Roasted BBQ Chicken- Tasty Tuesday

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. My mom adapted it from the grandmothers recipe and I just love it.


  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 2 bottles Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce (I like KC masterpiece)
  • 1 packet of Liptons Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 bag of small carrots
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 7-10 medium red potatoes


Begin by dumping chicken breasts, Heinz Chili Sauce, BBQ sauce, Lipton Onion soup mix and a cup of water into a dutch oven. Cook at 300 degrees for three hours. Check on it about every half hour to make sure there is enough sauce. if there is not enough add in a little water. After three hours add in quartered potatoes, chopped onion and carrots. Continue cooking at for 1 to 1 1/2 hour. Continue checking every half hour. Once vegetables are fork tender and chicken is cooked through it is done. I usually serve with some kind of roll like crescent rolls. Enjoy!



Project 365- Week 8

I can't believe we are already in week 8! Wow!

Sunday Feb. 19, 2012

Monday Feb. 20, 2012

Tuesday Feb. 21, 2012

Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012

Thursday Feb 23, 2012

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Saturday Feb. 25, 2012

I am linking up with Laura for Project 365!


The Hardest Conversationof My Life

Shortly after arriving at the hospital and getting settled into my room, I was bombarded by nurses and doctors coming by. There was one doctor that I will never forget. It was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had. It is sort of a blur but I can remember laying there in my bed hysterical while my husband stood next to me and my aunt sat on the couch.

The doctor that came in was from the NICU. They wanted us to meet with them in order to better understand what we were facing. It always seemed weird to me that this doctor was a big burly man who had little bedside manners. I mean he deals with babies, tiny babies for that fact but he did not know how to handle a pregnant crying mom.

From what I remember he began by telling us what the ramifications of having a baby at that time would be. You see at this time I was still only 23 weeks pregnant.  He rattled off survival rates and complications of a preemie born that early. He went through the weeks and told us the survival rates and problems babies have when born. All I could do was sob. I felt like someone was taking a knife digging it in and twisting it over and over. I wanted to throw up, I wanted to scream at him I wanted to punch him in the face.I wanted to words to stop. I felt like he was dooming my babies.

After all of this that man said we had a decision to make. I continued to listen but it was like I was floating above my body watching this all happen to me. Maybe that was my way of coping. It was just too much.  He proceeded to tell us that because I was still so early we had to determine a treatment path in case the babies were born before 24 weeks. He laid out the options.  He explained that we had three options when it came to their treatment.  We could go full throttle and do a full course of treatment. We could do nothing and ultimately let God decide. Or lastly we could do a middle of the road where there would be interventions taken but nothing extreme. They would be given a so called trial of life to see if they could survive. 

Just writing those words, reliving them makes me want to throw up. I literally feel my throat closing, my stomach in knots just thinking about that horrible day.

Clayton and I took time to think.  We wanted nothing more than for our babies to be OK and to survive. I wanted to fight for them.  There was a part of me that didn't want them to be put through hell if they were born so little. We ultimately told the doctor that if they were to come before 24 weeks we would do the middle of the road but anytime after we wanted the full court press. It was a very hard decision to make. It was horrible and sad and I thank GOD that we didn't have to deal with that. I feel terrible for the moms and dads out there who have to deal with micro preemies and the tough decisions that come along with them.

I honestly think this event, this conversation contributed to my PTSD. I always here that when you become a mom its like wearing your heart on the outside of your body. This conversation felt like that heart was being ripped apart.

I am and will be forever grateful for the care that I received in the hospital.  I know that this man was doing his job and that he didn't mean to hurt me. For me it was just another blow, when I had experienced too many. 


Wednesday Randoms

  • We battled the sickies this weekend. The hubby was sick so I quarantined him in our room. Luckily so far the babies and I have not gotten this yuckness.
  • I have been debating what to give up for lent. No I am not Catholic and I not exactly positive that I know enough about lent but I like to give up something each year. I am thinking of giving up Zulily or ranch! Ha
  • The babies have been doing better with their morning nap but their afternoon nap is still hit or miss. Our pediatrician said some babies just don't like to nap. Goodness help me!
  • The twins Easter baskets arrived today! I am ridiculously excited about this. I know they will have no idea it is Easter but I love it!
  • I feel like there are so many sick babies our there! Please pray for all the little ones who are sick. My sweet Twin mommy friend Megan is dealing with her little one Knox in the hospital with a virus. This is one of my greatest fears! I have been praying for them constantly.
  • I made a yummy dinner tonight called Bow Tie Fiesta Pasta! It is from Erin. You can find the recipe here. I switched it up and used turkey meat and we left out the olives but we both agreed that it is a new staple for us.
  • The hubby and I were supposed to go on a date night last weekend before he got sick. I am dying to go somewhere yummy to eat and spend time with the hubs!
  • And because they are so cute here is a random pic of my babies!

Happy belated Valentines day friends!


Project 365- Week 7

Here are our pics for February 12-17.

Feb. 12, 2012

Feb. 13, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012

Feb. 15, 2012

Feb. 16, 2012

Feb. 17, 2012

I'm linking up with the fabulous Laura for Project 365!


Continuing to tell my story- part 3

The other day I was asked why I was telling this story. I had to think of a way to explain. It's just something that I have to get off my chest. You see I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, you read that right. I have PTSD. When I was told this is what was going on with me I immediately thought of soldiers who fight in wars. How could this be what was happening to me? In order to understand how we got to this you have to first understand what all I went through. You can read part one here and part two here.

After arriving at the hospital that would become my temporary home I met with one of the doctors that would be taking my case. His name is Dr. D. Because my original OB did not have privileges at my new hospital I was just randomly assigned to a group of six OBs that would rotate as my doctors and then a new perinatologist. 

Dr. D discussed my current condition, looked at my ultra sound and begin describing what I would be facing. Luckily at this time I was not having contractions.  I was observed for a couple of hours before moving to the room that would be become my residence for the next 63 days.

The next couple of days are a bit of a blur. I was in a constant state of shock and fear. It was a constant stream of doctors and nurses. I will never forget the conversation we had with the neonatologist that came to see us.

I had been in the hospital a couple of days at this point and I was still in a fog. The neonatologist was a big burly man but for the life of me I cannot remember his name. I tend to think that my mind has blocked it out. I also can't remember exactly what he said. It was one of those moments where I felt like I was watching what was happening to me. Clayton was in the room as well as my aunt.

I remember him talking on and on about the different complications that would happen if the babies were born at different time periods. He also talked survival rates and I remember feeling like my throat was closing up. I was trying to hard to focus on what he was saying but all I could think about was the possibility of loosing my babies. I remember him using the term "viability" and I wanted to throw up. He reminded us that a baby is not viable until around 24 weeks. At this time I was just barely 23 weeks pregnant. Every time he used that word it felt like a knife was stabbed in my heart.

After he talked about everything he told us we had a decision to make. I wasn't in any capacity to make decisions but I continued to listen to him talk. He asked us to think about how we wanted the babies to be treated. I was confused by what this man was asking. He told us that if the babies were born before I turned 24 weeks what measures did we want to be taken. Even the thought of this conversation makes me want to throw up. My heart starts racing and I remember those feelings like they are happening right this very second.

He went on to tell us we had three options when it came to the babies being born before a certain point. We could have them do every thing they could to keep the babies alive, we could have them do no extraordinary measures or we could do a trial of life. I can't imagine being asked how you want your child's life to be handled yet I lived it. He asked us to think about it. I remember feeling like even thinking about it I was somehow betraying these two little people that I had come to love.

Clayton and I took a day to think about it. I was having such mixed feelings. I wanted nothing more than for them to do everything in their power to save these babies but I also didn't want to torture them with extraordinary measures if it wasn't meant to be. I prayed and prayed a lot ultimately we decided we wanted to wait and see. I know its not rational but I hate that Dr. I hate that he made me have those feelings and that he made us have to think about that stuff.

Luckily that week passed and I continued to be pregnant. You can read about that week and the awful magnesium treatment here and here.

This is one of the things that sticks in my mind and haunts me to this day. It has contributed to all of fears and feelings. I am beyond blessed with what ultimately happened with the healthy birth of my babies. PTSD is not rational, it is not discriminating, it is powerful and grips you by your throat.

I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words I have received on this story. I decided to share because if I can reach even one woman who is going through the same thing then it has been worth it. God has brought me to the other side and I want to help others too!


Project 365- Week 6

Here are my Project 365 for the week of February 5-11 2012!

Sunday February 5, 2012

Monday February 6, 2012

Tuesday February 7, 2012

Wednesday February 8, 2012

Thursday February 9, 2012

Friday February 10, 2012

Saturday February 11, 2012

I'm linking up with the fabulous Laura from Between the Lines blog.


Tasty Tuesday- Cheesecake Cupcakes

I am linking up for Tasty Tuesday!  This is one of my most favorite treasured recipes.  My grandmother used to make these and they have remained one of our family favorites!


  • 3 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Begin by setting out cream cheese and eggs to get to room temperature. When they are at room temperature combine with all cheesecake ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until well blended.  Spoon mixture into cupcake holders. Fill about 2/3 way full. Cook on 300 for 40 min.

Let cool for five minutes.

Combine icing mixture in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Spoon about a teaspoon onto each cupcake. Bake for five more minutes at 300.  Let cool completely before serving!

I made these for Christmas by using food coloring! They were so yummy!


Nine Months Old

On February 4th, Emma and Levi are nine months old. How is that possible? I cannot believe that in three short months they will be one. One!!!! How is it possible that I will have two one year olds!  Don't worry this mama has already started planning their birthday party!

During your nineth month we:

  • went to target
  • went to the pulmonologist
  • Went to Mimi's and Grandpa Bills house
  • went to the park
  • went to aunt stacey's house
  • went to babies r us
  • went to aunt Jill's
  • tried puffs
  • worked on drinking from a sippy cup

Nine Month Stats:

Emma: Height and weight will be added after 9 month checkup

Diapers: Size 3 for day 4 for night
Clothes: 6-9 month clothes
Food: You are eating three meals a day and take four bottles
Sleep: You sleep pretty well most nights but hate to nap!
Skills: sitting pretty well , rolling both ways
Disposition: Still happy and content most of the time


Diapers: Size 4 for day and night
Clothes: 12 month and some 9
Food: You eat three meals a day and take four bottles
Sleep: You sleep well most nights but wake up sometimes wanting a bottle. You do ok for a morning nap but not that great for an afternoon nap
Skills: Rolling everywhere, sitting pretty well and trying to crawl
Dispostion: not as cranky as you used to be, happy when you can move, still very serious

Here are your nine month pictures.

Emma and Levi~ You continue to be the light of our lives and we love watching you grow! We are so blessed to be your mommy and daddy! We love you to the moon and back and back again!

If you would like to read the first part of my story you can click here. If you would like to read part 2 click here.


Telling My Story- Part 2

This is a continuation in a series of me telling my story. To read the first part please click here.

So on the morning of March 8 I woke up at around 4:30 with a lot of pain in my belly. Being a first time preggers I wasn't quite sure what was happening. I woke Clayton up and told him I was feeling weird. Luckily I had an appointment at 8:30 that morning with my regular OB.  I tired my best to go back to sleep but my mind was racing. I was concerned but at the same time I think I was blissfully ignorant as to what was about to happen. We get to the Dr and we get checked in and I am becoming more and more aware that things are not right. I get back into the room and the nurse comes in to listen to the babies heart beats, feels around on my tummy and says she will be back with the Dr in a few minutes. At this point I was considerably more uncomfortable.  The Dr took one look at me and knew that I needed to go straight to the hospital. Of course I wanted to go home first but they told me to go straight there.

Clayton and I drove to the hospital. That drive felt like it took forever. Looking back I was still a little ignorant as to how rocky things were. I called my mom and sister and told them what was going on. My mom left school and headed straight to the hospital. Clayton and I got to the hospital and got checked in. They hooked the monitors up to me and immediately the contractions started showing up. I felt so weird. I was not sure what was happening. I kept repeating this is too early in my head. I was 22 Weeks and 6 days pregnant. The point of viability for a baby is 24 weeks.

Now the order of things that happened over the next 24 hours is a little blurry. I was so shocked at what was happening. I didn't understand how this was happening. I was mad that the cerclage was not doing it's job. I was mad at myself because my body was failing my babies. I was terrified of loosing these two little people that I had come to love.

I remember my OB coming in and telling me that they were going to give me an injection of medicine that would hopefully stop the contractions. I was all for this. I wanted them to do everything they could to make it stop. The nurse came in and gave me the injection and also told me that they were going to put me upside down to take the pressure off of my cervix. Luckily after I received the shot the contractions stopped and I fell asleep for a few minutes. I think I was physically and mentally exhausted.

After a few minutes rest I was awoken by a perinatologist coming to visit. He decided to to an ultra sound so that they could get a better picture of what was happening with my cervix. During the sonogram the perinatologist (who we will call Dr. G) made small talk with my mom, aunt and sister who had all come to support Clayton and I. When he was done he asked if he could talk to me in front of them or if I wanted them to leave. My stomach was in knots. I told him to speak freely and he began.

What all was said was a blur. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I was hysterical to say the least and all I can really remember is Clayton standing by my bed holding my hand. Dr. G told us that Levi's bag of water was bulging. Basically the stitches were not holding and that I could go into full on labor at any second. I was horrified.  All I could think about was how I was going to do anything and everything to not loose these babies.

Dr. G left and my family did their best to comfort me. At this point we were well aware that I was not going to be going home anytime soon. Clayton went home to pack some stuff for us and headed back. I remember barely eating that day and just continuously wavering between determination and sheer fear. After trying to eat dinner my aunt went to our house to spend the night with the dogs and my sister had to go home to her kids. My mom stayed with for a little while. I remember seeing the fear in their eyes. We tried to watch HGTV and to act normally but it was all we could do not to be scared. Later in the evening my mom went home and Clayton and I settled in for our first night in the hospital.

The next morning I was seen again by my OB. She discussed with me our options. Because the hospital I was at can only treat babies born after 30 weeks I was going to need to be transferred to a hospital with a higher level NICU and that I would be going there in style. I was going to need to ride in an ambulance to get to the new hospital. There was talk about which hospital was best but ultimately we decided on one that was both close and had the highest level NICU available.

The ride in the ambulance was scary. It was so surreal being in there. They had me hooked up to a contraction monitor and were also monitoring the babies. We arrived at the new hospital and I was taken up to Labor and Delivery.

My story is just beginning. This is the story of faith, hope, trust, and the miracle birth of my babies. Please stay tuned!


Project 365 Week 5

Here are my pictures for week 5!

Sunday January 29

Monday January 30

Tuesday January 31

Wednesday February 1

Thursday February 2

Friday February 3

Saturday February 4

I'm linking up with Laura from Between the Lines for Project 365!


Guest Post From Tiffany

Before I start with the actual guest post I just want to say a huge thank you to Amanda! I was so excited when she asked me to do a guest post for her on here. I love reading her blog, so being a part of it makes me feel so happy! When we discussed doing the guest post we decided on a topic together. Today I am going to tell you what it is like for me to be a work/stay at home mom!
I would like to thank Tiffany for guest posting on my little blog. She is not only the designer of my new blog design but she has become a great friend. Pleae check our her blog!
Hi! I'm Tiffany and I blog over at The Momma Bear Diaries. When I started my blog in August of 2010 I was always more obsessed with making it look as pretty as I could before I really even worried about posting a lot. Eventually I just stopped posting on it all together for over six months! When I came back I was more obsessed than ever about trying to make my blog look just how I wanted! I kept looking through blog designers and one day it just hit me... I could do this! So in August of 2011 I launched a new site called TKC Designs where I sell custom (blogger) blog designs and post helpful tutorials. I am now a stay/work at home mom. I really consider myself more of a stay at home mom than a work at home mom as my business is still really just taking off! Anyone who has every started a business knows that take off can take forever. Sometimes I go a month or so without a design. But with each new design I learn something new and I get to help someone else do what I was trying so hard to do myself and make their little spot in the internet represent them exactly in the way they want. It's funny to look at my portfolio and see how the designs have improved with time!!
You actually happen to be looking at one of the favorite designs that I have done! Amanda had an idea of what she wanted, but she let me kind of run with it and try new things! I was so excited when she asked me to do hers. She has such a cute way of blogging and I love that I was able to be a part of the look of her blog.In doing her blog I got to know her and now consider her to be a dear friend! 
The designing aspect of it isn't really the hardest part though. Believe it or not, the hardest part of my job is learning to balance work and play. I am a stay at home mom first and foremost. But designing is something that I love to do so when I have a customer it is extremely hard not to just do that. My two year old daughter doesn't see things that way. She will usually be good and let me do what I can for about an hour at a time. Then she gets bored and wants to go downstairs and watch tv or play together. I can't blame her though. This is actually the whole reason that turn around for a full blog design is about three days once I know what we are doing as far as colors, patterns, fonts, and elements.  
So overall as much as I love it, being a stay/work at home mom definitely isn't easy. But it is something that I truly love doing and I wouldn't change a thing. I mean how many mom's get to stay home with their children and still do something that they love to make money. Designing has fast become a passion of mine and is something I plan to only better with time. Eventually I hope to learn to do web design in general and learn all aspects of digital design. But for now, I love doing blogger blogs! 
In 2012 I am hoping that TKC Designs really takes off and I have weekly business. I already have new/different projects going on that could add to the things that my little business will do in general. You will have to follow the blog to find out what those things really are! I hope to see you all on there soon!

Once again I want to thank Amanda so much for letting me do a guest post on her blog today! She is such an amazing friend and I couldn't be happier to be a part of her blog!
Thanks Tiffany for the lovely post!:)


The One Where I Tell You My Story

So almost nine months ago I gave birth to two precious babies and then BAM! it slowly started. The babies were in the NICU for 52 and 53 days and I was like a zombie, never truly dealing with the events that happened. The events that lead up to their birth ten weeks early. The event of their birth or their NICU stay.  And definitely not their coming home. The trauma that happened.  I feel like I need to get these feelings out there. I need to be honest with myself and I need to get this off of my chest. Writing this I can feel the tightness in my chest. I can feel the feelings of panic and I'm hoping by writing this, these feelings will slowly go away and become less present in my day to day life.

Let's back up to the day when I found out I was pregnant with twins. It was the day before Thanksgiving in 2010 and I had been severely sick for several days and was sent to the hospital for fluids. The nurse did a routine ultra sound to check on the baby. I was barely 6 weeks pregnant. She said, "they both look great!" Ummm what? Hold your horses!  Both who? Both what? I looked at Clayton and could tell he was feeling faint. The nurse said so you didn't know you were having twins. Ha!  I was completely shocked but in a way I feel like I knew. I was so excited because it had been a dream of mine to have twins!

From the beginning my pregnancy was rough. I began getting sick around week 5 and literally almost never stopped. I was sick up until the day I had the babies. It was hard. It was rough. It was emotionally draining and this was only the first of many issues I would have with this pregnancy!

During the ice storm in 2011 I had a routine ultra sound with my high risk ob. My parents came with Clayton and I to see the babies. I was about 16 weeks pregnant. During the appointment I mentioned to the doctor that I had been feeling funny. The doctor did a sonogram and we heard the news that my cervix was shortening. I had no idea what this meant but immediately I felt scared. Basically I was dilating from the inside out. Bad bad news. The doctor laid out my options and I was so scared and nervous I couldn't make any choices.  After talking to my regular OB we decided I needed a cerclage, progesterone shots and bed rest.

About a week later I went in and had the cerclage placed. Clayton and I checked into the hospital and I was so nervous about what was going to happen. I was worried about receiving the spinal to numb me. I thought it would hurt the babies. I was so scared of the unknown. After having the cerclage I had a mini freak out. I hated the way that the drugs made my legs numb. I was hungry and wanted food and I wanted to sleep. Finally I started to feel better after I was allowed to eat and got something to help me take a nap. I was relieved when this day was over. I felt better that I was being proactive with what was going on with the babies and I was happy that it was successful even if it was a little traumatic. But now as I look back I think what was so hard about it was not having control of the situation. I was feeling so nervous about the whole thing but I felt like it wasn't up to me.

I was sent home with strict instructions to move as little as possible! It was hard to be in your house and want to do stuff to get ready for the baby but I couldn't. I was frustrated, lonely, tired, and nervous.  A few weeks later while only 22 weeks and 6 days pregnant I woke up with pain at 4:30 in the morning.

I told Clayton I was having some pain and I wasn't sure what was happening. I was scared but also I wasn't sure if it was normal. Being pregnant the first time you never really know what pains are normal and what aren't. I already had a doctor's appointment that morning so I did my best to get some more rest.

Clayton and I woke up had breakfast, got dressed and headed to the doctor.

My story continues. It is one that is worth telling. One that I need to tell. I hope you will stick around for it!