3.31.2015

Cora's Sunshine - Duck Race

Family.

We've hit the 6 month milestone last week and still miss our sunshine Cora more each day. We wish she were here with us.  One could only imagine all the things she would be able to do and if she would look more like her daddy or even a little like me. 



The  six months have been so long.  Life is continuing as it does. The cries and heartache aren’t constant as much anymore, but the times that get me are often the least expected.  For example, I was at Zumba the other night and right in the middle of a song, I saw a young girl that was taking the class with her mother.  This happens often so it wasn’t a shocker, but I realized she had long dark brown hair and I realized that I thought I would be doing that with Cora one day.  It’s moments like that that make me want to curl into a ball and just cry.  I kept going, but my heart hurt so badly.




We started attending grief counseling shortly after Cora was born.  It was helpful with the immediate shock, but we got to the point where we had less and less to talk about with just the two of us and the councilor.  We started looking for a group that had other families that were dealing with the same heartache we were.  Through close friends we've been put in touch with a group in Charlotte called KinderMourn that focuses on counseling for bereaved parents.

After attending our initial meeting with a team member over a month ago we found out that in order to have a group, more people would have to reach out for services like we had and it could take some time. The unfortunate thought that comes to your head is that other parents will have to have lost a child and be aware of KinderMourn to form a group.  Last week we got a phone call that there are enough families now to form a group and we'll be starting in April.  We look forward to this group because as much help as our friends a family have been to us, the understanding is different.  We seek to connect with others too that painfully understand what is to have lost their child. 

To help support KinderMourn, there is an annual duck race for the families that have lost someone. This event brings together everyone with a common cause, to recognize those angels that are no longer with us. On Sunday, April 26, 2015 from 2:00-5:00 pm at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, we will be sponsoring ducks in honor of Cora.


We have set up a team, Cora’s Sunshine and are hoping to raise money to help the group that will be helping us.  Please buy a duck in Cora’s memory. 

Thank you for all your love and support.

<3 mk, jeff and cora









2.03.2015

A Week of L-O-V-E


Family. Home.

We decided to do something a bit different this year for Valentine’s Day.  Instead of making it just one day we decided to do something for an entire week.  We like to call it , “Our week of LOVE!”  I know it sounds cheesy but it’s a nice build up to the big day and it’s a playful little treat.  We will start the week out on Sunday prior to the day. To make it fair,  I have chosen the even days and Jeff will be the odds, then we both do somthing bigger on the actual day.  I know I’m excited to get this little adventure started, I just hope Jeff is too!

I promised that I would share some of my ideas for this year when I shared my Christmas present for Jeff as a V-Day present.  There seems to be such an influx of ideas this year that it is making hard to decide what to do.  No matter the idea, choose what you want and make it your own. I won’t divulge exactly what I am planning on doing for my handsome husband, but I know I will be borrowing some ideas.  Jeff edits all my posts so maybe he might get an idea as well. Wink, wink!

Cards Ideas




Easy and Inexpensive DIY Ideas




  • 25 DIY ideas here.  I love the succulent and the puzzle (above).

  • Fruit with a loving message


Make a Sweet Treat





A Few Ideas for the Kids or Your Adult Kid





Like I said, so many ideas and these are only a few of my favorites that I found and pinned.   No matter what you do, just do it to show how much you appreciate the one(s) you love.   Make it fun and make it your own.

xoxo


<3 mk

1.25.2015

Planning for V-Day


Home. Family.

A year of dates
It’s only few weeks away and I am planning for that commercial holiday we call Valentine’s Day.  Personally, one should always let that special someone know how wonderful you think they are year round, but Valentine’s Day can push one to go above and beyond.

I'll let you in on what Jeff and I are doing this year for V-Day another time, but first I wanted to share what I had done this Christmas for Jeff, in hopes you can get your stuff together and possibly do it for your guy or gal for this February 14th. 

This Christmas we expected to be all about our new daughter Cora, but our plans didn't turn out that way.  Jeff and I had always talked about making sure that as parents we wanted our relationship to be strong because that's the cornerstone of a family.  I actually had planned to do this gift earlier this summer so even though our original plan A (Cora) didn't happen as expected, it didn’t mean we couldn't include it in the plan B.  Being a strong couple is just as important even if Cora is not physically here with us.

A year of dates isn't my original thought and I'm not going to claim it as my own.  I've seen this idea quite a few times with different interpretations.  I did however make it my own with dates that fit our lifestyle.


To start, you need to draft your list of dates the recipient would actually want to go on; dates at home, dates in town, and dates that require a day out of town.  I also didn't want to force us into having to do these dates on specific months so I left the timing totally up to us or the expiration date on the gift card.

Below are some examples of dates that were included:
  • Blind wine tasting at home - No need for a designated driver.  We have a wine tasting kit we used, but brown paper bags with numbers work just as well.  I have been on a Zinfandel kick so we tried a few bottles.  Jeff always likes the most expensive, but I actually chose similar to him this time. 
  •  Mad Libs in Love - This was a fun little game to play as well.  I remember doing this when I was younger and putting in all sorts of dirty words.  Now as an adult, it wasn't as taboo. 
  • Spa massages - Massage Envy allows you to print right from their website.
  • Massages at home - Massage oils and massage bars from Lush
  • Dinner out at a nice restaurant - I used Groupon and got a great deal for a local restaurant we like.
  • Husband and Wife Quizzes - I know what you are thinking…quizzes?  Honestly Jeff and I laughed doing these quizzes on New Year’s eve.  These are low stress and a good way to remember stories from when you first were together.
  • Gift card to the local beer store - We frequent there for tastings and grab a beer after a long week. 
  • Personalized boxers - I made a pair a long time ago using iron on letters and realized that pair was not doing so well.  A replacement was needed and no I will not tell you what they say.
  • Scratch off World Globe - If you're world travelers, this is a really cool gift to get. 
  • Movie date gift card with a box of his favorite candy -  We don't often go to see movies so I figured this would motivate us to see something on a larger screen.
A Year of Dates wrapped up in a bow
All the gifts were numbered in separate envelopes designating the order of opening. I wrote a personal message in each about the date and why it was chosen.  The first envelope (#0) explained how this gift worked.  If any of the envelopes had corresponding presents, they were also marked with a little number to match the envelope. 

Gift #5 that went along with envelope #5.
I decided to do brown butcher paper to wrap all the gifts and found envelopes with matching cards at Hobby Lobby.  I learned to make gift bags for each oddly shaped present here. It is super easy!

Overall, this gift took time and some imagination, but Jeff loved opening up each envelope and gift.   Showing him that I put in effort and thought is what he likes the most.  He told me that the anticipation and mystery was the most exciting.

So what are you doing for your special someone this year?  Maybe a year of dates might remind your special someone how much they mean to you.

<3 mk







1.20.2015

Seafood Chowder

Food.

Since the new year, I have been doing my best to down size.  We honestly live in a very minimalist household, but I tend to stock up a lot on food, including frozen food.  I have this irrational fear of being hungry and having nothing in the house to cook. 

OK, back to the point of this post, recently I have been making meals using what I have in my freezer and ran across frozen seafood mixture from Trader Joe's that I had bought the last time we went on a major food trip there.  The bag contains a mixture of small shrimp, calamari rings and bay scallops. I am sure at the time I had a major plan for it, but it had escaped my mind. The recent gloomy weather requires something warm eaten with a spoon, so I went to searching recipes that I could use with this seafood mixture.




Pasta with a seafood (like this) always is my usual choice, but my husband is not much of a pasta fan and I would ultimately be the one finishing it off.  So, I and my thighs, decided against it and started searching for seafood chowder recipes, not that a cream chowder is any better, but you understand?

There are a lot to choose from, but I ultimately decided on this one because  I had all the ingredients I needed already.  Remember that irrational fear of being hungry?  It's actually helpful.

Picture courtesy of Movita.
 I'm a bad blogger and took no pictures. Hunger was in charge.

I actually followed the recipe as precisely as I could except for a few adaptations.

1-  I used the thawed seafood mix (shrimp, scallops, calamari) instead of the fish and the lobster.  Next time I will add the lobster because you know it will take this recipe to another level.  

2- I added some sliced crisp bacon pieces that were left over from that morning and crumbled them on top. 

Follow the directions! Simmering at low is helpful to keep the seafood from getting chewy.  The next day the chowder was really better, but we had so little left it was hard to share.  I had made the chowder before noon and we actually ate around seven PM.  It had plenty time to sit and get all those flavors to develop.

If you are planning on making this for a group, double the recipe.  What I made was barely enough for just the two of us.  

Enjoy!

<3 mk

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