Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”- Isaiah 9:6

Brian and I wish our families and friends a Merry Christmas! We are so thankful for all of the ways we have been blessed this year! We are so thankful to have arrived safe and sound in California to be with family. I was so anxious that the weather would thwart our travels! Thankfully, nothing stops my husband, except for road closures and airline cancellations, none of which we encountered. He truly is my rock in these situations, ready and steady with his positive attitude and calm demeanor. Our drive over the mountains was snow free and despite the media exxagerations (big surprise) of airport chaos, we breezed through ticketing and security. Olivia did great, we even had a seat for her in our row (another miracle - thank you Lord!). A slight delay on the runway was our only hiccup, but you always need one of those during Holiday travels. I am so happy to be in LA this week and can't wait to spend next week with my "other family" in Cabo San Lucas (click there to see the resort). I have been doubly blessed with the most GENEROUS mom and dad in law who are treating us all to a week there as our Christmas present!

The above photos are the front and back of our Christmas card this year. I mailed them last week and they still haven't arrived to my out of state friends and family, so I thought I'd post them here to share. My amazingly talented friend Andrea took the photos and designed the card for us. What a gift she is to us! We love you Andrea!

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa and Snow's been a while since my last post. 'Tis the Season! The snow has finally arrived and it is a Winter Wonderland around here. It's definitely feeling A LOT like Christmas (ie. temps in the teens and even below zero at night) and if you know this California girl I tend to act like the bears and hibernate in these months. We have ventured out some and even got to visit Santa at the mall and play in the snow a little. Here are some pics!

She was not too sure about Santa, so I squatted down and propped her up on his lap! You can't even see me!

And a few of Liv in the "know" (AKA Snow)...

The view from my in laws house, this is their street!

California and Cabo here we come!! I am learning to love the snow but I'm looking forward to a little warmth and some family fun!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cutting our Christmas Tree

Yesterday Brian, Livi and I drove about an hour away from home to cut down our Christmas tree. This city girl was out of the city for sure! The drive was so beautiful and when we finally (and I mean FINALLY, but that's another story for another blog entry) found our spot it was super fun!!

You must obtain a permit to cut a tree. Only five bucks...not too shabby for a whole tree! Take that Home Depot!

This was a waterfall we stumbled upon...amazing!

Yeah this is pretty much heaven on earth for my husband...he LOVES the great outdoors!!

Self portrait

Yes they were THAT big. I was in awe!

Livi lookin' for pine cones. That was her favorite part and I just had to keep them out of her mouth. Didn't want her ingesting any deer poop before dinner.

My hunky lumberjack. After searching and searching we found her and got 'er done! Ok I've been in the woods a little too long...

Well, really we rescued her. She looked fuller amongst the other trees but we'll spruce her up! It's all about the experience right?

One more of our drive home. A great day and a family tradition started. Really, there are perks to not living in the big city...after days like today I believe it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Fun!

On Thursday we headed over Chinook Pass to Brian's Aunt and Uncle's house. It was a fun day with lots of food, football and family togetherness! Livi especially enjoyed playing in the big backyard...there was a trampoline AND a swing set. She couldn't get enough and thankfully the weather was perfect. Unfortunately we didn't get any family pics, but here are some of our girl enjoying the backyard ammenities!

Brian had to get a shot of the static!

After dinner we drove to Mill Creek, Brian's hometown. We spent the night in a hotel and the next morning met Brian's good friend Sven and his wife Kelly for breakfast. They just had a baby boy Trygve (prounounced trig-vee, it's Norwegian like his daddy's is!). With one of the babies either crying or sleeping we never got a photo of the daddy's and their kids (I could kick myself).

We drove around Brian's old 'hood afterwards. He loves this place and points out all the spots he used to ride his bike, where his school was, who lived on what streets. It's definitely an idyllic place to grow up. Tree lined streets, manicured neighborhoods, beautiful homes with pathways to walk on and a pretty park here and there! Don't get me wrong So Cal had its perks (ie. sun) but this is a neat little neck of the woods to raise a family. Brian said it was a surreal day for him, being in his childhood town, eating breakfast with an old friend as they held their babies...ahhh, don't you love it when the men get sentimental!?

Defintely some days to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Our little Olive sure loves her olives - which happen to be my LEAST favorite food. Last night we ate at The Olive (seriously) Garden...hooray for soup, salad and breadsticks. It's really the little things that make a pregnant woman happy! Any way here are some funny pics of our night at The OG!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Headlines and Highlights from our trip so far..

-Buying a ticket on Thursday to leave to LA Saturday...gotta love the spontaneity you can have with being a stay at home mom (thank you Brian!) and having one kid.

-A not so fun last hour on the plane, flying with a walker is way different.


-Tanks and flips in mid-November. Never thought I'd appreciate this!

-Seeing Olivia love on my parents

(noticing the food trend?)

-Spending quality time with good friends...I appreciate and miss them so much!!

-Walks outside at the Commons in Calabasas, I think Olivia thought this could be the happiest place on earth. She just ran around and laughed and laughed

Good times!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pregnancy Part Two

We are so excited to tell everyone that we are adding another McCown to the mix!! That's right folks...we will be the proud parents of two kids under two. I'd be lying if I said that doesn't take my mind in a million different directions when I think about the reality of it, but I am thankful!

Please keep our baby in your prayers as he/she grows! I'll be eager to blog my journey with this one oh and don't worry, I won't let it overshadow our little Livi. She just gets cuter, funnier, smarter and at times more challenging by the day, but I love her to pieces!

Stay tuned for pics from my fun weekend with the girls..Andrea and Jen came up to see me and we had a great time! Andrea took some GREAT pictures of Olivia and our family! I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am for these friends and all they mean to me!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I love when people post recipes on their blogs. I don't know about you but if you're anything like me thinking of a different meal to cook my family everynight is one of my biggest challenges. Yesterday Oprah's guest gave a cooking lesson where she made TWO roasted chickens (you can buy the already made ones if you'd like) and made three meals for a family four. What was even better, each one was different and could be frozen if your family complains of too much chicken that week!

Here's the Roasted Chicken recipe:

Roasted Chicken:

2 chickens , 4 1/2 to 5 pounds each
6 lemons
A poultry mix of fresh herbs: Rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and oregano work well
Marinade for one chicken:

1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup juice from fresh lemon (don't discard lemon rinds)
To make marinade: Place all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Whisk with a wire whisk until ingredients are incorporated well—the marinade should have a smooth and creamy consistency.

To make roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 425°.

Clean chickens well and pat dry. Place each chicken in its own baking dish.

Stuff cavities with lemon rinds and fresh herbs. A poultry mix is fine, usually consisting of rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and oregano.

Pour marinade over chicken. Add cracked pepper and remaining herbs to the top of each chicken.

Place an oven thermometer in each chicken and cover with aluminum foil. Place on the lower rack of the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the aluminum foil. Baste with a basting bulb. Keep basting often, ever 15 minutes until the thermometer reads 180°.

And here are the three recipes (links to them)

Chicken Enchiladas

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Chicken

Chicken Pot Pie w/CornBread Crust (sounds fattening but it's not too bad!)

And here's a Chicken Tortilla Soup that she didn't make on the show but sounds delish

Feel like chicken tonight? :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday Brian and I took Livi to the Pumpkin Patch and she was pretty much in heaven surrounded by all those "bahs" as she calls them. She REALLY loves pumpkins for some reason and notices them whereever we go...on our walks, driving by people's homes, and the huge displays at Safeway. Her eyes were huge as you will see below!

I am just loving experiencing all these "firsts" with my little girl!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dancing Fools

Here's a video I took (the wrong way again - I always have my camera long ways!) the other day of Liv and her bud Sawyer dancing. Cortney and I were dying of laughter...ok, I guess it's really funny to us since we're their moms but you'll get a chuckle too! OH and pardon the song, my iPod was on shuffle and that was what came up!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Fun

I love Fall...the leaves, the hot drinks, and football! Growing up a So Cal kid I have vivid memories of perusing pumpkin patches with my shorts on and longing for cooler weather! Washington is a wonder in these months. I love it! Sure, in January I'll be dreaming of the California sunshine but for now I'll bask in the perfectness of the low 60s, grab a latte, put on my puffy vest and stomp some leaves with Livi!

Here are some pictures we took in our backyard this weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm so over this Election...

and apparently so is this guy!! This is funny.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom and Shannon!

First to my mom:

Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you for always being there for me! You always show up when I need you most. You are a godly woman, the best wife, mom and grandma and someone everyone loves to be around. I look forward to our talks everyday. I miss you so much and I hope you have a great time this week in Florida visiting Shannon!


I know our visits are too few and far between. We live at opposite corners of the country but you are never that far in my heart. I admire your dedication as a mom. You are such a hard worker and always putting others needs before your own. I miss you and promise we will come visit soon!

Love you both!! Happy Birthdays!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Always Fall For These!!

35 Things about ME

I pulled this from Julie's blog - one of my faves!!

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? yes, but not as much as my husband does

2. Do you own a gun? I do not

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks? this time of year, Pumpkin Spice all the way!!
4. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? coffee

5. Do you do pushups? not in a really long time

6. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring.

7. Favorite hobby? blogging, walking with Livi

8. Do you have A.D.D? No only room for one of those in our family!

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? Procastination and doubting my decisions and abilities

10. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I wish Brian was coming home tonight, How do John and Kate raise eight, I wish I was out with the girls tonight celebrating Tricia's birthday

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. coffee, crystal light, wine - c'mon, I live in Wine Country, iced pomegranate raspberry green tea with a pump of raspberry syrup

12. Current worry right now? the next president

13. Current hate right now? the coming winter

14. Favorite place to be? my bed after a long day :)

15. Do you like to travel? Yes, I did more before I had a child!

16. What color shirt are you wearing? hot pink

17. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? yes!

18. Can you whistle? yes, but the sound is like nails on a chalkboard to me

19. Favorite color? brown

20. If you could would you be a pirate? Yes!! but, only for the fashion...i think an eye patch could look fierce!

21. What song do you sing in the shower? I'm usually talking to Liv who is in her pack n play or just enjoying the minutes of silence

22. Favorite girl's name? Olivia, my runners up were Meredith or Mallory

23. Favorite boy's name? Jonah, Reed, or Dane

24. What's in your pocket right now? no pockets, still in my workout clothes!

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? Strawberry Shortcake

26. Worst injury? a sharp cupboard handle going through my knee...still have the scar

27. Do you love where you live? learning to love it more and more

28. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3

29. Who is your loudest friend? Hollie Gorsh - HOOOOOLLLLLLAAA!!

30. How many pets do you have? zero

31. Does someone have a crush on you? Hopefully my husband does.

32. What is your Favorite Book? The Bible

33. What's your favorite candy? peach rings (me too Julie!) and Milk Duds at the Movies

34. Favorite Sports Team? USC Trojans - Fight On!!! And now, the WSU Cougars - Go Cougs!!

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Livi's Birthday Party

Some highlights from the big night!!

Our Princess (outfit from Auntie Jen!!)

The favors

The Cake

Gami came to surprise us!! The BEST present!

Family photo

Livi and Nana

First Baby doll

More presents...Elmo from our neighbors and great friends the Switzers

Cake time! She went for it...that's my girl!

Livi and her best bud Sawyer!

Gigi and Great Grandpa! We are so thankful Grandma is doing better!