Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy New Year: A Plethora of Updates

Happy New Year! I'm back after a month-ish long Christmas blog-iatus. Sooooo welcome back to me! I feel like I have a zillion updates to share, so let's begin, shall we?

1. I am sad the holidays are over. Boo Hoo. But I love getting rid of all the "Christmas clutter" around the house and getting things fresh for the new year. I love the new outlook and possibility that another year brings. This is the first year in a while that I haven't spent a lot of time reflecting on my goals for the coming year. Not sure why. It could be that I am just so focused on adjusting to/coping with being pregnant and trying to enjoy every moment with my kids at this stage, which would be a good reason. Or if could be that I have just given up trying to meet goals because I am so bad at it, which wouldn't be a good reason.

Either way, I truly believe that 2012 has amazing things to offer. I am entering this year very hopeful at what God has in store. Last year I had 3 words that I focused on for 2011's goals. For 2012 there is one word that really encapsulates what I'd like to work on this year, an it's STOP.

Yep. my goal for 2012 is to just stop being so busy and doing so much... to slow down and enjoy the stage of life and mothering I'm in right now. The stop and smell the roses and not be in such a rush. To stop beating myself up with Mom guilt and stop comparing myself to others. To put the phone down, play with my kids, hold my soon-to-be-newborn and not try to cram so much into these fleeting years. This should always be a goal, but it feels more necessary this year with the baby coming. I'm already making preparations to pull back a lot from commitments and spend this next year just enjoying being a new Mom again.

2. Moving on to less meaningful matters, I'm in full-on nesting mode and tackling all kinds of decorating/organizing projects around the house! Here is a peek at some of our winter-yet-not-Christmas decor:

3. I made these these other day. They were heavenly. Annnnd since the recipe said "healthy," I naturally ate them all in one sitting. Can't deprive the wee one in my belly, now can we?

4. Speaking of my belly, it is in full bloom these days.

Here it is outside H&M, pining over clothes it won't fit into.

Here it is in shadow form, along with two precious ones. (I love the way Benny has his hand on my belly.)

I had my 20 week ultrasound last week, which was SUCH a different experience since we aren't finding out our baby's gender until the big day! Everything is looking healthy, and despite my abnormally large belly, baby is measuring right on target.

4. A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about how we could make homemade cinnamon rolls that were a little healthier for everyday eating. So on Bennett's first day back to school after Christmas break, I came up with a healthy(er) cinnamon roll recipe to start the day off right.

Here's what I did:
I took a package of Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough and rolled it out into a rectangle. I wanted to add protein, so I smeared it with softened cream cheese.

I wanted the rolls to be free of refined sugar, so I added a generous drizzle of raw honey.

I wanted to add even more protein and vitamins, so I pulverized raw almonds in my Magic Bullet and sprinkled them on.

And of course, I wanted delicious cinnamon flavor, so added a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon (also very healthy and good for normalizing blood sugar levels.)

Clearly, I wanted a lot out of these cinnamon rolls, and they did not disappoint.

Then I rolled that bad boy up into a delectable log o' goodness. I sliced the log into rolls and placed them in an 8x8 baking dish. I dotted the top with just a smidge of butter, then I baked them at 375 for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I made a little glaze for the top. I melted a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and then added a few big spoonfuls of raw honey. I brought this to a boil and then reduced the heat to low until the rolls were done baking. When the rolls came out of the oven, I poured this sweet syrupy goodness over the top. Yum! The kids LOVED them!