Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Open window

The service for my Grandfather was beautiful. It was exactly the way he would have wanted it. My granny was so stunned by all the extended family and friends that showed up. I believe it truly touched her heart. There were even some old teacher friends that came and told us stories of his dry sense of humor, it totally was :) I reflected on one of the stories last night and it brought back memories of his deep heart felt chuckle. He would really crack himself up. So thank you to all of you that kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Speaking of thoughts and prayers, I am amazed at the way that God opens a window when one door closes. I posted a status on facebook asking all friends if they had a good daycare recommendation. About 10 minutes after my post I received a message from an old friend that I went to grade school and high school with. Turns out her twin girls were about to turn 6 months and she was getting ready to open an in home daycare! We went and visited her today and both PJ and I are so excited about sending our little man Brody to her. I mean it truly blows my mind how when you put you faith in God, he does have a plan. Yes I will still pray that this is the right move and that he watch over my little man. But my heart is a little at ease knowing he will be in good hands with a gal I have known for years. We are going do to a few half days next week to kind of transition him in. Please keep us in your prayers as we make this transition. Thank you friends. I know the power of friendship and prayer are powerful!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Man my world has been rocked this week. Let me start by saying everything was going along until Wednesday.... some stupid stuff went down at work that kind shifted my mood. So then going into Thursday was a tad bit awkward. But that all got resolved and I woke up feeling like this was a new day. Which for the most part it was going well. I enjoyed a nice lunch with my mom and sister and was finishing out the day when I got a call from PJ. Yes, everything was fine but we had just found out that our daycare provider, whom we LOVE, had taken a full time position out of the home. I mean I think I was speechless. So that is twice this week that I have been speechless and felt completely out of control... as in I could not control the circumstances. Now don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM upset with my daycare provider, I totally get a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do for her family, but shit this sucks! The worst part by far is the transition for my little man. He has come to know this woman and her boys like she was a second family. And I know he will move on and the world will still turn, he will grow and learn from different experiences. But my hope, wish with all my heart, is that he never feels scared or alone. The world is big and it can be scary, even for me as an adult sometimes. So please pray for me and my family as we transition into a new stage life, toddler-hood and little man school.
*WOOSH, apparently I just needed a good cry. Bad things come in threes so I think I am about due for a turn around.

Photo Friday

Tid-bits from our home to yours! Enjoy :)
(Oh and check out my boys long legs & beautiful smile, LOVE IT!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fireplace remix.... kind of :)

So when we moved into our new house one thing we knew we wanted to do was redo our fireplace. The previous tenants had tiled over everything! So sad. (we are not huge fan of tile, esp on a fireplace) Exhibit A....

Was it horrible... NO. But it was not us either. It did not go with the wood paneling, let me rephrase, REAL WOOD walls. This is not just paneling, its like wood that you build furniture out of. Thick nice wood, so that is a whole separate delima we have while updating our family room... Anyways, we had notice that there was brick underneath the tile, we stuck our head in the fireplace to observe this. So a couple Saturday ago, my dad had stopped by to drop his dog off for some play time and PJ decided to chip away a tile to see what we were working with. 7 hours later we had a huge mess and a brick hearth to our fireplace, and boy it got us excited! Exhibit B.....

So a week later Peej has finished removing all the tile. (Still need a picture with all the tile removed) The next obstacle is to remove all the adhesive that they used to hold the thick ugly tile up.... Yep we have a lot on our hands. But from my end of things it has been a wonderful transformation in our home. And I think it will be totally worth all of PJ's hard work! Easy for me to say right? :) We hope at some point in the next year we will get a new wood mantel. We are debating on if we want a stained wood of if we want to go with an off white/eggshell to match the trim.... there seems to be an awful lot of wood in that room... And of course in the next few weeks the HUMONGOUS (spell?) mirror will be going as well. Just not our style. I think it will make an appearance on craiglist however. As we continue on our fireplace journey I will keep you all updated!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Day

Today was one of those unexpected good days. I have to start by saying these are the best! The days where you wake up in a good mood and just know that the day will turn out great not because of something great, its because of all the little good things in life.
I got out of the house on time, first time in a week and a half. Had lunch with a friend from work. This friend happens to be fabulous and designing my wedding invitations. She has a little girl, 8 months old who is ADORABLE. So we got to talk family and weddings. Oh yes, I know, my 2 favorite things to talk about at the moment :) I told her how lucky I feel that she is doing my invitations. She is taking something that I was not looking forward to and making it a highlight. Her design aesthetic is beautiful and simply chic. Not in that fancy pants way, but in the everyday. It like that comfy pair of jeans for a Saturday that are effortlessly chic and perfectly worn in. That is what I am talking about! :) She is starting her own design business! YAY for Julie @ Sweet River Studio.
After work I headed out into the lazy sun with the evening ahead of me. I got home, played a round of "chase" with my little "mon'ter" . Oh yes, he likes me to chase him while he roars and runs around the house with his arms out like a zombie.... Yep, its true I have the MOST ADORABLE son EVER! We changed into our swimsuits and headed to meet M.I.L at her hotel, she is in Overland Park for work. We jumped in the pool, which Brody was totally not diggin, so we nixxed that and went to the room to enjoy some take out from Da' Bronx (pizza and sandwich place). When we got home just before sunset we notice our jonquils had bloomed! And we have another perennial that has sprouted, we believe they are tulips, but I can not wait to find out! We had a great story time before bed, with some cuddle time included. People, this is what dreams are made of :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

What I want...

Many people talk about plans and things that they want.... THINGS. I don't do this. People do it with the cloths they want, my sister is a shop-aholic. Luckily I get all her hand me downs so no need to want for more in that department. We have 2 vehicles that run perfectly, even though they are a bit old. So for me, no need to want in that department.... typing these words even feels silly. I literally want nothing, as far as materials go. What I do want though is a house full of kids, rough-housing, teasing (in a loving way), caring, hugging, laughing, playing. I want a home full of memories, and a life worth dying for. A garden in the backyard, where my kids learn the value of hard work and the reward of watching something grow. A room where creativity can flourish, and little imaginations can run wild with a little stoking from the pages of a book. A living room just large enough for us to cram in, light the fire and watch a movie all cuddled on a pallet on the floor. I want to be able to give my children the love and vigor for life that my parents gave me. I was never spoiled with possessions but I was spoiled with love, understanding, generosity, compassion and family. These things taught me the value of the life I want to live and pass on.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Friday

I have decided in order to get all the old photos I have taken up on this blog, to document, I will do Photo Friday! (Well as long as I remember) So today I bring you the Ragan Family Christmas of 2010. Enjoy!

I had to end with that one of my M.I.L :) Oh Kathy would kick my little behind if she knew I posted that!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where I turn....

When anything in my life is thrown off, takes a turn in the road, I 9 times out of 10 will turn to food. Not just eating it, but preparing it, shopping for it, reading about it, and sometimes downright ignoring it. I know this sounds weird.... but this is probably for 2 reasons, 1. Its something I know I am in control of, 2. Food brings me comfort in joy. I find solace in a trip to the grocery store. Savoring the peace and quiet as I walk up and down the aisle. People watching, watching other mothers with their small children. It brings me a sense of peace. So it was my lucky day yesterday when I was offered a dozen red peppers, 5 head of broccoli, a bag of onions, and 4 over ripe bananas. (All leftover from a party at my work) So after work yesterday I went home and played with my little boy, we took a walk because the weather was gorgeous. We came home and got the grill out and played in the backyard while Peej grilled some burgers. Had a beer and just soaked in the sun. After Brody went to bed. I got out the cutting board and began to chop away. I sliced the red peppers into strips for stir fry (and any other recipe I find in the meantime.) They went into the Ziploc and straight into the freezer. Broccoli was next and the florets got cut down and then Ziploced and frozen. Brods LOVES steamed broccoli so it is nice to always have that on hand as an option. And last but not least was the banana bread to be made, one loaf with nuts and one without. I pulled those out of the oven, changed into my jammies and crawled into bed next to my snoring fiance. The comfort of food, home and family, that centers me. My grandfather passed away around 10:30 last night. Please keep my mother and her family in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life and Death

No this is not a situation that I am in, but I have been thinking a lot about life and death today.... My Grandpa is in hospice and in what will be his last few days or maybe even hours. He has been declining over the last 4 years so this is nothing sudden. And his wife of 59 years, my Granny is handling it with such grace. She sits by his side every second she is given, but does so while being plesant and chatting with the nurses, familly and really whoever stops in.
I was never particularly close with my grandpa but I do have many fond memories of him. Yes, it will be very sad when he passes, but with the state his has been in these last few weeks, he deserves the peace that comes in death. I hope that does not sounds harsh, these words are meant to be anything but. As my heart aches for the lose of my Grandpa, it aches more for my mothers loss of her father. The thought of losing a parent brings me to my knees.... so in these times I feel like reverting to a child to relish all the time I have had with my parents. I spent a lot of my day thinking about memories of holidays in Dodge City with my mom's family, the swimming pool in Dodge that we frequented while visiting during the brutal days of summer in Western Kansas, the sledding hill near the junior high there where we went down with my aunt and parents. Family is the one thing I could not live without. My family is my priority, and I can not tell you how blessed I am to have been given the one I have. I owe the Big Man a Big Thank You. There is always the sun after the storm....

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Neighborhood Book Club

Last night we were outside enjoying the beautiful weather! We did some pick up in the backyard (poop scoop to be exact). And then were doing some shrub removal in the front flower bed when I met a few of the neighbors! There were a few kiddos out playing and Brods was just fascinated with their bike! They likewise were fascinated with Brody :) One of the little girls asked, "Can I touch him?!" It was SOOOO CUTE! So they gave each other hugs. I wish i could have caught that on camera, but alas I did not have my camera on me. Anywho, a couple of the ladies in the neighborhood were out taking a stroll and stooped by to introduce themselves. After chatting for a few mins they said they had been meaning to come by and ask if I would like to join their book club. I of course jumped at the chance! I have been talking with a few girls at work about a book club but did not really have the energy or drive to start it up myself. So this is the perfect opportunity for me to get in the regular habit of reading novels again! Plus I am down for anything that builds a strong sense of community in the neighborhood. So needless to say I am VERY excited! The women are mostly my mothers age, as the demographic is such in the neighborhood. So I am a little nervous about meeting and getting to know new people. But this will be a great chance for me to step out of my comfort zone of my home and get to know others :) My first meeting is this Monday @ 7 and they are going over The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. Kathy, the host, dropped the book by last night and told me there was no pressure to get this read, but I would at least like to skim it so I can participate in the conversation. I have read the first 50 pages or so and hope to have it almost completed by Monday. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

French Toast

So let me start by telling you I use to never be a breakfast person, that was before I met PJ. His mother cooks the BEST breakfast in the world! I mean she goes all out every Saturday and Sunday. Eggs, bacon, sausage gravy, biscuits, pancakes, french toast. You name it she does it. It's pretty amazing! I guess that is what I get for marrying into a southern Missouri family :) So this being said I have become MUCH more of a breakfast person. My most recent adventure was french toast. French toast has never been my favorite. I think its because the first few times I had it the toast was very eggy.... like a thick layer of egg on the outside, totally not my thing. Well last week we had a bunch of leftover buns at work, that were going to go bad so a friend suggested I take them home and make french toast out of them.

I was very skeptical.... But I do love these buns, they are so soft and just the perfect density. So i thought ok this is worth a try. I went to one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites, and yes they have a new cookbook out I am dying to get! Anywho.... I found a delishly high calorie french toast recipe that I thought looked delicious, and emphasized the importance of the bread soaking up the perfect amount of eggy goodness. I halved the recipe and I was off! I sliced off the top and bottom of the buns, dipped and cooked. I did add some cinnamon to the eggy batter (which from now on is a MUST) and i did not do the last step of cinnamon and sugar. I figured the syrup would be more then enough sweet for us.

These were PERFECTION!

I barely got this picture taken before I devoured them! PJ had 4 and Brody and I each polished off 2. This was a real inward struggle for me not to go for a second helping! My dad had stopped by so he even got to partake in my first french toast experience. And I have to say, I gave myself more then one pat on the back for this one! Whatever you do, you HAVE to try this recipe :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mardi Gras!

In honor of Fat Tuesday I made shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo! It was DELSIH! It was my first time cooking Cajun/Creole food and I think I might just be a life now. The seasoning was perfection along with texture and the deepness of the roux. And I owe it all to.... Chef Paul Prudhomme and his Louisiana Kitchen!
Picture from Amazon

This cookbook was wonderful to use! I borrowed it from a friend from work after he had raved about the Jambalaya he had made over the weekend. Chef Paul gives a fabulous introduction to Louisiana style cooking then goes through in detail describing every ingredient he uses. I am a convert to his recipes! And now for some pictures....

I used homemade chicken stock I had frozen awhile back.The perfect base.

I was so into the cooking that I forgot to take a picture of the roux before I added the veggies and spices. But please observe the dark coffee like color.... I was pretty proud of myself for this meal!

Close up of the roux.... Seriously can you go wrong with anything that looks this good??

Taa-Daa! a little bowl of soulful goodness!

And I am done :) I had to say part of what made this meal so fun is that Peej and little man were in the kitchen helping. It was a true family meal. Brody helped me stir the spices while PJ cooked the andouille sausage, chopped, mixed, stirred and then devoured :) I hope everyone had a wonderful Mardi Gras and that we all enjoy a spiritual Lenten Season.


Friday, March 4, 2011


As we are getting more comfortable in our new home I find it somewhat.... what is the right word.... boring. All the walls are beige and the decor is, umm none existent. If I were to walk into this house (it not being my own) I would think, what a boring person. Not sure what is going on with this. My guess, I am so use to small cozy spaces with lots of personality that I don't know what to do with all this space and the lack of age and character of the house itself. One other problem.... I am finding that I don't really know "my style" of decor. I know that I like a little of this and a little of that but somewhere in between, oh I would say grade school and now (HA) I have lost my confidence in color choice. SO you see I find myself in a predicament. All of this being said, I am the receptionist at an architecture firm with over 100 licenced registered wonderfully fabulous architects and designers! For some reason I become very sheepish when asking someone with vast knowledge on a subject for an opinion on there area of expertise. (If you know me well I am not nor have I ever been sheepish) Anyways long story short I bit the bullet today and asked a designer for her opinion on color for my bathroom. I figured I should start with a small room that I can paint, change a faucet, hardware on the cabinets and feel like we have accomplished a makeover. So this is my first undertaking on the house and hopefully I will have a before and after picture up in the next month. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So Ready for Spring!

So today it was in the 50s so after work we decided to get out and take a walk. We have been cooped up for too long. Our little family of 3 have been passing around germs like it no body's business. First it was a cold, that seemed to have circulated between the 3 of us at least 2 times. And most recently it was a 24 hour flu bug that both me and the little man are just now getting over... meal time has been interesting lately to say the least. Brody does not want to sit in his highchair, eat at dinner time or eat any of the food offered to him. So tomorrow after school (daycare) he is not going to get any snacks in hopes that he will eat his dinner. I think he got way to use to eat little tid bits here and there while he was sick. (Not what we are going for on an everyday basis). I would not consider myself a strict parent but it is really important to me that he learn to get a healthy balanced diet from he beginning.
And this all relates to us getting outside for a walk. I feel like towards the end of winter when we are all cooped up and have not seen alot of sun or fresh air is when the germs really start flying! So I am in DESPERATE need of spring and fresh air. We have all of these wonderful windows to create a cross breeze in the new house and I am ready to open them up and take a breath of fresh air. Soooo... We went on a walk and when we got back we played in the front yard a bit! Peej raked all the leaves and such out of our front flower beds and I noticed there were some kind of bulbs coming up! This has me aching for spring even more!