leftovers even more than the first night's meal. It's a toss up. This time, I needed a little more sauce and substance for the amount of pasta I cooked, so I mixed together chicken stock, a can of rotel, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, and brown sugar and added it to the mix. It was really tasty!

And another new favorite dish. I'm not sure if this is embarrassing or impressive, but there are no leftovers when I make this dish. We're scraping the bottom on the crock pot for every last drop until it's gone. It's just SO good and SO easy!

Saturday night, we celebrated Christmas in Monroe!

Sunday night, we had dinner at Kemble and Ashley's and our little men interacted for the first time since Ryan was born. They are one year apart so it's crazy to think that Ryan will be that big in a year! They have met a few times before, but this was the first time that Ryan really noticed Henry. ;) He got really excited and did his velociraptor squeals and scared poor Henry! Sweet buddy.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Chicken

So this recipe came out of a mistake I made at the grocery store. I was planning to make the Crock Pot Ranch Chicken, but instead of buying the onion and chive cream cheese, I accidentally bought the jalapeno one.

So that night, I was looking at what I had in the fridge and thought that maybe just maybe the jalapeno cream cheese could work rolled inside of chicken with cheese and BBQ sauce and a few other goodies.

Sometimes, when I have an idea like this, it turns out not so good, but this one was deLISH! Matt and I both loved it. So thank goodness for that little mispurchase at the grocery store, because we'll be adding this to our dinner rotation.

And just to be clear, this is NOT very spicy at all. I am not a fan of a lot of spice. The jalapeno cream cheese gives it just a little kick and the apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce offset it with some sweetness. So if you DO like more spice, mix in some hot sauce into your BBQ sauce or even in the cream cheese before spreading it.

Perdue thin sliced chicken breasts (the package looks like this)
1/2 container Philadelphia spicy jalapeno cream cheese (looks like this)
Cavender's all-purpose Greek Seasoning (looks like this on the same aisle with spices)
1 cup Cheddar Jack cheese
1 cup BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Rays)
1T apple cider vinegar
1/2 sweet onion, chopped

Lay chicken flat on a cutting board. Trim excess fat (the thin cut breasts are usually pretty clean). Spread cream cheese on each piece of chicken with a spatula. Sprinkle with cavendars and then cheese. Roll up chicken breasts fat end to thin end. Hold together with a toothpick if needed (mine stayed fine without one). Lay in greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Sprinkle with cavendars. Lay chopped onion on top. Mix together BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar. Pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake on 375 for 35 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Tomorrow I'll share the rest of our meals from last week. See you then!