Baby Maley: 25 Weeks

IMG_0114We are just under 100 days until Neil comes home for R&R and we meet our little one! Here is a quick update:)

HealthThankfully, I am back to enjoying pregnancy. About 3 weeks ago, I started having horrible pain in my right hip. It came on all of a sudden in the middle of the night and continued the rest of the week. The pain was so bad at one point that I threw up twice. Praise the Lord for chiropractors! My right leg was almost 2 inches shorter than my left…not fun. After about 5 adjustments I am pain free and so grateful.

Ultrasound I finally had my 20 week ultrasound at 25 weeks:) Baby Maley continues to be a stinker. He would not cooperate for several of the measurements like usual. At one point, they had me almost upside down. It is amazing to see how much he has grown.

Can you see Baby Maley’s little nose and mouth by his right arm?

photo(29)That is about it here! I am preparing to go home for the holidays and looking forward to quality time with both families. It is not fun being pregnant without your husband and being away from family.



Hearty & Healthy Chili

This is another one of our favorites and is prefect for dinner as the weather changes. Growing up I did not like chili…what was I thinking?! The problem for me when it came to chili was that I did not like anything chunky, but I wanted something healthy. So, how could I get the fresh ingredients in there without really seeing them?

I decided to develop my own Hearty & Healthy Chili. This also comes together in just about the time it takes to brown your meat! Let the machine do all the work:)

Here is what goes into my chili. You can substitute with whatever you have on hand to make it work!


  • 1 1/2 pound of organic ground beef
  • 3 Jars of organic tomato sauce (I used 2 from canning this summer)
  • 1 can of organic kidney beans rinsed (Read the label on these, so you don’t buy the ones with High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • 2 c. Onion (I used about a half of an onion)
  • 1 Green Pepper (I used a little less)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2-3 TBS Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • KitchenAid mixer or food processor


Brown your meat and then drain. I use my pastry cutter to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks.

photo(4)While that is going, throw some of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the blender followed by the green pepper, onion, and garlic. I DO NOT chop mine up by hand. My mixer does all the work for me. Here is what it looks like before it goes in.

photo(3)If you like it more on the chunky side- don’t blend it as long. I normally blend mine up real good:) Here is what my mixture looks like cooking down.

photo(6)Finally, add everything to your pot including the kidney beans, meat, tomato sauce, and your spices. You can add water if it is too thick.

photo(2)And here is the final product!

All the veggies and great flavor, but no chucks. Top it will some cheese and eat it with crackers. YUM

Baby Maley:Family

Little One,

There are so many things we are excited to share with you. One of them being the gift of family. You will learn we are all a little crazy, but you will never find a bunch of people who love you more. And this is just one side of them!

IMG_2352 IMG_2372 IMG_2374 IMG_2378 IMG_2381 IMG_2388 IMG_2392 IMG_2396“If you don’t have family, you don’t have anything”. -Raymond Haynes

Baby Maley: 20 Weeks

IMG_0104Well hello 20 weeks! Where did you come from? It is hard to believe we are over half way through this pregnancy and getting closer and closer to meeting our little boy!

We are doing great and here is an update:)

We have an acrobat! So, baby Maley is quite the swimmer. I have been feeling him move all around for the last 3 weeks. I can feel him kick from the outside of my stomach and at times it feels like he is doing flips in there! I absolutely love feeling him move. When I lay down at night, he puts on a show. We only wish his dad was here to feel it too.

Pregnancy Symptoms: My belly is continuing to grow. I may be able to fit into one pair of my regular jeans, but other than that I am in maternity jeans. I was able to find some bigger jeans at the thrift store, but am finding they create pressure and are uncomfortable.

My biggest symptom- Going to the bathroom all the time. I can pee and 2 minutes later feel the urge again. I guess my bladder is pretty comfortable:)

Cravings: I really want milk or eggs all the time. At night, I don’t feel ready for bed unless I have had a big glass of milk and usually some form of egg. Some of my favorites are omelets, breakfast burritos, and breakfast sandwiches with hash browns of course.

Nursery: Our furniture came last week. We ended up going with a set from JCPenny for the price and quality. We both love it and are so happy with the purchase. If you are looking for nursery furniture, I cannot recommend them enough. I also have to give a BIG thanks to my friend, Lane, and her wonderful family! I could not have put the crib together without them. I will be working on decorating the room and making the curtains, before I leave for Indiana.

Blessings: We are so thankful for all the maternity clothes, baby books, and baby gear that we have been given so far. Babies require a decent amount of stuff!

Baby Maley is a…

 I went in for a gender reveal ultrasound this past Thursday. Our little one did not want to cooperate, so they brought me back in Friday. We were starting to think I was going to have to be the first to come back a third time, but finally the tech was able to tell!

Meet our son!

BABY_16This was one of the coolest experiences of my life. To see our son on the screen moving, waving, sucking his thumb, and flipping around was breath taking. How can you love someone that you haven’t even met yet?

We are beyond thrilled that we are having a son. Neil already has great plans for camping, hunting, shooting, and sports with our little one. He is going to be a little rascal:)

Here is his foot and tiny toes!


BABY2_5We cannot wait to meet him and feel so blessed!

”Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17


Baby Maley: 16 Weeks

I am officially 4 months pregnant. Wow. How wonderful and crazy at the same time!

IMG_0054And here is an update!

How have you been feeling? Great! I cannot complain at all. So far, this has been easy…knock on wood. The only thing that makes me almost throw up are public bathrooms. They are the worst! The air fresheners are out of control. Bleh

 I did have a really hard time adjusting when I came back from Indiana. I am not sure if it was the altitude or hormones or most likely both. I was convinced I was developing bipolar disorder. One day I was fine and then the next I was a crying mess. This went on for at least a week. I did not feel like myself at all. Late one evening I went downstairs, because like usual I was hungry. I ended up on the floor in the kitchen crying because…I am always hungry. Yep. It happened. Thankfully, I am back to myself and at the moment know who I am:)

Any Cravings? It is still food. I don’t feel as hungry as I was several weeks ago. I may need to limit my consumption of pizza:) I blame you deployment!

Any Movement?
Yes. I have felt the baby move maybe a small handful of times. I know my body pretty well and I am small to begin with. I can’t wait to feel it kick.

What are you looking forward to? We will be finding out the gender soon. I can hardly stand the wait, because I just want to sew for our little one. I have so many ideas running through my head…Ahh I can’t wait. I am also doing most of the decor in the nursery, so that will be nice to get started while I feel good.

Random Pregnancy Things: I put on a pair of capris the other day and could hardly get them over my hips. That was a first for me. I also have developed this hatred for shorts, carpis, and pants. I don’t want to wear them at all. I may live in my new maternity knit dress for the rest of this pregnancy.

 Pregnancy brain does exist. And I hear it just gets worse from here. I have started a to-do  list everyday, so I don’t forget anything.

Prayer Requests: We are praying that I am able to go until my due date or longer, so Neil can be here for the birth. What would be ever better is if he was sent home the beginning of February for good:) Either way, we are thankful for R&R.

I am still on the search for a doctor, midwife, or someone to deliver this baby. I haven’t had a peace about my current doctor, so I have been looking into other options. I hope to meet with the ladies from two local companies that do home births. I am also still trying to get more information about the hospital on post. So, please pray that we would find the right fit for us!

10 Minute Salsa

IMG_2459Yes, you read that right. Salsa in 10 minutes including clean up.

This is one of my favorite recipes. I took it to a get together a while back and left with an empty dish. It reminds me of On The Border salsa that I just love!

Here is what you will need: IMG_2407IMG_2409 Ingredients: 2 Roma tomatoes
2 -14.5 oz. cans of plain diced tomatoes
2 jalopenos
2 tbs. fresh lime jiuce
1 tbs. cumin
4 garlic cloves
1 white or yellow onion (I only use 1/4 of an onion)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cilantro

*A blender or food processor. It does all the work for you!

*I use chunky tomato sauce we canned from the garden.

IMG_2413I added my sauce to the bottom as the liquid base. If you are using tomatoes: add them first and blend them for a minute to create liquid. Liquid in the bottom helps everything blend up nicely! I do not finely chop up anything.


Just cut the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds. I use gloves for this step.

IMG_2422This is all the onion I use cut into thirds. You may add more or less if you like.

IMG_2423Peel and chop the ends off of the garlic. Throw it in the blender!

IMG_2434Pull some of the cilantro leaves off to fill 1/3 cup. Toss in.

IMG_2435Everything in my blender including the lime juice, cumin, and salt.

Blend to the consistency of your liking. I do not like chunky salsa, so I blend mine a little longer. You just do not want soup:)

IMG_2438It only took my 5 minutes to complete all that and the rest of the 5 minutes was spent cleaning up!


Baby Maley: 12 Weeks

I was back in Indiana recently, so I am behind on many things:) was soo great seeing family and friends. We are so blessed. Here is a little update on the little one!

IMG_2319Cravings: The past three weeks can only be described as an eating binge. Oh my word. One great example was when we ordered pizza from Pizza King. We ordered 2 larges and my dad made the comment that I could not eat the whole thing. I devoured the entire thing minus like 3 pieces. This child is growing and I cannot keep up! So far, I have gained 15 pounds. The only food that I cannot really stand is garlic:( We love garlic in our house, but I guess this one doesn’t.

Symptoms: The past few weeks I have been feeling great. I have questioned if I am even pregnant at times. The drive back from Colorado plus the altitude change did me in and I am hoping to recover in the next few days. I see more naps in my future.

Random Exciting Things: We are having our crib custom made and I am so excited! We are getting closer and closer to having everything we need.

We found an ultrasound company locally that gives you a DVD of the whole ultrasound, so I can send it to Neil! Making him as much of a part of this whole experience is very important and we are so thankful for technology.

My mom took both us girls maternity shopping while I was home. It was so much fun and I am looking forward to filling out some of these clothes:)


Care Packages for Neil

Since Neil was in country a few months ago, he was able to see what things he will need  or items that will make it a little easier over there! I compiled his list with things I know he would like if you need any ideas! Please feel free to send anything you think he might like. Even if he doesn’t eat or use it there will be soldiers who do not receive anything while they are over there.  

Whatever you send please remember Neil is responsible for it:) Lastly, if you send anything that could possibly melt I would put it in a ziploc bag. That way if it does melt the entire care package is not ruined!

We do not know how long the PX will be open over there with the draw down and is limited to begin with. That is where he is able to get hygiene items and snacks.

Neil is allergic to peanuts, but other than that he is not too picky.

Ideas of Items to Send:

  1. Whole Bean Coffee- Neil loves coffee and I sent over his grinder. If your community has a unique brand of coffee he would love to try it!
  2. Cup of Joe for a Joe- This is something we just learned about. You can send coffee through Green Beans Coffee. Go here to learn more:
  3. Beef or Deer Jerky- This would travel and keep well. He loves this stuff.
  4. Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal- One of his favorites.
  5. Snacks- Eating at the same dining facility gets old fast.
  6. Baked Goods- I would suggest sending items that are already on the dry side such as shortbread or granola, but people send cookies all the time. There are ways to package the baked goods, so they make the trip.  I just haven’t had any experience with those yet!
  7. Sunday Comics or Crosswords- Both a favorite of Neil’s!
  8. Magazines- You cannot go wrong with anything related to the Outdoors, Guns, or Bikes. Also, any magazine or book on survival techniques.
  9. Funny Cards
  10. Amazon or iTunes gift cards- Amazon ships to APOs and if he needs anything while over there that would be the easiest route. A lot of soldiers use iTunes to download movies, tv shows, or music for entertainment.
  11. Hygiene Items- Old Spice Deodorant, Body Wash, Gillette Fusion Razors, Crest Toothpaste, Equate Contact Solution, and Wet Wipes.
  12. Artificial Tear Drops
  13. Neil does has access to a microwave.

Again, whatever you send will get used or shared! The first package I sent over he had soldiers asking him if he had any food.

It takes just over a week for him to receive packages. Medium or large flat rate boxes are great for sending care packages. You can get them for free at any post office and if you pay the postage online you can save a little money. You do have to fill out a customs form.

Thank you in advance for supporting a soldier!

Baby Maley: 9 Weeks

Thank you everyone for all your congratulations, excitement, and prayers! We are more than thrilled about this little blessing and looking forward to February.

Here is our little one almost two weeks ago. I was just over 7 a view from the outside!IMG_2138I will be doing an update every week or so. I wanted a way to document the whole process and for Neil to be able to read on his down time. Here is a quick update on how things have been going.

When are you due?
February 26th-ish

How did you tell Neil?
I took a test the day after Father’s Day and it was positive. Neil was not supposed to be home until lunch, so I thought I would make him a onesie that said something cute on it. He showed up a few minutes later and I knew I was not going to be able to hold it in until lunch. He just got back from the eye doctor. I handed him the test and asked him if his eyes were good enough to read it:)

Are you finding out the gender?
Yes. As of right now:) Who knows that might change!

Have you been sick?
Thankfully, not at all. I had several symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, and the such in the beginning, but now I am feeling great.

Are you staying in Colorado?
Yes. I will travel home a few times during the pregnancy, but plan on giving birth here.

Will Neil be at the birth?
I sure hope so! He is scheduled to come home for R&R just before I am due. That is definitely a prayer request. I do have a great back-up and if that is the case we will be just fine. Women do it all the time without their husbands.

Do you have names picked out?
Yes. We have had a girl and boy name picked out since we were dating. For some reason, we thought it was fun throwing out names to see what the other person thought and we both wanted kids. We are not sharing the names though until he or she is born. The only clue we will give is that we picked out a biblical and family name:)

Have you had any cravings?
Not really. Just food and lots of it! So far, I have gained 10 pounds and counting. I keep a box of Cheerios beside the bed for those random night cravings. I am pretty excited to be headed to Indiana next week to get my real Mexican food fix. Uh Yum!

That is about it for now! I am currently knee deep in researching all that baby gear that they must have or they die instantly. We do have the nursery painted thanks to my amazing husband who did it all before he left.

We so appreciate all your love and support. This baby is going to be loved for sure!