Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back at 2013

It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone.

Our family just one year ago

So much has happened in 2013.  Some things I will always remember and some things I hope to forget. It's been a year of smiles, new starts, laughter, and lots of illness. Through it all, I have had my family by my side, each step of the way. Good or bad, easy or tough, it's life and I'm so thankful I'm living it with my precious family.

Join me on a trip back through the past year...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas

Our Christmas week has been one of the most relaxed that I can remember.  Andy was out of town the week before Christmas so we have just been enjoying spending time together.  We've spent many hours in our pajamas, watching Christmas movies, baking Christmas cookies, and relaxing by the fire.

Oh, this kid.

We spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws for our traditional celebration. It was crazy to see how much the girls had grown from last year.  They did amazing at church and their excitement about everything was so much fun to witness.

Once we got home, we set out Santa's cookies, read The Night Before Christmas, and said our goodbyes to Lana the Elf.

Christmas morning came fairly early and the girls dove into their gifts. We had breakfast and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus at the top of our lungs.

Each Christmas seems to get better and better. These sweet girls love Christmas and they blow me away with their love for Jesus and the reason we celebrate on this special day.  I am so blessed to have these two precious babies to celebrate each day with.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mmm, Mmm Monday- Chicken Noodle Soup

Our family has definitely needed it's fair share of chicken soup this year. We've battled one illness after the other and it's only December! I make this soup often because it's comforting and delicious. It has become our favorite meal, along with a loaf of crusty bread. I hope that your family enjoys it too!

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small white onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flour
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 tsp. salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil 1 Tbsp. of butter of medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Saute the onion, carrots, and celery until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.  Add the remaining Tbsp. of butter and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir and cook for a minute.  Slowly stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for  10-15 minutes.

Add the chicken, seasonings, and noodles and stir to combine. Cook until the noodles are al dente, about 10 minutes.  Season with additional salt and other seasonings if needed (I used low sodium broth, so I needed to add a lot more salt).  Serve with warm bread and enjoy!